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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:57 AM
Original message
Fascism: "Yes, kids: we are there now..."
Fascist America: Are We There Yet?
Friday, August 07, 2009

-- by Sara

"This is the catalyzing moment at which honest-to-Hitler fascism begins. It's also our very last chance to stop it."

...................

All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history's worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who'd made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?

And every time this question got asked, people like Chip Berlet and Dave Neiwert and Fred Clarkson and yours truly would look up from our maps like a parent on a long drive, and smile a wan smile of reassurance. "Wellll...we're on a bad road, and if we don't change course, we could end up there soon enough. But there's also still plenty of time and opportunity to turn back. Watch, but don't worry. As bad as this looks: no -- we are not there yet."

.................................

Now, the guessing game is over. We know beyond doubt that the Teabag movement was created out of whole cloth by astroturf groups like Dick Armey's FreedomWorks and Tim Phillips' Americans for Prosperity, with massive media help from FOX News. We see the Birther fracas -- the kind of urban myth-making that should have never made it out of the pages of the National Enquirer -- being openly ratified by Congressional Republicans. We've seen Armey's own professionally-produced field manual that carefully instructs conservative goon squads in the fine art of disrupting the democratic governing process -- and the film of public officials being terrorized and threatened to the point where some of them required armed escorts to leave the building. We've seen Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."

This is the sign we (scholarly experts who track the growth of fascism) were waiting for -- the one that tells us that yes, kids: we are there now. America's conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country's legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America's streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won't do their political or economic bidding.

more:
http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2009/08/fascist-america-ar...
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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Domestic Terrorism......
Dick Armey's professionally produced field manual that carefully instructs conservative goon squads in the fine art of disrupting the democratic governing process - hmmmmm - sounds to me like the Al Quaida manual.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. The third stage sure sounds like it's now
"Though the GOP has been humiliated, rejected, and reduced to rump status by a series of epic national catastrophes mostly of its own making, its leadership can't even imagine governing cooperatively with the newly mobilized and ascendant Democrats. Lacking legitimate routes back to power, their last hope is to invest the hardcore remainder of their base with an undeserved legitimacy, recruit them as shock troops, and overthrow American democracy by force. If they can't win elections or policy fights, they're more than willing to take it to the streets, and seize power by bullying Americans into silence and complicity.

When that unholy alliance is made, the third stage -- the transition to full-fledged government fascism -- begins."
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. fourth and fifth stages..
"What awaits us? In stage four, as the duo assumes full control of the country, power struggles emerge between the brownshirt-bred party faithful and the institutions of the conservative elites -- church, military, professions, and business. The character of the regime is determined by who gets the upper hand. If the party members (who gained power through street thuggery) win, an authoritarian police state may well follow. If the conservatives can get them back under control, a more traditional theocracy, corporatocracy, or military regime can re-emerge over time. But in neither case will the results resemble the democracy that this alliance overthrew.

Paxton characterizes stage five as "radicalization or entropy." Radicalization is likely if the new regime scores a big military victory, which consolidates its power and whets its appetite for expansion and large-scale social engineering. (See: Germany) In the absence of a radicalizing event, entropy may set in, as the state gets lost in its own purposes and degenerates into incoherence. (See: Italy)"
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. The concluding paragraphs are truly chilling
"It's so easy right now to look at the melee on the right and discount it as pure political theater of the most absurdly ridiculous kind. It's a freaking puppet show. These people can't be serious. Sure, they're angry -- but they're also a minority, out of power and reduced to throwing tantrums. Grown-ups need to worry about them about as much as you'd worry about a furious five-year-old threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue.

Unfortunately, all the noise and bluster actually obscures the danger. These people are as serious as a lynch mob, and have already taken the first steps toward becoming one. And they're going to walk taller and louder and prouder now that their bumbling efforts at civil disobedience are being committed with the full sanction and support of the country's most powerful people, who are cynically using them in a last-ditch effort to save their own places of profit and prestige.

We've arrived. We are now parked on the exact spot where our best experts tell us full-blown fascism is born. Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we're slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return."
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. This is why I am worried that our side is too timid
we've let it get to this point basically unchallenged. Their rhetoric and actions get more and more violent, anti-democratic, and hate-filled. Meanwhile our people continue the "the more violent they get, the more we win" mantra. That is, when they're not bashing Obama for not being liberal enough.

We are far along the path to Nazi Germany, and have done basically nothing to fight back.
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. What I'm wondering is if liberals and progressives will help repeat this history
by "standing by in horror" as these things take place? Or will the we finally say enough is enough! Speak out in public because these tantrum-throwing tea-baggers don't have an ounce of truth to stand on. And though they may be infectious, we have the light of day, truth, and comedy on our side.

And does Obama and his justice department have anything in them to arrest these people who are inciting violence? What about a little pressure from that group?

Liberals understand instinctively that the good and correct path is to live-and-let-live. But that should not be confused with being a push-over. These hate-mongers believe that about us. For that they are taking their actions beyond the limit. We seriously could lose our happy way of life if we don't stand up to them. If they have nothing to fear from us, what's to stop them.
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chrisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. While I reject most of this as over the top,
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:29 AM by chrisa
If, in the small chance, there were to be a coup, it would not happen now. People hate the Bush-type people, and still remember the idiocy of the last 8 years.

Even moderate conservatives hate these Bible-thumping morons. They've all shifted to supporting the Democrats. They may not like what Obama is doing with healthcare, but they would rather eat 100 rat poison pills than see another Bush in office.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. If you're rejecting this as over the top,
you need to wake up. Read the accompaying essay at the blogsopt:

http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/The%20Rise%20Of%20Pseudo%2...
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
9. I think we might have dodged the fascism bullet.
During the bush* admin we were as close to fascism as you can come without total fascism. The election of Pres Obama would not have been possible under true fascism. We were close. If we were having this unrest during the bush* admin I would be seriously worried. He would have loved the excuse to invoke martial law. I dont think Pres Obama will do that.

I think the acting out by the right wing is a desperate attempt to recoup what they lost. The frustration must be terrible for them. They were soo very close. But this last ditch effort of hate and violence is transparent and I dont see the general public buying it.


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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. There's an easy way for Obama to shut them up...

Since he is accused of being like Hitler and being a practicing Nazi, all he has to do is announce that he is considering withdrawing all troops from aggression in the Middle East. Indeed, this is the only facet of current American government where their argument makes any sense at all. Military Socialism and worldwide domination was the primary component of Nazi Fascism.
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. A great idea but it would produce the wrong effect.
The rabid right would just say that Obama was bring home the troops home to establish his dictatorship and work the nuts up into a larger lather.
There mantra is no surrender no retreat and they will just twist any thing that Obama does into something evil.
And if you point out their fascism they will just accuse you of being one....there is no win when one sides sticks to their slogans and refuses to talk solutions.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Again, it could be very easy, if only the Media would cooperate....

First of all, show the demonstrators with their signs showing Obama with a Hitler moustache and swastikas, then (as a matter of contrast) show the stock footage of the real Hitler with his massive throngs of goose-stepping military, in order to highlight the fact that Hitler was really all about world domination. Then remind the viewer that real fascism has a very potent militaristic element to it powered by a strong nationalism. Remove the nationalist element, and you diffuse the fascism.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. "if only the Media would cooperate. . ." Not gonna happen. The mega-corporations
control the media. They are the ones who intend to benefit most from the type of state we are becoming. Less regulation of industry and capital, less safety regulation for the benefit of the workers, less outlay for wages due to a workforce that is desperate to have jobs, more power through their gang of politicians masquerading as our representatives.

Hitler's rise to power was accompanied by a massive propaganda effort. Though ours is less militaristic--no rallies with thousands of marching, chanting troops--it's a very subtle and accomplished machine that many Americans cannot tear their eyes away from and do not recognize for what it is. Faux News anyone??

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BuyingThyme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Amen.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. The moment they couldn't properly investigate the JFK assassination . . . this was clear -- !!!
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:18 PM by defendandprotect
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I agree. Even now I worry about the complicity of the Secret Service in JFK's...
... demise and what it means vis a vis Obama (if he grates against the will of the 'high cabal' too much).
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Me, too --
I noticed before Clinton left office they also seemed to be trying to see how

they could screw up Air Force One with a radar failure, if I recall correctly?

When the elite of the world unite, it's a very powerful cabal.

They're also getting rid of potential leaders earlier now -- they don't wait any

longer until they become a MLK or a RFK.

But, still hoping we can move into more progressive times.

:)
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. are you kidding? we're already there. the velvet glove is still on the iron fist, but for how much
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:27 PM by Gabi Hayes
longer? it hasn't come off completely yet, but as soon as any serious challenge to corporate/govt authority arises it's going to be squashed EXACTLY the way is was twenty years ago at Tiannamen Square.

without economic democracy, which is just about gone, thanks to the last eight years, there can be no political democracy

we've gone most of the way down the road to third-world nationhood.

that's the goal of global capitalism: concentrate as much power and wealth into the fewest possible hands and still maintain control

you think that's not happening at an ever-increasing rate?

what do you think can stop it?

Obama?

that's funny
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tuckessee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
14. We certainly are.
Primarily because some people are calling for the National Guard to be mobilized and the Patriot Act used against some obnoxious protestors.
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LongTomH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. One really scary link...................
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 01:29 PM by LongTomH
There's a link in this paragraph:
According to Paxton, the forging of this third-stage alliance is the make-or-break moment -- and the worst part of it is that by the time you've arrived at that point, it's probably too late to stop it. From here, it escalates, as minor thuggery turns into beatings, killings, and systematic tagging of certain groups for elimination, all directed by people at the very top of the power structure. After Labor Day, when Democratic senators and representatives go back to Washington, the mobs now being created to harass them will remain to run the same tactics -- escalated and perfected with each new use -- against anyone in town whose color, religion, or politics they don't like. In some places, they're already making notes and taking names.

The link goes to an article on the Talk to Action blog detailing some of the wackier beliefs of the religious right, specifically those related to Spiritual Warfare and Spiritual Mapping and the associated beliefs. If you weren't already convinced these people are batshit, howl-at-the-moon crazy, well, read on:

But Van Nuys, California based megachurch pastor Jack Hayford, current head of sex-scandal embroiled GOP Senator John Ensign's religious denomination, has endorsed a theory proposing that a supernatural mechanism drove down Japanese stock market prices during the early 1990's: the Japanese emperor's alleged sexual intercourse with a "sky goddess" who, according to the theory, might be a succubus.

Footage from a 1993 evangelical video shows Hayford enthusiastically introducing and endorsing a talk during which his colleague C. Peter Wagner claimed that the early 1990's economic downturn of the Japanese economy was due to what Wagner depicted as a Shinto ritual in which Japanese emperors have sexual intercourse with a demonic sky-goddess being that, posited Wagner, may have been a succubus. Wagner blamed slack Japanese stock prices on the alleged tryst. As British religious scholar Richard Bartholomew notes, C. Peter Wagner's treatment of the Shinto ceremony is factually dubious on a number of counts.

This would all be hilarious, if it weren't for the fact that prominent Republican CongressCritters belong to these groups as well as GOP standard-bearer Sarah Palin.

It gets even scarier when you consider these groups have pretty well taken over the US MIlitary.

It gets to be a real horrorshow when you consider the recent revelations about Erik Prince and Blackwater/Xe. Prince sees himself as a modern day Templar on a Crusade to wipe out Islam - and all enemies of his brand of Christianity.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
17. So, kpete, how are YOU arming yourself?
Are you, like so many others on DU, gathering MRE's and canned water and composting toilets, and planning to find secluded spots in the woods and hide from the rise of fascism?

Or are you gathering firearms and learning how to compound your own gunpowder and putting in sandbagged gun emplacements around your home?

Because nobody spoke up and spoke out against this rise in fascism, while it was coming, there's no other choices. At least in the light your article gives us.

It's a pity that all those LTTE's and elaborate speeches and long monographs written here didn't reach the people they were supposed to reach - the people whose only news source was Rush Limbaugh. You guys could have talked to them, if you talked in understandable words and not like you were reading your college term papers.

Or if you weren't so eager to write them off as "morans" or "hopeless rednecks." That is, if you considered them human beings like yourselves - but that would be demeaning to you intellectuals, of course.

So, which of the remaining choices are you taking, kpete? Gun or Run?
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cleverusername Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. Riot police glaringly absent
Where are those riot police that were around for anti-Bush, anti-war protestors? Why aren't they at townhall meetings where violence is taking place?
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Damn good question. nt
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
23. K&R
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