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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 09:31 PM
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Fascism/Corporatism in the United States Today
Perhaps the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world today comes from the formation of the unholy alliances between government and business. This is not a new phenomenon. It used to be called fascism The outward appearances of the democratic process are observed, but the powers of the state are diverted to the benefit of private interests. George Soros

I fear what they're doing is setting the crown for a corporate state. And by that I mean a rather small but very powerful circle of financial institutions also some industrial corporations Too big to fail protected by (government) The leading banks and corporations will have the means to monopolize democracy. William Greider, discussing the Geithner plan to address our economic crisis, in an interview with Bill Moyers, March 27, 2009.


The United States and the other Allied Nations fought World War II against the Fascist nations of the world, which posed a severe and imminent danger to world-wide freedom and livelihood. The United Nations was conceived by President Roosevelt and brought to fruition largely by the efforts of President Truman with an eye towards identifying future fascist threats to world freedom and imposing a barrier against them.

Definition of fascism
The Fascism that we fought against is often defined by its warning signs, which include:

1. Powerful and continuing nationalism; 2. Disdain for human rights; 3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause; 4. Supremacy of the military; 5. Rampant sexism; 6. Controlled mass media; 7. Obsession with national security; 8. Interweaving of religion with government; 9. The combining of government and corporate power (corporatism); 10. Suppression of labor; 11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts; 12. Obsession with crime and punishment; 13. Rampant cronyism and corruption, and; 14. Fraudulent elections.

These warning signs of fascism can be seen as combining two major groups of characteristics: corporatism (# 9) and scapegoating alleged enemies as a unifying cause (# 3). Those two characteristics represent the core of fascism. The other traits follow as a consequence of those core characteristics.

Nationalism (# 1) is the ultimate unifying cause that fascists aim to produce. The nation takes precedence over all else, and anyone who doesnt fall in line is an enemy of the state. Disdain for human rights (# 2) follows, as the enemy is dehumanized, thus rationalizing its brutal repression. Disdain for intellectuals (# 11) is necessary because they are among the most likely to speak out against the state and they make a convenient enemy.

Corporatism requires corruption (# 13) because governments are supposed to serve their people; therefore, when they decide to serve corporate power instead, that by definition constitutes corruption. Suppression of labor (# 10) is necessary for the corporatist state because labor is the natural enemy of excessive corporate power.

The connection between corporatism and scapegoating
Why the connection between the scapegoating of enemies as a unifying cause and corporatism? In a corporatist state, the corrupt alliance between government and corporate power means that power and wealth are concentrated among a small elite few at the top, which leads to corresponding lack of power and wealth among the vast majority of the population, with corresponding great potential for mass suffering. The corporatist state must find a way to convince these great masses of people to happily accept their fate. The scapegoating of alleged enemies has been found to be one of the best ways to do this. Item #s 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 14 in the warning list are just more methods that the corporatist state uses to keep its subjects in line.

The vicious cycle of increasing corporate power
In the United States today, the deepening ties between our government and private corporate power is bringing us dangerously close to the kind of fascism/corporatism that we fought against in World War II. The fact that bribery of government officials, in the form of campaign donations, is essentially legal in our country, has opened the door to the merging of government and corporate power that defines fascism. Corporate propaganda and monopolization of our airways has opened the door still wider. Worse yet, it creates a vicious cycle. Corporate money is used to bribe government officials to pass legislation favorable to their agenda, which inevitably leads to further increase in corporate wealth and power. It has gotten to the point where a majority of our elected officials at the federal level feel dependent upon corporate contributions to remain in office. Even many of those who may have basically good intentions have succumbed to the need to placate corporate power. In so doing, they prioritize the desire of a small minority of corporate elites above the needs of the vast majority of their constituents. The bottom line is that corporations have become powerful enough to enter into corrupt bargains with government, thereby enabling private corporations and government to mutually enrich each other at the expense of everyone else. This is the tyranny of fascism. With that in mind, lets consider how we got to this point:


The Rise of Corporate Tyranny in the United States

A corporation has been defined as:

The most common form of business organization, and one which is chartered by a state and given many legal rights as an entity separate from its owners. This form of business is characterized by the limited liability of its owners

In 1819, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the state of New Hampshire when it attempted to revoke the corporate charter of New Hampshire, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward. New Hampshire citizens were outraged by that decision, arguing that corporations are created by the state, with the purpose of serving the public interest.

In a democracy, ALL actions of the state should be to serve the public interest. If the state grants a charter to a corporation, it should have the right to regulate that corporation in the public interest, in return for the privileges that it bestows upon the corporation.

The threat of corporate power at the founding of our nation
Adam Smiths The Wealth of Nations, published in the same year (1776) as the U.S. Declaration of Independence, expounded on the advantages of a free market economic system, while at the same time warning of the dangers of corporations. That seems ironic on the surface, since todays right wingers constantly push their own version of the free market, while using Smith as their authority. But in reality, Smith was deeply antagonistic towards any view of so-called free market principles that favored corporations the very opposite of the stance advocated by todays right-wing movement. This is what Smith had to say about the effect of corporate power on free markets:

It is to prevent this reduction of price, and consequently of profit, by restraining that free competition which would most certainly occasion it, that all corporations, and the greater part of corporation laws, have been established This prerogative of the crown seems to have been reserved rather for extorting money from the subject, than for the defense of the common liberty against such oppressive monopolies.

David Corten explains that our Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution that coincided with it were in large part a reaction against the same corporate abuses that Smith warned against in The Wealth of Nations:

It is noteworthy that the publication of The Wealth of Nations and the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence both occurred in 1776. Each was, in its way, a revolutionary manifesto challenging the abusive alliance of state and corporate power to establish monopolistic control of markets and thereby capture unearned profits and inhibit local enterprise. Smith and the American colonists shared a deep suspicion of both state and corporate power.

The conferring of corporate personhood
There is nothing in our Declaration of Independence, nor our Constitution, nor any of the amendments to our Constitution that conferred special rights or privileges upon corporations. Indeed, as late as 1855 the U.S. Supreme Court made perfectly clear, in Dodge v. Woolsey, that corporations have no special rights or privileges, and that they are subservient to the American people:

That the people of the States should have released their powers over the artificial bodies (i.e. corporations) which originate under the legislation of their representatives is not to be assumed. Such a surrender was not essential to any policy of the Union, nor required Such an abandonment could have served no other interest than that of the corporations, or individuals who might profit by the legislative acts themselves. Combinations of classes in society, united by the bond of a corporate spirit, for the accumulation of power, influence, or wealth unquestionably desire limitations upon the sovereignty of the people But the framers of the constitution were imbued with no desire to call into existence such combinations

But in 1886, in an unofficial opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, before any oral arguments took place in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and without any explanation whatsoever, Waite simply announced:

The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.

This offhand statement which cannot possibly constitute an official opinion of the court, which is always preceded by extensive research and debate has since been considered the law of the land.

And as such it greatly increased the power of corporations against individuals by allowing them the protections given to persons under our Constitution, even though corporations are simultaneously showered with various powers that actual persons dont have and exempted from many of the responsibilities and obligations that actual persons have. David Korten puts this in perspective in his book, When Corporations Rule the World:

Thus corporations finally claimed the full rights enjoyed by individual citizens while being exempted from many of the responsibilities and liabilities of citizenship. Furthermore, in being guaranteed the same right to free speech as individual citizens, they achieved, in the words of Paul Hawken, "precisely what the Bill of Rights was intended to prevent: domination of public thought and discourse." The subsequent claim by corporations that they have the same right as any individual to influence the government in their own interest pits the individual citizen against the vast financial and communications resources of the corporation and mocks the constitutional intent that all citizens have an equal voice in the political debates surrounding important issues.

The restraint of corporate power by FDR
Excessive corporate power led to vast disparities of wealth, which in the late 19th Century became known as the Gilded Age. This culminated in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression and the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as President.

FDR aggressively criticized the conditions that led to this state of affairs in his 1936 Democratic Convention speech to the American people. In that speech he condemned the men who were responsible for the nations economic woes, whom he referred to as Economic Royalists.

Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service. There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit.

The privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age other people's money these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

The abuses of power that FDR detailed in that speech provided much of the rationale for his New Deal, which lifted tens of millions of Americans out of poverty and created a vibrant middle class, while taxing corporations at unprecedented levels.

The New Deal didnt just fade away after FDRs death. Instead, due to its stunning success, most of its components lasted for decades. Largely as a result of this, we experienced for the next three decades what Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman calls the greatest sustained economic boom in U.S. history. Beginning in 1947, when accurate statistics first became available, median family income rose steadily (in 2005 dollars) from $22,499 in 1947 to more than double that, $47,173 in 1980.

The Reagan Revolution reversal of New Deal economic policy
With the advent of the Reagan Revolution in 1981, characterized by a return to the free market ideology of the Gilded Age, the route marked out by FDR was reversed. Since that time, except for a brief respite during the latter years of the Clinton presidency, the income of American workers has been virtually stagnant, despite large increases in American productivity which have enriched the already wealthy.

The reign of free-market ideology has been characterized by an ideological ban against government intervention in economic matters to help those who most need it, which played out domestically and internationally. William Greider, in his book, Come Home, America The Rise and Fall (And Redeeming Promise) of our Country, explains how this played out on the international stage:

The World Trade Organization enforces rules that protect capital investors and corporations, but it has no rules protecting workers and communities, that is, people. The so-called Washington Consensus a stern dogma imposed on developing countries that borrow from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund preaches that national governments must not try to protect their people from the harsh side effects of capital and commerce. Americas representative democracy, meanwhile, is offered as the model the world should follow, despite the democratic breakdown that Americans well know is in progress.

Greider mentions globalization as another of the factors contributing to the demise of the United States. However, he also notes that other nations are affected by globalization just as much as the United States is, and yet other industrialized nations have much less economic inequality than the United because they are not bounded by the inflexible right wing ideology of the so-called free market.

James Galbraith, in his book, The Predator State, explains why globalization and free trade agreements need not cause serious adverse effects for American workers, if only we would give up that radical free market ideology that the right wingers have foisted upon us:

The populist objective is to raise American wages, create American jobs, and increase the fairness and security of our economic system Is there a better way to do this? Of course there is and that is to do it directly. You want higher wages? Raise them. You want more and better jobs? Create them.

In other words, our government should work directly for the average American, not the corporatocracy using the rationale that expansion of corporate wealth will trickle down to everyone.


Corporate propaganda to pervert our concept of democracy

In addition to routinely bribing government officials to promote their agenda, the corporatocracy has bombarded the American people for several decades with incessant propaganda aimed at perverting our concepts of the workings of democratic government, in order to gain our acquiescence in their continuing power grabs:

Perversion of the concept of freedom
The concept of freedom has become perverted in our county. Freedom has been defined as the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints and thats how most people use it. Another way of saying that is the power to do whatever one wants to do.

As an absolute concept, it is not plausible or reasonable or even possible for a functioning society to allow its members such powers for a very simple reason. The freedom of the powerful to do whatever they want tends to impinge tragically on the freedom of the vulnerable members of society. Some men for example like to rape women. But enabling them to do that whenever they want would impinge on the freedom of women not to be raped. The vast majority of people realize that giving men the freedom to rape at will would be a very bad idea.

At the societal level, powerful corporations often dump vast quantities of poisons into the air, soil, and water without having to bear the costs or other consequences of their activities. Most Americans agree that such activities should be prohibited or otherwise strongly regulated, or that corporations that engage in such activities should be made to bear the costs or other consequences in other words, that the freedom of corporations to pollute and ruin our environment should be strictly controlled. Yet, corporate power in the United States has perverted the concept of freedom to justify ever more unrestricted expansion of their power, with the consequent diminishment of freedom for the vast majority of Americans.

George Lakoff discusses the nuances and frequent contradictions of the word freedom in great detail in his book, Whose Freedom The Battle over Americas Most Important Ideal. Here is an one of many excerpts from that book that make the point of how the freedom of the few often diminishes the freedom of the many:

The focus of (George Bushs) presidency is defending and spreading freedom. Yet, progressives see in Bushs policies not freedom but outrages against freedom. They are indeed outrages against the traditional American ideal of freedom It is not the American ideal of freedom to invade countries that dont threaten us, to torture people and defend the practice, to jail people indefinitely without due process, and to spy on our own citizens without warrant

Bill Moyers discussed this idea in an article titled A New Story for America. He notes how Ronald Reagan put our country on the road to fascism (though he didnt use that word) by convincing many or most Americans that big government destroys our freedom and that we must therefore shrink government and give business unlimited freedom to do as they please. With regard to Reagans idea of freedom, Moyers says:

But what that means today is the freedom to accumulate wealth without social or democratic responsibilities and the license to buy the political system right our from under everyone else, so that democracy no longer has the ability to hold capitalism accountable for the good of the whole It has taken us down a terribly mistaken road toward a political order where government ends up servicing the powerful and taking from everyone else

Nor does it assure the availability of economic opportunity Yet it has been used to shield private power from democratic accountability, in no small part because conservative rhetoric has succeeded in denigrating government even as conservative politicians plunder it But government is often the only way we preserve our freedom from private power and its incursions.

The hypocrisy of the corporate version of free market ideology
There is nothing free about the right wing corporate version of so-called free markets. Rather, through the amassing of great wealth and power and the use of that wealth and power to legally bribe our elected officials, they have stacked the deck in their favor so as to acquire monopoly control over so many aspects of our economic and political life. As Adam Smith, whom the right wing ideologues are so fond of quoting, says, creation of true free markets requires at a minimum the limiting of the power of corporations. Our corporate elites are not interested in free markets. They are interested only in gathering unto themselves as much wealth and power as they possibly can.

This is all part and parcel of the utterly nonsensical doctrine of trickle down economics, which was never supported by a shred of evidence. They want us to believe that the road to a healthy economy is to shower the wealthy with privileges and riches, so that eventually this wealth will shower (or trickle) down on the rest of us, by virtue of making the wealthy more productive. Well, were still waiting.

With their control of the news media, corporate America has foisted a toxic ideology on the American people that serves to maintain their wealth and power. When powerful banks lose money, they warn that the taxpayers must save them, lest our economy go into a permanent tailspin. Yet when the American people attempt to devise a health care system that will keep them financially solvent and prevent twenty thousand deaths each year, the corporate elite scream SOCIALISM!!

This is all part and parcel to the idea that big government is our biggest problem. The corporatocracy would have us believe that any infringement of our government on the freedom of corporations do whatever they please constitutes interference with the free market. Bill Moyers takes us back in history to explain how our countrys greatest leaders, from Jefferson to Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt to FDR, have used the powers of government to provide opportunity for Americans to create a decent and better life for themselves. Thus Moyers concludes about our present state:

So it is that contrary to what we have heard rhetorically for a generation now, the individualist, greed-driven, free-market ideology is at odds with our history and with what most Americans really care about Indeed, the American public is committed to a set of values that almost perfectly contradicts the conservative agenda that has dominated politics for a generation now.

Opposing the public interest
Corporations, as creations of the state were originally required to act in support of the public interest in return for the many favors they received from the state. But instead, they have come to oppose the public interest, in pursuit of their own private goals and the goals of their owners, and in the process they have cast a progressively darkening cloud of tyranny over our country and the world. In reality it is difficult or impossible to separate the goals of a corporation from the goals of its owners those who exercise control over the corporation. After all, a corporation is merely a financial tool, which can be utilized for whatever purposes those who control it wish. Yet it is legally defined as an entity separate from its owners. Thus those who control the corporation have a powerful tool at their disposal, while at the same time utilizing corporate law to shield them from the liabilities that mere individuals would incur without a corporation to hide behind.

That would be ok if the state was determined to regulate corporations in the public interest. However, especially since the 1980s corporate propaganda has achieved a measure of success in convincing Americans that government regulation of corporations in the public interest or otherwise is bad for our economy and therefore bad for our people. Perhaps most Americans dont really believe that absurdity. But enough do that, in combination with the power of money, the public interest has taken a back seat to corporate freedom.


Monopoly

It has long been recognized that corporations have a tendency to form monopolies, which reduce competition and raise prices. That is why, beginning with the Sherman Anti-trust law of 1890, and continuing with President Theodore Roosevelts trust busting efforts, the U.S. government has had a long and justified history of intervening to prevent unfair monopolistic practices, especially with regard to services that are essential to us, such as gas and electric utilities.

When monopolies are allowed to flourish, competition is stifled and the result is an increasing wealth gap and poverty. Specific examples of monopolies leading to bad consequences include the lax regulation that led to the energy blackouts in California in 2001 and policies that allow price gouging by oil companies. Yet, for reasons that theyve never explained, the right wing free market ideologues are the first ones to allow the stifling of competition by monopolies.

Monopoly provides the financial foundation of corporate power. With rampant monopolization of U.S. industries in recent years, competitive obstacles to the accumulation of wealth have been removed for a select few, at the expense of almost everyone else. Barry Lynn discusses in his book, Cornered The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction how the monopolization of so much industry in the United States, which began under the Reagan Presidency, has led us towards a corporatist state that has vastly limited the freedom of so many Americans:

The structural monopolization of so many systems has resulted in a set of political arrangements similar to what we used to call corporatism. This means that our political economy is run by a compact elite that is able to fuse the power of our public government with the power of private corporate governments in ways that enable members of the elite not merely to offload their risk onto us but also to determine with almost complete freedom who wins, who loses, and who pays. Then suddenly there was Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson using our tax money to fix his bank and the banks of all his friends

The Bush and Obama administrations and Congress all responded to the collapse of our financial system in most instances by accelerating consolidation The effects are clear the derangement not merely of our financial systems but also of our industrial systems and political systems. Most terrifying of all is that this consolidation of power and the political actions taken to achieve it appears to have impaired our ability to comprehend the dangers we face and to react in an organized and coherent manner.

The bottom line: Too much freedom for the powerful impinges greatly upon the freedom of everyone else.


Too big to prosecute

Perhaps the greatest indicator of the tyranny of corporate power in America today is the approach that our criminal justice system takes towards corporate criminals. Our country is still suffering from our worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, which is largely the result of corporate irresponsibility and malfeasance. Yet not one of those responsible for this crisis has even been prosecuted, let alone sent to jail. To the contrary, the American taxpayers have bailed out our irresponsible financial institutions to the tune of several trillion dollars.

William Greider explains, in an article titled How Wall Street Crooks Get out of Jail Free:

The nation is left to face a disturbing spectacle: crime without punishment. Massive injuries were done to millions of people by reckless bankers, and vast wealth was destroyed by elaborate financial deceptions. Yet there are no culprits to be held responsible.

Former U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman put the problem in perspective:

People know that if they rob a bank they will go to jail Bankers should know that if they rob people, they will go to jail too At the end of the day this is a test of whether we have one justice system in this country or two. If we do not treat a Wall Street firm that defrauded investors of millions of dollars the same way we treat someone who stole $500 from a cash register, then how can we expect our citizens to have any faith in the rule of law?

Greider explains the system that is routinely used in the United States today to deal with corporate criminals, and its purported rationale:

Instead of Old Testament justice, federal prosecutors seek authentic cooperation from corporations in trouble, urging them to come forward voluntarily and reveal their illegalities. In exchange, prosecutors will offer a deal. If companies pay the fine set by the prosecutor and submit to probationary terms for good behavior then government will defer prosecution indefinitely or even drop it entirely.

The favored argument for the more conciliatory approach was that criminal indictment may amount to a death sentence for a corporation. The fallout will destroy it, and the economy will lose valuable productive capacity. The collateral consequences are unfair to employees who lose jobs and stockholders who lose wealth.

Thats a lot of sympathy of corporations, corporate employees and stockholders. Where is the comparative sympathy for the tens of millions of other Americans who are out of work or who lost their homes?

Russell Mokhiber, longtime editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter, explains the real reason for this kid glove treatment of corporate criminals:

Over the past twenty-five years the corporate lobbies have watered down the corporate criminal justice system and starved the prosecutorial agencies. Young prosecutors dare not overstep their bounds for fear of jeopardizing the cash prize at the end of the rainbow partnership in the big corporate defense law firms after they leave public service. The result if there are criminal prosecutions, they now end in deferred or nonprosecution agreements instead of guilty pleas.

Greider continues:

Deferring prosecution was made standard practice by George W. Bushs Justice Department During Obamas first two years, Justice deferred action on fifty-three corporate defendants Leading lawyers dubbed deferred prosecution the new normal for handling corporate misconduct.

In other words, they have more money than we do, and in todays United States, justice is for sale.


Setting the crown for a corporate state Corporate power in perspective

William Greider has warned us many times in the past about the dire consequences of government becoming too cozy with the corporatocracy:

This will sound extreme to some people, but I came to it reluctantly. I fear what they're doing in their design is setting the crown for a corporate state. And by that I mean a rather small but very powerful circle of financial institutions the old Wall Street banks, famous names. But also some industrial corporations Too big to fail. Yes, watched closely by the Federal Reserve and others in government, but also protected by them The leading banks and corporations are sort of at the trough, ahead of everybody else in Washington, they will have the means to monopolize democracy. And I mean that literally. Some of my friends would say, hey, that already happened. The corporate state is here. The fact is, if the Congress goes down the road I see them going down, they will institutionalize the corporate state in a way that will be severely damaging to any possibility of restoring democracy.

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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. All the threads I've been putting together for a while. Kudoes for posting this.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. An excellent and well thought out post, thank you
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R....n/t
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
166. it's strange seeing that illustration...
I used to draw that character a lot in high school, or one that looks just like it, after hanging out with an independent animator... At that time I was 13... strange coincidence or maybe the guys work got around.
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MatthewStLouis Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks for this post. Keep up the fight against corporatism!
Everyone should ask: do you really think these big corporations are looking out for your best interests?! People that think the 'free market' will sort everything out live in a fantasy world, because the market isn't free it's rigged!

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dontcallmebob Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. About time someone tell what fascism really is
like most things americans know very little about the terms they use and the information they spew. both those on the right and left need to understand what fascism really is - a partnership between government and corporations. the means by which that is accomplished and maintained politically and socially can vary. one does not have to be a nazi to recognize fascism and its growth in this country since the reagan years.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
15. Umm, bob...
if we have fascism, where's the brutal suppression of the opposition?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:42 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. "Where's the brutal suppression of the opposition?"
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 03:48 AM by Time for change
1. Any government would rather accomplish its aims without brutal suppression if it can. As long as they can do that, that won't resort to brutal suppression.

2. Brutal suppression is especially difficult in the US, since Americans take much pride in the fact that brutal suppression here is much less than in many other countries -- at least internally it is. Externally is another story, but most Americans don't pay much attention to that. The hundreds of thousands or millions of Iraqis who died as a result of our invasion and occupation, for example, is something that is hardly talked about here, and most Americans don't pay much attention to that kind of thing.

3. Nevertheless, brutality is used when necessary.

3A. Consider the millions of Americans who have been evicted from their homes in recent years. You think that isn't a brutal process? When it can be done without violence, it is. When violence is necessary it is used.

3B. For special cases -- people who "cross the line" -- like Bradley Manning, special measures are used. Most Americans don't know what he's undergoing. Yet, most people who might be contemplating doing something similar to what he did DO know what's happening to him. That's the perfect situation for those who want to maintain secrecy in our country.

3C. Consider Guantanamo Bay and our system of secrect prisons throughout the world. People are kept indefinitely, without charges, in inhumane conditions, and many are still tortured. You think that doesn't put a chill on anyone contemplating crossing the line?

3D. Consider Paul Wellstone -- an especially bothersome thorn for the corporatocracy. They tried very hard to defeat him politically. But about two weeks before the 2002 election it became clear that they wouldn't be able to do that.

3E. Consider the plan developed during the Bush II administration for widespread detention camps, known as Endgame:

In August (2002) (Attorney General) Ashcroft disclosed a plan that would allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access to the courts by declaring them enemy combatant

After widespread protest from legal scholars, the plan for military detention camps was not discussed publicly further. It seems clear, however, that the camps exist and that the authority already exists for them to be used On February 6, 2007, homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff announced more than $400 million to add sixty-seven hundred additional detention beds. Both the contract and the budget allocation were in partial fulfillment of an ambitious ten-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named Endgame, authorized in 2003.

I'm not sure of the status of this plan as of this time.

4. Regarding Rachael Maddow: No, she's not a coward. She knows very well that if she goes too far she'll lose her job, so she pushes things to the limit while being careful not to cross the line. She talks about many of the things that I do in this post. She just doesn't use the word "fascism". That wouldn't be polite, and even if she kept her job she would be widely villified for it.

5. Edited to add: And consider Obama's order making assassination of American citizens legal if they're suspected of "terrorism".
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. "She just doesn't use the word "fascism"
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 08:25 AM by SDuderstadt
She doesn't for a very good reason. The "definition" of fascism" used in the OP is a classic case of working backwards from a predetermined conclusion and shaping the definition to get the answer wanted. Try Chip Berlet, who actually IS an expert on the subject.

http://remember.org/hist.root.what.html

In the meantime, Bradley Manning is not being "brutally suppressed" within any reasonable definition, any more so than Maddow believes we are a fascist country but is too afraid to say so.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Fascism comes in stages and varying degrees
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 08:41 AM by Time for change
It doesn't necessarily reach maximum intensity quickly.

As for Bradley Manning:

Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems. He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a "Maximum Custody Detainee," the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch).

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/...

If you don't consider doing that to someone who hasn't been charged with a crime, brutal suppression, then fine. You might feel differently about it if it happened to you.


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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Bradley Manning has been charged with 22 crimes...
He is not in federal prison for merely being "political opposition".

http://m.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/03/bradley-manning-... /

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. It's still brutal suppression
Nobody should live under conditions like that. He should be given a trial and held under humane conditions.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #29
35. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:35 PM
Original message
Should civilians charged with 22 crimes, not necessarily violent ones, be treated as he has been?
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 06:37 PM by freshwest
He's being treated the same way one might imagine that they'd treat BinLaden, and he has confessed to what he masterminded.*

Actually, they'd treat BinLaden much better if they caught him, since his family is well-connected with the oil and weapons people running the show worldwide. Manning doesn't have that luck.

In other words, BinLaden has been found guilty by his own words. Manning has not confessed to a crime nor been found guilty by a jury of his peers or military court martial.

He's been detained in such a manner that would do a private prison corporation or the SOA proud, but not as an American citizen. I think you might want to reconsider your opinion of his treatment.

*Unless one thinks he is a figment of the CIA's imagination.
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AikidoSoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
145. Victims of brutal suppression by the chemical - pharmaceutical industry
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 10:31 AM by AikidoSoul
Chem - Pharm is the most dangerous of all the industries as it produces lethal poisons that cannot be seen which are regularly used as weapons against activists with impunity.

I'm an activist and expert on chemical injury issues. Last year immediately after a successful campaign to reduce the use of mosquito control pesticides, I had my property contaminated with extremely toxic chemicals. I was hospitalized four times and almost died. Close neighbors were hospitalized and three died. The sheriff's dept. is not able to do testing or do anything at all about this. Neither can the DoH or the DEP. This is a very dangerous problem to the general public or anyone who speaks out.

Other activists who have worked alongside me have been similarly targeted and had to flee their homes.

This is just a partial list of researchers, scientists, and activists whose work threatened chem/pharm's bottom line who were also targeted:

Wilma Subra -- chemicals' scientist shot at through plate glass window at home. Bullet found in brick wall near her desk.
James Iredell Moss -- fired from USDA and blacklisted after testifying to the Rockefeller Committee on Gulf War Illness. Career ruined.
Dr. Omar Shafey- harassed, threatened and fired from FL DOH for his report on how the pesticide Malathion was injuring the public. His stellar reputation was ruined.
Carol Van Strum - pesticide activist. Her home was set afire with incendiaries and I recall reports that all three of her children died in the fire.
Marion Moses, M.D. -- Pesticide activist. Continually had her life threatened.
Pat Costner, M.D. -- Did seminal work on dioxin. Pat had her office burned down with years of important research destroyed
Dr. William Marcus -- EPA employee fired for speaking out about chronic illnesses afflicting over 200 EPA employees after new carpeting was installed at EPA headquarters
Jannette Sherman, M.D.-- Repeatedly threatened and office broken into, records stolen. She is a medical doctor and toxicologist who testifies about chemical injury.
Brian Holtzclaw -- EPA employee harassed and threatened for defending citizens against a big coal company in Kentucky.
Elizabeth (E.M.T.) O'Nan --pesticide activist harassed and threatened. Home sprayed with toxic material from helicopter.
Rita Osborn - pesticide activist. Property sprayed with toxic pesticides repeatedly over a 2 yr period in middle of night by a pesticide operator who was caught.
Dr. Myron Mehlman -- fired from job after reporting the dangers of MTBE additive.
Dr. Jonathan Tucker -served on the Presidential Advisory Committee investigating chemical exposures, he was summarily dismissed for investigating too thoroughly.
Mark Purdey -house burned down, telephone lines cut; shot at. Mysterious deaths of Purdey's solicitor and vet who were aiding him in his work.
Dr Arpad Pustzai, researched GMOs, was fired, harassed, threatened, and his home and office broken into and research files were stolen.

This thoughtful blog by "The Armchair Activist" Barbara Rubin, discusses chemical battery and other types of harassment against activists.

http://armchairactivist.us /

I must say that I strongly suspect that the late medical / science writer Nicolas Regush was murdered. He worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings for ten years and left due to pressure for him to remain silent on chemical injury issues. He left to start the online magazine Red Flags Weekly (which became Red Flags Daily), and brought together scientists, doctors, and researchers from all over the world to explore chemical injury. He planned a big conference in New York City where he planned to focus on the "new paradigm of illness" caused by toxic chemicals. Weeks before the conference he died suddenly of a heart attack. Coincidence? He was in his fifties with no previous history of heart issues.

Why was Tsunao Saitoh, PhD murdered? He was a professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego. In May 1996, he was shot dead along with his young daughter in the driveway of his home by what police described as "a professional assassin". The daughter was shot in the back as she tried to run away. Nothing was stolen, and the murderer immediately left the scene. I believe he was murdered because of what he was discovering in his research using toxic chemicals and transgenic mice. Saitoh was an internationally respected researcher into the reasons for diseases such as Alzheimer's and had been doing ground-breaking research on the deformation of the amyloid brain protein (found in CJD and Alzheimer's).


Edit: added the words "pesticide operator"
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #15
36. Look at Wisconsin for a foretaste
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 09:06 AM by Armstead
No there are not storm troopers, but they are showing an increasing disdain for the rule of law, as if things like court orders are a mere inconvenience.

Fasscism, like all ideologies, is a spectrum. If you take what we currently have and project the direction we are heading, that's whast you have to look at.

That doesn't mean it is inevitable. But it will be unless we wake up and do something to change direction now.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
38. close your eyes can't happen here - alexander haig is near
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #15
45. Oppression has grown more sophisticated, sduderstadt.
Where are opinions on television in favor of prosecuting Bush and Cheney for treason and war crimes?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #45
47. Please present evidence that those opinions are...
being "brutally suppressed".
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. One example are the connections between NAZIs and the Warren Commission, sduderstadt.
Allen Dulles and John McCloy worked closely with NAZIs during and after World War II. The connections are clear and chronicled, yet seldom -- if ever -- get mentioned in the mainstream: A fact curiously missing from American history and any mention of the Warren Commission.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #48
51. That's because...
the Warren Commission was charged with investigating the assassination of JFK.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #47
109. Deleted message
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #45
86. Excellent point. nt
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
84. The "wow is me" state of mind can be invaluable if desire not to solve
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 01:43 PM by bluestate10
problems exist. Corporations are not forcing you to buy their products or work for them. You chose to do so. You can become a modern Thoreau and give away from civilization. Hell, there is plenty of uninhabited land all over the USA. You can go to places where you won't see another human being for months if you so desire. So, take the "they are too big to fight" mindset, or take the more empowering path of deciding your destiny and building institutions and businesses that reflect your values.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. Corporations have no feelings and act like psychopaths in that way. The GOP keeps
trying to equate businessmen with community organizers or union heads....by implying that they do things for the benefit of themselves and not for the benefit of others. I call this amoral relativism. They want the whole world to reflect there lack of feeling for mankind.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm Afraid the Only Way Out Is Revolution
The third wave of revolution in this country will have to dethrone and decapitate the multinational Corporations.

Just as the first revolution of 1776 removed hereditary rulers and foreign corporations (East India Tea Co.), and the second of 1862 removed localized slavery but let the multinationals back in (duPont)... (the Civil War was seen by foreign powers as a chance to break up the United States and reclaim their colonies...and very nearly succeeded, too), the third wave will have to remove global conglomerates, which are essentially foreign powers, from operating within our national borders.

We the People will also have to severely limit the power of internal corporations. And we had better expand the Bill of Rights to issues arising from modern technology.

Perhaps a ban on political dynasties wouldn't come amiss, either. Every other generation will have to be banned from public office....or if it gets really ridiculous, only every third or fourth generation can stand.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. Excellent. Thank you for all your work on this.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
9. (Auto) K&R; saving this on my hard drive
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
10. Y'know, I watch Rachel Maddow...
everyday. I hope you would agree that if Rachel is not the most liberal/progressive voice, she is among the most liberal/progressive voices. Beyond that, I'd be hard-pressed to think of something she's put forth I disagree with.

So, my question is: if we are on the cusp of fascism here in the United States, as so many of you claim, why isn't Rachel talking about it?
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. ahem, check out who she works for. nt
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Ahem...
so Rachel Maddow is a coward?
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
67. No, Rachel is not a coward. The tactic used is used often on DU
to dismiss a bonafide observation. Maddow is the most liberal host on television. I watch her often, even as I disagree with some of her conclusions. Rachel Maddow does not pull punches.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. Which makes my point n/t
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
65. Typical, easy liberal dismissal tactic.
Rachel Maddow has credibility concerns because she works for Comcast/NBC. I see nothing that implies that Maddow pulls punches to satisfy her bosses.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. It is more important that she keep her job. She talks around it.
by giving examples. Tonight, she mentioned that these
same Governors who union busting and hitting the Middle
Class hard:they are simultaneously giving millions of
taxpayer monies in Tax cuts Subsidies and other goodies
to the Businesses.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:22 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. She also regularly bashes...
GE for paying $0 in corporate income tax. Doesn't sound to me like she is afraid for her job. Why don't you write and ask her directly? Being the scholar she is, I'm certain she'd be delighted to educate DUers on how we are far from fascism.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. "Doesn't sound to me like she is afraid for her job." - LOL, have you heard of Keith Olbermann? nt
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. 1st of all, we aren't talking about Olbermann...
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 02:54 AM by SDuderstadt
we're talking about Maddow. Secondly, Olbermann was not fired. Third, he is about to re-emerge with a new show, on a new network.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Deleted message
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Some people just argue
for the sake of argument. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. And, some of us argue on...
the basis of principle.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #24
72. Sort of like what you're doing? nt
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #24
78. Yes. And to engage those that do it a waste of time.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #17
37. Similarly Maddow could probably maintain a decent audience independent of MSNBC at this point.
Nothing huge, but she'd continue to be a prominent voice.

Maddow earned a doctorate in poli-sci from freaking Oxford, didn't she? She's not claiming fascism because she knows what it means. That and she's not sensationalist.


It also helps to have some idea of what CORPORATISM actually means, since a misunderstanding of this concept is what these "OMG fascism!" arguments most commonly hinge upon.

In the last half of the 19th century people of the working class in Europe were beginning to show interest in the ideas of socialism and syndicalism. Some members of the intelligentsia, particularly the Catholic intelligentsia, decided to formulate an alternative to socialism which would emphasize social justice without the radical solution of the abolition of private property. The result was called Corporatism. The name had nothing to do with the notion of a business corporation except that both words are derived from the Latin word for body, corpus.

The basic idea of corporatism is that the society and economy of a country should be organized into major interest groups (sometimes called corporations) and representatives of those interest groups settle any problems through negotiation and joint agreement. In contrast to a market economy which operates through competition a corporate economic works through collective bargaining. The American president Lyndon Johnson had a favorite phrase that reflected the spirit of corporatism. He would gather the parties to some dispute and say, "Let us reason together."

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/corporatism.htm

The words you are looking for are plutocracy, crony capitalism.


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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #37
79. Corporatism gets thrown around a lot in this forum. A shame because it's use detracts
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 01:34 PM by bluestate10
from more substantive debate and solution development. You must be an active or recently degreed academic of a high caliber. Your post, at least, implies such.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #79
90. Haha, nope.
In fact I don't even have my bachelor's. I was an English major at a tiny liberal arts school but I had to stop taking classes one-and-a-half years ago because my clinical depression got like 20x worse and I was plagued by compulsive semi-psychotic thoughts of killing myself. I'm slowly getting better. . . . There was a time when I was a pretty productive student, but that seems ages ago. All my friends have since graduated and moved on. : /

On the bright side, I guess, is the fact that my school is back in the final four. Go bulldogs!!
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
70. Olbermann had become a prima donna. BTW, he quit over a
contract that baffles the mind as to how much money he wanted.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
69. I disagree. Rachel Maddow does not talk around issues.
She is one of the few that smash issues head-on. To say she tilts to her bosses is disingenuous.
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. Nobody stays on national TV long saying America is fascist.
I guess you'll have to be content with having Rachel show it every night.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. I don't think Rachel is a...
coward. I don't know why other people think she is.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. Nobody here says she is a coward, and you know it
Refraining from engaging in behavior that will get you fired or villified is not the same thing as being a coward. We need her in her current position, and few of us would like to see her do things that would get her fired.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. This "argument" is a textbook example of...
"begging the question". Unless someone can show that Maddow believes the US to be fascist, yet simply won't say it, it is spectacularly persuasive.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
74. The only difference between a far Left person and a teabagger
is the side of the political spectrum they are in. Similar tactics are employed to "win" arguments or to suppress dissent.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #22
33. Deleted message
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #21
30. Exactly
The fascism is now right in our face but we are not supposed to know it. Corporate America will react if anyone uses that verboten term unless that 'anyone' is their puppet mouthpiece (Glenn Beck).

This is why Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck and the Tea Party used those Nazi allegations against Obama and Democrats -it was part the effort to confuse their gullible followers and the American people about the true nature of fascism. The fascists do not want us to recognize their fascism so they generate a huge smoke screen. They want fascism but they want us to believe it is America as usual with freedom and justice for all -until it's not.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #30
55. No...
It shows that the word "fascism" is casually tossed around by both sides.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. The governance being practiced
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 11:54 AM by Enthusiast
by Republicans now is precisely fascism. It isn't partial fascism or maybe fascism, it is fascism. The Republican Party advocates complete subservience to corporate rule. They are in favor of using every government asset to serve the corporate interests at the expense to the tax payer. This is right now and it is fascism.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. Maybe looking at a complete definition of...
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. You should read your own links.
Third Way = proto-fascism is one point made in a long, dated and less than concise or consistent definition of fascism.

Why do you not defend the People of the USA?

Why do you not defend life, liberty, and fraternity for all?

Why do you defend broken institutions that are 21st century fascism in the USA whether neo-liberal, neo-conservative, immoral military on steroids, or corrupted courts and Congress?

Why are you so twisted as to call Rachael Maddow a coward?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #57
80. The information provided in your link
only reinforces my claim that the modern day Republican Party and American right wing is precisely fascist. They couldn't be more fascist in spirit if Mussolini himself were reincarnated and placed at the head of the movement.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. How about the...
"brutal suppression of opposition"?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. There are other forms of
brutal suppression of opposition besides outright physical violence.

By undermining collective bargaining and demanding photo I.Ds as a prerequisite for voting, state Republican governors are brutally suppressing their political opposition. There have also been other efforts to eliminate the voter rights laws. The use of unverifiable electronic voting machines is anti-democratic by any measure. And the GOP is systematically destroying representative democracy through other means like the Citizens United decision by the SCOTUS. Taking away voting rights and allowing unlimited corporate money in elections constitutes brutal suppression of the opposition. This should be perfectly obvious.
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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #57
153. What is Fascism?
Your article stressed the concept that the Nazis developed a scapegoat, the Jews, to blame for the chaos that ensued after WWI. It appears to me that isn't that what the neo-cons are doing by scapegoating Democrats as socialist, atheistic, liberals that are determined to destroy our nation that the falsely claim was established as a Christian nation? Isn't it an example of extreme nationalism? They are casting so-called liberals, that is anyone who opposes their Christian fundamentalist's beliefs, as enemies of the state jsut as the Nazis did in regard to the Jews. It appears to me to just be a case of terminology with the tactics being in reality the same. Certainly it is not the full blown nationalism that Germany experienced but it shares enough in common to be a legitimate concern when right-wing extremists fan the flames of hatred. It is especially of concern when their elected representatives not only fail to condemn the extremism but opening encourage it as they have done on numerous occasions.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #153
156. In the same way that some...
from our side scapegoat the GOP by calling them fascists and Nazis. It's a truly silly game.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
41. doesn't she work for a huge multinational corporation?
I don't think she is far left, I think that she may be center left. Very sad that someone that is center left is "among the most liberal voices"..
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #41
75. Explain how working for /GE/NBC/Comcast color what Maddow reports or opines?
Easy enough to make a claim and let it float in air for the easily convinced. Tougher to prove that claim to a disciplined mind.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #75
98. Here you go.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #98
113. 1
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #98
126. Boring stuff. Just wild fantasy again. nt
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #126
130. All sourced, unlike your opinions, bluestate10.
My sources: Dennis Mazzocco; Carl Bernstein and The Washington Post.

Your sources: None.

All I got to judge you by are what you wrote above: "Easy enough to make a claim and let it float in air for the easily convinced. Tougher to prove that claim to a disciplined mind."

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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #130
133. Octafish...
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 03:14 AM by SDuderstadt
all of Ann Counter's books are heavily sourced. Does that make them true?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #98
168. What does this have to do with...
Rachel Maddow?
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #75
146. she perhaps flip-flopped on her opinion of Tweety
http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh012108.shtml

"Why would Matthews have been displeased? On the evening of the New Hampshire primary, Maddow broke every rule in the book; she told Matthews, to his face, right on the air, that liberals were saying that he was the cause of Hillary Clintons win in New Hampshirethat his gender-based trashing of Hillary Clinton had made people very mad. This broke every rule of On-Air Pundit Conductand we at THE HOWLER joined many liberals in praising Maddow for it. And then, shazzam! A strange event! Within a few days, Maddow apparently told the AP about how great Matthews actually is (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/15/08). Maddow got right with a cable god. And soon, she had her prize!

Did Maddow run and lie about Matthews so she could land this big, brilliant plum? We dont have any way of knowingbut weve seen this gruesome movie a million times by now. Why would Maddow, a progressive woman, run off to praise Matthews, an utterly crazed woman-trasher? In the particular case, we have no ideaalthough well ask Maddow, one more time, to explain her peculiar comments. Until she does, well assume the worstthat Maddow is the latest self-dealer to trade the truth for her own success. Well treat her with the contempt she has earned until she explains why she said what she didwhy she praised this overt woman-hater on her way to her big career prize."

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Mosaic Donating Member (851 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #41
138. Spot on
You are so right. Never forget GE owns Msnbc and is part of the MIC!
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
34. The men who died in WW2 apparently died for nothing...
....because we are now Fascist. Those brave men willingly gave their lives to protect this country. And now the people who say they are the most patriotic and protectors of freedoms are turning this country into exactly that which those men fought against. It is devastating.
Duckie
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
39. William Greider is.......
about the most astute observer and reporter on the economy/political system there is.

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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
40. Corporate Fascism with a strong dose of Greed pretty much sums up this country.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #40
82. Ernst Fischer coined the term PanzerCommunismus to
describe Stalinist actions in Prague. I think PanzerCapitalism is what we could call what the corporatist are doing to America. There would be tanks in the streets if they could get away with it. We need to stop them before it comes to that.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
42. Outstanding post, Time for change.
From before Reagan's first term, the rise of the hard right was becoming apparent to astute observers. To describe it, Bertram Gross coined the term: Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America.

Those who refuse to see this either have their heads buried in the sand or don't want others to see what is there. Dude.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #42
104. Thank you Octafish
I like the term "friendly fascism" because it stresses the need to identify it early, before it gets to the stager of where the Nazis were at when WW II began. Naomi Wolf also makes this point:

Why our countrys transition to fascist dictatorship is so difficult for most Americans to see

Americans tend to think of the shift to fascism in terms of scary set-pieces: the boots on the stairs, the knock in the middle of the night crematoria smoking in the distance. We are so used to seeing depictions of the most sensational aspects the gulag, the death camps that we dont pay much attention to the fact that there is often an incremental process that led these societies to become places where such things could happen. The view that fascism looks from the start like a nation-wide prison camp rather than a fairly normal society can be comforting. Its natural to wish that the two realities were so categorically different that, of course, It couldnt happen here.

But as would be dictators consolidate power things proceed fairly routinely in many areas for many years. In the beginning the horror is usually elsewhere, taking place while other people are going about their normal daily round

Ill interject here that the horror that Wolf notes to be usually elsewhere currently exists out of the sight of the vast majority of Americans, yet is indeed a horror for those who have been arbitrarily arrested, locked up indefinitely without charges or trial, and tortured in George Bushs War on Terror. The number of such prisoners has been variously estimated to be several thousand. Wolf continues

At first, Nazi Germany would not have looked, on the surface, so unrecognizable to us. Germans still, for a time, saw an independent judiciary; lawyers even human rights lawyers; working journalists criticism of Nazis professors still teaching critical thinking newspapers of all political colors As the shift was first taking place, things looked, in many ways, superficially, like an open modern society. Even later in the game, violent dictatorships keep many of the trappings of a civil society. What they do not have is freedom.

Americans do not get this at all, but other countries who have experienced dictatorships either near them or over them do get it The fact that we are unaware that a dictatorship can be incremental leaves us terribly vulnerable right now. Even educated American people think that if the press is publishing and the Congress is legislating, all is well; but those things are often happening right up to the point of no return in a closing democracy and they keep happening, in neutered form, even after a violent dictatorship has been established.

At first, it can simply look like people weighing their words. At its turning point, it can
simply look like a high profile arrest for treason or a handful of arrests for espionage even as tourists still flock to monuments



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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
43. This is silly guys
In many ways this OP is an incredibly useful synthesis of what's going on in our country, and you can tell that a LOT of hard work went into it. And for that I'm very thankful indeed; I've bookmarked this so I can follow up on some of the indiv sources at a later date. However, while this OP *IS* detailing an important narrative regarding our country's fall into a fundamentally unfair system of government, that system is neither fascism nor corporatism. Spend a little time examining various scholars' attempts to define either term if you doubt me. What the OP is describing is our fall into oligarchy. Claiming it's something it's not is only going to muddy our message.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #43
46. Very well said n/t
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #43
49. No, it's not ''silly.''
Through fascist (or imperialist, if you prefer) policies that include war on innocent nations, the top 1-percent of this country continue to amass wealth and power at the expense of the rest of the nation.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. Begging the question...
again.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #52
62. Don't you remember Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler and the Coup against FDR, sduderstadt?
Smedley Butler Stopped American Fascist Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR

Many of the same families and businesses -- the wealthiest of the wealthy -- still hold great influence in the United States and around the world.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. Yes...
I remember Smedley Butler and the Business Plot. Funny how one has to go so far back to try to prove a point.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #66
107. Then you know Prescott Bush was named as one of those people plotting against FDR, sduderstadt.
Scott Horton of Harper's called it "The Plot Against America."

EXCERPT...

The Congressional committee kept the names of many of the participants under wraps and no criminal action was ever brought against them. But a few names have leaked out. And one is Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the incumbent president. Prescott Bush was of course deep into the business of the Hamburg-America Lines, and had tight relations throughout this period with the new Government that had come to power in Germany a year earlier under Chancellor Aldoph Hitler. It appears that Bush was to have formed a key liaison for the group with the new German government.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #107
110. "But a few names have leaked out. And one is Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the incumbent....
president"

Yet, neither Horton nor any of Bush's other accusers provide any corroboration of this at all. Not that this would matter to anyone trying to portray Prescott Bush as a Nazi sympathizer or, even worse, a Nazi/fascist himself.

Bush's name appears nowhere in the report of the McCormack-Dick Commottee. nor does Horton provide a source for his claim. Let Horton bring the source for this out.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #110
131. The sources are the official records of the U.S. Government, sduderstadt.
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 02:00 AM by Octafish
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #131
132. Then provide the records...
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 03:17 AM by SDuderstadt
dude. Why is that so hard?

I'd be willing to bet that the reason the records have not been provided is because they don't actually support Loftus' claims.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #132
157. I think it's safe to say that...
Octafish either can't or won't supply proof of his claim.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #157
161. You've yet to answer my question, sduderstadt...
Show me where you've posted even one thing that backs up your contention:

And I believe openly calling for the indictment, prosecution and conviction of W would qualify as criticizing the "Bush Crime Family", dude... -- S Duderstadt

You didn't and you haven't.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #161
162. Dude...
another evasion. Do you have the proof or not?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #161
163. How many times do I have to put this in black and white, dude?
div class="excerpt"] And I believe openly calling for the indictment, prosecution and conviction of W would qualify as criticizing the "Bush Crime Family", dude... -- S Duderstadt


Your rather absurd claim is that I have not been critical of Bush. Last time I am providng this and I will ask you politely for the very last time to quit trying to tie me to Bush.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #163
164. You did not provide even one source, link, or author critical of Bush or his cronies, sduderstadt.
That's going to each of your posts. Each of your links. Each of your various replies. Followed them and found nothing to support your contention.

All told: ZERO.

That's the way it is. Dude.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #164
165. Dude...
the issue was whether I had been critical of Bush. I demonstrated precisely that I had. Your attempt to move the goalposts is absurd. Last I am saying.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #165
181. Dude all you want, sduderstadt.
You demand of others what you don't demand of yourself. What's that called?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #181
184. Dude...
do you have the proof or not?

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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #131
134. Interesting questions about Loftus
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 03:12 AM by SDuderstadt
1) Why cite someone formerly from Fox?

2) Why did Fox fire Loftus for endangering the lives of an innocent family?

3) Why should anyone believe anything Loftus has to say?

4) Why was the connection between Loftus, Webster Tarpley, Murray Chsitkin and John Buchanan grossed over?

5) Is Loftus a LaRouchite?

http://www.newshounds.us/2005/08/27/fox_contributor_fir...
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #134
158. Crickets n/t
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #134
173. John Loftus was a US Attorney hired to find NAZIs, sduderstadt.
When Reagan came in office, they pretty much stopped doing that.

My source: Loftus. Oh, and a few of his colleagues I've come to know.

Here's one his works: America's Nazi Secret: An Insider's History

You should read it.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #173
174. Dude...
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 08:53 AM by SDuderstadt
I know who Loftus is. What I want to see are these "U.S.Government documents" that prove his/your claim.

Either they exist or they don't. Please stop stalling/deflecting/diverting and simply offering more conspiracy theory bunk.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #174
177. Is that all that you want, a link, sduderstadt? Here you go...
While I won't rifle through the National Archives for you, I'll repost where you can go and find the McCormack-Dickstein documents. The ones that remain, anyway.

For those interested in learning more about what makes sduderstadt to angry, I'd recommend author Jules Archer and a handy PDF from reporter John L. Spivak. You can hear an audio documentary, "DOCUMENT," by the BBC, an excellent report by one of their correspondents who did rifle through what's there.

They each source their materials. Dude.

PS: Here's a nice bibliography for those interested in learning more.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #177
179. Dude...
I've already been through the National Archive. There is nothing like the document you claim. If there is, all you need to do is simply provide it. Generalized links don't prove anything other than more evasion.

If ANY of those sources have said document, it shouldn't be so difficult to produce, dude.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #179
182. Here are PDFs to documents from the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, sduderstadt.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #182
186. None of which say what you claim...
dude. I've been through them backwards and forward.

If they proved your claim, you'd link to a specific document or documents, rather than a generalized data dump. This is a common and well-known diversion tactic, however, it's easier than simply admitting you do not have the proof you claim.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #131
167. It's been over 60 hours since...
I asked questions about the Prescott Bush claim.

Isn't that enough time?

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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #131
169. Bad news, dude...
Edited on Tue Apr-05-11 09:12 PM by SDuderstadt
A search for "Prescott Bush" in the National Archives produces nothing remotely like what you claim.

See for yourself:

http://search.archives.gov/query.html?charset=iso-8859-...

Ouch, dude. Ouch.

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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #131
171. Still waiting for those...
"records", dude.

Why not just admit they do not exist?
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #171
172. Thanks for reminding me. You're the one who pushes "Conscious Capitalism,'' sduderstadt.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #172
175. More diversion and deflection...
Attempts to save face are amusing.

Of course, the issue at hand, despite herculean efforts to derail it, is these "U.S. Government documents" you've had plenty of time to produce. Where are they? Wouldn't it be easier to admit they simply don't exist?

Quit wasting everybody's time, dude.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #175
178. LMAO, sduderstadt.
You demand information. You get information.

Then you get angry. Why?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #178
180. Dude...
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 09:37 AM by SDuderstadt
Anyone can provide a link to the National Archives and claim that something is in there. A link to the specific "something" is infinitely more convincing. Pretending otherwise isn't very convincing.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #180
185. So what more do you want, sduderstadt?
The OP is about fascism today. I've provided sources and links to back up my contentions.

You, OTOH, don't provide anything, except a tedentious demand for more information without supplying any of your own.

Grow up. Dude.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #185
187. Dude...
You made a specific claim, namely that Prescott Bush had been named as oneof the plotters in the Business Plot. I challenged you for proof of that claim. Since then, you have done everything except back up your claim. I have no burden here other than simply pointing out that you have failed miserably to prove your claim.

You can demand all the "evidence" you want of me, but demanding I prove a negative is silly on its face. Why don't you simply admit you have no proof of your claim?
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #52
99. So who runs the country?
Who writes the legislation? Who selects who can run for office? Who counts the votes?

--imm
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #99
155. TPTB and...
the Illuminati.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #49
54. Are you suggesting that imperialism and fascism are interchangeable terms?? nt
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #54
60. Imperialism, Fascism, Corporatism -- all are Un-Democratic Forms of State Power.
In these, the majority are little more than cannon fodder for those at the top.
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #43
61. Because TFC is correct and 21st century version of fascism is here now.
Oligarchy or plutocracy is only one facet.

Look at the 14 signs of impending fascism quoted by TFC and included in SDude's link.

Fascism does not always look the same and is organic in nature.

A rose is a rose. Fascism smells like an asshole.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #43
76. Definitions are hazy
Technically, fascism was originally the fusion of corporate power and state power in Italy. Thr fusion of state and corproate power certainly applies to the US today.

Over time, however, that word has been broadened to refer to any system of centralized power and suppression of individuals...So it has become all-purpose definition for repressive power. In that sense it is not really a description of an ideology (such as capitalism vs. socialism) but of a form of governing and structuring social/political power.

One could say that an Oligarchy is the same thing. It may not have the violent implications of fascism, but the end result is the same, extreme concentrations of wealth and power and surpression of all individuals outside of a closed circle at the top.

Perhaps "fascism" was a poor choice of phrase in the OP, because it is so loaded. "Anti-democracy Oligarchy" is probably more accurate at this point. However, that could easily slip into actual Fascism if we're not careful.

The words may differ, but the current and potential results are the same.



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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #76
88. Hazy, yes, but perhaps not quite that hazy.
If fascism has become an all-purpose buzzword for repressive power, why don't we just say "repressive power?"

Oligarchy only means the rule of a few. There's a lot entailed by fascism that the term 'oligarchy' doesn't cover. I'm not going to pretend there's an easy ready-made definition of fascism out there--because there isn't--but there are a few common traits without which it is hard to prove the case for fascism: autocratic leadership, the single-party state, suppression of the media and dissent generally, state manipulation/command of private business, the sham-syndicalism described in an above post, extreme popular nationalism, and the glorification of martial principles (obedience, prompt direct anti-democratic action, willingness to sacrifice oneself for the whole, etc.).

Here's a cool list of attempted definition from tons of different sources. Gives you a sense of the variety involved. I found the Oxford Dictionary of Politics definition especially lucid. The last half of the page looks to be a copy-paste job of the fascism wiki, so I don't know that I'd bother with that.

http://www.answers.com/topic/fascism
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #43
77. Welcome to The DU.
The OP seems to be a passionate and well schooled person. But one disturbing item I see in posts is the tendency to arrive at a conclusion then gather information to buttress that conclusion. I have apparently been set to ignore by the OP, but I disagree enough with the OPs conclusions to post responses regardless.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #77
92. No, I haven't set you to ignore
No, I did not arrive at a conclusion and then gather information to support it. Wherever did you get that idea?
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #92
127. When I research your links, I seem to find numerous contradictions
between what is being concluded in your OPs and what the base information says. You appear to be a sincere person, so I don't conclude that your intent is to distort information.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #127
129. For example...
Edited on Sun Apr-03-11 12:29 AM by SDuderstadt
here is more of the entire quote from Soros (emphasis added):


It is not a new phenomenon. It was present in Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, and Salazar's Portugal, although it was hardly visible under the thick layer of fascist ideology. Today, the crass business interests show through more clearly in countries like Fujimori's Peru, Mugabe's Zimbabwe and Mahatir's Malaysia in spite of all the nationalist, anti-colonialist rhetoric they employ. I could speak about other countries, some of which are worse than the ones I have mentioned - for example, Iraq, Syria or Burma. What is most disconcerting is that the same unholy alliance has evolved in the successor states of the Soviet Union. The collapse of communism ought to have opened the way to democratic government and the rule of law; instead, the system that has taken hold may be best described as robber capitalism. The outward appearances of democratic process are observed but the powers of the state are diverted to the benefit of private interests


Funny how the OP omitted that part to make it appear that Soros was referring to the United States. Of course, that's what happens when one starts with the conclusion one wants.


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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #129
143. "robber capitalism," I like that way of putting it. n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #127
149. It would be more helpful if you say you find numerous contradictions to cite at least some of them
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
44. HUGE K & R !!!
:kick:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
53. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
59. K/R -- back later --
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
63. Thanks you TFC. Spot on.
Fascism is as fascism does; I don't expect to still be alive when fascism leaves the USA.

You are not extreme at all.
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indimuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
64. America IS a corporation...
a criminal one.

KNR!
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
71. K&R
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FarLeftFist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
73. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT READ! n/t
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
81. excellent
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
87. K & R - bookmarking to read later.
But just offhand after reading the first few paragraphs, I'd say that "We are all of the opinion that it does," is one hell of a sloppy and careless way for the justices of the Supreme Court to establish such a far-reaching and disastrous precedent as the principle of corporate personhood. It isn't even based on a convincing legal argument, or ANY kind of legal argument for that matter. It's based on the refusal to hear any arguments! That's absolutely mind-boggling.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
89. Excellent summary of our situation
It has left your detractors here arguing over semantics.

The facts speak for themselves. Looks like fascism to me.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. Semantics?
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 03:29 PM by themadstork
That's like saying the difference between the common cold and smallpox is a matter of "semantics." They're both viruses, right? We're talking about vastly different forms of government here.

And I'm not really a detractor of the OP. I wish he would have dispensed with the 14 "warning signs," and I don't think his claim that this is fascism or corporatism ultimately holds water, but it's an extremely useful post in its own way, and I'm grateful for the work he put in.

Surely the OP would like to hear honest, thoughtful reactions to his post, given that he put so much work into it?
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. Very well said n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #91
112. Yes, I do, thank you
Could you explain why you feel that what I've described is not fascism?
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #112
125. See 145. nt
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
93. The endless "Yes it's fascism!" - "Is not!" arguments here
Sure, labels count. But facts multiply.

Screw the "Fascism" word if you believe nothing less than being loaded onto a boxcar by men in black hip boots qualifies. I can't say I'm particularly fond of the term; it's loaded with historical significance and still evokes strong emotion from survivors and those who lived during the post-World War era.

Why is it the case so often here that any attempt to describe the state of our predicament; geopolitical, socioeconomic, environmental, winds up becoming a head-bashing fest over terminology instead of a discussion of the underlying issues? Whether or not you believe Mussolini would have given our system of government a thumbs up, I could give a rodent's arse. It can hardly be argued that the OP has not offered a good case that Americans are well and truly screwed even without the existence of (insert favorite Nazi icon here), and it isn't looking like that will take a turn for the better anytime soon, if ever.











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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #93
97. I agree with (what I think is) your point -- That labels can be a mixed blessing
To the extent that labels such as "Fascism" stir up heated debates over terminology instead of focusing on the underlying issues, they are a detriment to productive discussion.

Is our country identical to Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy? Of course not. Are we as bad? Absolutely not. But are there similarities that should cause Americans to wake up and take notice and be very concerned about the state of our country? I believe there are, and that is where I see the advantage of using labels such as this. And I also believe that it is not far-fetched to believe that we could regress to a state much more similar to the fascist states, against which we fought WW II, than we are now, in the not too distant future. So I think that the comparison is legitimate and serves a useful purpose.

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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #97
120. Sorry if I wasn't clearer
I'm agreed with you, Naomi Wolf and others who have pointed out the many ways we've headed down the path toward fascism. The dissenters, more often than not, seem to want to dissect the arguments based upon the existence or degree of advancement of one or more of the "critical factors". I don't think anybody can seriously deny that most of those factors indeed exist at some level. And while we certainly haven't disintegrated to the state of totalitarianism seen in WW ll Italy and Germany, I think the point you and ms. Wolf both are attempting to make is that the elements are all in place to put us on that path shortly.

What is vexing on these threads is the responses based on binary thinking, black or white absolutism when it comes simply to naming the state we find ourselves in now and the direction in which we're headed. "Fascistic" is an adjective - it implies a characteristic of or tendency towards fascism, and applies to some degree to most of the subjects examined in the OP.

Call it oligarchy, plutocracy, or late for dinner if it makes you feel better, folks.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #120
123. It's not black/white absolutism. The OP made a very basic misunderstanding.
He incorrectly conflates the current corporate oligarchy with the corporatism of e.g. Mussolini. They are two very different things, even though the adjective "corporatist" has been used to describe either.

modern, loose sense of "corporatism" - the corporate oligarchy, the government's corrupt alliance with the money and interests of Big Business, to the point that the whims of the corporate elite effectively become our official economic policy.

older sense of "corporatism" - explained in above posts by me and other posters. It is in NO WAY related to "corporatism" as we think of it here in modern USA.

Once you falsely equate these two different modes of "corporatism" it becomes very easy to make a case for the US as a fascist state--at least, it's easy to do so long as you're using the most simplistic definitions of fascism, which usually amount to something like "when corporate power merges with the state." Peruse the long list of more thorough definitions I provided above: I almost guarantee that you'll recognize the US in it less and less.

The OP's argument amounts basically to this: control of the entire nation by the few super-rich corporate elites = fascism. This is in no way true. We could totally throw out this silly claim while leaving the real "meat" of the argument untouched: the description of how the plutocrats have systematically screwed us over throughout the past few decades is THE MESSAGE here. It's factually accurate and it's what we want working Americans to think about and consider after they've listened to us. The goofy claim of fascism only gets in this important argument's way, and I will not apologize for trying to keep my fellow liberals from shooting themselves in the foot. I point this out because I think our cause is important, and as a matter of respect I think we should try to get the details right. It'll only enhance our overall persuasiveness, and with the state of the modern corporate propaganda/media machine, lord knows we need all the help we can get in that area.

At this point I am done trying to explain this. Fellow liberals have already accused me of sophistry and of shilling for Big Business, and if they would rather believe that than take a genuine intellectual interest in the distinction between corporatocracy and corporatism, then there's not much else I can say. Apparently many DUers are heavily invested in the emotional payload of a word like "fascism," and while such sensationalism is generally not my style, I can understand the mindset behind it. I would only suggest that the next time someone corrects your rants about American fascism, maybe pause and think for a few seconds before you accuse them of something especially nasty. (I would cut off my thumbs before I'd ever shill for fuckers like the Kochs.)
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #123
124. That said,
the argument that certain Republican pols would LIKE to install fascism is a completely different thing. I can totally see Scott Walker being A-OK with a fascist state, as he seems to have a general thirst for absolute power that's unconnected to a loyalty toward any particular ideology. However, that's very different than saying that we *are* fascist, or that we're on the road to becoming a fascist state. No one can tell the future, but if the political climate of the last few decades suggests anything it is that we are certainly *not* heading into a political system wherein the state tacitly controls private enterprise. It's exactly the opposite.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #123
128. "the emotional payload of a word like 'fascism'
Man, I wish I had said that.

May I borrow ir?
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #128
144. feel free! nt
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #93
103. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
94. hit another one out of the park TFC!
been too busy to DU lately, and it's so wonderful to peek in and see one of your pieces. really good stuff.
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
95. Very nice, but blew it on the definition of corporatism
In corporatism, any group of people is considered a corporation.

Not only businesses, but religious groups, workers' unions and other social groups comprise the corporations that run things with the government.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #95
100. Definition of corporatism by Benito Mussolini
"The first stage of fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power" -
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Fascist Dictator of Italy.
http://dissidentvoice.org/Articles5/Taplin_Corporatism....

When we think of Fascism, Mussolini is the first person to come to mind because he was (as far as I know) the first one to coin the term, and was the leader of one of msjor nations against which much of the world fought WW II. Clearly he wasn't referring to workers' unions, which were one of the main targets of his Fascism.



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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #100
105. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #105
108. WORD. n/t
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #100
140. Corporatism is a lot older than Mussolini n/t
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BOG PERSON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #95
101. that's right
the root of the word isn't corporation in the sense of a big business , but rather society as an organic whole, as a body. corporatism seeks to resolve social contradictions without really eliminating the material basis of those contradictions, because those contradictions weren't even antagonistic in the first place, in fact they were healthy and natural, but they were simply mismanaged.

one way to look at corporatism (or fascism, if you want) is as a kind of militant social-democracy. social-democracy with a vengeance. there doesn't even need to be the distasteful racial component.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
102. K & R
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
106. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, Time for change. :thumbsup:
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felix_numinous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
111. The power elite establishment
-whatever you wish to call them--are working hard toward locking down all their wealth and influence. The inhumane treatments of prisoners domestically and overseas, the religious infiltration of our military, the attack on education, and dismissal of the left are all evidence of a recent acceleration toward more ruthlessness, and this is disturbing. Call it what you want, I agree with TFC.

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Drew Richards Donating Member (507 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
114. Not Corporate Fascism? Please give me another name for it then
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 09:38 PM by Drew Richards
Edit note: This is only a small partial list. There are many more documented political and social/economic instances that could be listed, these are just some highlights.

Migration of 80% of the wealth is still being flushed to the top 2% of the populous.
Conservative congress has again stripped all incentives for alternative fuel sources.
Oil, Gas and Coal still receiving massive financial government subsidies...
Repeated harassment, physical attacks and murders of abortion doctors with no apparent law enforcement protection or investigations...
Corruption, manipulation and collapse of securities and mortgage markets.
Corporate Birch Society, Republicanism and Dominionism create allegedly rumored domestic socio-economic divisions and diversions.
Attacks on Middle Class, Class Warfare.
Attacks on segments of society. Illegal and the Poor (Secure our boarders cry)To make people forget the war, its expense and domestic insolvency.
Verbal Attacks, Salary and Benefit cuts on working class employees and their collective bargaining rights.
Allegedly rumored paid attacks and harassment at Democratic town halls to intimidate citizens and law makers.
Creation of Fake grass roots movements to confuse the public.
Threats of the use of police to arrest our own citizens legally protesting.
Threats of the use of military force against our own citizens legally protesting.
Union busting.
Alleged plans to plant subversives in a passive protesting crowd in Wisconsin to incite violence and portray protesters in a bad light.
The blatant stacking of the justice system with allegedly rumored unqualified Bush jr. appointees.
Lack of any prosecution of individuals for illegal war justification and torture.
Lack of prosecution for rape and theft in a battle zone.
Reclassifying rape as only non-consensual sex.
Reclassification of pregnancy miscarriage as murder.
Reclassification of Abortion access to limit a woman's desire to enter a clinic...forcing woman to give life histories and make them publicly published in local papers three days prior to allowing them access to an abortion...denying any abortion even in the instance of the health of the mother after 22 weeks UNLESS a woman can PROVE Rape..PUBLICLY...
Stripping of citizens constitutional protections. (Patriot Act)
Attempt to steal, gut and end our unemployment insurance.
Elevation of Corporations rights over the rights of Individual Citizens (Citizens United Decision)
Removal of the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting.
Potential total control and manipulation of the media.

BLOCKED AND DEFUNDING OF:
Unemployment Insurance Fund
Worker's Compensation Insurance Fund
Universal Medical Care
Public Option
Medicare
Medicaid
Planned Parenthood
NEA
SEC
EPA
FCC
USDA
FDA
CFPB
DOI
DOL
DOE
All these services and agencies mandates are to keep us safe from corporate greed and unsafe products and/or to lend a helping hand from poverty...

Threats of forced shutdown of our government if conservatives don't get their way...
Creation allegedly it is rumored of their own private Waffen-SS in a new Department of Homeland Security. (The NSA and FBI were doing a great job and it is not their fault if those in power decided to interpret incoming data however they pleased)

Yes it is the Oligarchy of Ultra-Conservatism, Republicanism, Religious Dominionism and Corporate Fascism.

It doesn't matter to me if you want to argue it is not true or not happening...it is, and I have no desire to sit here and listen to College level Sophistry from debate class to try to tell me a Duck is not a Duck.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #114
115. Jesus...
talk about the kitchen sink
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Drew Richards Donating Member (507 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #115
116. That is only what has occured in the last 8 years...
Got a problem with the list of actual things perpetrated by the Ultra-Conservative agenda? Take it up with them.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #116
117. Actually, I do that all the time...
through DFA, PDA and OFA, thanks.

In the meantime, I'd love to know how the "Ultra-conservative Agenda" automatically equals "corporate fascism" (whatever that means).

Perhaps some messaging lessons are in order.
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Drew Richards Donating Member (507 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #117
118. there you go again
Nice deflection and personal attack...

Really, I mean it, Good one...

If you just wish to continue to argue what makes a duck a duck...and what the definition of is is ...I am not interested.

See you win, now go and play.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #118
119. Please point to any...
"personal attack".

Please be specific.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
121. I always find it amusing when people debate, openly and freely, on a public message board,
the question of whether or not we are living under "fascism". Imagine if we had all been having this debate in a coffee house in Berlin in 1937.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #121
122. Bingo...
I often wonder how I make it to my car in the morning without being intercepted by the S.A.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #121
135. Sigh. Another person who thinks fascism is an on/off light switch.
Seriously, do you think that?

If not, you correctly recognize that it is a continuum, right?

Please tell me you recognize that.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #135
137. It is a continuum. Early in the continuum, we would not all get murdered.
But Skinner would probably receive a visit or two in connection with his operation. Perhaps his taxes would be audited and he would be brought in for questioning regarding some of the posts on his board.

Next step in the continuum might be unexplained kidnappings and beatings. Skinner might end up in the hospital. An anonymous caller would suggest to him that DU be shut down.

Final step in the continuum would be the arrest and execution of everyone who posted here.

So yes, it's a continuum. But it hasn't even started yet.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #137
139. And I disagree.
But some people's radar is better attuned to movements, so I will not hold it against you.

What you describe is simply later in the continuum.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #139
142. Simply stating "it is a continuum" is not an all-access pass to
state that we are living in the beginning stages of whatever system of government that we please. Using that logic I could say we're knocking on the door of outright communism, and I don't have to provide any evidence because "it is a continuum."

Find some traditional aspects of fascism that are in the formative stages here in the US. Where's the autocratic leadership? The one-party state? The paramilitarism? Strict suppression of media/dissent?

I personally really doubt that a country in the embryonic stages of fascism could stand for such a bold, sustained show of faith in the democratic process as were the Wisconsin protests. Tens of thousands of people out in the street, everyday. If that's the beginning of fascism, then fascism has found a funny way of manifesting itself.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #121
176. In a sense, that's exactly what we're doing.
I'm certain there were people in Germany in the 1930s that were equally concerned, and for many of the same reasons. The problem most people have is that they think fascism is a certain, set array of conditions, and if those conditions are not met, it isn't fascism. Actually, fascism always takes a different form wherever it appears, based on the social, economic, and cultural conditions of the society in which it appears; no two fascist regimes ever act in exactly the same way.

Part of this is an absolutely woeful knowledge of both US and world history among our population. Combine that with a dangerous lack of critical thinking skills among that same population and you have fertile ground for this sort of thing.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
136. Avoid voting for GOPers
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ReggieVeggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
141. kick and rec!!!!
:bounce: :hi:
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
147. while the reich wing brought america's attention to socialism it was sneaking in fascism(right wing)
anybody not seeing this is blind.
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SDuderstadt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #147
148. Why, yes!
Did you see how the thousands of protesters in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana were brutally suppressed?

Oh, wait a minute...they weren't.
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pheobees Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #148
150. But protesters are arrested
There weren't many arrested in Wisconsin because the police there are union...lol
Didn't Walker order them to be arrested though?

Don't protest the GOP.....
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=RNC+protest...

This was an excellent post, thank you Time For Change.

I think that there will be only one way to take back our government. Obama has proven to me that you can no longer trust anyone who accepts corporate money.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #148
152. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
151. kick
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
154. kicking n/t
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
159. dude!
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 10:04 PM by fascisthunter
K&R
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
160. MI5 Files Refer to NAZI Post-War Plan
The NAZIs have not gone away.



MI5 bugged leading intellectuals and journalists in 1950s, files show

By Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Monday 4 April 2011

EXCERPT...

Nazis' nasty surprises

SNIP...

The Nazi leadership also planned to plant sleeper agents around the world after the war to provoke global unrest and create a "Fourth Reich", the files disclose.

Olivier Mordrelle, a leader of a separatist nationalist movement in Brittany, told his interrogators after he was captured that "ample funds" had been transferred to South America and "trustworthy key men" had been sent to live in Spain and Switzerland.

Mordrelle said he attended a meeting in Deisenhofen, near Munich, in April 1945 at which German postwar resistance plans were discussed.

He said he was told by a senior SS officer that underground agents were to lie low after the war ended until they were told to organise anti-Bolshevik movements in their countries in order to "stir up unrest culminating in civil war".

CONTINUED...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/04/mi5-files-rele...



Question: Who hates the commies more than a conservative Republican?

Answer: No one.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #160
170. kick n/t
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
183. thank you
great post!
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
188. I've just seen disgusting corporatism on parade -- Big Oil PR Spot on TV --
It highlighted another encroaching, gradually increasing scourge of giving up our national community to the control of private corporate states-- the privatization of compassion.

The ad was one of those-- Hey We Do Good! -- ones. But the point was that We Don't Need to Pay No Stinkin' Taxes. We do good with our billions On Our Own -- we give to folks, we create some jobs, we do good stuff with our billions of cash. We give some of it back.

In response to the "You Paid Zero in Taxes" campaign, they've got this slick spot ready to roll out. I guess the bright side is that those campaigns are having a bit of an impact, requiring a bit of a response.

But the key point for me is-- why does the Giant Corporation get to choose how to share its mountains of cash, exempt from taxes, while I cannot determine how many of my meager dollars are allocated to the Bush Wars to bully our way around the world's oil fields? I'd rather spend more on FEMA and the EPA and Planned Parenthood.

The millionaires' and private corporations' sense of entitlement to decide just who and what is worthy of the money they would be paying in taxes is quite appalling to me. Who will be worthy of the good lords' favor? It gets to seem very much like kingdoms and dynasties. Feudalization.

I feel much better when I have a good, efficient compassionate government, supported by all of us, that serves our national priorities like health care, environmental protection, education, housing, mass transit, first rate infrastructure and emergency services, poverty reduction programs and small business assistance as just part of a day's work. Good government can be great.

Much greater than privatized compassion entrusted to the imagined benevolence of corporate states.

Q: You Paid Zero Dollars in Taxes.

A: Yeah but we employed people and bought stuff from small businesses and invested in getting you all more energy. So it's all good.

Never mind that we spent millions getting citizens' groups stirred up and spewing hatred to defund the EPA and shut down government in general. Got them all to think low income heating assistance just isn't affordable anymore. Not while all those regulations impeding the magnificent progress of our corporate giants still stand. Got them all to shout to Shut That Down.

But then again, in the future, who knows, maybe Big Oil will create a heating assistance program that will help 10,000 families. And do a reality show about it. Or another series of soulful commercials.
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