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Fri Nov 14, 2014, 02:58 PM

 

A repost/expansion on the fall of Madison's Republic [View all]

At the request of several DUers I am reposting an expanded version of an earlier post. It's a long piece.

The New Fascism – A Primer

We are confronting ever more rapidly creeping fascism in the United States. It's not your father's or grandfather's fascism but it is fascism all the same. Fascism, like all ideas, has evolved with the times and makes use of the technologies and methods which are most efficacious at any given time. It is no longer necessary to use the methods that Nazi Germany used to obtain a like hold on the population and implement a fairly hard form of fascism, say a 7.5 or 8 on a scale where fascist Germany represents a 10. I set out the reasons why I believe this to be true herein. This is NOT intented to be anything more than a description, and shorthand terms are used to express concepts that should be readily apparent to anyone on this board. Do not waste your time nit-picking individual words or arguments as I will NOT respond to you. Nor do I have any suggestions at this time about how to forestall or prevent what seems as an inevitable descent into open New Fascism. This is a think piece about how we have come to be where we are, which I wrote in a couple of hours and nothing more.

The Project And Its Historical Antecedents

What the corporatists have in mind for their endgame might be best described as an unholy fusion of fascism and feudalism. Feudalism can be accurately defined as a system based on the preservation of a small number of aristocrats against the poverty of the masses of peons and peasants. Feudal lords did have, at least in theory, certain obligations to their peasants based on the religious mores of the times. It was considered bad form to let one's peasants starve. Though these theoretical obligations were honored as often in their breach as not, the obligatio was at least theoretically there. Fascism could not be better defined than it was by Benito Mussolini's collaborator, Giovanni Gentile, who statedin “The Doctrine of Fascism” that "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." (This quote was later and erroneously attributed to Mussolini himself.) Mussolini himself also believed that fascism “has a religious element” in that it is a pure belief system not open to question.

These are the two models the plutocracy in all its parts, including but not limited to international high finance and the military-industrial-intelligence complex that has given rise to the total surveillance “security state” of the last decade or two, has fused as the model for the system they are imposing step-by-step on the US with the active collaboration of both the Democratic and Republican parties. The latter is more open about its allegiance to the New Fascism, but it is abundantly apparent that the institutional Democratic Party has drifted into open pursuit of the same goals over the last thirty years. The one and only difference between the two is one – the Democratic New Fascists will boil the peasantry – the frogs in the kettle – a bit more slowly, but boil them they will. Make no mistake about that.

Where the founding fathers thought that the goal of proper governance was the facilitation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the New Fascists believe that the peasantry – in other words everyone not them or in their immediate service – is entitled to strife, squalor, puberty and the freedom to expire. The nominal obligations of feudalism assuredly do NOT exist in the New Fascism. The “people” are nothing but a mass of fungible, easily replaceable serfs whose sole purpose is to serve and enrich those at the top – the plutocrats and warmongers. Everyone else is utterly disposable and their very existence depends on the whims of the New Fascist leadership class. And your individual number may come up at any time once the project has been fully implemented.

The Mechanisms of Implementation

Control mechanisms and media psyops are generally much more subtle now than they were in 1930s Germany. They are not always, but the craziest and most Nazi-like elements of the propaganda – right-wing talk/hate radio and Fox News – are reserved for the stupidest and most low-information elements of the populace. They are the best targets because they are the most susceptible and the least likely to possess even rudimentary critical thinking skills. They are also the most xenophobic elements of the population. That they distrust intelligent people, science and facts makes them a perfect audience for such materials. To draw a not-perfect but accurate enough analogy, those media elements are the counterpoints to the NSDAP's Volkischer Beobachter, Der Angriff, and Die Sturmer. They exist to rile up the rabid animals.

It is necessary to understand and accept the cold fact that this is a deeply stupid country and for the most part always has been. Read the late Joe Bageeant's “Deer Hunting With Jesus” if you doubt me. Bageant wants to love, and in a way does love, his own “Scots-Irish mutt people” as he describes them, but cannot forgive them their self-willed ignorance and profoundly self-destructive natures.

There is, then, a huge pre-existing audience for the kind of propaganda the New Fascists are using to pave their way. A significant share of the populace – I've read estimates as high as 40% - is in effect functionally illiterate. Needless to say these people have literally zero critical thinking skills. They believe what their opinion leaders – talk radio, Fox, preachers – tell them to believe and question nothing. These people exist in a paranoid, twilight world where they have already internalized these messages and the Limbaughs, O'Reillys, Hannitys and Savages serve as constant reinforcers of these already-accepted concepts.

The US has always been, in large part, a bigoted and insecure place. As constitutional scholar and theorist John Hart Ely observed decades ago, tar, feathers and running people out of town on a rail is every bit as much a part of the American cultural heritage as the declaring of inalienable rights. It has also been a profoundly stupid place. Distrust of educated persons, indeed of education itself and the very process of critical thinking, has been a part of this country's zeitgeist as long as it has existed. And as the late humorist and razor-keen observer of the human zoo George Carlin once observed, think of the “average person” and remember that half of the population is dumber than that.

The more insidious propagandization comes through the “major news media”, especially television, which is controlled by a handful of companies owned by, surprise!, the corporatists and tenth-percenters. The propaganda that comes from these outlets is quite a bit more sophisticated than the openly racist, homophobic and flat-out paranoid/schizophrenic “information” put out by the above sources. It is carefully nuanced to reflect the opinions of the corporate masters. Concepts like “centrism” “bipartisanship” and “expert opinion” are pushed constantly and defined within limits that are exceedingly narrow and which have been shifting ever more rightward for the last 35 years. The Democratic party is now, as an institution, somewhat to the right of the Republican parth of the pre-Reagan 1970s. That is no accident. Those messages are not directed at the sub-literate cave trolls that make up the base of the voters the New Fascists are seeking to woo; they serve to reassure the slightly brighter low-to-moderate information populace and reassure them that things are really alright while the skids are being slowly but inexorably greased for the final descent into operationalized New Fascism. It is all meant to distract the frogs from the increasingly hot water in which they are being cooked. And it works, which is not surprising. Billions are spent on it, and it is extremely skillfully packaged. Mainstream propaganda ihas slowly lulled the non-crazy masses into a state of unquestioning acceptance, if not the Absolute Belief of the troglodytes.

The other primary tool for the propagandization manipulation of the masses, particularly the cave trolls described above, is religion. It is ungortunate in a way that there never was a state religion in the United States. Centralized state religions were easily written off as the accompanists of corrupt regimes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Intellectuals from Marat and Voltaire to Adam Weishaupt rejected them out of hand as rationalizers of the misery of the masses. Few Western European countries are religious in significant ways today, and they are certainly not religious in anything resembling the way the US. The identification of the state with a church served to breed a deep and justified cynicism about both.

The religious freedom guaranteed with the best intentions by Madison and Jefferson in the Bill of Rights foresaw that freedom being exercised by the likes of Quakers and the Roger Williamses of the world, not by inbred snake-handling morons or jet-owning, faith-healing charlatans using mega-”churches”, the media and the internet as a tool for the twin purposes of fleecing the gullible of their last dime while converting them to a belief system that is, essentially New Fascist in nature though clothed in lily-white Republican jebus. Any nut could and did, under the protections of the First Amendment's Religion Clauses, pick up a bible and declare themselves a preacher handing down "authoritative truth." Say what you will about the Catholic Church, it at least required its priests to be educated in a meaningful way. American hucksters and charlatans immediately picked up on something Frank Zappa said in 1981 - “It is easy with the bible to pretend you are in showbiz” - and ran with it all the way to their Cayman Islands bank after stopping off at the Mercedes dealership.

But people believe the obvious bullshit these swindlers sell because they are, to repeat, basically stupid and have nothing in their heads to use in the critical evaluation of claims of any kind, be they those selling beer or jebus. And people, especially people who aren't bright enough to get their heads around the nature of the universe as it is want to believe. And when they offered something simple in which to believe be it phony religion or the evil of the scary other: the poor people/African-Americans/Latinos/uppity women/loudmouthed queers and f*****s, they lap it up like a cat does cream. Particularly when their authority figures encourage and reinforce a belief that “those people” are responsible for all the evils of the world and their own inability to advance their positions in life.

Scapegoating is, of course, as old as politics. The New Fascists have built not a different kind of machine than has been used in the past but a far slicker, well-funded, and omnipresent machine that exists in every corner of modern life. Its more sophisticated manifestations are subtle enough to seem plausible to those in the middle who don't pay a lot of attention. And it works. Leave the equivalent of “The Eternal Jew” for the Limbaughs, the Robertsons and the Hagees, The New Fascists have bigger fish to fry by propagandizing the middle. That's where the power is and they have made their methods work. (Yes voter disenfranchisement is part of the plan, too, but that is beyond the scope of this essay and will be increasingly unnecessary as the propaganda convinces more).

What is remarkable is that many in the mushy middle have been converted into true believers, largely by the combination of secular and religulous propaganda. It seems safe to opine that around 40% of the populatin of the US has been intentionally and deliberately reduced to a state so pathetic they would happily vote to liquidate themselves if they were told it was the will of lily-white, blue-eyed, Caucasian Republican Jebus and the almighty R party that they do so.

Offer them a 50% pay cut and a subsistence existence to get those ever-evil, parasitical “others” back where they're "supposed" to be in the eyes of Republican/New Fascist jebusand they'd be on it like a duck on a june bug as long as they could keep their guns. They would drink the Jim Jones koolaid and beg for, indeed demand, more. Never before has there been so carefully manufactured such a huge group of people who are such seelf-annihilating zilches they will destroy themselves with a smile on their faces. That is terrifying and has no real precedent in human history of which I am aware. These people aren't like the masses of Germans who "went along to get along" - this is a huge base of lemming-like "people" whose true-believing minds function at about the same level of a six-year old that still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The belief is absolute and the critical faculties are ZERO, facts be damned.

The ironic and amusing part of this is that the New Fascists do not give one damn about most of the issues that so excite and arouse the cave trolls. If anyone is stupid enough to believe that a Lloyd Blankfein type cares whether gay couples can get married or people smoke weed legally you are living in a fool's paradise. The New Fascists are concerned only with Money and Power. Though if in time the cave trolls are given their head as a payoff by the NF Powers That Be – and it just might happen – then all bets are off.

Another reason that the New Fascists are so successful is that they hold absolute power over all the major media, as noted above. This absolute control is carefully calibrated and infinitely careful to systematically marginalize everything and everyone that doesn't serve their corporate fascist vision not by eliminating them but by making them completely invisible in the mass media. And if they are not covered by the mass media, it is obvious to all but the questioners that such individuals are obviously not Serious Persons whose opinions need to be considered. Dissidents electronically disappear rather than literally disappearing, as was the methodology of fascists past, but the effect is exactly the same. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the media propaganda, which as Goebbels proved, is by far the best and most cost-effective way of controlling the masses. Were there a great beyond, Doktor Goebbels would be smiling down therefrom and rubbing his hands together in glee. He would be immensely proud of his intellectual heirs.

The Crucial Differences: Why The New Fascism Will Work, At Least Over the Next Twenty Years

The New Fascists don't need concentration camps, which might attract public or international attention, which might be Bad For Business. They already possess the technologies and willingness necessary to spy on everyone in the country. Dissent need not be stamped out on by massive shows of lethal force when small shows of non-lethal force are just as effective in communicating the central message – resistence is utterly futile – via their propaganda outlets. The message that even small-scale mobilizations such as Occupy can be effortlessly be brushed aside and dismissed, combined with the media selling of the mobilized as borderline or fringe “nuts” can do the job, why wast the money building concentration camps. The desired effect is obtained for less of the holy grail and Only Thing That Matters: MONEY (take your hat off and kneel when the Holy Word is spoken, pigs!). Effective mobilization is a thing of the past. There's a damned good reason the police departments have been militarised into Super-Gestapos and this is it. Individual dissenters, even giants like Chomsky, pose no threat at all, so why bother publicizing them by arresting them? Media erasure is much easier and cheaper.

The New Fascists also don't need messy, hard-to-hide, smelly death camps. The new mechanisms of implementation make them far too noticeable even if only to the marginalized Chris Hedges of the world. It is far easier to passively cull the herd by making health care and the necessities of life inaccessible to the "undesirables." Then they can just die off naturally with no awkward questions being asked. Better yet, they can be blamed for their own deaths. They were failures, and we don't want parasites as free riders on the grand and glorious experiment that is 'murkin' capitalism now, do we? And if necessary Goldman and its ilk can always engineer the necessary commodity shortages to facilitate starvation as an adjunct, and do it all in the name of free-market capitalism. Nothing can be done about the omniscient "free market." Suck it up or die, preferably the latter.

The final piece of the New Fascists' machinery is the freshly emerged doctrine of War Now, War Forever. There are uncountable trillions of dollars to be squeezed from the sheeple, at least for a few more decades, by the military-industrial-intelligence complex. And they will extract every last penny. There will always be a new, trumped-up or in some cases actively created enemy, (and just roll that concept around in your head for a moment or two to realize what it implies about the amount of control the New Fascists already have) the most dangerous since the last one, and if all else fails, drag out Zombie Hitler in a new costume like His Chimperial Highness did with the essentially harmless, save to those under his actual rule, Saddam Hussein. It will never end.

Perhaps you think I am overstating the case? I don't think so. Duer woo me with science assembled this terrifying list of monstrosities on which the two 'contesting” parties agree in full upon. Read it and tell me that the road to the full implementation of The New Fascism is not already paved. We already live in a soft fascist kleptocracy//kakistocracy. They just haven't put the eyebrows on it yet.

Maybe Hillary can finish the job. She certainly seems up to it.

Nothing will change until planetary catastrophe intervenes - and it will via global climate change, comet/asteroid strike, or nuclear exchange - and clears the way for humans to consider ways of thinking that do not involve capitalist exploitation, the worship of money and the belief in gods which can be demonstrated to not exist.

The List compiled by DUer woo me with science

Mass spying on Americans? Both parties support it.
Handing the internet to corporations? Both parties support it.
Austerity for the masses? Both parties support it.
Cutting social safety nets? Both parties support it.
Corporatists in the cabinet? Both parties support it.
Tolling our interstate highways? Both parties support it.
Corporate education policy? Both parties support it.
Bank bailouts? Both parties support it.
Ignoring the trillions stashed overseas? Both parties support it.
Trans-Pacific Job/Wage Killing Secret Agreement? Both parties support it.
TISA corporate overlord agreement? Both parties support it.
Drilling and fracking? Both parties support it.
Wars on medical marijuana instead of corrupt banks? Both parties support it.
Deregulation of the food industry? Both parties support it.
GMO's? Both parties support it.
Privatization of the TVA? Both parties support it.
Immunity for telecoms? Both parties support it.
"Looking forward" and letting war criminals off the hook? Both parties support it.
Deciding torturers are patriots? Both parties support it.
Militarized police and assaults on protesters? Both parties support it.
Indefinite detention? Both parties support it.
Drone wars and kill lists? Both parties support it.
Targeting of journalists and whistleblowers? Both parties support it.
Private prisons replacing public prisons? Both parties support it.
Unions? Both parties view them with contempt.
Trillion dollar increase in nuclear weapons. Both parties support it.
New war in Iraq. Both parties support it.
New war in Syria. Both parties support it.
Carpet bombing of captive population in Gaza. Both parties support it.

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Reply A repost/expansion on the fall of Madison's Republic [View all]
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