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NewHampshireDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:03 AM
Original message
Ownership Society, Corporatism, Facism
All this talk about the "ownership society" and "tax simplification" has really got me more worried than the idea of an American Taliban rising up from the Evangelical Right. I'm not a Communist, but Marx had a point when he called religion the "opiate of the masses." I believe that in the present, religion is becoming the "smoke screen for the masses," distracting us from what this election was reallyabout--consolidating corporate power and government power, with an eye to replacing the government with an amalgam of corporations and "faith-based" institutions, which enrich their leadership more than they serve their society.

There was an interesting article from Common Dreams over the summer:
The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Warns: "It Can Happen Here"
by Thom Hartmann (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0719-15.htm
)


"The really dangerous American fascists," Wallace wrote, "are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

In this, Wallace was using the classic definition of the word "fascist" - the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word. (It was actually Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Mussolini, however, affixed his name to the entry, and claimed credit for it.)

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

<snip>
Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America:

"If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead." Nonetheless, at that time there were few corporate heads who had run for political office, and, in Wallace's view, most politicians still felt it was their obligation to represent We The People instead of corporate cartels. "American fascism will not be really dangerous," he added in the next paragraph, "until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information..."


Is "ownership society" more * code? Is he speaking a language what will be understood by the "purposeful coalition"? I believe so. When each of us is no longer a citizen, no longer accountable to the common good but to the corporate good, which measures its success by the bottom line alone, the nation will not have "several million facists" but literally tens of millions of facists, and our baser instincts will be reinforced with each daily stockmarket roundup.

I do not suggest that owning stocks is the root of all evil. Millions of Americans already are members of the "ownership society." People on the left and the right have 401(k) accounts, own their own homes and cars, and have a stake in the American economy. However, what is different today, right now, is the context. Wallace warned that the "American Way" of imposing corporatism would be different from the German way, and that "American Way" is just what we are seeing today: it is an appeal to the nationalism--founded on fear--of a nation in a perpetual war. This perpetual war is being fought on two fronts: the so-called "Culture Wars" and the "War on Terrorism."

I believe these are really two aspects of a single war. One is being waged within our country, and the other beyond our borders, but they have the same root: religious intolerance and rejection of values and beliefs that others hold. "The American Way" of creating corporatism uses religious conservatism to motivate--or delude--the masses into voting against their best interests or to believe that this leadership has their best interests at heart. Or, even worse, they use religion to reinforce the fear that the citizenry will be safe only under their protection. Either way, Evangelical Christianity has been enlisted to move America away from democracy and toward not theocracy but corporacracy.

Sorry this seems to ramble, but as I was writing it, more and more ideas started to come into my head. Please feel free to add, critique, etc. I need some feedback and some time to sort this all out for myself.


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mrbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. is the "ownership society" subject to property taxes?
wonder if the bushizoids have thought of federal property taxes?

because of the patriot act realtors are now requried to report all transactions to the authorities.
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
2. A spot on analysis.................
of what is happening in our county today. We've got all the Red State Religiowhackos afraid of terrorists bombing their silos and they can ONLY trust the Republicans to protect them and their fodder. This is one fucked up country right now. Corporate America along with the Christian Fundamentalists control policy in our Nation. I think it's time to go.
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MSgt213 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Oh man, you have peeked behind the curtain.......
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. "puts money and power ahead of human beings"
The people who "put money and power ahead of human beings" duped the people in this country who place their morals above money (the "values voters" - who voted against their own economic interests) to stay in power and achieve a "mandate."

Ironic, huh?
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NewHampshireDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. Sorry ...
:kick:
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 08:42 PM
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6. General strike and boycott. Shut the country down and stop fascism.
The life you save may be your own or your children's.
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harpo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-07-04 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. agreed
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