No term generates more confusion or misunderstanding than fascism. It has been applied to people like McCarthy, Hoover, government policies and governments themselves. Exactly what is fascism? It is a totalitarian system of government that bases its economy on capitalism. While none of those examples are completely fascist, if they involved the lost of rights leading to a more authoritarian state or the enhancement of the elitists in a capitalistic society then we shall consider the label appropriate. After all fascism comes in various degrees or flavors just as democracy does. Further it took Hitler over a decade before he attained full power. Fascism and capitalism are inseparable. Notice how the corporate power structure is authoritarian and is geared to reward the elite owners but not the workers.
Leon Trotsky in a brilliant pamphlet first described Fascism. This description of fascism in and of itself is not noteworthy and has been expanded by several others, but the analysis of the evolution of a capitalistic society into a fascist society was brilliantly prophetic. We have already alluded to the fact that Hitler attained his power gradually and no rebellion or revolution was required, this is what makes fascism so insidious and dangerous. It is just a natural degenerative process of a capitalistic society. Likewise, Mussolini also attained power not through rebellion or revolution but through what could be termed a loud march or strike, a riot would simply be an overstatement of the facts. This paper will examine the creeping fascism present in the US and where it may lead if it's unchecked. We shall define creeping fascism as the lost of individual rights or the enhancement of the rights of the elite and corporations containing one or more elements of fascist behavior as defined by past philosophers of fascism or as defined by past behavior of fascist regimes. But first we must look at the evolution of governments and define exactly what fascism involves.
When I was a teen growing up I can recall my father stating that no government had ever lasted more than 200 years. At the time I scoffed at the idea, but with age comes wisdom for most people. So what is the wisdom in that simple statement? Obvious the 200 years figure is incorrect, the US government is now over 200 years old, but that for the most part is trivial. And we surely could find other examples in ancient history for instance the Chinese dynasties, the Roman Empire, ancient Egypt under the pharaohs. No the wisdom in the statement lies in the degeneration of all governments over time until they fail, one might be inclined to say its entropy's effect of tending to disorder. But that doesn't explain why some governments last for 200 years some fail after 60 years, the USSR and still others fail after thirteen years, Nazi Germany. Thus, there is even a more prominent and fundamental reason for the demise of governments through out time. Governments' failure to provide for the masses while maintaining an elitist class is a common theme in the failure of governments old and new a like. A casual glance at past governments that have failed reveals there is a relationship between the amount of liberty that a society enjoys and the stability or longevity of that government. Severely repress people have little to lose in a revolt. Even in a democracy the freedom of the masses are eroded over time as the rich elitists slowly chip away at personal freedoms and scheme to pass laws beneficial and protective of themselves. Perhaps, Thomas Jefferson said it best in the familiar quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is natural manure."
And what of the revolutions, do they always lead to increased freedoms? Unfortunately no, revolutions come in as many flavors as do the political "isms". Two types of totalitarian revolts are possible from the right we can have a fascist revolt. Fascist revolts are best characterized by private ownership of industrial wealth, a capitalistic economic system and receive the most support from the misguided middle class seeking to maintain their status quo. Or we can have a totalitarian revolt from the left, communism. Where, the capital is collectively owned and supported by the lower members of that society. Also, possible is any revolution between these two extremes with increasing freedoms as one moves away from either extreme, a good example being our own revolution from the King of England that lead to far greater freedoms than previously imagined.
Rather than view this in the traditional left/right continuum it is best to view it in two dimensions. On the graph below the X-axis is the economic system, the Y-axis is the political or degree of control of the society. As one moves away from the center the more extreme nature of the economy or the more totalitarian the political control becomes, resulting in a more unstable society. The figure could easily be extended into three-dimensional space or even greater. By inserting a Z-axis for the social structure (at one extreme there is a rigid class system that would include slavery, much like India's caste system of days gone by at the other end a completely classless society much like the idealized vision of Marx.) further dimensions are unneeded. For now we have the social economic model and the social political model. But for clarity only the first two dimensions are shown in the graph. Just as the center of a ball is better protected from the shocks of the real world, the surface of the ball is exposed to all insults from its environment first hand. Alternatively one could think of peeling away the layers of an onion where each layer represent controls or lost of freedoms until finally one arrives at the germ cell in the center from which true liberty may sprout. With all the emphasis placed on the center, it appears your author here is a centralist, why the lousy no good statist. Well have no fear dear readers, there are far too many damn fools that will label this as the work of a left wing extremist.
Thus a government can be describe by the shape and size of space it takes up. For instance the graph shows France's economic system with approximately equality between both socialism and capitalism and the political control with equality between anarchy and totalitarian controls. The US is shown to be more totalitarian and more capitalistic, a reflection of the true world. Note the portion of the graph labeled libertarian heaven, it's so inherently and fatally flawed that it has never been tried, but what the hell did you expect from a system that could best be described as mob rule. The white space would contain intermediate forms of social-political systems such as military dictatorships, monarchies, etc.When viewed in this manner it puts to rest once and for all the silly argument that the Nazis were really socialists but still preserves the traditional left/right political description. Some of the confusion no doubt arises in the deception of the masses by the power behind the movement. Here is a quote from Trotsky. "The fascist movement in Italy was a spontaneous movement of large masses, with new leaders from the rank and file. It is a plebian movement in origin, directed and financed by big capitalist powers. It issued forth from the petty bourgeoisie, the slum proletariat, and even to a certain extent from the proletarian masses; Mussolini, a former socialist, is a self-made: man arising from this movement."
Mussolini in Milan, Italy first founded Fascism on March 23, 1919. Fascism derives it's name from an ancient Roman symbol of authority a bundle of rods and a ax, those familiar with the reverse side of the Mercury dime has seen a fasces. But it's roots and philosophy go back further to the French Revolution and the rise of Modernism. It was Rousseau, who is best known for eloquently stating these modern social theories. The response to the French Revolution and Modernism brought forth an intellectual bonanza of political theory: Marxism, socialism, fascism, liberalism, modern conservatism, communism and various flavors of participatory democracy.
Fascism was a reaction to the French revolution and Modernism, they particularly hated the slogan of the revolution;" Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". Liberty from oppressive regimes in the daily lives of its citizens: including enforced religious values, the concept of voting and majority rule where the minority still retain a set of inalienable rights incensed them. Equality in the eyes of the laws was unspeakable to them. Fraternity in the sense that all of mankind shared humanity was to be considered heresy. All three terms meant a lost in control of some aspect of the behavior of the masses that was what they were reacting to and rejecting.
The intellectual roots of fascism were further by other philosophers. Arthur Schopenhauer(1788-1860) a German who advanced the concept of relativistism. Freidrich Nietzche (1844-1900) a German that advanced the concept of two sets of moral codes, one for the ruling class, the other for the oppressed or slave class. George Sorel (1847-1922) a Frenchman believing in the degeneration of societies who was extremely anti-democratic and anti-liberal. He also had much influence on Mussolini. Henri Bergson another Frenchman that advanced social Darwinism. Gabriele D'Annunzio an Italian that the Little Duce considered a hero. He emphasized the subordination of the individual to the state. Notice the differing aspects of total control over the masses and the advancement of the elite.
Before proceeding with the creeping fascism in America lets first list and elaborate on the traits of fascism to better define it, roughly in order of importance. Note, not all of these need apply for a society to be fascist in nature only the first two are absolute requirements, but they do help in understanding the nature of fascism. Some of these traits may apply to other social political systems as well and are not necessary unique to fascism, however they would not be expected to occur in moderate or centralist systems.
1.. Fascism is the authoritarian rule by a privileged class and a full-scale assault on the lower class. Parliamentary institutions are set aside ruling is by decree often by a populist leader. Remember Hitler dismissed the Reichstag. Wages, any social net, labor laws and unions are quickly under attack. In short the club replaces the carrot. Even between the elites or capitalists of the same nation, the struggle intensities. Again remember Hitler had two groups of capitalist supporting him. One group was from the old-line heavy industries such as steal and coal. The other group was from the new technologies the electrics and chemicals. If you are unlucky enough to belong to a minority group, you're as good as dead, you have no rights.
2. Fascism and Capitalism become one. There never has been a form of capitalism that did not invoke some form of fascist controls. One needs to look no further at the corporate power structure to see it tends toward absolute total control over the employees' life. How many times have you heard of people married to their job, not by choice but by need? Even going back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the move from cottage industry to factory involved the lost of control by the employees. They were now no longer free to set their own hours. Secondly the fascist needs the capitalist to build the war machinery. Look again to the early supporters of Hitler: Henry Ford, the Rockefellers, the Dulles brothers, the Catholic Church, the German Krupp, who took great pleasure in heading up the Adolf Hitler Fund. Other large supporters of Hitler were Fritz Thyssen, Vereinigte Stahlwerke and Emil Kirdorf, their support was to show gratitude for Hitler's anti-Marxist views. Further fascism tends to emerge during periods of economic upheaval. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany arose during economic crisis. It was also common place during the 1930s that in polite English social circles to refer to fascism simply as corporatism.
3. Fascism uses rabid nationalism to rally the masses. Hitler used nationalism as a rallying cry through out his rise to power. First it was the unfairness of the Versailles Treaty, then it was Sudetenland, the Polish corridor, Austria, etc. Glorification of war and the military play a large role in this surreal nationalism. Often times a sense of historic mission is attached to the super patriotism.
4. Racism often becomes part of fascim. Little needs to be said here other than remember the Holocaust. Although, this is not a necessary trait of a fascist country, it is often present. Diversity is not tolerated. Homogeneous and uniformity are two traits admired by the fascists. Note the simlarity with corporate power structures and the good old boy network.
5. Fascism is often lead by a cult like figurehead. There is no question that Hitler Was a good orator and a populist figure.
6. Fascism uses the tools of violence and terror. Again little needs to be said, remember the Night of the Long Knives, Crystal Night, the slave labor and death camps?
7. Fascism beliefs of mysticism and irrationals. Starting with the later Hitler forbid His scientist working on the atomic bomb to even mention Einstein or some of the other Jewish nuclear physicists who were leaders in the field. The SS was founded on mysticism and is full of symbolic meanings and symbols. Hitler himself often referred to the ancient German legends and mythical beings.
8. Fascism is radically opposed to communism. It was Hitler himself who order the purging of the socialists from the Nazi party. Long before the purge and before the Nazis came to power they had a history of brawling with the communists. Reaction extends to values of Modernism as well as to attacks against liberals.
9. Fascists are consistent and rigid in their beliefs. There was no compromising with the Fuehrer as Chamberlain once learnt the hard way. Many still deny the Holocaust through an absurd belief that somehow Jews were less than human. Often times they appear irrational, after one outburst in which Hitler took to chewing the carpet, his aides started calling him the carpet eater behind his back.
10 Fascism calls for national unity. This is the deception, the fascist calls for cooperation between classes, but actually promotes division to conceal the tensions between the corporation leaders and their employees. Hitler replaced those union leaders that were less cooperative with pro business leaders.
We can now begin to look at elements of creeping fascism in America. But before beginning any article beginning with "The Dawning of" begs for the establishment of a starting date. We have already alluded to the fact that elements of fascism are present in every capitalistic society, the two are inseparatable. Hence we could simply say these elements were present from the first beginnings of the Colonies. But lets establish a better starting date for fascism a date from which the creeping nature of fascism began to spread like wildfire. Through out the 1800s a few judges under pressure from industrialist and wealthy bankers granted additional property rights to corporations until the point was reach where corporations had more property rights than an individual. Lets place the Dawning of Fascism in America as 1886 that is the fateful year that the Supreme Court handed down a decision that still ranks as the biggest blow to liberty and blunder of all time. That decision stems from the case of Santa Clara County Vs Southern Pacific Railroad, in which corporations were now endowed with the same rights of individuals. Please note the date that this dreadful decision was handed done coincides with the lifetimes of many of the philosophers of fascism.
This date also coincides with the age of the robber barons and the havoc they wrought upon the economy and their employees. Rather than an extensive review of this era, a few examples should suffice for most people. It is instructive to note that beginning in about 1893 the country was in a recession or depression. In fact the economy was in much turmoil from the dual status of the monetary system being based on both silver and gold. In fact the depression has been label after the silver barons. And as we have already noted fascism thrives on economic upheavals. To list all the abuses of the Mellons, the Carnegies, the Rockefellers and others would fill volumes. Let's describe a few of Rockefeller's practices as examples before moving on. First and foremost was the practice that old John D. liked to term sweating, in which his aim was to drive his competitors out of business by unethical business practices. He would lower the price of his oil in his competitor's customer's area below cost while raising his price in other areas. Then there was his scam of receiving kickbacks from the railroad; these resulted from higher fees the railroad agreed to charge his competitors. Thus his competitors were actually paying John D. to ship their product to market. This era is then the first widespread example of fascism in the American economy.
The next widespread example, of fascist behavior in America came in 1919 and the now famous Red Scare of 1919. The newly formed infant agency that was to evolve into the FBI used the environment of the times to persecute the IWW or Wobblies. Union members were rounded up and railroaded out of many towns. Many times these roundups turn to violence and more than one Wobbly was murdered. Their leaders faced bogus charges, and when those failed Hoover was not above using blackmail or sex scandals to smear and discredit them. Nor did Hoover and the FBI stop intimidating labor leaders; in fact they continue to do so well past the McCarthy era, often times using only information provided by the corporate management with little regard to the accuracy of the information. Look at the various elements of fascism in this example. First there is the lost of rights for the laborer, secondly their was the fanatic fear of communism and socialism and finally there is the use of fear and terrorism.
Perhaps, one of the most blatant acts of fascism in America occurred during the depression. When then President Hoover ordered MacArthur to clear the Washington D.C. parks of the protestors. These former veterans were camping out to demand their bonuses from WWI to be paid to be ahead of schedule to ease their plight from the depression. Needless to say the resulting mess turned into a blood bath of sorts. Again we have the element of denying rights to the common man plus the brutal application of force on dissenters without regard to their human dignity.
Another example of fascist economic behavior in the past history of the US occurred during WWII. FDR faced many problems in gearing up for a war economy. But he faced no problem greater than the refusal of corporate America to produce war material. In the end he was forced into using dollar a day men. These were corporate leaders that agreed to become part of a group of quasi government officials in running the war effort. More time was lost from the production of war munitions and material from corporate refusals than all the strikes combined. In fact, it was illegal for corporations to raise wages. Now who derived benefits from that?
No discussion of creeping fascism in America would be complete with out mentioning the McCarthy witch-hunts in the early 50s. Many individuals were destroyed by Tail Gunner Joe before he succeeded in destroying himself. His attacks were directed at leaders in the media and unions primary as well as to government employees. Most of the evidence against these people was a best flimsy and in more cases non-existent. His method of operation was like that of Hoover, if you don't have any evidence then smear em with a sex scandal or homosexuality. His tactics include fear and intimidation often backup with only one unreliable witness Whittaker Chambers, who later recanted his testimony as lies. For a good review of McCarthyism see Ellen Schrecker's "Many Are the Crimes ", ISBN 0-316-77470-7.
Following the McCarthy era fascist behavior suffered somewhat of a set back. The fifties and early sixties the working class enjoyed the benefits of that labor and unions saw a rise in their power. But then came Vietnam and the 70s followed by the decade of greed. Remember earlier, the pamphlet by Trotsky was described as brilliantly prophetic? Here then is a quote from that pamphlet: " The Fascist find their human material mainly in the petty bourgeoisie. The latter has been entirely ruined by big capital. There is no way out for it in the present social order, but it knows of no other. Its dissatisfaction, indignation and the despair are diverted by the fascists away from big capital and against the workers. It may be said that fascism is the act of placing the petty bourgeoisie at the disposal of its most bitter enemies. In this way, big capital ruins the middle classes and then, with the help of hired fascist demagogues, incites the petty bourgeoisie against the worker. The bourgeoisie regime can be preserved only by such murderous means as these."
Does anyone think this is perhaps a fitting description of the 1980s under the Reagan's Reign of Terror? The key was the systematic destruction of the middle class in the 80s, just as Trotsky predicted years earlier. In fact it's a good description of the 1980s. Does anyone remember the series of articles appearing in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991 entitled "America: What Went wrong"? The series of articles describes exactly what Trotsky was referring to the systematic destruction of the middle class jobs by the Wall Street crowd. And yes this process is still continuing as we approach 2000. Grab any paper and read about the layoffs that are occurring, the moving of jobs to Mexico or the third world due to NAFTA. There was suppose to be clauses protecting the American worker and the environment in that treaty, but strangely we hear nothing of those now days. Are you the reader aware of the current proposed treaty, MIA or Multilateral Investment Agreement? Passage of this treaty will effectively void the Bill of Rights, void any labor laws and any environmental laws. It's the final assault on personal freedoms by the corporations and is effectively best termed the Corporate Rule Treaty. The reader owes it to himself to investigate for himself the full ramifications of it. Failure to do so is hazardous to your well being.
Does anyone remember Raygun's great lie about his non-existent welfare queen? His demonization of the poor? His wholesale firing of the Patco workers? His demonization of gays? His promotion of class warfare? His trickle down economy? ( Note the similarity between this and the double sets of morals that Nietzehe proposed.)His shifting of the tax burden from the elite and corporations to the middle class? His glorification of war and the military? He even went so far as to strip the identity of a slain solider of the Vietnam War to bury in the Tomb of the Unknowns so he would have a photo op come Memorial Day. Note the absolute subordination of the individual to the state, all that this poor solider had left was his name and Reagan took that from him as well. His litmus test for judicial appointments? Note one of the first actions Hitler performed once acquiring power was to remove all non-Nazis from the judicial system. His insane obsession with communism? Star Wars? His absurd build up of the US military? His use of force and terror, not only the illegal actions arising from Iran/Contra, Granada, Libya but his past actions as well. Reagan never disassociated himself from the far right wing group of the John Birchers, his statement about clearing the California campus of war protestors when he was governor: "If it's a blood bath, then let it be now." His past activities for the McCarthy hearings? His support for known Nazi war criminals while in the White House? Yes, Reagan actively worked for front groups following WWII that were smuggling of war criminals out of Europe.
Perhaps the single most important action Reagan took to further fascism in America was the creation of the ministry of propaganda for the rabid right. He systematically created various organizations, and think tanks to further their aims. Quoting from the footnote on page 370 of "The Last Investigation"t; by Gaeton Fomnzi, ISBN 1-56025-052-6." Soon after Ronald Reagan became President in 1981, he and his clique of rock-hard Cold Warriors decided on a grand strategy of taking the war to the enemy, particularly to the spreading Evil Empire of Godless Communism in Latin America. Chief architect of that strategy was the newly appointed CIA Director Bill Casey. To mobilize support for the strategy and neutralize the post-Vietnam public opposition to US military intervention aboard. Casey set up a "public diplomacy" program as cover for a covert domestic propaganda effort. To that end, one of Casey's moves was to establish political and financial power groups that would intimidate and control both the legislature and the public. One of the power groups secretly seeded by Casey's intelligence apparatus was the Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), which quickly rose to be the most powerful lobbying force in the country, surpassing the Israeli lobby. Jorge Mas Canosa was handpicked to rule CANF and gather the most strident right-wing Cubans in Miami. Mas and CANF would become key leaders and financial conduits for the Reagan and Bush Administration's covert arms supply system to the Contras in Nicaragua." Dear reader if you remember one thing from this article, remember the above quote the next time you see a right wing think tank or organization quoted in the media.
Many of the think tanks that sprang to life in the 1980s have one agenda at hand the promotion of corporatism; this would include the libertarian think tanks as well. Another group getting a renewed start in the 1980s is the Federalist, which have the financial power and aim to endow chairs for legal scholars to promote corporatism in the University system there by controlling the legal system with their nonsense for years to come.
Yes, those were all examples of fascist traits. Reagan may be seen as the leader of modern fascism in America today. Notice how the present fascist movement in the US holds him in high regards? They have set him on a pedestal and made a cult like leader of him. The damn fools have renamed the D.C. airport after him some have even went so far that they want to carve an image of him on Mt Rushmore. Yes Reagan was a good orator and had a gift for gab but that again fits with the traits of fascism being led by a populist. And the cult like behavior of his followers is also a fascist trait.
So far we have dealt with mostly economy issues and the tie between corporatism and fascism. But who were the past supports of fascism besides the elite or did they just arise spontaneously? And why did fascism raise its ugly head so high in the 1980s and not some other time? Let's first take the latter question, we have already alluded to the fact that economic upheavals are spawning grounds for fascism. So why were the 80s so special? The 1980s represented the start of the transition from and industrial age to an information age. New technology was now at hand rendering the old obsolete. We now had personnel computers with as much power as a mainframe of the 50s; we made great strides in bioengineering. In short the world was now changing at an ever-increasing rate. Couple this transition from and economy based on industry to one based on information with the most severe recession since the Great Depression and it's easy to see that the economic upheaval of the 1980s was indeed very unique Additionally quoting once again from Trotsky's pamphlet: " In all countries where fascism became victorious, we had, before the growth of fascism and its victory, a wave of radicalism of the masses--of workers and the poorer peasants and farmers, and of the petty bourgeiois class." Once again true to its roots as a reaction to the French Revolution and Modernism fascism is viewed as a reactionary economic-political system. Was not the decade of the 60s and the early part of the 70s considered to be radical era, a time when tradional values were questioned and rejected. In this case, the rise of fascism in America was a reaction to the "hippy era" and all that it implies. But this is not a wonder, the elites of the business world embrace stability and loathe changes. Stability translates into predictable profits, changes on the other hand are not predictable and could threaten profits. Now we have established the link between the moneyed elite and the reactionary nature of fascism.
So who were the past supporters of fascism, who were their leaders and which organizations did they found? In 1933 shortly after taking office as President FDR was confronted with information of a plot against his life. This information came to him from a former WWI general that was widely regarded as a war hero, the leader of the plot was a du Pount and from the names of the other conspirators Roosevelt could hardly ignore the threat. He also quickly recognized that he could not arrest all of the conspirators without putting the feeble economic recovery in jeopardy. Thus he recognized the fact that these leaders of the business world held even greater power than the President did. To foil the plot, Roosevelt leaked news of the plot to media. Once exposed the conspirators then had to forgo the plot.
Perhaps, the greatest fascist in public service was J. Edgar Hoover. He ran the FBI as a totalitarian and had harbored many of the traits of a fascist. He was a rabid anti-Communist, a racist, no female agents were allowed until very late in his term as director, an agent was expected to be fully devoted to the FBI, his office and home were filled with trinkets with symbolic meanings, he required all agents to memorize important dates for the FBI (dates like that of him be appointed director). Nor was he particularly concerned over the constitutional rights of accused. A good source for Hoover and his many abuses of power is the book: "J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets" by Curt Gentry, ISBN 0-452-26904-0.
Do take note here that earlier we listed the Dulles brothers as early supporters of fascism, and now we list Hoover as well. Thus we have two of the most powerful government agencies under the control of leaders with sympathies for fascist for the greater part of the century. We have briefly listed Hoover's persecution of anyone leaning to the left, and we have provided a direct connection of the CIA's role in misleading the media through front groups. Both agencies have had an agenda of eliminating any leaders from the left, is it any wonder then that today the US worker lags far behind any laborer from the rest of the industrial nations? Compare the benefits of the European worker to the US worker, which one can retire with full pension at 55, which one works a 35 hour week, which one has national health insurance, which one has a virtually guaranteed lifetime employment?
Another early supporter of fascism was Father Charles Coughlin, who was a rabid anti-Communist, anti-union and a close associate of Hoover's. The Catholic Church at the time was likewise a supporter of fascism and rabidly anti-Communist. For details of the Catholic Church's support of Nazi war criminals particularly the Yugoslavian Ustashi see the book "t; Unholy Trinity" by Mark Aarons and John Loftus, ISBN0-312-18199-x. The book also list Reagan's involvement with groups smuggling war criminals out of Europe and Tricky Dick's assessment of them being particularly good at helping to get the ethnic vote out.
No listing of past fascist groups would be complete without mentioning the John Bircher's or their more militant spin off the Minute Men. They were the rabid anti-Communist in the 1950s after being almost silenced in the 70s they are once again enjoying a resurgence of sorts. This group is the past group most responsible for spawning the present day militias and many of the other far right fringe groups with a militant bent.
This then brings us to the present day fascist groups, we have already mention the militias and it's obvious to include the Nazis, the skinheads and the Klan to the list of present fascist groups. What is not so obvious and some may find surprising is to add to that list the Religious REICH. Many may find that offensive, but they will be hard pressed to find another group that is more authoritarian. Not only is the religious REICH rabidly anti-socialist, they are also anti-union. Any organization or government agency that extends help to the masses they oppose for the simple reason they wish to control those same people. Back in the late 60s and early 70s the media ran articles every now and then about the death of religion. Why would that be a note worthy point here? During those times we still had the elements of some socialism to help the poor and the weak. There was still hope for a better tomorrow among the general population and church membership was in a free fall. That point is not lost on the tele-preachers of today, take away help and hope and the masses have no other place to turn to other than religion. Nor are they willing to reign in their authoritarian views but they wish to even extend that control to the bedrooms and classrooms. Most other fascist groups stop far short of the type of controls that the religious REICH wishes to impose on America. Then is it any surprise that many of these right wing fascist groups contain an element of fundamental religion in them? No the association is a close one after all the objective is total control.
Up to now we have only described the systematic looting of the middle class and the trend towards corporationism as being a problem today with fascism. Are there other trends today of fascism? Yes, the most disturbing trend is the trend toward militarization of the society. With the advent of the crazy war on drugs implemented by none other than Reagan, we have seen a very disturbing trend towards increased violence by law enforcement officials. There have been several reports of persons killed by police officers in which the victim's carcass was riddle with 20 or 30 gunshot wounds. All major cities now have SWAT teams, groups with a para-military bent to them. We have seen the films of Rodney King beaten in the streets nor was he the only victim of such abuse. Yet law enforcement trots out the old whine that the people don't trust them, well duh! We have seen the illegal introduction of the military into civil law enforcement in the war on drugs in Texas, in which a teenage sheepherder was murdered. And most recent we seen film clips of the Humboldt County's goon squad apply pepper mace directly into the eyes of peaceful protestors. We have reports of FBI involvement in the bombing of Earth First activist Judy Bari and the Earth First office in Arizona. This looks suspiciously like the past activities of the FBI during the 60s in operation COINTELPRO.
What other fascist traits exist today? How many of the republiCON candidates for various offices have you heard campaign on the problem with immigrants? How many have championed English only laws? Then there was old B1 Bob running all over the state of California, claiming that the reason he lost the election was the illegals voted against him. How many anti-gay ballot measures have been proposed? Can you say racist? Yes the right wing as controlled by the current republiCON leaders is openly racists.
This has been all too brief of a description of creeping fascism in America today, each item that we have listed could be easily be expanded into a book if not volume. What we have listed is six of the major traits of fascism: the trend toward corporatism and systematic destruction of the middle class, the increasing militarization of society and glorification of war, racism, a rabid anti-Communism or socialism stance, a cult like leader (Reagan) and the use of violence and terror. And we can add a trend toward extreme nationalism. Does anyone remember those film clips that passed as news about the Gulf War? Hell they could be best described as propaganda clips; I sat and watch some of those clips when it suddenly seemed to be all too surreal. All one needed to do was stick a swastika on those uniforms and those clips would have past for a piece of Hitler's propaganda exploiting the virtues of his glorious troops. Why hell even the helmets were reminiscent of the Third Reich. Did not the Japanese warn us of their concern over our attitude of extreme nationalism and pride after the conclusion of the war? You can bet your ass they did, but how many remember that?
So with the three dominate fascist traits: corporate power, militarization of society and racism firmly in place and trending to even further extremes, where does this leave us as we approach the year 2000? And what hope if any is there of reversing and stopping the creep of fascism? Someone once said recently that for a revolution to be successful in today's world one needed to control the "3 Ms", meaning the money, the media and the military. We have already shown how the media is controlled and used the CIA an agency that was first lead by a early fascist supporter and has done nothing to change it's spots. Further the media is owned now days less than ten different corporations. Certainly the money is already in the hands of the elite fascist, 10% of the population now control over 90% of the economy. The trend in corporations is to exert even greater control over the lives of their employees, drug testing being but one example. The only connection we haven't made is the military, but then let us heed former President Einsenhower's warning, " Beware the military-industrial complex". But then we have already shown were fascism doesn't require a revolution, the slow erosion of individual rights in a capitalistic society evolves into a fascists state. Neither, Hitler or the Little Duce took power as a result of a revolution.
So where does this leave us? Presently in the fall of 1998, it leaves us in the same relative position as Germany was in 1930-1931. The fascist lacked complete control of the government but they were still major power brokers. Why, we have even been through the American version of Crystal Night. Is the continued bombing and terrorizing of abortion clinics by the religious REICH unlike the terrorization of the Jews in a single night? No, stretching the process over time rather than conducting in a single night just serves to sanitize the process. Has the FBI actively investigated these bombing and looked for a connection? No for the most part they have stood by. Look at the manner in which the FBI has dealt with the extreme right wing groups in the last few years compared to how it dealt with the left wing groups in the 60s. With the latter they went in guns blazing and to hell with em. Remember Wounded Knee, the demise of the SDS, the SLA, they all were bloodily gun battles. On the other hand with the right wing groups of today the FBI is careful to handle them with kid gloves, and finds no need to kill the leaders unlike the leaders from the left in the 60s. For the most part is not the FBI and CIA equivalent to the SS and the Gestapo. Indeed with both the FBI and CIA involved with domestic covert operations such as COINTELPRO, they are.
The most distributing aspect of the present political climate concerns Starr's investigation of President Clinton. Only a fool would deny that his tactics have been fully legal and above board, in fact there is at the present time two investigations of Starr: one for leaking grand jury information, the equivalent of issuing propaganda to destroy the president and one for the bribery of Hale. Numerous other abuses have surfaced in his investigation: the use of witness reading from scripts that are not truthful, a Judge admonishing him that his tactics "were scary". What if Starr's investigation results in the overturning of a free election for a lousy blowjob either by forcing Clinton to resign or by impeachment? In that case, we are looking at Germany 1932; Hitler has just been appointed Chancellor, a situation that's far too dark to explore further.
Let's not end on a glum note the, is there hope for stopping this process of creeping fascism? The answer is yes. What the fascist fear most is an organized uniform front against them. There are signs of resurgence in the labor movement. The UPS strike may indeed have been the low point for the unions and marked the turning point. The GM strike may be the one that broke the floodgates. Even the strike by those two youths against McDonalds gives us hope for the younger generation. Additionally the IWW is staging a comeback of sorts. The Greens are making steady progress into the political scene. Earth First and the IWW have joined forces. What a potential power broker that combination is: labor and the environmental movement.