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Why Bush Will Win [?]: Americans Secretly Love Fascism

The most important election of our lifetime is coming down to who can best pacify the electorate's inner baby.
The Appeal of Fascism

By Richard Risemberg

Oct 19, 2004

"What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises." - Abraham Lincoln

What afflicts the people of the United States in these days, that they have developed the capacity not only to tolerate, but even to cherish, the blatant lies and hypocrisies, the injustices, the evasions, and of course the invasions perpetrated by George W Bush and his neo-conservative cabal? How can even conservatives themselves stomach this internationalist, interventionist, activist-court-packing, states'-rights-suppressing cat's-paw of the transnational culture of control that is the only heartfelt homeland of the corporate elite?

Yes, there is opposition, an opposition that comprises most likely a small majority of the country's people - but the supposedly "liberal" media do their best to ignore and even marginalize it, and besides, that yet leaves hundreds of millions here who work themselves into ecstasies of adulation at the words, however fumbling, of this jug-eared cipher, and into equal ecstasies of joyous indignation at the sound of any word that controverts the image his handlers project to the loving masses huddled underneath the balcony ...

Let us not put too fine a point upon it: we are in danger of reverting to fascism.

Fascism is a disease endemic in our species, a periodic fever whose tremors induce a psychosocial orgasm in its sufferers, tantalizing them with physical delusions of both security and power. Far more than its structural and functional ramifications - well illustrated by Benito Mussolini's definition of fascism as "the melding of state and corporate power" and George Orwell's fictional synopsis of a tech-enabled fascist state in Nineteen Eighty-Four - it is fascism's capacity to make a nuanced oppression seem both nurturing and empowering that makes it so dangerous. It is this nuance of fascism - more than the Big Lie techniques and the brute force fascists also employ - that makes the Bush/Cheney administration and its police and propaganda mechanisms a true threat to humanity in general and to the United States - formerly respected as an icon of liberty - specifically.

The fundamental appeal of fascism to the everyday person is threefold. It consists of:


The promise of security. Fascists typically posit threats, external and internal, that are easily identified but difficult to fight, and then promise to protect you from them - if only you will give them absolute power to do so.
Relief from uncertainty. It is no accident that Orwell had his dictator characterize himself as Big Brother. The fascist relieves you of the responsibility to make difficult decisions. You simply follow orders - given, of course, by Big Brother.
A share of strength. Most insidious, Big Brother will let you exercise power over others - as long as you exercise Big Brother's power Big Brother's way.

This last is the stroke of genius. The fascist enlists the sufferers of fascism themselves as petty dictators over those who have been designated as "below" them. And we the people are all too often eager to enlist.

As we know, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But the watered-down wine of authority is good enough for many - even the feeling that they are exercising power by proxy when they grant it to the fearless leader who leads them into endless fear.

The paradigm is nearly universal. From Josef Stalin's and Adolf Hitler's structured goonocracies to the serried pyramids of corporate middle managers, the pattern is similar: a Supreme Leader (dictator or chief executive officer); a Politburo, or General Staff, or Board of Directors, who, as cronies of the leader, pull the levers for him; a rubber-stamp parliament that always approves all proceedings set before it; a highly involved hierarchy with just enough upward mobility that you may strive a lifetime toward an ever-receding Valhalla without ultimately disturbing its present occupants; a rigid culture that prescribes behavior and in many cases (IBM, Albania) dress and appearance; and an intolerance for any deviation from the chosen definition of the Perfect Man, the Ubermensch, the Good Soldier, the Team Player. (Except, of course, by the leadership elite, who can get as wacky as they please.)

The fascist first makes us all afraid, then makes us all spies, then gives us an enemy, who has often (the Jew, the communist, the jihadi) been hiding right in our midst. And we are almost always ready to drop the dime, to swing the club.

And the definition of the "enemy" is ever-expanding. The US Justice Department, no longer living up to its name, now invokes the USA Patriot (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act against readers of dissident books, against environmental activists - though not, so far, against rich organizations with plenty of lawyers.

We know now that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism, and in fact has nurtured it. But terrorism has everything to do with justifying the arrogation of power by these most foully banal crypto-fascists in the name of protecting us against "terror" - a terror they help create by magnifying the injustices our neo-feudalist corporate culture has perpetrated on the world this century past. But we still "stand behind our president". Why?

Remember two things:
First, it is not who has power that's the problem. It's that someone has power.
Second, the founders of the United States designed inefficiency into the government precisely to prevent accumulations of power, having had immediate experience with imperial tyrants.

Beware those who would bring efficiency to government. A government that's run like a business is a dictatorship.

Richard Risemberg is editor/webmaster of The New Colonist and maintains the Living Room Urban Ecology Webzine and Forum. He lives in Los Angeles.

(Copyright 2004 Richard Risemberg.)

homepage: homepage: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/FJ19Aa02.html

bleah 20.Oct.2004 20:14

yuck yuck yuck yuck

Few people openly admit to being racists or sexists any more, at least in North America.

Racism is still hard to fight, but at least there's no powerful, well-funded "Racial Security Council" whispering in the president's ear all the time.

We need to somehow make "nationalist" another one of these nearly-universally-rejected, obsolescent terms that no self-respecting serious person would want to get tarred with.

A healthy planet is a planet with open borders and a harmonious population in some sort of state of equilibrium with itself.

That's a long way from what we've got.

What a mess.

Why Kerry a War will lose 20.Oct.2004 20:42

Red neck

Number one: He refuses to actively campaign in the African American community.
He could bring along Teresa. She thinks she's African American too, because see grew up on a plantation in Mozambique. Told the Los Angeles Sentinel, "Her black friends support her decision to call herself African American."

Kerry IS actively campaigning in the African American community 20.Oct.2004 21:14

Dan

 http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-10-05-kerry-black-voters_x.htm

Kerry reaching out to black leaders, communities
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Determined to avoid any erosion in support, Sen. John Kerry is reaching out to black voters, a core Democratic constituency, in the campaign's final month, meeting with black religious leaders and traveling with Jesse Jackson.

Too Little, Too Late "Dan" 20.Oct.2004 21:34

Kerry and Black America: Just Another Stupid White Man

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283773.shtml

John Kerry says he wants to be America's second "black president," but sadly, his record on issues of racial justice makes him look more yellow than black.

Apparently Kerry saw no irony in giving this [1992] speech on an elite college [Yale] campus before an audience which undoubtedly consisted of rich white kids for the most part. Yale's faculty is 2.8% black and 1.9% Hispanic. Fortunately, it seems Yale has not been corrupted by the wave of "reverse discrimination" that is sweeping the nation. Nor did Kerry seem to recognize any irony in the fact while he lectures poor black people about "self-reliance," Kerry has essentially never had to do anything for himself. Kerry was born into an obscenely rich family that would go on yachting trips with the Kennedys. Since he became a politician his bank accounts have been generously stocked by corporate lobbyists. He has also married some of the richest women in the world, including his current wife, Teresa Heinz. It's hard to imagine how such a person could even have a concept of "self-reliance." John Kerry preaching to poor people about self-reliance seems rather like a blind person trying to teach people about the colors of the rainbow.


makes him look more yellow ? 21.Oct.2004 03:02

objector

You mean, because he he killed some Vietnamese peasants, he thinks he's Asian-American?

in the genes 21.Oct.2004 03:06

Abolitionist

"Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road."

Voltaire

We must address the biological roots of our stupidity and suffering.

back to the article: American Fascism is genetic 21.Oct.2004 05:38

angr

it is hard to bear but the mixtures of psychopathy, retardation, machismo and death/blood frenzy that drives most Americans (read white), goes way back to the marauding vikings driven off all the lands they ever tried to conquer. It is in our genes. This is hard but we have to start admitting it sooner rather than later because there are some very basic traits there that endanger our survival, the survival of the rest of humanity and the planet's survival. What our fearful leader does to our collective ego is to raise it towards a god in order to avoid concentration on reality or truth and continue on our merry way towards an armageddon of our own making (why not if we are gods?). There is now and only now a short period of opportunity where we can shed our ill-gotten arrogance in exchange for the humility that should come from a group in humanity that has a clear disadvantage (read inferiority) in front of the rest. This we MUST deal with now if we are to regain any sanity and avoid driving our truck into the gasoline tanker. To the religious fanatics that drive this craze to the limit, this is the gene that created and feeds satan and has now placed him in the White House.

Democracies are Doomed 21.Oct.2004 05:46

so it seems

In response to the article's posit on fascism and the many names such hierarchial systems claim, these forms of government are not new. Rather, what was unique was our former republic. A limited government with restrictions on state power and the citizen as sovereign was never permitted before. The founders of the United States did in fact wonder if those who came after would be able to keep it. The acknowledgement of powerful forces that would always push against rule by individuals over themselves and their government was based on thousands of years of history. Democracies have, since Roman times, descended into dictatorship and finally violence and chaos.
So we as a people are on this most undesirable of historical patterns and where it will end does not give comfort to those who desire any measure of autonomy or liberty.

STREAM of UNCONCIOUSNESS 23.Oct.2004 13:53

monstermotion

the bushies squirming around in their new and improved friendlier
fascisim......simpleton perspectives driven by supreme directives ;
taint the atmosphere.
what are these cancerous critters that pledge their souls to this
malignant little turd ?
human beans ...? oh i suppose , but my own awareness is repulsed
by there arrogant presence.
what ever happened to the higher process of evolution ?
......peace , love , & UNDERSTANDING.......?