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Frank Zappa Warns of Fascist Theocracy

In 1986 Frank Zappa told it EXACTLY like it is in defense of our freedom of speech.
In response to the attempts to ban certain lyrics in rock music, Frank Zappa appeared on Crossfire in March 1986. He spoke with intensity, reason, and great power on the ridiculousness of paranoid conservatives in their attempt to censor free speech.

In the course of the conversation, Zappa eloquently pointed out the greatest DANGER in America: FASCIST THEOCRACY.

Here is a transcript of the exchange on Fascist Theocracy:


John LOFTON (Washington Times): Our families are under attack from people like you with these lyrics.

Frank ZAPPA: Could I make a comment about National Defense: the biggest threat to America today is not communism. It's moving America toward a fascist theocracy. And everything that's happened under the Reagan Administration is steering us right down that pipe.

Robert NOVAK: Oh, mr Zappa...

ZAPPA: Yes, MISTER Zappa...

NOVAK: Do you really think...I mean...

ZAPPA: I really think!

NOVAK: All kidding aside. Is this country, with the permissiveness, that we are moving toward a fascist theocracy?

ZAPPA: You bet we are buddy.

NOVAK: Do you things that things like this would ever have happened...

ZAPPA: Give me that famous smile, buddy.

NOVAK: When we were twenty, when we were kids... you're about my age?

ZAPPA: I'm forty-five.

NOVAK: Well, I'm fifty-five. Do you think that when I was a kid that they would permit songs like that to be sold. I mean permissiveness is a game. I mean you're not really serious if you saying we're going toward a fasist theocracy.

ZAPPA: That's right we ARE!

Tom BRADEN: Wait a minute, give me one example of a fascist theocracy.

ZAPPA: When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion, and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very very right wing, almost toward Atilla the Hun...

LOFTON: Well then you are an anarchist. Every form of civil government is based on some kind of morality Frank.

ZAPPA: Morality in terms of behavior, not in terms of theology!

LOFTON: well of course, but look, I mean, I couldn't believe in terms of your lyrics, I mean, uh....

NOVAK: Wait a minute gentlement, we have to take a break now.

homepage: homepage: http://www.ifilm.com/viralvideo?ifilmid=2658805

Don't eat that yellow snow! 21.Dec.2004 09:38

Homer J.

Rockstars... Is there anything they don't know???

Hehehe... 21.Dec.2004 10:14

Tony Blair's dog

I never listened to Frank Zappa back in the days,
but now that I am older his scrutinizing of reality
shines bright like a badass industry laser.

viva la revolution 21.Dec.2004 10:23

The Patriot Guy

To all of you greenies, anarchists, sluffers, stoners, progressives, liberals, ie great folks:

Thanks to Frank Zappa for coining the term Fascist Theocracy.

It does no good to talk about the revolution, you need to sit up straight, use your folk correctly and quit swearing. Ask yourself, how have the Fascist Theocrats managed to take power with only 18% of the population? The process hasn't been overnight. They started by placing people in EVERY "meaningless" office. It has taken the Fascist Theocrats 30 years to take over the Republican Party. Do we have that kind of patience, or do we want instant gratification?

They infiltrated the press. They studied language and how to manipulate people.

We the people have a choice. We can either co-op the tactics of our enemy, or we can continue to eat their @#$%. Sitting outside the game and screaming "no fair" is not going to get the job done. We can not free our country by being outsiders.

The Fascist Theocrats have an Achilles' Heal and that is Jesus. In my conversations with Fascist Theocrats, (I will not call them Christians), I have noticed that they can not have a discussion centering on Jesus' teachings and actions. Read Matthew, Mark and Luke. If you have no additional interest, skip the rest.

The revolution starts today and it starts with every ounce of our energy going into building a foundation. Here my ideas as to places to start:

Run for office, ESPECIALLY uncontested ones.
Adopt a symbol. The Republicans have the flag, the demos have the flag light. It needs to include the flag, but be different.
Start producing a product, and barter.
Stop eating fast food, (who gets your money?)
Stop drinking pop, (who gets your money?)
Stop doing heroin and cocaine, (who gets your money?)
We need a common name. We can argue ideology, methodology and all of the rest of the happy horse doodoo until they round us up and put us on the train. Or we can pick an umbrella word. How about Patriots.

I love all of you.

The Patriots... 21.Dec.2004 12:52

Tony Blair's dog

I like that.

rrrrrr 21.Dec.2004 13:53


"We the people have a choice. We can either co-op the tactics of our enemy, or we can continue to eat their @#$%."
False dichotomy.

'false dichotomy'. ok, now what? 22.Dec.2004 02:46


well, it's pretty easy to dismissively say 'false dichotomy'. apparently it is less easy to offer a supporting argument or an alternative approach. look, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to shit on anybody. But it seems to me that while 52% of the country is in lockstep, the other 48 is splintered into innumerable competing factions. Part of the reason for this is the tendency of various types of ideologues on the left to alienate one another. As in any other subculture, participants dispute one another's authenticity and commitment to the 'cause'. Let's be honest, too many people treat political activism like some damn punk-rock posturing contest. Well, guess what. I don't care if you sold Ian Mackaye his first Sex Pistols album, if you lived in a squat with Wattie, or if you shot dope with Darby Crash. I also don't care how much more righteously radical you are than anyone else. This are difficult days. Many people are taking an interest in politics for the first time. Quite clearly, given the left's history of failure, none of us has the answer. What we need is meaningful, INCLUSIVE dialogue, not the flippant dismissal of those whose ideas fail to be adequately extreme to satisfy some standard.
Look, I understand. People are angry. People are hopeless. People are confused. It feels good to chant an inflammatory slogan. It makes things less difficult conceptually to view the cops as the inhuman henchman of a corrupt and evil regime, especially in that if you then set yourself in opposition to them it automatically puts you in a morally comfortable position of righteousness. You can get in their face and scream 'pig'. You can tell them you don't recognize them without their sheets. But guess what, they are humans. And not only that, they are blue-collar workers whose economic interests, like yours, are contrary to the policies of the current administration. That means they are getting shit on too. But of course we have no interest in finding common ground with them. Similarly, it is easier to imagine that people in the 'red states' are simply backwards, inbred bigots whose ideas must be discounted and shouted down than to face the idea that they are by and large decent human beings, living everyday lives, who must now be reached out to rather than further alienated if there is to be any hope of positive change in our country.
How much more true this is, then, within the left. We would do well to replace disdainful, arch-intellectual one-liners with genuine constructive dialoge. It would help us all to forego the ego-fulfillment that some derive from viewing themselves as more legitimately radical than others, instead excersizing the intellectual flexibility to mediate our positions enough to build bridges between the more moderate and the more extreme among us. The alternative is further fragmentation and ever-increasing impotence and paralysis. Put another way, you may be able to tell me that 2 plus 3 is not 7. But unless you can tell me what 2 plus 3 *does* add up to, we both fail. Sorry if this came off as a rant; again, I don't mean to attack anyone. But I am upset and frustrated by the social mechanisms crippling and dividing the country as a whole, the 49%, and most especially those within that 49% with an interest in political activism. And I think this goes hand in hand with a culture of radical negativity that is quick to point out what must be torn down and opposed without a candid and realistic appraisal of what should be promoted in its place. For anyone who bothered to read this to the end, thanks for your time and flame away. good evening.


Kudos for Fester 22.Dec.2004 07:51

The Patriot Guy

Don't stop flaming on, as you have articulating the left-out position far better than I could.

The left-out need to figure out how the game is being played before they can put together a large enough movement to stop "Them" (Theocratic Hilter Emulating Morons). The revolution is on the way, and while the parrots of the amerikan myth don't want to address it, If we can not put together a peaceful revolution, the violent one is sure to happen.

And just ask yourself who dies first in a violent revolution? Its the pacifists, communists, gays, stoners and intellectuals; ie the people who participate in indymedia.

yeah well 22.Dec.2004 10:08


"well, it's pretty easy to dismissively say 'false dichotomy'"
Yes. Yes it is. But I wasn't being dismissive, I was simply pointing out a falsehood in your argument. You claimed that there were only two options available, and that is simply not true. For someone who talks about seeing the big picture, you don't seem to.
"...pacifists, communists, gays, stoners and intellectuals; ie the people who participate in indymedia.
WTF? How could you possibly know this to be true? Participants in Indymedia span the entire spectrum of the world population. You can't limit us to five categories just because you may happen to belong to those categories. Sorry, try again, please stop projecting.

So what is your option 22.Dec.2004 10:55

The Patriot Guy

Sorry that when I mentioned 85 yr olds, 14 years, pacifists, communists, gays, stoners and intellectuals, that I some how left out clamydia's demographic. My point wasn't to indentify each and every people that the fascists will come after, only that if history is a guide, then the intellectuals and "different" people will be targeted.

While on the subject of my only offered two choices, clamydia's critique of me offered zero choices. Thank-you so much for your enhancement of the big picture, it was so enlightening.

Oh now I get it 22.Dec.2004 11:34

The Patriot Guy

Violent revolution is an option. How stupid of me to not see the big picture.

Personally, (not projecting) I support the Gandhi/Jesus/MLK form of pacifism. I also think that violent confrontation is a quick adrenaline rush, but the masses will oppose this and little will be gained (projecting or postulating, help this middle class white former republican Christian out).

The coming revolution, fueled by fundamentalism and peak-oil, is going to be a big mess regardless of tactics (my opinion). While it is fine and dandy to trash mouth "Them" (come on now clamydia, not even a chuckle), "They" (theocratic heresy emitting yuppies) are armed and watch TV news. A brick through a starbucks is not going to change this.

My earlier humble post was just some ideas that (I think) the left-out need to incorporate.

re patriot guy 22.Dec.2004 11:41


Why are you being so defensive? I never mentioned the words violent revolution.

I give up 22.Dec.2004 13:23

The Patriot Guy

Why so defensive? Gee I don't know, maybe I offered (what I thought was) a decent observation and received in return an assault upon my critique.

Since I clearly have no understanding on how to address the social crisis which Mr Zappa so rightly observed (my opinion), maybe clamydia needs to add (her/his/whatever) opinion on how to address the issue, rather than "WTF ... Sorry, try again, please stop projecting"

ugh 22.Dec.2004 14:23


Relax, friend. Just because I criticized a few little things you said doesn't mean that I'm dissing your entire post. You're overreacting.

which leads me back to my original post 22.Dec.2004 15:54

The Patriot Guy

Which leads me back to my original post. Please feel free to offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Zappa called it correctly, and it is up to the people who see the coming Theocratic Fascist State to fiqure out how to come together and combat it. My take is that we need a multi-pronged approach: media, political, economical, social, and spiritual. As a starting model, I would use the early Black Panthers. It wasn't until the Black Panthers achieved a curtain level of success that the FBI infiltrated them and the violence began.

I say as a starting point, much like the neocons use Nazis as a starting point. The effectiveness and shortcomings of the BPs needs to be integrated into the umbrella strategy.

Also back to my earlier post, the democrats are ripe for a revolution. They know their approach is a loser, they know that "democrat" has come to mean quitter and wimp and they are desperate. Of course the democrats have been compromised, but so have every other group, including the greens. And my apologies to the greens, but what have you guys won lately.

The revolution won't be easy and they control the best tools. As much as Nader is a folk hero, "they" have demonized Nader, much like "they" demonized the Back Panthers. And if "they" can't demonize you, there are always plane crashes and suicides.

But "they" are not a monolithic indestructible deity, and it is up to the left-outs to seek out and exploit their weaknesses. That is why I interjected reading Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is not up to the leader of the left-outs, whether Cobb or Nader or DK, but rather in the vain of anarchy, we are all leaders of the left-outs.

I commented previously that we can learn from our enemy or we can eat their @#$%. The religious reich is not a 49% near majority, but rather a 18% screaming minority. From this small noisy minority, they have managed to steal control of our country. Maybe I am wrong, but the tools of this minority are proving to be more effective than the left-out's tools.

a bridge is required to find common overriding threats 22.Dec.2004 22:31


The right has constructed through co-option of the 'left' in such matters as gun control and abortion, the true false dichotomies that are used by the enemy.
We should remember to use the truth that applies to all of us as prey. They are above the law, feed off of us and extra judiciously kill us. That resonates. All roads from that fact leads to the realization of exactly who has their boot on our neck. The ones who own the system.

ahem 22.Dec.2004 22:41


further thoughts and rants.

He's Right 23.Dec.2004 06:33

Darth Rumsfield

Zappa had it right. Smeagol now leads this country with his own corporate-centric interpretation of Christianity. That's a fascist theocracy. The 80% of us who happen to disagree with this strange combination of Liviticus and Walmart need to get off our bu**s and vote these freaks out before they TOTALLY consolidate their power.

Fascist Theocracy - An apt term for what some seek 26.May.2005 08:35

Steven Bleichmann jack_large@yahoo.com

I recently began thinking of what some people on the extreme right are advocating as "theocratic fascism," then realized that "Fascist Theocracy" would be a more apt term. I googled the term to see if it had been used to describe what I'm seeing as a trend in today's society, as the religious right gains an ever more alarming hold on the grass roots as well as the leadership of the Republican party. I got a lot of hits, this Indymedia article among them. I was disappointed that I wasn't the first to use the term, but glad at the same time that others are seeing the same trend in American politics...although I'd be happier if such a trend didn't exist...Hell, I read Zappa's book several years ago. Maybe his term just stuck in the back of my mind and now that what Fallwell calls the "Silent Majority--" a minority by every measure--is becoming anything but silent his words have come back to me.

While I don't believe that the mainstream of the Republican party would stand for a move to fascism if they recognized it as such, there are those who call themselves Christians (a minority of Christians, I believe)--that advocate Brown-shirt tactics against people on the left who don't keep their mouths shut. Even Hitler had to tell the Brown Shirts to chill on the violence when the Nazis first took over because they were making the party look like nothing but a bunch of thugs. Of course, the behavior of the Browns in the Reichstag didn't do much to make anyone think otherwise. I just don't understand how these people (the few on the far-right advocating brown-shirt tactics) reconcile their hateful rhetoric and incitement with the teachings of Jesus himself.

I hope no one's posted this yet. This is a great article (blog) on the topic of Fascist Theocracy.


Hot Rats! 17.Nov.2005 18:03

Father O'Blivion

I think that Frank is right (as he usually is). I'm with him all the way, especially on the whole right-wing, religious moral code deal. Religion has no place in politics, because it usually doesn't benefit anybody buy those who are from that religion....
Just because the Bible says so, doesn't mean it's absolute and the "right" way things should be done. I mean, most of the Bible anyway is people listening to God or other people and getting fucked over or killed!

Fascist Theocracy can blow me...