Fascism imploding or How the Neo-cons and Neo-liberals have lost the cold war
This article looks at the Cumulative effect of both US economic and foreign policy on the future of the US. The reversal of the cold war by the US refusal to pull back from an arms race no one else was running. And the juxtapostion of US policy with historical patterns associated with Fascism
In the year 1985 the leadership of the former Soviet Union began to recognize the damage the arms race had been doing to their economy and sought to withdrawal. Rather than embrace this practical step back from insanity, the Reagan administration slowed the process of ending the war on the bases of forcing the Russian to embrace a US style economy. As Soviet leaders did more to pull back from the arms race Reagan and Bush continued to push costly programs such as the Strategic Defense Initiative (AKA Star Wars.) Even after the Malta meeting when George H. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev made a joint statement officially ending the cold war, the economic interest of the Military industrial complex continued the arms race. Early attempts to divert the large amount of resources to address social issues, such as better education and universal health care, faltered as Pentagon threaten base closing rather than reduce the Lion's share of cash flowing into the corporate sector. The war on drugs became the outlet to condone continued use of the US military, as well as military aide, to third world countries. This course was not fundamental altered during the Clinton administration. The return of the Bush family dynasty brought with it a passionate return of the cold war as it became the objective of the US military to be able to conduct two major wars simultaneously in both hemispheres. While pursuing this massive increase of an already outrageous budget, the George W. Bush administration brought the country to the brink of an economic crisis just waiting to crash down on the American people.
Then the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Towers allowed that massive military to be deployed. Afghanistan presented a target that, while certainly connected to the Al Qaeda, that had long been of strategic interest to the the US. Many people make the connection between war and oil in the Middle East, but a true understanding needs to grow from knowledge of the role oil plays in maintaining the strength of the US economy. The US controls oil and foreign countries, for half a century, need us dollars to buy oil. This is just what allows the US government to float it's obscene deficit while other countries buy US treasury bonds in order to purchase the oil needed to maintain their petrol based economies. An Afghanistan pipeline would allow international access to the Caspian oil reserves that would be under US control of the US oil industry. This was at the heart of the US support of the Taliban when it seemed the right wing law and order regime might succeed stabilizing the Afghanistan under a dictatorial system. Despite the fury and anger of the American people, and the Crusader posturing of the Bush administration, it is questionable our country would have rushed to war had the Taliban succeeded in a final triumph over the northern Alliance. As we all know the Bush administration did not stop their but rather lied in order to lead the American people into a second war, aimed at seizing the Iraqi Oil fields. Even more insanely The Bush administration threaten more wars, targeting both Iran and North Korea, saber rattling that was supported by Neo-liberals such as Ms. Clinton, who even criticized George Bush for not taking a stronger position against Iran.
This move represents a major paradigm shift governing the nature of US imperialism. Until this time the view of the Pentagon was that traditional warfare was not economically profitable or sustainable. Economic imperialism, through institutions including the World bank, International Monetary Fund, and multi-national corporations that exploited cheap labor while becoming the dominate force in third world economies. Military aspects of imperialism shifted to proxy countries whose US trained military are often more loyal to the US than their own people. Wars fought by US forces tended to be quick actions, gaining a quick victory. A victory that was either total or of enough strategic significance to force quick successions at the bargaining table. More background information in this is the nature of the arms industry and the needs of armament self-sufficiency. The research, development and production of arms is an initial cost that must be spread over the entirety of production. If you spend a billion dollars developing an advance weapon system, then produce a thousand such weapons then the cost of the R&D is one hundred million dollars per weapon, while if you produce a million the R&D cost is only a thousand dollars. Even with a military the size of the US, it is difficult to remain self sufficient without selling some of the weapons to foreign countries. Further the US could insure military dominance by controlling the level of technology it supplies to foreign countries so as to maintain a combat edge over it's customers. The invasion of Iraq represent a return to direct conquest based imperialism that had been abandoned after proving it's disastrous nature in the two world wars of the early 20th century.
This is at the heart of US Fascism. While most Americans refuse to even recognize US imperialism, and even the US left shies from using the F word, the US does manifest a number of Fascist tendencies. As my step-father was so fond of saying, you can no more be a little fascist than a little pregnant. It is more than time for Americans to look at the Fascist nature of the US in terms of a historical understanding of what fascism is rather than one based on wartime propaganda and leftest name calling. Fascism derives it's name from the bundles of sticks that in Roman culture represented the concept of imperium or the right to rule an invaded land as extended by the Roman Senate to a Imperator. These bundles of sticks as a representation of military authority by the bars worn by Lieutenants and Captains in most modern Armed forces. It is from the concept of imperium that the world imperialism is derived, and we can see the continuum of this concept in such Imperial apologies as the white mans burden. While only a ancient prototype of fascism, we can see the beginning of fascism when imperium was extended to Imperators over the fatherland, creating a military state. This military state avoided a permanent war economy because it's military strength was not built on industrial might. It's military was surprisingly cheap with a total manpower of approximately 250,000 at the hight of it's power. The advance technology the military depended on was roman engineering and a road system that only improved the economy. Considering some 54% of our GNP goes to military spending, and the ties in between the military industrial system and the oil industry that provides the fuel for a modern military, it is not possible to say the same. So compared to ancient Rome we are closer to fascism because we do have a permanent war economy. We do not have direct military rule, but this could not be said of Fascist Germany or Italy either. Although a war veteran Hitler was not in the military when he came to rule or afterwards. Although he wore a uniform while in power, his military experience was as an enlisted man in the trenches during the four year of the war. He did were a Military Uniform while in office, but then so has president Bush who never saw warfare first hand. German fascism was not military rule, Militaristic rule by a corporate state. That corporate state needs profits, and to maintain those profits, that corporate state needs both war and oil. It also needs an industrial infrastructure dependent on either a strong economy or material gains in conquest. This returns us to the current wartime situation and how it has effected both America's military might and it's economy.
The US has failed to convert the conquest of Iraq to the successful plundering of it's resources. The US invasion tore down the centralized dictatorship that was maintaining a brutal but firm stabilization of the country. The US invasion may have displaced that dictatorship, but failed to replace that dictatorships role in maintaining order. The US did not bring democracy, it did bring chaos and the collapse of infrastructure and institutions that maintained if not a successful economy at least a sufficient one. While the gain, and we are talking about the gain necessary to sustain a fascist state, did not come the cost was immense and continues to grow. Having already destabilized the domestic
economy with unnecessary tax cuts to the rich, The Bush administration maintained the economy by artificially generating the housing industry, keeping a low prime rate to spur housing starts. Although many American's live in substandard housing, and the shortage of affordable housing within the reach of working and lower middle class Americans the artificially driven industry did nothing, and continues to do nothing to address these needs. The profit of selling one high end house between the half million and million range is more than selling many houses affordable by working people. The result of this is two fold, every time an overly expensive house is sold, it pushes up the cost of the housing around it
up, and the industries insistence on high end housing requires a focus on pushing consumers to buy the most expensive house they can. This creates the so-called housing lust, a misnomer indicating a desire arising from the passion within the consumer rather than the industry. Even as mortgage failures have begun a global financial crisis, and despite the growing shortage of low cost housing, the industry continues to build exclusively high end housing further digging themselves into an economic pitfall. This situation provides a strong incentive for other countries to buffer themselves from the collapsing US economy by ending their dependence on US dollars. It only requires the Russians to begin selling oil for rubbles to allow a mass international sell out of US treasury bonds to insure a depression The US may never recover from. Nor can the blame for unsound economic policies of the housing industry be solely place on the Neo-conservative or Republicans as municipalities across the country see growth and new housing starts the vital force in motoring their local economies. Even as the housing industry falls deeper into recession housing starts continue to be high end driving the industry down further.
In the meantime the Iraq war has scene a wide scale capital depreciation of it's vast investment in a two hemisphere military. In Iraq equipment is both used more frequently and under harsher conditions. It is very likely that even if the war ended soon the equipment will be degraded, perhaps to the degree that it isn't even worth transporting back home. No doubt the hawks of our nation will want it replace, and as likely they still expect the rest of the world to finance that expenditures despite both the growing advantages and feasibility of buffering themselves from our fiscal madness by no longer investing in our economy. With our economy in shambles, our expensive military reduced to junk, and are control of oil reserves slipping we could easily end up losing the cold war by continuing to fight it. Although with Peak Oil and Global warming the victory may be short lived, Khrushchev prediction of burying the US may still be true as we sink into a less than first world economy.
The point about fascism may seem yet to be proven, as most people associate fascism with genocide and totalitarian control of thought. Many feel American's are incredibly free, to free to be called fascist. Before we go their let look at some features that our more structurally related to fascism. Hitler's entire rule was an emergency one, the constitution was in effect but the enabling act allowed it to be discarded. As early as the Roosevelt administration the constitution was being undermine by administrative agencies that bi-passed the checks and balances of the constitution. Extensions of the executive branch these agencies were given the power to write legislation that have the force of law, the power to enforce those laws, and internal review process that served as a judicial process. The executive branch had begun giving powers to agencies that it did not itself possess. How this legalistic concern materialize into a visible problem can be seen in the attempt by congress to control corporate labeling that misrepresent their products in the 90's. After the law was passed their was high spirited hope by nutritionist and other health care specialist as they waited for the new regulations to be writen based on the law. The shock came when the FDA used their mandate to attempt to disassemble the health food industry, requiring congress to scramble in order to write legislation to protect that industry as the corporations were allowed to continue misrepresenting their products. Throughout the 80's the bill of rights took a beating as both republicans and democrats took aim on rights of their own choosing. Some democrats might balk on this, but no real democracy has ever existed without the right to bare the arms of the day. Even if that were not the case, they could hardly be expected to defend rights attacked by the republicans while at the same time attacking other rights guaranteed by the same document. More recently the patriot act, Guantanamo, attacks on Habeas Corpus all undermine the constitutional government do to emergency conditions as embodied by the war on terror, the latest continuation of the cold war.
Where is the mind control of totalitarianism, how about the fact that long after the rest of the world knew Iraq had nothing to do with 911 most American's still believed this was true? In the years immediately following the conquest of Iraq many American's were convinced that weapons of mass destruction had been found? Still not satisfied? How about the recent study by Duke Universities Dan Ariely and researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding the Placebo effect? In this study 85 percent of the volunteers who were given sugar pills purported to be pain relieves costing $2.50 said they felt less pain, while only 61 percent of those given sugar pills purported to have been marked down to ten cents felt relieve. As one visitor from the former Soviet Union once said, both the US and the Soviets had propaganda, but the people of the Soviet Union recognized it as propaganda. Which country then is more totalitarian in the control of the thoughts, understandings and opinions of their population?
That leave the question of Genocide. Yet Genocide has never been a necessary prerequisite to Fascism, neither Franco or Mussolini saw the need for antisemitism to create or maintain a fascist state. If we compare US fascism to Fascist Spain or Italy, we can find ourselves closer to German standards than we like to admit. Certainly the attack on the Hispanic work force of industries depend and the global assault on the Islamic fate is questionable, the regular displacement of poorer American's by gentrification, or the disproportionate incarceration of African American's are all questionable practices related to genocide, but the soundest claim toward an American's created genocide comes from a sector that might surprise many. Those who consider themselves left of center and concerned about both the earth, yet still refuse to forsake imperial privileges. Bio-fuel has already begun to satiate American fuel consumption at the cost of third world bellies. The Mexican staple tortillas has risen 100% in price as a result of bio-fuel. As Castro pointed out in his April third Granma article, the world surplus of grain after filling human needs is 80 million tons while the bio-fuel needed to replace 20% of the west dependence on petrol would be 500 million tons. Three Billion human beings are endanger of death generated by an American greed and selfishness. Genocide enough?
Beyond on this the pattern we are now seeing proves fascism exists in America. The permanent war state, that needs not only to maintain profits but increase them. The economy that can't pull back from a mad suicidal pace is the final proof of American Fascism. Nor will are upcoming elections set us free, as no candidate elected will truly seek to end the war.
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