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A Historian Reflects on the Return of Fascism

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/06/historian-reflects-return-fascism

I can’t find the passage where this selective historian notices the pattern of sham democracy laying the groundwork for fascism’s ascent. You don’t oppose fascism by issuing stentorian proclamations about how wrong it is, but by avoiding social conditions which make it obvious the alternative to fascism has been an oppressive confidence game. Get back to work, Mister Historian. Try out the goddam library or something.


Wittner portrays today’'s US fascism as a Trump problem when it is actually a GOP problem. Those of us who have observed the rise of US fascism know that it was Saint Ronny Raygun’s 1981 ascent to the throne that launched the swing to fascism, applying the boiling frog strategy whereby each year sees a gradual rightward movement, unlike European fascism wherein soldiers in jack boots goosestepping went on stage way too early.


Well said. Death to fascism.


Trump is the symptom

From May 2019
Seth Meyers Burns Joe Biden’s GOP Optimism

“Trump didn’t change the GOP, he turned them loose,” said the host of NBC’s “Late Night.”


It’s been said that the Nazis didn’t lose WW2, they just changed uniforms.


I think you have to go back to the 1920s/30s, to the rentier class’s hysterical reaction to successful labor militancy in the US, and to the cabal–which included one Prescott Bush–who launched the so-called Banker’s Plot against FDR. There were some ardent pro-Facsists even before the war, including Henry Ford, aviation legend Charels Lindbergh, and the poet Ezra Pound.



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From the article:

“…an enormous movement arose to resist the fascist juggernaut. Led by liberals and assorted leftists around the world…”

“…millions of people, in the United States and around the globe, turn[ed] the tide against fascism when, some eight decades ago, it threatened to engulf the world.”

Wittner writes as though the tyrannies of the 1930s were defeated by a Strongly Worded Letter campaign.

The Nazis and their Italian counterparts did not relinquish power cheerfully, professor. They left only after years of intense persuasion from their neighbors.

Instead of writing Pollyanna puff pieces, you should address the important question: Are the Canadians and the Mexicans up to today’s challenge?

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Indeed. Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic tract The International Jew was an influence on Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which should tell us where some of the Nazis’ inspiration came from. Ford of course had subsidiaries (e.g., Opel) that built materiel for the German war effort and that operated throughout the war, with the Basel, Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements the intermediary for ensuring that capital circulated among Allied and Axis powers alike.

Other prominent American fascists included the Reverend Charles Coughlin, whose national radio program was heard by millions, and on which Coughlin read verbatim propaganda tracts from Josef Goebbels, and Senator Burton K. Wheeler, from whose office the American Rainbow Five victory program, the master strategy for defeating the Nazis, was “stolen” by German spies. (See Charles Higham’s books Trading with the Enemy and American Swastika.)

I can’t get to YouTube from where I am now, but it’s worth searching to see if anyone has uploaded Woody Guthrie’s song “Lindbergh,” which rattles off the laundry list of America Firsters and their fellow travelers detailed in Higham’s books (among other works).

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“We knew what we were doing. It was a visceral business of using any bastard as long as he was anticommunist.” – CIA official Harry Rositzke, quoted in Christopher Simpson’s Blowback

Allen Dulles cut the deal with Gehlen even before Germany officially surrendered. For twenty years after World War Two, the Gehlen Org was the primary source of intelligence on the Soviet Union, the irony being that Gehlen regularly overinflated the Soviet threat while his Org had been riddled with Soviet spies.

Passing through Gehlen’s outfit were such notorious Nazis including “Hitler’s Commando” Otto Skorzeny, whose postwar arms and drug dealings spanned Europe and Latin America (he was a close friend of Argentina’s Eva Peron, celebrated in the musical Evita); “Butcher of Lyon” Klaus Barbie, the counterintelligence thug who advised successive Bolivian governments facilitating cocaine traffic before eventually being extradited; and Franz Six and Emil Augsburg, two convicted architects of the Final Solution who were pardoned by US High Commissioner of Germany John J. McCloy because they were bastards who were anticommunist. (And for conspiracists, both McCloy and Dulles later cropped up on the Warren Commission.)

E.H. Cookridge, whose early 1970s book Gehlen: Spy of the Century was among the first exposes of this notoriously secretive spymaster, concludes his work by stating, in essence, that, yes, Gehlen might have been unsavory, but perhaps he was what was needed during the Cold War. Any bastard as long as he’s anticommunist.

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Fascism was never gone. The worst parts of it may not live where you do, but it’s been the status quo for a few thousand years now directly baked into the culture of western civilization’s domination and ownership ideology and imperialist dictates.

If we humans want a sharp reduction in fascist behavior and resolve the bevy of other issues that haunt us, e.g. perpetual war and environmental degradation which are also caused by imbalances in social power, then we must structurally change how we relate to the world and each other. A good start would be distributing power back to the local community level with participatory local democracy which function together similar to the Native American Iroquois confederacy.

However as long as power can centralize in a few hands that controls the fate of billions then fascism will continue to be result of human actions.


Yes well said ReasonBowl , the fastest way to move power from the select few to the many is through decentralization.
We must get rid of ownership of the resources as well.They truly belong to all the world’s people to be used wisely and not squandered.

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Fascism means “wheat-ism” or “reed-ism” derived from a logo which showed one reed of wheat breaking, and about a dozen or so just bending. Europe took that madness and ran with it. No matter how terrible, throw away all your humanity. Have no morals and do anything to win. Dali said they were the only true practitioners of surrealism, disgusting behavior led by a wandering self-serving sewer of a human mind.

Siccing mobs on people just to stay in power is no better. If you are going to go that low, why even put forth the effort.

You can mess up. You really can’t tell anyone else how not to mess up. That’s the real seat of a priori’s. Self-evidence, look at something and you just know it’s going to work. No explanation required. That’s what humans are best at.

There’s something worst out there that’s been here since prehistory. Could just be as simple as a censorship of the New World. Censors break and old world eventually gets drunk off of Rockefeller’s oil and think that’s the be all and end all. How little did they know we had an atom bomb waiting on the shelf, the roar of this beast of a sea.

They really should have left us alone.

Far away something out there sees you no different than the sun. Could be a gravitational singularity. Could also be a little bit of graphene in orbit. Keep bothering me, and you will get an answer. Keep bothering me, and you wake me up again, and this time for good.

I only wrote that because Stallman reads this and people are bothering me where I work. May I suggest a more productive endeavor in device to device communication? AppSync and the Nearby Connections API please. One client goes to another, and then all of them hit some big server, which is just another peer. That will get you what you want more than just running your mouth. Do that please and leave me alone.

Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner
Dear Sir, You appear to be living in a bubble. Whatever your references there is a huge vacuum of information there.
Remember the Ludlow Massacre a domestic massacre by the National Colorado National Guard and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company killing women, men and children who were striking for better living. April 20, 1914 the Police State used machine guns to fire on their tent city.
Ever hear of The Bonus Army of WWI veterans who were asking for what was promised them and their families ? They were treated the same as the striking workers and their families. How about The Ohio National Guard killing students at Kent State ? Fred Hampton. Sir we have been living in a police state so long no one remembers when it began but it get worse ever year and has resulted in the Propaganda Pollutions of Mass Media Brain Dead voters.

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