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Fascism is Coming Alive Again


#1

Fascism is Coming Alive Again

Eric Margolis

The wildly exaggerated threat of so-called Islamic terrorism is being shamelessly used by some western governments to boost their flagging fortunes at a time of economic malaise.

Marketing fear is a sure-fire political ploy, as the Bush administration showed. But if you think promotion of “terrorism” hysteria in order to curtail democratic freedoms is something new, have a look at Germany, 1933.


#2

The current state of war in Iraq was created by the second invasion of that country by W. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and others. I was very much against that invasion, as were many others. We did not prevail.

When he writes, "Before we launch anymore crusades against ISIS . . . " to whom is he referring as "we" ? If he is referring to the warmongers who use my tax money, then I am definitely not included, or included against my will. I hope he is not referring to himself.

For those people who have been spied on by various govt. agencies and corporate entities, fascism never left.


#3

Fascism, the anglicised Italian name for the unification of political and economic control under the same individuals, is just a more current name for feudalism, which people incorrectly think, perhaps because of Marx (the other one), went away when the source of wealth appeared to shift from hereditary land ownership to trade, which seemed until the Renaissance not to be hereditary.

So indeed it never left, and not just for the victims of spying.


#4

"In fact, ISIS appears to go out of its way to make itself hateful and repulsive to westerners."

ISIS is dangled before the masses much like a fishing lure that has all sorts of appendages. Hopefully the masses will remember the barbed hooks of Afghanistan and Iraq. Surely they did not notice Libya, Egypt, (what's left of) Palestine, pre-ISIS Syria, Yemen, Somalia, etc. I am pretty sure I know what Jefferson would have thought about the combination of democracy and television...


#5

Follow the argument down to the penultimate paragraph and you have pure unadulterated misogyny:

"George W. Bush was re-elected thanks to Midwestern soccer moms who feared Osama bin Laden was about to swoop down from the Hindu Kush and make off with their little Johnnies."

It's those stupid women who are the cause of it all!! If only they could think clearly like men.

Why is this piece published at Common Dreams?


#6

If Sinclair Lewis was alive today, he would have to write a sequel: FASCISM HAS COME TO AMERIKA!


#7

ISIS continues it's video executions knowing it will bring a military rsponse that will help them recruit more members' and our government quickly supports them.


#8

The fear mongering will never end and after ISIS there will be another boogeyman and another boogeyman ad nauseum! When all along, the #1 terrorist nation and the biggest boogeyman in the world is: the U.S.A.s foreign policy.


#9

Another indicator of fascism: its "enemies" need to be depicted as both incredibly stupid and incredibly cunning.


#10

Does anybody see anything that seems familiar below?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

by Mr. Lawrence Britt

Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forgo civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I certainly think I do!
;-})


#11

Fear produces conservatism that produces dictatorship. People react by electing more conservatives and profitable wars ensue. The oligarchy plays us like children.


#12

And demonized as incredibly evil!


#13

Thank you for quoting me...


#14

HALLMARKS OF FASCISM:

"need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny; and superiority of his instincts over abstract and universal reason.”

I seriously doubt that you give a flying fig about misogyny. Anyone who truly understood the relationship between fascism and machismo would recognize the immense value of this article and its message. Instead, feigning Feminist indignation you pull out an innocuous statement that speaks far less to any deprecation towards women and far more to the pervasive use of terror to scare parents, MIDWESTERN soccer moms, in particular.

(note the terminology--ALWAYS MALE)

Midwestern is probably a code term for either Conservative or Christian/conservative. And it just so happens that the fear meme works like a mantra to all religiously-rendered obedient folks, natural born authoritarians (or those conditioned into that same state).

Nice try...

This was a deliberate attempt to distract readers from the crux of this article while painting Mr. Margolis as clearly what he is not.


#15

Think MIC and the endless profits generated from endless war, and/or that every cowboy needs his Indian, and every keystone cop, his robber.


#16

Thank you for posting this again. It cannot be stated enough!


#17

Right, because in the long history of humanity, no one before SR ever questioned the uses of the term "we."

Unlike agriculture, which was independently invented in at least four separate places around the world, the concept of questioning "we" was developed once and only once, by SR.

Except, of course, i remember the joke we always used to tell in my family, which was widely told by many others:

Lone Ranger to Tonto:
"We're surrounded by hostile Indians! What are we going to do?"

Tonto to Lone Ranger:
"What you mean "we," white man?"

Long before i was introduced to the persona of SR via these comment threads, i had deeply internalized and regularly expressed my own approach to considerations of who "we" are, specifically with regard to expressions of national identity, but also in many other regards.

Entirely irrespective of SRs self-aggrandizing pompousness.


#18

Yup. Thanks, Eric.


#19

"ISIS thrives in the chaos and ruins caused by George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq and later campaign to subvert Syria."
Is it just that there are too many similar illegal invasions, bombing campaigns or subversions to name or how's it that Obama's Libya is left off this list?


#20

Years ago there was a poll of Americans in which certain holdings of the Bill of Rights were presented in the form of yes and no answers. Sorry can't recall specific details, but do recall that most respondents rejected most of their Rights.