Tea Party and the Second Stage of Fascism.

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Historian Robert O. Paxton identified five stages of fascism in his book, "The Anatomy of Fascism."

The stages are 1.) the creation of movements; 2.) their rooting in the political system; 3.) their seizure of power; 4.) the exercise of power; 5.) fascism chooses either radicalization, or entropy.

Fascist America: Are We There Yet?
Friday, August 07, 2009 -- by Sara

In the second stage, fascist movements take root, turn into real political parties, and seize their seat at the table of power. Interestingly, in every case Paxton cites, the political base came from the rural, less-educated parts of the country; and almost all of them came to power very specifically by offering themselves as informal goon squads organized to intimidate farmworkers on behalf of the large landowners. The KKK disenfranchised black sharecroppers and set itself up as the enforcement wing of Jim Crow. The Italian Squadristi and the German Brownshirts made their bones breaking up farmers' strikes. And these days, GOP-sanctioned anti-immigrant groups make life hell for Hispanic agricultural workers in the US. As violence against random Hispanics (citizens and otherwise) increases, the right-wing goon squads are getting basic training that, if the pattern holds, they may eventually use to intimidate the rest of us.

Paxton wrote that succeeding at the second stage "depends on certain relatively precise conditions: the weakness of a liberal state, whose inadequacies condemn the nation to disorder, decline, or humiliation; and political deadlock because the Right, the heir to power but unable to continue to wield it alone, refuses to accept a growing Left as a legitimate governing partner." He further noted that Hitler and Mussolini both took power under these same circumstances: "deadlock of constitutional government (produced in part by the polarization that the fascists abetted); conservative leaders who felt threatened by the loss of their capacity to keep the population under control at a moment of massive popular mobilization; an advancing Left; and conservative leaders who refused to work with that Left and who felt unable to continue to govern against the Left without further reinforcement."

And more ominously: "The most important variables...are the conservative elites' willingness to work with the fascists (along with a reciprocal flexibility on the part of the fascist leaders) and the depth of the crisis that induces them to cooperate."

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Comments

You know it took me having to live outside of the USA for many years to finally realize what a bizarre nation the USA actually is.

The majority of its citizens exist in some kind of ignorant bubble. Perhaps it is because the reality is too painful. Not sure exactly.

I mean I don't think the US is still as repressive as many places in the world. But seriously compared to most of Europe (for example) it just seems such a far right, fascist nation.

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G. Will says tps should pocket the win, take the deal, because on Jan 20, 2009 we were almost socialist.

Will suggested the Tea Party realize how far they’ve come from noon on Jan.20, 2009 when President Barack Obama was sworn in – a point when the country was on the brink of socialism. Now the conversation has shifted to cutting government.

“We ought to pocket these gains and prepare for the next fight – and to understand, nothing fundamentally will be changed until we change the president who is determined to veto fundamental change,” Will said.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/28/george-will-on-debt-ceiling-battl-pocket-these-gains-and-prepare-for-the-next-fight/#ixzz1TUAz6vl4

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here is a comment from the above link

I think you and I have different definitions of “compromise.” I think the compromise is that we pass any debt ceiling increase at all. Not “Are there tax increases?” Not “Are there 1 trillion or 2 trillion in cuts?” We should literally pass as many cuts as we can get away with in the House. Cut everything. Attach it to the Paul Ryan budget. Eliminate departments. Privatize Social Security accounts. Block grant medicare to the states. Anything and everything that 218 Republicans can agree on.

And if the Senate doesn’t agree, we balance the budget on August 2nd. A win-win. It would be a rather abrupt change, but I would be perfectly fine with that. And it would be their fault that it happened so abruptly.

AND if nobody can ever compromise with each other we have gridlock. And gridlock is fantastic. I pray for gridlock.

Brink of socialism to privatized everything, eliminate departments. Then to balance the budget on aug 02, cut fed spending from 25% to 14.5% [the amount of revenue %gdp] means closing 44% of the gov't. No pensions for FBI, or NSA, or Secret Service, or Coast Guard,

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Quote Antifascist:

Paxton wrote that succeeding at the second stage "depends on certain relatively precise conditions: the weakness of a liberal state, whose inadequacies condemn the nation to disorder, decline, or humiliation; and political deadlock because the Right, the heir to power but unable to continue to wield it alone, refuses to accept a growing Left as a legitimate governing partner." He further noted that Hitler and Mussolini both took power under these same circumstances: "deadlock of constitutional government (produced in part by the polarization that the fascists abetted); conservative leaders who felt threatened by the loss of their capacity to keep the population under control at a moment of massive popular mobilization; an advancing Left; and conservative leaders who refused to work with that Left and who felt unable to continue to govern against the Left without further reinforcement."

Ominous.

July 29, 2011

Republicans abandon debt ceiling vote

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives on Thursday abandoned efforts to vote on a plan to raise the nation’s borrowing authority, deepening the US debt ceiling crisis five days ahead of a possible default.

Several days of arm-twisting by top Republicans failed to quash a rebellion by conservative lawmakers, who say the plan remains short on spending cuts and lacks a constitutional amendment to force a balanced federal budget.

With markets increasingly unnerved about the lack of progress, pressure is rising on the White House to make a new effort to broker a deal, after allowing Congress to take the lead for several days.

"...failed to quash a rebellion by conservative lawmakers." Or, in the language of the original two posts, the emerging fascists.

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What the report is saying is that nothing has been fixed. Obama's efforts to reform the markets (and avert another bank run) has amounted to nothing. Shadow banking and the repo market are just as unstable and risky as ever. And that's what the debt ceiling flap is really all about. It's about a deregulated system that's been preserved because, well, because some very rich people like the way things are right now and to hell with the rest of us. That's why.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state.

I think that today there is crash in the "shadow markets” and “black pools.” Wall Street front runs the phony public stock market to protect itself. We will not get the news until it is too late...we only see the second phony stock market that will crash on Monday. The world has already figured it out.

The United States has already lost the world's trust and this debt crisis is just the terminating event. Like all fascist groups, when taking power they only focus on their nation (Sadam knew nothing of the rest of the world) and ignore the witnessing nations thinking they are not relevant--except to be dominated. Today's global financial integrated markets cannot be ignored by anyone: if a American political group tries to frighten the American people with their financial well being to extort money, they will also frighten the world markets. And our American Congressmen are going to make a stack of money in any failure so there will be a bright side to all this human carnage for them.

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Antifascist...."{Sadam knew nothing of the rest of the world)," your proof of that is what? "The world has already figured it out," has figured out what? These "fascists" of which you speak are whom exactly? Peace

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Antifascist,

You are against fascism, obviously. So am I. But what are you for?

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Spooner, why would you assume that antifascist even knows what fascism is? Peace

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Anti, that's why I quoted an out-of-the-country source (Brit's Financial Times). The article gives us some idea of what the rest of the world is figuring out as this goes.

While the fascist paradigm may hold true for what's taking place in this nation, it's worth noting that the global economy has changed since the early part of the last century. Therefore the characteristics of the fall of the American Empire may take unpredictable shapes as it goes. And who knows how that will work itself out.

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Challenge these people on the extreme right in debate. Get them out in public space, in the open. Challenge them. Let me only say one thing. If you want to challenge them, you should have been well prepared. These people are well prepared. Don’t underestimate them—point one. This has to happen all over Europe. It is not a question of just identifying cells. It’s a question of going to them personally. Get them out. Invite them into the best of our society, the open, free debate.

Head of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Bjorn Guldvog

And we have been debating.

Here is an index of my five year research on the profile of fascsim.This old board only has about two years work in the index.

And here is my 127,770 word (my posts only, not others) discussion of fascist ideologies:

My logs shows that (Post 58) is where we began to discuss Adorno’s Negative Dialectics, and from Adorno when on to (post 63) Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and an analysis of Logical Positivism. Our arguments came to definite conclusions ( this is what LeMoyne was referring to in Limit to Logic) and then we spent a number of weeks discussing Chomsky and Linguistics (Post 310).

While finishing Chomsky that were sideswiped by Thom Hartman’s book “The Prophet’s Way” that really threw this thread in a different direction starting at (Post 383).

Then we discovered to our surprise that Adorno, whom we started out with, had entitled the introduction to his book Negative Dialectics, as “A Theory of Spiritual experience” before it was changed.(Post 445). We discussed Ideological Paradigms at post (#718) that covered many epistemological questions, and then we started with St.John, Heraclitus, and Heidegger's interpretation of the concept of Logos at post (#1030).

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If people can't see that the underpinnings of fascism are already here...they can't see it. They should probably read Paxton's work on the topic...and probably won't.

Wherever it rears its ugly head, its unique to the nation that impliments it. The fascism of Chile appeared differently than the fascism of Italy. The fascism of Argentina was different in appearance than the fascism of Chile.. They all insitute an arm of a police state to jail or disappear dissidents.

The political element of fasicism in Italy was a drive to replace elected Parliaments with members representing all areas of the corporate sector. A marriage between corporations and the state..A marriage between economic power and the state.

We don't have to do that. The corporate sector is represented by lobbyists. Surrogates to an elected Congress. They write the laws....the elected government rubber stamps them. Fascism in the U.S. will appear differently. Beneath the appearances, it's all the same.

The medical care reform package was made after a White House consultation with health ins. corporations..to see just what was acceptable. PBS Frontline did an amazing story on that.

A component of fascism is a marriage between corporations and the state. In the U.S. they are already sleeping together..The Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case seems to be bestowing a blessing on the union..

We don't need yellow stars to identify scapegoats for the nations problems...we just use the color of their skin. The trillions we spend abroad to do that may one day pale in comparison to what we'll spend at home..

A population thrown into destitution needs scapegoats....or it will look for the real culprits. Fascism plays on that fervor....gains strength from it.

The elements of fascism are already in place, from the fake deficit crises to a collapsing economy to governance on the behalf of the largest corporations (including finance) to the cry for scapegoats...,

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"..

polycarp2
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Impressive. Yet somehow obsessive. A few questions if you don't mind? Why is it that you think that Sadam knew nothing of the outside world? Does fascism contain within its doctrine a strong element of religion? Why such devotion to this topic? Is there a personal connection? Peace

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Quote ymhotep:

Impressive. Yet somehow obsessive. A few questions if you don't mind? Why is it that you think that Sadam knew nothing of the outside world? Does fascism contain within its doctrine a strong element of religion? Why such devotion to this topic? Is there a personal connection? Peace

In some countries it does. The religion is co-opted. The Christian right in Germany supported Hitler. Didn't you know he was sent by Divine Providence?. The state and religion became dogmatically entertwined.

Even some of the right wing TV religions support war, assassinations and American policies of empire.. It's our "mainfest destiny. Relligion tends be authoriarian rather than democratic..There are exceptions to that.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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I have admitted the obsession already since only an obsessed person could of completed the task. The Elder Bush's CIA's psychological profile of Sadam reported his Iraqi ethnocentrism. Later a CIA psychologists (George Town University?) profiled Bush jr. as a psychopath. Nazi fascism in fact took the name of "Muscular Christianity" as opposed to the "Feminine Christianity" in which Jesus is just a nice lady with a beard (got tons of data on that in the index on fascism). Marcuse said, "Remembrance of the Fascists may give rise to dangerous insights..."

Marcuse was a member of the original “Red Rose” dissidents ( the Spartacus group founder, Rosa Luxemburg, was nicknamed "Red Rosa") in the 1930’s which was ultimately crushed by the nationalist German army and a right-wing paramilitary group called the Freikorps. Hundreds of the Spartacists where executed and their bodies dumped in a river. So Marcuse has seen the cycle of fascism.

Marcuse earned his Ph.D. at the University of Freiburg in 1922, and then studied under Martin Heidegger in 1929. During 1933 he joined the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research because the Nazis would not allow him is complete his studies under Heidegger. There is not any real evidence that Heidegger was actually a Nazi, but his name was used by the Nazis to get credibility. Eventually a semi-official Nazi philosopher, Ernst Krieck, complained of Heidegger causing him to be dismissed from The University of Freiburg in 1944 and sent to dig ditches. Bonhoffer was implicated in an assassination attempt against Hitler ,but was arrested, tortured daily in prison, and hung nude even as Germany collapsed and the Allies were closing in. Marcuse had to flee the Nazis again in 1933 and emigrated from Germany to the United States and became a naturalized citizen in 1940. While working with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research in Germany and then in America he wrote critiques of Nazi fascism-- this is while Nazi fascism was greatly popular in the U.S. among many American businessmen like Henry Ford, William Randolph Hearst, and Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA). Marcuse worked for the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) from 1942 to 1951. The OSS later became the CIA in 1947. So yeah, there was a "communist" the US Government. The CIA was paying him to critique Soviet Communism but didn't like Marcuse's conclusion that the Soviet Union would collapse before the turn of the century.

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Because Sadam was Iraqi ethnocentric does not mean that he knew nothing of the outside world. That he was a nationalist there is no doubt. He was also, most probably, a secular socialist. Sadam a fascist? Hardly, simply a dictator. Peace

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ymhotep,

Do you know anything about neuosurgery?

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Yet another lesson in "don't feed the trolls." First it's implied Antifascist doesn't know anything about the topic. Then, after a polite though unnecessary reply on his part, it's implied he's psychologically imbalanced, a neurotic, or worse, someone unbalanced, obsessed like the obsessive compulsive, operating out of a personal neurosis. And then the usual slew of questions out of which he finds one to nit pick.

Post 1:

Quote ymhotep:

Antifascist...."{Sadam knew nothing of the rest of the world)," your proof of that is what? "The world has already figured it out," has figured out what? These "fascists" of which you speak are whom exactly? Peace

The paragraph out of which she/he pulled that parenthetical comment was not about Saddam, it was about the following:

Quote Antifascist:

The United States has already lost the world's trust and this debt crisis is just the terminating event.

What happened to that issue? How does this attempt at trivial debate over Saddam relate to that issue?

Post 2, in comes the first attack on character (the tiresome employment of the ad hominem fallacy)

Quote ymhotep:

Spooner, why would you assume that antifascist even knows what fascism is? Peace

That was the one Anti replied to politely by showing the extent of discussion on the subject.

Then comes the predictable ad hom two in Post 3:

Quote ymhotep:

Impressive. Yet somehow obsessive. A few questions if you don't mind? Why is it that you think that Sadam knew nothing of the outside world? Does fascism contain within its doctrine a strong element of religion? Why such devotion to this topic? Is there a personal connection? Peace

And now with Post 4 we continue with this obsession with a paranthetical remark:

Quote ymhotep:

Because Sadam was Iraqi ethnocentric does not mean that he knew nothing of the outside world. That he was a nationalist there is no doubt. He was also, most probably, a secular socialist. Sadam a fascist? Hardly, simply a dictator. Peace

Anti, this does not demand any more of your attention, in my opinion.

The subject is in general, Robert O. Paxton's thesis about the Five Stages of Fascism.

Quote Paxton:

I propose to isolate five of them:34 (1) the initial creation of fascist movements; (2) their rooting as parties in a political system; (3) the acquisition of power; (4) the exercise of power; and, finally, in the longer term, ( 5 )radicalization or entropy. Since different kinds of historical process are involved in each stage, moreover, we must deploy different scholarly strategies in the analysis of each.

Your hypothesis, Anti, as I understand it, feel free to clarify, is that the Tea Party movement coupled with the current economic situation indicates that the United States has entered stage two:

Of course, even before he gets to his description of the stages, Paxton begins by cautioning us about the dangers of assuming fascism is an easy concept to understand. And in the dangers of oversimplicity lie the roots of the beginnings of scholarly interest, which in any case it arises could be deemed "obsessive". Thus the logical fallacy, scholars are obsessive, obsessiveness can be a neurosis, therefore scholars are neurotic.

Quote Paxton:

At first sight, nothing seems easier to understand than fascism. It presents itself to us in crude, primary images: a chauvinist demagogue haranguing an ecstatic crowd; disciplined ranks of marching youths; uniform-shirted militants beating up members of some demonized minority; obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood; and compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, pursued with redemptive violence.

Yet great difficulties arise as soon as one sets out to define fascism.' Its boundaries are ambiguous in both space and time. Do we include Stalin? Do we reach outside Europe to charismatic dictators in developing countries like Nkrumah, with his single party and official ideology of Nkrumaism, or Saddam Hussein, gigantic statues of whose own forearms raise crossed swords over a Baghdad avenue? What about imperial Japan in the 1930s or the nationalist syndicalism of Juan Peron in Argentina (1946-55)? How far back in time must we go? If we choose to trace a conservative pedigree, we may reach all the way back to Joseph de Maistre, whose dark vision of violence and conspiracy in human affairs and conviction that only authority could repress human destructive instincts offer a prophetic glimpse, according to Isaiah Berlin, of twentieth-century totalitarianisms of the Left and the Right.3 If we prefer to trace a lineage within the Left, drawing on the Enlightenment's own perception that individual liberty can undermine community, some have gone back as far as Rousseau.

It appears Anti, that you have failed miserably to present your six or seven years worth of research in all its complexity for those who do not really care about the topic, but are much more concerned with making a fool of you. The Catch 22 of that being that doing so will kill off the interest of about 99.9 percent of all those reading the board and the thread on this topic will simply go ignored. This of course has always been grist for the troll mill, where derailment of any attempt at intelligent discussion is one of the primary objectives. (Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation and Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist offer some insights for anyone interested in this process.)

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Back to Sara Robinson and the appeal to spirituality

The Karmapa: Tibetan Buddhism's Next Great Leader?

When asked about what it is about Buddhist teaching that inspires his environmental activism, the Karmapa says that is an easy question:

"In Buddhism we aspire to benefit all sentiment beings. If we have any opportunity to give happiness or well being then we take it with delight and enthusiasm. The environment is the source of life for not only human beings, but all living creatures in the world. Therefor if we respect and protect the environment we bring benefit to countless sentient beings. This is what in Buddhism we call practicing the perfection of skillful means. While we might be able practice generosity by giving a donation to a person in need, that is a very finite act of altruism. But if we protect areas such as the snow mountains of the Himalayas and the rivers that flow from them then we will be nourishing a source of life and vital support for countless fish, and humans and other beings. Caring for the environment is a wonderful opportunity for Buddhists to care for sentient beings - one simple action can benefit so many and is the essence of practicing the Mahayana quality of great compassion."

The Karmapa's role as a spiritual teacher is of special interest to the growing number of people in the West who are seeking Buddhist wisdom and Dharma, or teaching. A major question for many of these Buddhist practitioners is how to authentically understand and practice a tradition in the West that has such deep roots in the Tibetan plateau. The Karmapa does not gloss over the challenge:

"The Buddha's teaching were allowed to take root in Tibet in an isolated context, undisturbed, and almost in secret for over 1,000 years. Because they were not distracted by external busyness, the Tibetans were able to deeply immerse themselves in the teachings and develop very strong habits of the practice. The broad and open spaces of Tibet offered an environment where people could rely on the spiritual methods in a strong way. The West is different. In the distractions and crowds of the cities there is not as much time to practice spiritual traditions in same way, and so maybe there is a challenge to allowing the teachings of Buddhism to take root here in a deep way."

I reserve the right to be spiritual without having to be religious.

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Anti, commrnt #15 muscular christianity, reminded me of Israel's cultural/societal adoption of muscle Jewry, after statehood. Hebrew was the language of muscle Jewry, Yiddish was associated with the passive european submissive Jewry.

Similar to that was Black Pride, Black adoption of African names and push for some recognition of history other than Eurocentric. Malcom X , Louis Farrakhan were not of the passive Ghandi tactic for change, culturally, or in civic challenges.

-christian-themed-ethics-training-missile-officers/ or christian missileers I'd say could be considered muscular christianity.

wo Types of Justice Concerning War:

The Catholic Church distinguishes between two types of justice concerning war: jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Most of the time, when people discuss just-war theory, they mean jus ad bellum (justice before the war)—the four conditions by which we determine whether a war is just before we go to war. Jus in bello (justice during the war) refers to how the war is conducted once it has started. It is possible for a country to fight a war that is just, and yet to fight it unjustly—by, for example, targeting innocent people in the enemy’s country.

The Four Conditions for Jus Ad Bellum:

The current Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2309) defines the four conditions for determining the justice of a war as:

  1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  3. there must be serious prospects of success;
  4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.

These are hard conditions to fulfill; the Church teaches that war should always be the last resort.

Jus in bello would make Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki hard to justify. W's Iraq didn't have a single one of the four in Jus Ad Bellum. But congress afraid of being on wrong side of an easy win after HW Bush's show, were an automatic vote for it , just or not, political quetions were not in St Augustine's pillars of justice. Will it get me reelected if we wipe them out, just or unjust be damned...muscular christianity.

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Your attempt at intellegent discussion is an ad hominem attack on anyone you preceive to be a troll? How sagacious of you.

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No, but I can identify a jackass when I see one. Got any mirrors in your house?

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Quote Antifascist:

Fascist America: Are We There Yet?
Friday, August 07, 2009

To sort of recap and maybe see if there's something to discuss here, that first post and your quote comes from Sara Robinson's three part series written in August of 2009, a year before the 2010 election, two years before now, where we are witnessing the smallish cadre of extremists elected sort of at the pressure of the Tea Party arm of the Republican Party holding the nation hostage over a dire economic issue, the nation's ability to pay its debts, essentially.

August 11th she published part two: Fascist America II: The Last Turnoff

August 27th she published part three: Fascist America III: Resistance for the Long Haul

First of all I want to raise the issue of what it is she's concerned that we are about to lose. In the first installment, towards the end she has a few paragraphs regarding "The Road Ahead" where she sets off what's in store against what we are about to lose, in her opinion:

Quote Sara Robinson:

History tells us that once this alliance catalyzes and makes a successful bid for power, there's no way off this ride. As Dave Neiwert wrote in his recent book, The Eliminationists, "if we can only identify fascism in its mature form—the goose-stepping brownshirts, the full-fledged use of violence and intimidation tactics, the mass rallies—then it will be far too late to stop it." Paxton (who presciently warned that "An authentic popular fascism in the United States would be pious and anti-Black") agrees that if a corporate/brownshirt alliance gets a toehold -- as ours is now scrambling to do -- it can very quickly rise to power and destroy the last vestiges of democratic government. Once they start racking up wins, the country will be doomed to take the whole ugly trip through the last two stages, with no turnoffs or pit stops between now and the end.

What exactly are "the last vestiges of democratic government"? That's a question I've been pursuing for quite some time, actually. Some of my own conclusions are that modern democracies in global nation states of what we delicately call developed nations are masks for an elite management consortium, where figureheads out of an elite class manage the various nations and their interconnected economies, with a heavy emphasis on economy. These figureheads can be labeled conservative or liberal, but for the most part their lineage can be traced through uppercrust educational institutions and the like, and with that we have revolving doors through upper management in the top private collective organizations (nominally called corporations), the military upper command structure, and government bureaucracies. At the federal level in the United States those bureaucracies are under the direction of what has become an increasingly institutionalized Unitary Executive, and we are seeing a continuation of that trend with the Obama presidency. The body populace is a more than less passive receptor to the national media's characterizations of this organizational structure, and dutifully, after much hoopla, gets to cast a vote in favor of various carefully vetted and selected figurehead who will have the populace's supposed legitimized collective will behind them to make the appropriate institutional decisions, supposedly within some legally defined constraints. In the private tyrannies, the corporations, this form of democratic legitimation is relegated to paid stockholder members, while by many it's also considered a form of democracy, not a tyranny. I think that's questionable. Robert Dahl has identified the characteristics of this current global nation state governing system and labeled it "Polyarchic Democracy."

In general when we talk about being democratic we are not talking about full participatory democracy, we are talking about something where representation takes the place of an individual's full participation. For the most part most of us play the role of passive legitimizers. The result of that, in an existential sense, can be devastating. I believe we've touched on that potential in our long discussion about the effects of neoliberalism on another thread. I'll just allude to that, and the dangers of thinking politically in the abstract about matters that are in the end very real to each of us.

So, clearly, what Sara presents is an abstract formulation of a changing political governing form of polyarchic democracy to fascism. And she is picking out the current grass roots turned what I would call astro turf movement, the Tea Party movement, as the indicator of a national process moving the nation closer to a fascistic form of governing control. And I'm sitting here wondering, how is that so different from the form of control that has already crept over this nation in especially the last forty years? Sheldon Wolin characterizes our current condition in his book titled: Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. When you add all the features of modern propaganda techniques under the management of these major corporations who own and control our media, when you look at the in depth analysis of our current state of affairs related to that written by people who step out of the mainstream of propagandized thought, like Chris Hedges and his recent devestating analysis of the demise of the liberal class in Emire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and The Death of the Liberal Class, it seems to me we are already into a form of fascism, and what Sara Robinson was writing about two years ago was more like its symptoms -- a result of an already happened condition than the harbinger of one to come. As Robert Paxton is careful to point out, the route to fascism in any given country will be characteristic of that country, not necessarily characteristic of past routes, such as Germany's or Italy's, our most notable examples.

These are, in essence, slippery concepts where I perceive that dogma must be carefully set aside if we are to see clearly what is taking place. So I was wondering what you (Anti or anyone) thought about that...

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Who's really worried about fascism when our republic has been turned into a dictatorship of the oligarchy? When big money (the wealthy elite) sets the agenda, buys off the political players and controls all of the levers of power, does it actually matter whether they are Fascists, Communists, Capitalists or Socialists?

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ymhotep
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I know, I'm wicked.

Re-reading Sara Robinson's essays Fascist America I, Il, lll, one can now see how important Tea Party phenomenon appeared. Many others were already suspicious of the political party that sprung up overnight with plenty of resources. But the is the way it works, we can apply concepts beforehand to help identify the type of fascist ideology is being applied and the predictable events and arguments that will be presented in the future by the media, politicians, spokespersons. But we really don't know the meaning of historical events until after they occur.

"When philosophy paints its gray on gray, then has a form of life grown old, and with gray on gray it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known; the Owl of Minerva first takes flight with twilight closing in."
-G. W. F. Hegel, "Preface," Philosophy of Right

I think the profiling method of identifying fascism based on structuralist interpretations of historical events is superior to any intentionalist theories of fascism.

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Antifascist
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Ok, I'll agree that Sara Robinson's structural profiling analysis though flawed on some counts was prophetic in 2009. I think we could do with another one here in 2011. Are we in Stage Three or Stage Four? In my opinion Stage Five will come after the next election.

Take the deficit deal that just went down. What does it actually mean in terms of the victory of the extreme radicals Sara was warning about before the 2010 election and this fascist profile she structured using Paxton's model? First thing I notice is they did not cave in to accomplish a deal, they got much more than they wanted using brash, brutish negotiations on the order that any fascist in the past century could admire. They even make the Bush Administration's arrogance look mild mannered. This smallish band of radicals who are essentially the Twenty First Century Brown Shirts for the corporatocracy remains standing tall in their malevolent stew of irresponsibility.

Quote Sara Robinson in II The Last Turn Off August 2009:

How do we turn back? A few basic principles:

First: The teabaggers must not win this one. Back in elementary school, most of us learned that when a bully learns that intimidation and threats work, he'll will keep doing more of it. In fact, the longer he goes without comeuppance, the bolder and badder he becomes, and the harder it is to make him stop. Every success teaches him something new about how to use terror for maximum effect, and tempts him to push the envelope and see what else he can get away with. Do nothing, and he'll soon take over the whole playground.

They did win that one. And they have learned intimidation and threats work.

Here's from a well known and much hated "lefty" (in actuality a moderate centrist) opinionizer in the New York Times providing a devastating critique of Obama and the just done deal:

Quote Paul Krugman:

Republicans will supposedly have an incentive to make concessions the next time around, because defense spending will be among the areas cut. But the G.O.P. has just demonstrated its willingness to risk financial collapse unless it gets everything its most extreme members want. Why expect it to be more reasonable in the next round?

In fact, Republicans will surely be emboldened by the way Mr. Obama keeps folding in the face of their threats. He surrendered last December, extending all the Bush tax cuts; he surrendered in the spring when they threatened to shut down the government; and he has now surrendered on a grand scale to raw extortion over the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here.

As I keep attempting to demonstrate in my discussions, the structural form for fascist control has been in place for quite some time because of the nature of modern nation states as they have evolved and adapted to the industrial revolution. The abbreviated version involves acknowledging this illusion of democracy that is predominant in the form governance, with its polyarchic management by the elite, which, given the circumstances of modern technological societies, inevitably opens the doors to the monied influence that is the basis of corporatocracy once a significant enough portion of a population is convinced that homo economicus is the future stage in evolution for mankind. The libertarians are the most extreme version of that mentagenetic mutation, and we can see that libertarians were the foundation extremists of the Tea Party even before the great influx of mentally malleable, uneducated masses began to join, and we have the Cato Institute founders, the Koch Bros, behind the scenes, funding and influencing it today, undoubtedly using their think tank to wage all sorts of propaganda wars all over, especially on the Internet with an army of trained trolls I'd venture, probably even here, on this site. If these foaming at the mouth radicals can be dominating enough the naturally passive and reasonable members of society may and probably will stand by while they take over.

With the structural form in place, all that's required is an attitude by a significant minority core to complete the full fledged fascist form. And when a nation only has two parties to work with, that can be an extremely dangerous proposition.

Quote Sara Robinson in I Are We There Yet:

The Road Ahead
History tells us that once this alliance catalyzes and makes a successful bid for power, there's no way off this ride. As Dave Neiwert wrote in his recent book, The Eliminationists, "if we can only identify fascism in its mature form—the goose-stepping brownshirts, the full-fledged use of violence and intimidation tactics, the mass rallies—then it will be far too late to stop it." Paxton (who presciently warned that "An authentic popular fascism in the United States would be pious and anti-Black") agrees that if a corporate/brownshirt alliance gets a toehold -- as ours is now scrambling to do -- it can very quickly rise to power and destroy the last vestiges of democratic government. Once they start racking up wins, the country will be doomed to take the whole ugly trip through the last two stages, with no turnoffs or pit stops between now and the end.

the corporate/brownshirt alliance is no longer scrambling for a toehold.

Quote Paul Krugman:

In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.

I guess if reasonable polyarchic democracy is a "vestige" of democratic government, then that's what is in danger of being destroyed. The next election presents a bleak picture. Undoubtedly the first term Democrat will be the Democrat's offering for the next. That leaves the extremists offering as the other option. Obama has proven over and over that he is incompetent in the face of this movement, if not complicit.

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.ren
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"Obama has proven over and over that he is incompetent in the face of this movement, if not complicit." ren

Based on his history of political and adminstration appointments, as well as his actions...it looks like the latter rather than the former.

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norske
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Quote norske:

"Obama has proven over and over that he is incompetent in the face of this movement, if not complicit." ren

Based on his history of political and adminstration appointments, as well as his actions...it looks like the latter rather than the former.

I agree.

The man is too intelligent to NOT understand the nature of his actions.

He is the biggest plant from the corporatist elites.

Dominic C
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Quote norske:

"Obama has proven over and over that he is incompetent in the face of this movement, if not complicit." ren

Based on his history of political and adminstration appointments, as well as his actions...it looks like the latter rather than the former.

and

Quote Dominic C:

I agree.

The man is too intelligent to NOT understand the nature of his actions.

He is the biggest plant from the corporatist elites.

O.K., and obviously I alluded to that. But let's set the conspiracy angle aside for the moment and look at it from a structural angle. The structural angle includes the notion of institutional programming and how that results in the formation of people's attitudes. Another term for that might be "sociological propaganda". In that sense, elite Universities might be seen as a form of institutionalized sociological propaganda that favors attitudes of the elite class in the nation.

In his interview this morning on the Deficit Deal (two parts, about 50 minutes total), founder and Editor in Chief of Truthdig.org made just that point at about 11:00 minutes into the first segment. He points out that Obama is the product of a meritocracy system and compares him to Bill Clinton, both of who went through a training, education process that makes them forget their background. Now that's debateable but I think it's worth a shot to consider the power of brainwashing.

Also, an institutional argument of this sort dovetails with Chris Hedges' analysis of the Death of the Liberal Class, and in that analysis he includes a systematic analysis of the abject failure of especially the upper crust universities -- like Harvard, Princeton and Yale -- to maintain a healthy and balanced liberal perspective in their education process; and it's out of these elite institutions that the polyarchic ruling elite are generally vetted and picked for management.

Let me also raise the possibility that sophistication and intelligence are not necessarily coincidental. Sophistication is more a result of a kind of cultural immersion, an in-life teaching process, so that a relatively intelligent person, through the benefits of a now institutionalized meritocracy that allows people from less financially endowed classes into the traditionally wealth-oriented private universities, may get through the elite educational system with high honors and yet not have the corresponding sophistication to recognize a certain imbalance in the meaning of what has been taught. I think it's fair to say that sophistication would be difficult in nature to measure. We have to use our intelligence to read between the lines in hopes of seeing if it is there or not. In reading between the lines, I see that Obama could be a plant as suggested, or he could be an intelligent, well meaning guy who is unsophisticated, and worse, no longer aware of what he should have learned from early experience. Of course, either way we are screwed.

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.ren
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Quote .ren:

We have to use our intelligence to read between the lines in hopes of seeing if it is there or not. In reading between the lines, I see that Obama could be a plant as suggested, or he could be an intelligent, well meaning guy who is unsophisticated, and worse, no longer aware of what he should have learned from early experience. Of course, either way we are screwed.

The other possibility that I used to think (and is indeed quite possible) is that he understands the consequences but has become complicit because not from the lack of sophistication but rather the complete lack of courage.

His fear of the corporate elitists is so great that he has essentially become a whimp that has been beaten into submission by the schoolyard bully.

Considering he is such a egghead, this is still a strong possibility.

I would wager though that it is one of the three and as you say we're screwed no matter what.

Perhaps our Whimp in Chief has not heard of this gentleman below:

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
Nelson Mandela

Dominic C
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I don't disagree with the possibility you raise, Dominic. But the two other options offered besides the one I've identified tend towards an "intentionalist" explanation. Yet, I still think there is something similar to consider in what Anti expressed in terms of the possibility of this trend towards a fascist state:

Quote Antifascist:

I think the profiling method of identifying fascism based on structuralist interpretations of historical events is superior to any intentionalist theories of fascism.

I personally tend towards an institutional and structural analysis over personal indictments. I think we can learn so much more by examining the structure of the system we are in itself over trying to place blame on individual actuaries.

First of all, I am not at all sure the system is well designed.

I can see that the system is designed to produce an abundance of individuals who will perpetuate its problems and it is also designed to get the worst of us into the positions to make decisions. I think there's a really good chance given the upcoming challenges to the economic basis of the system I can foresee -- energy decline, environmental degradation, climate changes that may be far worse than we imagine -- that this fascist governing style may indeed be coming to our nation.

And, second of all, if it's structural, then I'm not sure how much difference a Dennis Kucinich or a Ralph Nader could make. The system itself has its own ontology that supercedes any individual or group of individuals decision-making. Given that I ask: what can I do?

An honest "I don't know" seems a really good place to start. Its very much like an open mind.

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.ren
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I don't see it as a "conspiracy", I see it as Obama being Obama. President Obama is getting exactly what he wanted...he just happened to want the same things as most of the GOP did. If people are surprised by this giveaway...they simply haven't been paying attention to what Obama has been saying, who he has been appointing, or how he has been acting for the past 5 yrs. or so.

Obviously the system is broken...has been since its inception. And within certain parameters it really doesn't matter much who the president is as a president of the people would never be allowed a seat at the table.

I see the gloves coming off during the Reagan era as far as the fascists coming out of the closet and doing out in the open that which they used to do behind closed doors. Since the early 1900's they have been pressing and jabbing...looking for weaknesses to exploit so to speak. Sometimes they have gone too far and have had to pull back for a spell. I thought that they went too far with the WMD fiasco and would have to step back...got that wrong big time.

What Prescott Bush attempted in 1933 with the failed coup against FDR has finally succeeded.Prescott Bush and Louis Powell would be proud....

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Quote norske:

I don't see it as a "conspiracy", I see it as Obama being Obama. President Obama is getting exactly what he wanted...he just happened to want the same things as most of the GOP did. If people are surprised by this giveaway...they simply haven't been paying attention to what Obama has been saying, who he has been appointing, or how he has been acting for the past 5 yrs. or so.

I agree. You weren't here when I started threads about Obama during the run up to his nomination for the presidency. I focused on his advisers (like Zbigniew Brzezinski) and his other corporate system characteristic behaviors. Except for polycarp the reaction was that he was simply a guy looking to be inclusive of all points of view, but once elected the true Obama would come out and step up for what he believes in. I'm sorry to say it has. Incidently, at the same time we had a bunch of wack jobs on this site calling him a socialist which really polarized the debate and made that kind of critical discussion difficult if not impossible.

The elite corporatists like the Bush family have had a lot of time to prepare for this go around since 1933. They've learned a lot, they own a lot more of what influences the public mind. And the public itself has been heavily indoctrinated into the system and propagandized out of their independence of mind. I think the gloves came off after the Powell Memo in 1971 which sets out the blue print for much that took place once they got Reagan in office. As one example from that run up to Reagan, I believe a Koch Brother along with Edward Crane started the Cato Institute in the mid to late seventies.

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.ren
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One lesson, never ever cut taxes, once you have a rate that in combination with pay/go reduces the deficit, leave it. Surpluses should then go into an infrastructure bank, and cannot pay for military adventures for the boys that want to play soldier, or war games.

As it is now, wars were started and waged, not paid for. Some nutcases come in and still don't want to pay for them, so they take the money from the savings of the population [fica trust], which just happens to be savings that rich don't contribute to.

Precedent, [as set in 2011] wars will be paid for by the elderly and poor, but enrich oil magnates, and arms dealers.

Is there any figure that could primary Obama? When the bush tax cuts expire there will be a decade of growth, but who will be the beneficiaries? Tea parties will not be primaried, but could be beat in general. So a democratic house, a republican president, and senate that will not be 60 votes either way. The fourth turning will get us some nazi like christie, or walker, or jeb.

Mike Whitney "it's worst deal in american history"

Obama's Big Payback to Wall StreetThe Worst Deal in American History?

By MIKE WHITNEY

Is Obama's debt ceiling agreement the worst deal in US history?

Probably. But not for the reasons that are presently being discussed in the media. What makes the deal such an unmitigated disaster is that it strips congress of its Constitutional authority to control the nation's purse-strings. That authority will be handed over to a bipartisan committee that will decide how to slash $1.5 trillion from the budget in order to reduce the deficits. But, since the committee will be evenly comprised of Republicans and Democrats, there's bound to be disagreement about what programs should be cut. This is all by design, because if the committee is unable to decide where the cutbacks should be, then the decision will be made for them via an "enforcement mechanism" that will require across-the-board spending cuts.

Pretty sinister, eh? It's is a backdoor way of repealing Congress's primary authority while making austerity the default position of the US Government. Whenever in doubt, "Cut spending". Naturally, the GOP refused any agreement that would involve new taxes.

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douglaslee
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Quote douglaslee:

One lesson, never ever cut taxes, once you have a rate that in combination with pay/go reduces the deficit, leave it. Surpluses should then go into an infrastructure bank, and cannot pay for military adventures for the boys that want to play soldier, or war games.

As it is now, wars were started and waged, not paid for. Some nutcases come in and still don't want to pay for them, so they take the money from the savings of the population [fica trust], which just happens to be savings that rich don't contribute to.

Precedent, [as set in 2011] wars will be paid for by the elderly and poor, but enrich oil magnates, and arms dealers.

Is there any figure that could primary Obama? When the bush tax cuts expire there will be a decade of growth, but who will be the beneficiaries? Tea parties will not be primaried, but could be beat in general. So a democratic house, a republican president, and senate that will not be 60 votes either way. The fourth turning will get us some nazi like christie, or walker, or jeb.

Good points doug. The point about the elderly and infirm funding war will be especially true if they cannot pay back funds borrowed from FICA and if eventually the extremists who have been trying to kill off this worker-funded safetynet succeed. We all will be elderly some day, the majoritiy of us who are not wealthy will pay, in many ways. (Wars tend to enrich the various magnates, grain, oil, you name it, and of course arms makers and dealers).

Now, what stage of fascism would you say this represents? Is it the road to fascism or a dying imperial elephant's last staggering gasps before collapse?

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.ren
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Krugman says a banana republic comes next [republic is always shouted loud when I try to bring up democracy] so banana republic it is, with private security forces like Hitler, Franco, Paraguay [not sure about]

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.

The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.

Regional neo-fuedal, regional banana republics, regional fascists. Hawaii is pretty stable, and advanced safety net. Alaska is the most socialist state in the union.

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douglaslee
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Excellent points here guys. One point I would like to make is that extreme political views like fascism tend to creep in slowly, with hardly anyone noticing. Those who do notice might be considered paranoid or crazy.

This reminds of the story of what happened as Germany became more and more comfortable with its fascism: (paraphrased from memory) ---- "First they came for the Jews, then the homosexuals, then the gypsies, then the Jehovah's Witnesses, and when they came for me there was no one left"

I know that this paraphrase is very poor, I need to reread the original. However it shows the essence of how things gradually happen, and by the time you notice, it is too late to do anything about it.

micahjr34
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Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

First They Came .... poem by Martin Niemöller

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

-- by Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came....

Wiki gives a fuller account of controversies over the wording: First They Came...

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.ren
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Quote .ren:

First They Came .... poem by Martin Niemöller

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

-- by Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came....

I don't know who they are going to start with first, but at this rate it's not if they come for us but when...

Dominic C
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I'm not entirely sure who "they" are at this point.

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.ren
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Tragic and frightening at the same time...

micahjr34
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Quote .ren:

I'm not entirely sure who "they" are at this point.

This may be the scariest part...

Dominic C
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Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

One thing also I am going to do is to not let myself like or dislike entire groups too much. That is how the NAZI's gathered so much power so quickly, they demonized some groups and made others to look like saints. One thing I can do to fight this is to avoid condemning or praising a single group for anything.

micahjr34
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Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

The Black Judas, Obama, has just ran a knife through the heart of the Progressive movement. But wait, there is more. A speacial event to celebrate the betrayle--Congressperson Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the face by a insane person that the Republican party aggitated for months, just voted to gut social security the coming years--in other words, she shot us in the face. Thanks Gabrille. Thanks Obama.

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Antifascist
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I saw that. National Headlines last night on various sites. Propaganda again. The specter of spectacle from the Democrats.

What I'm wondering is what Gabrielle even comprehends of what she signed.

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.ren
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It's all part of the New World Order's plan.

26 Tenets of the New World Order:

1) Men are inclined to evil rather than good.

2) Preach Liberalism.

3) Use ideals of freedom to bring about class wars.

4) Any and all means necessary should be used to reach their goals as they are justified.

5) Believe their rights lie in force.

6) The power of their resources must remain invisible until the very moment that they have gained the strength so that no group or force can undermine it.

7) Advocates a mob psychology to obtain control of the masses

8 ) Promotes the use of alcohol, drugs, moral corruption, and all forms of vice to systematically corrupt the youth of the nation.

9) Seize citizens’ private property by any means necessary.

10) The use of slogans such as equity, liberty, and fraternity are used on the masses as psychological warfare.

11) War should be directed so that the nations on both sides are placed further in debt and peace conferences are designed so that neither combatant retain territory rights.

12) Members must use their wealth to have candidates chosen to public office who would be obedient to their demands, and would be used as pawns in the game by the men behind the scenes. The advisors will have been bred, reared, and trained from childhood to rule the affairs of the world.

13) Control the press, and hence most of the information the public receives.

14) Agents and provocateurs will come forward after creating traumatic situations, and appear to be the saviors of the masses, when they are actually interested in just the opposite, the reduction of the population.

15) Create industrial depression and financial panic, unemployment, hunger, shortage of food, use these events to control the masses and mobs, and use them to wipe out those who stand in the way.

16) Infiltrate Freemasonry which is to be used to conceal and further objectives.

17) Expound the value of systematic deception, use high sounding slogans and phrases, advocate lavish sounding promises to the masses even though they can’t be kept.

18) The art of street fighting is necessary to bring the population into subjection.

19) Use agents as provocateurs and advisers behind the scenes, and after wars use secret diplomacy talks to gain control.

20) Establish huge monopolies towards world government control.

21) Use high taxes and unfair competition to bring about economic ruin by controlling raw materials, organized agitation among the workers, and subsidizing competitors.

22) Build up armaments with police and soldiers who can protect and further the New World Order's interests.

23) Members and leaders of the one world government will be appointed by the director of the New World Order.

24) Infiltrate into all classes and levels of society and government for the purpose of teaching the youth in the schools theories and principles known to be false.

25) Create and use national and international laws to destroy civilization.
26) Use estrogens & femicals to drive males gay and the female population insane thereby insuring the destruction of the family, hence more governmental dependency.
The whole debt crisis is the way the NWO is going to get their fascism in America with the idiot Tea-Partiers going right along with it.

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Lon-Paul
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If she didn't know what she was voting on....well...that's normal for some in Congress. So she is a hero for being a passive target, and condemening millions of old, young, and sick to poverty is also a heroic act. Congress is full of heros and saints--that 's why people are dying by the millions.

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Antifascist
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Quote ymhotep:

Impressive. Yet somehow obsessive. A few questions if you don't mind? Why is it that you think that Sadam knew nothing of the outside world? Does fascism contain within its doctrine a strong element of religion? Why such devotion to this topic? Is there a personal connection? Peace

Of course there's an element of religion or, at the least, dogma. In Germany the religions were Catholicism/Lutheranism and Aryan supremacy. In the US, it will be a version of christianity coupled with the preservation of American (white) culture.

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D_NATURED
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We are way, way, way pass that in both theory and historical events. The fascists don't need the presidency to rule, just a weak or cooperative president, and rule from the corrupt courts--the Law is a Whore.

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Antifascist
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26) Use estrogens & femicals to drive males gay and the female population insane thereby insuring the destruction of the family, hence more governmental dependency.

uhhh...I have to say, of all of the paranoid items listed, this one is the most humorous. What are "femicals" and why would men be driven gay by them? Did the NWO hit San Francisco first?

I'm also unsure about many of the other items including "preach liberalism". If that were a sign of the new world order, Jesus would have been it's founder. Hey, maybe we're on to something. Who else has tried harder than his followers to actually take over the world? Hmmmm....

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D_NATURED
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Quote Dominic C:
Quote .ren:

I'm not entirely sure who "they" are at this point.

This may be the scariest part...

And that may indeed be a natural characteristic of fascism itself:

Quote Robert O. Paxton:

The fourth stage-the exercise of power-is conditioned by the manner in which fascism arrives in power. The fascist leaders who have reached power, historically, have been condemned to govern in association with the conservative elites who had opened the gates to them. This sets up a four-way struggle for dominance among the leader, his party (whose militants clamor for jobs, perquisites, expansionist adventures, and the fulfillment of elements of the early radical program), the regular state functionaries such as police commanders and magistrates, and the traditional elites-churches, the army, the professions. and business leaders.52 This four-way tension is what gives fascist rule its characteristic blend of febrile activism and shapelessness.

The tensions within fascist rule also help us clarify the frontiers between authentic fascism and other forms of dictatorial rule. Fascist rule is unlike the exercise of power in either authoritarianism (which lacks a single party, or gives it little power) or Stalinism (which lacked traditional elites).54 Authoritarians would prefer to leave the population demobilized, while fascists promise to win the working class back for the nation by their superior techniques of manufacturing enthusiasm. Although authoritarian regimes may trample due process and individual liberties, they accept ill-defined, though real, limits to state power in favor of some private space for individuals and "organic" intermediary bodies such as local notables, economic cartels, families, and churches.

Some interesting points to consider in that passage. Fascists' "superior techniques of manufacturing enthusiasm" can go back to the early part of the 20th Century when the Wilson Administration put the Creel Commission to work manufacturing consent for the war. If you read Hedges Death of Liberal Class you will see he traces its death back to that Commission and the way it rallied the working class to war while at the same time pretty much killed off a very vibrant working class movement which was trying to get some share of the enormous wealth the elite capitalist class was raking in, with a flavor of communism and socialism thrown in. In the Twenties Walter Lippman is credited with the phrase, "Manufacturing Consent" while recognizing that propaganda had already become a regular organ of popular government.

Chomsky and Herman borrowed Lippman's phrase for the title for a book about national propaganda techniques. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

As to "while fascists promise to win the working class back for the nation by their superior techniques of manufacturing enthusiasm"... I believe the tea party is composed in significant proportions of the working class, and many are asking: "why are these peoples so willing and ready to cut their own throats?" ... or something to that effect. Couple with that all the anti unionism going around these days and we have some inkling of these fascistic features already upon us. But also I note that they have been here awhile. Which brings me back to an original point I made about the prevalence of polyarchic democracy in modern self identified democratic nation states.

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It’s Time for Bill O’Reilly to Get Real about White Privilege

It’s time for white America to get real about white privilege. Last night, Bill O’Reilly came from back vacation early to host a special edition of “The Factor”, one that he said would “tell the truth” about what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri.

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