Henry A. Wallace, 33rd U.S. Vice President, On Fascism In America.

71 posts / 0 new

Henry Agard Wallace(October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–45), the 11th Secretary of Agriculture (1933–40), and the 10th Secretary of Commerce (1945–46). In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party.

The Danger of American Fascism

Henry A. Wallace

An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.

From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 259.

1. On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write an article answering the following questions:

A. What is a fascist?

B. How many fascists have we?

C. How dangerous are they?

2. A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.

3. The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.

4. The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

5. If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

6. American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

7. The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.

8. Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.

9. Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after "the present unpleasantness" ceases:

10. The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest boast play Hitler's game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by giving currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.

11. The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

12. Several leaders of industry in this country who have gained a new vision of the meaning of opportunity through co-operation with government have warned the public openly that there are some selfish groups in industry who are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage. We all know the part that the cartels played in bringing Hitler to power, and the rule the giant German trusts have played in Nazi conquests. Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.

13. It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology facilitates dictatorship. What we must understand is that the industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us. The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was Mussolini's vaunted claim that he "made the trains run on time." In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and defeat. It was Hitler's claim that he eliminated all unemployment in Germany. Neither is there unemployment in a prison camp.

14. Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to "make the trains run on time." It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as scientific research and inventive ingenuity outran our ability to devise social mechanisms to raise the living standards of the people, we may expect the liberal potential of the United States to increase. If this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.

15. The worldwide, age long struggle between fascism and democracy will not stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan. Democracy can win the peace only if it does two things:

A. Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that both production and, especially, distribution can match in their power and practical effect on the daily life of the common man the immense and growing volume of scientific research, mechanical invention and management technique.

B. Vivifies with the greatest intensity the spiritual processes which are both the foundation and the very essence of democracy.

16. The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men deny. This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. Until democracy in effective enthusiastic action fills the vacuum created by the power of modern inventions, we may expect the fascists to increase in power after the war both in the United States and in the world.

17. Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.

18. It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the common sense of common men and "with malice toward none and charity for all" go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Comments

'It Can Happen Here'

March 09, 2007

Joe Conason has already had an enviable authorial career. The Hunting of the President (cowritten with Gene Lyons) is really the definitive text on the Clinton impeachment saga and is even still a monument to the kind of skeptical journalism that is, sadly, practiced still in only a few quarters. Big Lies was a similarly worthy addition to the library of texts documenting the voluminous mendacity of movement conservatism.

His most recent -- It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush -- takes Conason to another level: It's a genuinely important book, perhaps the most important to be published this year.

The subject of It Can Happen Here -- an obvious play on the title of Sinclair Lewis' anti-fascist novel It Can't Happen Here (discussed previously at this blog here) -- is the growth of authoritarianism, both among leaders and followers, embodied by the American conservative movement. It has real significance for our national discourse, both for the short and long terms.

As Conason puts it in the book's introduction:

Bolstered by political impunity, especially in a time of war, perhaps any group of politicians would be tempted to abuse power. But this party and these politicians, unchecked by normal democratic constraints, proved to be particularly dangerous. The name for what is wrong with them -- the threat embedded within the Bush administration, the Republican congressional leadership, and the current leaders of the Republican Party -- is authoritarianism.

The most obvious symptoms can be observed in the regime's style, which features an almost casual contempt for democratic and lawful norms; an expanding appetite for executive control at the expense of constitutional balances; a reckless impulse to corrupt national institutions with partisan ideology; and an ugly tendency to smear dissent as disloyalty. The most troubling effects are matters of substance, including the suspension of traditional legal rights for certain citizens; the imposition of secrecy and the inhibition of the free flow of information; the extension of domestic spying without legal sanction or warrant; the promotion of torture and other barbaric practices, in defiance of American and international law; and the collusion of government and party with corporate interests and religious fundamentalists.”

These issues have been raised before, most notably by John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience, which for all of its virtues also fell somewhat short in fully confronting the implications of the depths that it plumbed -- particularly in recognizing the fascist shape of the shadows within those depths.

Conason, as the book's title suggest, does not shy away from this discussion but confronts it directly -- observing that George W. Bush's campaign for the presidency and subsequent reign has more than a passing resemblance to Buzz Windrip's. Lewis's famous aphorism -- "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross" -- is in fact reflected in the entire appeal of the modern conservative movement. Whereas Dean believes that fascism is a long ways from manifesting itself in America, Conason recognizes unflinchingly that fascist elements long latent in the American psyche are coming increasingly to the fore.

He explores the trends enabling these elements in subsequent chapters: the unprecedented power grab of the executive branch under Bush, the willing complaisance of the corporate mainstream media as an administration mouthpiece, the unholy marriage between the corporatist and religious right, the Nixonian viciousness at play in the administration's radical theories about executive power.

All of these subjects have been explored in some depth on an individual basis previously (see, for example, Glenn Greenwald's superb How Would a Patriot Act?), though even in these areas Conason brings a great deal of fresh reportage to the table here, notably in exploring the roles played by neoconservatives such as Leo Strauss and Michael Ledeen in transforming the conservative movement and its agenda. Where It Can Happen Here excels, however, is in wrapping these threads together into a cogent portrait of an American body politic in real danger of being overwhelmed by the worst of human nature.

What sets Conason's book apart particularly is its initial focus on an aspect of conservative rule under Bush that has gotten all too little attention from his peers in the press and among the pundits -- namely, the effects of a state of perpetual war, as now exists in the form of the "war on terror," on democratic institutions and subsequently on the ability of democracy itself to survive. James Madison's warning -- "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare" -- rings with a specially ominous note in this context. Most of the first chapter, titled "The 'Post-9/11 Worldview' of Karl Rove," explores not just the Machiavellian motivations for those in power to encourage a constant state of national fearfulness, but also considers its broader effects on the mental and political state of the nation.

It should be noted that this aspect of Conason's text, which predicates much of the argument that follows, has been conveniently overlooked almost entirely by his critics, including Jacob Heilbrunn's review in the New York Times which dismisses It Can Happen Here as needlessly alarmist:

“ It's also the case that Conason's alarmism inadvertently buys into Bush and Cheney's own hokum by attributing a kind of implacable and infallible power to the administration. Whatever its intentions, however, the hallmark of the administration hasn't turned out to be Machiavellian cunning but sheer ineptitude. Rather like the American cold warriors who insisted that the Soviet Union was vying for world domination even as it was going poof in the late 1980s, Conason seems reluctant to recognize that the conservative movement has been heading toward collapse. Far from consolidating a right-wing dictatorship, Bush's actual political legacy may well turn out to be resuscitating American liberalism.”

Heilbrunn, a noted neoconservative himself, is like nearly every supposed "serious thinker" on the right side of the political aisle these days -- so eager to escape the contagious necrotic effects of George W. Bush's political agenda that he concocts a kind of reinvented history that paints Bush as simply incompetent and not so Machiavellian, as though the two traits were somehow mutually exclusive when in fact they were deeply symbiotic in creating the Bush malaise. It's what Digby calls the "incompetence dodge":

“ Incompetence has nothing to do with it. In fact, they are quite competent at doing exactly what they want to do --- gain power, do whatever they want for a few years, lose office, harrass Democrats rinse, repeat.”

The seemingly twinned notions that Bush was insufficiently conservative or failed to carry out the neocon agenda to every jot and tittle are simply, purely, 180-degree revisionist nonsense. At every turn, Bush adhered to conservative-movement dogma, shaped by neoconservatives, in nearly every regard. Likewise, the concomitant claim that Bush has somehow killed the conservative movement -- which, despite these easy characterizations, actually has a continual ability to come back from the dead that would make Freddie Krueger proud -- seems to have emerged from a Bizarro Universe oblivious to the reality that Bush's Iraq "surge" and his executive-branch power grab are simply proceeding apace, as though the 2006 election had no meaning whatsoever.

What Heilbrunn's review reflects, moreover, is one of the key points of Conason's warning -- namely, the complicity of the major mainstream media, particularly organs like the New York Times, in enabling the metastasis of the authoritarian cult called the conservative movement. Rather than employing someone not from a sector singled out for criticism in the book -- a description that does not fit the neoconservative Heilbrunn -- the Times' review section picked someone almost certain to deal the book a negative review. I suppose this represents an improvement of sorts -- neither The Hunting of the President nor Big Lies were deemed worthy of review in the Times, which in the case of the former particularly reflected the overpowering arrogance of the "Paper of Record."

The media's complicity lies mainly in ignoring the deeper implications of the nature of conservative rule in America. Fortunately, there are still reporters like Joe Conason out there doing the jobs we're all supposed to be doing.

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

From Point 11:

"They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest"

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It is in the nature of the powerful and wealthy that they want to sustain their wealth and achieve the best possible circumstances for future wealth accumulation, often without concern for the human suffering they cause. The business establishment of the U.S. was in despair when FDR turned left in order to combat the Great Depression and within a short few months organized a coup attempt aimed at overthrowing FDR in favor of a fascist government, a little known fact that has escaped the notice of school book publishers. The Morgan and DuPont business empires were the instigators. They attempted to recruit General Smedley Butler to lead the coup. Butler had been selected because of his status as a war hero from WWI, and he was popular with the troops which would come in handy in the coup attempt. Unfortunately for the plotters, Butler had no intention of cooperating. He pretended to go along with the plan in order to gain evidence later to be turned over to Congress. What the business men proposed was dramatic: they wanted General Butler to deliver an ultimatum to Roosevelt. Roosevelt would pretend to become sick and incapacitated from his polio, and allow a newly created cabinet officer, a "Secretary of General Affairs", to run things in his stead. The secretary, of course would be carrying out the orders of Wall Street. If Roosevelt refused, General Butler would force him out with an army of 500,000 war veterans from the American Legion. The plotters confidence was relayed to Butler: "You know the American people will swallow that. We have the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everyone can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second..."

At the appropriate moment Butler revealed the details of the coup before the McCormack-Dickstein Committee of Congress, but it turned out that the businessmen were correct. They did have the newspapers, and the power to make sure that the final report was white-washed and suppressed. The elite media failed to pick up on what had happened. Butler, appalled by the cover-up, tried to get the story out but with little success.

http://www.newsfocus.org/1934_us_coup.htm

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Fox is fascist news, and the same thing is easily accomplished today. Romney is a stooge, but nobody cares. The media recognizing the stupidity of the populous is and has always been their business model, or principal. Romney plans on increasing military, Simpson Bowles wanted to cut it, Romney wants to voucherize VA benefits, all the cheaper to conduct war. He will attack anyone Halliburton wants & GE, & Pratt Whitney & Boeing....a draft will restore full employment.

Syria attack [for humanitarian concerns] brings Russia in, the country mittler thinks is our most dangerous enemy.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Henry A. Wallace in The Danger of American Fascism:17. Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.
Over a year ago I watched a 20-minute video about Henry Wallace, with the title The Organization Men, on the LaRouschPAC website.

It broke my heart to see how brilliant patriot Vice President Wallace, who should have been the next US president after Roosevelt, was ousted by the fascists (London and US oligarchs, and Wall Street) and hand-picked minion Truman was installed in Wallace's stead.

Truman got the Cold War going, set off the nuclear bombs on Japan (though Japan had already indicated its surrender), and helped start what would later be called McCarthyism, in order to discredit & weaken people with any power who were true US patriots.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm
Quote Henry A. Wallace:

3. The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart......

10. .......It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest boast play Hitler's game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by giving currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.

,

Fast forward to 2012 and you can add, every Muslim hater, every liberal hater, etc, etc....

Those are just symptoms. Since Henry Wallace's revelatory exposé of fascists here in the U.S., the core issues of concern have been studied, and they come up for discussion in Antifascist's second post:

Quote Joe Conason:

IF “IT” DENOTES the police state American-style as imagined and satirized by Lewis, complete with concentration camps, martial law, and mass executions of strikers and other dissidents, then “it” hasn’t happened here and isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

For contemporary Americans, however, “it” could signify our own more gradual and insidious turn toward authoritarian rule. That is why Lewis’s darkly funny but grim fable of an authoritarian coup achieved through a democratic election still resonates today— along with all the eerie parallels between what he imagined then and what we live with now.

Conason, Joe (2010-04-01). It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush (p. 8). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

We have discussed this issue of the authoritarian personality and its relationship to fascism. But it's not a simple matter to define "authoritarianism" and associate it with an issue. One has to grapple with what it is to be part of authoritarianism oneself at the same time, and expose that which lies within our humanity to belie the best of what we can be. And it would appear fascism and all versions of the authoritarians bring out our worst. And that, I feel, is a deeply moral and ethical problem.

One cannot simply define "authoritarian" and then apply those definitions in some sort of battle of words with an authoritarian. At least I don't think it works that way. You must understand it, empathize with what it is deep in that person, and oneself, and at the same time not be drawn to its siren song that creates this horrendous form of group think that's brought about the horrors of the Twentieth Century and those that are marching along with that same beat here in the Twenty First.

This is one of my favorite reads on the subject because it avoids the polemics of Party identification and looks at the psychological characteristics:

The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power (another site with some pdf downloads and audio video links)

And there's Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians (as a kind of public service, Bob's made a free pdf copy available at that site)

Then you get lots of partisan stuff like:

Republican Politics and Authoritarianism from a site called Road to Peace. The site also includes a review of Robert O. Paxtons The Anatomy of Fascism in its Authoritarianism section. Antifascist has drawn from that book in his extensive academic postings a number of times on Thom's past boards. I'm sure he can reproduce that research and discussion if any one is interested.

Understanding fascism, by whatever name one gives it, involves first coming to grips with authoritarianism. It's always built on that foundation.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Ren, I would say that fascism is actually a tool used by authoritarians to gain power. Now that monarchy is almost entirely gone — the authoritarians have to appeal to the mass's most base desires, so they can be hooked like fish, rendered powerless and held in terror.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

To Govern a Republic, One Must Know the Minds That Created It …while a nation goes speculation crazy the people neglect to think of fundamental principles.

These were the words of Franklin Roosevelt in the months leading into the Democratic National Convention of 1932.

Roosevelt knew that the fight for the United States Presidency was not simply a game of political machines and punditry, but that this coming fight demanded a leader who understood the historic enemy of the United States and the founding principles of the nation.

This is a great documentary if you want to take a little time to revisit our history.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/1932-true-history-united-states/

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

I think it's more than a piece of rational mechanics that can be applied like a tool, Karolina. It's more like an integrated system that people engage, and in some cases can get caught up in without recognizing how it transforms them.

But that's me talking after many years, beginning with my first apprehensive exposure to authoritarianism in its most butish and culturally accepted form in boot camp. I was utterly shocked at how many people around me throughout that experience accepted this utterly dehumanizing treatment. But they did, and they do. And then they will revel in their experience for years afterwards as if it were a badge of honor because they proved their patriotism by accepting the authority of the military system.

Oddly enough, people also do that every single day in a less overt manner when they go to jobs in a bureaucratic hierarchy of some kind, and participate in what amounts to a private tyranny that involves a chain of command directing them, by job description, by direct orders from a boss, or whatever, to do what they must do to achieve the collective purpose that bureaucracy was designed to achieve -- whether corporate or government a bureaucracy is the same structure either way. How much of that schizoid programming between their private freedom and public participation every day in an authoritarian social structure can one experience without it in some way affecting them?

The badge of honor that makes them feel like someone, that some live for and by, is what? A career?

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote .ren:

I think it's more than a piece of rational mechanics that can be applied like a tool, Karolina. It's more like an integrated system that people engage, and in some cases can get caught up in without recognizing how it transforms them.

But that's me talking after many years, beginning with my first apprehensive exposure to authoritarianism in its most butish and culturally accepted form in boot camp. I was utterly shocked at how many people around me throughout that experience accepted this utterly dehumanizing treatment. But they did, and they do. And then they will revel in their experience for years afterwards as if it were a badge of honor because they proved their patriotism by accepting the authority of the military system.

Oddly enough, people also do that every single day in a less overt manner when they go to jobs in a bureaucratic hierarchy of some kind, and participate in what amounts to a private tyranny that involves a chain of command directing them, by job description, by direct orders from a boss, or whatever, to do what they must do to achieve the collective purpose that bureaucracy was designed to achieve -- whether corporate or government a bureaucracy is the same structure either way. How much of that schizoid programming between their private freedom and public participation every day in an authoritarian social structure can one experience without it in some way affecting them?

The badge of honor that makes them feel like someone, that some live for and by, is what? A career?

Very well stated.

We spend the majority of our time every day in the authoritarian (dictatorship/corporate) environment of the workplace. Is it any wonder that people find it difficult to participate in the democratic process? After spending 8-10 hours a day programed into being mindless in your corporate role, you can't just "snap out of it" out in the world.

IMO we need to give individuals more options besides the authoritarian corporate setting of the workplace. If that could be realized it would benefit individuals with a sense of hope and our political system with the experience of participation.

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm

Bush Wacker, the story of General Smedley Butler's exposing to the US public the fascist conspiracy to kill FDR & take over the US government in 1934, was never taught in our schools, was it? The videos that you offer a link to, present this story very well.

The link 1932: A True History of the United States, is probably my favorite political documentary.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Ren—my Dad, whose married young parents had escaped a country that had become a state in the USSR before he was born, was a young doctor who had just completed his medical training in Munich, Germany. He was as against fascism and its operations as his parents had been against communism and its operations. What both generations were actually against was authoritarianism & totalitarian government—which was as much at the base of communist empire governments as it was at the base of the fascist empire governments.

My Dad was placed in a concentration camp in Germany because of his anti-fascist views and political activities. Lucky for me he survived, since he was arrested & placed in Dachau less than a year before the end of the war. I am familiar with how experiencing dehumanizing treatment can never be completely erased no matter how well one lives before or afterwards — especially difficult when there is no manufactured "badge of honor" to cling to and to stroke one's ego about being a part of a noble elite. Without some sort of ego safety net there is nothing but the harsh reality of just how incredibly bestial humans can be. That idea is enough to give anyone panic attacks or nervous conditions or cancer or drive them to suicide.

One of the things that I found angering in the video to which I gave a link in my earlier post, was the progaganda TV shorts that were being shown to young Americans after WW2, discouraging them to be brilliant and suggesting that being a complacent part of "the group" was the American way to be. Shameful.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm
Quote jan in iowa:

Very well stated.

We spend the majority of our time every day in the authoritarian (dictatorship/corporate) environment of the workplace. Is it any wonder that people find it difficult to participate in the democratic process? After spending 8-10 hours a day programed into being mindless in your corporate role, you can't just "snap out of it" out in the world.

IMO we need to give individuals more options besides the authoritarian corporate setting of the workplace. If that could be realized it would benefit individuals with a sense of hope and our political system with the experience of participation.

Thank you, your response tells me I managed to get my point across to someone. I work hard to do that even though I'm not a master at putting complex thoughts into one sentence blurbs.

My own conclusion is similar to yours, and my "we" starts at the grass roots, in the local community. Our children's education is critical but "we" have so little to say in that area right now once they leave the house and enter another authoritarian training ground. Small independent business is an individual choice, and we can do something about that by rebuilding our local communities that global corporatocracy systematically destroys.

My own story is probably not typical, so it hardly provides a working template. As soon as I got free of the military insitution I vowed I would never put myself into anything like that again. I also realized I had a lot to learn about the world if I wanted to avoid all the blackmail traps I'd begun to recognize. And thus began my self-actuated education, with the driving question: what is freedom?

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Karolina, you demonstrate the importance of reviewing history and ever working to make sense of it in shaping our lives and attitudes. And those links from you and Bush_Wacker are important too.

Another part of the authoritarian system as you've noted is propaganda. Everyone who wants to avoid being manipulated should study it, IMHO. It doesn't matter exactly what map you follow, as long as you are searching the propaganda territory in a very serious and ever questioning way. I have some of my favorite map markers. Others have theirs. The Twentieth Century is filled with markers of the rise of mass mind twisting techniques, from Wilson's Creel Commission, with its spinoff of Freud's nephew Eddie Bernays to whom all corporate spin and mind numbing advertising owes a huge debt, to the Bernays' influence on the well known German propagandist Goebbels, and up to the present with experts like Frank Luntz and Karl Rove.

Here's a little bit about Karl Rove and his on going mind bending shannigans that helped get a nation into the criminal mind-set that would allow Bush to order an attack on Iraq and then keep it there. This is from Anti's second post reference to It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush by Joe Conason:

Quote Joe Conason:

Rove had traveled north to accept the Conservative Party’s Charles Edison Award. This special honor is named for a deceased New Jersey governor and industrialist who also happened to have been among the first prominent endorsers of the ultraright extremist John Birch Society, which smeared President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a Communist traitor.

That old Birch mind-set seemed to have inspired Rove’s remarks.

He opened with a few bland paragraphs of congratulation, hailing the great strides in recent decades by Republicans and conservatives, and noting their traditional disagreements with liberals over tax cuts and the role of government. But he had come to dinner to serve red meat, not pablum. First he declared that “the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security.” Then he launched a savagely sarcastic attack on the character of every liberal American and most Democrats:

“Conservatives saw the savagery of the 9/ 11 attacks and prepared for war, liberals saw the savagery of the 9/ 11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/ 11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/ 11, liberals believed it was time to … submit a petition. I am not joking. Submitting a petition is precisely what [the progressive grassroots organization] Moveon.org did. It was a petition imploring the ‘powers that be’ to ‘use moderation and restraint in responding to the … terrorist attacks against the United States.’

“I don’t know about you,” Rove continued, “but moderation and restraint is not what I felt as I watched the Twin Towers crumble to the earth; a side of the Pentagon destroyed; and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble. “Moderation and restraint is not what I felt— and moderation and restraint is not what was called for. It was a moment to summon our national will— and to brandish steel.”

The only steel Rove had ever brandished was a fork, but that didn’t slow him down.

“MoveOn.org, Michael Moore, and Howard Dean may not have agreed with this, but the American people did. Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/ 11 and said: we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said: we must understand our enemies. Conservatives see the United States as a great nation engaged in a noble cause; liberals see the United States and they see … Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia.”

This was the legendary dirty fighter of American politics, deliberately distorting the views of liberals and Democrats, freely fabricating “facts” to slander his opponents. He knew that no liberals had urged therapy or understanding for the hijackers. He knew that Moveon.org, with millions of progressive citizens organized via the Internet, had never circulated any petition demanding restraint against the Taliban. He knew there was no evidence that Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, had opposed the war in Afghanistan or urged “understanding” for al Qaeda. He knew that liberals didn’t regard America as the equivalent of Nazi or Communist totalitarians. (That crack referred to a floor speech by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, lamenting the mistreatment of detainees in the military camps at Guantánamo Bay, as revealed in a declassified FBI report.) As Rove well knew, the truth was that the vast majority of American liberals and progressives, including Dean and Durbin and the members of Moveon.org, had concurred with the president in his decision to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban.

Rove knew, in fact, that the liberals and Democrats in Congress had stood squarely behind Bush in the decision to extirpate the Taliban and destroy al Qaeda. Their only disappointment was that he had done the job so hesitantly and ineptly, allowing Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar to escape. Rove’s Conservative Party speech exemplified the classic rhetorical tactics of authoritarianism, employing innuendo and lies to transform political opponents into soft-minded dupes and potential traitors. After spewing his slanders, he was just clever enough to provide himself with a rhetorical safety net. “At the core, we are dealing with two parties that have fundamentally different views on national security,” he said. “Republicans have a post-9/ 11 worldview and many Democrats have a pre-9/ 11 worldview. That doesn’t make them unpatriotic— not at all. But it does make them wrong— deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong.”

It was an audacious lie from beginning to end. But if you believed him, then you would also agree that the Democrats should be disqualified from power for as long as the nation was in danger— and if you believed Bush, that would be a long, long time.

Conason, Joe (2010-04-01). It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush (pp. 23-26). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

They're still working that angle. A lot of Obama's actions during his first term are like the punch drunk fighter ducking expected blows by making actions that would fend them before they were even swung, thus making openings for new blows from different angles. But we have to understand the neuro linguistic programming involved to see it clearly.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote douglaslee:Fox is fascist news, and the same thing is easily accomplished today. Romney is a stooge, but nobody cares. The media recognizing the stupidity of the populous is and has always been their business model, or principal. Romney plans on increasing military, Simpson Bowles wanted to cut it, Romney wants to voucherize VA benefits, all the cheaper to conduct war. He will attack anyone Halliburton wants & GE, & Pratt Whitney & Boeing....a draft will restore full employment.

Syria attack [for humanitarian concerns] brings Russia in, the country mittler thinks is our most dangerous enemy.

So true—but don't forget China, the other enemy. They are still a communist empire, and even though "we" are so entangled with them financially, they refuse to be bossed around, just like Russia. And then they go of and have an alliance going with Russia....

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Considering this thread was started on June 13, I'm assuming that Anti must have been inspired by Thom's segment published that day: Fascism...it can happen here.

9:30 into the segment, after presenting just a little of what's been brought out so far on this thread, Thom says:

So I'm calling it out, I'm calling it fascism when you have one of the biggest, most wealthy banksters in the United States running for the presidency. What do you call it?

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

I saw that segment on FSTV Wednesday evening and I was SO happy, that I was actually yelling "Kudos Thom!" when the segment was over.

The next morning (yesterday) Antifascist's thread was here!

It's fascism whether or not mittens gets the White House.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Ren wrote...

Considering this thread was started on June 13, I'm assuming that Anti must have been inspired by Thom's segment published that day: Fascism...it can happen here.

Oh, yes. That is it. I had posted Wallace's article years ago, or four disscusion boards ago, and still had it in my cache of research on fascism. And here is something else on fascism...

Despotism

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Antifascist:

And here is something else on fascism...

Despotism

Wow!!! Applying the despotism metrics of this 1945 film to 2012 are eerily right on the money to us here today. I didn't know what despotism really meant before seeing this, but I'm now convinced that is where we are rapidly going.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Antifascist:

Ren wrote...

Considering this thread was started on June 13, I'm assuming that Anti must have been inspired by Thom's segment published that day: Fascism...it can happen here.

Oh, yes. That is it. I had posted Wallace's article years ago, or four disscusion boards ago, and still had it in my cache of research on fascism. And here is something else on fascism...

Despotism

Maybe it's time for you to bring some of that extensive work you've done to this board now. Thom's finally catching up with you.

I thought earlier on this thread I'd given you credit for posting that Wallace article years ago but I don't see it in any of my posts. I did mention your extensive work on this subject in my post #7.

By the way, I've been using my own version of a respect scale as mentioned in that 10 minute Despotism piece. It's not exactly social science, I base it on the Golden Rule.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

I never gave much thought to the difference between fascism and despotism until yesterday. I've always associated despotism with war lords in third world countries and fascism with dictators in more advanced industrialized nations. Otherwise, I figured they were basically the same.

I did a little homework and concluded that both are top-down authoritarian to the extreme with the "advanced industrialized nation" not as critical to the definition as I originally assumed. A strongly unified nationalism is a key ingredient for fascism and I'd say America's divided (or splintered) views of what our nation stands for keeps us from adhering to the pure fascism definition and makes us much more despotic with the merger of corporations and government being the absolute power that rules over us. The various factions of Americans who vigorously push and pull the corporo-government in their desired direction keep a unified nationalism from taking root within that top-down power structure.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

14 elements of fascism I remember anti posting these awhile back.

Fourteen Defining
Characteristics Of Fascism
By Dr. Lawrence Britt
Source Free Inquiry.co
5-28-3

Dr. 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 mottos, 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.
Long incarcerations due to the private prison lobby changing the laws to increase occupancy.
douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Fascism is an economic/political theory, but it's glue is a religious nationalism that deflects the workers from participants to followers in the narrative. It binds all the strands together in a "fascia" by the power of myth instead of real participation, and it has echoes of Opus Dei Catholic "obedience" as the alternative to high participation democracy and socialism.

Were it only the union of Big Money and the State, we could throw off the yoke of slavery and find the solidarity of democracy and workers. But, because it is about myth and narratives, we are susceptible to its seductions and ability to slip inside what appears to be rational self-interest. Both those who fall for it and those who are appalled that it is fallen for prefer to believe that myths are not powerful or important.

It is true, if you know it is a myth. This is why I think religion is much less dangerous that the secular 'reality' that we buy into as "real" instead of our "story."

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote Antifascist:

They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends.

This part really creeped me out.

This article was written 2 months before D-Day. I'd already become horribly cynical about how WWII unfolded, but seeing that this was in print at that time just makes me sick.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Our American fascists seem to be lacking in the fervant nationalism category.

Could the 1st Amendment have something to do with that? Not just the freedom of speech, but the freedom of religion as well as the freedom from religion. As much as they try to use religion as a tool to solidify their cause, the freedom of other takes on religion or no religion at all keeps them from succeeding. There was a quote out there about fascism coming to America wrapped in a flag and waving a cross. The cross has limitations for inducing fascism here due to the 1st Amendment.

We do still need to fight for the patriotism mantle. As long enough of us keep defining the fascists as unpatriotic, there is hope. When they can keep duping the masses into thinking that their fascist ways are patriotic, we lose. I am hopeful.

Happy Fathers Day.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote drc:Fascism is an economic/political theory, but it's glue is a religious nationalism that deflects the workers from participants to followers in the narrative. It binds all the strands together in a "fascia" by the power of myth instead of real participation, and it has echoes of Opus Dei Catholic "obedience" as the alternative to high participation democracy and socialism.

I feel the glue is any form of authoritarian nationalism. Religion as a spiritual practice is more along the lines of what I think Laborisgood refers to as freedom of and freedom from religion in the Constitution. Religion as a fundamentalist form appears and behaves more as a variant of that deeper authoritarian syndrome I'm referring to as "authoritarian nationalism". My own family on my father's side fled that syndrome as it was taking effect during the Thirty Years War in the 1600s to come to the "new" world and pursue their own practices and get free of the insanity and devastation this syndrome causes.

To explain what I mean by authoritarian nationalism, I find that Bob Altemeyer's work in The Authoritarians (for reference you can download your own free pdf copy at that link) offers a fair and clean overview as he explains the two general categories essential to any authoritarian organization: The Authoritarian Followers (see Chapter 1) and Authoritarian Leaders (see Chapter 5). Authoritarian Followers and Religious Fundamentalism is only one chapter in the follower syndrome -- Chapter 4.

Here's how he describes Authoritarianism:

Quote Bob Altemeyer:

What is Authoritarianism?

Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want--which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I'm going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.

What I like about Altemeyer's approach is he doesn't treat authoritarianism or even fascism as a thing, but as a process, an action that takes place to produce a result. We get hung up on refining definitions, meanwhile the process itself may stil be taking place all around us as we try to slap labels on different aspects of it. Altemeyer points out that it can take place on both the left and the right, so don't feel like being a leftie automatically frees you from the syndrome..

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

As I sat in church this morning, it dawned on me that the lack of nationalism with today’s fascists has nothing to do with religion or patriotism because today’s fascists do not work within any national boundaries that might be influenced by local patriotism or religion. These greedy fuckers want the entire world. The rape and pillage of America is child's play. They want it all.

However, that all consuming greed may be their downfall. How many of them are there really? Not including the fools who are being duped into going along with them, there are only a few thousand. Sure they have all the money and power, but if we generously round up to a cool million of them, the other six billion nine hundred and ninety nine million have the advantage.

They will be defeated in due time. Unfortunately, they are more than willing to sacrifice our planet as collateral damage in the process.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

In memory of Journalist Carl von Ossietzky

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Antifascist:

In memory of Journalist Carl von Ossietzky

From the memorium:

"I visited the Esterwegen camp a first time at a re-union of Ossietzky's old friends at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg. We all went to the old concentration campsite, now a memorial park, and Chancellor Willy Brandt spoke to us and former inmates. Many came from the Netherlands since Dutchmen were imprisoned. Esterwegen and Oldenburg are close to the Dutch border.

We learned then that Esterwegen had no gas chambers because the stench and smoke would have disturbed the Oldenburg citizens. On my second visit to Esterwegen in 1990 I found a small memorial museum on the old camp grounds and the curator told me that most inmates were German and Dutch socialists, communists and intellectuals."

Carl von Ossietzky: The Peace Hero In the Concentration Camp by Kurt Singer

Form Bob Altemeyer's page I linked earlier:

Quote Robert Altemeyer:

Don’t think for a minute this doesn’t concern you personally. Let me ask you, as we’re passing the time here, how many ordinary people do you think an evil authority would have to order to kill you before he found someone who would, unjustly, out of sheer obedience, just because the authority said to? What sort of person is most likely to follow such an order? What kind of official is most likely to give that order, if it suited his purposes? Look at what experiments tell us, as I did.

Quote Robert Altemeyer:

For example, take the following statement: “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” Sounds like something Hitler would say, right? Want to guess how many politicians, how many lawmakers in the United States agreed with it? Want to guess what they had in common?

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

He may, and I emphasize may, have been against fascism, but he was pretty pro-Communist.

During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture he ordered a very unpopular strategy of slaughtering pigs and plowing up cotton fields in rural America to drive the price of these commodities back up in order to improve American farmers' financial situation. Is this the kind of economic policy that progressives support? Destroying property in order to create prosperity?

TheFirstLeftist's picture
TheFirstLeftist
Joined:
Mar. 23, 2012 2:33 pm

Can you document that?

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm
Quote TheFirstLeftist:

He may, and I emphasize may, have been against fascism, but he was pretty pro-Communist.

During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture he ordered a very unpopular strategy of slaughtering pigs and plowing up cotton fields in rural America to drive the price of these commodities back up in order to improve American farmers' financial situation. Is this the kind of economic policy that progressives support? Destroying property in order to create prosperity?

Quote Karolina:

Can you document that?

Note that we are having a discussion about the structure and meaning of fascism as it applies to the U.S.

Note that suddenly, out of nowhere, we have an attack on (in this case a questioning of) someone's character (otherwise known as a logical fallacy in a debate format) that has nothing to do with the merits of the discussion.

Whether he can document the destroying of crops for said purpose, whether Henry Wallace was "pro-Communist" and all the bull shit that will come with proving that, does not change the actual discussion about fascism. Such a documentation and such a claim with all the invevitable disagreements that will come up will be merely a helpful way of contributing to a discussion-derailing logical fallacy once again.

So what I wonder at this point, when one of these intrusions get plopped into a discussion, is what truth's we've uncovered so far that bring about this attempt to derail what we are discussing. Because it happens, over and over and over...

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

I recognized that post as an attempt to undermine all of the true information that has been posted and discussed on this thread. I guess it is a gamble, but I didn't want to leave hanging the crap statements that the poster left here.

I've asked for qualification in cases like this before, a few times. Usually I did not get any response — which seemed like an automatic disqualification.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

The Right-Wing has spend an awful lot of money to distort political-economic history. The 1929 Depression is of special concern because it invalids their religious free market doctrine and faith. All those island analogies of Robinson Crusoe as the sole entrepreneur and consumer come apart even as mythology when the full story of supply and demand reveal themselves in “market anomalies” and market “dis-equilibrium.”

The Neo-Liberal faithful have focused in particular on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s, The Agricultural Adjustment Administration Act of 1933, passed four years after the Great Stock Market crash of October 29, 1929. The dates are important because free market ideologues prefer not to focus of the extreme Stock Market speculation frenzy and two panics of the 1920s. After WWI farmers were able to expand their farms by borrowing from the banks in the easy money ear of the 20s so that when the big crash came in October of 1929 they were under large mortgage debt, no farm market, falling prices with no money for feed, or seed. Facing bankruptcy, some farmers simply gave up and dumped their crops. What else is a market wise farmer to do? Dairy farmers simple backed up their milk trucks to a storm drain and dumped it. Other market wise farmers figured creating shortages would raise prices and destroyed their crops. One purpose of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration Act of 1933 was to bring some order to this market chaos by paying subsidies to farmers not to plant crops and to scale back production to prevent further price drops of agricultural goods. Subsidies are still paid to farmers to this day to stabilize prices. The right-wing conflate this initial destruction by panicked farmers with FDR’s later policy to stabilize agricultural prices. As far as the market was concerned there was overproduction of goods. The fact that there was underproduction relative to human need is the unhappy revelation of self regulating free market economics because under capitalism the goal is not goods production, but profit only. In this sense all capitalism is high finance and strategic sabotage is its consistent goal. This is one important lesson of the 1929 Depression.

This view of Capitalism as industrial sabotage is best understood in the works of Thorstein Veblen published even before the 1929 Depression.

...according to Veblen, industry is subjugated to business. The compass that directs the production of automobiles in our example is corporate earnings – yet contrary to the various doctrines of political economy, says Veblen, these earnings depend not on efficiency, but on ‘sabotage’. Most generally, the income of an owner is proportionate not to the specific productive contribution of his or her input, and not even to the exploitation of productive workers – but rather to the overall damage that an owner can inflict on the industrial process at large. Capital as Power. A Study of Order and Creorder,Nitzan, Jonathan and Bichler, Shimshon. (2009), page 223.

Neo-Liberalism, and Neo-Classical theory believe the purpose of capitalism is production. If production was truly open to all—take for example open source software that is not sold—no profit could be made. Production is inherently non-profitable, and only with restriction (copyright laws in the case of software) does production become profitable. The true meaning of private property ownership is “owned against other.” Latin privatus, meaning ‘restricted’, from privare, which literally means ‘to deprive’. So when capital goods generate a profit it is not because the owner is productive, but because capital is owned in the first place.

...business can and does ‘propel’ industry. It pushes human beings, organizations and institutions into a state of hyperactivity, constantly shaping and restructuring their interactions. But this propulsion – and here Veblen was right – does not and cannot make industry productive, by definition. If the propulsion resonates with industry – that is, if it serves the inter-subjectively defined ‘good life’ – it becomes part of industry. But then, since industry is open to all and therefore inherently non-profitable, the propulsion ceases to be a business proposition. The only way to make a profit is through dissonance. It is only by propelling industry in ways that interfere with and partly hamper its open integration, coordination and the well-being of its participants that business earnings can be appropriated and capital accumulated.(Ibid., page. 226)

Capitalist see it as their natural right to sabotage as derivative of their natural right to invest. This insight is relevant to today’s Wall Street Banks refusal to loan, and business refusing to invest to create jobs. This is the plot of Ayn Rand’s Objectivist's bible “Atlas Shrugged” in which the capitalists, Atlas, go on strike and refuse to invest causing the world to collapse. They are playing out this sabotage fantasy in hopes of winning the 2012 election. The elite classes have always engaged in economic sabotage. This power to sabotage is the true meaning of “investment.”

Over the long term, argued Veblen, output depends mostly on the size of the population and the scope of the industrial arts; ‘tangible assets’ are relatively insignificant. Throughout history, the occasional destruction of material equipment and resources has usually been a relatively minor inconvenience. In Ireland, for example, the encouragement of illiteracy by the British occupiers hindered development much more effectively than the destruction of the country’s infrastructure. Even in the twentieth century, when physical accumulation had reached unprecedented levels, it took war-stricken Germany and Japan only a few years to launch their ‘economic miracles’. In the short term, however, tangible equipment is significant, and it is here, according to Veblen, that ownership comes into the picture: For the transient time being, therefore, any person who has the legal right to withhold any part of the necessary industrial apparatus or materials from current use will be in a position to impose terms and exact obedience, on pain of rendering the community’s joint stock of technology inoperative for that extent. Ownership of industrial equipment and natural resources confers such a right legally to enforce unemployment, and so to make the community’s workmanship useless to that extent. This is the Natural Right of Investment. (Veblen 1923: 65–66, emphasis added) A modern reader may find this definition of investment puzzling, so it is perhaps useful to put the term in historical context. Originally, the meaning of ‘investment’ had nothing to do with money and even less to do with production. Investment was a matter of power, pure and simple. Investio in Latin means ‘to dress’, and in Europe of the Middle Ages it was a signifier of feudal property rights. Lords would typically give their vassals a suit of clothing – or vestes – as part of their keep and as a sign of honour. The symbolic ceremony of transferring property rights from the lord to the vassal was known as investiture. The property in question could have been an estate, an office, a monastery, or simply a stipend (feodum de bursa). The ceremony ‘vested’ the vassal with the fief, conferring on him tenure or seisin – a legal seizure protected against invasion from any quarter (Bloch 1961: 173, 349; Ganshof 1964: 97, 126). (Ibidl, page 227.)

Private ownership of capital goods--not private ownership in the sense of ownership of your toothbrush, or ipod--is the steering control mechanism that determines the direction and pace of society’s development. Limitation is the real purpose of business capital, not industrial production per se.

The most important feature of private ownership is not that it enables those who own, but that it disables those who do not...The sole purpose of private ownership is to prevent us from doing so. In this sense, private ownership is wholly and only an institution of exclusion, and institutional exclusion is a matter of organized power. Exclusion does not have to be exercised. What matters is the right to exclude and the ability to exact terms for not exercising that right. This right and ability are the foundation of accumulation. Business enterprise thrives on the implicit threat or explicit exercise of power embedded in ownership, with capitalist income being the ‘ransom’ for allowing industry to resonate: Plainly, ownership would be nothing better than an idle gesture without this legal right of sabotage. Without the power of discretionary idleness, without the right to keep the work out of the hands of the workmen and the product out of the market, investment and business enterprise would cease. This is the larger meaning of the Security of Property. (Veblen 1923: 66–67, emphasis added)(Ibid., page. 228)

Investment, production, and efficiency are managed by capitalist society to prevent interference with projected corporate profit accumulation and not the well being of society as a whole.

In a capitalist society, ‘business as usual’ means oscillating between these two hypothetical extremes, with absentee owners limiting industrial activity to a greater or lesser extent. When business sabotage becomes excessive, pushing output toward the zero mark, the result is recession and low capitalist earnings. When sabotage grows too loose, industry expands toward its societal potential, but that too is not good for business, since loss of control means ‘glut’ and falling capitalist earnings. For owners of capital the ideal condition, indicated by the top arc segment in Figure 12.1, lies somewhere in between: with high capitalist earnings being received in return for letting industry operate – though only at less than full potential. Achieving this ‘optimal’ point requires Goldilocks tactics – neither too warm nor too cold – or what Veblen sardonically called the ‘conscious withdrawal of efficiency’. (Ibid., page 237)

Contrary to free marketer’s doctrine of price discovery, large planning organization such as corporations set prices.

And so the circle closes and sabotage becomes invisible. The vast majority of modern capitalists (or their managers) are ‘price makers’: they fix the price of their product and then let ‘market forces’ do the rest for them. To the naked eye they all seem keen on producing and selling as much as possible, but beyond the façade the picture is very different. The specific level at which they set the price already embodies the power to incapacitate. On the one hand, the profit target and markup built into the price reflect the firm’s power, while, on the other hand, that power, exercised by the high price, serves to restrict industry below its full capacity. The sabotage and the power to inflict it remain concealed, but their consequences are very real. (Ibid., page 242.)

According to Veblen the true way capitalism functions is by planned sabotage of production for capital accumulation that the privilege of ownership bestows and the right of investment.

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Karolina:

I recognized that post as an attempt to undermine all of the true information that has been posted and discussed on this thread. I guess it is a gamble, but I didn't want to leave hanging the crap statements that the poster left here.

I've asked for qualification in cases like this before, a few times. Usually I did not get any response — which seemed like an automatic disqualification.

Of course I could have mentioned that most of them learn fairly quickly not to mess with any of Anitfascist's threads. So side track or not, we all get to learn something about the history of fascism when they do.

I think from Anti's historical survey we can surmise what "truth" was coming out. Wallace was the last of the New Dealers about the time he published that essay about fascism. The last thing the fascists want at this point is any return to the governmental leveling that took place as "the new deal."

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote .ren:

I think from Anti's historical survey we can surmise what "truth" was coming out. Wallace was the last of the New Dealers about the time he published that essay about fascism. The last thing the fascists want at this point is any return to the governmental leveling that took place as "the new deal."

Wouldn't a New Deal version 2.0 be required to be global in scope as the fascists have gone global as well. FDR had an advantage of having a fairly tight grip around their greedy little throats that they couldn't escape from so easily. Now America is just one of many base camps for them as they prepair their ascent up Mt. Everfascist. New Deal 2.0 cannot rely on just one national government to perform the levelling.

Karolina's point in the F-Bomb thread says it well:

"We need a vision of what our country and our earth could possibly be at its (and our) healthiest and best. It would be something to think forward to, like an artist planning a work. Otherwise, we are just reacting to the thug-plan implementation horrors, and consequently, unknowingly supporting their creation of a pain-filled and dying world."

I think the old fascism tools of nationalism and religion are outdated and have limited ability to implement their horrors on a global scale. We need to focus on the commonality of American fascists, Saudi fascists, Israeli fascists, Eurpoean fascists and Asian fascists. They have no common flag or religion to exploit, but we have something common to us all ..... we are all being exploited at every turn for their profit and power.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote laborisgood:

Karolina's point in the F-Bomb thread says it well:

"We need a vision of what our country and our earth could possibly be at its (and our) healthiest and best. It would be something to think forward to, like an artist planning a work. Otherwise, we are just reacting to the thug-plan implementation horrors, and consequently, unknowingly supporting their creation of a pain-filled and dying world."

I think the old fascism tools of nationalism and religion are outdated and have limited ability to implement their horrors on a global scale. We need to focus on the commonality of American fascists, Saudi fascists, Israeli fascists, Eurpoean fascists and Asian fascists. They have no common flag or religion to exploit, but we have something common to us all ..... we are all being exploited at every turn for their profit and power.

Once again, here's an abbrieviation of my response to Karolina:

Quote .ren:

The problem I'm trying to bring out is this: we can probably pretty successfully operate in groups of 25 or so on a democratic basis as our ancestors did for about 200,000 years as hunter/gatherers. But once you attempt to extend a "vision" to 313 million, or 7 billion, then vision starts to break down into organized cells and the cells don't necessarily support each other.

So then you come up with not only an integrated common vision problem but an implementation problem.

I'm not trying to be discouraging. I'm just pointing out the problems.

Is it even feasible to envision a world and then attempt to implement that vision? Is it possible to do that without becoming the very thing you are trying to avoid?

Defeat of anything is inevitable if you have no sense of the barriers that problems present. The current OWS movement, the many resistance movements to this neoliberal globalization emerging around the world, the actions in Seattle during 1999 WTO (This is What Democracy Looks Like, The Fourth World War, etc.), I can see these are all expressions of this common concern. I see a commonality. Many of us share it, yet many more do not. For those who don't, how does any of our global visions translate into something they'll willingly take part in? Or will they have to be forced?

Personally, I believe that revealing the structure and intricate nature of authoritarianism in its many forms, its many ways of implementation, is a primary necessity. Fascism is only one of those forms. But in revealing fascism, the other forms may also be revealed, if the forms are similar in structure. We cannot be conscious of the forms and all their permutations as they continue to evolve in a visionary environment involving a healthy planet and a common good if we do not take the trouble to understand them.

I have discovered through my own efforts that seeking understanding is a self-disciplinary act. It requires tremendous patience and a willingness to observe while suspending judgement as best I can through the process, and certainly by being conscious of my own preconceptions, which I find are inevitable. I value it, but many don't and I can't force what I value on anyone. I believe recognizing my limitations with regard to others and what they will value is a basic principle involved in all of this. The inevitable result of that for me is the recognition of the necessity for mutual respect. But those with the consciences of sociopaths and psychopaths don't see that necessity, and I'm convinced they aren't going to simply transform or disappear. I hope I'm wrong.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

The religious nationalism of 20th Century fascism was itself a move away from the feudal partnership of Church and State with Commerce replacing the Church and the State expanding its sacramentalism.

It was not about pietized individual salvation, it was about the here and now belonging to the true "community" as framed by nationalism. Meaning and purpose throbbed in the collective destiny and glory. Long delayed national glory would replace being the object of imperial derision for these former collections of principalities and regional rivals. Italy and Germany were very young nations with very old histories, and the 'religious' appeal of nationalism by-passed and co-opted the churches for the large part.

The 'vision' of Global Corporatism and Economic Growth as the answer to the real issues of global finitude is not nearly as exciting as the older projections of Global Unity were. "The Evangelization of the World in This Generation" was the slogan of the missionary movement at the end of the 19th Century. The anticipation of the Providential Moment when the darkness would be lifted and all humanity would be united in a utopian world was a lot easier to sell than the idea of a world run by Megacorporations. That just gets us images of deathstars, but also of powers to big to fight.

Where we draw the line between global vision and nationalism as Americans may be harder than for those capitalists listed from other countries. What myths are they operating in apart from finance? How nations react to empire also muddies the question asked about religion and nationalism. Where do the Asian and Europeans fit? It is easy to see where Israeli or Islamic fascists are religiously.

What if we put it as an American National Myth gone viral with others in reactive roles of opportunism. Corporatism serves more than the interests of the religious nationalist core of empire, and these other players do not need to share that American Myth to see where money can be made without conscience. The Asians can offer a rise into First World life-style and recovery of dignity and respect. The Europeans exploit racism and resentment like they do here. In the global 'financial scam system,' money has lots of ways to make the rules and set the message. Those who see themselves as "monied" have bought into an idolatry as they do so.

I think we have to rethink how we think about religion to get it out of the sacral box and into what we actually worship as powerful and moral. Opium Jesus may be what Tycoons smoke, but what they obey is Mammon Money.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote .ren:
Quote laborisgood:

Karolina's point in the F-Bomb thread says it well:

"We need a vision of what our country and our earth could possibly be at its (and our) healthiest and best. It would be something to think forward to, like an artist planning a work. Otherwise, we are just reacting to the thug-plan implementation horrors, and consequently, unknowingly supporting their creation of a pain-filled and dying world."

I think the old fascism tools of nationalism and religion are outdated and have limited ability to implement their horrors on a global scale. We need to focus on the commonality of American fascists, Saudi fascists, Israeli fascists, Eurpoean fascists and Asian fascists. They have no common flag or religion to exploit, but we have something common to us all ..... we are all being exploited at every turn for their profit and power.

Once again, here's an abbrieviation of my response to Karolina:

Quote .ren:

The problem I'm trying to bring out is this: we can probably pretty successfully operate in groups of 25 or so on a democratic basis as our ancestors did for about 200,000 years as hunter/gatherers. But once you attempt to extend a "vision" to 313 million, or 7 billion, then vision starts to break down into organized cells and the cells don't necessarily support each other.

So then you come up with not only an integrated common vision problem but an implementation problem.

I'm not trying to be discouraging. I'm just pointing out the problems ..... I believe recognizing my limitations with regard to others and what they will value is a basic principle involved in all of this. The inevitable result of that for me is the recognition of the necessity for mutual respect. But those with the consciences of sociopaths and psychopaths don't see that necessity, and I'm convinced they aren't going to simply transform or disappear. I hope I'm wrong.

Pointing out problems may appear counterproductive, but it is actually an essential part of the design process.

I also expressed skepticism of creating Karolina's vision. Perhaps it will not be a such a formal, rigid structure as the UN, but be far more fluid and organic. Just being able to so easily communicate mutual respect to someone of like mind on the other side of the world is really the cornerstone to the project. We can count on the fascists to continue on their sociopathic/psychopathic orgy of destruction, but with each human they kick to the curb, they are slowly building up the army that will defeat them. It's simple math in my mind. Unfortunately, the planet may give in before the fascists give up.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote .ren:Is it even feasible to envision a world and then attempt to implement that vision? Is it possible to do that without becoming the very thing you are trying to avoid?

Defeat of anything is inevitable if you have no sense of the barriers that problems present. The current OWS movement, the many resistance movements to this neoliberal globalization emerging around the world, the actions in Seattle during 1999 WTO (This is What Democracy Looks Like, The Fourth World War, etc.), I can see these are all expressions of this common concern. I see a commonality. Many of us share it, yet many more do not. For those who don't, how does any of our global visions translate into something they'll willingly take part in? Or will they have to be forced?

Personally, I believe that revealing the structure and intricate nature of authoritarianism in its many forms, its many ways of implementation, is a primary necessity. Fascism is only one of those forms. But in revealing fascism, the other forms may also be revealed, if the forms are similar in structure. We cannot be conscious of the forms and all their permutations as they continue to evolve in a visionary environment involving a healthy planet and a common good if we do not take the trouble to understand them.

I have discovered through my own efforts that seeking understanding is a self-disciplinary act. It requires tremendous patience and a willingness to observe while suspending judgement as best I can through the process, and certainly by being conscious of my own preconceptions, which I find are inevitable. I value it, but many don't and I can't force what I value on anyone. I believe recognizing my limitations with regard to others and what they will value is a basic principle involved in all of this. The inevitable result of that for me is the recognition of the necessity for mutual respect. But those with the consciences of sociopaths and psychopaths don't see that necessity, and I'm convinced they aren't going to simply transform or disappear. I hope I'm wrong.

I have been convinced for 30 years now that this Universe is filled everywhere with creative energy. The way living beings in this Universe physically adapt to the conditions of their environment when necessary to survive and thrive — otherwise known as evolution — supports that premise.

At the same time I became convinced that what makes our species different than every other species that we know of so far, is our ability to think about the future with our imaginations — because thoughts powered by imagination and passion actually affect the Universe's creative energy. I don't care if that sounds stupid or too "The Secret" to others — I became convinced of this during 1979-1983, long before the "if you can think it, you can have it" stuff became a mainstream trend.

AND, since the Universe's creative energy essentually supports life and good health, it responds primarily to thoughts or visions ("prayers" if you will) of life and good health.

Hitler believed that as well. This, no doubt, was why sociopath Adolph was obsessed with metaphysical information — he knew he was not on the "team" supported by the life-affirming creative energy of the Universe. He was hoping that he might find a way to outsmart the Universe — no doubt, again.

I agree with you Ren, that it's unlikely that the 99% of the global population, will be unified in thinking passionately, imagining and even expecting to live in democratically-governed Constitutional Republics with many worker-owned corporations.

However, I don't agree that all or most of the world population can't think passionately, imagine and even expect — to live in beauty, great mental, emotional & physical health, on a planet where all people are kind, respectful, even loving to each other.

And then the infrastructures that would support that would be created — whatever that might be.

(Of course the crap & propaganda & white noise that humans watch, hear, read and otherwise injest, has to be dealt with, so they are free to live in a great future.)

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

I agree with you Ren, that it's unlikely that the 99% of the global population, will be unified in thinking passionately, imagining and even expecting to live in democratically-governed Constitutional Republics with many worker-owned corporations.

However, I don't agree that all or most of the world population can't think passionately, imagine and even expect — to live in beauty, great mental, emotional & physical health, on a planet where all people are kind, respectful, even loving to each other.

And then the infrastructures that would support that would be created — whatever that might be.

(Of course the crap & propaganda & white noise that humans watch, hear, read and otherwise injest, has to be dealt with, so they are free to live in a great future.)

I don't know if you intended to imply that I believe most of the human species "can't think passionately, imagine, and even extpect to live in beauty, great mental, emotional & physical health, on a planet where all people are kind, respectful, even loving each other." But just in case, I didn't say that and don't believe it.

That I do believe in the basic potenial of human beings to get out of this mess is why my vision has turned away from the reflex of imagining macro organizing to something that to me is much more powerful, and much more potentially creative. One expression of that is something I ran across when years ago I first read the works of Deleuze and Guattari: Anti Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.

They aren't particularly easy reads, but in those volumes I found the introduction to something organically non hierarchical that appeals to me, reminds me a little of what I imagined could have evolved from our ancestral hunter gatherer-type societies, and maybe what we are biologically and psychologically inherently best suited to do. They call it "rhizome" organization after various plant species that connect underground through a networking root system but send up individual shoots above ground. A guy I know, Jeff Vail, has put together some interesting information regarding that concept at a web site you might find worth some of your attention.

What is Rhizome?

Jeff was an counter terrorist intelligence officer operating in the Middle East during the recent Afghanistan/Iraq wars, and what connected him to these ideas in the works of Deleuze and Guattari was the effectiveness of these pretty much autonomous, isolated terrorist cells against one of the most powerful hierarchical organizations humans have ever created, the U.S. military.

These transition communities that are sprouting up in response to what we are seeing as an inevitability to the end of our oil age are examples of human rhizome evolutionary adaptions.

Permaculture is one of the founding principles in the evolution of transition communities.

So, you see, people actually are practicing what you are imagining, all over the world.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote Laborisgood:I think the old fascism tools of nationalism and religion are outdated and have limited ability to implement their horrors on a global scale. We need to focus on the commonality of American fascists, Saudi fascists, Israeli fascists, Eurpoean fascists and Asian fascists. They have no common flag or religion to exploit, but we have something common to us all ..... we are all being exploited at every turn for their profit and power.

I believe that fascism and communism are actually tools of Empire.

Both were supported by the British Empire in its efforts to create two opposing ideologies after the French Revolution. Communism and Fascism were thrown against each other to destroy The Nation State, which the British Empire had failed to destroy in the USA.

The Nation State is actually the enemy of Empire, because it defends itself and its resources and its citizens from the looting of the Empire. Empire produces nothing.

The defense of The Nation State is the only way to destroy the enemies of civilization, i.e. Empire.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Perhaps ren's referenced Rhizome structure is the key to creating your vision. Maybe your vision is not so much a rigid worldwide Nation State, but more of an informal organic community?

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If we go to an informal organic community, Empire & the oligarchs have won.

They want nothing more for us.

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

I suppose you're right. How about the informal organic community as a form of guerilla warfare until we can figure out how to create the more permanent solution. Sometimes you have to see where you want to go and then just work through the details of getting their. That's what I like most about your vision ..... it's not stifled by the details.

I'm always amazed at the capacity of humans. The good ones and bad. The fascists will continue on, but they can be defeated.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If there is a thermonuclear war, those who are left will be living in informal organic communities for the rest of their difficult lives.

Perhaps the ones living that way have already thrown in the towel, and are simply preparing for what they believe to be the inevitable? I really don't know — what would be another purpose?

Imagine—the middle class, having been disassembled in the last bastions of democratic constitutional nation-states—the entire global 99% would be living in abject poverty!

Every oligarch's xxx dream!

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

Actually, my initial thoughts of the informal organic community (Rhizomes) to defeat fascism was not so literal as a physical gathering of people growing vegetables and being content with what they have while treating those in their community with mutual respect, but a virtual community with a common purpose. That physical community is a pleasant thought, but far from my concept of like-minded folks communicating across national boundaries, just like the fascists do so well these days. We can be as "global" as them, but without the greed and hatred. The physical place can be a byproduct of ridding ourselves of fascism.

Just as America makes a nice base camp for the fascists to operate out of, it makes an even nicer base camp for those wanting to defeat them. We have ample infrastructure available to perform this task. America needs to show the world our better side as we have before. The world needs to see us as a primary force against fascism and not the primary cause of it. We just have to work out the details.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote .ren:I don't know if you intended to imply that I believe most of the human species "can't think passionately, imagine, and even extpect to live in beauty, great mental, emotional & physical health, on a planet where all people are kind, respectful, even loving each other." But just in case, I didn't say that and don't believe it.

Sorry if I offended you—but the reason that I added afterwards...

"Of course the crap & propaganda & white noise that humans watch, hear, read and otherwise injest, has to be dealt with, so they [can be] free to live in a great future."

...was that I thought that you might think of how many people are internally already subjugated, and would know that as a hindrence to spiritual & mental freedom — which it is.

Thank you for all of the links. I've opened them, but haven't explored any yet.

I am not comfortable with the possibility of losing many of the things that we enjoy in our world (especially books, organization, knowledge, amazing works of art, etc.), but I might be jumping the gun and just imagining Woodstock — instead of intuiting Rhizomes. ;)

Karolina's picture
Karolina
Joined:
Nov. 3, 2011 7:45 pm

I don't think we will lose much that has value or that matters in that sense. What has already been damaged is not our technology or ability to harness energy. There will be TV. We will have fire without flints. We may find clean water. We may be able to breathe. How much damage has been done is hard to know.

But, the point is that it is damage done. It is not what we have to lose to get along in the post Age of Plenty of puritan sustainability.

Sustainability is being treated like language was in "politically correct." The idea that we could refer to people in terms they affirmed rather than be insulting was treated as bothersome. Keeping up on the correct rhetoric was confusing. Good people could get it wrong without meaning to be complicit. Did you need daily briefings on the latest correct terminology? This same triivialization is applied to being environmentally correct, but it is not the way it really works.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote Antifascist:

4. ...The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those.

I think we have to say, "The FBI HAD its finger on those." That is the Big Question: what happened to that FBI and where are they now?

leighmf's picture
leighmf
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Currently Chatting

You don't know what 'Libertarian' means...

If you want to know what libertarianism is all about, don’t ask a libertarian, because most of them don’t know.

Powered by Pressflow, an open source content management system