Firstly, did anyone else expect to see a list with 14 points for this thread? I mean, wouldn't that make sense if you are going ot discuss it?
Dr. Lawrence Britt in Fascism Anyone?
- Powerful and continuing nationalism
- Disdain for human rights
- IDing enemies or scapegoats as a unifying cause
- Supremeacy of the military
- Rampant sexism
- Controlled mass media
- National Security Obsession
- Religion and government intertwined
- Corporate powe protected
- Labour power supressed
- Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
- Obsession with crime and punishment
- Rampant cronyism and corruption
- Fraudulent Elections
All of this is presented as simply propaganda against Bush. Any of these points could be applied to Clinton or practically any other US president.
More importantly, most of them have nothing to do with Facism. Rather, and I haven't read the book, and perhaps the book makes a better arguement
for these points, but the flash presentation simply seeks to attach the label of "Evil" to Bush, and use an argument from authority (referencing a
Dr., etc) to support that emotive labeling.
Nationalism, I grant, is at the core of fascism. Nationalism was also what permited the US revolution to take place, but it would be difficult to
show that the republic the founders created was more fascist than the empire it withdrew from.
Protection of corporations and the cutting down of unions? That is not fascism. Fascism is where the people, as a whole are treated more like a
labour union, where the state takes over the operation of business, and guarntees the publc's economic well being, giving them jobs, social security,
The flash states that religion is intertwined with government, this is true of hitler, but not especially true of say mussolini or franco. Also, its
meaningless to say that, because Bush is religious, that therefore he is a fascist. It doesn't matter how many appeasl to religion he makes in his
speeches, its whats going on in the operation of government. Mussolini restricted, officially, the vatican to its palatial grounds within the city of
Rome. And all religious authorities in nazi germany became lorded-over by the nazi party itself, while a new religion and qausi-religious beleifs
were used to implement government policy. Bush has done some things like this, such as giving government funds to organizations that provide a public
are fundamentally religious. Thats hardly fascism. Then it throws in some slur about 'even though those policies are in conflict
with the religion'.
So now the makers of that flash video are the religious authorities that we should all be turning to to learn about what
They note supremeacy of the military, especially in teh face of 'social problems at home' , while showing a picture of poor people. Bush created
this? The US has been spending such a large amount of money on its military for generations now, its not a republican thing, not a democrat thing,
and its not a new thing. Whats more, the military isn't supreme. The majority of US tax dollars are not
spent on the military, and the
military is also entirely voluntary. In fact, the very idea that the State is supposed to be providing social services, land, homes, jobs, etc, to
the People, is a fascist idea, so who is this guy kidding?
They site government control of the media, but show a logo for FOX. Now, most people on ATS, I suspect, would agree that there is government control
of the media in general, but this flash seems to suggest that its just FOX, not cnn, nbc, the newspapers, etc etc. In a fascist state, all those
entitites would be owned by the state. In the US, none of them are. FOX is made up of a bunch of lunatics who think that everyone else in the media
is an evil scumsucking liberal and that they, the creators of FOX, need to counter-act all that evil liberal scumsuckiness. Stupid? Yes. Fascict era
governmental control and ownership of Media? No. Even if Bush personally owned FOX, its a single channel. Hitler controlled The Media, not just a
single media outlet, he controled the radio, tv, film, and printing presses.
Disdain for the arts and intellectuals? Fascism and Nazism have a disdain for sober rationalism and scientific empiricism, not intellectuals and the
arts. Fascist governments support the arts, and, historically, the avante garde in germany and italy were supportive of the fascists or
cultural and intellectual milleiu upon which fascism stands for support.
The human rights charge is slippery. Under fascism, you don't have rights. In the US, you do, and they are protected. Yes, the government might
cheat and listen to your phone calls or internet communications, its illegal, and its a problem. Yes, the US tortures and abuses prisoners overseas,
its wrong, and should be stopped, the claim that its not 'official policy' notwithstanding. And yes, the US government has arrested a US citizen,
revoked his citizenship, and detained him in a military brig and started to try him as an enemy combatant, that stopped, and there is civilian
overview in that ongoing case, it was a bad idea, but also, a single instance. That it was single instance certainly doesn't excuse it, though
there are arguments from precedent for it (from when the US was fighting the actual fascists), but it certainly doesn't stand as support for some
overall trend torwards specifically fascism in the US.
The rampant sexism charge is silly. The US culture, and certainly government, is one of the less sexist groups globally. Not the least, and sexism
does exist in the US, but the worst excesses of it come from the media and general public, with the exploitation of women as sex objects. IF you want
to point to sexists in the US today, don't look to the guys putting women in charge of national security, the state department, or their own election
campaigns. If sexism and exploitation of women is fascist, which is argueable in itself, then P Diddy is more Hitleresque than Bush.
National security is
something every government should be 'obsessive' over. Providing security from dangerous outside forces is one of the
very purposes of government. The scapegoating charge is absurd. Bush has constantly stated that the terror wars aren't against muslims. Also,
Hitler made the jews out as scapegoats for esoteric things wrong with germany, that they secretly made germany loose the war, that semitic culture is
poisonous and inferior to germano-aryan culture, etc. Bush has said 'terrorists attacked us, we are going to kill them'. Identifying an enemy that
is literally plotting to attack you is NOT scapegoating. 911 didn't happen because americans are bad people, or because of poor US intelligence, it
happened because al-Qaida chose to attack the US, and was able to carry it out. They're not the scapegoats, they're the perpetrators.
As far as cronyism, since fascism puts government officials in charge of the affairs of business, its difficult to say its cronyism, it can certainly
lead to cronyism, but there is nothing in the ideology of fascism that calls for cronyism, nor was cronyism a specific and characteristic
aspect of actual fascist regimes.
The obsession with crime and punishment charge is laughable. The US is so uninterested in crime that it doesn't even bother to have enough space for
all its prisoners. One of the more popular shows on television now stars, focuses, and in a sense excuses, the worst kind of criminal behaviour,
mafiaism, not to mention that hip hop is a glorification of criminality. Again, P Diddy, not Bush. The US is so unconcerned with crime, that it can
barely even execute a guy who admits that he was part of the 911 attacks! Or arrest a massive mob of admitted illegal immigrants. Both bush and kerry
appealed to 'foreign' spanish voters in spanish, Hitler never went to a synagoge for a photo-op, or joked in yiddish with rabbis while gnoshing on
As far as fraudulent elections, Bush won that election, in every single recount done, and under every estimate and re-projection. He didn't get the
most popular votes. But so what, Hitler did
, Hitler won the elections legitimately
. He didn't raise an army and steal his way into
the chancellry, he got brought
in through liberal democratic processes.