Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Dreams of Fascism in The USA

It’s axiomatic in the mainstream media and ancillary public affairs channels that any mention of Hitler and Nazism except in the most disparaging of terms is a no-no. While the Fox right wing (fascist) propaganda (a British invention, given its modern characteristics by the Nazis) TV and supporting radio networks with a viewership/listenership in the millions (between 8 to 15 million on any given day) readily embrace the techniques pioneered by Joseph Goebbels (most commonly acknowledged by the MSM, the so-called “Big Lie”), its flat-footed MSM counterparts are slow to counter the Fox juggernaut.

It’s more than a little ironic that a Saudi Prince owns a seven percent stake in Fox. While the fascist (yes, fascist) network’s stormtroopers (yes, stormtroopers as in brown shirts; read your history) obsess Islamophobically and commit acts of violence against the American Muslim community, the Fox propaganda network stokes the fear and the anger through its talented propagandists. Behind the scenes the Saudi prince frankly admits an interest in maintaining American dependence on Saudi oil: “Fox News reliably broadcasts misinformation on clean energy, and aggressively fights efforts to move America away from being dependent on a fossil fuels.” But his influence is felt in other ways, too:
In 2005, just months after Alwaleed acquired his first 5.4 percent stake in News Corp., Fox News covered riots in Paris under a banner saying “Muslim riots.” Alwaleed allegedly called Murdoch and had him change the banner to say “Civil riots.” Investigative journalist Joseph Trento also reported that a comment he recently made on a Fox Network morning news show, Fox and Friends, about Saudi Arabian money still financing Al Qaeda, was edited out of the show.
Someone with a conspiratorial bent, say like Glenn Beck viewers and followers, might reasonably conclude that doing business with a Saudi Prince as well as North Korea’s Kim Jong Il is tantamount to high treason; what’s the term -– “palling around” with terrorists and a real communist dictator. (don’t forget, 15 of 19 9/11 terrorists were Saudi nationals and their funding came from (?).) Instead, their misguided attention is drawn by the pied piper of misinformation and lies to our African American president who is about as “socialist” as a can of sardines and, in another ironic twist, has been laboring mightily to wean our country of dependence on foreign oil. Meanwhile at Fox, one of its overarching (serious) themes, beneath all the Beck nonsense, is to deepen our nation’s dependence on Saudi oil. Because it’s good for Rupert Murdoch’s business.

It’s not the first time that a plutocrat capitalist has “palled around” with the enemy. Indeed, one of the most infamous examples of this was Henry Ford’s close business and friendship ties with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. He helped rebuild the German war machine and gave material aid to our mortal enemy in its smashing blitzkrieg against our allies France and Britain. Just as significant, the Bush family also had extensive commercial ties to Nazi Germany. Not to speak of Tea Party funding from a family that made its fortune partnering with communist dictator Josef Stalin in Soviet Russia.

Given all these connections, that would make Beck’s blackboard weep, someone with a conspiratorial bent might reasonably think there’s fascism afoot at Fox; the kind of fascism, perhaps, that is closer to Mussolini’s corporate monopoly fascism than Hitler’s cunning charismatic populism and virulent racism. In either case, though, there is always an enemy of the state that is the scapegoat. (Typically, the state in a fascist culture is defined as an ideal that harks back to its origins –- the Aryan nation, the Roman Empire, and the Founders, that “shining city on a hill” or the undefined (see video) “last best hope.”)

In Nazi Germany, the Jew was the “enemy” to be exterminated. In his rise to power, Hitler began by methodically and ruthlessly eliminating all political opposition –- socialists, communists, labor unions, centrist Democrats and even elements within his own Nazi Party. Mussolini’s fascist state had similar scapegoats, particularly labor unions, absent the racism on steroids of the Nazis. And in the proto-fascism sprouting in this country there is a mix of the two. Shady right wing plutocrats provide seed money and resources for Astroturf “Tea Party” movements. At the same time, racist and fascist organizations plotting in the shadows for decades in this country have used the Tea Party movement as cover to infiltrate and insinuate their noxious ideology of hatred into the media mainstream. Here the scapegoat, the other to be hated and feared, is our African American president.

These groups have been openly supporting the Tea Party and recruiting at Tea Party events. Some people who identify with the Tea Party are proto-fascists, easily manipulated by slick demagogues like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Others, along with their hideous signs, are straight out of the American Nazi “Aryan Nations” and extremist right wing groups like the John Birch Society. Tea Party darling Sharron Angle, Nevada candidate for senator, echoes one of the Birchers’ favorite “communist government” conspiracies: the fluoridation of water.

Christianity is a hook for fascists. Mussolini said, “The Fascist State does not remain indifferent to the fact of religion in general and to that particular positive religion which is Italian Catholicism. The State has no theology, but it has an ethic. . . . The Fascist State does not create a "God" of its own … nor does it vainly seek, like Bolshevism, to expel religion from the minds of men. Fascism respects the God of the ascetics, of the saints, of the heroes, and also God as seen and prayed to by the simple and primitive heart of the people.”

Much has been said on the Right about so-called “Islamofascism” but the American Right has been silent on the question of the Christian Right in this country. There is no more stark example of the Christian Right gone mad than the plans of a fundamentalist pastor and his congregation to burn Korans on 9/11/2010. Even the warning of America’s top general that this insanity could endanger the lives of our troops and spur attacks against Americans in Islamic countries could not sway this Christian fascist.

As Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America said:
“The language of violence always presages violence. When someone like Palin posts a map with cross hairs on the districts of Democrats, when she says “Don’t Retreat, Instead—RELOAD!” there are desperate people cleaning their weapons who listen. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who listen. . . .These movements are not yet full-blown fascist movements. They do not openly call for the extermination of ethnic or religious groups. They do not openly advocate violence. But, as I was told by Fritz Stern, a scholar of fascism who has written about the origins of Nazism, ‘In Germany there was a yearning for fascism before fascism was invented.’ It is the yearning that we now see, and it is dangerous. If we do not immediately reincorporate the unemployed and the poor back into the economy, giving them jobs and relief from crippling debt, then the nascent racism and violence that are leaping up around the edges of American society will become a full-blown conflagration. Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans. The hatred for those not defined by this largely white movement as American patriots will become a hatred for African-Americans. The hatred for liberals will morph into a hatred for all democratic institutions, from universities to government agencies and to the press.
The Tea Party is a means for marginalized extremist and racist groups to go stealthily mainstream and for fascism to spread from the shadows thanks to Fox and its propaganda network. Fascism loves tough economic times. This is no time for Democrats to stay home in November, nor would it be a rational choice for moderate apolitical independents to vote for the Tea Party candidate, who is increasingly indistinguishable from the Republican.

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