Is America Headed Towards Fascism?

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Fascism Is Not Just About Flag Waving and Making the Trains Run on Time

No, America is not “headed towards fascism.” It has been an essentially fascist country since August 6, 1945, when it dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. According to the Wikipedia, between Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was nuked three days later, the death toll in the two cities totaled at least 127,000 people. Historians are in agreement that the war in the Pacific was already won when the atomic bombs were unleashed and that the real purpose for the attacks was to stun the Soviet Union into halting their advance on China and Japan and to lay the cornerstone in the edifice of American world domination.

Dictionary.com says “fascism” is:

…a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

This definition falls short for me, as it doesn’t mention the quintessential elements of violence, cruelty and racism, which have been at the center of all 20th-century fascism. As for “a dictator having complete power,” that wasn’t necessary for the United States at the time, as the country was already militarized, mentalized and mobilized thanks to the previous four years of World War II, during which Franklin D. Roosevelt had greatly extended the arbitrary powers of the President for making war. If he had known who was to follow him in the presidency and how they would misappropriate the powers he legitimized he might have been more prudent.

Roosevelt’s Death Was Providential

After Roosevelt died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage at his Warm Springs, Georgia, retreat on April 12, 1945, a weak and inexperienced vice president–a failed haberdasher–became President of the United States, responsible for the endgame of the Second World War. Harry S. Truman had been an underling in the Boss Tom Pendergast Democratic-party machine in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Washington was known as “the senator from Pendergast.” Confused and ineffectual, Truman had been vice president for just 82 days when Roosevelt died. According to the White House’s own website (whitehouse.gov):

During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S. Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman’s to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became President. He told reporters, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”

When Truman became President he sought more experienced counsel. As luck would have it his principal advisor was his colleague and mentor from the Senate, James F. Byrnes, who was less expert than Truman supposed. Considered a relative lightweight by Washington insiders he was also a diehard anti-Soviet, this after Roosevelt had established a robust respect-based relationship with Stalin with prospects for postwar cooperation between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Byrnes was directly responsible for the firing of Henry Wallace, Roosevelt’s progressive Secretary of State and his earnest hope for the future of the United States.

With the new President firmly in the hands of hardline reactionaries like Byrnes and Averell Harriman, Ambassador to the Soviet Union since 1943, the collaborative postwar future foreseen by Roosevelt and Wallace, was quickly scrapped. Truman fired Wallace and dropped the bombs. Why two? Because war department wanted to see the effects of both models on densely-populated cities, the 16-kiloton, uranium-235-based “Little Boy” and the 21-kiloton plutonium device they called the “Fat Man.”

Immediately after the Second World War the Americans and the British turned their backs on their Soviet allies who had contributed massively more to winning the war than the US and UK combined. The comparative casualty figures are eloquent. According to the WW2 Museum, the total number of military and civilian dead, by country, were the following:

  • The United Kingdom–450,700
  • The United States–418,500
  • The Soviet Union–24,000,000

The level of betrayal was monumental. At the end of the war the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, actually goaded Truman and the president of the French provisional government, Charles DeGaulle, to turn their guns on the Soviet Union and get the Communists out of the way once and for all. That initiative didn’t prosper but other schemes to block and boycott the Soviet Union did. Truman, advised by the officers who created and ran Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the U.S. wartime intelligence service, oversaw the creation of the National Security Council and the CIA in 1947 and NATO in 1949. The stage was set for the Cold War, which was–and is–a classic, ongoing fascist response to any and all threats to American dominance worldwide.

The first steps in this fascist march on the future of the 20th century were taken by the British MI6 intelligence service even before World War II ended, with their creation of “stay behind” groups in almost all European countries. These were clandestine military units designed to offer resistance to possible Soviet invasions and were innocently accepted as such by their European “hosts.” Little did these welcoming countries suspect that the stay-behind units would soon morph into terrorist cells run by the CIA and MI6 and specialized in senseless, seemingly random false-flag attacks to instill fear of “communism” throughout Europe. The organization, commonly known as “Operation Gladio,” began operation in Italy near the end of the war and exercised a cruel and unusual influence there for decades. Gladio, partly financed by Marshall Plan funds, included right-wing elements and Nazi collaborators in most of the countries where it operated.  I have recently discussed Operation Gladio at some length in a four-part article that you can access here.

Italian Fascism as Role Model

New Yorker writer Robin Wright has this to say in a review of Madeleine Albright’s recent book, Fascism: A Warning, written with Bill Woodward, about the rise of Mussolini, the quintessential fascist, in the Italy of the 20s, 30s and 40s, until he was executed by a firing squad of Italian partisans on April 28, 1945 in the village of Giulino di Mezzegra in northern Italy.

Mussolini called on his followers to believe in an Italy that would be “prosperous because it was self-sufficient and respected because it was feared,” Albright writes. “This was how twentieth-century fascism began: with a magnetic leader exploiting widespread dissatisfaction by promising all things.” Il Duce, who was Italy’s Prime Minister from 1922 until 1943, said that his mission was “to break the bones of the democrats and the sooner the better.” He used the term “drenare la palude,” or “drain the swamp.” He had a talent for theatre, Albright notes, and was a poor listener who disliked hearing other people talk. He discouraged cabinet members from “proposing any idea that might cause him to doubt his instincts,” which, he insisted, were always right. He also promoted the idea of national self-sufficiency “without ever grasping how unrealistic that ambition had become.”

If this sounds eerily familiar it’s because it is almost too accurate to be true. Wright makes it crystal clear: “The elephant rampaging through these pages is, of course, Donald Trump.”

Let’s Look at Some Clear Examples of Current American Fascism

The best and most recent case is that of illegal immigrant children, including babies,  being forcibly separated from their parents at the US borders. Need I point out that this practice cries out to heaven? It’s still not clear what the future holds for these innocent young people. One European news medium summed it up: “The United States is the only country in the world with concentration camps for children.”

These heinous detention practices are not limited to immigrant children. They extend to both juvenile and adult prisoners all over the country. The Bradley (Chelsea) Manning case is the most high-profile example. He was submitted to almost seven years of a prison regime that amounted to torture. Just as horrific as the treatment of Manning was the Kids for Cash scandal in Pennsylvania, which saw kids “sold” by juvenile judges to private for-profit prisons. This case affected many more young people, most of whom will not go back to school nor be otherwise rehabilitated.

Is it not fascistic to punish the populations of whole countries over long periods for perceived affronts or egalitarian political leanings before the all-powerful USA, whether by means of embargoes, election tampering, assassination, regime change or outright invasion as in the cases of Cuba,  Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Greece, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Libya… Those peoples emphatically did not deserve the imposition of these gratuitous priorities of property rights over human rights. We’re not talking about idle ideology here; we’re talking about countless thousands–nay millions–of deaths of innocent people.

What Spawns a Fascist?

What spawns a fascist? What are the causes of this fascist degeneration of American society?  There can be many causes starting with good-old-fashioned greed and will to power. But we can’t discount individual personality disorders, limited intelligence, inherited wealth and privilege, mob psychology, indoctrination of false notions of exceptionalism, imperfect adaptation to school and society, or the atmosphere in which the young fascist is reared. The Spanish would sum this all up neatly in two words: mala leche. “Mala leche” is the “bad milk” that one suckles from his mother, nourishment that also transmits low character and ignoble inclinations. It’s a metaphor for a person’s whole biological, cultural and social heritage. Mala leche is perhaps the most serious insult in the Spanish language, not one to be taken lightly.  The operative question at this point is: what do you do when approximately half the country is afflicted with it.

Read more rantings in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.
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American Democracy: The Art of Winning

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By Hook or by Crook

In the mid-seventies, when they started building underground parking lots in Granada, whenever I would drive into town I would have to park on the outskirts and walk into the center. On the walk I would pass the old Pharmacy Faculty, which had been moved to a new building and replaced in the old one by Political Science. So I’m walking up that little-frequented street one day and I notice the sign over the door. It says “Facultad de Sociología y Ciencias Políticas.” That was when it hit me. The prevailing political model, which the United States has exported all over the world, calling it “democracy,” is not about noble ideas and the fight for human rights. It’s about sociology: opinion polls and pandering to lowbrow voters and powerful interests. It’s about opportunism, not idealism, as they would have us believe.

Where do the sociologists fit into this scheme of things? They design and run polls to determine scientifically what it is that voters want, no matter how insane or banal those desires may be. Election shifters have no need to introduce voters to any higher ideas or projects for their intellectual or moral advancement. Their mission is just to promise the marks the pre-digested kibble of advanced consumer society and win elections.

The Benefits of Dumbing Down

This scheme of things has another advantage. It guarantees the gradual stagnation of citizens’ thoughts and aspirations for a better society or for any suggestion of collective solutions. (The dreaded socialism! The only Americans who benefit from Socialist programs are members of Congress and the Armed Forces. They get the works, notably health and dental care, and living pensions paid for at the taxpayers’ expense.) The end result of this process of stagnation is–in case you hadn’t noticed–the dumbing down of the majority of the country’s unfortunate citizens. This is how the United States got presidents like Harry Truman, George W. Bush (and his expert and essential puppeteer, Dick Cheney), and Donald Trump.

Other positive aspects of the dumbing down of American citizens are the creation of thousands of inmates for the country’s for-profit prisons and a massive pool of recruits to feed the armed services.

The Unique Objective

The only objective of American politicians is winning elections, and at that they are masters. Winning is the be-all and end-all that justifies all means, however sordid. Candidates in federal elections adhere to agendas that have been designed for them by election experts, including the essential sociologists. Though these agendas are nowadays generally financed by corporate sponsors, and sold as programs to benefit the voters, the truth is that they are designed uniquely to win elections.

Where do ethics enter into the equation? They don’t. What enters into the equation is expediency and adherence to a pre-determined ideological agenda tailored to the needs of the big-bucks sponsors. That’s the desired end. Whether the means of achieving it are ethical or not is irrelevant.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the United States government is no longer a democracy. A regime that was always predatory has morphed over the past couple of decades into a total corporatocracy with the classic corporate values. The irony of this chilling fact is that it was achieved through entirely legal means. What is meant by “legal,” anyway? It means “in accordance with the law.” Who makes the federal laws of the United States of America? Who legalizes all the clearly anti-democratic pieces of this puzzle? The United States Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate. There, you see, it’s not that complicated, after all.

For the full list of election manipulation devices that have been legalized by the House and the Senate you would have to ask a member of Congress or a veteran lobbyist. But here are a few examples to initiate your list:

  • Superdelegates
    superdelegates600In American politics, a superdelegate is an unpledged delegate to the Democratic National Convention who is seated automatically and decides for themselves for whom they vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include elected officials and party activists and officials. They are free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination. There were 437 DNC members who were superdelegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. With these numbers, they can usually sway the election of a Democratic Party preferred candidate, though in 2016 they missed.
  • Gerrymandering
    Gerrymandering, in its simplest form, is the re-drawing of Congressional
    Districts to include voters favorable to the candidate’s party and exclude
    those who would be more inclined to vote against them. Incumbent
    members of Congress can use this mechanism to virtually assure their
    re-election.
  • Bargaining for Industrial and Institutional Campaign Contributions
    The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010, that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations. This decision effectively equated corporations with private citizens when it came to campaign donations, thus opening the floodgates to the virtual purchasing of elected officials. 
  • Super Pacs
    What they don’t achieve through direct campaign financing, corporate and other institutional interests can manage through the use of super PACs, which can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend those sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. In any case, it’s clear that the vias for buying election results are wide open.

Once Upon a Time

I once actually believed that there was a time when American politics was about brilliant and conscientious politicians who had ideas and ideals and wanted to promote them for the good of society. To find that time you had to go quite a ways back, maybe to Abraham Lincoln or maybe even George Washington. Or perhaps not even Washington, who was probably conditioned by being perhaps the richest man in the colonies, thanks to Martha’s extensive land–and slave–holdings.

However that may be, I am still so naive that I would like to believe that at one time or another there had been an element of decency in American politics, some remnant of consideration for the commonwealth. Maybe Franklin D. Roosevelt embodied some of that. But I’m still not sure. What I do know for certain is that modern American politics–and by extension, most of the rest of the world’s “democracies”–is bereft of any hint of ideas or idealism. Anybody who believes otherwise is a dupe and a sap, I fear

Today’s aspirant to public office doesn’t need ideals. All he needs are corporate sponsors, the ability to read a script and a team of sociologists and other “elections experts.” As for “the ability to read…” Donald Trump has shown us that even that is not absolutely essential. This atypical President is not alone. He’s accompanied on his belicose magical mystery tour by many cohorts of a similar ilk. It will be terrifying to see where they take their country–and the world.

People who write articles, if they want to maintain their readership, are advised to end their pieces on an upbeat note. I would love to be able to do that. But I can’t.

Read more rantings in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.
Thanks for commenting and sharing

 

The Children’s Crusade–2/3

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Nothing New Under the Sun; U.S. Tried to Curb Gun Deaths in the 60s

Attempts at gun-control regulation have quite a long history in the United States. According to an article by Seth Cline, in U.S. News.com on Jan. 16, 2013, there was a major initiative in 1969. A commission formed by President Lyndon Johnson issued its own–admittedly timid–policy recommendations to address gun violence, which was rising amidst the social turmoil of the time. U.S. News and World Report said at the time:

Millions of Americans will be compelled to give up their pistols if Congress passes a law proposed by the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. But Congress, it appears, is not at all likely to pass such a law—in this session, at least.

“Not a chance, none at all,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (Dem.), of Montana, when asked about the prospects of Congress accepting the Commission’s plan this year. Representatives of the Nixon Administration recently told a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee they saw no need for tighter gun laws now.

Continue reading “The Children’s Crusade–2/3”

Permanent War Is Bad for You

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But It’s So Good for Business; What Can We Do?

I wonder if the American dedication to permanent war over the past quarter-century worries you as much as it does me. And it’s looking more permanent every day as if the country had developed a bellicose addiction. It comes in colors: black ops, pre-emptive strikes, war by false flags, war by proxies, mercenary wars. What to do about it? I’ll do what I normally do, write it up, in the vain hope that someone will at least notice the absurdity and injustice of the situation.

I’ve got some specific concerns regarding this “Permawar” business.  Permanent war means victims every day, victims of all flavors, young and old, saints and sinners, almost every type of person in fact, except politicians and war profiteers. I do want to include soldiers in this list of victims. They are, after all, human beings, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, all with families, dreams and ambitions to lose in a war. And most of them don’t want to be there in the first place. Continue reading “Permanent War Is Bad for You”

What America Learned from the Germans — 2/2

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(Continued from Part 1)

More on the Propaganda Techniques Employed by the Nazis

  • Glittering Generalities, which Yourman characterizes as “the use of “virtue words” to appeal to emotions of love, generosity and brotherhood. This phenomenon extends to references to German traditions dating back to the Middle Ages, especially the word “volk,” pronounced “folk.” German farmers were seduced to back the Third Reich with constant associations with “Blut und Boden,” (Blood and Soil) and bound by oaths of “Bauer honor” to tie them to the land and prevent them from changing their occupation or residence. The Nazis needed every sector of their economy dominated and running smoothly if they were going to win the upcoming war.
    .

Every country has its own benevolent myths regarding their own folks but the Nazis milked them dry. The Americans did something similar after the war. The myths of the “self-made man,” the “hardy frontiersman” and other old saws were elevated to such heights of nincompoopery that they gave rise to a full-blown axiomatic truth called “American Exeptionalism,” a truth just as true as “Manifest Destiny” and The Tooth Fairy. Continue reading “What America Learned from the Germans — 2/2”

The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–2/2

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The Pledge of Allegiance is a Socialist Invention

The Wikipedia has an excellent article on the Pledge of Allegiance and I want to cite a couple of  quotes from it. I’m sure they won’t mind:

“The Pledge of Allegiance, as it exists in its current form, was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).

“In 1892, Francis Bellamy created what was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, which was adopted in Germany later, the US Congress stipulated that the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the US would be the salute to replace the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.”

Continue reading “The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–2/2”

The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–1/2

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Uncle Sam Wants You

A flag is just a rag but throughout history flags have been used to encourage and justify mankind’s most heinous crimes. And in the U.S.A. nothing has changed in this respect. Whenever an American government—of any stripe—wants to recruit cannon fodder for any of their foreign adventures the first thing they haul out is the flag, “Old Glory.” Time after time young Americans respond in true Pavlovian style. And it’s not just any old bone they’re drooling after. It’s a death lottery.

What possible explanation can there be for young people to put so little value on their very lives? The answer is simpler than you might think. Just as collies are bred for herding sheep, Americans are bred to go to war. But why? That’s not too complicated, either. Because if the United States runs out of soldiers their policy of permanent war falls apart. And they can’t have that. Without war what’s left of the American economy—technology and arms sales—falters, along with the myth of American invincibility and their militarists’ dream of “full spectrum dominance.” They’re almost there. They have already conquered Grenada and Panama, though they found some unexpected resistance in Irak and Afghanistan. Now all they have left to dominate are North Korea and Iran. Oh, I almost forgot. There are Russia and China, too. Continue reading “The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–1/2”