Abraham Lincoln observed that America was it’s own worst enemy:
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Hypocrisy is the new morality
Arrogance is the new patriotism
Intelligence is the new elitism
Freedom is the new fascism
I wrote these between 2003-2006 during the height of madness around the Iraq war and lingering fallout from the elections of 2000, 2004, 9/11 and the decline of the press and the rise of the ultra-right manipulation machine.
I was alarmed by the shift in meanings and actions, a perversion of language and words— the reversals of meaning.
By the time the issue was finally finished in fall 2008 (especially after the november 08 election) I was concerned that the whole issue was out-dated. I foolishly believed Obama’s election would lessen the bitter partisan downward spiral… but it has only radicalized it.
Now you have people on Fox opening calling Obama a racist and a Nazi. Seriously, what kind of logic is this anchored in?
Bush was called all those things too, and I see now how that was extreme, but he actually did things like suspend civil liberties, consolidate power, start wars under false pretenses, and approve torture…
What exactly do these people think Obama has DONE? Try to create national health care?
People blather on about “death panels” and what they are apparently too stupid to see is that the corporations are ALREADY everything that they accuse Obama of trying to create!
I was naively convinced that the national attitude would shift and the negativity would give way to a new (if cautious) optimism. And for an all too brief moment this seemed possible, but now, after the bank collapses, the economic recession continuing to deepen, and the frightening descent into lunacy of the right (and the utter lack of moderate conservative voices to step in) I realized all of this is even more relevant than ever…
The election of Obama has the Right foaming at the mouth… no lessons learned, just blame and lies. And on the precipice of genuine derangement.
This is a dangerous moment… if an disastrous event (real or manufactured) occurs we could find ourselves on the dark path toward a real new national fascism, or at the least a period of ultra polarized politics- a climate that typically yields little for the average citizen…
Hypocrisy IS the new Morality. And it is a warning.
But what really constitutes fascism?
The American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as
“The domination of a government by corporations of the political right, combined with bellicose nationalism.”
According to Uberto Eco [ via Wikipedia ]Historical fascism includes:
The Cult of Tradition
Combining cultural syncretism with a rejection of modernism
(often disguised as a rejection of capitalism).
The Cult of Action for Action’s Sake
Which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reflection. This, says Eco, is connected with anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, and often manifests in attacks on modern culture and science.
Disagreement is Treason
Fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action.
Fear of Difference
Which fascism seeks to exploit and exacerbate, often in the
form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.
Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class
Fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups.
Obsession With a Plot
And the hyping-up of an enemy threat. This often involves an appeal to xenophobia or the identification of an internal security threat.
Life is Permanent Warfare
There must always be an enemy to fight.
Contempt for the Weak
Although a fascist society is elitist, everybody in the society is educated to become a hero.
The People have a common will, which is not delegated but interpreted by a leader. This may involve doubt being cast upon a democratic institution, because “it no longer represents the Voice of the People.”
Fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning.
How much of this sounds familiar to recent events? All too much if you ask me!
and then there are these old chestnuts…
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of
state and corporate power.” —Benito Mussolini
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.
That in its essence is fascism—ownership of government by an individual,
by a group or any controlling private power.” —President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“In manipulating information, we see a departure from classic fascism. Then it was ceaseless propaganda backed by spies and informers, to bind elite support and to mobilize masses—often using the new technology of radio. The friendly way is with monitoring (using opinion polls and focus groups) and ad hoc communications aimed at passive acquiescence. Faceless oligarchs manage the minds of elites via learned journals, the business press, and educational programs. They mystify and immobilize the masses via the hypnotic use of electronic media, mainly television.
Big government in alliance with big business: corporate authoritarianism that subverts constitutional democracy.” —Bertram Ross, Friendly Fascism
“Fascism under the guise of democracy is the rule of financial capital itself.”
“The East collapsed because it blindly believed Western utopian ideas of freedom of the individual. The West, on the other hand, survived because through its corporate logic it discreetly introduced a system of unconscious collective non-freedom.
The collapse of communism no longer means a permanent triumph of classical capitalism. In its core, capitalism has a tendency towards self-destruction. The fundamental self-destructive substance of capitalism, and its driving force is greed. It is a characteristic of greed that only appeases its hunger when it destroys itself.” —NSK/Laibach
I almost wish we could just divide the country, but there’s no way to do it physically because everyone is intermixed…
but if the conservatives could have their Holy immigrant free-artless-white bread-Bible state somewhere… with no taxes, guns for everyone, whatever… at least the rest of the country could move forward.
At least I imagine that it could…
I can imagine that progressive America unchained by fringe conservative lunacy could actually be a better place.
A place where you could afford to go to the doctor, where you could buy a car that wasn’t built to become obsolete within two years, a place that wasn’t under the spell of corporate cannibals, where education was free and creativity rewarded.
A place where everything didn’t have to be a instant commodity.
but it’s a crazy fantasy… it’s not feasible at all. And if it were, it would probably lead to another horrifying confrontation…
It just all feels SO irreconcilable.
Can we really step back from this looming disaster and find common ground, civility, and respect for one another? (conservatives and progressives)