Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is Fascism Coming to the United States?

According to Naomi Wolf it's already here, almost. In a thought-provoking article the Star News Online describes the dire situation as Wolf sees it. (h/t to Patrick in California)

Comparing coups from the Nazis' rise to power in Germany to the Pinochet regime in Chile, Wolf identified key 10 steps in the fall of democracy. Among these: the invoking of a terrifying external threat, the creation of secret prisons, a rise in domestic surveillance, the harassment of citizens' groups, a crackdown on the press and the treating of dissent as treason.

It would certainly be hard to deny the signals she cites, but does that mean we're headed down the path to the kind of government control described so forcefully in George Orwell's 1984? Even folks who break no laws and have never suffered harassment of any kind have noticed the frightening and ever-increasing video surveillance.

The first video talks about The List which is ostensibly maintained for airport security. The second video describes how Blackwater has been mandated for domestic security work.

Watching these from the vantage point of Europe makes me wonder if I should come home to the US, change my stance on personal weapons and prepare for the upcoming fight or if perhaps I should move even farther away. What would you do if you were me? Do you think this is paranoia? Isn't there too much money invested in America's capitalism to allow something like the government taking over? Is it a valid comparison to say the US today is like the Germany of 1931?


  1. I realized the other day there was no place I could talk to someone in private (other than our homes) without being filmed. Both of our apt complexes have 24/7 cameras outside, also, both of our workplaces (parking lot too), etc.

    It freaked me out when I realized...

  2. Coming to the US?

    You mean it isn't here already?

  3. if Barack Obama gets elected, he'll have a hard row to hoe setting the country back on track. we've been headed in --- i hesitate to use the word, but it seems to fit --- an un-American direction for the past eight years at least, and turning it around now will be a near superhuman task.

    how he might do it in a mere four years i can't imagine, but neither can i imagine him being a two-termer after the economical measures he'll be forced to take, considering the ruinous mistakes Bush has been making.

    if McCain gets elected, that might just be (in at least some sense) the end of America. at least of the America that Americans my age grew up to respect and love; the way the country would be run, the goals and aspirations of the nation, as well as what the nation was economically and diplomatically capable of doing, would be radically changed if the republicans hold on to power for even one more term.

    changed perhaps irrevocably, although i hope i'm wrong about that.

  4. Nomen,

    I saw a cartoon that boiled down the election to the simplest terms in my opinion

    McCain NATIONAL socialism
    Obama national SOCIALISM

    I agree with b.e. earl, you mean it's not already here.

  5. Mike,

    Here is a great blog post for you to consider

    Permit Permutations

  6. +1 Jay's a great guy, and that post is probably one of his best.

  7. Any reason you seem to have deleted my post or did it not go through?

    Fascism first reared it's ugly head in America under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln who had presses smashed and journalists locked up without trial in his pursuit of a bloody war of Federal Supremacy that has left scars on the American Nation to this very day.

    A case could be made for the earlier quashing of the "whiskey Rebellion" as well.

    Sorry if you didn't like the way I worded it earlier. Not really sorry, but sorry that it eliminated the time I'd taken to bother to type it...

  8. Thomas,

    I think your post was in the wrong post.

    Nomen pointed out that your comment appears in the "manliest mailbox" post

  9. My bad, I'd opened a number of comments tabs sleepily and ranted in the wrong box...


  10. Another post about being under surveillance daily.

    If you aren't reading Law Dog daily, you really should be.

    Smile, Mr. Orwell

    Fascism isn't coming to America, it's here but it's here under the guise of "for your own good"

  11. As for the "Obama Savior" silliness:


    Obama 243
    McCain 274
    21 "TIED"

    was 268 Obama--271 McCain just yesterday...Midwestern battleground states that Obama insulted by making that statement about "Small minded people clinging to their god and guns" (paraphrase, we both read it and heard it and you can look up the exact quote iffin' ya like)...All but his pretend "HOME STATE of IL" where the "niggers mostly don't see him as a "fellow nigger" but as a pretender to the actual civil rights activists that put up with their own blood to get rights...have gone SOLID RED on the polling maps. IL is only weakly "blue".

    Good night and good luck with your pro-government, anti-freedom, socialist agendas...Y'all know who I talkin to, Willis.


    just sayin'...

  12. I might add that "nomen" grew up to know and love a corrupt government full of pork products that engaged in an avoidable cold war and a tremendous amount of un-needed interventionsim in other country's politics...

    You wanna read your history, baby, you best read it all, nomen...

    if McCain gets elected, that might just be (in at least some sense) the end of America. at least of the America that Americans my age grew up to respect and love; the way the country would be run, the goals and aspirations of the nation, as well as what the nation was economically and diplomatically capable of doing, would be radically changed if the republicans hold on to power for even one more term.

    FDR, JFK, and Johnson engaged in more of the above than the Republicans.

    @ Nomen:

    Crack a book at the library in the history department for a couple years and get back to me and stop reading the SAME CHOMSKY BOOK THAT CHOMSKY HAS BEEN WRITING AND RE-WRITING FOR THE PAST MANY DECADES. It'd do you some good.

    Maybe you need the coffee you suggested I need, I only sleepily typed a bit of a rant in the wrong box, you've read all of American History wrong as far as I can tell...

    Cheers and good luck with your daydreams...You know Karl Marx and Mao and Che had daydreams too? Ones that ended up rather murderous in their execution, pardon the double entendre, but it couldn't be helped.


    We won't allow your Obama to ruin our "last, best hope" for human society.

  13. @ daisy

    It freaks me out that people would choose to live in apartment complexes for ANY reason and work at workplaces that don't trust their workers.

  14. thomas, since you haven't paid attention --- i was speaking of the native-born friends i've made here in the USA since immigrating a decade ago. the country i grew up in, and where i lived until age 25, is globally recognized as one of the LEAST corrupt places on earth. the rest of your rants have not enough coherence to be worth addressing, i'm afraid; have a good day.

  15. Daisy, It really is something the video cameras everywhere. I read that the so-called technology is most advanced in London. We're even seeing more of it here in Rome.

    Bob and Weer'd, I bookmarked Jay's blog. It looked very interesting, and he sure posts a lot. Also the Law Dog Daily. Thanks.

    Thomas, Thanks for that information on Lincoln. I've known for a long time that you can't trust the school books we all grew up with. None of what you said surprises me. I was wondering, do you think that famous march to the sea of Sherman was similar to what they did a hundred years later with the atom bombs on Japan. The authors of it say it was necessary to subdue the enemy; the victims and critics, of course, say it was overkill. Would that be a fair comparison?

  16. Perhaps a unfair comparison.

    The Niponese were fanatical in their nationalism, more so than the Southern States.

    The Southern states wanted to be allowed to secede, which, as far as anyone knew, was constitutionally valid. Lincoln intentionally forced the actual war and Sumter incident and intentionally rained vengeance on HIS OWN PEOPLE so as to punish them for being unruly children vs. the Federal Government. He as much said so in as many words many many times. Think DEA vs California Medical Marijuana coops on a giant scale.

    The usage of nuclear weapons against Japan was of greater military validity than Sherman's scorched earth policies. One might also keep in mind that our firebombings of both the Germans and Japanese, WITHOUT NUKES, caused more civilian terror and deaths. Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined did not have the death toll that the firebombing of Tokyo did. Many do not know that. It was basically a "you thought the firebombings were bad, we can do this two with just TWO AIRPLANES ONE BOB EACH, so come out with your hands up and lay down your arms, you're finished..."

    Also, Japan wasn't intended to be re-integrated into the United States of America. That's very important to remember.

    @ nomen: They might not be able for you to address because you haven't read the history except on a basic level. They weren't incoherent, as Mike is having no problem debating them with me. Point taken? If not, you can hit the ignore list.

    You need to look more at the history of your adopted country or you won't understand where it is today.

  17. thomas, maybe you're right. or then again, maybe i have studied this country i've adopted, and simply arrived at different conclusions than you.

    i don't see Lincoln in the light you do, for instance. and i suspect our disagreement on him is a simple, honest disagreement, such as reasonable people can hold. i doubt you'll convince me otherwise, if only because your poor rhetorical skills makes it hard for me to take you seriously as an analytical thinker.

  18. I feel the same about you, nomen.

    Regards and best of luck with that.

  19. Tom, Thanks for that very clear comparison between Sherman's actions and the atomic bombing of Japan.

    But, did you tell us what you think about the post; about what Naomi Wolf says is happening in America in the 21st century?

  20. Still mulling it over, mike. I'll get back to you on that, inclined to agree with some and disagree with other parts...


  21. On your original topical tangent, my friend David Codrea who keps telling me I need my own website wrote about as much as I would, besides my bit about the USA being Fascist since Lincoln at Best, Washington at earliest...Most definitely since FDR.


  22. Perhaps this is your answer, mikeb?

    Gott Mitt Uns!!!

  23. Mike,

    Could you define what you mean by fascism?

  24. Bob S., Thanks for keeping me honest. The truth is your question made me ask myself if I really knew what it means. I often use words that I have only a vague understanding of, and need to look them up. In this case I came up pretty clean, after double checking in the dictionary.

  25. Mike,

    The reason I asked was to set up a follow up question.

    Of today's political parties, which do you think has the most in common with fascism?

  26. Republican, of course. Why do I have the impression I've been set up here? I suppose you've got some argument up your sleeve that the Democrats are really more fascist. Well lemme have it.

  27. Mike,

    I'm just starting into a good book called "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg. I recommend it.

    Let's look at some of the tenets of fascism

    * Absolute power of the State:
    Assumes that the individual is less important then the state. Hillary Clinton & Michelle Obama are two recent examples of democrats making statements showing this. Here's Michelle Obama's statement

    Most Americans don’t want much. They don’t want the whole pie. There are some who do, but most Americans feel blessed just being able to thrive a little bit. But that is becoming even more out of reach. The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.

    Both sides are looking for greater powers for the state. I've said on another website that the only difference between the two is which rights they want to take from us first. However, I find the relentless march of the "it's for the greater good" meme to very insidious. How about seat belt laws, helmut laws, bans on transfats? Who continues to increase what the state can tell us to do and what we can't do?

    * Strict social order:
    At first blush, this would seem to be a republican/conservative issue. But I disagree. Think about the elitism expressed by the democrats repeatedly. People don't know what is best for them so those that do have to tell them. Most of the liberal social order is based on intellect, the smart people should be the ones making the decisions.

    Social Security is another way the liberals maintain the social order. The system is designed to keep people on it, not move them out into the work force and up. Welfare is becoming an inter-generational lifestyle because of the dependency cycles.

    * Authoritarian leadership: There is, again, some of this on both sides. But I'll use Al Gore as an example both for the Green Movement (original fascist tenet, see Nazi Germany) and for the authoritarian leadership. How much easier would our lives be if we just accepted that HE IS THE EXPERT on the issue and follow his dictates. Why is anyone questioning global warming?

    Another great quote from Mrs. Obama shows this also:

    Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

    So much for freedom to choose, eh?

    * Militarism:
    This again has a little on both sides. I think the conservative values of a strong national defense are often confused with militarism. What I see is a subverting of the overt military aspects into blatant militant stands. Code Pink, Rainbow warriors, War on Poverty, etc and etc. Who are the most violent, most militant protesters, conservatives or liberals?

    I married 6 years ago and immediately started getting my kids in trouble at school. They dared disagree with their teachers about "hate speech", global warming, "it takes a village to raise a kid" and many others. Any time they disagreed with a teacher, they didn't meet with a lot of encourage, but mostly with disbelief that anyone wouldn't follow the line. This was a serious problem; my oldest boy was sent to in school suspension 3 times for "disrespecting" a teacher during a discussion. I had problems with that same teacher....very militant in her beliefs and wouldn't stand for anyone to question her.

    So, is America still the "land of liberty" or are we becoming a land of the government telling us what is best for us?

  28. bob, instead of reading goldberg, you'd do better to read Neiwert. start with his review of goldberg, then if you can stand the snark, read his snappy comebacks.

    or, for more substantial intellectual fare, read Neiwert's reports on eliminationism in America (that one's part 1 of 10).

    executive summary: jonah goldberg is every bit as silly a person as the folks at Sadly, No make him out to be. better thinkers have more substantial things to say; read them instead.