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When Fascism Came to America

Posted on Apr 21, 2009

By William Pfaff

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, author of “Babbitt” and the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, published a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here.”

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It was written to influence the 1936 presidential election. The enormously popular ex-governor of Louisiana, Sen. Huey Long, “the Kingfish,” who campaigned to “Share the Wealth” with the people, was widely thought to be a threat to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his bid for a second term.

The Lewis novel envisioned someone like Long winning the presidency and installing an American counterpart to the fascist dictatorships already in power in Italy and Germany. Lewis was much influenced by his second wife, Dorothy Thompson, who was one of the most important syndicated political columnists of the 1930s and was greatly concerned about the possibility of populist dictatorship crossing the Atlantic.

Long was not a fascist, although he could have become a dictator. His support was from the poor. Rightist and white-supremacist forces actually formed an armed militia to oppose him, but Long was killed by an assassin, presumably with a family grievance against him, in 1935.

The man who actually opposed Roosevelt in 1936 was Republican Alf Landon of Kansas, a moderate who was defeated by Roosevelt in the greatest presidential landslide in American history. That year, FDR carried all but eight electoral votes. Sinclair Lewis’ fears had been misplaced; “It” didn’t happen here.

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In 2004, Philip Roth wrote another novel on the topic. This one was about the arrival of an anti-Semitic and fascist president in the United States in 1940, in the supposed person of the aviator, American anti-war nationalist and isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh. Roosevelt’s actual opponent in 1940 was the businessman Wendell Willkie, whom he comfortably defeated with 54.7 percent of the popular vote.

Lindbergh never retracted his opposition to U.S. entry into the European war, and following Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt refused ex-Col. Lindbergh’s effort to rejoin the military. Lindbergh found experimental and consultant work in the aviation industry, helped develop the Vought Corsair, the only American fighter in the Pacific war superior to the Japanese Zero, and despite remaining a civilian flew 36 combat missions in the Pacific. Once again, “It” had not happened in the United States.

When “It” did happen was in 2001-2008, in the George W. Bush administration. There was a takeover of the government by a self-willed executive power, unprecedented in American history. The president and vice president acted on a novel and legally unsupported claim to unlimited “wartime” presidential and executive-branch power. The justification was an illegal, undeclared war.

International law and American treaty obligations were defied, as were established American law on the conduct of war and the treatment of prisoners, constitutional protections, and the surveillance of citizens.

All of this occurred without meeting serious, or at least successful, congressional or judicial challenge, with little or no objection from the national press, and all but unanimous support from the national audiovisual media. One needn’t go through all that again.

There were unsuccessful efforts by individuals inside and outside the government to overturn this state of affairs, but in two congressional elections, and in the presidential election of 2004, the electorate endorsed all that had been done. “It,” which Sinclair Lewis and Philip Roth had both warned against, proved in fact to be very popular. At least this was so until 2008, when the practical and political consequences of this abandonment of law and history finally alienated the electorate.

All that is familiar. What concerns me in this article is something else. It is the fact that the mass of agents and officials of the government, and the vast majority of the population, passively accepted what was done, and even today disputes whether anyone should be held accountable.

President Obama’s unwillingness to see his first term dominated by the crimes of the Bush administration is comprehensible.

Yet there is a limit. The latest case of the human moral vacuum created and encouraged during the Bush years is so outrageous, perverse, sadistic and nihilistic that it demands attention, for all that it tells us about the rest that has happened. I speak of the ordered, authorized and conscientiously supervised waterboarding of two prisoners 266 times.

The men who authorized, ordered and performed such acts should be hanged. It is as simple as that.

It then would be possible to face the future with a response to the question, “Can It Happen Here?”


Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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By Sepharad, May 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit, Shenon, Night-Gaunt, Paracelcus, mmadden, KDelphi—My computer’s transformer source died (if that is what the thing is called) & replacement shipped but the mail lost it so may not be “back” for awhile but got to use this time-limited computer so I could at least occasionally read & quickly comment. Enjoying the Romantic digression very much, and would like to add more but as this machine is likely to quit at any moment just wanted to add re the poetic that despite his formidable reputation as thinker/sage/doctor/mathematician/logician who claimed to have no time for history and poetry, Moses Maimonides prefaced just about everything he wrote with a bit of his own poetry. (His father was a poet and disappointed that his son had such a materialistic orientation.) Have been using time usually set aside for TD reading books I’ve been meaning to get to, including Joel Kraemer’s “Maimonides: the Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds”, which supplants most of previous bios because of author’s access to Arabic historians and the Cairo Ginezah papers and consultations with Jewish historians and anthropologists. Comparing it to a couple other bios, have been reminded again of how crucial facts—only accessible by casting the widest possible net as well as the narrowest, painstaking scrutiny and detective-like analysis is to history as well as understanding of current affairs.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, April 28 at 12:32 pm #

“I don’t know much about Blake, other than “dark, Satanic mills” sounds anti-modern and like a luddite.”—ITW

Well it certainly influenced Tolkein and Peter Jackson didn’t it? Considering how dangerous and ugly this particular modernity I too agree with Blake too. Lovecraft produced some of his earlier fiction that is just dripping in Poesque horrors like “The Outsider,” the classic “Rats In The Walls,” and a few others that are just as good in their own way. Which I continue to find influencing generations of artists and writers including myself. His “Supernatural Horror in Literature” is excellent in all of the influences on not just him but other writers as well.
*********************************************

I’m not afraid of modernity and progress, only when it goes awry.  That was one of the things that made hokey old “Star Trek” special: not a dark, bleak, Philip K. Dick vision of the future, but a bright one, full of hope.  Progress would help us progress AS PEOPLE.

**********************************************
Yes Romanticism isn’t a bodice ripping torrid love but of how the past is views through a gauze prism and a mystic nostalgia.
******************************************

Damn! And bodice-ripping torrid love would be SO much better, too!

**********************************************
Fascism is definitely of that make. Just look at how our own history is given a patina of “innocence” which is how we continue to “lose it” after some calamity of some proportion. All of the time? No that is Romanticism blinding the collective memory.
***********************************************

Seriously, you are right.  A romantic view of history is CRITICAL to successful fascism. Hitler and the pre-Christian era—that was why he used (and mis-used ) the swastika as a symbol of it.  Mussolini had the Romans.  Franco had the days of Ferdinand and Isabella. Tojo had the Shogun Japan that fought off Kublai Khan. Serbia had the days of….Hell, I don’t know. I never understood Serbian fascism.

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By Shenonymous, April 28, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Continuing to provide tunes…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxxY5RvkoPI&feature=PlayList&p=8965E92303D273A7&index=1
Anthem – Leonard Cohen
The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring…

You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

Indeed there is a seduction of the romantic, one reason why it is called Romantic…that entices one to turn one’s head if it becomes a fanatic’s impulse and the rational mind takes flight.  I became disenamored with Wagner when my former husband insisted on playing it incessantly.  Then even further when I learned how it was used by the Nazis to elevate their ugly spirit to a semblance of the heroic.  The music and orchestration is quite orgasmic which goes to natural impulses and affects the procreative psyche.  There are untold number of failed artists in the world but only the rare one became a psychopathic despot.  I am much infatuated with the existential authors, Camus, Kafka, de Beauvoir, Beckett especially Beckett, and many others who used their metaphors to criticize life, society, politics, religion. They had a spirit too but they pushed through one veil of illusion, creating another of the desperation of life, the dread, the curtailment of freedom, and fatalism.  The consciousness of our existence is something that a natural-science that detaches itself from the reality of these inherent themes cannot be explain.  Yet, there are no absolute proofs of anything.  A paradox.

Georges de la Tour! GEORGES DE LA TOUR!  Magnifique!  Sometimes pictures say a thousand words and verbalization a hindrance.  There are more wonderful thoughts among us than heaven ever dreamed of ITW.  So glad you appreciate GDLT.  Searching them out wherever I happen to be, some of the places that have originals, Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Legion of Honor in SF, and one of my favs The Musicians’ Brawl is at the Getty Center in LA.  My most favorite is the Magdalen with the Smoking Flame at the LACMA, whenever I am in town I never fail to go to see it.  But they are all over to experience in the real. And you are quite right there is nothing like seeing them up close. I don’t think Blake was a luddite, but he did appreciate the precise.  Easy to grasp in printed copies, Blake’s artworks are mainly of a specific genre, engravings and etchings crafted through careful drawing and small, most intimate and dreamy of an imagined world. Smitten with the mysticism found in Christianity, he was not happy with this world since not many appreciated him or his art in his lifetime.  One seeks a haven often in mystic places and creative psyches search for expressions and present what they find that gives them mental comfort. 

If you are leaving it up to your cunning, I predict, Paracelsus, you, torta dolce del fronte, will be quite successful!

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By Night-Gaunt, April 28, 2009 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

“I don’t know much about Blake, other than “dark, Satanic mills” sounds anti-modern and like a luddite.”ITW

Well it certainly influenced Tolkein and Peter Jackson didn’t it? Considering how dangerous and ugly this particular modernity I too agree with Blake too. Lovecraft produced some of his earlier fiction that is just dripping in Poesque horrors like “The Outsider,” the classic “Rats In The Walls,” and a few others that are just as good in their own way. Which I continue to find influencing generations of artists and writers including myself. His “Supernatural Horror in Literature” is excellent in all of the influences on not just him but other writers as well.

Yes Romanticism isn’t a bodice ripping torrid love but of how the past is views through a gauze prism and a mystic nostalgia. Fascism is definitely of that make. Just look at how our own history is given a patina of “innocence” which is how we continue to “lose it” after some calamity of some proportion. All of the time? No that is Romanticism blinding the collective memory.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Georges de la Tour!  I didn’t think anyone really knew this early baroque/late renaissance artist, who mastered light in ways even Rembrandt would envy. He’s one of those artists for whom reproductions don’t give you more than clue to his power—you must see the originals. 

Whistler is like that—“Whistler’s Mother” became this hokey mother-worshiping piece of schlock. But the original, “Arrangement in Black and Grey: The Painter’s Mother” is utterly and completely different, and fascinating—one of many of Whistler’s search to put music on canvas as image.  The fact that his mother is in it is almost irrelevant.

I don’t know much about Blake, other than “dark, Satanic mills” sounds anti-modern and like a luddite.

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By Paracelsus, April 28, 2009 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

I guess this has drifted far from the topic of fascism.  We digress. No doubt some one will remind us.

Fascism has its romantic side as strange as that sounds. Mussolini want to revive the greatness of the Roman empire in Italy. Hitler was especially romantic with his 1000 year Reich and all the Wagnerian references to Parsifal, Arthurian legends, and the Twilight of the Gods(romantic fatalism). You can’t sell stier scheissen without some sizzle. Romanticism can be thought of as an exaggeration of reality, or something beyond the real. It is like baroque art, a bit much, but somehow you want to buy into it.

Your description of skull and candle of the romantic reminds me of another artist, Georges de la Tour, actually my favorite.  I don’t see Blake however as the world weary syphilitic melancholic even though he talks about things that seem romantic, but rather more the cerebral calculating composer of symmetry and flat geometrical that also reminds me of de la Tour.

He is otherworldly. I oversimplified the romantic archetype to some extent, but it makes sense in a way. Adolf Hitler tried to appeal to it with his hobo ways in the tenements of Vienna as a failed artist in the 1900’s, but I am really tired of him. I at home with the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Verlaine, Baudelaire and Edgar Allen Poe. Poe, especially set the standard for romantic. He had this impossible love for a teenage girl not in her majority. The Frenchmen envied and imitated his style. I noticed the Jara song mentioned a love for a woman that is also quite unattainable. Only a man so lost in feeling would be on such a hopeless mission to win the heart of a silent woman. The Latin Americans are wonderful at these these hopeless causes and revolutions where they are so often cut down. I knew a Mexican who came from the Federal District. He was a dropout from prominent family, who went on a vision quest with psychedelics and shamans. He was in his 30’s, but his eyes look liked that had the sad wisdom of centuries of disappointments and griefs. He was idealistic and hopelessly impracticable, but he was an excellent graphic artist.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to see “Poetical and Historical Inventions”. Presently I am in an impecunious situation, which I have the most fervent and foreseeable hope of correcting through some brilliant and cunning plan. wink (An out of this world notion in itself, I suppose.) Usually I am in the sad lot of explaining to wealthier people the attractions and sites they half digested on their treks through Europe or such as I had read much about it in some book. LOL.

You are the only other who puts music on the forums.  Grazie

At times, words fail me. Bitte. Ciao, meine Schatzi.

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By Shenonymous, April 27, 2009 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

The Victor Jara Manifesto was enchanting, Paracelsus, and if I were not such the skeptic I could fall in love with the unknown.  I admit to being a poet myself albeit the skeptical poet if that is not an oxymoron.  Too much of the realist though, I think, to call myself among the ranks of romanticism. I abhor sentimentalism.  Perhaps I have a near-sighted view?

Blake’s unique ability to illustrate a supernatural reality set him apart form his colleagues in Spiritualism as he portrayed epic allegories in his very small works that achieved huge mythic proportions.  You must know of the small exhibition “Poetical and Historical Inventions” he presented of his work in his brothers store that he showed for over a year.  Six of the works went missing and it is not known if he actually sold anything.  There is a show on the 200th anniversary of that show at the Tate and six blank spaces are included to remember those six.  Years ago I saw a grand room of his works at the Huntington in Southern California and was mesmerized by the small pieces.  I think I looked at each and every work and studied them as if they were a page of magic in a book.  I had only seen them in books up until then and was thrown for a loop for I had imagined them at least 40” high and proportionally wide.  As he aged, Blake withdrew and became somewhat the eccentric, unconventional.  Colin Wilson would call Blake an outsider.  Fortunately, for the missing six even though gone into someone’s cache, Blake had written a catalogue that gives a description of each of his pictures and a detailed statement, a manifesto if you will, of his artistic doctrine.  He hated ambiguity in painting and said so loudly.  That is why I was surprised at the specific Jara’s music you sent us to, Manifesto that starts off with images of innocent children.  The music is beautiful.  Though I have of course heard of Jara, I am not too familiar with his music.  Strange since I am steeped in music. So I investigated and here is one I found that is just as lovely.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIhHTGYkkHU&NR=1
Blake was not accepted to any great extent in his lifetime and as a result turned inward as artists are wont to do anyway. Your description of skull and candle of the romantic reminds me of another artist, Georges de la Tour, actually my favorite.  I don’t see Blake however as the world weary syphilitic melancholic even though he talks about things that seem romantic, but rather more the cerebral calculating composer of symmetry and flat geometrical that also reminds me of de la Tour.  Blake was an illustrator of archetypes, heroes, therein his depiction of the innocent and the romantic vision.  Thank you for this reminiscence and Jara.  BTW: You can visit the 200th anniversary show at the Tate up until October.  You are the only other who puts music on the forums.  Grazie.

I guess this has drifted far from the topic of fascism.  We digress. No doubt some one will remind us.

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By Paracelsus, April 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Actually, it was on the forum known as Why Few Speak for Gaza.  I was the reviled one on that one!  So what else is new?  I often take an unpopular view mainly for the sake of balance.  My beliefs are from neutral to mildly leftist.  The Blake poetry was intriguing.  Reality was spiritualism for Blake.  I appreciate his point of view and his art/writings but I do not take them very seriously as innocentism and romanticism are much too removed from my cynical reality.

Romanticism seems to be part of my nature, though I see it like wine or laudanum, a dangerous door to another world, a world of sublime emotion enheightened in intoxication. I don’t see Blake as an innocent, more as world weary. Witness the following lines,

Infant Sorrow

My mother groan’d! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt.
Helpless, naked, piping loud;
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my father’s hands,
Striving against my swaddling bands;
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mother’s breast.

I suppose the traditional view of a romantic is a consumptive artistic type, who has fallen down from a noble lineage, perhaps from ennui or syphilitic melancholia. He keeps a skull and a candle by his bedside. Perhaps he is out of the running owing to being a younger brother.  He has not long to live nor much to live for, so he is daring and impulsive. The romantic woman as archetype tends to be a woman whose family was once well heeled but now lacks a dowry, and is running away from an arranged marriage with a wealthy old clod. I would assume these are 19th century stereotypes. I cannot put my finger exactly on what is romantic, but I know when I feel it. Not all things romantic that I would feel are good or wholesome. That is when intellect intrudes as a scold and corrective. I can feel the warmth and heart of the Song of Germany as an offshoot of German romanticism, but I would not want to embrace it intellectually. The Russian revolution of 1917 had great romantic feeling, but I would take care. I have always been put in a romantic mood by Victor Jara. His whole life is like a paean to romanticism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUMbb9qbWCk&NR=1

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By Shenonymous, April 26, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Paracelsus, April 24 at 11:22 pm
Nobody is in charge of the debate here and anyone can say anything that they like.
That is for damn sure. I have, seen threads where the talk is about Plato, Socrates, and Hilbert spaces and the topic was “The Financial Meltdown 101”

Yes, another unusual forum that did that was American Illiteracy!  A tour de force by just about everyone.  Amazing, and many earned my respect.  I saved it all to a cd.  Someday I will reread all the posts.

I think forums ought to work like that.  These are not closed-door forums, but are wide open composed of real people connecting with other real people about things perhaps there are no others to engage in such conversations.  There are many learned people who participate.  We just all happen to be e-Ghosts.

Now if ITW and Outraged could get over their boy tantrum swaggering they each are well able to make excellent comments not always or even ever to my agreement but that is not the point.  We shouldn’t be looking for a peanut gallery anyway.  I have to admit though ITW gets a good deal of attack on his person which must feel like crap to him and he feels he must defend himself with boxing gloves on.  I have appreciated his comments for a long time now, that is, when he is not in defensive mode.  Then I just understand.  If you mean by peripatetic, sojourners I agree.  Not only here but in this life as well.

I am not intending to post on this thread after this but be instead a watcher because there are some very articulate and interesting comments being made, yours among them.  I visited the site you posted but it was about a topic I am not too familiar with and Freedman’s more or less ranting comment was extraordinarily long.  I didn’t think he was right on his assessment of the Jews and Zionism. but I don’t really want to spell out my opinion.  I read all of your comments.  I suppose a dialogue could be easily generated on that topic.  Actually, it was on the forum known as Why Few Speak for Gaza.  I was the reviled one on that one!  So what else is new?  I often take an unpopular view mainly for the sake of balance.  My beliefs are from neutral to mildly leftist.  The Blake poetry was intriguing.  Reality was spiritualism for Blake.  I appreciate his point of view and his art/writings but I do not take them very seriously as innocentism and romanticism are much too removed from my cynical reality.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

It is only personal if I refer to anyone by their name which I will do forth with.

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By KDelphi, April 26, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

DWIGHT-

I was referring to the tendency of people on truthdig to personalize everything.(esp name-calling) I only “answered” you because you answered me by name.I shouldve realized , that, any mention, of christianity or religion, would be taken by you as very personal. Its not all about you.

I already had catechism, thanks.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt writes, “...the organs of fascism are still in place and until they are all dismantled we can’t trust anyone in office and must pressure them to do the dismantling and fast.”

Great idea, Night, but how can we pressure them? We can’t remove them from office, we can’t fire them, we can’t impose penalties on them….is begging and pleading with them for mercy the same as pressuring them?

Many people think that we can get them to behave themselves by threatening not to vote for them. But that leaves them to continue to do whatever they wish for the rest of their term in office, and if we should happen to vote them out after they’ve killed a few million innocent people and stolen a few trillion dollars from our treasury, Congress or the Supreme Court can simply ignore the election results and swear in whoever they wish. Or not swear anybody in and just run out the clock until the next election, as the Democratic Congress seems to be doing with Al Franken, who isn’t sufficiently fascist to suit them.

Since 2006, whenever a Republican had a slight lead in an election, the Democratic majority in Congress swore them in immediately, even if 68,000 votes remained uncounted, even if 18,000 votes had simply vanished, even if the voters of that district signed sworn declarations that they had voted for the Democrat, and even if the election hadn’t even been certified yet. Congress claimed that Constitutionally (Article 1, Section 5), Congress is the sole judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members, and that the people of that district needed representation. But they won’t do the same thing for a Democrat.

If we had a way to pressure our Democratic representatives, couldn’t we at least pressure them to treat Democrats the same way they treat Republicans?

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By Night-Gaunt, April 26, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Okay Inheritthewind & Outraged this is the point where the topic is way off and is now personal and it is between you two on this. Please get back on topic and the best thing to do is to not respond to each other in any way but cordial and you intellect honed sharp. But not R-complex throat ripping and Limbic system territoriality over whatever is said. Most unbecoming and a definite atavism.  I have a heavy disagreement with Clausewitz on diplomacy.

And to stay on topic, the organs of fascism are still in place and until they are all dismantled we can’t trust anyone in office and must pressure them to do the dismantling and fast. The knife is at our throat.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 26, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

Outraged, April 26 at 2:53 am #

Re: ITW

My earlier comment: “The other reason I told you to shut up is because you find it so impossible to do.  You can’t do it, you simply HAVE to open up “your mouth” one last time and it appears in this regard you “feel” you’ve “won”.”

LOL.
********************************************

You pompous arrogant @$$.

The reason I won’t shut is two-fold:
1) I refuse to be intimidated by “The Contingent”, especially you.
2) SOMEBODY needs to answer the hateful and deceitful falsehoods you post, and to counter your implication that you are wiser than the rest of us, and entitled to sneer at us.  Bad news, Bubba: Your elitism is only in your own (tiny) mind.

So go ahead, LOL all you want.  If it makes you feel superior.

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By Outraged, April 25, 2009 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

Re: ITW

My earlier comment: “The other reason I told you to shut up is because you find it so impossible to do.  You can’t do it, you simply HAVE to open up “your mouth” one last time and it appears in this regard you “feel” you’ve “won”.”

LOL.

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By KDelphi, April 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

I hope you guys solve the debate about religion…sure is hateful here, for a bunch of so-called religious people…

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By Inherit The Wind, April 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Thanks DB.  Note that I excluded you from the fascists who call themselves “Christians”.

I didn’t want this pointless battle, but I can always count on members of “TC” to ridicule and demand a silencing of them that disagree with them.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 25, 2009 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Well, Outraged, if you don’t like my “rants”—your description, not mine—you are welcome to NOT read them.  Nobody is holding your eyelids open like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”.

I’ve watched your rants, rave, lies, and libels enough to make me want to vomit.  You are, EXACTLY as I’ve described you: An arrogant, self-important ignorant charter member of “The Contingent”.

Telling people to “shut up” because you don’t want to have to DEAL with them and their ideas is a foundation characteristic of fascists, whether they call themselves “Christians” (DB—I’m not talking about you) or “progressives”, like you, Outraged, think of yourself.

Obviously, I’m NOT going to “shut up” until I’m damn good and ready.  You can like it or lump it.

Mr. Smith: I accept your apology, grudging as it is…it must have hurt you worse than lemon juice in a paper cut to make it.

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By Outraged, April 24, 2009 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

Re: ITW

Your comment: “You told ME to “SHUT UP!” I didn’t tell YOU to “SHUT UP!” 

Therefore there’s only one of us who is taking the fascist’s approach to silence opposition.”

Yes…. I ABSOLUTELY told you to SHUT UP.  Telling someone to SHUT UP, is not fascist, I suppose it could be, but this would entail so much more than someone telling someone else to shut up, ESPECIALLY when they were making a comment like THIS:

“I’ve been watching this thread and I noticed that “The Contingent” insists that:
1) America is fascist
2) 99.999% of Americans are either willing fascists or ignorant idiots.
3) That it’s up to that 0.001% that make up “The Contitngent” to educate the rest of us that we are all fascists or ignorant.
4) “The Contingent” live in this fantasy world that everything they see is a conspiracy, backed by fascist, industrialists and “Zionists”, and only THEY have access to the “real” facts.”

Which is not only ignorant but incorrect.  Additionally, many of us have listened to your rants and inaccurate statements and implications, ad nauseum.  Therefore, I told you to SHUT UP.  (For the record, I would have done it before on other matters but didn’t particularly feel like dealing with you…. I mean I already have six children, sometimes it just gets old)

The other reason I told you to shut up is because you find it so impossible to do.  You can’t do it, you simply HAVE to open up “your mouth” one last time and it appears in this regard you “feel” you’ve “won”.  More realistically ITW, most just simply tire of your ranting.  I dare ya’, ITW…..don’t respond to this post.

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By Paracelsus, April 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

@ DWIGHTBAKER

Nothing to forgive. No harm done. We are just a bunch of pensive peripatetics. Have a blessed day.

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By Paracelsus, April 24, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Nobody is in charge of the debate here and anyone can say anything that they like.

That is for damn sure. I have, seen threads where the talk is about Plato, Socrates, and Hilbert spaces and the topic was “The Financial Meltdown 101”.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Okay, I was wrong, you were told to shut up.

It was in a previous comment and you’d only quoted a more recent comment that didn’t include what you were responding to.

Well, next time you want to respond to a quote, it might help if you included it. Nobody is going to scroll back through earlier comments.

Nobody is in charge of the debate here and anyone can say anything that they like.

Anyway, I was wrong and you WERE told to shut up. Congratulations—you win!

I wish I could get you some sort of prize—maybe a signed photograph of Obama signing a few trillion dollars over to the banksters, or authorizing more troops for our wars of aggression, or a video of Obama saying that those who committed crimes against humanity but were just doing their jobs and following orders won’t be prosecuted, or something appropriate like that, but I don’t happen to have anything. Sorry.

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By Paracelsus, April 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

@ DWIGHTBAKER

You are very dismissive. Did you look at what I had to say?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, April 24 at 10:07 pm #

ITW, nobody told you to shut up that I can see.

You were trying to silence somebody else with smears and they responded with facts.

So all you can do is put words in their mouth?

If you have nothing more to say than personal attacks, smears, and putting words in other people’s mouths, you aren’t making a positive contribution to the discussion. But nobody told you to shut up. You’re quite welcome to continue. There are many other people here who, unable to refute the message, attack the messengers by indulging in personal attacks, so why shouldn’t you?
*********************************************

I guess you can’t read, can you?  Here it is:, nice and and bold:

******************************************
Outraged, April 24 at 7:03 am #

Re: ITW

It isn’t often, I say this… but here it is, shut up.

You contritely attempt to ignore the facts as they are.  Are you afraid, or do they simply not fit your “game plan”?

Fascism is REAL.  Are you in denial or are you attempting to dissuade popular recognition?  Who’s your “daddy”, ITW?
*****************************************

Now, Mr. Smith, either Outraged told me to “shut up”, or you consider Outraged to be nobody, or you are blind, because you said “nobody told you to shut up that I can see.”

Do you “see” it now, Mr. Smith?

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By Paracelsus, April 24, 2009 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

@ ITW

4) “The Contingent” live in this fantasy world that everything they see is a conspiracy, backed by fascist, industrialists and “Zionists”, and only THEY have access to the “real” facts.

BTW, another Truthdigger coined the phrase “The Contingent”, not me.  I don’t claim authorship.  But I will refer to it as TC for short!

I had done some research on Benjamin Freedman. I would not rely on him for a history of Zionism as he does very little in the way of attribution and sourcing. I posted some material refuting some of the things he had said. I could not do a full refutation of his 1961 speech or else I would have little time to do anything else.

http://www.outlawjournalism.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=55

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By Mark E. Smith, April 24, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

ITW, nobody told you to shut up that I can see.

You were trying to silence somebody else with smears and they responded with facts.

So all you can do is put words in their mouth?

If you have nothing more to say than personal attacks, smears, and putting words in other people’s mouths, you aren’t making a positive contribution to the discussion. But nobody told you to shut up. You’re quite welcome to continue. There are many other people here who, unable to refute the message, attack the messengers by indulging in personal attacks, so why shouldn’t you?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, April 24 at 2:04 pm #

Re: ITW

Your comment: “But I expect nothing better from a charter member of “The Contingent”—the arrogant, self-important, “omniscient” 0.001%  who think themselves smarter than all the other 99.999% of Americans.”

Are you attempting to vilify me, ITW.  Or are you simply screaming because you fit too many of the descriptions in my post?  No one, but no one should disagree with ITW…. why it’s blasphemy.

Huge masses of Germans supported fascism, are you “letting me know” which “group” you’re in.  Or are you in the group like the Vichy French who worked overtime to “comply”.  Or are you like the ones who went along to get along.  If you think fascism has been put down, you might want to reread that portion of history.

While I don’t think Obama is fascist, I hope he understands what he truly is dealing with.  Hitler was appointed chancellor because von Papen and others thought they could control or at least contain him there.
**********************************

If, after all these posts you telling me to “SHUT UP!” then it’s not ME who has stamped you with the label of one who opposes free speech.

You told ME to “SHUT UP!” I didn’t tell YOU to “SHUT UP!” 

Therefore there’s only one of us who is taking the fascist’s approach to silence opposition.

And, guess which one of us it is (Hint: It’s the one who told the other to “SHUT UP!”).

You vilify yourself. I don’t have to.

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By Outraged, April 24, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Re: Night-Gaunt

Your comment: “Well put Outraged but I think they can also be true believers of their religion too. It isn’t always as cynical manipulation of the masses. Considering that if you are wealthy and powerful it works to your psychological advantage to say you are blessed with it by your god. Christian reconstructionism, Third Wave, Joel’s Army, Dominionism, spirit mapping of the world for exorcisms, full spectrum dominance, 2nd Apostolic Age, anti Enlightenment, Wall Builders (David Barton) he specializes in Christian revisionism of history, Council On Nat’l Policy among many others.”

Absolutely, thank you.  Many times it is this very ideology which makes fascism so dangerous.  If “God” wills it, regardless of the evil, it can be “justified” since the individual doesn’t feel they are responding to nor endorsing “their own made up rules” but answering a “higher calling” and carrying out a “necessary evil”.

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By Outraged, April 24, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Re: ITW

Your comment: “But I expect nothing better from a charter member of “The Contingent”—the arrogant, self-important, “omniscient” 0.001%  who think themselves smarter than all the other 99.999% of Americans.”

Are you attempting to vilify me, ITW.  Or are you simply screaming because you fit too many of the descriptions in my post?  No one, but no one should disagree with ITW…. why it’s blasphemy.

Huge masses of Germans supported fascism, are you “letting me know” which “group” you’re in.  Or are you in the group like the Vichy French who worked overtime to “comply”.  Or are you like the ones who went along to get along.  If you think fascism has been put down, you might want to reread that portion of history.

While I don’t think Obama is fascist, I hope he understands what he truly is dealing with.  Hitler was appointed chancellor because von Papen and others thought they could control or at least contain him there.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 24, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

“I thought that was MacArthur. I remember that Patton died in a mysterious car crash in Germany. I recall that Patton wanted to invade Germany and Eastern Europe before the Russians grabbed too much land. There was that campaign of Patton that got cut off because of a senseless lack of gasoline for his tanks. He felt he could have driven east and occupied more land if it had not been for that cut off of fuel. As to that car accident, there was some article on the Fox news site speculating that Patton was assassinated by a sharpshooter, who hit him in the neck. Perhaps it’s just paranoid conjecture, but who knows?”Paracelsus

There was a film based on that idea with George Kennedy playing the role of Patton. The crash caused by a cart suddenly in the road and someone firing a special pellet out of a long range small bore rifle (specialty) that killed him with the effects of a hydroshock round not leaving a puncture wound though maybe a bruise. I don’t recall if there was an implied reason for the assassination or not. I wish I could remember more like the title.

Well put Outraged but I think they can also be true believers of their religion too. It isn’t always as cynical manipulation of the masses. Considering that if you are wealthy and powerful it works to your psychological advantage to say you are blessed with it by your god. Christian reconstructionism, Third Wave, Joel’s Army, Dominionism, spirit mapping of the world for exorcisms, full spectrum dominance, 2nd Apostolic Age, anti Enlightenment, Wall Builders (David Barton) he specializes in Christian revisionism of history, Council On Nat’l Policy among many others. It is global but it started here in the USA and they want a fascist state of corporate and evangelical pure monocultural nation-state. They are attacking the “7 Pillars or Mountains” that hold up society. One of them main ones is the economy and when they finish crashing it they will come in as the ones to “save” us from chaos with their strict puritanical ways of rigid order and sever penalties. Shenonymous considers what I say to be baseless noise but the information is out there. To be not believed is the best defense not total secrecy. Obama so far isn’t really turning the ship-of-state away from it. If the perpetrators of the torture are not brought to justice then he too is a sham. Glenn Beck is wrong, it isn’t the Progressives who are behind it. Look to 1934 and the first time they tried. Since 1980 they have been busy in both official parties to get the long term project done. They still have a chance. Check out http://www.cluborlov.com/ to see the 5 steps to collapse of civilization. I predict they will give their ‘helping hand’ to us when we hit stage #3.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 24, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Outraged, April 24 at 7:03 am #

Re: ITW

It isn’t often, I say this… but here it is, shut up.

You contritely attempt to ignore the facts as they are.  Are you afraid, or do they simply not fit your “game plan”?

Fascism is REAL.  Are you in denial or are you attempting to dissuade popular recognition?  Who’s your “daddy”, ITW?

Fascism is more than a political structure, although it is one.  It is more than an economic “arrangement”, although it is one.  There are many facets to fascism.  To assume that fascism today would be EXACTLY identifiable by its somewhat recent past is more than stupid.  A more concrete, realistic and comprehensive approach would be to consider how fascism (to quote Ms. Palin) would “rear its ugly head” in the 21st century.

THIS, it is obvious you have not done.  But maybe it conflicts with your “passions”.  What is the reason you attempt to “make light” of fascism?  Do you find glamour or “a measure of rightness” in it?

...yadda, yadda, yadda…


It does all these things and more…. for the SUPPOSED protection of the better, the righteous, the “acceptable” and for the supposed ultimate purity of it’s own self, which is usually projected as the “homeland”.

Fascism is also telling anyone who disagrees with you to “Shut up!”.  But I expect nothing better from a charter member of “The Contingent”—the arrogant, self-important, “omniscient” 0.001%  who think themselves smarter than all the other 99.999% of Americans.

I don’t live in a fascist nation. I live in a nation that came close, very close, even to the BRINK of fascism, but the PEOPLE loudly and soundly DEFEATED the fascists.

True, much of the fascist infrastructure they were building is still in place, but much of it has already been dis-assembled and much still remains to be dis-assembled.

If you can’t tell the difference between what we have now and what we had under Bush, I suggest volunteering to experience water-boarding until you wise up.

“The Contingent”—pfui!

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By Mark E. Smith, April 24, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Bravissimo, Outraged! Thank you for telling it like it is.

Fascism derides mercy as weakness. In a fascist system, no good deed goes unpunished. There is no greater evil, and nobody who tolerates fascism can be considered a lesser evil.

Fascism has no compassion or morality. Fascism cares only about profits and power and nothing at all about people. It is inhuman and inhumane. But the good Americans who tolerate and even vote for our fascist system will learn the Pastor Niemoller lesson the same way that he did and the good Germans did—and then it will be too late.

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By Outraged, April 24, 2009 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

Re: ITW

It isn’t often, I say this… but here it is, shut up.

You contritely attempt to ignore the facts as they are.  Are you afraid, or do they simply not fit your “game plan”?

Fascism is REAL.  Are you in denial or are you attempting to dissuade popular recognition?  Who’s your “daddy”, ITW?

Fascism is more than a political structure, although it is one.  It is more than an economic “arrangement”, although it is one.  There are many facets to fascism.  To assume that fascism today would be EXACTLY identifiable by its somewhat recent past is more than stupid.  A more concrete, realistic and comprehensive approach would be to consider how fascism (to quote Ms. Palin) would “rear its ugly head” in the 21st century.

THIS, it is obvious you have not done.  But maybe it conflicts with your “passions”.  What is the reason you attempt to “make light” of fascism?  Do you find glamour or “a measure of rightness” in it?

Fascism, is a denial of truth/facts.  It is exceptionalism.  It is brutal and intolerant.  It takes no hostages.  It needs no reason.  It purposefully impoverishes those it does not “like” and then vilifies them.  It endorses a greater good at the expense of what it claims “the rabble” of society.  The “rabble” is anyone or group who does not endorse its intolerance.  It seeks out pseudo-intellectuals and qualifies their debasement, while at the same time vilifying true thought.  All wealth it oversees.  It USES religion as a front to rationalize it’s intolerance (god is “on their side”).  It makes alliances with business and industry only as it supports their ill-gotten gains and demands adherence to its mantra. It seeks complete control.  It hates liberals.  It hates gays.  It hates the disabled.  It hates kindness.  It hates reason.  It hates everything outside of its own.  It loves fitness and “fit” individuals.  It seeks to provide a ficticious “perfection”.  It loves exposing weakness. It loves “superior” human beings.  It despises weakness, except in itself.  It loves and seeks recognition, in fact it CRAVES it.  It wants to aggrandize itself as the ONE, THE ONLY.  It kills, for the greater good.  It endorses experimentation of any kind, on the lessors….again for the supposed greater good.  It does not follow its own rules.  It is dictatorial.  It loves complete and utter compliance.  It steals.  It maims.  It tortures.  It requires the support of police for its ends.  It lies.  It loves a perplexed and confused society.  It purposefully produces factions and uses propaganda as a weapon.  It hates.  It requires hatred.  It enamorizes hatred.  It shuns anything outside of itself.  It ridicules its own existence.  It seeks absolute power.  It abuses power.  It protects itself, at any COST.  It is accepted by a measurable segment of society, willfully or apathetically.

It does all these things and more…. for the SUPPOSED protection of the better, the righteous, the “acceptable” and for the supposed ultimate purity of it’s own self, which is usually projected as the “homeland”.

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By Paracelsus, April 24, 2009 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

Ike canned Patton for his irrational behavior, but the sentiments that Patton held were widely shared within the Republican Party.

I thought that was MacArthur. I remember that Patton died in a mysterious car crash in Germany. I recall that Patton wanted to invade Germany and Eastern Europe before the Russians grabbed too much land. There was that campaign of Patton that got cut off because of a senseless lack of gasoline for his tanks. He felt he could have driven east and occupied more land if it had not been for that cut off of fuel. As to that car accident, there was some article on the Fox news site speculating that Patton was assassinated by a sharpshooter, who hit him in the neck. Perhaps it’s just paranoid conjecture, but who knows?

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By BobZ, April 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

The greatest danger to this country, as we have seen, and as this blog points out if from “faciscm” and not as the GOP would have us believe,  “socialism”. Our corporations have had fascist tendencies for decades. Some of Hitler’s biggest admirers, were American industrialists like Henry Ford and Thomas Watson. Most of the American first crowd which Lindberg was a member of and most Republican’s, were more afraid of Joe Stalin than Adolf Hitler. The Nazi’s knew this of course and had a belief that when push came to shove America would join forces with the Nazi’s to defeat Communism. Patton wanted to recruit ex-Nazi’s to fight against the Russians. He was also a Republican. Ike canned Patton for his irrational behavior, but the sentiments that Patton held were widely shared within the Republican Party. And of course we have supported a wide variety of right wing dictatorships over the decades, and only gotten upset with left wingers like Castro. We don’t even like democratically elected left wing politicians. My son was surprise at how many bloggers have backed our “torture” policies. Not me. If there is one major western country that had the potential for fascism it is us. And Bush/Cheney proved it. And look how easy it was to accomplish - our Congress failed to act, our media failed to take notice, and half our citizenry probably cared more about the outcome of the American Idol auditions than what Bush and Cheney were doing to our country. We no longer have to ask ourselves how Germany let Hitler get away with his evil deeds. We just got a small preview of that over the last eight years.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

I’ve been watching this thread and I noticed that “The Contingent” insists that:
1) America is fascist
2) 99.999% of Americans are either willing fascists or ignorant idiots.
3) That it’s up to that 0.001% that make up “The Contitngent” to educate the rest of us that we are all fascists or ignorant.
4) “The Contingent” live in this fantasy world that everything they see is a conspiracy, backed by fascist, industrialists and “Zionists”, and only THEY have access to the “real” facts.

BTW, another Truthdigger coined the phrase “The Contingent”, not me.  I don’t claim authorship.  But I will refer to it as TC for short!

Most of the posters on this thread, like my poor dopey buddy, FolkTruther, are part of TC.

Huey Long was nothing more than the Rush Limbaugh rabble-rouser of his day. He appealed to the lowest common denominator, while grabbin’ for hisself all the wimmen and likker an’ samoleons.

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By Virginia777, April 23, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

I’m with you, Dwight Baker,

Arise and Shine!

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By Samson, April 23, 2009 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Hmmm, nice piece.  But, I’m curious why he puts a 2008 end-date on the era of fascism in America?  And, why he doesn’t include the 2008 Presidential and Congressional elections.

So far, President Obama has defended all of the key elements of fascism introduced under Bush.  He continues to support the governments claim of a right to spy upon the American people.  He continues to support a massive Dept of Homeland Security, combined with the DOJ and the US military’s Northcom command all designed to keep the American people under military and police control.  He defends the Bush Administration criminals who illegally detained and tortured people around the world, including American citizens. He continues to launch attacks into sovereign nations like Pakistan. He continues Bush’s war in Iraq, making only the same vague promise Bush always made to withdraw sometime in a year or two.  He expands the war in Afghanistan.  On torture and illegal black prisons, he says only that its his current policy not to use such tools.  But does nothing to prevent any following President from using them.  He continues blind government support of the finance sector, pumping trillions of tax dollars into their pockets.

Past fascist leaders declared themselves leaders for life.  Just because American leaders have enough sense to retire and live a life of luxury after eight years, don’t think that we are any better off.

And remember, after he was jailed in the 1920’s for leading a violent coup that failed to overthrow the Bavarian government, Adolf Hitler vowed that he would always operate within the law.  And he kept that promise.  By German law, what he did was legal.  He legally got the power to make the law the way whatever he wanted.  This is the reason for the Nuremberg courts.  It took international law to step in and try the German war criminals.

I’d love to believe that Obama and the Democrats would end this era of American fascism.  But, first I need to see concrete actions that they take in that direction. Not just the occasional pretty speech.  So far, Obama’s ACTIONS have been to continue the Bush era.

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By prole, April 23, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Charles Lindbergh never had any cause to “retract his opposition to U.S. entry into the European war” - history has proved him correct. America had no stake in intervening in Europes’s endless strife and most of America’s misbegooten crimes of imperial aggression since then through successive bipartisan administration’s down to this day resulted from that fateful misstep. It’s questionable if the populist champion Huey Long would have made the mistake either of keeping with the post-war hegemonic designs of the aristocratic class gathered around the faux democrat FDR. Lewis and FDR and the ‘better classes’ were more concerned abour ‘fascism’ from below i.e. popular sovereignty - than they were about fascism from above. They not only did not come to the aid of the republican coalition in the Spanish Civil War but secretly aided Franco and the fascists.  “It” did happen in Spain - and Lewis and FDR didn’t have much to say about that. Neither did Roth, who has never been one to worry himself too much about “It” happening in Palestine, either. Roth’s fantasy farce of a novel is another hatchet job on the great Charles Lindbergh by petty, little backbiting Jews who turn on anyone they can’t manipulate or control. It was Roosevelt not Lindbergh who fascistically set up ethnic Japanese internment camps in America, firebombed Dresden, forged the seminal corporate military-industrial complex, developed the original weapons of mass destruction and set America on the path to a century of imperialist war crimes worthy of Nazis. Lindbergh was a modest, peace-loving citizen and daring aviation hero who was smeared by Roosevelt supporters and later Roth for daring to oppose efforts to manipulate the country into an interventionist policy, a stance consistent with the will of the vast majority of citizens at the time, despite the climate of wartime propaganda being whipped up by the Administration and its allies to push the country into armed conflict. A month before Pearl Harbor, polls still showed Americans opposed to entering the war by a margin of four to one. As Lindbergh asserteded at the time, “the same groups who call on us to defend democracy and freedom abroad, demand that we kill democracy and freedom at home by forcing four-fifths of our people into war against their will. The one-fifth who are for war call the four-fifths who are against war the ‘fifth column’”. Ironically, at the the same time the courageous Lindbergh was opposing the build-up to war and being vilified as a nazi-supporter, GM and Ford and other American corporations were literally supporting the German Wehrmacht with trucks and other supplies for profit. Lindbergh actually inherited his anti-interventionist views from his father Chas. Lindbergh, Sr. who had been a prarie populist congressman from MN who opposed America’s entry into the First World War. Lindbergh, Sr. had written a book in 1917, entitled ‘Why Is Your Country at War’, which was widely, and falsely, labeled as seditious and used to destroy his political career and assassinate his character by war propagandists of his day, just as happened to his distinguished son, Charles, Jr., severval years later. The elder Lindbergh was even referred to by The New York Times as “a sort of Gopher Bolshevik.”  Worse still, Judge John F. McGee, chairman of the State Safety Commission, led the Minnesota fight to crush Lindbergh and his Non-Partisan League. McGee was a fanatic who wanted to place the entire country under martial law, and so testified before Congress and fulminated that “every League worker is a traitor. Where we made a mistake was in not establishing a firing squad in the first days of the war. We should now get busy and have that firing squad working overtime.” Now that sounds like a plan to save America from “fascists” and “traitors” like the Lindberghs and Huey Long, that a Sinclair Lewis or a Philip Roth or a George Bush could support.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 23, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

http://www.ellensplace.net/fascism.html Naomi Wolf in her booklet, “The End of America” points out how the USA has been following that path and how dictators learn from each other too and follow many similar patterns. Remember about 2 years ago where Thailand became a dictatorship in 7 days? Still is really.

By ocjim, April 22 at 5:59 pm #

“The mechanism for fascism has been set up by the Bush administration and polarization still reigns, though the right is weakened.”

Actually after the failure of the last attempt in 1934 (FDR didn’t do anything to them either) they bide their time, helping the Axis, and finally after long planning they got their man elected in 1980 and the long fall began. First by damaging our economy, we became a permanent debtor nation. You can call them Christian Reconstructionists or Dominionists but their plan is far from over and whomever is in charge of our gov’t is a single face of a shadowed cabal. The best and only times for the Middle Classes was 1945-1980 should tell you something. It has been going on since 1980 and is just becoming more noticeable now. Even the CMSM can’t fully hide the affects though nearly everyone still uses that blatant propaganda word “recession” in place of the correct word “depression.” He who controls the language controls the ideas. Read George Orwell, he should know. Also http://www.talk2action.com/ has many places to see where they are busy subversion from the inside out from the top down and bottom up to get their Christian empire they want so badly.

Huey P. Long would have been a better president and would have done bad legal things to the Ford’s, DuPont’s, IBM’s etc. that FDR wouldn’t touch and left us with these problems now. We would have been in socialism, not fascism for the past 74 years.We wouldn’t have had a Drug War either I would hope. If the Business men would have won their coup we would have been on the Axis side in WWII!

As I have said before and Shenonymous wearily knows that I have put forth the Conspiracy hypothesis that we are under an inverted totalitarianism of Wollin now that could eventually become overt any time. I think it will be at stage #3 of collapse (when confidence in gov’t fails—-the Dominionists will come in and offer their claw as the order and safety we need and most will take it in a mynoc minite.) [see Dmitry Orlov’s 5 stages of collapse at http://www.cluborlov.com/ to see him speak and read his thesis on it. He observed and contrasted how Russia survived theirs and our we don’t have the infrastructure to do so.

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By Paul_GA, April 23, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Considering how the big newspapers are going bankrupt, Guacamaya, the days of only a few people controlling the US news media on behalf of the State may be numbered.

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By libertarian, April 23, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dwightbaker, Liked your uplifting post. One thing though; it’s not all like-minded people posting here. I’ve found lots of disagreement on policy here and a good deal of dissatisfaction with Democratic politicians, esp those who enabled the outrages of Cheney-Bush. My own objection to anti-gunowner legislation and the moronic handouts of trillions (sum-up all the hidden or leaking handouts) to banking and insurance criminals since last October. Biggest complaint is the attacks on the Constitution embodied by the Patriot Act. I’m a little taken back by the Holder/Obama endorsement of the more foul aspects of this bill. And what’s with all these dopey titles: Homeland, Patriot, Czar?  What the hell? Is there something in the water?

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By guacamaya, April 23, 2009 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

There should be a regulation to stop so few people being in total control of the US media. Without a truly free media nothing much is going to change in the US.

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By angelia, April 23, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

The problem is Obama is handing trillions to the banksters with no strings while putting concessions on the automakers.  The companies which supply jobs to millions are asked to cut costs and salaries and jobs.  Yet the banksters are receiving millions in bonuses.

How do you explain that froggy?

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By freddythefrog, April 23, 2009 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

“By voice of truth, April 22 at 11:19 am #

Do any of you, including the author, even know what fascism is?  Fascism is totalitarianism in which the means of production is privately owned but directed by the government.”

And the rest..
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fascism

A bit different to your understanding isn’t it.

“If anything, what Obama is doing is more fascist than anything in American history.”

Oh really?

“GM is privately owned by shareholders, but the President is dictating what should be produced, and by whom.”

Only because those self same shareholders hold worthless stock. GM will go down the toilet without a taxpayer handout. Is that what you want? Or do you truly believe that GM is a going concern..
Why shouldn’t the government dictate to GM if it bails it out.
http://www.businessweek.com/autos/autobeat/archives/2009/03/gm_bailout_60_d.html

“Please, the ignorance and intolerance on this board is astounding.”

You don’t say.

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By Kaelieh, April 23, 2009 at 12:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Huey Long was undoubtably one of our [I’m from Louisiana] corrupt governers, and yet still in a lot of ways was one of the best. For better or worse, he did a lot for the people, and yes he did so by bypassing the legislature and did give deals to his pals, but he’ll….. to borrow a phrase from back in the day: “He was the best corrupt politican there ever was.”

He amended the LA state constitution to make school books free for all students K-12 which seriously improved our high school graduation rates. When a private company built a toll operated bridge from BR to New Orleans, despite his protestations of the toll, he built his own bridge (and a shorter route) from BR to New Oreans and kept it free for the public. He gave a ton of money to LSU, he was true Tiger fan and bled purple and gold. He had new dorms built on campus and is solely responsible for Tiger Stadium (which we still use) being built that greatly expanded the number of seats. (Anyone who follows college football, especially the SEC, Death Valley is our pride and joy.)

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2009 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

Encouraged by someone elsewhere to come take a peek, this is just a hit and run comment as I’ve discovered this thread isn’t worth another. Say all you want about yours truly and Her opinions, She is outta here.  There is one and only one commenter here who has a grip, mmadden, who doesn’t have too much to say but whatever, he speaks pearls.  Y’all ought to listen.  It is unbelievable the lemming minded that is going on in this forum. Forum? Hardly. Hanging?  Uh what state still hangs criminals anyway?  Iraq?  Firing squad?  Gad zukes! The rabble loves the sound of the guillotine!  Yes, let’s have public executions again while drinking cocktails! Well, by proxy, there is one going on right here on this thread. Yeah, that is a better word, thread.  It is thread bare of critical thinking and full of bloated bravado.  Y’all love to show off doncha?  mmadden has it right.  Better to put whatever thinking energy (which is somewhat pygmified here to say the least) to the reality of what is going on in the real world.  Pakistan is the bigger issue.  Do you need hit in the head with a grandma’s handbag?

Entropy when it happens, especially entropy of the mind, gets worse exponentially, and this thread has become entropic.  Huey Long, if anyone would read history, was the paradigm of a power-hungry demagogue and mmadden is correct. Long wasn’t called Kingfish (from a radio character) for nothing.  His own megalomania led him straight to his assassination. His iron-fisted control of Louisiana government and his tyrannical mindset, a self-proclaimed potentate, self-styled lord and sovereign earned the deserved loathing from his rivals.  Screaming as he died, God, don’t let me die, well his god did let him die, who obviously was more charitable to those who survived Huey. Impeached, losing major state legislation, losing a run for the Senate, ruthless fascist “King” Huey, kissing the ass of the public, gaining their ostensible support, used demagoguery to bargain the state’s future by provisionally shaking hands across the political aisle to get his special interests invested in the companies of friends for public works programs.  Through clever jockeying wins a senate seat.  His fanaticism to redistribute the wealth (which would not touch his own pocket by the way) the radical socialist Long became a target of politicians smarter than he and he was not able to pass even one of his proposed bills, resolutions, or motions even through a Democrat-controlled Senate.  Claiming Biblical authority ironically his actions were definitely Marxist socialism. That should win him as poster boy of the extreme leftists who sit on this thread today.  Democratic popular four times President Roosevelt proved to be more clever even though Long summoned 7.5 million people in his share the wealth program. Roosevelt, like him or not, was not a fool. Socialist Long was not beyond the pale of corruption of a scandalous formation of an oil company (ah those culprits again, oil and money), and Long made a bundle on the deal.  So much for spreading the wealth.  Radical socialism always leads to a species of totalitarianism. There is much more to the political rabble-rouser’s career but it was ended abruptly and accounts of the bullet that killed him are a fuzzy story indeed.

So what about Pfaff’s claims and call for retribution?  His article is rabble-rousing and we see on this threadbare he was successful.  Even if Bush and his regime abetted by Cheney were tyrannical, you saw what happened.  They are deposed. By the American people, who always ‘think’ they vote in their own best interest, and by the American political process.  Their place in history is one of defilement.  Obama is about as far from being a tyrant as any politician can get.  You all need to get a grip.

Fascism, totalitarian philosophy of government that glorifies the state and nation and assigns to the state control over every aspect of national life.

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By KDelphi, April 22, 2009 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

I do understand the “politics” of it. I just think that it is wrong and stupid to put that first.

We will all pay for this. I have no idea how people think that we can get around this. I am absolutely astounded.

Pres. Obama is merely pacifying.This article comes to a (Robert) Rubin-eqsaue conclusion, but, I prefer these paragraphs, which asks questions that neither Pres. Obama, the Dems nor The New Republic wishes to answer.

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=4edb8efe-e851-4133-b2b1-419bd957e926&p=7

“..Which raises a final objection: What’s so great about private insurers or the people who currently run our banks? We are, after all, talking about a banking industry that triggered a global financial meltdown and which, according to the IMF, may be sitting on trillions in losses to show for it. We’re talking about a private health insurance industry that leaves almost one-sixth of the U.S. population without coverage and is a major reason we pay more for health care on average than any other country and get only mediocre results in return…..

...And yet, Obama has shown little interest in refashioning these industries. Even his proposal for reforming financial market regulation accepted the existence of banks too big to fail, relying instead on an uber-regulator to prevent any single overgrown bank from threatening the financial system. (The alternative would be to use antitrust law to break them into smaller, more manageable pieces.) In light of these industries’ track records, Obama’s solicitousness might seem puzzling…”

Yes, it does indeed. except when you consider that both parties are so corporate that, yes, we have a fascist-corporatist government..

And, as with Carter…“By 1976, Schultze could no longer contain his frustration with the inefficient “command-and-control”-style regulations Democrats had embraced for a decade. ...‘If specific regulations are the only bar to prevent social damages,” Schultze wrote, “first it will take 21 pages to deal with ladders, and then even more as time goes on.” Schultze advocated a far more elegant alternative: worker-injury taxes and steep workers’ comp payouts. By making injuries costly to employers, the government could improve safety without peering onto every factory floor in America.”

Yes, except that people have to die or be permanently disabled first. You know, I dont know how people can learn more and more about Democratic Party history and not just detest them..

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By Paul_GA, April 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Since “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, VillageElder, I prefer to term the “Patriot Act” the SCOUNDREL Act!

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By VillageElder, April 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

We have discussed fascism to a fair-ye-well here during the Bush Administration.  Frequently we have seen the 14 points or hallmarks of fascism listed here.  Not to repeat that again, here’s the URL http://www.ellensplace.net/fascism.html .  Fascism does not need to come brutishly, it may arrive in a velvet glove.

Hyper-nationalism, hyper-patriotism, and the fear of others (real or imaginary) who may harm our “sacred ways of life” are used to rally the population behind “our glorious leader”.

The blending of government and corporations became greater under Bush & Co. than any other administration.  The greatest transfer of public funds to private profit occurred during that administration.  Our government has been stripped of the ability to respond or plan for emergencies natural, civil or military as these functions have been outsourced.

Civil and legal rights have been abridged at best under the guise of “protecting the homeland.”

Among the changes we wished to believe in were a review and repeal of the Patriot Act, and the end of torture with civil and legal penalties applied to instigators.

All servicemen are given 10 general orders.  One of which is to refuse an unlawful command.  It is wonderful to see servicemen obeying this order!

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By bell, April 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

George Bush was not a fascist. The fascist is a strong, often intelligent being, one who has the foresight to see when conditions will be right to enlist others to his guiding vision for the future. He and his inner circle must quickly gain the obedience of the military general staff and the “captains of industry.” The first Roman Emperor, Octavian Augustus, was the purest example of the perfect tyrant, the fascist with means, ability and character to withstand any opposition and eliminate it, largely by stimulating adoration in a desperate, deceived or expectant population. George Bush was a weak-willed, uninformed fascist-hopeful. His kindly robot routine against Al Gore probably worked with independents who had been fond of the nasty uncle, Ronald Reagan. Bush had no qualities of the true and effective fascist. He was a bad schoolboy who found that his penchant for killing small animals was being smiled at by the stupid, weak faces of Democrats in the US Senate and House.

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By Sepharad, April 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

Judging from both article and comments, a lot of us are upset but also dazed and confused. Nuggets of truth in rivers of nugget-size pebbles. Let me add my mix of same, some in brief.

Pfaff has at least read Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here” and Roth’s “Attack on America”. Some poster also remembers Upton Sinclair’s defeat in California. (I once read as many back-issues of “Uppie Speaks” as I could get and nearly wept at the loss.)

Pfaff says at least Huey Long was supported by poor people—Louisianians remember him as a populist, as would I based on books on his life and works. FDR was an elitist and considered Jews in general rather beneath him and not quite willing to admit them in hordes the U.S. as refugees from Europe trying to escape Hitler, BUT he was also a true patriot and a Ted Kennedy-style liberal who made it possible for non-elitists to live and have some security (because a) he was a good man, b) he wanted to make sure there was no revolt against the upper classes or c) a little of both—c) being my best guess).

And a long article in today’s NYTimes will probably change Pfaff’s list of who ought to be hung and who shouldn’t. Might even get Rumsfeld in there. Question re the NYT article itself: said they reached back to Chinese and Pol-Pot torture methods with the water-boarding, but if so then selected out such things as pulling finger nails, gouging out eyes and many other refinements of torturers of the past and present in other cultures, from yesteday’s Iron Maiden to today’s electrical torture and surgical devices as well as really novel ones such as the long, painful way CIA station chief Buckley was murdered in Beirut. I supposed we should be grateful that the Bush torturers (not to mention those who run SERE programs so our soldiers are prepared for getting caught in bad places) stopped short of some of these other techniques.

ALL torture is inhuman. MOSTLY it does not elicit useful information. HOW could they have left any decision-making relying on a shrink who NEVER witnessed an interrogation, let alone obviously didn’t know the slower psychological inquiry based on some knowledge of the prisoner that actually does work? I would really like to see the declassification and release of “valuable information” Cheney alleges stopped more attacks. I don’t believe it.

But hanging everyone who participated thinking they were using pre-cleared safe and legal methods? Have we made these offenses punishable by death in this country? If not, maybe water-boarding would be better.

More later. Have to determine if battery problems are on outlet or nascent brown-out.

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By ocjim, April 22, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

The mechanism for fascism has been set up by the Bush administration and polarization still reigns, though the right is weakened.

On the right-wing side of this division, there is lunacy and idiocy that transcends a responsible humanity. The main media sources stirring this up are Limbaugh and Fox.

On the other side is an Obama sense of immediate needs that prompts him to forego delving into BushCo darkness: its torture and power abuse past.

The chasm has been created and funded by right-wing think tank money, building since Reagan times, aided by a Clinton presidency the right-wing loved to hate, and reaching an ideological plateau that included war, fear, and loathing during Bush years.

Obama now has a lot of support. Some 88% of Democrats approve of the job Obama is doing; 27% of Republicans approve.

Still the rightist polarization persists. The American Spectator demonized the Clintons since the 1990s but now calls Obama a fascist.

The internet propaganda machine compares President Obama to Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini or assorted psychotics like Charles Manson and David Koresh.

Now on the other side of the chasm are the Obama administration and the majority of the American people.

Because the people have proven themselves so fickle and subject to the media’s marketed entertainment culture, Obama wants to forgo the acrimony of holding Bush criminals accountable for their wave of white-color crime, this in the form of torture, lying to the people, taking away rights and abuse of power.

Bush was the latest wave crime because we have been here before: the most notable being Nixon, Reagan, LBJ, and now Bush.

For them, we looked the other way, supposedly for unity, and we are still fighting the battle of money buying politicians, administrations abusing power, and members of Congress with the priority of staying in office over representing constituent interests.

The structure for fascism is still there. The precedence for tyranny has grown with Bush, and the right still wants to forsake progress and destroy the other party.

Is it our version of Germany after WWI?

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By herewegoagain, April 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s the thing though…millions of people in America and around the world were NOT silent the last eight years. We were protesting, boycotting, writing letters, investigating, and generally being quite vocal.

So how “IT” happened isn’t necessarily because We the People allowed it to. It happened because our politicians are owned by industry. Our politicians are corporatists, all of them, with the exception of a few brave holdouts.

Until industry and politics are firmly, finally separated, fascism will remain a very real risk in this country. As it is right now, I believe Obama is little more than Bush Lite. We will not see much change under his tenure, not much real change, anyway. Just watch and see - EFCA won’t get passed, nor will usury laws be reinforced again, and our military expenditures won’t significantly lessen.

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By Virginia777, April 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

It is wrong to say Obama is taking us into Fascism, he is trying to take us out of that.

But so much of what the conservative “Wrecking Crew” has done to Washington and to our Press,

is identical to Fascism.

We need to fight (and it will be a hard fight) to push out every last vestige of Fascism left-over from having Conservatives in power for so long.

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By MrB, April 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Labels” are becoming less and less useful.  I thought “fascism” was an authoritarian government controlled by Big Business.  Basically, the worst parts of Communism and Capitalism put together.

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By Spiritgirl, April 22, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

It happened here because: (1)we allowed it, (2) we stopped believing in community, (3) we allowed ourselves to be divided and conquered, (4) we continue to vote for those whose real interests are “BIG BUSINESS, (5)we started to believe the “reality shows”, (6)we’ve been so busy running on that rat treadmill - we don’t stop to analyze the bs the media and the glorified pundits tell us!!!!

Even now Chaney, Rove, Gingrich et.al continue to bleat about how this President has made us less safe, how he’s responsible for the deficit!  Why do these people have any credibility, after all that they’ve gotten soooo wrong!?  The time is now for we the people to stand up and be patriotic - if that means marching - then do it, if that means writing your Congressperson - then do it, if that means that we each have to stand on the corner with a bullhorn to get your neighbors to hear you - then that is what must be done, NOW!!

Power never concedes anything without a fight, well, it’s time to start swinging!!!

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By angelia, April 22, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Mark Smith.. excellent post and my sentiments exactly.

The elite’s goal is to keep we the people warring amongst ourselves.  Their policy of divide and conquer has always worked. That’s the whole point of the bogus electoral process.  We never get our first choice for president. We’re always left with the lesser of two evils.  The two corporate candidates left standing which have been foisted upon us by the powers that be with the help of the corporate msm.

It’s about time we showed them that we are wise to their scheme.  A people united is undefeatable. Let’s shatter the left/right paradigm and join together against the elite and fight for a common cause….the very survival of the common man.

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By RobertZ, April 22, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Mr. Pfaff might also want to be concerned about the fact that Obama has not only failed to rescind the worst of Bush’s civil liberties violations, he wants to expand them.  Or the fact that Obama wants to eventually pack up and move the illegal and unwinnable war in Iraq to another illegal and even more unwinnable theater in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Bush’s $750 billion bank bailout in the fall has already been dwarfed by Obama’s $1.5+ trillion to make Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo look for a little bit longer like they’re not bankrupt.  Obama is no less of a corporate-owned fascist then Bush, he just seems like too nice of a guy to be one.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 22, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Americans have been taught to fear and distrust their neighbors, and to trust the wealthy traitors with expensive suits and perfect teeth on television.

But 90% of those in power in Washington, D.C., support the bailouts and 90% of the American public does not.

Even if your neighbor is a red-neck Limbaugh-loving neo-con, or a knee-jerk liberal hippy, they WON’T throw your hard-earned money away the way that rich people do, because they’ve had to work for a living and pay taxes also.

We don’t have to organize. When a majority of us oppose the wars, 80% of us supported impeachment, 90% of us disapproved of Congress, and 90% of us opposed the bailouts, we ARE organized. All we have to do is recognize that we’re all in the same boat and stop voting for the rich, who not only aren’t in the same boat, they’re deliberately trying to sink it.

Ignore the lying media. Ignore the paid bloggers and trolls. We the people are smarter, more competent, and better able to act in our own best interests than the wealthy elite ever could. All we have to do is stop voting—stop delegating our power to rich people we cannot hold accountable, and demand not a symbolic and meaningless vote, but an actual voice in government where our votes are the final say and nobody can overrule them.

In Venezuela, which our tyrannical government calls a dictatorship, they have honest elections with public oversight where the results cannot be hidden, tampered with, or overruled by the government. The people can vote directly for their representatives, including their President and Vice-President, and can directly remove any representative who betrays their constituents. The people of Venezuela decide, by voting, what their Constitution is. When Hugo Chavez proposed some Constitutional amendments and the people of Venezuela voted against them, he didn’t say F.U., the way Obama did when 90% of us opposed the bailouts, he went back to the drawing board, consulted with the people, and rewrote the amendments until he came up with something that the people wanted. So who’s the dicator, Chavez or Obama?

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By Mark E. Smith, April 22, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

The cheerleaders for Obama won’t stop believing in him until either the economy crashes completely, or he personally kicks them individually in the teeth. And then they’ll just look for some other millionaire to believe in.

We need to try to educate people as to the difference between democracy and tyranny.

Democracy is when the supreme power over government is vested in the people, who can exercise their power either directly or through their representatives.

Tyranny is when so-called representatives cannot be directly held accountable by the people during their terms of office, so the people cannot remove their representatives from office even when those representatives go against the clearly stated will of 80% (impeachment) or 90% (the bailouts) of the people.

Tyranny is when people cannot vote directly for their President or Vice-President. Tyranny is when the popular vote is merely symbolic and can be disregarded or overridden by an Electoral College, Congress, or a Supreme Court, and a President can be sworn into office (2000, and 2004) even before anyone has finished counting the popular votes.

Tyranny is when the people cannot impeach or remove anyone from office and have to beg Congress to impeach or remove themselves or the President.

Tyranny is when the highest law of the land is vested in nine unelected people who cannot be directly removed from office by the electorate, and whose decisions cannot be appealed.

Tyranny is when Congress (Article 1, Section 5) is the sole judges of its own elections, returns, and qualifications, and sets its own salary.

Tyranny is when votes are counted secretly, privately owned mass media corporations own the exit polls, and nobody can know for sure if a representative was fraudulently elected until long after they have been in office and the question is moot.

Tyranny is when the people cannot vote directly on budgets and laws, and cannot directly remove representatives who betray them at the time of the betrayal and have to allow the betrayals to continue for two, four, six, or even eight years.

Tyranny is when a President and Congress that have only a 10% approval rating, can remain in office because the people do not have the power to remove them.

Tyranny was written into our Constitution by the wealthy businessmen, landholders, and slaveholders who wrote it to ensure that the wealthy would always rule and the people would never have a voice.

Tyranny is when a vote is not a voice in government, but merely a vote for who make your decisions for you, and there is no way to directly hold the decision-makers accountable.

(continued)

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By Mark E. Smith, April 22, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

The ONLY nonviolent and effective way that I know of to delegitimize a tyrannical government is an election boycott.

The ONLY way that a government can claim legitimacy, is to hold elections. If people vote, the government can claim the consent of the governed, even if the people didn’t vote for the candidates who are sworn into office. If people don’t vote, as happened in South Africa when only 10% of the population voted, the government cannot claim legitimacy in the eyes of the world, other governments cannot legitimately offer their support to an illegitimate government, and the government has to step down.

In some New England states remnants of democracy still exist in the Town Hall Meeting system, where the citizens gather and vote directly on budgets and laws. This is not new or radical, it is an early American tradition in areas where the people were too independent to allow themselves to be tyrannized by wealthy merchants or political parties.

In a democracy, we would be able to vote to stop the bailouts and the wars immediately, we would be able to vote on how our tax money is spent, and we would be able to vote to remove from office anyone who failed to represent the interests of a majority of their constituents.

Only in a tyranny could more than 90% of the people oppose the bailouts and yet have no power to stop them.

There are many more poor and working class people in America than rich people. If poor people understood that rich people represent the rich and stopped voting for rich people, we could have a democracy. All it would take is one national election boycott where the people refused to vote and insisted that we will not vote again until WE decide who is on the ballot, who takes office, who is impeached, and what our national budget and laws will be.

In a democracy, there is proportional representation, so even minorities are represented.

An uncounted, miscounted, indirect, or symbolic and easily overridden vote for rich people who make our decisions for us and cannot be held accountable by us, is NOT a voice in government.

A government of, by, and for the rich, is NOT a government of, by, and for the people.

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By Lawlessone, April 22, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can’t prevent something if you don’t know it is going on.  You can’t learn from mistakes unless you investigate what went wrong.  You can’t deter criminal activity unless there are some adverse consequences for perpetrators.  You can’t rebuild lost trust unless you show with acts as well as words that you are once again trustworthy.  You can speak from the moral high ground unless you clean your boots when you try to occupy it.  If the US ever again wants to be credible on the subject of Torture is unconstitutional as well as immoral and criminal, then there must be investigations, trials where appropriate and punishment when laws as interpreted by judges and juries were broken.

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By Folktruther, April 22, 2009 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

The astonishing passivity of the American population in the face of unparalleled violence, corruption and deceit of occurs because all people institutions of people power , such as unions, have been destroyed or gutted by the Amerian power structure.  Adn largely due to the centralization of the media into a few megacorporations, a people’s ideology that could unite people agaist oppressive power has not developed.

So the American people do not yeat fully realize that the War on Terrorism kickstarted by 9/11 is directed at them.  Obama is trying to make this War permanent; that is what he was put in power to do.

It divides the rank and file between Hopesters, who are cheerleaders for Obama,  and peoplerealists. The historical problem is how can peoplerealists unite a grouping to challange the violent, oppressive and exploitive poliicies that Obama is continuing.

Given the vast disparity in the correlation of forces, I think, tenatively, that this must be a defensive class colaborationist endeavor.  The alternative is a full fledged police state in whose direction we currently are trending. The militarism, neoliberalism, and deception is being led largely by Zionism, which is promoting the interests of israeli imperialism to the interests of the US.

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By felicity, April 22, 2009 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

voice of truth - more accurately, fascism exists when large corporations become extensions of government and government authority becomes centralized in a few people. 

Spengler describes the characteristics of a fascist state as one where there is contempt for the masses, democracy becomes outmoded in the name of protection from enemies, anti-intellectualism is rampant, and there is great admiration for strong and aggressive leaders.  Rather describes America since 2000, doesn’t it.

I think it’s a little early to call Obama a fascist.  People who do so reveal a kind of narcissistic bent, concentrating on all the wrongs they’ve suffered and because Obama has yet to make it all better, he’s a fascist?

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By ron hansing, April 22, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Kennedy Jr. has a simple definition of fascism and communism. fascism is when business runs government, and communism is when government runs business.

I’m confused to what to call Obama… His actions represent both… perhaps statism is a better word.

Pfaff reminds me of Billy Budd…. and dangerous.

Billy Budds of the world , “Wake up”.

ron hansing

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By voice of truth, April 22, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Do any of you, including the author, even know what fascism is?  Fascism is totalitarianism in which the means of production is privately owned but directed by the government.

If anything, what Obama is doing is more fascist than anything in American history.  GM is privately owned by shareholders, but the President is dictating what should be produced, and by whom.

Please, the ignorance and intolerance on this board is astounding.

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By psickmind fraud, April 22, 2009 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Obama’s next book should be called “Rope a Dope with Hope”.

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By lester333, April 22, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Mary Ann McNeely:  You hit the nail on the head.  See Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” and Chris Hedges’ talk on “Who are the American Fascists.”  They both tell the same exact story but in different ways.  The petri dish is controlled by the Dominionists and Uncle Miltie Friedman’s Chicago School of Economic torture.  Two identical groups headed in the same direction.  A perfect race.  Sound familiar?

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By Purple Girl, April 22, 2009 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

What High crimes were committed which the never saw a request for legal cover? What are the lost ‘18 minutes’, known to only those within the circle?
Sweethearts do you think Cheney,Rummy & wolfie did not learn something from their time with Nixon- never record it and never put it in black and white when you’re committing acts of Abuse of Power,Treason or War crimes.Lest we forget the mantra ‘if the president does it, it is not illegal’- so who needs a stinkin’ legal brief. You think Cheney got a legal ‘okay Dokey’ for his assasination Ring? I’m guessin’ NOT.
These Torture memos are obviously of little consquence since Cheney has been flaunting the use of thes techniques for quite some time, in fact now wants more released. ‘Shiny Object’ to distract away from more heinous crimes- like say political assasinations. What would have happened to their ‘War on Terror’ had Bhouto been able to Unite Pakistians against the extremeist. Ya think she or the Pakistani’s would have allowed the hot bed safe haven of the Swat Valley?
Just as Torture is counterproductive to getting reliable and actionable information- so is the threat of prosecution. These lower ranks will invoke their Miranda Rights and lawyer up. And we will have nothing to prosecute those higher up. Like So many times before these lower foot soldiers will take one for the team if necessary. Cheney Rummy and Wolfie are merely the Godfathers of a Syndicate that is far more vast. What do you think Ike was warning US about when he said ‘Military Industrial Complex’?
So how many “Pvt Englands” do you want to waste our time & money on prosecuting as the Godfathers and their Organization go on with Business as usual. don’t forget these Three are merely the Current executors, they will not be the last.
so while we are distracted with these small fish prosecutions, We will not be changing the underlying mechanism which brought US to our knees. The profiteers wil still own and control everything. Our healthcare will still suck,Our wages, bennies and Safety will be eroded, we’ll be addicted to whatever energy source they are willing to provide US, Our education system will continue to decay and they’ll keep stirring up shit to increase their war chests…..WE’ll continue to slide back towards a 3rd world existence.It’s not just these three men we must bring to justice, it’s the institutions they have represented that have usurped US as a free Independent nation, Not beholden or held hostage by any form of Brick & Mortar.Lopping the Heads off the Beast will help- but we must also destroy the heart.Otherwise it will merely regenerate 3 new heads- Ike Knew who the previous heads were, and he was warning US about what lies at it’s heart.

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By Paul_GA, April 22, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

If Obama is doing anything, he’s reaping Bush’s foul harvest.

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By angelia, April 22, 2009 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

beerdoctor.. a rose by any other name is still a rose.  Why shrink from a word?  We can see clearly what is happening.  It’s time to call it what it is and stop hiding from the truth.

Americans need to wake the hell up and smell the fascism.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 22, 2009 at 4:16 am Link to this comment

re: Mark E. Smith

Fascism is an overly used (or misused) term. How about when a nation behaves as a tyrant, and acts as a bully on those who have no defense? The abrogation of Nuremberg precedent by the United States, is, as you stated, an appalling change in United States government character (or lack thereof). The codifying of human injustice for the sake of some abstract talk of security… well, as Howlin’ Wolf might say: “that’s evil going on”.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 22, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

mmadden, who said Obama is taking the U.S. in the direction of fascism? He isn’t. He is merely continuing the fascist agenda of his predecessors.

I was around in the forties and I never dreamed that the United States would violate the Nuremberg Principles and wage wars of aggression.

Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked the United States or posed any imminent threat to the United States. As Sgt. Chiroux pointed out, even if the official cover story for the false flag operation of 9/11 was true, and some Saudis hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center, it was a crime, not an act of war. It was not officially sanctioned by any government, certainly not by Iraq or Afghanistan. Even Bush admitted that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. And we learned from the Downing Street Memos that Bush was fully aware that Iraq didn’t have WMDs.

Can you give us a definition of fascism (not Nazi-ism which is only one particular form of fascism—not all fascists wear swastikas or kill Jews) that the United States does not meet?

If you think that you know what fascism is and nobody else does, then why not tell us? Or is your definition of fascism limited to Nazis killing Jews and nothing else? Are you saying that Mussolini wasn’t a fascist?

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By Bubba, April 22, 2009 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, thanks for posting the link to that video. The kid is sharp. Inspiring.

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By thebeerdoctor, April 22, 2009 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

Defense of the status quo has always been the mantra, underneath all the deceptive rhetoric about change. FDR, for all his stunning social achievements, should always be remembered for saving the capitalist system, not destroying it, like his ridiculous critics still claim. One only has to look at what happened to Upton Sinclair and his bid to be governor of California in 1934, to see that the Democratic establishment, in concert with Hollywood and the newspapers, was absolutely determined to prevent an actual socialist from being democratically elected.
With this for historical background, it is not all surprising that Senator Obama campaigned for Joe Lieberman, over Ned Lamont. Endorsing Lieberman, one of the most hollow political hacks, is a part of President Obama’s legacy that many of his supporters make excuses for. Political expediency may be the explanation, but it does nothing to hide the fact that politics in general, is a bloody sausage maker, that is best left without closer examination.

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By Bubba, April 22, 2009 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Hanging? Jesus. Sure, compassion can be overdone. But hanging? How about a firing squad?

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By mmadden, April 22, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

What you people should really be concerned about is the Taliban taking over nuclear armed Pakistan. The leader of the Taliban wants to come here and force sharia law here like it is being right now in the Middle East.

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By mmadden, April 22, 2009 at 3:23 am Link to this comment

You people have no idea what Fascism is. You did not live in the 30’s or 40’s while some of us have. You are mistaken in your misguided ideas that your new President is taking your country in a direction of Fascism.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 22, 2009 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

Can one man stand against a fascist government and win?

He just did:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/271331

Check out the video—Sgt. Chiroux refused to obey an illegal order to deploy to a war of aggression in Iraq, demanded a military hearing, and he won.

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By Kaelieh, April 21, 2009 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone from Germany, Italy, and Russia that’s still alive from WWII (the ones who supported their fascist and communist regimes) have got to be looking at the US and saying wtf while laughing themselves to death.

Paracelsus,

I’m nervous too, it’s probably true. I’m not really inclined to believe it but if I know my luck, which is pretty crummy, the people everyone’s called nuts for years are going to be saying, “I told you so.”

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By Paracelsus, April 21, 2009 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Hello Angelia and Folk,

I found this interesting lecture by an Argentinian.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwkM4Ey4ph0&feature=related

It seems that Obama is going to be some sort of patsy for the fall of America. This makes sense as the elites do have a nasty racist streak to them. I am nervous about rumors of some sort of round up list for dissidents- a red list and a blue list. I am not endorsing the story, but I would say that the story shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand either.

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By nwt, April 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since when does TruthDig condone capital punishment?

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By angelia, April 21, 2009 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

I agree Folk & Paracelsus…the bankster bailout was a coup. Handing over what has turned out to be over 12 trillion so far, without accountability and no strings, is absolutely outrageous.  The corporations have the congress in their pockets. The melding of government and business…  This is truly a fascist government now, Mussolini style. To deny it is to not face facts.

Obama was the perfect spokesperson to seal the deal. His campaign was staged like a hollywood movie complete with tall roman columns flanking him on either side.

It seems the whole thing was an elaborate con game to invite the financial coup.  They attempted this back in ‘33.. the wealthy industrialists…. but a brave general foiled their plan to overthrow FDR and replace him with a fascist regime.  It took them a while but they can finally say mission accomplished !  And yes, it can and is happening here.

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By Folktruther, April 21, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Pfaff is the first mainstream columnist that I know of who states in simple words the obvious; that there has been a political revolution in the US and the American power system has undergone a form of fascist rule.

What he does not say, Paracelsus does; that Obama is finishing what Bush started.  Using a new rhetoric and marginal changes.  Obama has been selected to rehabilitate Bush’s policies and so far the Obama cheerleaders have kept the population in line.

But for how long?

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By Paracelsus, April 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

It already happened. Obama is just the man to finish what GW Bush started.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, April 21, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republican party as it exists today constitutes a well organized, well financed crypto-fascist front in the United States.  The more embittered and hysterical they become, the farther to the right they will move. The nation’s financial situation is dire and is a perfect petri dish for the growth of the final death of democracy in this country.

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By OzarkMichael, April 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

The men who authorized, ordered, and performed such acts should be hanged. It is as simple as that.

Thats one way to get rid of the opposition.

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By geronimo, April 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tbe Breach In The ConstiTution Must Be Repaired

“Otherwise?”

“Doomsday.”

“Why?”

“Perpetual war + global warming + economic collapse.”

“But breached how?”

“Change we can believe in.”

“Based on?”

“Yes we can.”

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