Monday, August 10, 2009

Toward Fascist America

In the past I have dissented from the popular theory among some on the left that we are becoming a fascist nation; this was particularly popular in the days of Bush after some of the revelations came out. There was the much discussed 14 characteristics of Fascism by Dr. Lawrence Britt, as well as other concerns about the Bush civil liberties actions (or actions against civil liberties to be more accurate.

Well Sara Robinson has written a somewhat more persuasive article suggesting that we are on our way to fascism. She uses as her text an article by Robert Paxton which is, seriously, light years ahead of Britt. This isn't an article that comes to the conclusion and works backwards. This is a well written and reasonably well thought out argument that suggests that the Conservatives (particularly Limbaugh Conservatives) and Republican Politicians, having been thwarted in their ambitions by the rise of Obama, might unify in anger. She takes as evidence the Tea Parties and the current protests at Townhall meetings.
Unfortunately, all the noise and bluster actually obscures the danger. These people are as serious as a lynch mob, and have already taken the first steps toward becoming one. And they're going to walk taller and louder and prouder now that their bumbling efforts at civil disobedience are being committed with the full sanction and support of the country's most powerful people, who are cynically using them in a last-ditch effort to save their own places of profit and prestige.

We've arrived. We are now parked on the exact spot where our best experts tell us full-blown fascism is born. Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we're slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return.
Credit where credit is due, but I'm not convinced. First of all, how exactly are conservatives in Congress and right wing talking heads holding up our abilit to govern the country? By disagreeing with us? By refusing to vote with us? Or what? You can't really expect them to vote with us; they disagree with us.

Secondly you have to have an elite willing to step aside and/or ally with the popular fascist movement. So far we haven't seen that. It's possible that, having been humiliated in the last two elections, conservatives have come around to the idea that they have to dance with the ones what brung them. But that's not the history. Rather look at what they did after getting George W. Bush - the elites got what they wanted in about a New York Minute; the Limbaughs and the Evangelicals got crumbs. Are the Conservative Elites really that desperate this time around? I don't think so.

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