Friday, December 23, 2005

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FASCISM:14 CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCISM

"FRIENDLY FASCISM"
FROM: "Friendly Fascism" by Bertram Gross, Southend Press, p. 3
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In 1935 Sinclair Lewis wrote a popular novel in which a racist, anti-Semitic, flag-waving, army-backed demagogue wins the 1936 presidential election and proceeds to establish an Americanized version of Nazi Germany. The title, It Can't Happen Here, was a tongue-in-cheek warning that it might. But the "it" Lewis referred to is unlikely to happen again any place. Even in today's Germany, Italy or Japan, a modern-style corporate state or society would be far different from the old regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese oligarchs. Anyone looking for black shirts, mass parties, or men on horseback will miss the telltale clues of creeping fascism. In any First World country of advanced capitalism, the new fascism will be colored by national and cultural heritage, ethnic and religious composition, formal political structure, and geopolitical environment. The Japanese or German versions would be quite different from the Italian variety-and still more different from the British, French, Belgian, Dutch, Australian, Canadian, or Israeli versions. In America, it would be supermodern and multi-ethnic-as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile. As a warning against its cosmetic facade, subtle manipulation, and velvet gloves, I call it friendly fascism. What scares me most is its subtle appeal.
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"Fascism is on the march today in America. Millionaires are marching to the tune. It will come in this country unless a strong defense is set up by all liberal and progressive forces... A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government, and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. Aboard ship a prominent executive of one of America's largest financial corporations told me point blank that if the progressive trend of the Roosevelt administration continued, he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism to America."(former U.S. ambassador to Germany William Dodd in 1938)
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14 CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCISM:
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1.) Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. and let's not forget the failed
"Bring 'em on!"
Headstones of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are inscribed with the Pentagons war-marketing slogans
September 11 = Party time with country superstar Clint Black! Bring your coolers and sparklers! All lovingly sponsored by the Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin, and Subway restaurant
American Nation Brainwashed: I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ - With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!” Some may remember Duce! Duce! Duce! -ed.
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2.) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
The Frontline program "The Torture Question" Watch it online
Republicans kill defense spending bill because McCain Amendment prohibits "cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment"
Bush threatens to veto $442b defense bill if Congress investigates detainee abuses.
"For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously.": Bush calls Amnesty International's "gulag" report absurd (three times in two sentences)
Guantanamo Judge: “I don’t care about international law. I don’t want to hear the words ‘international law’ again. We are not concerned with international law.”
Rumsfeld to approve new guidelines that will formalize the administration's policy of imprisoning without the protections of the Geneva Conventions and enable the Pentagon to legally hold "ghost detainees,"
US 'preparing to detain terror suspects for life without trial'
U.S. oks evidence gained through torture.
July 1, 2003: U.S. Suspends Military Aid to Nearly 50 Countries: because they have supported the International Criminal Court and failed to exempt Americans from possible prosecution.
US has at least 9000 prisoners in secret detention
More...
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3.) Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
EXAMPLES:
Slander: Liberal lies...
How to talk to a liberal (if you must)
Deliver us...defeating terrorism, despotism, and liberalism
The Enemy Within: Saving America from the liberal assault in our schools, faith and military
Reckless Disregard: How Liberal Democrats Undercut Our Military, Endanger Our Soldiers, and Jeopardize Our Security
Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity
Congressman: Muslims 'enemy amongst us'
SB 24, Ohio law to muzzle "liberals"
World history textbook used by seventh-graders at Scottsdale’s Mohave Middle School was pulled from classrooms mid-semester amid growing right criticism of the book’s unbiased portrayal of Islam
How U.S. Attorney-General, a Christian Evangelist With Anti-Islamic Views On Record, Is Waging War On American Muslims
More...
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4.) Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
If you haven't seen the Oreo flash animation yet, see it here
Funding for job training, rural health care, low-income schools and help for people lacking health insurance would face big cuts under a bill passed Friday by the House
Pentagon to spend 75 billion for three new brigades
Bush’s Domestic Program Hit List
Three cable channels now feed news, information and entertainment about the armed services into millions of living rooms 24 hours a day, seven days a week: The Military Channel, the Military History Channel and the Pentagon Channel.
Republican Congressman Slams Bush On Militarized Police State Preparation
President Bush Wipes Out Vocational and Gifted Education; Gives Special Education Short Shrift. "Under this budget, our children with disabilities and our children with gifts and talents will be left behind."
The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
Cheney and Bush continue to rally troops as public support plummets
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5.) Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
It's legal again, to fire gov't workers for being gay
Bush calls for Constitutional ban on same-sex marriages
Bush refuses to sign U.N proposal on women's "sexual" rights
W. David Hager chairman of the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee does not prescribe contraceptives for single women, does not do abortions, will not prescribe RU-486 and will not insert IUDs. Hager believes that headaches, PMS and eating disorders can be cured by reading Scripture.
The State Department has awarded an explicitly anti-feminist U.S. group part of a US$10 million grant to train Iraqi women in political participation and democracy.
More...
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6.) Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
Smoking Gun Memo? Iraq Bombshell Goes Mostly Unreported in US Media
Report shows U.S. government has been engaged in illegal propaganda aimed at its own citizens and the story gets only 41 mentions in the media
FOX NEWS ADMITS BIAS Scott Norvell is London bureau chief for Fox News, and on May 20 he let the mask slip in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal. So far, the damage has been contained, because Norvell's comments -- in an op-ed he wrote decrying left-wing bias at the BBC -- appeared only in the Journal's European edition.
Free Press details recent governmental propaganda efforts, from faux-correspondent Jeff Gannon to paid-off pundit Armstrong Williams, and from the demise of FOIA to video news releases passed off as news. also... See a Whitehouse fake news release here (opens realplayer)
Conservative columnist discloses CIA operative's name, liberal reporters face jail time
Chain of TV and radio station donates $300,000 worth of airtime to GOP candidates for free last-minute political ads
US seizes webservers from independent media sites
Bush's war on information: US editors forbidden to publish certain foreign writers
Bush administration violated federal law by producing and distributing television news segments about the effects of drug use among young people. The GAO said the videos "constitute covert propaganda" because the government was not identified as the source of the materials
More...
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7.) Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses
Bush Aides ADMIT 'stoking fear' for political gain
GOP convention in a nutshell (quicktime)
The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.
Keith Olbermann: "The Nexus of Politics and Terror."
U.S. Set to Test Missile Defenses for Commercial Airliners
Cheney warns that if Kerry is elected, the USA will suffer a "devastating attack"
Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list."
Senate to pass a bill exempting Department of Homeland Security from all judicial oversight.
"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security," Ridge said last year. Evidence suggests otherwise
Former counterterrorism chief claims that the now- discredited documents that showed Iraq trying to purchase uranium were fabricated right here in the United States
More...
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8.) Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
Jerry Falwell cleared of charges that he broke federal election law by urging followers to vote for Bush
NC congressman proposes law making it ok to preach politics from the pulpit
Texas Governor Mobilizes Evangelicals
Family research council: Justice Sunday
Law would put 'In God We Trust' in schools: A proposed law, now awaiting action in the state House, would require the motto to appear in every public school classroom, auditorium and cafeteria in Pennsylvania
Tom Delay "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith"
Christian conservatives, led by some top Republicans, are stepping up their assault on the U.S. judiciary, saying judges are attacking religion and must be reined in
Thou shalt be like Bush: What makes this recently established, right-wing Christian college unique are the increasingly close - critics say alarmingly close - links it has with the Bush administration and the Republican establishment.
Park Service Continues to Push Creationist Theory at Grand Canyon and other nat'l parks
More...
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9.) Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
The K Street Project is a project by the Republican party to pressure Washington lobbying firms to hire Republicans in top positions, and to reward loyal GOP lobbyists with access to influential officials. It was launched in 1995, by Republican strategist Grover Norquist and House majority leader Tom DeLay.
American Conservative Magazine: One U.S. contractor received $2 million in a duffel bag... and a U.S. official was given $7 million in cash in the waning days of the CPA and told to spend it “before the Iraqis take over.”
There are 6 Congressional Committees investigating the Oil-for-Food (UN) scandal, yet not a single Republican Committee Chairman will call a hearing to investigate the whereabouts of 9 billion dollars missing in Iraq
Corporations' efforts to curb free speech through lawsuits are succeeding
Supreme Court overturns Arthur Andersen conviction
Congress rejects proposal to investigate Iraq's war profiteers
Army whistleblower being demoted for daring to ask such questions as "Why is Halliburton getting billions in contracts without competitive bidding?"
Off the Hook: Deferred Prosecution Agreements On the Rise: Ten major American corporations settled serious criminal charges with deferred prosecution, no prosecution, or de facto no prosecution agreements over the last two years
Shadowy lobbyists ignore rules and exploit connections -- and their industry of influence nets almost $13 billion.
More...
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10.) Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
Schwarzenegger steps up attacks on labor unions in California
Labor Department warns unions against using their money politically
Organized labor locks horns with White House
President Bush Attacks Organized Labor Bush attacked organized labor Saturday, issuing orders effectively reducing how much money unions can spend for political activities and opening up government contracts to non-union bidding.
March 2001: President Bush signed his name to four executive orders on organized labor last month, including one that cuts the money unions will have for political campaign spending.
Congress and the Department of Labor are trying to change the rules on overtime pay, eliminating the 40 hour work week, taking eligibility for overtime pay away from millions of workers, and replacing time and a half pay with comp days.
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11.) Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
Bush's new economic plan cuts funding for arts, education
Artists from all over the world are being refused entry to the US on security grounds.
Jeb Bush calls author of bill banning professors from being too liberal as a "freedom fighter"
A group of more than 60 top U.S. scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and several science advisers to past Republican presidents, on Wednesday accused the Bush administration of manipulating and censoring science for political purposes
Freedom of Repression: New ruling will allow censorship of campus publications
Right-wingers demand a "College Bill of Rights" to protect their promotion of unpopular ideas
'The Republican War on Science' explains how conservatives undermine science by whipping up controversy and manipulating the media.
More...
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12.) Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations
America: secret jails, secret courts, secret arrests, and now secret laws
House votes to make PATRIOT ACT permanent
Snitch-or-Go-to-Jail bill will make pretty much anything short of reporting on everyone you see for doing just about anything a jailable offense. With minimum sentences, up to and including life without parole.
Report: Thousands wrongly convicted each year: Thousands of suspects unable to afford lawyers are wrongly convicted each year because they are pressured to accept guilty pleas or have incompetent attorneys, the American Bar Association says in a report.
The problem with Gonzales is that he has been deeply involved in developing some of the most sweeping claims of near-dictatorial presidential power in our nation's history, allowing him to imprison and even (at least in theory) torture anyone in the world, at any time
Police officers don't have to give a reason at the time they arrest someone, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a ruling that shields officers from false-arrest lawsuits.
More...
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13.) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
Bush Cronyism: Foxes Guarding the henhouse
Making Sense of the Abramoff Scandal
If Bush's pick is confirmed, that will mean the five top appointees at Justice have zero prosecutorial experience among them.
Iran-Contra Felons Get Good Jobs from Bush
Big Iraq Reconstruction Contracts Went To Big Donors
Bush Wars -- Crooks Get Contracts : The main companies that were awarded billions of dollars worth of contracts in Iraq have paid more than $300 million in fines since 2000, to resolve allegations of fraud, bid rigging, delivery of faulty military equipment, and environmental damage.
US Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) lost track of $9 billion
"Contracting in the aftermath of the hurricanes has been marked by waste, corruption and cronyism"
More...
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14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Powerful Government Accounting Office report confirms key 2004 stolen election findings
Conyers hearing in which Clinton Curtis testifies that he was hired to create hackable voting machines (.wmv)
The Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire.
The Conyers Report (.pdf)
No explanation for the machines in Mahoning County that recorded Kerry votes for Bush, the improper purging in Cuyahoga County, the lock down in Warren County, the 99% voter turnout in Miami County, the machine tampering in Hocking County
Less access than Kazakhstan. Fewer fail-safes than Venezuela. Not as simple Republic of Georgia. The 2004 Elections according to international observers.
This picture is what stopped the ballot recounts in Florida shortly after it seemed that legitimate President Gore had a lead. The "citizens" started what was later called "the preppy riot". Screaming, yelling, pounding on the walls, these "outraged citizens" intimidated the polling officials to halt the court mandated recount. A closer look reveals who they really were. They were bussed and flown in at Republican lawmakers expense. Some even flew in on Tom Delay's private plane.
More...
If Mussolini defines fascism as "the merger of corporate and government power" what does that make the K Street project?
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Related Articles:
"Now and Then"- Part 1 A 3 part series by W David Jenkins III on the similarities between America now and Germany post Reichstag fire
Click here to purchase this image on POAC merchandise
"Now and Then"- Part II: The Propaganda Machine
Now and Then- Part III Hitler's Playbook: Bush and the Abuse of Power
It may sound crazy to some, but the style of governing into which America has slid is most accurately described as fascism.
Is America Becoming Fascist?
Eternal Fascism:Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt
The Danger of American Fascism:With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
Sheila Samples: Freedom To Fascism -- A Bumpy Ride: Republicans don't seem to realize that they are no longer individual members of a coherent "party," but are merely part of a mean-spirited and dangerous movement that is threatening to sweep away democracy as we know it.
Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism
The Brownshirting of America: Bush’s supporters demand lock-step consensus that Bush is right. They regard truthful reports that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and was not involved in the September 11 attack on the US – truths now firmly established by the Bush administration’s own reports – as treasonous America-bashing.
Fascism then. Fascism now? When people think of fascism, they imagine Rows of goose-stepping storm troopers and puffy-chested dictators. What they don't see is the economic and political process that leads to the nightmare.
What is Fascism? Some General Ideological Features
Hello. You are now living in a fascist empire
Neo-fascism in America : Too many people believe fascism is only about goose-stepping, jack-booted Nazis. Too many people believe that American democracy is so strong that fascists could never take control of America. If you are sympathetic to those views, I invite you to consider the possibility that you are mistaken.
It is in times of fascism rising that armies of ignorance are once more resuscitated from the bowels of a society bordering on the edge of mass psychosis. The America at the dawn of the twenty-first century is no exception...
Republican Party Brown Shirts: "The Wide-Awakes": The organization was known for virulent anti-Catholicism, secretive rituals, and a military-style organization complete with "officers" and units.
U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler: The little-known story of the man who prevented a coup d'├ętat and the overthrow of the US government in 1933
Harper's Magazine: We Now Live in a Fascist State
They Saw It Coming: The 19th-Century Libertarian Critique of Fascism
Victims of Creeping Fascism: We are witnessing nothing less astonishing than the demise of the American experiment. 12-20
The ten phases of a Bush scandal. 12-22
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