Have you ever watched one of the those excellent BBC documentaries about Nazi Germany? You will notice many scenes where people are going about their daily lives, at picnics, multitudes of people at beaches having a great time, at restaurants, theaters, etc.
For this next question, I'll ask you to be as intellectually honest as possible: By the time Nazism was fully entrenched in German society, how do you think you would react if you happened to be one of those people at the beach, happy, smiling, spending time with friends, and you started a conversation with someone who told you that you were living in the midst of a barbaric, horrendous, sadistic, and oppressive fascistic system?
I would venture to guess that you would probably start laughing your ass off, looking at that person as if they were crazy! But, again, counting on my hope that you'll be intellectually honest, I'll wait for your reply, in the comment section...
Here's why the average person back then would react in astonishment that anybody would suggest such a thing: Because their own daily lives are pretty normal. They have a family, they have friends, they work, study, shop, gossip, have sex, play sports, etc., and nothing much has changed in their own personal lives.
For decades now fascism has been creeping in in the United States. It is now almost fully entrenched, and at any moment it will take its mask off to show its true face.
Before I continue, and to hopefully help people not go into irrelevant tangents about Obama, and the Democrats vs. Republican frames of reference, what I'm describing here has very little to do with any particular person in government or political party. More than likely they are as oblivious to the fact that fascism has finally arrived in the United States, as the average person.
The genesis of this new type of fascism can be found in corporate board rooms and Wall Street. The need for constant growth and profits by corporations and the capitalist system are incompatible with democracy.
These corporations are vehicles for the rapid enrichment of a very few group of people at the very top of the hierarchy. This financial wherewithal allows them to buy off the average politician (which is not really that smart or ethical) in cities and states across the entire country, as well as most in the national government.
Members of this ruling class are willingly blind to the imposition of fascism, because acknowledging it and opposing it means less wealth and power to them, personally. So they rationalize the increase oppression on the population.
The reasons for the oppression itself are pretty straightforward, including the subjugation and exploitation of the population in the name of profit, which begets more wealth, and power. By the way, these dynamics are happening at a global scale.
In the United States the engines behind the imposition of fascism are organizations like ALEC.
So that's a little bit of the background that helped set the stage for the arrival of fascism in the United States, which is now fully installed in the form of the "Corporate State."
There are three major obstacles to the imposition of fascism in a country: an informed and educated citizenry; constitutional rights; and the rule of law.
That is why during the last few decades those three aspects of a healthy democracy have been systematically weakened (or in many areas, destroyed).
Corporate wealth bought off the politicians (of both parties). These corrupt politicians then went ahead and did the bidding of their paymasters by tearing down the proper regulatory framework and function of government.
This allowed for the looting of the national treasure by Wall Street, the systematic creation of a two-tiered legal system (one for the powerful and well-connected, and one increasingly draconian and oppressive for the average citizen), the tearing down of the regulatory framework that prevented the formation of oligopolies and monopolies, and the imposition of a total-information-awareness police state.
All this put together contributes to social dysfunction. As any fascist system in the past, as it rises, those affected by it are stratified. It affects the poor, feeble, and infirm first, and then certain groups (it could be minorities, intellectuals, liberals, labor leaders, union workers, activists, etc.).
So as of today, we have a fascistic legal framework, where citizens can be detained indefinitely without trial; citizens can be executed extra-judicially; a total-information-awareness police state has been fully installed; the rich and powerful can commit very big crimes with total immunity (other than paying fines).
It is within this context that when officials at the highest level of government justify gross violations of what were previously sacred constitutional rights, and when the ruling elite can commit crimes with impunity, that average citizens start feeling the discomfort of the fascist system as it presses its boot (as it were) against the collective neck of the citizenry.
It is at this stage where you start seeing more and more people being detained indefinitely, and without charges; when alleged criminals are hunted down and executed, extra-judicially; when a slew of rapidly expanding fascistic laws are enacted across the country to further oppress the population.
Right now, as the social dysfunction due to the imposition of fascism continues to grow, it puts the citizenry in a collision course. That's part of the reason organizations like ALEC and the NRA are behind laws to minimize the legal repercussions of killing people (stand-your-ground), and conceal-carry laws.
Once the jack-boot of the fascist corporate state presses so hard on the collective neck of the population, armed right wing groups will be used to intimidate those who try to rise in opposition, including (real) journalists, liberals and progressives, intellectuals, academics, and social activists. The intimidation could eventually lead to actual violence.
It is possible that we may still be within a period when we could still prevent the full-blown implementation and entrenchment of fascism peacefully, but that window is closing very, very fast; at blinding speed.
In my opinion, it would take a massive and relentless resistance movement at least ten times bigger than what Occupy Wall Street ever was.
Unfortunately, and getting back to the allusion of the typical German citizen in the mid-1930's at the beach, guess what his reaction would be at hearing such a warning? He'll start laughing in disbelief. He'll have to be hit straight in the face with a jack-boot of a fascist thug in order to believe it.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.