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This diary offers an analytic framework to determine whether "Bush Authoritarianism" or "Bushism" is an instance of a fascist ideology. It is a starting-point and not an end-point. It is hoped that it aides further discussion and research into the question.

I. On Method

I want to discuss two methods of analysis that we can apply to the issue. The first is referred to as a 'menu' approach, and the second is a 'continuum' approach.  One way we can analyze whether Bushism is a fascistic ideology is to develop a list--a menu--of that which it means to be a fascist ideology and check-off each menu item, i.e., each variable and if a sufficient number of check-marks appear after our analysis, we reach an answer of either 'yes' or 'no'.

I suggest that that is what Naomi Wolf has done in her list of ten variables that I list below:

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
  1. Create a gulag
  1. Develop a thug caste
  1. Set up an internal surveillance system
  1. Harass citizens' groups
  1. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
  1. Target key individuals
  1. Control the press
  1. Dissent equals treason
  1. Suspend the rule of law

See also Naomi Wolf's The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

In my opinion, there is a weakness to this analysis for two main reasons: First, there is a tendency to make the facts fit your seeming arbitrary list of variables. Second, there is a tendency to, if finding one of the variables weakly-met to dismiss the entire analysis.

In the 'real world' I have found the second method, an analysis on a continuum to be more effective, and it is that method that I apply in this diary.

II. Defining Fascism, fascism, and fascistic ideology.

Here we run into an immediate problem, similar to the one I mention above. If we want to be completely accurate, Fascism, with a capital F, began and ended with Mussolini in Italy. Now, we can stop our analysis there and say since Bushism isn't Mussolinii in Italy, Bushism isn't Fascism. A true statement, but, one that is quite unsatisfying and equally uninteresting.  It is a dull analyst who stops here and closes the book.  It is a lazy one who then goes on to argue that Bushism isn't Fascism, so it must be, say, mere Authoritarianism, because it fits better into the preferred analysis of this or that writer.

But, lets look further. We think we know what fascism means, but, is there a clear definition of the term, with a small 'f'. Well, there is and it can only be arrived at by, I argue, an anlaysis of the variables associated with what we can call the 'fascist ideology'. Again, we are faced with a list. Who makes it? The trite answer is 'anyone can!', but, the better answer is to look towards those historians who have spent their careers creating one.  

For convenience sake, I present a list from Professor Paxton writing at the time from Columbia University. The list is found in "The Five Stages of Fascism", 70 The Journal of Modern History 1 (1998), available via the JSTOR database. These seven characteristics are analyzed by Paxton throughout what he describes as a five-stage process.

  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  1. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  1. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  1. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio)whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  1. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  1. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  1. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

There are, of course, other lists and descriptions. It is up to the writer to decide and argue for whichever set of variables they believe ought to be in the list. There is no 'right' answer, only good and bad arguments, with good and bad lists of variables. It is up to the writer to assemble what he or she believe is the proper set.

Here is a summary from Emilio Gentile's The Origins of Fascist Ideology: 1918-1925, at p. 368:    

In fascism we face a brutal and openly proclaimed aversion to freedom, equality, happiness and peace as life's ideals; we are confronted with obedience of the masses, the sacrifice of the individual to the collective understood as the State and the nation. The fascists never claimed to want to spread freedom and rationality to the world. They proclaimed that reason counted for little in politics where only force, the will to power by select minorities, the consensus created by myth and faith, really do count.

III. Creating an analysis

We are given seven distinct variables by Paxton. As mentioned above, we could simply choose it as a menu and check-off the ones that apply and end it there. But, what I want to do is a different approach that gives the list more value.

You assign each of the seven variables a value, and after studying Bushism, you calculate the value of "Bushism" on a continuum, say, from 0 to 10, to determine a weight to Bushism as a fascistic ideology.

I found one historian from 1945 that, while determining if "Nazism" was "Fascism" did a similar analysis. Gerard DeGre. In his "The Fascist: An Operational Definition", 24 Social Forces 166 (1945), available at JSTOR.

Where is my analysis? It is under construction, as it were. I am at the point where I am developing the proper list of variables, taking into account the literature through the 1990s, and trying to unravel, as we all are, what has happened and what continues to happen each day.

IV. Other examples

Nazism as fascism.

It goes without saying, for the reason stated above, that Nazism isn't Fascism with a capital "F", and some writers stop there and go on to treat Nazism as sui generis. Because of Nazism's Antisemitism, i.e., because of--to use my language--Antisemitism being such a strong variable in the analysis, Nazism cannot possibly be associated with Fascism. Paxton, in footnote 5, points to the fact that Mussolini had a Jewish mistress named Margherita Sarfatti, and one of his favorite henchmen was Jewish: Giacomo Matteotti. Again, this argument seems to end too soon, and it seems a bit too uninteresting to stop the analysis there. But, by over-weighing one of the variables, to the exclusion of all others, the debate ends.

Paxton then points out that 'eminent authorities', such as Renzo De Felice did believe that Nazism was an instance of fascism. De Felice, an Italian scholar had his work extracted by Michael A. Ledeen in book form in Fascism: An Informal Introduction to its Theory and Practice: An Interview with Michael A. Leeden. I leave it to the reader to unravel the connections between Mussolini, De Felice, Ledeen, and Bush, should any exist.

Of course, the variable of Antisemitism found in Nazism is a terribly strong one with a terrific amount of painful baggage attached to it, and it is perhaps impossible for a historian to see it as only one variable of the set, so as to not miss doing a complete analysis of Nazism and Bushism as fascistic ideologies. But, it is but one variable. Is Bushism Antisemitic? That is beyond the scope of this brief diary, and the answer to that question is probably 'no' but the jury is out until more is uncovered. Nixon's Antisemitism, likely present throughout his entire adulthood, only became actualized to the general public in the mid 1970s with the release of his tapes. Only last week, an article appeared about Abraham Lincoln and his Antisemitic remarks made during the American Civil War. What will be uncovered in the dark putrid dead soul of George Bush twenty years hence can only be imagined.

V. Conclusion

I subtitled this diary with Paxton's phrase, "fascism in motion". An analysis of a temporal ideology requires a dynamic process. As the historian in 1950 sees fascistic ideology through the lens of Nazism, so must the historian in 2007 look through the lens of the past fifty years and beyond to determine the answer. Of course, the tool-set is different now for the fascist-want-to-be than it was in the 1930s and 40s. One major contribution to the tool-set is the Anglo-American development of the modern corporation and all it entails. That is a subject beyond the scope of this short diary, but, it is mentioned as an additional variable that would not have been available to Italy and Germany in the early Twentieth Century.  The theory of the corporation has existed for centuries in one form or another, but, it is only with the work of Berle and Means, Coase, Easterbrook, Posner, and the Chicago School after World War II, that the corporation has such significance and power in people's lives and in their governments.

As a brief tangent, I wish to point the reader to a fascinating article in the recent issue of Law and Literature, titled, "Abu Ghraib and its Shadow Archives" published by The Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, by Joseph Pugliese. Professor Pugliese analyses the Abu Ghraib photographs through the lens of what he calls the 'neofascist codification of torture' and places the photographs not as simply an isolated event but as an indicator of something deeply-rooted in what I am referring to as Bushism.

I mention this as a third example of a style of analysis that is being applied to this issue: as his abstract states, I analyse those points of intersection between the genealogies of techno-political-military power and visual regimes of subjugation, mastery, violence and torture' I also mention it to show that the application of the term 'fascist' to 'Bushism' is no longer reserved to rabid Bush haters such as myself, but, to academics in various fields of research.

Is Bushism a fascistic ideology? Of course, my answer is 'yes', but, my answer isn't worth much, is it? It is, whether we like it or not, up to 'future historians' to answer that question with specificity. However, it is hoped that the reader realizes the worth of the analysis and the importance of doing one in this case. The Bush Crime Family and its ideology which for convenience I have called "Bushism" is a world-wide criminal enterprise with tentacles throughout several countries. The determination whether it is also based on a fascist ideology will not be made today, or next week, but, will concern historians for decades as they look backward through the death and destruction of people and principles during this period of Bushism.

Originally posted to james risser on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 05:38 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Additional factor: Disfunctional personalities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      james risser

      Fascist and neo-fascist systems have repeatedly elevated narcissistic and antisocial personality types to positions of authority.

      Fascist "idealism" vs. practical realism.

      Acquisition of traditional social presentations -- otherwise known as hypocrisy -- is an easy task for individuals with these personality disorders.

      The society is victimized by these fakers. And surely, over and over, the fake can be more convincing than the real item.

      For example, consider marriage. The Clintons' marriage has stood severe tests. It must be strong. But that is not what you'll hear from the fakers.

      Dixie Chicks and Amy Winehouse. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

      by vets74 on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:28:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Further reading (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      james risser

      For anyone interested in another excellent take on this, I can't recommend Dave Neiwert's series "Rush, Newspeak, and Fascism: an Exegesis" enough.

      Available at Dave's blog Orcinus or Cursor.

  •  One of the problems this kind of (8+ / 0-)

    consideration leads to is that there's a general and a specialist sense of many of these words.

    The general deals with Character Type, as it were. The character of Pol Pot = Mao = Stalin = Idi Amin ... Here it's the fundamental nature and practical tendencies of the thing being indicated.

    Then specialists say, "well this can't be the same because this and that event happened or didn't in one case, so properly it should be termed "            ".

    From a general perspective steel in a ball-bearing is identical in all important respects to steel in a rod. To the specialist the variety of details is laden with meaning.

    I hope response here doesn't degenerate like the topic always does, and that the two reasonable perspectives can co-exist.

    Thanks for all the thought and work you've done on this.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 05:51:37 PM PDT

  •  Excellent James. Rec'd and tipped ..... eom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inky, james risser

    NO MORE DYNASTIES! No more triangulation! No more lies! No more war! No more corporatists! ELECT PROGRESSIVES NOW!

    by Hornito on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 06:12:37 PM PDT

  •  Here's another description of Fascism... (5+ / 0-)

    ...the list of diagnostic features of Fascism formulated by Stanley Payne, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in his 1980 book "Fascism: Comparison and Definition":

       

    A. The Fascist Negations

        1. Antiliberalism (By "liberalism", this means free-market capitalism
           and representative democracy).

         2. Anticommunism.

         3. Anticonservatism (By "Conservatism" that means resistance to
            social change and allegience to traditional sources of
            authority, such as the church and, in Europe, the crown.
            Fascism considers itself a modernizing, revolutionary
            movement that will produce new sources of authority.
            See Ideology and Goals).

       B. Ideology and Goals

         1. Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state based
            not merely on traditional principles or models.

         2. Organization of some new kind of regulated, multiclass,
            integrated national economic structure (national
            corporatist, national socialist, or national syndicalist).

         3. The goal of empire or a radical change in the nation's
            relationship with other powers.

         4. Specific espousal of an idealist, voluntarist creed,
            normally involving the attempt to realize a new form
            of modern, self-determined, secular culture.

       C. Style and Organization

         1. Emphasis on esthetic structure of meetings, symbols,
            and political choreography, stressing romantic and mystical
            aspects.

         2. Attempted mass mobilization with militarization of political
            relationships and style with the goal of a mass party militia.

         3. Positive evaluation of and willingness to use violence.

         4. Extreme stress on the masculine principle and male dominance,
            while espousing the organic view of society.

        5. Exaltation of youth above other phases of life, emphasizing the
           conflict of generations, at least in effecting the initial
           political transformation.

         6. Specific tendency toward an authoritarian, charismatic, personal
            style of command.

    I've applied these criteria to W's administration before and found that, while a case can be made for it meeting A1, A2, B1, B3, C1, and C6 (and, with hints of Blackwater becoming a private militia, the possibility that it is now starting to fulfill criteria C2 and C3), it fails all the other criteria, in particular those (A1, B2, B4, and C5) that are "anti-conservative" in nature. Therefore, I still would not call the current government Fascist according to Payne's diagnostic criteria.  That said, the trend is that W's administration has been meeting more of Payne's criteria over time, so if it's not Fascist now, it certainly is becoming more so.  I find that to be cause for alarm.

    •  thank you for the list... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa, Neon Vincent

      ...i am going to find the book and take a look at it...

      yes...

      That said, the trend is that W's administration has been meeting more of Payne's criteria over time, so if it's not Fascist now, it certainly is becoming more so.  I find that to be cause for alarm.

      that is what i appreciate from paxton's method as well.  there is a temporal component to the analysis.  a trend, in other words...

  •  Where I have a problem with (5+ / 0-)

    both the laundry list and process list is that they are composed of historical variables and elements that existed and developed in fascist states.  As you correctly point out these are different for both Germany and Italy.

    Process or laundry list elements that I'd include would be:

    1. Minimization of personal autonomy for weak or specious reasons that do not, or only minimally, benefit either the individuals or the collective good.  
    1. Individual subordination and service to the institutions of government, religion and corporations  where the benefits to the individuals is less than that to the institutions.
    1. Realized benefits, either individually or collectively, are significantly paid for by those outside the group.

    Getting individuals to sign off on any of those is sadly not all that difficult because they will easily accept short-term benefits and don't look too far down the road.  For example, how exactly does giving up my civil liberties prevent another 9/11?  Had they been stripped from us ten years before 9/11 would they have prevented it?  And why is 9/11 so damn important?  It wasn't different from the OKC terrorist hit by Tim McVeigh, only more successful.  The number who died on 9/11 was large but almost negligible when compared to the number of Americans that die every year in accidents.  The physical destruction on 9/11 pales in comparison with the physical destruction of Katrina.  The ease with which Americans accepted accepted the violent response to 9/11 and assault on our liberties is quite stunning when that event is put into a rational framework.      

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

    by Marie on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 06:15:02 PM PDT

    •  i especially like #3... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa

      Realized benefits, either individually or collectively, are significantly paid for by those outside the group.

      thanks!

      •  Thanks -- all three need more (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        antifa, james risser

        work.  I know what I'm getting at but not so easy to articulate.  Many of the formulations are too specific; such as "anti-communist" when fascism survived very well in the USSR and China. Or maybe the broader issue isn't fascism but totalitarianism.  The right labeled and still views socialism as synonymous with fascism and there has to be a construction of fascism that obviously wouldn't include the New Deal and modern European socialism.

        What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

        by Marie on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 07:24:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tight definitions are fine for deductive logic. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie

          But social systems do not come to exist as expressions of specific sets of rules, apart from a few exotic Utopian exceptions.

          The fit between the category [fascist OR neo-fascist] and a specific government at a specific time, well, that is more a problem for what's called Fuzzy Logic with tools applicable to pattern recognition.

          We're talking inductive logic. Soft matches.

          Now if someone wants to go built a PURE FASCIST system, then this obsession with getting perfect matches could make sense.

          Otherwise, its more a matter of sniffing things out.

          How's it smell ???

          Dixie Chicks and Amy Winehouse. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

          by vets74 on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:40:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right -- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            james risser

            it's that intuitive pattern recognition thing.  The variables can all differ, they evolve in a different order, but the whole is remarkably similar to other instances.

            (And easier to see from a distance when one isn't emotional invested in it.)

            What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

            by Marie on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:32:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  If We Attempted to Define "Democracy" We Wouldn't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inky, antifa, james risser, Empower Ink

    bother with even 10% this much analysis.

    If the people elect a large fraction of their government, we'd call it a small "d" democratic without almost no regard to where everything else fell on the scale.

    Seems to me the broadest popular definition of fascism is the merging of authoritarian state and corporate power, isn't it? By any rational meaning of the words, Bushco has crossed well beyond the border of small "f" fascism.

    We have formal government policy for corporate military, corporate voting, corporate domestic punishment, corporate tax services and corporate surveillance all more or less unprecedented a generation ago. We've rendered moot some of our Bill of Rights and severely rolled back much of it to make government unprecedentedly authoritarian in a time of no nationstate or empire enemy engagement, as far as I can recall.

    Modern [neo] conservatives have followed the lead of the self-described "non denominational" christianist movement by not declaring a new term for their sect or movement, in an attempt to rebrand the entire historic movement as solely themselves ("Christians" for the "non" denominationalists and "conservatives" for these alleged fascists).

    They're forcing us to conceive of them as "conservatives" so given all the trends I don't see a problem pushing back with "fascists," either a political problem or an analytical one.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 06:30:44 PM PDT

    •  i think you are right... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa

      the broadest popular definition of fascism is the merging of authoritarian state and corporate power, isn't it? By any rational meaning of the words, Bushco has crossed well beyond the border of small "f" fascism.

      and the analysis can stop there, if you wish.  i wanted to be more complete and historical with the analysis, just because it seems necessary.  for instance, your characterization would more than likely match any post-1970s administration, and i think this one is particularly bad.

      if that makes sense...

  •  perhaps for proximate terminological accuracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antifa, james risser

    the term to describe the Machiavellian neocon cabal now running America is cryptofascist, neofascist, fascist-lite, fascist-like, or some other variation thereof, but certainly if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

  •  thanks for diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    james risser

    i'm using this comment to link back here...

  •  Excellent Analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antifa, james risser

    James, thank you for this diary. I'm sorry that I have to get to bed & can't think now much beyond longing for my pillow.

    But, I did want to ask if you'd read Betram Gross' book, Friendly Fascism. It was published in 1980, with an update in '82 when it came out in paperback and Raygun had had his hands on govt for only two years. It was a compelling read two decades ago, and still remains a favorite of mine.

    Gross was hopeful then. I wish I could feel the same now. But, hey, the fascist emporer isn't wearing any clothes.

  •  As we all head for bed . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, bmaples, james risser

    this excellent diary has 13 Recs and 17 comments.

    When it should be at the top of the Rec list, and stay there for a few weeks.

    I shall dream of turning on the news on any channel, and hearing wide open public examination and discussion of who we are, as a nation, and what this 'f' word has to do with we.

    I can dream, can't I?

    "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

    by antifa on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 02:11:39 AM PDT

  •  I'm here from the Rescue Rangers (4+ / 0-)

    and glad they rescued this one!

    A well-written, well-thought-out diary. Good contribution to the thinking on the subject, and the comments are also valuable.

    Rec'd and filed.

    Thanks!

    Bruce in Louisville
    And the blog is Eclectic Thinker

    by bmaples on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 08:36:43 PM PDT

  •  Interesting diary (3+ / 0-)

    The whole question of what constitutes fascism is an interesting one. My more sociological take is that fascism involved a destruction of those elements of civil society that were independent of the state, and in particular, those which were considered progressive or oriented towards workers organization.

    This last is an instance of every fascist government, which involved the outlawing of socialist parties and of independent trade unions. It is also why, for instance, Peron's Argentina is not a good example of fascism (the unions were not smashed).

    The U.S. has certainly promoted fascist regimes abroad: the Salvadoran government during its civil war. Now we are getting the blowback, as the fascistic seeds sewn abroad are coming back to take root in the (ahem) homeland.

  •  Eva Peron scores a "0" in variable 6. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, vets74, james risser

    I am curious as to how you would describe her fascistic tendencies? Or should I invoke my tendency to, if finding one of the variables weakly-met, to dismiss the entire analysis...

    Which of course I have not.

    I am devotedly following the pros and cons of applying the terms fascist that are seemingly more academically emerging in diaries and the ensuing discussions.

    Tu es responsable de ta rose Le Petit Prince

    by Brahman Colorado on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 08:55:02 PM PDT

    •  See my comment right above yours (3+ / 0-)

      There are a number of reasons Peronista Argentina was not fascist -- corporatist, yes; fascist, not really.

      I like JR's idea of a continuum. Really, fascist is only a made-up label, a tool, like any word, to help us grasp reality. The only reason to do that is to help us deal with current reality, not to reify a term and force what we think into the procrustian bed of the terminology.

      •  I too liked JR's analogy of Fascism in motion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        james risser

        The Peronist movement was certainly in motion as General Peron was a supporter and sympathizer of Mussolini and the Axis.

        She established a cult-like celebrity status of outrageous, and what some refer to as propaganda-like proportions.

        Trade union's,workers and the poor wanted the Pope to canonize her at her death. Consolidating the middle and lower classes was the common accomplishment of Hitler, Mussolini and the Perons.

        They rose to power with the 3 different and unique implementations of Nationalism.

        The Perons were not anti-semitic, they didn't need to be...they had their own gig...Saint Eva.

        Tu es responsable de ta rose Le Petit Prince

        by Brahman Colorado on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 04:56:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry I missed this one James! ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, james risser

    ...and the rec'd. period, but suffice it to say I heartily agree with your "starting point" analysis and look forward to step two, especially with

    "I also mention it to show that the application of the term 'fascist' to 'Bushism' is no longer reserved to rabid Bush haters such as myself, but, to academics in various fields of research".

    I'm a rabid hater of what Bushism has done to my beloved country, the total product of which may not be felt until as you say

    "What will be uncovered in the dark putrid dead soul of George Bush twenty years hence can only be imagined.

    I've made a life's work out of studying the Reich, and it's almost impossible to even capsulize it here, meaning the comparison between Bushism and Nazism. I've seen many parallels between the two, whether they are congruent or not , historians far better equipped than both of us, will decide which side of evil his legacy will finally find itself.

    Like Justice Potter Stewart said in 1964, "I know pornography when I see it", and I know fascism when its boot is pressed against my neck. I tend to agree with FDR's take:

    "Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of a private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power".

    (FDR: message to Congress proposing the monopoly investigation, 1938)

    Again, I'm sad that I missed your diary rec'd. period. Caught it with the help of SusanG and the RRs. I "subscribed" so maybe I shan't miss the sequel! Great read James!

    08.04.07 It took the Titanic longer to sink than for the 110th Congress to surrender to Bush.

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 09:16:17 PM PDT

    •  Your Potter Stewart quote's right on. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      james risser, ImpeachKingBushII

      And his friend on SCOTUS, Associate Justice Lewis Powell -- formerly on 11 Boards for major companies -- cast a strategy for bringing in authoritarian dscipline to GOP politics.

      This  Powell Memorandum has had extraordinary effects.

      "(The U.S.)Chamber (of Commerce) and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations."

      This Memo also presents the campaign tactic of casting the profit motive as a weak sister, under attack from hordes of nasty lefties.

      "No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack....
      There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism)...
      But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts...."

      Yeah... barbarians/social_democrats at the gate.

      Folks such as Huckabee and Giuliani quote sections of Powell practically verbatim.

      At least their speech writers take the trouble to read the core American political documents.

      Dixie Chicks and Amy Winehouse. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

      by vets74 on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:15:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thank you... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ImpeachKingBushII

      ...i agree with your intuition, and the fact that we are probably too close to be definitive about bushism.  that being said, it is clear to anyone who does the comparison that we are trending towards fascism and not away from it!

  •  My greatest fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    We've all been guilty of underestimating the contempt this administration has for the constitution, laws, Congress and the left. If Bush and Cheney create a situation where they can remain in power after 08' I will not be completly surprised. Then we will have Facism. I can honestly say that I see this as a possibilty however unlikly. Who would stop them Reid, Pelosi, Supreme Court?

    •  And they have Blackwater. (0+ / 0-)

      "How many divisions does the Pope have?" -- and SCOTUS had its chance in 2000. Blew that one Big Time.

      BTW: Anybody wanna set odds on a 1,000,000 death "terrorism" event, so's to eliminate the 2008 elections?

      0.001% ???

      1% ???

      Dixie Chicks and Amy Winehouse. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

      by vets74 on Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 05:20:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still not new (0+ / 0-)

    As I have commented before, through the continued misuse of inappropriate technological innovation allowing greater surveillance and control of our personal lives ("advances" paid for by the demand for them) and through the constant pressure from the "haves and have mores" and their indoctrinated hirelings to divide and pacify, at least in relation to dealings with their controlled state and companies) the servile classes (no matter how secure we think we are) our rights have been stolen bit by bit over the years. The people’s ever increasing acceptance of this gradual (and not so gradual) erosion (demolition) of individual rights, earned benefits and privileges, we rightfully long for the past as better times. And unfortunately, our grandchildren will look upon today as their better times.

    In the past, they had the decency (cowardice) to keep much of their violations hidden, not now.  Under W's handlers, it is more out in the open, because W is too oblivious to care, to incompetent and inarticulate to pretend to care and his handlers remain behind the scenes.

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