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I am tired of seeing diaries routinely recommended where the United States is described as "fascist Corporate State" run by a secretive "Corporatist Cabal".  These are offensive to me as an American and a Democrat. The idea that America is "fascist" must seem outrageous to those who came to our shores to escape tyranny and build new lives for their families.  It is a slap to the men and women who serve in uniform, since it implies they are risking their lives to defend an unjust government.  It is an insult to those of us who work to elect Democrats, since it implies we are dupes of a conspiracy of plutocrats who, like the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", secretly manipulate every facet of society.

I lived in West Germany during the 1980's and had the opportunity of spending time on the the other side of the Wall - in the Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Staat (Workers and Peasants State) of the "German Democratic Republic."  The regime of Erich Honecker also called West Germany and the United States "fascist corporate states" to divert attention from its own unjust, totalitarian system. Not many bought into the propaganda, since it was obvious that Western capitalism was superior to the dysfunctional and oppressive state-controlled economy.

Like most Americans, I am thankful that I live in a country where I can start, grow, work for, and invest in a business enterprise - even a "corporation". Like most Americans, I reject the notion that America is a "fascist corporate state."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Almost everyone here who use the term "fascist"... (15+ / 0-) describe the United States has absolutely no idea of what the term means.

    Make that everyone who uses the term in that way.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:58:07 AM PST

  •  Are you that insensitive? (29+ / 0-)

    Founded on genocide.  Robber Barrons and murder.  Imperialist war.  Starving the poor.  Obcessed with guns and violence.  Tea Party.  War against women.  Gerrymandered congress.  Ignorant climate change denial.  Corporate personhood.  And so much more.

    You are a bit one sided.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:58:34 AM PST

  •  read any of the Hellraiser diaries and you might (9+ / 0-)

    think differently OTOH, naming things fascist and being fascist in practice is the real issue, much like our Bircher friends in the Republic Party

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:15:45 AM PST

  •  tipped and recced... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because it's not about Ted Rall's nose.

  •  Why is "Marxism" listed in the tags? (12+ / 0-)

    The GDR wasn't Marxist any more than it was democratic, in the same way that National Socialism wasn't really socialist - and since you didn't critique (or even so much as mention) Marxism, I'm wondering why you felt compelled to list it in the tags. Are you saying that only Marxists could logically conclude that we're living in a state that is, if not outright fascist, then at least proto- or para-fascist?

    Because of its nationalist component, fascism has looked different every place it's been tried - Mussolini's Italy was different from Dollfuss' Austria which was different from Hitler's Germany which was different from Franco's Spain, and so on. That our iteration would focus on a romanticized view of our nation's founding instead of a mythic and idealized history of the distant past is hardly a surprise, nor is our propensity to place a popular nationalist focus on corporations ("what's good for Wall Street is good for Main Street!") that in mid-20th century Europe was directed more toward veneration of the state or its leader.

    •  GDR (0+ / 0-)

      Defined itself as a Marxist-Leninist State.  

      The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

      by DowneastDem on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:49:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but it wasn't (10+ / 0-)

        only a moron would think that.

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:52:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay - what was it? (0+ / 0-)

          Do you wish it had been?

          Do you wish the US was Marxist?

          Give me an example of a Marxist state.

          The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

          by DowneastDem on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:43:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Doesn't exist (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bisbonian, KJG52, twigg, Unitary Moonbat

            There has never been a Marxist state. Not even close. Marxism and tyranny are incompatible by definition.

            "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

            by Evoculture on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 01:03:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Leninism... (0+ / 0-)

     the political expression of Marxism.  And Leninism does always lead to tyranny.

              The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

              by DowneastDem on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:25:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's the problem with Marx (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Even if it sounds good on paper, it never works out well when someone tries to put it into practice.

              I'd make the exact same critique of Libertianism.

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:14:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Hasn't happened (3+ / 0-)

            So far no country has been able to establish a system that meets the Marxists' exacting standards.  As soon as someone tries and fails, then they weren't really Marxist after all.  The idea must be kept pure from actual practice.

            Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

            by Sky Net on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 01:08:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know what you're saying, but realistically, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              there wasn't ever anything particularly Marxist about the GDR.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:25:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The State owned (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Justanothernyer, OrganicChemist

                and controlled the means of production. The Central Committee of the SED (ruling party) was ostensibly the embodiment of German proletarian class consciousness.

                So, on paper, it was a picture-perfect Marxist-Leninist system.

                The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

                by DowneastDem on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:38:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  See, this right here is the problem: (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  twigg, joegoldstein, Unitary Moonbat
                  So, on paper, it was a picture-perfect Marxist-Leninist system.
                  On paper, the US is a liberal secular Republic in which all citizens enjoy equal protection under the law, the government is accountable to the people, we all enjoy various unalienable rights, etc etc etc.

                  The reality is more than somewhat different.

                  One small example: According to the First Amendment, we enjoy freedom of speech. According to our employers, we do not. Because we cannot live without our employment, our First Amendment right to freedom of speech is, to say the least, a rather cribbed and cramped one.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:46:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Well then most of the Left were morons (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DowneastDem, Justanothernyer

          for most of the 20th century, since the Soviet Union and it's satellites were seen as exemplars of "actually existing" Marxism Leninism by the overwhelming majority of leftist and Marxists. While there were dissidents and critics, the number that argued that the Soviet model wasn't an authentic expression, albeit a deformed one, of Marxism was a distinct minority. The number arguing that it wasn't an authentic expression of Marxist Leninism was smaller still.

          Considering this, arguing that these states had nothing to do with Marxism amounts to attempting to erase history.  

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:05:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's been pretty well-established (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KJG52, hooper

            that American leftists were, though not morons, entirely deluded about what was really going on in the Soviet Union. It had a lot to do with misinformation, and a lot to do with wishful thinking. Most, though not all, eventually recognized and admitted that they had been had -- a recognition that depended upon getting more, better information.

            But then, almost everyone else was also deluded about what was going on in the Soviet Union -- they were just deluded in a different direction.

            And anyway, who argued that these states "had nothing to do with Marxism"? I'll agree that they certainly had something to do with Marxism -- mainly in the way they represented themselves.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:30:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well saying that they weren't Marxist (0+ / 0-)

              implies as much. The SU was created by self proclaimed Marxists who were products of the Russian school of Marxism as exemplified by the Russian Social Democratic movement. The same holds true of the satellite regimes established in eastern Europe following WWII which were likewise populated by convinced Marxist Leninists who's histories in the movement dated back decades.

              Now it can be argued that they were lousy Marxists in that they distorted and warped Marxist principles in the interest of political expediency. That they degraded Marxism by perverting it to justify brutal and murderous policies that were the antithesis of its stated goals is an equally legitimate position. However, it cannot be credibly argued that they were not Marxist in the sense of being the material product of Marxism as a world historic force.

              To claim otherwise is simply to avoid grappling with the harsh reality that Marxism is no more immune to human corruption and abuse than any other ideology.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:20:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "lousy Marxist" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Unitary Moonbat

                is a contradiction in terms.

                You are either Marxist, or you are not. Running a totalitarian state and calling yourself "Marxist" does not cut it.

                Just like so many self-professed "Christians" are nothing of the sort.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 12:28:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your religious comparison is apt (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Particularly since arguing that the crimes of the Soviets make them no true Marxists is logically indistinguishable from arguing that no true Christian would fight in the Crusades, burn people at the stake, torture, etc.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 02:04:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  You Only Get Two Choices (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, Major Kong, Unitary Moonbat

      Unregulated Free Market or Marxism which is the same as Stalin! STALIN!

      Gegen diesen Idioten muss ich verlieren! – Chess Grandmaster Aaron Nimzowitsch (Why must I lose to this idiot!)

      by xulon on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 01:56:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corporate fascism (7+ / 0-)

    I've always felt that there's a segment of the left (and the right for that matter) that secretly yearns to one day live in a fascist state.  Then they can be brave, revolutionary heroes risking their very lives for their democratic ideals.

    Living in a democracy is comparatively boring.  You can say whatever you want and most people just ignore you.  Hard to be a hero under those circumstances.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:40:30 AM PST

  •  Comfortable Class drivel (21+ / 0-)

    Breathtaking ignorance of American History.

    We came close to fascism in the 1930s. We've been slouching toward the same direction since Reagan.

    Comfortable and Corporatist Democrats are enabling this.

    Your diary is very unhelpful.

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:43:23 AM PST

  •  shrug (6+ / 0-)

    If you want to argue that "America is not a fascist corporate state," the following may not be the way to go about it:

    I am tired of seeing.... These are offensive to me.... must seem outrageous to those.... It is a slap to the men and women who serve in uniform.... It is an insult to those of us....
    I don't suppose the people who characterize America as a fascist corporate state need to be encouraged to think of themselves as bravely voicing unpopular truths. Why feed the meta?

    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

    by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:43:26 AM PST

  •  the United States... (7+ / 0-)

    does have some issues with corporations having too much influence over our legislative body, and we have an issue with the organized effort by the chamber of commerce to influence state legislators too.

    So no, we don't have East Germany but we don't have your idealized version either.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 11:50:20 AM PST

  •  Mussolini, who should know, (17+ / 0-)

    said that fascism should really be called "corporatism" since it meant that government interests and business interests are the same. It's a military-corporation-government arrangement.

    In all objectivity, without trying to insult anyone, that seems to describe the U.S. since the mid-'80s. Perhaps it is fair to call us a fascist society in the making, but not yet a fully developed fascist state. Not all vestiges of democracy have been obliterated.

    But it clearly describes the trajectory we're on--one that will accelerate if the GOP takes over, but may not even slow down with corporatist "centrist" Democrats continually in charge.

    If insulted, work to change things. That's the only answer I know.

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:00:43 PM PST

    •  That's not really an accurate presentation of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345, Justanothernyer

      Mussolini's professed vision of a Corporate State. If it had been that cut and dried, fascism would never have had the mass appeal that is one of it's hallmarks.

      One reason for this oversimplification is that folks fail to appreciate that what Mussolini meant by the term corporation is not identical to the modern US usage. In the US, corporations are defined by 200 years of law that evolved the corporation from a quasi governmental entity chartered by the state for public need to a private commercial interest devoted entirely to profit making.

      Mussolini's concept, by contrast, harkened back to medieval European concepts of the corporation that encompassed craft guilds, peasant communes, etc. This is what allowed Fascists the pretense of being anti-Capitalist by making the bogus claim that the Corporate State represented the collective national interest despite their goal of destroying democracy. All sectors of Italian society were supposedly represented by corporate structures, albeit organized on a strictly hierarchical basis.

      This was, of course, fraudulent but it was persuasive enough that it attracted recruits both from the Socialist and Anarchist movements. In the latter case, primarily Syndicalists.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 01:43:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you care to explain to the class the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        precise metaphor involved in Mussolini's choice of the word "Fascism"? (And no, it's not as simple as saying, "He was only referencing a symbol from Roman times".)

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:35:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would you care to restate your question without (0+ / 0-)

          being snide? Sorry if you find my mode of expression pedantic but stylistic considerations have nothing to do with the substance or accuracy of what I said. If you think I'm wrong, why not just demonstrate how I'm wrong?

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:26:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry if my parenthetical seemed snide. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves

            You are clearly reasonably erudite and knowledgeable, though I think we have fundamental disagreements. I was just trying to avoid what I usually get in response to that question, which is a sort of boilerplate remark about the symbol of the fasces in ancient Rome. I figured at the very least we'd avoid 1.5 go-arounds before getting to the point, which was your understanding of the Fasces metaphor. I suppose one might interpret my approach as setting a rhetorical trap. Maybe I was. I don't know. I do know that I think:

            A. America is far more fascist than most people want to let on,
            B. That most people mistake what I call the "window-dressing" of Fascism for the actual edifice,
            C. That I'm tired of people citing dictionary definitions in an appeal to authorities whom I do not recognize as being better-informed on the matter than myself,
            D. And that yadda yadda half a dozen other items relevant to the question at hand.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:43:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

              I certainly don't claim to be the definitive expert on Fascism. I'm just a lay person who made a study of Fascism because I was actively engaged in organizing to combat Fascist groups.

              To answer your question; as I recall, the Fasces was intended to symbolize the unitary State composed of the constituent elements of the nation bound together under its aegis. Or as Mussolini reputedly said: "All within the State. Nothing outside the State. Nothing against the State."

              Not sure what you mean by window dressing. Fascism is a political/social/cultural/ideological phenomenon produced in the specific historical and material conditions of the early twentieth century. The word has no meaning if it isn't rooted in that context. It isn't simply a synonym for tyranny, oppression, despotism or the rule of Capital.  

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 04:10:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This: (0+ / 0-)
                It isn't simply a synonym for tyranny, oppression, despotism or the rule of Capital.
                relates to what I mean by window-dressing. The steroidal nationalism, the blackshirts and jackboots, and even the heavy-handed repression of dissent -- these are window dressing; or at least, they are epiphenomena. The Fascists of the 20s and 30s employed heavy-handed repression of dissent because it was necessary for them to do so in order to get and keep power. In our times, they have more effective and less controversial techniques at their disposal -- which is especially convenient for them, given that even among such of their victims as would be their mortal enemies, there are many who insistently yammer that because nobody is going to "disappear" me for pointing out that these people are gradually tightening the screws on us, I am free, and this isn't nascent fascism.

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 04:32:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, and as to the Fasces: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It is my understanding that the metaphor applied at multiple levels. Just as the constituent elements of the nation were bound together, the ruling elements within those elements were themselves bound together. Thus, for example, energy policy would be determined by leaders of the various energy enterprises -- corporations indeed -- who would come together and make decisions whose purposes would benefit the corporations and by extension all of society (since, as you note: All within the State. Nothing outside the State. Nothing against the State. It sounds a bit better in the 3 musketeers' formulation.).

                I didn't choose that example by accident, as you probably recognized. That is precisely how the Bush administration's energy policy was determined: A meeting of energy industry executives, held in secret, the minutes and details withheld from the public -- need-to-know basis, you know -- and even the decisions thereof never made explicit to the public. That, I have argued, from the moment we were made aware of it, is Fascism as pure and sweet as it gets. Why should Dick Cheney repress dissent, when he could cheerfully ignore it? Who needs jackboots and blackshirts when the public dumbly nods and goes along? (As for steroidal nationalism … well … try telling some guy with a 4x4 and a shotgun rack that America does a lot of really, really bad things in the world, and see what kind of response you get.)

                Typically, the rebuttal to my claim that the Bush energy policy was Fascism, real and true, has been a pedantic (in my opinion) argument that, "No, because in Fascism it's the government that controls the corporations, not the corporations who control the government."

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 04:43:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think that's a pedantic distinction (0+ / 0-)

                  I think it goes to the heart of whether one sees Fascism as a distinct historical movement capable of autonomous action or, contra, one thinks of it as merely an instrumentality in the hands of other interests.

                  The latter view was the orthodox line taken by Communist Parties throughout the 20's and the first part of the 30's. It wasn't abandoned until the advent of the Popular Front in the wake of the Nazi's coming to power. Arguably, this conception contributed to the triumph of the Nazis in that it underestimated the threat they posed and led the German CP to attack the German Social Democrats as "Social Fascists" and "the left wing of Fascism", arguing that they were the "Main danger." As late as 1933 the KPD was taking the optimistic view that the rise of the Nazis was simply a prelude to their own triumph. A delusion encapsulated by their slogan: "After Hitler; Thalmann" (then the leader of the German CP).

                  I think subsequent history has thoroughly discredited this position. It seems evident that the Fascist impulse, with its capacity for mobilizing and organizing a mass base, is an autonomous historical force. Failure to recognize this only makes it more likely that past errors, paid for in blood, will be reproduced in the present.  

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:29:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think it is a pedantic distinction because in (0+ / 0-)

                    the end, it will be the same bunch of people making the decisions, regardless of which subset is putatively the dog, and which the tail.

                    And I would suggest that in our time, mobilization of a mass base is happening -- via the astroturf shenanigans of the corporate front operations.

                    One of the key weaknesses of "historical" Fascism has been its reliance on the personality cult of the Fearless Leader. Again, when people tell me that America is not well down the road to Fascism, they often cite this as an essential characteristic of Fascism. And indeed, few Fascist regimes -- at least, few high-profile Fascist regimes -- have lasted very long beyond the demise of their Fearless Leader. But I argue, again, that this is an epiphenomenon -- that the Fearless Leader was simply the mechanism that most effectively overrode whatever institutional barriers were in place in the countries where Fascism succeeded in asserting itself, and that having risen on that foundation, it collapsed when the foundation collapsed. The Fearless Leader is window-dressing.

                    Let me put it another way: In the past, Fascistic regimes have come to power because they have had the support of the social/financial elites. In some cases, those elites have been surprised to discover that they did not, after all, control the forces they had set in motion. That represents a failing on their part to understand the game they were playing. It doesn't mean they are incapable of playing the game in a new way -- one in which they maintain power in the end. For the rest of us, this will not matter -- either way, we will be the servants of the corporatist structure, whether that structure is controlled by depraved hereditary plutocrats or depraved lower-middle class racketeers.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:46:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you recognize that the elites misplayed their (0+ / 0-)

                      hand, then you are implicitly recognizing that Fascism was an autonomous force capable of pursuing its own agenda and suppressing the previous ruling elites in pursuit of that agenda. It follows from this that the locus of Fascism is not within those elites but within the movement itself.

                      This distinction has profound material consequences for combating both Fascism and creeping corporate tyranny.

                      Yes the elites can play the game in a new way but if that way excludes all the essential characteristics of Fascism as a political/ideological movement, what sense does it make to call it Fascism? Moreover, by conflating the tyranny of corporate capital with Fascism it disarms people by suggesting that we face only a single threat, whereas we in fact face two.    

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:11:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  okay, okay, one more response. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        WB Reeves

                        I understand what you're saying, though I still don't agree with your claim in the first paragraph.

                        As to the last paragraph, it is amusing: Your fear is that by calling it Fascism we underrepresent the threat. My fear is that by not calling it Fascism, we underrepresent the threat! ("There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.")


                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:08:05 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Actually I was saying that you are (0+ / 0-)

                          conflating two distinct threats. The threat posed by the rule of Capital and the threat posed by the rise of fascist ideologies and formations. The defeat of the first does not insure the defeat of the second.

                          I seems apparent that you don't accept that there is a Fascist impulse independent of the machinations of Capital. I think you are grossly, potentially tragically, mistaken in this. So it appears we have in fact reached an impasse.

                          Just remember, we've been down this path before.

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:41:21 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  BTW, this is the only time I've ever managed to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        WB Reeves

                        have this debate on dKos without getting really, really ticked off.

                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:08:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  here's a book review that contains substantial (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        WB Reeves

                        excerpts of JRS's writing:


                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:13:50 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  I would add that its basis in a mass movement, (0+ / 0-)

                  rooted in reactionary populist appeals, is essential to what makes Fascism a meaningful term.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:40:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, then, at this intersection, we must part (0+ / 0-)


                    The "Basis in a mass movement, rooted in reactionary populist appeals" is very much an example of what I consider window-dressing.

                    Not, mind you, that it isn't happening in our own country right this minute.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 05:53:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do you consider all mass movements to be mere (0+ / 0-)

                      window dressing, or just the ones describable as Fascist?

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 06:16:35 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Few mass movements are identified as (0+ / 0-)

                        essential components of the institutions to which they give rise.

                        Nobody would suggest that a Civil Rights Movement is a defining characteristic a liberal, pluralistic society, even if nobody could find a liberal, pluralistic society that had not at some point depended on a Civil Rights Movement.

                        Thus, I think your question isn't even applicable to most mass movements. I realized this while trying to think of an example of a mass movement that wasn't window dressing, and found that I couldn't easily identify mass movements that were window dressing -- more precisely, I could not identify the institutions to which those movements might provide window dressing.

                        Let me recommend to you anything and everything ever written by John Ralston Saul.

                        Anyway, I think I'm going to say goodbye to my keyboard for the evening. I've already spent far too much time today idling around on it.

                        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                        by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 07:02:13 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  I find (and have found since the '60s)... (21+ / 0-)

    ... the promiscuous use of "fascist" to be extremely unhelpful to persuading people of the changes that the nation needs to make. Using the word pushes lots of buttons that curbs the ind of discussion we need to have about domestic surveillance, corporate influence over lawmakers and a still imperial foreign policy. So I wish people would choose other descriptors than that one.

    But, the implication of your diary is that capitalism=democracy. And that is far from the case. Just ask the Red Capitalists of modern China.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:12:43 PM PST

  •  Secretive? The corporatists are pretty blatant. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The only secretive ones are the 'intel' community, who seem to be largely rogue and happy to lie to the corporatists who supply their funding as much as to the rest of us.

  •  Is this snark? .............just saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  and what's with the "Free Enterprise" tag /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, KJG52

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:33:57 PM PST

  •  Agreed completely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net

    Sick of seeing "fascist" and "proto-fascist" thrown around. When I see those words being used to describe the United States, I stop listening. We have plenty of problems with our system, to be sure, but fascism ain't one of them.

    I don't mind if you're straight. Just don't flaunt it in public.

    by Chrislove on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 01:48:52 PM PST

  •  hmm. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, KJG52

    In total, 6,977,700 adults were under correctional supervision( probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2011

    Please please please watch
     lawrence lessig talks on elections.

  •  I've diaried on this topic (4+ / 0-)

    and had a poll. A majority of the respondors thought we were on the verge of fascism.

    I disagree and think claims of protofascism cause folks to miscalculate appropriate responses.

    As a previous comment stated, we have free elections, troops aren't gunning down protesters, mass Occupy trespassing arrests does not equal imprisonment without trial for years, we've moved a long way on civil rights in the last 50 years, attempted demonization of minorities lacks state support and faces popular dissent, there is widespread private ownership of businesses and competition, workers can form and operate unions, a heckler 20 feet from the President isn't clubbed down, Ted Rall isn't arrested, Kos isn't busted for a planted gram of coke ...

    Reactionaries are trying to erode and weaken all of these activities but that doesn't equal fascism.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 02:40:42 PM PST

  •  HOW DARE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    people imply that Democracts are somehow culpable or anything other than virtuous? Democrats are Good. America is Good. The Leader is Good. No fascism here.

  •  The elements of fascism do not all arrive at once (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, Musial

    chaos and economic instability, political opportunism, authoritarianism, violence used to suppress dissent, ultra-nationalism, surveillance and suppression of dissent, using the legal system to legitimize oppression, all of these elements are present in their nascent form and we are rapidly moving in the direction of fascism.

    Call it what you will, authoritarianism, corporatism, fascism, the plain fact is that the freedoms we are supposedly guaranteed in our Constitution are being eroded by a confluence of technology, economics, over reliance on violence internationally and domestically as a solution and careerist/opportunistic power politics.

    Capitalism is not the foundation of democracy, free markets are not the basis of government and the concentration of wealth and power are not the pillars of freedom. Nationalism, the glorification of the military and security state, propaganda, class and race stratification are fundamental elements of fascism and they are present now in the US.

    America is not the GDR yet, or Frano's Spain, but we are heading in that direction, and those who deny and act as apologists for the status quo are at best blind and at worst abetting the slide to authoritarian rule.  

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 03:25:30 PM PST

    •  the US has its own history, slavery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and neoslavery in the South were different from Indian removal, different economic interests between king cotton and railroad based land development It seems that government of by and for nukes and drones exists to protect fossil fuel development versus the antiquated human species which still requires a functioning atmosphere. The old labor issues related to manufacturing are on hold. IMO, US global militarism seems designed to get every drop of remaining fossil fuel used up, a global Jonestown.

      •  Market logic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Nothing is produced without maximizing profit. Maximum profit corresponds with maximum scarcity. Tipping point is reached when the expense of fossil fuels reaches parity with that of alternate fuels. Then supply and demand combined with technology will supposedly automatically supply the need.

        That or Jesus will return.

        Blessed be the name of the Market! :P  

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 01:15:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No Corporate Control here.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Calfacon
    The instability will cause further trouble for the country's massive garment industry, which exports huge quantities of clothing to the west.

    The industry was already reeling after the deaths of 1,130 workers in a factory collapse in April.


    Protests in Bangladesh because their government is sold out to U.S. companies.

    Protests in Pakistan because their government is sold out to U.S. military.

    Wanna talk about how the West has screwed over the peoples in Haiti, or for that sake most of Africa, for either cheap wages or access to raw material?

    I have a challenge for you. Video a chicken processing plant. Show me how freedom of speech rules over corporate need to keep things from the public.

  •  Hitler, Mussolini, Franco (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are history's fascists who presided over regimes that sustained their own power and outlawed all opposition.  The US has never done that and to suggest we are fascist treads a lot closer to Godwin territory than I'm comfortable with.

  •  Why is it... (0+ / 0-)

    that so many posters here sound like a bad caricature of Strelnikov from "Dr. Zhivago"?

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