Before I got started I wanted to define just one word: Fascism. I spent hours wandering in the vastness of the Google and by the time I called it quits I had thousands of words mined from scholars, historians, and politicians. I then boiled them all down to these 109 words:
Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”
Leon Trotsky, “The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their 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.”
The next step was to ask the question, “Who controls the government of the United States?” My immediate answer was: We (as in We The People) Don’t.
It is inarguably true that the majority of our elected representatives don’t represent us. They represent the corporate interests that put them in office. And these corporate interests have actually drafted legislation that their bought and paid for stooges rubber-stamped into law without changing a single word.
It’s at this point someone interrupts me and says something like, “They’re not all corrupt.” So let’s take a little time out and list the members of the House and Senate who are not corporate sleaze-bags.
Bernie Sanders. Can anyone name another Senator who represents the interests of the people from his or her state? We need 50 more names in order to say the majority of the Senate represents us over the corporatocracy. There are 435 members of the United States House of Representatives. Do we honestly believe we can come up with 218 members of the House who are more beholden to us than to private interests? That’s why I said:
It is inarguably true that the majority of our elected representatives don’t represent us.
And it will remain that way as long as private money fuels public elections. Which means it will be like this forever. Campaign reform can only happen if the majority of our elected representatives vote to stop taking money from the private interests that elect them.
I think it’s safe to say that FDR’s warning now describes How The United States Government Works. “That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”
This isn’t Mussolini’s Italy or Hitler’s Germany. This isn’t your father’s Fascism. This is American Fascism. The Government outsources the horrible iconic aspects of Nazi Germany. Crematoria don’t dot our countryside. We don’t torture and kill “in house.” Our atrocities are committed thousands and thousands of miles away in places called Bagram and Abu Ghraib. The kangaroo courts take place in secret in military tribunals 500 miles from Miami in Guantánamo Bay. And then there are the secret prisons.
Sherwood Ross reported in The Public Record, “Twenty-eight nations have cooperated with the U.S. to detain in their prisons, and sometimes to interrogate and torture, suspects arrested as part of the U.S. “War on Terror.”
According to published reports, an estimated 50 prisons have been used to hold detainees in these 28 countries. Additionally, at least 25 more prisons have been operated either by the U.S. or by the government of occupied-Afghanistan in behalf of the U.S., and 20 more prisons have been similarly operated in Iraq.”
We don’t see firsthand the brutal face of American Fascism so it is difficult to believe the United States is a Fascist country. We still have a facade of “freedom” here. A friend of mine is going to a wedding in Ohio next week. There’s a 100% chance he’ll survive the event. Good thing for him the ceremony isn’t in Pakistan. The U.S. Government has made hundreds of drone attacks in northwest Pakistan. Daniel L. Byman of the Brookings Institution estimates that drone strikes kill 10 or more civilians for every mid and high-ranking al-Qaeda and Taliban leader.
Hitler knew 100% of the casualties from his V1 rocket attacks would be civilians. Is a 90% civilian death ratio less evil? Barack Obama vastly accelerated the drone strikes when he became president.
The current president and presidential wanna-be are the Bush/Cheney regime redux. It does not make any difference which one you pick. In a recent interview by actor/activist John Cusack, legal scholar and professor of law Jonathan Turley said, “We have to recognize that our political system is fundamentally broken, it’s unresponsive.”
Watching the Republican and Democratic National Conventions proved that to everyone with eyes and ears.
I saw Bill Clinton … the president who after signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999 declared “The Glass-Steagall Act is no longer relevant.” … cheered by Americans whose lives he set up to be ruined.
The parties do differ somewhat on domestic policy. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promise to bleed white 90% of all Americans and President Obama promised comfier deck chairs for us all on the USA Titanic. Remember, though, the President is a proven liar. Foreign policy differences between the two parties are harder to discern. The momentum of empire is something all the Elites can agree upon.