LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 17: Members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) rally near City Hall on April 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. An NSM anti-illegal immigration rally in October in Riverside, California resulted in fights between the neo-Nazis and counter-protesters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
It is widely recognised the US has been dumbing-down education for decades, starving the educational systems of funds, using increasingly unqualified part-time and adjunct teachers and professors, increasing tuition costs to the point where education will soon be unaffordable. We don’t need an education to see that the only possible result is an increasingly uneducated and ignorant population. In his study, Britt noted that “intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.” This forms a perfect description of the situation today in the US, certainly on the crushing of dissent. I have no observation to make on the arts, but the US appears to qualify solidly on every point in the above list, and I see no reason for Americans or indeed anyone else to take comfort in this. Is the US a fascist state? How do we avoid answering in the affirmative?
To people of a country like the US, who are deprived of a clear national identity, fascism creates one by stoking the fires of a false nationalism though propagandising the pathologically false conviction that “the world’s greatest privilege is to be born or to live in this country“, that every citizen “belongs to the best people in the world”, all of whom are, by definition, “good”. US President Calvin Coolidge: “To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race“. Michael Hirsh used the same jingoistic nonsense to justify American cannibalisation of the world by stating that American global domination was “the greatest gift the world has received in … possibly all of recorded history.” Britt noted the powerful propagation and displays of nationalistic expression, “From the prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism.”
To underscore the above, Global Research published an article in March of 2015 titled “The End of Canada in Ten Steps: A Conversation with Naomi Wolf”, in which it was noted that she studied “the way open societies were crushed from within by authoritarian elements“, such as those existing in all Right-Wing countries today, and claimed there was “a ‘blueprint’ followed by all dictatorial rulers composed of ten steps” as follows:
- Invoke an external and internal threat
- Establish secret prisons
- Develop a paramilitary force
- Surveil ordinary citizens
- Infiltrate citizen groups
- Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
- Target key individuals
- Restrict the press
- Cast criticism as “espionage” and dissent as “treason”
- Subvert the rule of law
Global Research finally noted that “In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf not only described this formula for fascism, she outlined how these repressive measures are in evidence in modern day America.”
There is one other item pertaining to fascism in America that contains elements of all characteristics we’ve discussed, one which Hollywood and the media have taken great pains to develop though the ground was already very fertile indeed, and this category is heroes and super-heroes. The US has always glorified war and war heroes, describing American cannon-fodder as “sons of freedom giving their lives for democracy“, when they were simply massacring impoverished civilians to enrich the bankers. Eco noted that “In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Fascist ideology heroism is the norm”, with the fascist hero impatient to die, but who, in his impatience, “more frequently sends other people to death“. This black and white religious proto-fascism which has perhaps always existed in America was the seedbed for the worship of heroes and winners. Americans, in their desperate jingoistic desire to be “good” and to “win“, and in a bid to prove their overwhelming moral superiority, turned from reality to fiction and gave us Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Captain America. All are Christian proto-fascists engaged in fictional battles of good against evil, with the Americans living vicariously through these imaginary beings, sharing in their awesome power and moral righteousness, and whose costumes inevitably bear labels saying “Made in America”. And indeed, we cannot watch an American movie without encountering this irritating white supremacist ideology. Think of movies like Avatar or Independence Day; their entire purpose is to fuel this ideological jingoism and make all viewers “proud to be American“. But it’s all a fiction. The real American heroes are not Superman or Spiderman but Curtis LeMay, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Madeline Albright, all criminally-insane psychopathic killers.
It is interesting that a fascist government, with its instinctive hatred of socialism, is in reality the most socialist of all forms of government, the only qualification being that fascist socialism nurtures and feeds corporations while normal socialism nurtures the general population. What we might call “corporate socialism“, which is what exists today in the US, is a fairly precise definition of fascism. Tax benefits that favor the rich either primarily or exclusively, a high-income inequality, the dismantling of any social safety net, different laws for the rich and powerful than for the poor, corporate immunity for crimes, a lack of corporate regulation and oversight, are all typical characteristics. Britt noted that “Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless”. The US government and elites, except for one brief historical period, have always strived to destroy labor to protect the profits of big business. In Britt’s study, “the poor formed an underclass, (and) being poor was considered akin to a vice.” And in which nation today have color and poverty been criminalised? Of course. The world’s largest fascist state – America.
He also noted rampant cronyism and corruption between the political and corporate elites and stated that “With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.” Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Similarly, no reasonable person can question any longer the suppression of labor and the protection and enhancement of corporate power in America. We have already covered in detail the trashing of the social contract, the destruction of labor protections and the evisceration of the middle class. No further evidence is necessary.
There is another alarming category that evidences even more strongly the threats to civil society from the authoritarian and fascist police-state mentality that is increasingly permeating all of the US, this involving trivial civil disputes that should in no case involve the police. In July of 2014, a Minneapolis man was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight with his two children for questioning why he was qualified for priority boarding but his two children were not. He posted a Tweet that said, “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy“. Southwest Airlines’ gate attendants saw the tweet, ejected Watson and his children from the flight, informing him he now qualified as a “safety threat“, and threatened to have him arrested unless he immediately deleted his post. In an article on US Education, I wrote of kindergarten teachers calling the police to arrest children who misbehaved, and of a Chinese woman tourist in New Hampshire who was tasered and assaulted by police when a clerk at an Apple store complained she wanted to buy two phones. In another case, a father in New Hampshire attended a parent-school meeting to protest the classroom use of sexually-explicit reading material provided to his teen-age daughter. When the man exceeded the arbitrary maximum of two minutes speaking time, the principal called the police and had the man arrested. In each case, no ‘law‘ was violated so the police used generic charges of “causing a public disturbance” or some other such nuisance charge.
These false charges may well be dismissed by a court but still present a serious violation of civil rights and a gross exaggeration of the ability of individuals to create their own laws and of the police to enforce them. In the Southwest Airlines case above, had the man refused to delete his negative post, the agent would certainly have called the police who, cast from the same authoritarian mold, would have automatically arrested and charged him, probably with ‘Twitter Terrorism‘. The man would likely have escaped in the end, but it would have been a long and expensive climb out from the bottom of that hole. In the case of the Apple store, the female customer was physically knocked to the ground and tasered by police immediately on their arrival. In neither case did the police make even minimal attempts to ascertain the facts. In fact, the only salient “fact” was that of a civilian challenging any kind of authority, even the kind that is so weak as to be invisible. No civilian has any practical defense against an airline agent or shop clerk who testify that he “caused a public disturbance“, nor against police charges for having done so. The only immunity comes from wealth or political power.
There are countless similar cases which all have in common an implicit assumption that anyone, even in a position of minimal authority such as a KFC clerk, has the power to dictate imaginary rules that obtain the force of law with the police and which, if challenged, will result in arrest. Individual private citizens, as least those lacking obvious wealth or power, are increasingly relegated to the social trash bin. Incidents such as these may appear individually trivial and unconnected, but they are not trivial in bulk and are indications of a frightening authoritarianism infecting all of America, part of the widespread rush to fascism occurring in all politically Right-Wing nations, especially in the US. That this should be such a common experience is a frightening and almost terrifying development, where one now fears to enter any dispute with even the most minor employee or clerk, in almost any context, and regardless of the justification.
When common citizens are afraid to challenge the most trivial injustices in civil society, when the people as individuals have been moved to the bottom of the priority list, when even store clerks have effective arrest authority, this is authoritarian fascism – a classic definition of a de facto fascist police state. In my E-book on the Police State and the discussion of arbitrary and unaccountable law enforcement, we saw other similar examples where this, the most fundamental of civil rights – the right to voice complaint – has been converted to a criminal act. Those instances involved mostly the police badly exceeding their authority, but this category involves mere civilians with no actual invested civil authority of any kind, and yet in each case legal authority being presumed and exercised entirely at the whim of these same persons. While Americans please themselves by accusing China of being authoritarian, it is in fact the US that is both authoritarian and fascist. China is today a very human civil society compared to Transformed America.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
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