from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Why I worry about Fascism Part one 

I have recently participated in an exchange on a list of Quakers where the discussion was whether America is moving in the direction of Fascism. Most on that list seem to react negatively to such assertions, offering among other reasons the fact that we [still] have protected civil liberties. While in general ia gree with that assertion, I note that the lack of civil liberties and the existence of a totalitarian state are only some of the indicators of Fascism.

I am most worried by the icnreasing elements of corporatism, whjich was major component of the original fascism of Mussolini. Clearly we have had a long tradition of the blurring of the distinction of corporate and governmental interests. On this we can reflect on Smedley Butler's remarks in his famous "War is a Racket" statement. Or we can look at Charles Wilson, SecDef under Eisenhower, who noted that when he had previously run General Motors it was on the assumptions thyat was good for GM was good for America.

This is not something confined to Republican administrations, to be sure. After all, the division of Halliburton, Kellogg Brown Root, which has gotten all the attention about its contracts in Iraq, was original Brown & Root Construction and it had very close ties to LBJ -- Goerge Brown basically helped buy LBJ's first Senate primary, and the company got rich during his presidency for among other things building the Naval port at Cam Ranh Bay,

Still, I think most impartial observers could agree that the tendency towards blurring has been far more profound during the administration of Bush 43 than at any other time in at least that past 100 years.

Further, we have seen in how the administration has gone after some holding Ameican citizenship, such as alHamdi and Padilla, that it is willing to try to circumvent any current guarfantees, and its proposals for Patriot Act II would attempt to legislatively eliminate others. In its demonization of its political opponents, attempting to delegitimize them any way possible, in its misuses of religion,and in its creation of a cult of personality about the current president, it shows many pf the other signs. I could add on this the distorting of governmental reporting when it conflicts with preconceived notions that the adminstration has about the government's role, or anything else in the worlds about which it comments. This includes censoring and rewriting remarks from scientists, and removing access to document on education that contradict the adminstration's espoused positions, even if those documents meet its won standards of "scientific" research.

We still have relatively free freedom of expression,despite an outgoing AG who arrgued that if we criticized the president we were aiding terrorists in theirr attacks on the US -- okay, he didn't EXACTLY say that, but it was the clear import of his remarks.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?