Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Saturday, May 07, 2011

America's March Toward Fascism: Conspiracy? (2)

Conspiracy theories don't hold much appeal for me. While they may contain a small sliver of truth, they're rarely supported by conclusive evidence. So, it is not without some degree of hesitation and trepidation, if not a little irony, that I promote my own conspiracy theory. Except that it isn't just mine alone. All one needs to do is google "fascism in America" to find millions of articles pointing out the similarities of what is occurring in the United States today to what happened in 1930s Germany.

Before venturing any further, however, let me emphasize that Godwin's Law does not apply here. Even it's most ardent users and abusers don't seem to have a clear understanding of its meaning, often bringing it into play as a means of "distraction, diversion or even censorship."

The evidence that we are moving toward fascism is so overwhelming that it cannot be written off as mere paranoia or as just another kooky conspiracy theory. Nor can all the craziness, lies, ugliness, racism and assaults on our freedoms we've been observing over the years be dismissed as mere coincidence. It should be obvious to the most casual observer that years of organizing and planning has been taking place behind the scenes for a very long time - all supported by bookoodles of money.

Lately, however, liberals have been forced to play a fast forwarded version of the Whack-A-Mole game. As soon as one "mole" - lie, racist remark, legislation, attack on labor and women's rights, and a slew of other nasty moles -gets whopped down, up pops another. And then another. We've been so busy whacking away at all these moles we haven't been able to pause long enough to look at the whole game board.

"History has shown, time and time again, that severe hardship opens the door for social change – but when illiteracy and a sold-out press converge with desperation, a situation we now confront, demagogues and charismatic figures inevitably rise from the crowd and promise revenge to the bewildered, scared and angry populous.
This is exactly what is beginning to unfold in America today. Half of the adult population cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level. 20 percent read and write below a fifth grade level, meaning they are functionally illiterate. Is it any wonder why Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh or the Tea Party are gaining so much momentum? A huge proportion of the unemployed do not understand why they lost their jobs, and they are very angry. In effect, they become receptive to the buffoonish talk shows that repeatedly tell them it’s the immigrant’s fault. It is this simplistic view of reality they seek. . . .
A lot of Americans are legitimately angry. They want answers, and the only answers they hear are from radical Christian radio or insane, right wing fanatics. The frightening ideology imparted by the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party makes not the slightest sense: they say the answer to our problems is small government yet do not question the massive security apparatus. They espouse austerity measures for reducing the deficit yet military spending is somehow exempt from that equation. It is utterly irrational. But that dos not matter. It appeals to people who have lost faith in reality. It offers an emotional grounding and a vent for anger. It offers inclusion and something to fight for amid decline. It empowers a kind of hope in a future Utopia that promises to return to the “good old America.” It preaches that, in this idealism, all can become wealthy and famous if you just work hard enough and uphold Christian values. . . .
We stand on the cusp of fascism – an age when corporate oligarchs orchestrate a right-wing populism that will turn our political system into a corporate totalitarianism.
Written by Tristan Aaron Shaw, a 19 year- old student who's "deeply distressed" about this countries future.
Read that last line again. If it were just a case of stupid remarks from Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Sharon Angle, there would be no grounds for a conspiracy theory. Yet, there might be a reason McCain chose Palin, and a reason behind Bachmann's election to the House of Representatives and Angle's near win over Harry Reid. The male dominated GOP are using such brainless women, who may or may not be attractive, as tools, but they're not smart enough to see it. They serve as cheerleaders to whip up the crowds, get them angry and afraid, and get them motivated to go to the polls. It's all part of the grand plan.

The conspiracy, however, is much broader than this. Like a pandemic, it has spread from Congress, to SCOTUS, to state governments, to municipalities and on down to school administrators. And, as Tristan Shaw so accurately points out, it is being orchestrated by corporate oligarchs such as the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey and organizations such as the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.

Plowing through all the evidence that, taken as a whole, substantiates we are being threatened by a fascist takeover, is akin to opening Pandora's Box. The amount of evil that pops up at every turn is truly staggering and yet I've barely scratched the surface. No doubt readers will question why this or why that isn't mentioned in the following sections. The obvious answer is that even though I have only focused on just the past two or three years, it would take a book the length of War and Peace to cover it sufficiently. Many has been the time that the whole project was almost scrapped just because of the sheer weight of the evidence.

The original intent was to strictly adhere to the 14 characteristics of fascism from Dr. Lawrence Britt that were covered in Part One (and which was published exactly one month ago today). Not everything, however, fits into neat little categories and either I've been forced to add a few or to drop a couple altogether. So, I've chosen to use his excellent piece as a guide only. It's well worth reading, if visitors haven't done so already.
The GOP leadership is un-American, period. And they specialize in holding the American people hostage. Their total disregard for America is made quite evident by the fact that every time the GOP wants to push one of their unpopular initiatives they begin to strangle a segment of the American people for leverage. . . .
Both the methods and propaganda of the GOP are not only un-American, but right out of the Nazi playbook. 

38 comments:

  1. "The economic despair that has swept the country is being hijacked by the very same corporate forces that are responsible for the crisis."--Tristan Shaw.

    This simple truth is lost in the fog of blaring Trumps and bitter, braying female pawns. It will remain obscured unless we liberals and observant independents dedicate ourselves to revealing it.

    You do good work.

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  2. I'm with ya 100% on this L. Fascism is here in the good 'ole US of A, all you have to do is study up what is happening in Wisconsin and the other GOP governed states. But I do believe the people are paying attention the the GOP will suffer greatly in 2012.

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  3. @Nance: I'm not sure I can compete with this sentence: "This simple truth is lost in the fog of blaring Trumps and bitter, braying female pawns." LOL.

    But you know something? When I see analysis and writing such as Mr. Shaw's, I have hope for our future. We just have to fight our way through a lot of crappola.

    @Sue: The GOP will suffer in 2012 but only if they can't succeed in disenfranchising large groups ofr voters. Stay tuned.

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  4. Very interesting and well written. I wouldn't be too concerned about 'conspiracy theories' in general. Like the word Liberal the right has made the word conspiracy or belief in one to mean kook somehow. Borrowing from your argument, if indeed we're moving more and more into fascism, then it follows that conspiracies of all kinds abound.

    Don

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  5. It would take a comment as long as “War and Peace” (or Shirer, for that matter) to respond to your series, so I will just await the next entry whle thanking you for your diligence.

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  6. @Don: Since I already responded to you comment on FB, I'll just quickly reiterate that my caution about using a conspiracy theory is due to all the false ones coming from the far-right as well as the hard(assed) left. I'm glad you stopped by, my friend, and hope you'll come by again.

    @BJ: I just hope it doesn't take a month to get the next one done. ; )

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  7. Well said. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has been nagged by such thoughts!

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  8. Grover Norquist... Conservative strategist and all around asshole said...

    My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.
    Grover Norquist

    “Every worker who doesn't join a union is another worker who doesn't pay $500 a year to organized labor's political machine.”

    Grover Norquist

    “We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship.”

    Grover Norquist

    I feel that it is a conspiracy...

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  9. Unfortunately the GOP has redefined what is means to be an American. That, with a selfish, uneducated large segment of our people, is a great part of why we are where we are.
    Seems people don't even try to check if what they hear, is true, or not.
    My rants over the years have blamed the people. We get the government we deserve (vote for).
    America was not built by a "go it alone" philosophy. Communal taxation and personal participation, has always been true, until recently (since RR took the Presidency).
    I'm not surprised people try to get something for nothing; I'm surprised they actually think they can.

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  10. A conspiracy on the part of some very cynical, radical conservatives and libertarians? Yes indeed.

    But they couldn't have gotten this far with it without plenty of help. From people who consider themselves above petty, corrupt politics. From know-nothings too busy with their Nintendos, 64-inch TVs and rolling deafness chambers with 1,000-watt amplifiers and 24-speaker surround sound. From independents who disdain either party because neither is perfect, and thus help the worst of the two get and keep power.

    The conspiracy is also aided, it must be said, by Democrats afraid to say, as Roosevelt did, "They hate me . . . and I welcome their hatred." Or to join James Carville in saying, "We're right, they're wrong and here's why."

    Too many Americans complain there's too much partisanship. In fact, we need more partisanship because it is the means of uniting in sufficient numbers to fight back and win. The other side wants everyone not aligned with them as weak and divided as possible. Because when the non-radical-right in this country unites, you get elections that look like 1992 and 2008, and they know it.

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  11. @Kay: From what I've seen, you're not the only one at all.

    @okjimm: That man is so despicable. Unfortunately he has a lot of influence.

    @Tom: The GOP and the Tea Party love to flaunt their so-called patriotism, but they are in fact un-American. We see this in their disdain for the Constitution and in their disregard for our laws.

    @SW: Speaking of Libertarians. I've really never been able to figure out exactly what they are or what they stand for. Seems to me, whether liberal or conservative, they're all mixed up and are full of their own "conspiracy theories." A bit ironic.

    In the same manner, I don't understand so-called independents. Either you tend to be liberal or conservative - or somewhat so even if you consider yourself a centrist. The argument that it's not the party but the man is ridiculous. Well, the 2010 election should have told them otherwise by now.

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  12. tnlib,
    "The GOP and the Tea Party love to flaunt their so-called patriotism, but they are in fact un-American. We see this in their disdain for the Constitution and in their disregard for our laws."

    Amen to that. There are days when I'm walking around and I understand, right down deep in my bones just how the McCarthy era came about and how that particular internecine brand of stupidity took hold and almost sank our republic in just a few short years.

    I love you for writing this piece.
    It made my 'ffing day. The comments have been very good reading as well.
    Cheers,
    -SJ

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  13. SJ: Blush. Thanks, sweetie. You made my day. As I write this I'm watching a program on the Civil Rights era on PBS. I'd like to think we can have another era of equally brave men and women of all colors and races who will organize and say, "Hell No." Because if we don't get active, these goons on the right are going to sic their dogs on us.

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  14. tnlib, libertarians tend to be like Republican conservatives without all the religious-right baggage. Plus, some like Ron Paul have their own quirky beliefs about things like returning to the gold standard and scrapping the Federal Reserve system.

    Some libertarians are quite appealing to liberals. The libertarians can easily be for women's right to choose, legalizing marijuana and getting our troops out of the Mideast quagmires.

    Woohoo, right? Not so fast.

    Elect one and see what happens. First, they caucus with Republicans, helping give them control of legislative bodies. Second, they nearly always vote with Republicans, even on things they don't personally support. (Hey, it's better than being stuck forever on the wastewater disposition subcommittee of the National Parks Committee, or some such.) Third, another reason they often vote with Republicans is because they tend to depend on the same sources of campaign donations as Republicans.

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  15. SW: I guess this is what I've never understood: how an individual with a liberal/progressive bent can align themselves with a group that is basically conservative just because they may have two or three issues in common. It seems to me it would be more prudent to weigh the pros and cons of both major parties and make a decision based on that. Libertarians seem to want their cake and to eat it all, which I just don't think is very practicle.

    From what I've seen, many of the so-called liberal Libertarians seem to make up the bulk of the Obama haters for which, as anyone who visits here should know, I don't have much, if any, tolerance.

    I guess you can say I think they're all mixed up and permanently set - kind of like concrete.

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  16. Leslie,
    We are MOST DEFINITELY well on the road to dascism. This country has drifted so far to the right it is almost unrecognizable from the more egalitarian one we achieved for a brief time during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The signs of our drift are everywhere, from corporate invasion and dominance of our media, legislature, and Supreme Court to rise of and collusion between the religious right and our government to our endless wars of imperialism. We are on a long downhill slide, and unless you are wealthy, you have no say or leverage in your economic future. That is why I have declared myself an American Dissident.

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  17. Jack: Everything you say, but there are signs - finally - that the natives are getting restless. We can only hope so.

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  18. tnlib: "Speaking of Libertarians. I've really never been able to figure out exactly what they are or what they stand for."

    Short answer:
    You have two cows. You let them do anything they want. They wander off the reservation.

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  19. the last effing time is the charm, I guess :)

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  20. I still can't get signed on without going thru loops.

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  21. Once again I'm perplexed that you highlight the "last two or three years" and then point to the GOP as the risk of fascism. I'll assume for the moment you're talking about the federal government...

    Democrats took control of House and Senate in the 2006 election. They took the White House in 2008. Republicans regained control of only the House in 2010. In the 2-3 year timeframe you're talking about, Democrats have been fully in charge, and had been 2/3 in charge before that.

    How is the fascist-tilt that you identify attributable to Republicans? I'll warn you in advance, for every example you have of the GOP hitting ine of your 14 fascist points, I can provide a Democrat example.

    Is all of this just a recurrence of Bush Derangement Syndrome?

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  22. Heathen,
    Are you suggesting that there is no "fascist-tilt" just because you can point to Democrat examples as well as republican examples?

    I think the tilt is more important than the finger pointing.

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  23. Heathen,
    Town Hall hooliganism, Birtherism, assaults on workers’ rights to collective bargaining and unionization, assaults on women’s right to healthcare, assaults on the Constitutional separation of church and state, assaults on the social safety net including Medicare and Social Security, income inequality worse than a banana republic, initiatives to raise taxes on the middle class while lowering taxes on the wealthy, bigotry and wedge politics to engender fear and hatred across social lines, the freak show and clown show of the right wing, lobbying and influence money raised to the level of graft and corruption, a political culture of lies and deceptions euphemistically called ‘spin’ … the vast majority of these come from YOUR SIDE of the political divide.

    In today’s political climate, there is a concept known as ‘atomization,’ a modern propaganda technique whose purpose is to divide the public into the smallest of factions. When you think of the word ‘atomize,’ it connotes more than a fine aerosol mist. It is the most subliminal form of ‘divide and conquer.’ Here is the Wiki definition of wedge politics:

    A wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which splits apart or creates a "wedge" in the support base of one political group. Wedge issues can be advertised, publicly aired, and otherwise emphasized by an opposing political group, in an attempt to weaken the unity of the divided group …

    Abortion, gay rights, immigration reform, Islamophobia, characterizing the poor and unemployed as freeloaders and moochers, alleged voter fraud … these are examples of wedge issues. When we accuse Republicans of exploiting bigotry and hatred to gain political advantage, we create only a partial picture. Atomizing public opinion achieves a far sinister objective: It distracts from far more substantive issues and enables Republicans to sneak the most odious legislation under the radar of public opinion.

    FACT: Over 70% of Teahoos want to keep Medicare and Social Security benefits; yet the same Teahoos support rightwing candidates who advocate the destruction of the social safety net. How often have we commented in our forums about the tendency of Teahoos to vote against their own economic interests?

    Yes, wedge politics is about bigotry and hatred, but it is also about ‘atomizing’ intact blocks of voters, so polarized and distracted by ‘identity’ politics, that they not longer notice the fine print.

    This is how protofascists stage-manage public opinion in a democratic society.

    Beyond these remarks, Heathen Republican, I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think.

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  24. Oh my. Before the big Blogger crash I had sent Heathen's comment to spam but here it is again. As far as I'm concerned he fits the definition of a Troll and is therefore not welcome here. Please read my comment policy.

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  25. Fine, call me a troll and delete my comments. I didn't violate your comment policy, unless you want to rewrite it to define a troll as someone who disagrees with you.

    I thought the left were champions of open-minded rigorous debate. I also thought you might be interested in refining your ideas after debating them. I didn't realize you only wanted unquestioning accolades in the comments.

    I can't help but note that you'd rather delete my comments than respond to my points. And while Octo replied, she's not interested in what I think, so there's no need for a rebuttal.

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  26. Heathen: imo, you visit here and other liberal blogs with "the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion" - all under the guise of merely having an open discussion. Bullshit.

    "I'll assume for the moment you're talking about the federal government..." If you had actually read the article, you would see that that's not at all what I said.

    Maybe it's just that I don't like your rude boorish manner and your personal insults. You "warn" me? Right. Your photo says it all.

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  27. HR: "I also thought you might be interested in refining your ideas after debating them ..."

    This is what turns you into a troll: You are an arrogant and pompous ass. "Refining ideas," indeed. You bring bullshit like this to every forum, and when people disagree with you, you pull this hypocritical crap by passing judgement on them. You are a fucking moron who thinks he is superior. Get lost, asshole.

    And BTW, Octopus is a 'HE.' ROFLMAO!!!!

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  28. What HR doesn't know is that I've deleted those I basically agree with for the same reasons. Anyway, shall we end this?

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  29. "Anyway, shall we end this?"

    Gort ... Klaatu barada nikto.

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  30. Well, I guess that's not an insult??? ; )

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  31. Octopus had a masterful reply and rebuttal to HR's comment, I would definitely let it all stand so the righties can learn something...

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  32. This diatribe by HR and having my blog attacked by his buddy RN (and other conservative cultists) is why I (after 10 years of blogging) finally have had to resort to comment moderation.
    Their oratory has nothing to do with horning free speech, or an open debate. Which is why I quit "Democracy Central" and do not agree with TAO's opinion that their blabbering is worthy discussion.
    They are trolls.

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  33. @Sue: Do you really expect righties to learn anything? ; )

    @TOM: I find moderation to be a bit of a pain, so always check my comments before actually getting on my blog and then simply delete or send things to spam. I totally agree with you re their oratory and refuse to engage in such claptrap. It's disruptive, time consuming and tedious.

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  34. Heathen Republican: “ And while Octo replied, she's [sic] not interested in what I think, so there's no need for a rebuttal.

    Translation:

    ”I have not read Octo’s comment.”
    “I am not interested in what Octo or anyone has to say.”
    “I reserve the right to reply in non sequiturs.”
    “I reserve the right to be as arbitrary as I want.”
    “And as oppositional-defiant as I want.”
    “I will hijack any blog and make myself the focus of attention … and if you refuse to pay attention to me, I will stamp my feet and accuse you of hindering my free speech.


    Here is another translation, courtesy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association:

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance;
    Requires excessive admiration and will interrupt the conversation of others;
    Demonstrates arrogant behaviors or attitudes;
    Regardless of topic, will make himself the focus of conservation;
    Will cheat whenever he thinks he can get away with it;
    Thinks rules do not apply to him.


    In other words, a troll by any definition.

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  35. Octo, Octo - he won't be back so not to worry.

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  36. "In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1) ... regardless of whether the troll returns or not.

    Besides, I made some modifications to our comment policy. Nothing is a meaningless exercise or wasted effort in the grand scheme of petty bickering (tisk).

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