About the Characteristics of Fascism and the US
Right, I've said it before, and unfortunately, I find myself saying it again-- the US is plodding down the road to fascism. Alert the media.... oh, that's right, the corporate owned press is part of the problem. As Bruce Fraser and Elliot D. Cohen write about in their book, The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and a Power Hungry Government are Turning America into a Dictatorship, the interlocking personnel and interests between the mega communications corporations, global PR concerns and the neo-con cabinet of the Bush/Cheney administration is one way that the ruling elite are getting away with the consolidation of power through the never ending war of terror.
Laurence Britt, Naomi Wolf and others have laid out the major characteristics of a fascist nation. Please, check these articles out, it behooves us to not be ahistorical. Examine these characteristics, and think about the fascistic regimes of history.
And while examining that, consider this: last week congress pass a resolution, entitled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. That resolution passed the house last Friday, October 26th, with 404 yes votes, and 6 no votes. In case you are interested, all 6 of oregon's reps voted for it. Thats right:
Aye OR-1 Wu, David [D]
Aye OR-2 Walden, Greg [R]
Aye OR-3 Blumenauer, Earl [D]
Aye OR-4 DeFazio, Peter [D]
Aye OR-5 Hooley, Darlene [D]
Oh, yes, all of Washington's reps voted for it, too.The resolution's troubling aspects really begin for me with the definitions of terms. I quote from the resolution:
`SEC. 899A. DEFINITIONS.
`For purposes of this subtitle:
`(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.
`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
`(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
`(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.
Please note that violence and force are not defined in this section. Further note that force and violence are separated in the definition (4).
I interviewed Alan Graf about this act. He is a lawyer who has been involved with the National Lawyers Guild for many years. When I asked him what the difference was between force, as used in this resolution, and non-violent direct action used by peace and justice seeking activists, he paused for a moment, then said, "well, none".
You can read the text of the legislation on the Thomas.gov site. Search for HR 1955, and then choose the version that was passed by house, received by senate-- it's number 4. Read it for yourselves, please.
How can we continue to "fight the good fight", and not be overwhelmed? What strategies can we develop to maintain opposition in these draconian times--- when folks who are being nominated for attorney general aren't sure if waterboarding is a form of torture....
Okay, again I have to remind us all not to let fear overwhelm us into inaction. ACTION is the anti-dote to despair. The bumpersticker speaks truth when it reads "your silence will not protect you." How can we be a part of the solution, be the change that we want to see in the world?
How do we create and practice solidarity like our lives depend upon it?
How do we continue to seek out and experience joy, in the midst of this madness?
As we go through the unknown, remember to love each other, and dance, and laugh; even as we keep our eyes open, and resist the death cult.