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Thursday, January 13

Everybody's Talking About Christian Fascism

Everybody's Talking About Christian Fascism


Indeed they are. It was all foretold in Bertram Gross' book Friendly Fascism. I first ran across this book in a comparative politics course where, as a satire, I thought it would be fun to compare the Nazi Regime to the Bush post-9/11 Regime. Man, it's no joke at all. If anything, the joke is on the people who fail to recognize that it is happening again.






Counterpunch writes:

Commentators right and left are talking about fascism in the U.S. of A. Libertarian conservative Lew Rockwell, in a recent article entitled "The Reality of Red-State Fascism," declares, "what we have alive in the US is an updated and Americanized fascism."

Fellow libertarian Justin Raimondo, in a piece called "Today's Conservatives are Fascists," calls the neocons shaping U.S. foreign policy "fascists, pure and simple." United Methodist minister Rev. William E. Alberts accuses some of Bush's followers of upholding a "super religion displaying tendencies similar to Hitler's super race with its fascist ideology of superiority."

Meanwhile the Revolutionary Communist Party circulates in the tens of thousands a statement declaring that "Bush and his people" are "Christian Fascists---dangerous fanatics who aim to make the U.S. a religious dictatorship and to force this upon the world." This is quite a wide spectrum of anti-fascist opinion.

I think it's good the f-word is out there, and the issue on the table. Fascism needs to be discussed. I thought so in October 2002, when I wrote an essay posted on CounterPunch, "Talking to Your Kids About Fascism." It was a presented as a quiet talk one might have with preteens, delivered with the simple clarity and sobriety one might assume when talking with one's young about drug use or sex or any serious issue. My point at the time was fascism's not just a phenomenon unique to 1930s and 40s and defeated in 1945 but something that can recrudesce. One should be alert for warning signs.



Of Gross's words, the following are most important to the analysis at hand:

In any First World country of advanced capitalism, the new fascism will be colored by national and cultural heritage, ethnic and religious composition, formal political structure, and geopolitical environment. The Japanese or German versions would be quite different from the Italian variety-and still more different from the British, French, Belgian, Dutch, Australian, Canadian, or Israeli versions. In America, it would be supermodern and multi-ethnic-as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile. As a warning against its cosmetic facade, subtle manipulation, and velvet gloves, I call it friendly fascism. What scares me most is its subtle appeal.
I am worried by those who fail to remember-or have never learned -that Big Business-Big Government partnerships, backed up by other elements, were the central facts behind the power structures of old fascism in the days of Mussolini, Hitler, and the Japanese empire builders.

I am worried by those who quibble about labels. Some of my friends seem transfixed by the idea that if it is fascism, it must appear in the classic, unfriendly form of their youth. "Why, oh why," they retrospectively moan, "didn't people see what was happening during the 1920s and the 1930s?" But in their own blindness they are willing to use the terms invented by the fascist ideologists, "corporate state" or "corporatism," but not fascism.

I am upset with those who prefer to remain spectators until it may be too late. I am shocked by those who seem to believe in Anne Morrow Lindbergh's words of 1940-that "there is no fighting the wave of the future" and all you can do is "leap with it." I am appalled by those who stiffly maintain that nothing can be done until things get worse or the system has been changed.

I am afraid of inaction. I am afraid of those who will heed no warnings and who wait for some revelation, research, or technology to offer a perfect solution. I am afraid of those who do not see that some of the best in America has been the product of promises and that the promises of the past are not enough for the future. I am dismayed by those who will not hope, who will not commit themselves to something larger than themselves, of those who are afraid of true democracy or even its pursuit.



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