Fascism: America Today? Tomorrow?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by zzzz, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    Fascism is an interesting concept that has evolved into a hard to define term. No one really uses that term today but in reality Fascism is alive and growing in the world today. To link Fascism and Nazism together (although they were linked together as Axis powers in WWII) is not proper use of the terms because they are different concepts.

    And in America today Fascism is on the rise. Let’s look at some of the aspects of Fascism.

    • Racial or ethnic cleansing is one old aspect that in today’s society takes the form of opposition to continuing immigration. The hot issue today in America is illegal immigration but it covers the underlying feeling that immigration into the country is out of control and the gates should be shut.
    • Stringent socioeconomic controls is an old aspect that exists today to a lesser degree but still exists.
    • The totalitarian political systems can be looked at as the calls for significant strengthening in the authority of the state which has happened since 9/11.
    • The pursuit of war to gain international dominance is seen in our interventionism around the world in the name of democracy.

    These are but a few of the aspects of Fascism we see today but people are either frightened by the word or cannot see the forest for the trees. So the my questions are:
    1. Is America a Fascist state?
    2. If not is America becoming a Fascist state?
    3. Should the new Fascism be called Americanism?
     
  2. hipeter924
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    hipeter924 Not a zombie yet

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    1. America is not a fascist state. The US has a constitution which the military hold allegiance to, rather than the government itself. The military can't violate the constitution sufficiently to create a fascist state even if asked to by the government. Also America's political system stops a straight tyranny by majority (Senate, Representatives, President, Supreme Court,etc).

    2. An unanswerable question, people didn't foresee the Nazi's taking power in Germany and forming a fascist dictatorship but they did. The general thing about dictatorships is that they usually come in times of crisis and turmoil, and are totally unpredictable.

    3. No as that would equate everything good and bad about American culture as being fascist. Plus the name is already taken for something else:
    Americanism (heresy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also a fascist state doesn't have to be expansionist and hostile to other nations such as with fascist Spain which kept neutral during ww2 and afterwards.

    4. There is a large and increasing number of Neo-Nazis and radical muslims ready at any moment to bring civil war to Europe, the threat to peace and human rights and the rise of Islamic states and fascism is mainly there. I fear that if they fight Islam too hard they will end up with a fascist state or military dictatorship due to the greater powers as generally such power is intoxicating and they won't let it go. But if Europe fights Islam too little then an Islamic state is assured for them.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3LnEkU2Vzo[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  3. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    Fascism, the way I see it, revolves number of core principles, around which the specific characteristics of Fascism arise. The characteristics of Fascist systems arise directly from these core principles. What are some of the characteristics of a Fascist system? These are basically what you listed,

    - Militarism and international aggression,
    - Racial or ethnic or ideological or even class/caste hatreds, which all fall under a general theory of soceity "exclusivity"
    - Mass surveillance, police control, etc. in general a state of total violence, imposed internally and externally.

    But what's the problem? These are the characteristics by which Fascism can be established and by which it can function, but they are not in and of themselves exclusively Fascist; they are the means of Fascism, but not the ends of Fascism. So what are the ends/core principles from which Fascism emerges? In my view, all Fascist regimes have in some shape or form the following principles, and these principles are sought to be established by the aforementioned characteristics (and many others too):

    First of all, the goal of Fascism is to establish power for the maintainance of certain goals. By far one of the most common of these goals, and upon which the power/violence sought by Fascists is legitimized, is to either maintain or "return to" an idealized stage of society; in other words it is at its core a reactionary ideology. It appeals to a sense of extreme nationalism whose narrative is based on the exclusionary characteristic, whose aim is to say clearly that elements have emerged in the near past that have in some way ruined the "idealized" conception of the nation. This can and have been the Jews, the Communists, the Gays, etc. Any group whose perceived ascension is a threat to "traditional" values and "traditional" society, whether real or imagined (most often imagined). This theory of exclusivity is what fuels the police state, under the guise that the giving up of liberties is justified in order to maintain the "traditional" order and the "internal threats" of the nation. In these terms, I consider not only the traditional Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan, but it's a principle that transcended and found its way into the Bureaucratic Authoritarianism (which itself was sort of a downgraded Fascism) of many dictatorship in Latin America (who, instead of the Jews, prayed on the communists, the socialists, the atheists, etc, or in any way anybody who challenged the power of the Elite and the Military). This ultranationalism of course gives way to militarism and aggression and ethnic/racial/other types of hatred, because it thrives under the belief that "We" are fundamentally good while the "other" is fundamentally bad. It seeks to frame the issue in total, black and white fashion (for which a police state is necessary, to stifle dissent). A state of international aggression fuels and maintains these feelings; it makes it easier to rally around the Leader who is the embodiment of the National Order and National Superiority over all the other "inferiors" and "subversives". Militarism is also given a boost since the Military is the only actor capable of giving the necessary tools to the Fascist ideologues to maintain the system of domination, and also embody the National Order and National Superiority over others.

    In short, Fascism is a reactionary ideology that utilizes radical methods to impose its own sense of what the "Nation" should mean, and to do so utilizes extreme violence against any element of said society that challenges or does not conform to this "idealized" state, whose necessity for Militarism and control make it almost exclusively a "revolution from above" shift.

    The messy counterpoint to Fascism historically, in which many of the same systems of control/characteristics end up developing is, of course, the Statist Socialism, which also more or less necessitated many of the same characteristics (especially surveillance, militarism, etc), but for generally different reasons - it legitimized itself in a totally different way. Statist Socialism would being as a "revolution from below" (because it was generally inclusive instead of exclusive, and intead of a maintenance of an "idealized society" it would promise a "just" future society, which of course would resonate better with more [poor] people), but would ultimately always become inherently reactionary as the leadership likewise sought to maintain a status quo which would ultimately replicate the "traditional" and unjust society which it had vowed to eliminate; to the point of sharing many Fascist characteristics.

    So what's the word on the US today? Well, in many ways, there's always a risk and fear, justifiable in many if most countries around the world, that Fascism could be re-emerging in this age of unprecedented change and social dislocation, increased cultural contact, and as we have seen since the end of the cold war, renewed ethnic hatreds among people. This is especially true in period of economic hardship, where people must look for some excuse, and sometimes any will suffice. Despite all the talk of Obama being a "communist", the concept of "communist revolution" is for all intents and purposes dead, and historically simply does not happen in opulent societies, which are more susceptible to fascist-type shifts. There's of course signals, but it's unlikely to be occurring all of a sudden in the immediate future. If enough Americans begin to feel sufficiently scared, sufficiently content with giving up civil liberties for "security," sufficiently threatened by the outside world, and sufficiently discontented with too rapid a societal change, then it could always happen and the pendulum could swing, harshly.

    PS: Apologies for the long, rambling post. =\
     

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