are we fascist yet?

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
from here:
The word fascism has come to mean any system of government resembling Mussolini's, that
  • exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual
  • uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition
  • engages in severe economic and social regimentation
  • engages in corporatism
  • implements totalitarianism
corporatism
Historically, corporatism or corporativism (Italian corporativismo) is a political system in which legislative power is given to corporations that represent economic, industrial and professional groups. Unlike pluralism, in which many groups must compete for control of the state, in corporatism, certain unelected bodies take a critical role in the decision-making process. This original meaning was not connected with the specific notion of a business corporation, being a rather more general reference to any incorporated body. The word "corporatism" is derived from the Latin word for body, corpus.
totalitariamism
A totalitarian régime or state attempts to control nearly every aspect of personal, economic, and political life.
someone talk me out of believing that the US, under bush, is fascist. seems like every piece of legislation and every nod from the whitehouse favors business. when's the last time a piece of legislation was better for the average citizen and not a corporate gift?

the neocons are getting bolder about controlling the so-called "culture of life" and removing barriers between church and state. if successful, can we expect christian canon to become law?

given the wikipedia definitions above, and considering how the bush administration engages in corporatism, implements totalitarianism, uses propaganda, proclaims the US above international law, and seeks to use the bankruptcy bill, medicare, and SS reform to create an economic class system -- how is this not fascism?
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,985
15
Penryn
If it's not already, it's quickly becoming so.

What frightens me the most is that people fail to see this. There is no way that they can begin to compare Mussolini's version of fascism with what is going on in the US today because fascism is ill-understood and one of those old world isms that could never take place in the US. The general reaction seems to be that fascism is a sort of communism.

I think the only real solution is to abolish corporate personhood. The only rights in the Constitution were granted to people, not greedy corporations. Unfortunately, that'll probably never happen.
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
2
San Francisco
No, we are not there yet. By the definition used in your post, zim, we are not seeing open "violence" to "forcibly suppress political opposition." Nor are we seeing the implementation of totalitarianism. I don't want to underestimate the direction we are headed - the dangers are very real, but it is overreaching when we call the present situation fascism.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
Sayhey said:
No, we are not there yet. By the definition used in your post, zim, we are not seeing open "violence" to "forcibly suppress political opposition."
"They don't have to burn the books; they just remove 'em."

-RATM

What do you call "free speech zones" and what happens to those who try to cross them and protest?
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
2
San Francisco
pseudobrit said:
What do you call "free speech zones" and what happens to those who try to cross them and protest?
I call them violations of our basic First Amendment rights. I yell and scream about it every chance I get, but I don't call it fascism. At least not yet. There are very important differences between the ability of those who dissent in this society and the fact dissenters wind up dead or beaten under fascism. When we forget those differences and call the present situation "fascist" all we do is lose credibility in the eyes of the many who instinctively know the difference. Pretty poor strategy for building the support needed to stop the violations you speak about, if you ask me.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
Sayhey said:
I call them violations of our basic First Amendment rights. I yell and scream about it every chance I get, but I don't call it fascism. At least not yet. There are very important differences between the ability of those who dissent in this society and the fact dissenters wind up dead or beaten under fascism. When we forget those differences and call the present situation "fascist" all we do is lose credibility in the eyes of the many who instinctively know the difference. Pretty poor strategy for building the support needed to stop the violations you speak about, if you ask me.
Aren't there shades of fascism?

I fear it must be upon us before the citizens will recognise it.
 

mischief

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2001
2,920
0
Santa Cruz Ca
pseudobrit said:
Aren't there shades of fascism?

I fear it must be upon us before the citizens will recognise it.
Quite right. Any time an agressive and dangerous sect moves toward a facist take-over they rely on the intelligent opposition's tendency to split hairs about current conditions. Much better to fully illustrate where things are headed.

The whole point to orwellian strategies is to keep those of us who are paying attention arguing about what it all means until all points are moot and our conversations are covert.

If we were already at Facism we wouldn't be discussing this topic.

However, it is a disservice to our community not to sound the alarm at the imminent approach of a fundamentalist Facist state.
 
At what point exactly did facist Germany and Italy actually become facist? At the point in time that the world was willing to label the Nazi regime facist it was a little late to stop them wasn't it? We can argue semantics all we want but if we can see "shades of facism" then it may already be too late. I would hate to be on a boat with you guys, "Is that an iceberg?" "Well it looks like an iceberg, but we really aren't close enough to tell."
 
There are some striking simlarities between Orwellian visions and the world today. The whole digital nature of information makes revisionism fairly easy, because even if you can't physically edit all the information, Americans have already been conditioned to believe that the internet is not an accurate source of information (they teach you that in high school) and it's well known Americans won't listen to anyone who isn't American. Misinformation and an overabundance of information are more modern and more effective than book burning.

I can't wait for the 11th edition of the L33tspk Dicstionary
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
0
The problem is, once you are there, it is too late to stop it.

Once fascism is established, you are stuck on the roller coaster until something changes.

I don't think people want to deal with it until they have to. All of the rules are being changed to suit one side right now, through rule changes that will allow them to stack the courts.

A virtual media monopoly, corporate owned with corporate interests in mind.

The slow reversal of all protections for employees, making them dependent on those who would abuse them.

And a lot of unscrupulous supporters who believe that what is good for corporate America is good for me.

When do you start to worry?
 

mischief

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2001
2,920
0
Santa Cruz Ca
skunk said:
Hmmm. If the fascists had taken over, would you notice?
They're already in control. The actual conditions of true facism have only to be implemented in full. With the Patriot Act, the creation of an uncontrolled "Homeland Security" agency, agressive erosion of social programs, steady attacks against legal safeguards to protect consumers from predatory lending, bailouts of criminal corporations, the reduction of democratic processes to a contest between corporatized factions and a concerted effort to erode, rewrite or simply ignore the Constiution we are only a few months away from an enforced orwellian utopia.

The question was: " Are we at Facism yet?"

This was a question about current conditions. The answer to that question is no.

The problem is that it's the wrong question. A far better question is: " How do we avoid obvious and imminent fundamentalist Facism?"

I really think the above iceberg example nails it. We're so busy arguing about what an Iceberg would be doing out here in the caribean that we're not really doing our job and sounding a coherent alarm.

I've been saying for months that this government and the neocons are following the third reich's model to a truly frightening degree and I've been essentially scoffed at. Now that the wave is cresting a very few in this forum are beginning to think they should move their goddamn towel up the beach. I'll make it simple by continuing in the same metaphor: Screw your towel and be ready to bodysurf cuz this wave's going inland, sink or swim.
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,745
3,985
Republic of Ukistan
To us over here, it just looks like a very slow train wreck. The people in the carriages at the rear have no idea that the locomotive has already left the tracks.

And please, if we're going to talk fascism, let's spell it right... :rolleyes:
Facism is what the people on Extreme Makeover suffer from.
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
2
San Francisco
anonymous161 said:
At what point exactly did facist Germany and Italy actually become facist? At the point in time that the world was willing to label the Nazi regime facist it was a little late to stop them wasn't it? We can argue semantics all we want but if we can see "shades of facism" then it may already be too late. I would hate to be on a boat with you guys, "Is that an iceberg?" "Well it looks like an iceberg, but we really aren't close enough to tell."
This is not a semantic exercise. What you do to stop fascism from coming into existence and what you do when it is already in power are two very different things. In the first case (our own here in the US) it is extremely important to build coalitions with everybody and anybody who is opposed to the movement toward authoritarian rule. In the second case, (Nazi Germany, Franco's Spain, and, of course, Mussolini's Italy) you start organizing for self-defense and the overthrow of the state - anyway possible. The strategies and tactics are completely different. Here, we must avail ourselves of the hard won democratic forms that we have available and focus on how to change the outcome of elections. Under fascism, elections don't matter.
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,745
3,985
Republic of Ukistan
Sayhey said:
Here, we must avail ourselves of the hard won democratic forms that we have available and focus on how to change the outcome of elections. Under fascism, elections don't matter.
But if you have a one-party state, your democracy is notional.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
Sayhey said:
Under fascism, elections don't matter.
i can't help but to think of the last two presidential elections and if the will of the people really did prevail.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
zimv20 said:
i can't help but to think of the last two presidential elections and if the will of the people really did prevail.
At least in the last one it did. The problem was the people's will, or lack of it. Even a modestly stronger challenger could have beaten Bush quite easily both times.
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
2
San Francisco
This just highlights the need to expose electoral fraud where is exists and push through electoral reforms wherever possible. Can anyone really think that such a campaign was possible under Nazi rule?
 
zimv20 said:
i can't help but to think of the last two presidential elections and if the will of the people really did prevail.
That in itself is the problem. Even if the will of the people prevailed, the will of the people is not always what is best. That is why the founding fathers set up the electoral system and the three branches of gov't. The "people" often want dictatorships (the Romans, the Germans, the Italians, the French, the early Americans) at least until that dictator starts hanging them and putting them in gas chambers.

I would rather the whole gov't fell on its face so I could raise potatoes and corn to trade to my neighbor for shoe leather and milk.
 

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
2
San Francisco
skunk said:
But if you have a one-party state, your democracy is notional.
skunk, I don't think the phrase "one-party state" adequately describes what we have in the US. It is far more complicated. For example, it is wrong to describe the whole of the GOP as committed to any kind of authoritarian rule. McCain, Hagel, Guiliani, Chafee, Snowe, and many others are far from committed neo-cons or radical fundamentalists. Such divisions are important. The Democratic opposition is not without resources or incapable of winning elections. To wrap up the current situation in a neat little phrase misses the possibilities of building coalitions to stop a move to fascism.
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,745
3,985
Republic of Ukistan
anonymous161 said:
The "people" often want dictatorships (the Romans, the Germans, the Italians, the French, the early Americans) at least until that dictator starts hanging them and putting them in gas chambers.
I think it's stretching things a bit far to claim the English/British political system has ever been a dictatorship.