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february 11, 2005

Throwing Around The F-Word

When various lefties stress about the signs of a rising American fascism that's one thing, but when conservatives themselves start joining the chorus it might be time to take notice:

I don't think there are yet real fascists in the administration, but there is certainly now a constituency for them --hungry to bomb foreigners and smash those Americans who might object. And when there are constituencies, leaders may not be far behind. [...]

[T]he very fact that the f-word can be seriously raised in an American context is evidence enough that we have moved into a new period. The invasion of Iraq has put the possibility of the end to American democracy on the table and has empowered groups on the Right that would acquiesce to and in some cases welcome the suppression of core American freedoms. That would be the titanic irony of course, the mother of them all --that a war initiated under the pretense of spreading democracy would lead to its destruction in one of its very birthplaces. But as historians know, history is full of ironies.

Chris Bowers over at MyDD drives the point home.

UPDATE: Just to clarify, I don't think fascism has "arrived" in America just yet. This reader over at the DailyKos put together a pretty good checklist of the characteristics of a fascist state, but I think we need to remember that every state that has ever existed has all of these characteristics to varying degrees, and it's important to keep that reality in perspective while watching out for the extremes.

Like Chris Bowers and the American Conservative article point out, though, there are definitely recent shifts in our government and society that set the groundwork for fascism, and should worry us...

At this point I'd say my biggest "paving the way to fascism" concerns are:

  • the extent to which our mainstream media has given up journalism and instead become the "propaganda wing" for the government
  • the general attitude growing in our society that anything other than one-party rule will be the death of us
  • the casual way our society is starting to accept torture, the loss of civil liberties, and "preemptive" war

How much of this is the government's fault, and how much is the media's is hard to say...