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A Fascist America: How Close Are We?

Uploaded by winston on Mar 24, 2005

The idea that America is turning fascist has been popular on the Left for as long as I can remember: in the 1960s, when antiwar radicals raged against the Machine, this kind of hyperbole dominated campus political discourse and even made its way into the mainstream. When the radical Weather Underground went into ultra-Left meltdown and began issuing incoherent "communiqués" to an indifferent American public, they invariably signed off by declaring: "Death to the fascist insect pig that preys on the life of the people!"

Such rhetoric, too overheated for American tastes, was quite obviously an exaggeration: America in the 1960s was no more "fascistic" than miniskirts, Hula Hoops, and the rhyming demagoguery of Spiro T. Agnew. Furthermore, we weren't even close to fascism, as the downfall of Richard M. Nixon made all too clear to whatever incipient authoritarians were nurtured at the breast of the GOP.

Back in those halcyon days, America was, in effect, practically immune from the fascist virus that had wreaked such havoc in Europe and Asia in previous decades: there was a kind of innocence, back then, that acted as a vaccine against this dreaded affliction. Fascism – the demonic offspring of war – was practically a stranger to American soil. After all, it had been a century since America had been a battleground, and the sense of invulnerability that is the hallmark of youth permeated our politics and culture. Nothing could hurt us: we were forever young. But as we moved into the new millennium, Americans acquired a sense of their own mortality: an acute awareness that we could be hurt, and badly. That is the legacy of 9/11.

Blessed with a double bulwark against foreign invasion – the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – America hasn't experienced the atomizing effects of large-scale military conflict on its soil since the Civil War. On that occasion, you'll remember, Lincoln, the "Great Emancipator," nearly emancipated the U.S. government from the chains of the Constitution by shutting down newspapers, jailing his political opponents, and cutting a swathe of destruction through the South, which was occupied and treated like a conquered province years after Lee surrendered. He was the closest to a dictator that any American president has come – but George W. Bush may well surpass him, given the possibilities that now present themselves.

From the moment the twin towers were hit, the fascist seed began to germinate, to take...

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Uploaded by:   winston

Date:   03/24/2005

Category:   Politics

Length:   12 pages (2,692 words)

Views:   836

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