'"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - attributed to Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." - Hermann Goering, Hitler's propaganda chief
It's not overstating the case to say that 2007 could be make or break for US democracy.
The Bush administration's cutbacks and rollbacks in 2006 were so frequent and so egregious that many Americans stopped paying attention, gave up hope or else failed to see the onslaught as part of a larger pattern.
Which brings up the f-word.In 2003, Laurence W. Britt wrote a seminal article comparing fascist regimes, such as Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, to life under Bush. While the term fascism has been widely overused (in August, Rumsfeld even accused war critics of "a new type of fascism") Britt's analysis eerily resonated back then and is worth a second look today.
This two-part series recaps Bush's record in 2006 under the framework of Britt's "fourteen common threads" of fascism and makes predictions for 2007.
***The examples below are more indicative than exhaustive; Project for an Old American Century has a comprehensive links page spanning Bush's presidency.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.
In July, Bush signed the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act so Americans could "express their patriotism here at home without burdensome restrictions."
What burdensome restrictions?
With similar fanfare, he issued a "proclamation" in October noting that patriotism "can help our children develop strength and character."
Less than two weeks later, he authorized the building of 700 miles of double-layered fencing along the US-Mexican border.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.'
Lees verder: http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/contributors/669