[R-G] Is America Becoming Fascist? Counterpunch
mstainsby at tao.ca
Thu Nov 7 14:52:47 MST 2002
Is America Becoming Fascist?
by ANIS SHIVANI
Since mainstream left-liberal media do not seriously ask this question, the
analysis of what has gone wrong and where we are heading has been mostly
off-base. Investigation of the kinds of under-handed, criminal tactics fascist
regimes undertake to legitimize their agenda and accelerate the rate of change
in their favor is dismissed as indulging in "conspiracy theory." Liberals insist
that this regime must be treated under the rules of "politics as usual." But
this doesn't consider that one election has already been stolen, and that
September's repeat of irregularities in Florida was a clear warning that more
such thuggery is on the way. If the "f" word is uttered, liberals are quick to
note certain obvious dissimilarities with previous variants of fascism and say
that what is happening in America is not fascist. It took German justice
minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin to make the comparison explicit (under present
American rules of political discourse, she has been duly sacked from her cabinet
post); but at the liberal New York Times or The Nation, American writers dare
not speak the truth.
The blinkered assertion that we are immune to the virus ignores degrees of
convergence and distinction based on the individual patient's history. The Times
and other liberal voices have been obsessed over the last year with the rise of
minority fascist parties in the Netherlands, France, and other European
countries. They have questioned the tastefulness of new books and movies about
Hitler, and again demonized such icons of Nazism as Leni Riefenstahl. Is this
perhaps a displacement of American anxiety onto the safer European scene,
liberal intellectuals here not wanting to confront the troubling truth? The pace
of events in the last year has been almost as blindingly fast as it was after
Hitler's Machtergreifung and the consolidation of fascist power in 1933. Speed
stuns and silences.
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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