Thursday, September 09, 2004

It Can Happen Here

Wow - You learn something every day. Granted, I specialized in ancient history rather than modern when persuing my degree, but I am a bit amazed at how wrong my assumptions regarding fascism are. I didn't realize that by at least one definition, fascism is "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." Somehow, I always thought "fascism" was just another synonym for "extreme idealistic dictatorship", perhaps because I've often heard Hitler, Stalin and Franco all called "fascists" - not just Mussolini. So I always assumed it didn't much matter what end of the political spectrum they came from, so long as it was extreme. But according to the above article, by Mussolini's own words (who claimed to have coined the term "fascist", it is "...the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism". And it's true that both he and Hitler hated Stalin (why they became our strange allies, instead).

I've been calling Shrub & Co. "Neocon fascists" in my mind (and occassionally out loud) for quite some time, but I didn't realize how accurate I was. Here's another description that sounds scarily familiar.

Anyway, go read "The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Warns: "It Can happen Here". Scary stuff. Snip: "Although most Americans remember that Harry Truman was Franklin D. Roosevelt's Vice President when Roosevelt died in 1945 (making Truman President), Roosevelt had two previous Vice Presidents - John N. Garner (1933-1941) and Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945). In early 1944, the New York Times asked Vice President Henry Wallace to, as Wallace noted, "write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?"

Vice President Wallace's answer to those questions was published in The New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan.

"The really dangerous American fascists," Wallace wrote, "are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power..."

" If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead."

(Thanks, GFriend for the link.)

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