Americans, it’s official now: We live in a fascist nation.
term "fascist" has been thrown around over the last
fifty years in a loose way that has drained it of much of its
meaning. If someone wanted to cut 5% off of a leftist professor's
favourite welfare programme, the professor would call his opponent
a "fascist." I’m not using the word like that. I mean
honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned, 1930s style fascism, featuring
such old favourites as:
prisons – they’re back!
– we’re doing it.
on all citizens.
and indefinite imprisonment without trial.
and restriction of habeas corpus.
was compiled partially based on the work of Amnesty International,
mind-numbing response to complaints that our traditional legal
system is being torn apart is the question, "So, you want
to protect the rights of terrorists?"
I want to protect the rights of non-terrorists who might
be falsely accused of terrorism! That was sort of, you know,
the whole idea of our legal system. I’m sure there was
some neo-con around in the 1700s saying to Jefferson or Madison,
"So, you want to protect the rights of murderers
and robbers?" but luckily they ignored him.
gotten to the point where Nazi Germany was, say, in 1934. Remember,
at that time, if you had told a typical German what his government
would do over the next ten years, he would have looked at you
as a madman. After all, his land had been civilized for over
a thousand years. His was the nation of Albertus Magnus, Gutenberg,
Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Bach, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte,
Heisenberg, Reimann, Mann, Lessing, Herder, Handel, Dürer,
Leibniz, Gauss, Helmholtz – he could have gone on, but you get
the point. His nation could not possibly descend into
barbarism! If you tried to tell him he was living in a police
state, he would have pointed out that his government had used
its vast new powers very judiciously, and only against a few
trouble-makers. So far.
It is interesting,
in gauging the direction we are heading, to look at the proclamations
of "respectable" opinion writers who support this
administration. For instance, we have people at a "libertarian"
think tank proclaiming
that Moslems are not entitled to full civil rights in the US.
(Perhaps we need to make them wear something special on their
clothing like, say, a yellow star, so we know just who they
are, hey?) But "conservatives" provide even more stunning
examples of purely fascist reasoning. For example, conservative
demagogue Ann Coulter has called for the editor of The NY
Times to face the firing squad for his part in publicizing
this administration's abuses of power. Let’s look at a recent
column by Douglas MacKinnon at TownHall.com.
considers all of those involved in revealing the sordid collection
of secret programmes that have been launched by the Bush administration
as "traitors" who have publicized these schemes "purely
because they don’t like the policies of the new president."
Well, he’s right in that "they don’t like the policies"
that they consider unconstitutional violations of our rights.
Far from "aiding the enemy," these revelations aided
us, the American people, by letting us know what our government
has in store for us.
what the point of classifying these programmes was in the first
place, and who they were being kept secret from. The jihadists
no doubt already knew about the secret prisons – their friends
are in them! They surely knew that the war in Iraq has been
helping their recruiting – it’s their recruiting! ("Praise
be to Allah, Abdul, I read in The NY Times that it is
the Iraq War that is sending us these thousands of new
recruits – who knew?") They no doubt suspect they may be
wiretapped – what they didn’t know was that all the rest of
us are, as well. No, not one of these leaks helps terrorists,
nor was one of them classified to stop terrorists from finding
them out. We were the ones who weren’t supposed to find
out about them.
continues: "And if even one American lost his or her life
because of a leak, then I would want that person to be executed
who reveals our fascist government policies is a traitor who
can be executed! This is obviously an attempt to intimidate
the opposition so that our police state can be expanded without
the annoying work stoppages caused by public outcry when the
latest bit of construction is revealed. And just how does MacKinnon
propose to show that some American lost his life because a journalist
revealed that the US government tortures people across the globe,
rather than, say, because the policies he supports have inspired
a million new jihadists? Secret trial, perhaps? Or why even
bother with trials for filthy traitors?
– oops, I mean MacKinnon – writes, "Until we severely punish
those who leak classified information, then the traitors among
us will not only continue to flourish, but will grow more brazen
with the secrets they reveal."
we ought to be able to do, you know, is simply seize anyone
who even mentions our government’s "secret" prisons,
and, without a trial, throw them in a secret prison! This is
the logical conclusion of this fascist’s article, after all,
since those who talk about the American Gulag are pretty much
this is coming real soon, and, once it does, domestic opposition
is pretty much over. One journalist – that will be about all
it takes will be seized as a "terrorist" and
thrown in the Gulag. The government may release him, but then
another will simply disappear in the night in Iraq or Afghanistan,
and rumors will circulate that he is being kept in a cage somewhere
and waterboarded. No journalist lacking heroic courage will
any longer be willing to seriously protest government policy.
is full of decent people, who could never believe their own
government could become fascist. So were Germany and Italy in
the 1920s. But they became fascist anyway. They passed laws
suspending civil liberties, but the government promised the
frightened populace that those laws would only be used against
targets like "Communist terrorists." And, a little
bit at a time, the target kept getting bigger and bigger, slowly
enough that the people who weren’t paying close attention never
next thing you know, there were millions of people dead! So,
it turns out, it would have been worth paying attention after