Yes, It Can Happen Here
Let’s forget about blame games and about parties for a moment. We American citizens are faced with an incipient tyranny of unimaginable proportions. We must confront this beast openly and honestly if we are to judge how best to contain it and counter it.
There are some who may think this is merely the “paranoid style” of politics gone awry. But for them I say plainly: Yes, it can happen here.
At the present stage of development, what we are witnessing in the United States is a moderate form of fascism. This form of government is characterized by command control of the economy, intense political propaganda, and a police state apparatus that tramples the rights of individuals. Those who believe fascism to be primarily nationalist, racist, and anti-semitic have a conception of the political system as defined by circumstantial manifestations – fascism is an ideology of unity in a party headed by a great leader.
Whether the cleavage the would-be ruler chooses to accentuate or exploit is class, ethnicity, nation, or religion (or some combination of these) – it is a matter of the flavor of a given fascism at hand, not a matter of distinct political ruling principles. The flag sold recently by the Obama campaign (until it was taken down from its website after bloggers caught on to it) bearing the logo of the president displays with vivid colors and powerful symbolism the national reorientation from our traditional ideals towards an aspiring dictator.
The goal of the New Left has been to smash America into pieces and to unify it and reorient it around the party and its carefully constructed frontman. The great leader is the public relations persona, the charming, smiling “face” of the organization. Barack Obama is that frontman.
This is not to say that the aspirations of the magnates attempting to seize control of the United States are circumscribed by national boundaries. Fascism can even theoretically be extrapolated out to the world stage, with nations as the distinct cleavages to be ‘unified’ by a great leader (acting on behalf of a governing body of aspiring oligarchs).
The great leader is usually a classic narcissist. He can be extremely dangerous, especially in the face of public ridicule. He believes himself to be a Hegelian “big man of history” who is ahead of his time and the embodiment of the Zeitgeist. The great leader’s arrogance and narcissism can easily be publicly received as self-confidence, but this is usually a false image. Narcissists can be notoriously sensitive when it comes to criticism.
The great leader usually wields what Max Weber referred to as “charismatic authority.” He is a well-trained liar and manipulator. He may feel himself to be as a canvass upon which the collective paints its desires. This feeling of unity with the masses can feed into egomania and megalomania. Grandiose plans and desires may feel easily within reach. He may perceive himself or herself to be specially anointed by God. There have been great leaders who believed themselves to be gods, or acting in the aegis of God.
Control of the economy in collectivist regimes is carried out in many different ways. Private property may be abolished, but this is very rare; more common is the seizure and re-distribution of quasi-private property by the state. Capital may be abolished, but again this is highly impractical; so many collectivist regimes issue internal currency or industrial credits (similar in concept to “carbon credits”). Regulations may channel business into desired production, may kill small businesses in the interest of larger ones, and can potentially control the economy through a system of prohibitions.
There are a myriad of means to control economies and the most effective is to control the currency through a central bank. Central banks can trigger an economic crisis through overly rapid and massive inflation of the money supply or alternatively, a sudden constriction of the money supply – both can play right into the ruling elites’ hands. The chaos that ensues from a collapse of the currency demands swift and strong government action. Never let a good crisis go to waste, as it has been remarked.
It is inevitable in a command economy that an overly controlling central government unleashes a host of unintended consequences in the economy. A market economy is founded on, and is most sensitive to, the demand of each individual for a desired good or service at any given moment. This type of economy is fundamentally opposed to the drive for control of any collectivist government.
Market economy is not merely a matter of idiosyncracies; but what medical treatment an individual requires, what kind of food he wants to eat, how much, and when, what kind of exercise he needs to do and how much – it is inconceivable that millions of individual, distinct human beings can be programmed to operate in a desired manner by a few hundred politicians in Washington.
But this doesn’t stop the government from trying. As the central government’s best-laid plans inevitably go awry, more and more regulations are passed ostensibly to correct the problems; but since these “laws” are passed with a mind to establishing more government controls, they merely exacerbate any system founded on individual freedom.
The fascist regime is saturated with political propaganda. Politics infiltrates every sphere of life, and privacy seems to dissolve, like salt in a solution. Neighbors may spy on their neighbors, children on their parents, wives on their husbands, and teachers on their students. Speech is highly charged and explosive, leading to convenient calls to have it more regulated, thus cutting off dialogue and leading directly to frustration and violence. Television ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine articles, radio “PSAs” (propaganda service announcements), inundate the citizen with praise and support for the policies of the government and for the great leader.
Last but not least comes the police state. When the masses rise up against their oppressors, by that time it is often too late. If an economy completely collapses, those in the military may find themselves in the position of obeying orders or either starving or putting their loved ones at risk. It is crucially important that America’s last line of defense is loyal to the ideals of freedom and the Constitution itself, and not to any one man or party.
In summary, fascism is the drive to unify the political, economic, social, and private spheres of human existence in the state. The state is necessarily oligarchic and “democratic” control of a state is a ruse used to justify such “unification.” The safest place for power to reside in the nation is in the hands of individuals to the extent concordant with public order.
Those who have supported the Democratic Party for decades need to realize that it is clearly and unabashedly in favor of unlimited government. Those who are working within the Republican Party to check and remove the statists and charlatans within it have their hands full dealing with establishment types, who seem to be engaging in a deadly dance with the Democrats. Two steps forward, one step back, as they say.
Many people think that it cannot happen here, in the “exceptional” United States. But the signs are all around for anyone to take notice of and to compare to totalitarian regimes of the past. The propagandizing of children, the deification of a great leader, the nationalization of industry, the control of the currency, the overwhelming media propaganda, the attempt to create crises that demand swift and strong government action – does this not describe what is taking place in this country now?
America is at a crossroads. The temptation of turning to government to solve all our problems will be great. The price of standing up for liberty will become more costly. But if we continue our complacent abdication of personal responsibility for safeguarding this country for ourselves and our posterity, there will be nowhere to escape. We will be prisoners in our own nation and a shameful people in the judgment of history.
This is a great article.You hit it right on the head.People say “No No no it can’t happen here”,but it does.
You can run, but you can’t hide…..And I’ve been running right along with so many ‘good’ people that love this Country.We have been busy molding our careers, tossing the football w/ the kiddos & dancing the night away…and…becoming a slave to our freedoms rather protecting them. There is plenty of blame to go around…for instance which was the last administration to ‘confront head on’ the immigration problem on our border??? Dwight Eisenhower in 1953….I do believe tghere have been presidents from BOTH parties that show feet of clay.. I would ask…If not now…When.???
Kyle, as is par for the course, you’re firing on all cylinders…very poigent.
Asshats can happen here, there, and anywhere. Paranoia only goes so far in a rising economy.