As a student of American history and politics, in my lifetime I’ve witnessed a dangerous erosion of civil and personal liberties. Such an erosion is the hallmark of fascism. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s when my father was stationed in Berlin, he often discussed the totalitarian police state the East Germans created as a means of keeping its people in line. He often remarked about the ease with which plain clothes and uniformed police officers moved through and among the population because the people accepted it as part of keeping them safe from terrorists (sound familiar?), or in their words, outside aggression from “capitalist pigs.”
One thing he discussed at great length was how the East German government back then instilled within its population the notion of how keeping the borders safe was both for the common good and part of national pride. But the presence of a police state to keep everyone “safe” came at great cost to personal liberties as reflected in the constant surveillance of East Germans. Moreover, since its government spent most of its money defending its borders and on maintaining such a large police force, East Germans enjoyed little material comfort and poor quality goods and services in comparison to their West German counterparts.
I am now witness to the rise of an American totalitarian state that parallels that of Eastern Germany. Events in Oakland, California and Ferguson, Missouri bear this out with the increase in the militarization of local and state police. The US Congress authorized to these municipalities the sale of surplus military materiel to suppress gang and drug proliferation; however, such hardware found itself in local school districts in the aftermath of school shootings, thus militarizing local police forces.
Quite honestly, it is very heavy handed to call law enforcement on mischievous grade school children or even sentence high school students to misdemeanor crimes when the adults who run the schools can discipline the wayward children. Add to that the unfortunate reality in the US that police routinely target ethnic groups as subjects for gang and drug related crimes because American society has economically marginalized and politically disenfranchised them. Combined with the militarization of our law enforcement at the school and local levels, this ethnic profiling is evidence of an authoritarian police state.
It’s true that emergent American fascism does not draw its inspiration from Hitler’s Germany or from Mussolini’s Italy. But it’s also true that we can no longer pigeonhole fascism, an economic and political ideology, to a Second World War philosophy against which our country pledged to fight according to revisionist history. Fascism continued long after the regimes of both Hitler and Mussolini entered into the history books. One only needs to review the lessons of Franco’s Spain (1936-1975), Salazar’s Portugal (1932-1974), and most ominously Pinochet’s Chile (1973-1990), all of which the United States provided military materiel, logistical support, and financial assistance in the name of fighting “communism.”
Speaking of communism, I remember the waning days of East Germany before the wall came down, since my dad and family were stationed in the then-divided city of Berlin. Personal freedom was an expendable commodity sacrificed for the greater good of the State. Civil liberties were non-existent as each person contributed to doing their part in maintaining societal norms, by custom or by law. The secret police, the dreaded Stasi, monitored everyone (or so East Germans feared), locking up anyone who threatened the power of the state.
What saddens me greatly is that the United States now resembles the East Germany I witnessed in the 1980s. I never thought I’d see this happening in my lifetime, and neither did you.
KokonutGrove is the pseudonym of a student of American politics and a concerned U.S. citizen.
16 thoughts on “Fascist America?”
I completely agree with the points in the essay presented here.
I was calling the United States an “institutional dictatorship” back in the 1980s. I saw the changes occurring then and we are all witnessing the results now.
As it regards the acquisition of surplus military equipment by school districts I saw a very funny sketch by Stephen Colbert on the subject. However, the humor that he presents as satirical as it is, is a very poor outlet for actual citizen frustrations with such stupidity on such a scale. And though Colbert is attacking the very idea of schools acquiring such equipment, his show successfully acts as a distraction for the real threats to US citizens everywhere as well as being an additional and harmless outlet for citizen frustrations.
In reality, there is nothing humorous about this at all. It is in fact a very frightening development where government leaders and institutions not only acquire such equipment for such mundane civilian use and then promote the acquisitions as a perfectly normal set of events…
If it looks like a duck and quakes like a duck IT IS A DUCK!
Thank you Kokonut for avoiding the euphemisms like “authoritarian” state to describe our present shattered “republic”. We might also add that our invasion by land and air of other countries more resembles fascist Germany than East Germany.
I am again compelled to start with this disclaimer: I am NOT, repeat, NOT a “conspiracy theorist.” The mass shootings on school (I here include universities) campuses is obviously a very serious situation, and symptomatic of deep societal illnesses. But I do not for a moment accept any explanation for the militarization of police departments across the nation based on a need to respond to such situations. How does an armored personnel carrier stuffed with sharpshooters get to the school in time to save lives? No, this militarization movement has a more profound, and frightening, frankly, undercurrent. Having pushed income inequality to new levels of obscenity (can you say “plutocracy”?), the ruling class is getting nervous about push-back from the masses. Actually, I think the ruling elite are the ones suffering conspiracy delusions. As a revolutionist myself, I am having great difficulty detecting any threat of the masses awakening from their stupor and fighting back. Is the specter of Communism haunting the USA? Or are things soon going to get so much worse here that assets for repression are being put in place well in advance?
I also cannot see Americans waking up from their stupors and initiating a revolution. However, historically revolutions are usually initiated by small focused organizations that eventually sweep the masses their way.
Unfortunately, if such a revolutionary organization or set of organizations currently exist the only thing I see them sweeping up is dust…
“”assets for repression are being put in place well in advance?”
You pose a (serious, I presume) question. If the answer is “yes,” then dubious legal grounds combined with necessary foreknowledge by more than one party constitutes a conspiracy. That such a possibility is seriously entertained constitutes a theory.
The use of the term “conspiracy theory” as a pejorative was first deployed by the CIA in the wake of Kennedy, and has been an overplayed & meaningless term of late.
Police and prosecutors can attest to the fact that conspiracies are a common occurrence and that theoretical thinking is often a necessary prerequisite when solving crimes. “Conspiracy” is not a magical word.
I understand that there are people who do not engage facts nor thresholds of plausibility when hypothesizing about events. When someone advances ideas in said manner, those ideas should be dismissed as factually ill-premised and/or implausible.
Meaningless labels intended to tar-brush are a disservice to conversation. “Conspiracy theorist”
is one such term.
Certainly I was using “conspiracy theorist” in a pejorative manner. I know personally people who insist that the Twin Towers and Building 7 would not have fallen on 9/11 without explosive charges having been installed in advance of the attacks. I dismiss all such talk as balderdash and poppycock. Indeed, one can hatch a conspiracy theory (sorry, had to say it) that this foolishness is actually promoted by the CIA as a diversion from the real action of that day, which looks to me like US air defenses all too conveniently asleep at the switch (which is more in the category of inaction, yes?). In fact, this accusation HAS been leveled against the “conspiracy theorists.” Around and around we go, and the Juggernaut of Perpetual War keeps rolling on.
I would suggest you read the scientific evidence concerning the destruction of the WTC and building 7.
No building or buildings could have collapsed in such a manner with pre-planning and internal explosives of some type.
Steve–I don’t understand your post. Did you intend to type that the buildings could not have fallen WITHOUT pre-placed explosives?? I know there’s a group purportedly (yes, a bit of skepticism there, which proper science demands) made up of architects and engineers that claims only the explosives conspiracy can explain what happened. I say: just watch the videos. What do your eyes tell you? Do you think these buildings were built to such a standard of solidity that the lower floors could withstand the weight of the upper floors crashing down upon them (“pancaking”)?!!? No way in hell!! As for Building 7, at some remove from the twin towers, my personal suspicion is that a.) it may have been constructed to lesser standards; and b.) the collapse of underground infrastructure (which I guess makes it more like substructure)–subway and PATH train tunnels and stations–as the towers came down likely is all that was required to weaken Building 7. To be clear: I am not a structural engineer or architect. I am arguing from a general sound grasp of science and common sense. Ever hear of Occam’s Razor?
Maybe I should have been clearer but yes, there is no way that two buildings, one of which was damaged differently from the other, could both collapse in the same manner that they did without some form of internal explosives. This has been substantially documented by many architects and engineers over the years, many who made up the A&E911 group.
Now Dr. Evelyn Wood, a former member of this group, claims that because of the disparate burning of the cars in the periphery of the area of the WTC that internal explosives were impossible since such explosives would have been compartmentalized to the buildings. It is her belief that a radient-particle beam weapon was used. I read her book and she does provide scientific evidence of her theory but it was not accepted by the A&E911 group. She subsequently left and was eventually harassed quite badly by other people though I do not know their origins.
Wood’s theory is a little far-fetched but she does make a point about the car burnings, which is not quite explicable to this day even if one were to apply the mini-nuke theory, which is also plausible due to the finind of nano-thermite evidence in the dust, which is a known by-product of such explosions.
No matter what you prefer to believe, the government theory\story is as full of holes as a barrel of Swiss cheese.
Even the description of the attack at the Pentagon was a pathetic display of incompetence. Any high-school student could have seen that no airliner could have hit the E-Wall at the angle claimed. The subsequent hole was simply too small and there was absolutely no aircraft debris in the surrounding areas. I saw all of the publicly released pictures of the damage.
And as one who used to fly light-planes and have been very familiar with all forms of aircraft flight dynamics, I can categorically state that no pilot could have flown an airliner so close to the ground as it was made to appear at the Pentagon. It is simply a physical impossibility.
Steve–I agree that the scene at the Pentagon is most peculiar. With all the security cameras operative in the world today, you’d think at least one would have captured the image of something resembling a commercial jetliner approaching that mammoth building. As for NYC on 9/11 I will maintain my view that the impacts of large aircraft and subsequent conflagration of jet fuel was all that was required to do the damage. The big picture is: who benefitted from these criminal deeds? And the answer is: those in the ruling class and their servants who lusted to launch new wars in the Middle East and farther afield (i.e. Afghanistan). The peoples of those regions, and yes, we here on the homefront, continue to suffer the consequences of this compulsion for war and conquest. Administrations in D.C. change, but the overall game plan plays out. Government does not function on behalf of us, the common people. Hardly a new development, but it’s become more blatantly clear of late…for “those who have eyes to see,” to borrow a phrase from the New Testament.
Though I completely agree with your observations regarding the US government, the idea that jet-fuel would burn hot enough to melt steel beams has already been proven to be false. In fact, no such building in the history of high-rises has ever collapsed due to such a fire.
The reason is that internally started fires or jet-fuel based ones will never burn hot enough to reach the melting point of such beams.
This has been proven substantially and you can do the research yourself since it is all public domain metallurgical knowledge.
I am not sure why you are finding this so difficult to believe…
Gents: I’ve had long discussions with a well-informed 9-11 “truther” about whether 9-11 was an inside job, whether there were explosive charges, etc. Such charges (pun intended) can never be completely disproved. Yet in my opinion, they are a distraction from the main issue, which is that the real crimes of Bush/Cheney came after 9-11, not prior to it.
My personal opinion is against various conspiracy theories, not for technical reasons, but for Opsec and Infosec reasons. There’s no way a conspiracy like this could have been kept hidden. Someone would have talked; something major would have gone wrong. Again, just my opinion.
Our leaders are often vain, venal, vindictive, and vacuous, but I don’t think they are traitorous and treasonous. I don’t think 9-11 was orchestrated to get us to pursue an imperial course in the Middle East, simply because attacks on such a scale simply aren’t needed to do that. Just look at recent events: all Obama needed was two beheadings to paint ISIS as the despicable enemy of the day. He didn’t need four hijacked airliners and thousands of casualties.
I am sorry Bill, but I completely disagree with you on this one.
There is far more evidence to support the contention that Bush and Cheney were complicit at some level in the 9-11 atrocity then there is to show that they weren’t. Two tiny examples, would be the knowledge that Cheney had of the second flight heading for the Pentagon or his cancellation of all military flight exercises in New York prior to the attacks on the Twin Towers. Both situations have already been proven with some supporting evidence even coming from the government itself.
As to being vain and venal, you don’t know the half of it. Want to know why more F-11s crashed on take-off than in combat during Vietnam? It is because people like my father, who was responsible for the communications equipment quality control on this plane, was “forced” to pass sub-standard parts like many of his colleagues.
To say what you have said about our leaders does nothing more than give them a pass. And in fact, in the 1960s during the JFK presidency the Joint Chiefs submitted a proposal to him entitled, “Operation Northwoods”, which involved among other things the shooting down of US passenger planes by our own fighter aircraft to provide a pretext for an invasion of Cuba as the tragedies would be blamed on Cuba.
And this is nothing compared to the European Gladio Operation, stay at home armies designed to cause havoc among EU citizens so that terrorism could be blamed.
I have worked in the financial industry for 20 of my 40 years in software engineering and I can categorically state that no industry under the sun in the commercial sector is more openly corrupt than those who run our “financial institutions”. These people crashed our entire economy for crying out loud all for the money. And they didn’t give one wit about all the lives it destroyed.
Exactly how “venal” must one become before you are willing to accept the unthinkable?
The people in the highest levels of our government are monsters and 9-11 has done more than enough to prove that. What their level of involvement was we won’t know for a while but one person you spoke to cannot possibly dispute the overwhelming evidence of fraud and deceit on the part of the government that has been accumulated through research and investigation by so many scientists, engineers, and general researchers.
As to the idea that such a “conspiracy” could not be kept under wraps by so many people is complete nonsense. In your own service, the US Air Force, the Vandenberg protocol is still in place to my knowledge. It stipulates that any officer or enlisted man speaking out about UFO sightings will have his career ruined, his life threatened, and possibly his family harmed. When was the last time you know of any member of the US Air Force going public about such a recent event.
The underlying factions in 9-11 that would have threatened such harm would have been no different.
Besides the “9-11 Conspiracy” was so poorly pulled off that it screamed stupidity in plain site!
Steve and I will just have to “agree to disagree” about the specific mechanisms of 9/11. There’d be nothing productive in a point-for-point debate so I won’t engage in it. At least we agree on who the major villains in the world today are.
However, Colonel, I’ll remind you of these “inconvenient truths”: 1.) hit list of Arab nations drawn up for “regime change” by the Iraq Group (or Iraq Study Group, whatever Cheney/Rove’s neo-con cabal called themselves) prior to events of 9/11; 2.) sentiment among the Wolfowitz crowd that “a Pearl Harbor-type event” would be very useful to them as they pushed their agenda for war; 3.) August 2001 NSA or CIA memo to Dubya: “al-Qaeda contemplating use of airplanes to strike US mainland.” Of course, little George never personally read memos, we were subsequently informed. Great! But his underlings were surely aware of the reality of the threat; 4.) the outrageous campaign of lies to persuade the American public that Saddam Hussein had a role in the events under discussion here.
It is not necessary to argue that petty bureaucrats at Langley personally recruited the skyjackers of 9/11 and gave them detailed instructions to find the conduct of the Cheney/Bush administration culpable in some manner. We might label this “treason via acts of OMISSION” rather than commission. A stench will continue to hang over the Cheney/Bush regime’s time in office for a long time to come.
“So say we all!” Thank you, greglaxer…
Perhaps the most amazing thing about 9-11 is how Bush/Cheney evaded the blame for a catastrophic American defeat (assuming the “official story” is correct). I remember when Giuliani said that Bush prevented terrorist attacks on America — he had to be reminded that 9-11 happened on Bush’s watch! How did we forget so quickly how confused and out of his league Bush looked when he was informed of the attacks while reading to children about goats? How Cheney was shuttled about and then hidden away “to protect America”? I really think the biggest scandal was how incompetent Bush/Cheney and crew were before, during, and after 9-11, not how devious they were in being behind 9-11 in some way. And let’s not forget the hysteria over anthrax, followed by the escape of bin Laden, the unnecessary and botched war/occupation of Iraq, the use of torture, and all the rest. Incompetence cloaked by posturing and threat level changes and war. Heck, Cheney can’t even shoot straight, nailing his partner instead with a shotgun blast, with the shooting buddy apologizing for the distress he caused Cheney!
Farce. Folly. Fallaciousness.