Friday, May 18, 2007

America's Slide Toward Fascism

A writer to Andrew Sullivan:

What American 'conservatism' has become fits closely within the definition of fascism: an intensely nationalist movement intent on defining membership in the 'nation' on linguistic, religious, and (increasingly) ethnic/racial criteria, accompanied by an unquestioning loyalty to (male) authority, enshrined in family leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, and especially, the leader of the nation, who is seen as embodying the Nation. Loyalty to the Party or Movement and its ideology is of great importance. Violence is the preferred means of accomplishing goals. Diplomacy, compromise, negotiation, are all identified with (feminine) weakness. The rule of law is also despised, because it lacks the immediacy of (violent) action, and its emphasis on balance and its concern with proper procedure is also seen as a sign of (feminine) weakness.

What the writer doesn't mention is another necessary trait: the unwillingness to question or verify assertions that leads to those authority figures being able to smear, discredit and outright lie about it's enemies. This foments hate amongst the uneducated throngs and leads them to violence against the authority figure's enemies.

For example:
Has anyone else noticed the bizarre spectacle of many Bush-backing blogs demonizing Ron Paul for not saying that we deserved 9/11, at the same time eulogizing a man who absolutely and explicitly said that we did deserve 9/11: Jerry Falwell.

For a short time, religion makes an excellent filter to sort out those that are willing to follow without thinking critically or questioning authority.

Unfortunately for both fascism and religion, their conflicting authoritarian manners eventually lead to a power struggle between their respective leaders. Therefore after the authoritarian government gains control, they immediately look for ways to yank the rug out from the other.

Unfortunately, this whole mess means nothing but misery for everyone else.

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