Creeping Fascism?


In recent months and years, fascism has strengthened its foothold in the US. The “unholy” alliance between corporate powers, government and right-wing religious sects has launched a sharp about face in rights and freedoms.

Governor Perry of Texas is leading a right wing attack on abortion rights, cutting the number of safe clinics and restricting the services they can provide, thus increasing the danger to women. Similar new laws now sweep across Southern and Midwest states, in campaigns funded by corporations. The governor of Virginia is trying to pass a law against oral sex. How they would enforce that is vague.

The old saying, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is a fact of human nature, invariably proven throughout human history. The intent of Democracy is to make certain that the power of governing is held by all people, never only a select few. As soon as power becomes concentrated, it is inevitably abused. This opens the door to creeping fascism.

Under the principle of Democracy — once commonly believed to be an American principle — people need to be widely informed from a great variety of sources and viewpoints. They need to be educated — not only about the system’s (often sanitized) history, but about critical thinking and making informed choices. And we need the power to make decisions as to how we shall govern ourselves. When these conditions are met, Democracy can flourish. When these conditions are not met, then Democracy disappears, as fascism goose steps though all our lives, institutions and freedoms.

Among the Founding Fathers were those who took bold steps to insure Democracy for our country. Benjamin Franklin created what became the first American public library, the purpose being that no citizen will be excluded from public knowledge. He also funded an award for students at the nation’s first public school where Franklin had been a dropout.

The US government’s obliteration of the Bill of Rights via the PATRIOT Act now allows the military to detain citizens indefinitely without trial. Obama’s health care “reform” forces citizens to buy insurance. The attempted takeover of the Internet through SOPA and PIPA has received a lot of attention lately, and in a few rare cases has generated some effective push-back.

But according to an article in Harper’s Magazine (Killing the Competition: How the New Monopolies Are Destroying Open Markets, by Barry C. Lynn, Feb. 2012), US corporations are evolving into forms that are more threatening to their victims — i.e. employees, consumers, and Third World nations whose resources, labor and markets they exploit. More devastating even than anything emanating from Washington.

As Lynn characterizes it, a new generation of monopolists are imposing their own private governments on their industry subsidiaries — anything from poultry to publishing — forcing them into cutthroat competition with former colleagues, and harshly imposing a strict gag rule against any whistleblowing. He also cites Alexander Hamilton’s economic fiats as one of the many examples of Founding Fathers who did not have the peoples’ best interests at heart. This long, detailed article should be read by anyone seeking to understand how the US marketplace is devolving, and some of the roots, as well as more recent deregulation that made it possible.

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About nine months ago, while narrowly avoiding an accident with another car, my small SUV turned over on the driver’s side. I couldn’t find  my insurance info in my wallet, and the paramedics wouldn’t let me search for it in my car, for safety reasons.
I went down to the courthouse to appeal the ticket, spent hours there, and thought that the court excused me. But I was told to come back again this month to explain what happened.

I don’t look forward to going downtown. Parking is difficult and pricey. Meter maids constantly circle around, looking to cite parking violations. Just what I need, another ticket.

—John Johnson

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