Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: Fascist America: Have We Finally Turned The Corner? By Sara Robinson

Posted 2 years ago on May 6, 2012, 1:13 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

America has never been without fascist wannabes. Research by Political Research Associates estimates that, at any given time in our history, roughly 10-12 percent of the country's population has been bred-in-the-bone right-wing authoritarians -- the people who are hard-wired to think in terms of fascist control and order. Our latter-day Christian Dominionists, sexual fundamentalists and white nationalists are the descendants -- sometimes, the literal blood descendants -- of the same people who joined the KKK in the 1920s, followed Father Coughlin in the 1930s, backed Joe McCarthy in the early '50s, joined the John Birch society in the '60s, and signed up for the Moral Majority in the 1970s and the Christian Coalition in the 1990s.

Given its rather stunning durability, it's probably time to acknowledge that this proto-fascist strain is a permanent feature of the American body politic. Like ugly feet or ears that stick out, it's an unchanging piece of who we are. We are going to have to learn to live with it. But it's also true that this faction's influence on the larger American culture ebbs and flows broadly over time. Our parents and grandparents didn't have to deal with them much at all, because the far-right fringe was pushed back hard during the peak years of the New Deal. It broke out for just a few short years in the McCarthy era -- long enough to see the rise of the Birchers -- and then was firmly pushed back down into irrelevance again.

But the country's overall conservative drift since the Reagan years and the rise of the Internet (which enabled the right's network of regional and single-issue groups to crystallize into a single, unified, national right-wing culture over the course of the '90s and '00s) reenergized the extreme right as a political force. As a result, history may look back on George W. Bush's eight years as the "Peak Wingnut" era -- a high-water mark in radical right-wing influence and power in America.

Now, things are changing again. Every year or so for the past five years, I've written about the future prospects for America's would-be fascists on the far right. And it's time to take another look, because the political and cultural landscape they're working in now isn't at all the same one they were working in even three years ago. Fascist America: We Were Very Nearly There

The last time I visited this subject in 2010, progressives were reaching a point of maximum despair. In 2008, the GOP had taken its most thorough drubbing since the FDR years. But, just two years on, the far right had not only regrouped; it had taken full control of the Republican Party under the resurgent Tea Party banner -- and was getting set to elect some of the country's most extreme political, social and economic Neanderthals. In the process, it was also about to retake Congress, along with control of over half of the state governorships and legislatures.

And take over it did. In the wake of this victory, the far right's new electees shifted into overdrive, immediately introducing brutally aggressive legislation to bust unions, disenfranchise Democratic voters and roll back a century of progress on reproductive rights. The speed and power of the onslaught was breathtaking -- but it was also driven by desperation. What most pundits missed was the fact that the far right had no time to waste, because both the mood of the country and its basic demographic realities were changing under their feet. Polls over the past decade show that America is, at its core, a progressive nation in every way that matters, and that this trend is solidifying and expanding with time. As Nancy L. Cohen put it in Delirium: How The Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America: Cultural progressivism is the new American way....A majority of all Americans now supports same-sex marriage. Americans strongly upholding Roe v. Wade, and strongly oppose the position of the Republican Party. Fully 62 percent think that abortion should be legal in the first three months of pregnancy, in which 89 percent of abortions occur; only 15 percent favor outlawing abortion in all circumstances. Americans have become less religious and less culturally conservative over the past 40 years. Polling on birth control and sexual morality show that Americans unequivocally reject the sexual fundamentalists' attempt to take us back to a time when sex was stigmatized and only legitimate when confined within the traditional heterosexual marriage. The majority of Americans believe in the basic values underpinning a culturally progressive approach to matters of sex, gender, family, and culture: privacy, personal freedom, equality, and pluralism.

This progressive bent also extends to the country's attitudes on ending corporate dominance over our economy, supporting a robust middle class, and addressing climate change and other environmental crises.
The conservatives know that the demographic trends are not on their side, and that whatever limited advantages they enjoy now are receding with every election cycle that passes. Right-wing America is old, white, rural, and religious -- a cohort that's shrinking with every passing year, and is even now in the process of being swamped by a tide of voters who are younger, urban, ethnically diverse, and largely non-churchgoing. It was that tide, mobilized, that elected Obama -- the first time it's been heard from, but by no means the last. So these hard-and-fast grabs for power are a Hail Mary play. The far right sees that the clock is running out. It's rushing to consolidate its gains as fast as it can, in the hope of slamming America as far to the right as possible in the time it has left -- and also building big, ugly legal obstacles that will make it much harder to undo the damage when the younger, more progressive wave that's rolling in finally does assume full control.

The Race for the Future My past assessments of the far fascist fringe's political prospects were mostly predicated on which side would win this race for the future.
Would the far right -- now mostly standing under the Tea Party banner -- manage to consolidate power fast enough to hijack our democracy entirely, and institute the fascist theocracy of its dreams? In 2010, the signs were strong that it was on track to move quickly toward that goal. Or, alternatively: would the basic decency, common sense and patriotism of the American people kick in in time to halt the fascist power grab and knock the country back toward its better, fairer and more democratic side? Despair was deep and time was growing short. There were few signs on the ground that this was even possible. In the past, I warned gravely that the first scenario was our default future unless something changed radically. Fascism creeps; and one of its hallmarks is that by the time you realize you're in it, it's too late to do anything about it. The legislative agendas being pursued in statehouses all over the country -- not to mention the stated willingness of congressional Tea Partiers to crash the American economy, tear up constitutional protections, enable theocracy, and bring our government to a standstill -- were clear warnings that our country was in the hands of radical revolutionaries who will stop at nothing, up to and including destroying the country, to get their way. More ominously: a political movement that's willing to take power through terrorist violence -- which the far right threatens constantly, and delivers on often enough for us to take that threat seriously -- doesn't need anything remotely like a majority to take over a country. When you're willing to use force, democracy becomes irrelevant. In the dark hours of 2010, it was hard to even imagine that the second scenario was possible. Americans were apathetic, disengaged and resigned. Everybody saw where things were going, but it was like watching a train wreck -- that slow-motion horror in your head, the disbelief, the sense that nobody can hear you screaming, and the sickening knowledge that there's nothing you can do to stop what you know is coming.

Pulling Ahead Now, from the vantage point of 2012, it's surprising how quickly the view changed. It's way too soon to call a winner in the race, but as it stands now, the second scenario has pulled into the more likely position, and the possibility of a fascist America is starting to fade back. The difference is the same simple signal I was hoping to see back when I started tracking this in 2006. Finally, after years of impotence, average Americans have done the one thing that will make all the difference: they woke up and got pissed. Wisconsin was the first sign. Then came Occupy. Now, this spring, it's sprouting up everywhere, to the point where our would-be fascists can't take a step anywhere without getting their feet tangled up by protestors determined to hold them to account. Mind you: our country's future still looks like that slow-motion train wreck. But, even though the train is still moving and the horror is still filling our heads, you can finally hear your own voice screaming. And so can everybody else. There's a gathering sense that even though there's still nothing we can do, we must do something. Standing on the sidelines and watching is no longer an option. We know the time has come to fight for our country's future -- and our own futures as well. This uprising of American decency and vision is the critical difference that switches tracks, and puts us onto an entirely new future. As long as this pushback continues, the fascist future that loomed so large in the front window through the years of Peak Wingnut will continue to belong to the receding past. The Timeline

Read the rest at the link

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8868-fascist-america-have-we-finally-turned-the-corner

52 Comments

52 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Good food for thought. Addresses the current flurry of activity by those who would destroy collective bargaining.

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

What?!? "the current flurry of activity by those who would destroy collective bargaining" is FAR from being the main message here.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No shit? Now how did I miss that?

[-] -3 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Gosh...

I'm just gonna havta go out on a limb and say your Demopublican plant playbook didn't give you the proper guidance here...

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You wanna splain Lucy - why would I have a problem with this article?

OH & BTW - I do not support any party. I support the Constitution of The United States of America.

Excerpt from post:

The last time I visited this subject in 2010, progressives were reaching a point of maximum despair. In 2008, the GOP had taken its most thorough drubbing since the FDR years. But, just two years on, the far right had not only regrouped; it had taken full control of the Republican Party under the resurgent Tea Party banner -- and was getting set to elect some of the country's most extreme political, social and economic Neanderthals. In the process, it was also about to retake Congress, along with control of over half of the state governorships and legislatures.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Eat shit and bark at the moon - rabid one.

[-] -1 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

You just missed the best night to howl at the moon, poser.

I guess your Demopublican plant playbook failed you again.

Damn you, MoveOn!

LOL ;-)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Some how it seems that you have a problem with the above Post. Yet you claim to be:

Jeffersonian Democracy, so named after its leading advocate Thomas Jefferson, is a term used to describe one of two dominant political outlooks and ...


I am thinking that you are a little confused.

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

"Jeffersonian Democracy" has NOTHING to do with today's corporate fascist controlled Democratic Party, and you damn well know that.

The modern-day Democratic Party has no more claim on Jefferson than the modern-day Republican Party does on Lincoln. And I'd bet the farm that if either one of them could step down from Mount Rushmore, they'd take a big shit on the lot of you...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

So you say your a Jeffersonian - but that you are not a democrat.

Huh.

So just what are you then? Can you splaine yourself Lucy?

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Asked and answered.

I'm guessing you were a brain donor, DKAtoday?

If so, I hope the monkey lived...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No you said that you were a Jeffersonian but not a democrat.

I asked if you had an explanation for that - and now you have gone into the old troll bob and weave.

Didn't your handler provide you with any story? ronie?

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Being a "Jeffersonian" has NOTHING to do - or even anything in common - with being a member of the modern day "Democratic Party", you moron. Stop trying to imply otherwise.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Veronica - you replied to yourself to avoid me? All you ever needed to do was to splaine yourself ronnie. Can't you put your stance as a non-democrat Jeffersonian into words?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You have yet to explain your position as a non - democrat Jeffersonian.

I mean don't get your shorts all twisted in a knot. Just splaine your thimkin veron-ica.

Love your use of the bold font BTW - shows such power a determination.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You sure do squirm to avoid splainein your stance veron-ica.


[-] 0 points by veron (4) 36 minutes ago

"Jeffersonian Democracy" has NOTHING to do with today's corporate fascist controlled Democratic Party, and you damn well know that.

The modern-day Democratic Party has no more claim on Jefferson than the modern-day Republican Party does on Lincoln. And I'd bet the farm that if either one of them could step down from Mount Rushmore, they'd take a big shit on the lot of you... ↥twinkle ↧stinkle reply permalink


[-] 0 points by veron (4) 51 minutes ago

I can't tell if you're being stupid, foolish or just naive by asking that question, but I will give you an honest answer:

I am a Jeffersonian.

If you have to ask me now what that means, then maybe you shouldn't be posting here until you have a better grasp of political history. ↥twinkle ↧stinkle reply permalink

[-] -1 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

"You sure do squirm to avoid splainein your stance veron-ica."

MY FINAL REPLY HERE:

“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”--Robert Heinlein

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Again, this sentence makes no sense because "non - democrat Jeffersonian" is meaningless gibberish:

"You have yet to explain your position as a non - democrat Jeffersonian."

Which suggests, IMHO, that DKAtoday doesn't have shit for sense.

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

This sentence makes no sense:

"You have yet to explain your position as a non - democrat Jeffersonian."

Which suggests, IMHO, that DKAtoday doesn't have shit for sense.

[Removed]

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Beautiful article .... and she's exactly right, but of course, the hard part hasn't even begun yet.

[-] -3 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Actually...

The "hard part" for the fascists was completed when they sold the official story line on 9/11 to the American Sheeple. For them, it's pretty much been all downhill since then:

http://amerikanreich.com/2012/01/13/freedom-to-fascism-redux-a-timeline-of-recent-american-history/

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

Blather. the fascists are the members of the current democrat administration.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

I would agree.

[-] -3 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

if you really think that , how are you surviving so close to the peoples republic of berkeley?

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

I'm to the left of the democrats. You are a right wing lunatic? If so we really have nothing to disscuss.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

"the fascists are the members of the current democrat administration."

And the GOP administration that came before them ... and whatever administration might come after them.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

fascism means roman rule for roman people

not much different than nationalism

[Removed]

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Only the thickest of the Sheeple could read BS like what you post here and not split their gut laughing at your ignorant arrogance (or in your case, is it arrogant ignorance?).

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago
[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

You are a complete idiot, "MattLHolck".

"fascism means roman rule for roman people" is a quote that Google attributes to one ass clown only: YOU.

Post it again somewhere, dipshit, and let us make you famous. PLEASE.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

goodbye

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Good Riddance!

[-] 0 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

Are you anti government?

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Its kind of hard not to be...

[-] 0 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

what do you propose in its place?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Governments, like taxes, are a evil necessity. They are needed, but should be kept in check at all costs, due to the power and influence they weld.

[-] 0 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

How would you keep it in check?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The only thing that can is an intelligent, engaged public. Hence our current situation :)

A few rule changes would help, but we cant get those until the masses demand them. The only thing the masses demand are more mcDonalds.

[-] 0 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

every politicans worst enemy is an informed electorate.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Yupper!

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

I can't tell if you're being stupid, foolish or just naive by asking that question, but I will give you an honest answer:

I am a Jeffersonian.

If you have to ask me now what that means, then maybe you shouldn't be posting here until you have a better grasp of political history.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Your a Democrat ?

You seem somewhat conflicted.


[-] 0 points by veron (4) 18 minutes ago

Gosh...

I'm just gonna havta go out on a limb and say your Demopublican plant playbook didn't give you the proper guidance here... ↥twinkle ↧stinkle reply permalink

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

No. I am NOT a Democrat! Neither am I a Republican, nor a third-party mental masturbator.

The modern-day Democratic Party has no more claim on Jefferson than the modern-day Republican Party does on Lincoln. And I'd bet the farm that if either one of them could step down from Mount Rushmore, they'd take a big shit on the lot of you...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No you seem like a troll a blind marcher - supporter of the greedy corrupt white collar criminals that caused the economic meltdown. Who were you before you got banned the last time.

[-] 1 points by veron (4) 0 minutes ago

[-] 0 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

So YOU accuse ME of being a "supporter of the greedy corrupt white collar criminals that caused the economic meltdown"?

Those supporters are called DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS, and you'll never catch me sleeping in the tents of either.

Do you really think you can just make shit like up and post it and everyone will accept it?

Some will. Some won't. But the more bullshit you post, the less will be believed. So bang away!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

So sorry veron-ica. You still haven't splained why you are here and in full attack mode.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

There's a few hard wired Dem and Rep people on here whose baseline for anything is accusations against either Democrats or Republicans.

just like the media wants it. No thinking. just attacks and blind party loyalty.

[-] -2 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

I sadly suspect that is true for the vast majority of the American Sheeple, HCHC. And if I didn't feel an obligation to my grandchildren, I wouldn't be putting everything I have in to trying to save a nation full of ignorant, lazy, cowardly couch potatoes who care more about iPhone Apps and American Idol than the reality outside their window.

[-] -1 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

If you are a jeffersonian that would mean you're in favor of limited govt.

[-] -1 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

It might also mean I like sleeping with Black women (which I do).

Your point?

[-] -1 points by cooperbl (-88) 2 years ago

going by your lack of logic , it could mean that you're an architect , inventor , president and statesman.

[Removed]

[-] -3 points by veron (-39) 2 years ago

Freedom to Fascism Redux: A Timeline of Recent American History:

http://amerikanreich.com/2012/01/13/freedom-to-fascism-redux-a-timeline-of-recent-american-history/