Friday, March 4, 2016

The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism

In this article below Chris Hedges talks about the rise of American fascism. He has written books before on Christian fundamentalism and the rise of fascism but in this new article he describes how a proto-fascism has been developing around Donald Trump. He also describes how middle class intellectuals and neoliberal college professors had thought that it was okay to forget about ordinary Americans by saying that everything should be left to the market.

And this is what the libertarians believe, that the magic market that will create a heaven on Earth while throwing those into the pits of hell anyone who failed. Like how the balloon in the 1960's British TV series, The Prisoner, suffocated those that had fallen out of the line. The meritocracy means people get what they deserve.

I even came across an article today by economists who were saying that the government should not give benefits to poor people because they will spend the money on things will make them worse off in the end, like drugs, alcohol, fast food, or gambling etc. So as Neoliberalism drives more and more people into poverty and turning their lives into misery, but then just make them even poorer still and their lives even more harder. Anyway, these economists had just made assumptions and had disregarded the vast majority of poor people that work really hard and avoid excesses.

The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism

College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity—embodied in politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—succeeded for decades. These elites, many from East Coast Ivy League schools, spoke the language of values—civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class—while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended.

There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower-class whites, rightfully enraged at what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies and political correctness imposed on them by college-educated elites from both political parties: Lower-class whites are embracing an American fascism.

These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate. They want the freedom to use words like “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “chink,” “raghead” and “fag.” They want the freedom to idealize violence and the gun culture. They want the freedom to have enemies, to physically assault Muslims, undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals and anyone who dares criticize their cryptofascism. They want the freedom to celebrate historical movements and figures that the college-educated elites condemn, including the Ku Klux Klan and the Confederacy. They want the freedom to ridicule and dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And they want the freedom to revel in hypermasculinity, racism, sexism and white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state.

From near the end of the article:

There is only one way left to blunt the yearning for fascism coalescing around Trump. It is to build, as fast as possible, movements or parties that declare war on corporate power, engage in sustained acts of civil disobedience and seek to reintegrate the disenfranchised—the “losers”—back into the economy and political life of the country. This movement will never come out of the Democratic Party. If Clinton prevails in the general election Trump may disappear, but the fascist sentiments will expand. Another Trump, perhaps more vile, will be vomited up from the bowels of the decayed political system. We are fighting for our political life.


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_revenge_of_the_lower_classes_and_the_rise_of_american_fascism_20160302


Paradise for some: The Prisoner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6Ffr1U7KMY

31 comments:

MRW said...

Chris Hedges does not understand fascism. He has a pop poli-sci idea of it. What Bush and the neocons did to this country is real fascism. The creation of the EU is a fascist construct. It’s not the uncouth rabble-rousing that Hedges complains about. The hijacking of American society by the neocons is fascism.

Dave Emory has done decades of study on Fascism. He gave a great series of talks on it about 20 years ago--hours long which I actually transcribed--called Why Johnny Can't Identify Il Duce: The Cellular Methodology of Fascism.
https://archive.org/details/Misc_Archives_61_Why_Johnny_Cant_Identify_Il_Duce_The_Cellular_Methodology_of_Fascism

Hedges is just denigrating behavior he finds socially unacceptable from his perch among the intellectual elite, delineating bad words and unacceptable thoughts and behavior, from his pov.

Don’t get sucked in by his definition. The rise of anger is not because a bunch of blacks woke up one day and decided to say enough is enough and revolted willy-nilly, or because people working two or three jobs to keep the wolves at bay from their kids are jealous of people who make money. TPTB allowed local law enforcement to be trained by military forces outside this country, which would be legally unacceptable here, and return to treat their fellow Americans as The Other. How these actualities grew over time is what Hedges calls fascism, but the real fascism is the police state created in service to the elites--or Israel’s security economy--in the first place.

MRW said...

The Patriot Act is a fascist act. The 15-year surveillance and fear culture is fascism. The spectacle of the neocons trying to engineer Trump out of the way in spite of his popularity is fascism. Using words like “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “chink,” “raghead” and “fag” is not fascism.

MRW said...

Political correctness is fascistic.

Matt Franko said...

MRW good points...

Seems to be more elemental than the simple behaviors that Hedges points out...

Tom Hickey said...

Benito Mussolini, https://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/mussolini-fascism.asp, 1932

MRW said...

From the Mussolini link: And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society.... Yeah, can’t have the hoi polloi speak up and demand their part of the pie, or freedom. So first, we brutalize them for their thoughts and words because they don’t measure up. They’re vulgar. Uppity fucks.

Mitterand was a clandestine fascist. He was the guy who pushed through the Euro (designed by Fran├žois Perreux in 1942) and the European Monetary Union (EMU), and created a “supra-gold standard” in the Euro, designed specifically to impoverish the southern and eastern European countries, according to Alain Parguez at the MMT conference in Rimini Italy, Feb 2012. Emory confirms this in these 1994 talks, 18 years before. There are also French history books that came out in 2003 and thereabouts--Parguez sent me the names, I read French--but they weren’t translated in English. One of them is called “Hitler’s New Europe,” ["L'Europe nouvelle de Hitler : Une illusion des intellectuels de la France de Vichy] by Bernard Bruneteau.

MRW said...

Emory describes how NATO and P2 (Gladio) in Italy were fascist constructs. He reads from history books, articles, and newspaper reports. Jesus, he’s thorough.

If any of you will recall, Michael Ledeen (and I think Richard Perle tangentially) was a member of P2 in Italy in the early Aughts while they were engineering the phony evidence for Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction with the Nigerian yellowcake stories.

Bob said...

He talks about political correctness, then proceeds to list some feminist talking points.

Calgacus said...

Hedges goes from: They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies and political correctness imposed on them by college-educated elites from both political parties:

Good for them!

To this unwarranted conclusion:

Lower-class whites are embracing an American fascism. These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate.

which displays the kind of arrogance from the liberal "intellectual elite" that turns this part of the electorate off and would turn anybody off.

Hedges says that the motivation that he just identified is not the cause of Trump's popularity. No, these (lesser?) people are just looking for an outlet for their hate. "Hate" is a better description of this supercilious stereotyping than mere support for Trump, much of whose program rationally appeals to his supporters.

MRW said...

@Calgacus,

He’s got it all ass-backwards. These lower-class whites aren't embracing an American fascism; they’re rejecting it.

Ignacio said...

"The Patriot Act is a fascist act."

Yeap, that's when my alarms ticked off and told me that the american elites had gone full fascist.

Neocons are basically a modern version of more tamed fascism, and they have it all, all components of fascism are present in the duo-war-party in Washington or in the governing crocks in Brussels and Frankfurt.

The Rombach Report said...

"The Patriot Act is a fascist act. The 15-year surveillance and fear culture is fascism." "Political correctness is fascistic."

MRW - You nailed it.

TofuNFiatRGood4U said...

MRW,

Emory confirms this in these 1994 talks, 18 years before

The post suggests link(s) should be present (or am not reading you correctly?)

John said...

Let's calm down! The US isn't fascist and neither is the EU. Both are nowhere close to being fascist. There are very many thoroughly undesirable things happening, but Dubya, Obama, Tusk, Barrosso aren't secret fascists. They're rightwing authoritarian neoliberals and warmongers.

Fascism is on the horizon, but it's a distant horizon and there's much that can be done to stop it, reverse it, and build a better world. I greatly admire Chris Hedges and he's usually a very sober analyst, but he's overegged the pudding here.

MRW said...

@TofuNFiatRGood4U,

A link?

Scroll up to the first post at March 4, 2016 at 5:44 PM. I give it there.

Ben Johannson said...

Hedges' description of fascism is indistinguishable from Old Order conservatism: the establishment of one's social superiority by scapegoating and moral exclusion of other groups. This is why fascism is best thought of as conservatism run-amok, taken to the level of a state-religion without the overt spirituality of a church. Centralization of political control, restriction on freedom of assembly, exaltation of the powerful over the powerless; from conservatism to fascism is a difference of degree.

The Rombach Report said...

"This is why fascism is best thought of as conservatism run-amok"

It's not that black and white. Mussolini came out of the Italian Socialist Party. Conservatives in the Spanish Civil War backed Franco in opposition to the democratic, left-leaning Second Spanish Republic. And of course, NAZI was an acronym for National Socialism. There was a left and right wing of the Nazi Party. The Strasser Brothers appeared to have a foot each in both the left and right wings of the Nazi Party, being both anti-communist and anti-capitalist.

Bob said...

It's not left or right. It's authoritarianism disguised as a solution to a country's problems. Why even use the term fascism, which has a historical context? Let's identify people who are alive today and possess authoritarian views.

Matt Franko said...

Well I possess authoritarian views but I would consider myself to the right of fascism...

Fascists (i guess we're talking about the historic political parties in Europe?) were manifestly corrupt... they were all metal-zombies (there are reports that the Nazis would dig the gold out of the teeth of the Jews they murdered, etc...)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_gold

If you believe that a sovereign govt has the authority to issue state currency (ie "debt free money") imo that puts you TO THE RIGHT of mere Fascism which all previous forms of were corrupt...

Nebris said...

The US isn't fascist and neither is the EU.

Check through Britt's "Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism" and then tell me that.
http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm

Bob said...

Matt,

Gold is not useful during wartime?
Maybe they were saving it for use on sculptures depicting their triumph over the untermensch.

John said...

Matt: "Well I possess authoritarian views but I would consider myself to the right of fascism..."

What's to the right of fascism, if you don't mind me asking? And what is it that fascism is incapable of achieving (other than winning a war and then exterminations of undesirables) but would be achievable under something even more rightwing?

The Bush administration must have been a real disappointment: some civil liberties survived and no disappearances of undesirables. But don't be disheartened! It's only a matter of time before Emperor Limbaugh/Palin/Coulter/Bachmann/Beck/Hannity makes an appearance.

The Rombach Report said...

"Fascists ... they were all metal-zombies (there are reports that the Nazis would dig the gold out of the teeth of the Jews they murdered, etc...)"

Matt - The rise Hitler after his election in 1933 was marked by 8-10% GDP growth for the next five years with very low inflation, which was not financed with gold, but with money issuance via creation of Mefo Bills to fuel rearmament. Mefo Bills were introduced by Hjalmar Schacht, Reichsbank President, 1933-1939.

Ben Johannson said...

The National Socialists were purged of socialists and communists by the time Hitler and his minions took control of the party. They kept the name as a marketing ploy. Mussolini also conducted purges of the left.

MRW said...

@ The Rombach Report

"marked by 8-10% GDP growth for the next five years with very low inflation, which was not financed with gold, but with money issuance via creation of Mefo Bills to fuel rearmament. . . ."

Yup, and pay for the autobahn. ;-) Hjalmar Schacht was the economic genius who pulled Germany out of its despair after the 1923 hyperinflation. Not only did he not use gold, but the secret to his success was refusing to make any Versailles reparation payments--which had to be paid in gold--to all the countries Germany had to pay. The reparations were killing the country by 1930. Schacht had been saying since 1924 that Germany shouldn’t pay them until it could afford them; it would bankrupt the country. That’s why Hitler chose him in 1933. Schacht’s full name is a kick: Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht.

BTW, In October of 2010 or 2011, TIME Magazine had a small tombstone in the front of the publication saying that Germany had finally finished making the last of its Versailles reparation payments to private individuals (!) in the USA. I found that fascinating. But no explanation. Wish I hadn’t ripped it out. Don’t know were it is now.

=========================================

@Matt,

"(there are reports that the Nazis would dig the gold out of the teeth of the Jews they murdered, etc...)"
Yehuda Bauer, director of the Holocaust Museum in Israel, debunked that along with the human skin lampshade and soap made of Jewish fat stories around 1990. Bauer came out swinging about myths that he felt demeaned the holocaust. But sites persist claiming that, especially on Wikipedia. (The Ministry of Information in Israel under settler, right-winger, and former Brooklynite Naftali Bennett started the program to pay people to edit Wikipedia. The Guardian story about it has been wiped, but it’s in the comments here under a youtube explaining the program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIYhE-hei2Y.)

nivekvb said...

My PC is broken at the moment so I put the article together on my Windows tablet. I used Google Chrome this time because Windows Edge takes all the paragraphs out and joins everything together. But after I posted the article using Google Chrome I found out that the links didn't work. I shall look into it.

Matt Franko said...

John,

Maybe like this: A fascist would advocate radar speed traps while to the right a fascism would not allow the sale of vehicles capable of operating over 75mph... Or a speed control network that transmitted local max mph to the vehicles ...

I hate to break the news to you but if you think a govt possesses authority to issue currency directly that puts you to the right of fascism on the authority scale.... Get over it...

John said...

Matt: "I hate to break the news to you but if you think a govt possesses authority to issue currency directly that puts you to the right of fascism on the authority scale.... Get over it..."

Get over what? The fact that governments possess the authority to issue currency, or that accepting this historical fact puts you to the "right of fascism"? Clearly, these are two different issues, unless we accept your definition.

Historically, money is associated with the power of the state. According to your definition, that would therefore mean every state in history is to the "right of fascism" (they've all understood that they have the power to issue currency), but this just isn't true. Has there ever been a country that didn't understand that it could issue currency? What distinction can then be made between fascism and non-fascism?

Moreover, anyone who accepts the historical and current political reality (governments possess the authority to issue currency) puts them to the"right of fascism", is just as unhelpful in making a distinction between those who are and aren't fascists. An endogenous money student who was drafted into the Waffen SS would have been most confused at his political orientation.

The speed limit analogy doesn't help matters. How about alcohol limits? Should there be a chip installed into people's bodies to detect the alcohol or drug content in their blood? If detected or over a certain legal limit, law enforcement will be contacted. Or how about police cameras in people's homes wired up to the local police station so they can monitor for domestic abuse and/or child abuse? Where does it end?

Do yourselves a favour, defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. As imperfect as they are, they're still the finest words on government put to paper and worth fighting for.

Matt Franko said...

" (they've all understood that they have the power to issue currency)"

Are you insane????

Matt Franko said...

John,

Moron.... here:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/05/23/obama_were_out_of_money.html

Sober up or put down the bong...

John said...

Matt,

That's what he tells people, not what he believes, a very crucial distinction. Obama understands full well that the Fed can create money. What were the bailouts and all the other extraordinary monetary policy all about? Did Obama ask where the money came from? No, he understood that the magic man Ben Bernanke at the Fed would obey orders and create whatever amount was necessary.

Obama and the like will "print money" if the banks tell him to; Obama and the like will suddenly turn into hardcore Austrians when they hear the screams of starving children in the projects and the despair of the unemployed in hollowed out cities around America. It's not that what politicians say isn't important. It's that what they do is infinitely more important.