Posts tagged Fascism
Posts tagged Fascism
In head-scratching news of the day:
The Rick Santorum presidential bid isn’t going so well, but it probably didn’t need this: a report from the Italian magazine Oggi, as aggregated by the Daily Beast, giving a visit to some confused and somewhat outraged communists in the old country who don’t really understand what their cousin is doing running a socially conservative campaign for leader of the free world.
Santorum has been open about his family fleeing Mussolini in the past, but Oggi notes that a great deal of their apprehension about fascism came from the fact that they were a well-known group of “red communists to the core.”
Mediaite makes an excellent distinction in their commentary: It’s important to use this kind of information as a means of getting to know a candidate or their colorful family history versus an outright attack. It’s tough to imagine Santorum warmly embracing this side of his family or their immigration story, though. Perhaps he could make an offering in the form of a sweater vest?
This is what I thought of when I read the headline. Turns out it’s pretty much the truth:
In Benton Harbor, a mostly black and poor town with an emergency manager, folks are just waking up to an order the manager issued on May 4 that restricts access to the public waterfront park. Jean Klock Park was deeded to Benton Harbor in 1917 “in perpetuity.” Part of it has been turned into a luxury golf resort, with the help of an economic development group that until recently included the sponsor of the emergency manager law on its board of directors.
Under the new order, first reported by the Michigan Messenger, people will only be able to use the park between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. What’s more, emergency manager Joseph Harris has decreed: “The annual season during which Jean Klock Park is open begins on each May 1 and ends on the following September 30, inclusive.” That would appear to mean that “in perpetuity” could stop in the fall and pick up again in the spring.
Friends of Jean Klock Park say it had been open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. year-round. Park advocate Clellen Bury has posted a letter to Mr. Harris suggesting that the park has been closed off because of preparation for upcoming athletic events, including a Senior PGA tournament next year. The new order violates both the deeding of the park and the city’s lease with the golf resort, the advocate writes. The message includes this: “As my tax dollars are being used to pay for your salary, I would appreciate a full and prompt response to the concerns and points I have raised in this letter.”
But Mr. Harris need answer to no one in Benton Harbor. He has stripped the local elected officials of all but their most ceremonial powers. Benton Harbor is now run by one state-appointed person.
This is not a democracy. This is a fiefdom.
[All emphasis, comments in brackets mine]
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. [Hmmmm….]
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. [No national outcry over torture, or the treatment of Bradley Manning]
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. [Paging Rep. Peter King, Gov. Walker, Gov. Daniels, Gov. Kasich, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, etc…]
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. [Our defense budget is considered a sacred cow, consuming, by FY 2012, $670.6 billon]
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.[Same-sex marriage and abortion are hot election topics for 2012…]
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.[Everyone’s guilty, but Fox is the worst.]
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions. [Republican Jesus is drastically different than biblical Jesus. Just sayin’]
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. [How many politicians, including sitting governors *cough Walker cough* are bowing to the will of the Koch brothers?]
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. [Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, etc…]
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked. [Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, etc… The academic elite aren’t to be praised any longer. The term is now a slur bandied about by adherents to the cult of the amateur.]
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. [DHS says what? PATRIOT Act who?]
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. [Again, with the Koch brothers, the Tea Party…]
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections. [Look up the new bill in New Hampshire to deny voting rights to college students.]
let’s count them, shall we?
Shit, I thought this was the GOP Contract
On To America…