Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Would Fascism Look Like in America?

What would fascism look like in the America? First, as an American citizen, you have to divorce yourself from the concept that American is defined by our Democratic Republic. Unlike most countries, the United States has always been defined by our form of Government. Ask an American what it means to be an American, and the most common answer is it means we are free. Ask someone from another country and they would say, it means they were born there. Also, must European countries have seen many different forms of government, represented by their associated political party; example are Socialists, Communists, Fascists, Social Democrats and Greens are typical parties that often reform a European government. Our founding fathers believed in and created a very restrained democracy in favor of personal liberty. Benjamin Franklin defined a democracy as, “Two lions and a goat discussing what's for dinner”. The Constitution set up the nuts and bolts of our form of government. Included and attached as a “Bill of Rights”, are enumerated individual rights, that take president over the majority rule of a Democracy. For fascism to work in America, we would have to give up on the idea of Individual liberty and embrace “Collectivism”. Stephen Grabill and Gregory M. A. Gronbacher define Collectivism as “ the theory and practice that makes some sort of group rather than the individual the fundamental unit of political, social, and economic concern. In theory, collectivists insist that the claims of groups, associations, or the state must normally supersede the claims of individuals”. In other words, you will no longer define yourself as an individual, but part of large collective. Your value will be defined by your contribution to the state.

Now I hear you thinking, “that doesn't sound like a good idea”. Well lets continue on and look at the positive side of fascism. In the Broadway musical 1776, John Dickinson from Pennsylvania remarks, “most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor”. What Dickinson was talking about is the middle class protecting the rights of the rich. But what would happen if the middle class finally figured out that they were never going to get rich. Fascism does not prohibit people from becoming rich, but it does control the level of wealth and weighs it against the health of the state. Fascism does not strictly control the means of production as communism does, as it realizes industry is usually run by people who know what they're doing. So rather than replace all the CEO's and mangers with fascist party members after a company is nationalized, quite often the same managers will be put back in control with fascist overseers. Also, fascism is not “each according to his ability, each according to his needs”. Fascism recognizes and rewards innovation and hard work. Would you be willing to give up personal liberty and free market capitalism for a state controlled job that offerers excellent benefits and rewards hard work? Fascism will not give you the same opportunities to become rich, but it will guarantee, that as long as you benefit the state, you will be taken care of. How would that sound with an unemployment rate of 15-25%.

With fascism you will no longer be a autonomous voting citizen, you will be part od a collective; there will no longer be a Congress, there would be a Board of Directors; there would no longer be a President, there is a CEO, and the CEO will be a very popular guy. He will be charismatic and appeal to your sense of responsibility and national pride.

In 1997 William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote a prophetic book on America called “The Fourth Turning”. The premise of the book is history is cyclical and repeats itself through 4 repeated “Turnings”, every 20-25 years. According to the writers, we are leaving a period of Unraveling and entering a period of Crisis where the rotting foundation of the American society will collapse and a new robust America will emerge. He likens this Crisis period to the America Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression/WWII.

The writers say that sometime in the early 2000’s we will enter the “Millenial Crisis”. This period will be ushered in by what the writers referred to as “Crisis Catalyst”. This crisis, ala 911, will not worsen into a full-fledged catastrophe, “since the nation will find a way to avert the initial danger and stabilize the situation for a while.”…But as the Crisis mood congeals, people will come to the jarring realization, that they have grown helplessly dependent on a teetering edifice of anonymous transactions and paper guarantees. Many Americans won’t know where their savings are, who their employer is, what their pension is, or how their government works. The era will have left the financial world arbitraged and tenticaled: Debtors won’t know who holds their notes, homeowners who owns their mortgages, and shareholders who runs their equities-and visa versa.

At some point, Americas short-term Crisis psychology will catch up to the long-term post-Unraveling fundamentals. This might result in a Great Devaluation, a severe drop in the market price of the most fundamental and real assets. This devaluation could be a short but horrific panic, a free-falling price in the market with no buyers.”…”As assets devalue further, trust will further degenerate, which will cause assets to devalue further, and so on.”

Within 10 years of the catalyst, “a national election will produce a sweeping political realignment, as one faction or coalition capitalizes on a new demand for decisive action.”…”The winners will now have the power to pursue the potent, less incrementalist agenda about which they have long dreamed and against which their adversaries had darkly warned”….”Regardless of it’s ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand public sacrifice. Where leaders had once been inclined to alleviate societal pressures, they will now aggravate them to command the nation’s attention. The regeneracy will be solidly under way.”

In the end the crisis will end in a climax; “Decisive events will occur- events so vast, powerful and unique that they lay beyond today’s wildest hypotheses. These events will inspire great documents and speeches, visions of a new political order being framed. People will discover a hitherto unimagined capacity to fight and die, and to let their children fight and die, for a communal cause. The Spirit of America will return, because there will be no other choice.

I will leave you with another quote from Benjamin Franklin: Those who would trade in their freedom for their protection deserve neither'

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