Saturday, August 08, 2009

America has become a Fascist nation

How bad is the shift in America towards a right-wing authoritarian government? Take a look at this definition of Fascism by Robert Paxton, read the papers or watch TV and you tell me. Fascism is:
"... a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline."
Then he gives some details that I will present as a checklist:
"a form of political behavior marked by
  • obsessive preoccupation with community decline,
  • humiliation or victimhood and
  • by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which
  • a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites,
  • abandons democratic liberties and
  • pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints
  • goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."
Sara Robinson has presented all this and her analysis of how close we actually are to true Fascism. Her analysis is extremely disquieting, if not too surprising as we have watched the Bush/Cheney administration slide rather rapidly in this direction for the last eight years. She bases her analysis on Robert Paxton's five stages of Fascism. They are:
1. The initial creation of fascist movements.
2. Their rooting as parties in a political system.
3. The acquisition of power.
4. The exercise of power.
5. Radicalization or entropy.

Paxton explains what the stages are, and Sara shows how we have achieved each one. If you have time, start with Paxton's explanation. But Sara's analysis is the most focused on today's America which is suffering through the political illness.

Communism in America has always been extremely unlikely. The barriers here against Fascism, however, have always been much less robust. We are now on the very edge of the precipice.

No comments: