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SueInCa On February - 12 - 2010

A New York Times reporter asked a man the following question, What is a fascist?  How many fascists have we?  How dangerous are they?  The man answered,

The really dangerous American fascist….is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way.  The American fascist would prefer not to use violence.  His method is to poison the channels of public information.  With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.  They claim to be superpatriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.  They demand free enterprise but are the spokesman for monolopy and vested interest.  Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjucation.

The man who answered that question?  Vice President Henry Wallace in 1944.   Dr. James Luther Adams, an ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School who passed on in July 1994, had known this for a long time.  During 1935 and 1936 Dr Adams was working in Germany with the underground anti-Nazi church, also known as the Confessing Church.  Because of his work with the dissidents of that group, he was interrograted by the Gestapo who suggested he return to America, which he did, along with rolls of home movie film he took of the German Christian Church.  He saw in our christian right and our corporate dominance exactly what he saw during those early dark days in Nazi Germany.  He was advising his students as early as 1982 that when they were close to 80 they would all be fighting the Christian fascists.  He also warned his students at that time that intellectual snobbery would blind them to the signs when they came.  At that time, the religious right and their demogagues were in the infancy of their eventual corporate reign.  Today, it is not so far-fetched that they are poised, with the SCOTUS ruling, to set their course for complete dominance in the political arena.

The corporations and the right have been setting the stage for several years for dominance over the middle class.   We have stood by and watched as our manufacturing base has been decimated by jobs sent overseas to places where they can pay pennies on the dollar for labor.  We have watched the Wall Street institutions and the Mortgage industry take this country to the brink.  We watch a Federal Reserve, which is not a government entity, work in secret with trillions of our dollars.  And all the time, the right screams “Less regulation, let free market capitalism work, free market capitalism will right itself”  In other words, do nothing, we like what is happening right now and want to see it to its proper conclusion.  What could that conclusion be?

Is there another “situation” out there that is going to take the American public to the brink, then over?  Many of our fellow countrymen right now are in despair because they cannot find a decent job with fair wages and benefits.  Abandoned by the economy, beleagured by their dissappearing middle class status, their loss of community when forced to leave a foreclosed home, all of these could be the kindling for a mass movement.  In fact these very people are the people who need a friend most and who the religious right is waiting in the wings to lead them to Jesus who may solve all their problems.   Or not, but where will that movement go, will they turn to the people who will say they will make their lives better with Jesus, or will they turn to people who will help them fight their way out of the mess we are in?  We all know that bigotry and resentment are lurking just below the surface, under the right conditions can that be roused to promote a creed that calls for the destruction of democracy?  There are forces out there who are waiting for just the right time and SCOTUS gave them a big shot in the arm with their decision that corporations are people too.

I believe with the right organizational cooperation, this can be flushed and dealt a death blow.

Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world:  Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.  Margaret Mead

Written by SueInCa

I am a soon to be 59 Nana to Anthony who is 11. I live in Benicia CA with my husband and Shih Tsu. I worked in Banking and the Financial Industry for 24 years in Fraud, Risk Management, Account Management, Program Management, Project Management and Customer Service. I was a Fraud Investigator for Credit Card and Merchant Business and investigated internal fraud and responded to Bank robberies. I was also management in most of these positions. Now I am content to find a part time job where I am just a worker bee, no more corporate BS for this gal. I also make jewelry. I can spend hours in a bead shop just touching all the fine baubles. Only another beader would understand that one.

14 Responses so far.

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  1. Chernynkaya says:

    I just found this letter about Citizens United ruling in my inbox (I don’t check it daily--sorry it’s late.)

    The Democratic leadership in Congress just announced its response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the case that struck down limits on independent corporate campaign expenditures.

    In a word: hopeless.

    The package the Democrats are proposing is filled with ideas that either won’t work or that, if they worked, would only invite the Supreme Court to strike again. (For a description of the proposed changes and my reactions to them, click here or scroll to the bottom of this email.)

    Congress had a chance to do something real here, but rather than supporting a bold reform that would make our democracy function better, they failed; they changed nothing. And as a result, our representatives’ dependency on campaign funders — the central corrupting force acting on our government — will continue for another day.

    You know why it happened this way. Members of Congress have every incentive to preserve a system that keeps them in office by keeping their campaign coffers full. So the very same funders who’ve blocked progress on issue after issue for decades have now conspired to block a reform that would have made those other reforms possible.

    What we need to do is show members of Congress that they’re also dependent on another constituency: the voters. We’re following this issue. We know the difference between fake reform and real reform. And come November, we’ll make our decisions based on who had the courage to stand up to the funders, and who tried to sell America a bill of goods while protecting the status quo.

    The Fair Elections Now Act is the reform we need, and we still have the chance to push Congress to pass it. So far, 135 Members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors, but we must continue to urge all of our representatives to support this crucial bill. You can use our simple tool to email your members of Congress and tell them that this issue won’t fly under the radar in 2010:

    http://fixcongressfirst.org/email

    If the Democratic Party wants to lead, then they need to show us they’re ready to lead. And if the Republican Party wants to rise back to power, they need to prove they’d use that power to enact the will of the people.

    Please take action today to make real reform possible.

    — Lawrence Lessig

    P.S. These are the changes the Democratic leadership proposes, and my view about each. As you read these, ask yourself: Will this change reform the fundraising Congress? Will it really make Members of Congress any less dependent on special interests?

    (1) Ban foreign corporations from influencing elections.

    This is a fine idea. Problem is that it is completely unclear how under the Supreme Court’s reasoning this change would be constitutional. The Court said the First Amendment doesn’t care who is trying to exercise the right to speak — that the First Amendment simply limits the government’s power to regulate speech. So how will it find foreigners have less freedom than corporations?

    (2) Stop government contractors or TARP recipients who haven’t repaid from political spending.

    This selective regulation is Supreme Court bait: it wasn’t imposed on TARP recipients when they took the money, and my bet is the Court views the government contractors limitation as too broad.

    (3) Impose new disclosure requirements, so that the ultimate funder is exposed.

    A perfectly fine regulation, but to what effect? Will the disclosure really make Members less dependent on the funders?

    (4) Impose new disclaimers on TV ads.

    Same point as above.

    (5) Require candidates to have reasonable access to air time.

    This is promising and important, though the Court has signaled increasing impatience with this sort of regulation. So again, an uncertain reform of limited effect.

    And this update:

    “The Democrats

  2. Chernynkaya says:

    The corporations and the right have been setting the stage for several years for dominance over the middle class.

    “There was a memo written by Lewis Powell, a corporate lawyer to the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971 in reaction to the new left, saying that big business has got to fight for itself: we’ve got to do messaging; we’ve got to deal with liberals and leftists in academia; we have to challenge the media. And that Powell memo set off a series of fundraising by big corporate forces and big donors. They set up their think tanks; they set up the Heritage Foundation; they mobilized the Christian right.

    And what’s interesting is that that memo to the US Chamber of Commerce

  3. choicelady says:

    We have faced this before in Huey Long and others, but never before have we had such a well-oiled machine. If the American people can use the most recent information -- insurance rates rise 39% -- to begin to see what “free enterprise” is doing to us, maybe there is hope.

    I query how well the Dems will do responding to this. I fear people such as Rahm are all too willing to cater to the corporations as Jimmy Carter did so eagerly in the 1970s. Had he been a Dem instead of a Lite Republican, much of this would not have occurred. But he bought the corporate global world line, and the fact he was on the Trilateral Commission drove him to accept this deterioration of democracy as a good thing. He, not Reagan, set it in motion. So where are the real progressives? Before Obama was elected, every book in my independent bookstore was a critique of the corporate world. Now only about half are while the other half are poorly written and even more poorly conceived justifications of the corporate and global mentality. Where are our supporters of REAL reform? We have to have them continue to write -- what has happened over the past 35 years MUST be stopped.

    The single biggest thing I fear is our own (not the Planet people but the Huff afficionados) elitism. I STILL hear snide comments about farmers in Kansas and Iowa, I STILL hear dismissal of the critical importance of restoring industry and the blue collar jobs it produces, I STILL hear snotty feminists state they care nothing about white males’ and their conditions. We have too many in our ranks who hate the others in our ranks and dismiss them out of hand.

    I see a massively pernicious purportedly LEFT WING academic view that people (fill in the blanks -- Black, Indian, etc.) made their own choices -- had “agency” -- which led to their own repression! The idea that all of life is in our hands -- that we can “reinvent” ourselves, communities, etc. with a wave of the wand -- that plays right into neo-fascism. I kow she’d be horrified, but Oprah does the same as does the book, “The Secret”. It makes each of us utterly responsible for the outcomes of our lives, and failure, poverty, want, etc. are because we did not want and work hard enough to have all our dreams fulfilled. Taken to extremes, it makes the Jews responsible for the Holocaust because they did not “want” freedom from genocide enough. Their fault. Not the perpetrators of unequal, violent power. Next we’ll hear how Muslims have been torturing themselves…

    It blocks the key issue: that standing in front of every individual dream, hope, want lies a structure of power that is primed to say, “NO”! Whatever movies we can make about one man’s success overcoming all odds, there is the reality of the millions who worked just as hard and failed. Failed because there were obstacles over which they could not come because the system of entrenched power did not WANT them to overcome.

    Of course hard work and self discipline are important, but take careful note of how much we are reverting to Social Darwinism -- that only the really “fit” survive -- or deserve to do so.

    We did this 100 years ago during the Gilded Age, and it failed miserably then. Will it fail miserably now? Or will we accommodate the creeping fascism inch by inch until it’s too late? Unlike the situation of the Labor Wars then, post WWII corporate America found ways to accommodate us enough to coopt us well. My only hope is that they have over-reached and impacted enough of us to once again motivate us to act.

    We need the movement we’ve started here at the Planet to challenge at every level the fascists AND their phony liberal supporters. I truly fear the outcomes if we don’t because almost anything can be sold to Americans when they act from fear rather than from strength.

    American cannot become the Brave New World.

    • Marion says:

      I liked your article. I’ve often said that there is just as much arrogance, intolerance and obdurance amongst the Left as amongst the Right. People from the Pacific Northwest seem to be in a world all their own. I’ve known several in internet fora from Oregon, who, in their own way, are just as narrow-minded as the ‘Baggers, but who, in their arrogance, think they’re above all that. It’s these people who are threatening to sulk out the mid-terms or introduce a primary challenge in 2012.

    • SueInCa says:

      ChoiceLady
      Your words point back to the warning Dr.Adams gave his students……..

      “He also warned his students at that time that intellectual snobbery would blind them to the signs when they came”

      While we should never stive for non-intellect, we must also be cognizent and study in depth the things our intellectual minds do not want to believe is true, that this could happen again. And being a snob about it gets us nowhere. Facts, not rhetoric is the answer. This world has proven again and again, history does repeat itself.

      • Marion says:

        Being a snob about it only reinforces us as pejorative elitists.

        One of the worst examples of this is Bill Maher, I have to say. He goes on and on wondering why certain people continue to support Republican policies when they would only benefit from those espoused by the Democrats; but people like this are perceived, by the ‘other side’ as being ugly in their communicative skills.

        I get VERY put off by Ed Schultz. He sounds like a hectoring bully.

        • SueInCa says:

          I agree about both. I have stopped following Maher and Ed pretty much at all. If I see them on something or happen to venture in when my hubby is watching Ed, I don’t kick in the TV but I take alot of what they say with a grain of salt for just the reasons you mention.

  4. PatsyT says:

    Thank you Sue, this is very well put together.
    I hope people can still be open to facts.
    Somehow we have to make facts and reality a GOOD thing again.

    • SueInCa says:

      I know Patsy. I get so irritated with the rightwing machine and their propaganda, the only way I know is to combat it with exposure, continued exposure, over a long period of time.

  5. BigDogMom says:

    Sue wonderful article, when reading V.P. Henry Wallace’s statement, I would have said that this was a current opinion….the first thing that came to me was, they are talking about Glen Beck and Fox News, because that’s what they do, “poison the channels of public information”.

    You are so right to compare this with Germany in 1930 and the beer hall movement that eventually turned into the Nazis.

    We have been brought to the brink in our economy and our country, just as Germany was after WWI, our citizens are scared and fearful. This fear then turns into anger, and groups like the promoters of the Tea Baggers, the Christian Right and Glen Beck’s Patriots are looking to cash in on this anger, just as Hitler did in the 30’s.

    This is the “Perfect Storm” that “The Family” has been waiting for since 1946.

    I have been watching a lot of Glen Beck lately, not out of curiosity, but out of fear of what this man could do,know thine enemy. He has such a massive following, I fear he fancies himself the new Hitler. Which he will deny, because he is only doing this for his “Country” and is a true “Patriot”, Hitler said these same things.

    His new thing is his “100 year Plan for America”, to me it sounds like Hitler’s “1000 year Reich Plan”. He plans to tour the country presenting it and gathering a force to implement it. Little too much like Hitler and the ball hall movement for my liking.

    This man needs to be exposed and discredited, apparently his favorite saying is “Tell a lie long enough and people will begin to believe it”, but what he doesn’t tell his audience is that this quote was stolen from Joseph Goebbels.

    I am going to DIGG this article so that it may be read by others not members of Planet.POV, so that more will understand the threat we have here in our Country with this new SCOTUS ruling, I urge all you to do so too.

    “Fascism will come to America in the name of antifascism.”

    Huey Long

    • SueInCa says:

      Thanks, I knew you would appreciate the article. Hey did you ever pick up the book by Robin Meyers? I’ve got my husband reading it now.

  6. javaz says:

    Excellent, Sue!
    And very timely!

    This also follows Cher’s hate series, in that desperate people might also turn to hate groups.

    Love the quote by Margaret Mead.

    • BigDogMom says:

      Morning javaz, I love the quote too, maybe we can incorporate this into some of our literature? I love using quotes, many go right to the heart of the matter, when your own words fail to come to you.

      Thank you for all this hard work, sorry that I missed last night, started watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics and fell asleep.


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