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Peace News
Friday, 11 November 2005 02:57

PEJ News - F.H. Knelman, Ph.D. - We have coined a term ?soft fascism? to describe the United States under the presidency of George W. Bush. The fascism of Italy, under Mussolini ,and Germany, under Hitler, is best expressed by Mussolini himself, ?Everything in the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state?, (not a bad definition of America). This dimmed into a passive citizenry, committing them into hysterical flag-waving supporters of the system. 


F.H. Knelman, Ph.D.

PEJ News
November 11, 2005

 Fascism became a religion and its leaders super High Priests. Essentially the voice of the people became the voice of the leader. Reason is not tolerated and is suspect as treason, according to the dominant doctrine. The nation?s identity becomes defined by the nation?s enemies. War became a perpetual way of life. America?s ?soft fascism? is also wedded to its extreme materialism, the worship of acquisition and purchase. The swastika has been hidden behind the American flag, the major national theme, ?America Uber Alle?. And Mussolini?s definition applies to America.

Much like Hitler?s Nazi Germany, the U.S. exhibits an orgy of nationalism with a plethora of flags and the common pride of claiming to be Number One in the world. But beyond the national, the U.S. has asserted its dominion over the entire earth, supported by the most powerful military force in the world. The empires of the past - Pax Romana and Pax Britannia, pale in comparison to Pax Americana. The U.S. has flaunted its power by violating international law, the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Convention and the entire complex of nuclear weapons control and elimination regimes, as well as other international bodies, such as the WTO. It has attempted with some success to coopt its neighbour to the north, unfortunately at times an accommodation welcomed by Canadian governments.

The U.S. Patriot Act, a predictable title, passed on October 26, 2001, threatens virtually the entire range of constitutional rights. Among these are the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, i.e. freedom of religion, speech, assembly and press, ?No person to be deprived of life, liberty or prosperity without due process of law; right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury; to be informed of the facts of the accusation; to confront witnesses and have the assistance of counsel; no excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishment shall be imposed and all citizens and non-citizens in the U.S. are entitled to due process and the equal protection of the laws. In effect, the U.S. has abandoned all the established rules of democratic practice. There is virtually a total invasion of privacy using clandestine methods. In fact, Bush admitted to dismissing ?the principles of law and rules of evidence? that characterize America?s system of justice (William Safire, New York Times, November 15, 2001).

But beyond the above, the U.S. under George W. Bush, like Germany under Hitler, has legitimized the widespread use of torture. Bush formally withdrew from the U.N.?s International Criminal Court on May 6, 2002. He also attacked the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996 which forbids the torture.of prisoners. Torture has been normalized. Abu Ghraib has become the norm (see William Pfaff, ?What We?ve Lost: George W. Bush and the Price of Torture?, (Harpers Magazine, November, 2005, pp. 50-86). The similarity to the fascist states of Italy and Germany is inescapable.

Yet the U.S. is generally identified as a democratic state. There are millions of Americans who are opposed to the Bush regime. There are many eloquent and famous dissenters. This is the essence of our term ?soft fascism?. The national and international record of the Bush administration represents an extreme right-wing ideology indifferent to whether his polls are up or down.

The U.S. does not have to use the instruments of fascism - mass arrests, death camps etc. to obtain the blind obedience of its citizens. The power of national pride, to the point of constantly claiming their preeminence, creates a social cohesion at the mercy of government. The mainstream media is an important accomplice in the government?s arsenal of propaganda. The most powerful tool of America?s soft fascism is a large core of brain-washed population supported, of course, by an accommodating religion. With the alliance of Big Business they need no overt acts of mass violence to practice their soft fascism. Also aiding them is a weak opposition represented by the Democrats. They, of course, are waiting for the mid-term House and Senate elections but even then their policies remain clouded in uncertainty. Above all, Pax Americana has the military power to impose its will on the entire world and has set out on a path to accomplish this.

A neoCon revolution took control of the White House with a puppet president whose strings they pulled at will. The Gang of Four - Rove, Bolton, Libby and Wolfowitz, were the core. Wolfowitz, who had seniority, was rewarded by being given the position of head of the World Bank. Bolton became the U.S.?s UN representative, where he recently sabotaged the conference on UN Reform. Originally it was Bush who declared the UN as irrelevant. Libby was the designated hit man for revenge against Ambassador Wilson, by disclosing that Wilson?s wife was a covert CIA agent. Wilson was being punished because he had denied that Iraq was getting plutonium from Niger and had weapons of mass destruction. The neoCons hoped his wife would be assassinated as punishment for his criticism. But behind the Gang of Four, there was a group of right-wing academics who prepared the agenda adopted by the NeoCons in the Bush administration (see John Bellamy Foster, ?Naked Imperialism: America?s Pursuit of Global Domination?, Monthly Review Press, Feb. 2, 2002.

Despite the above picture of America, there is the contradictory evidence of a large residue of democratic ideas. This is now manifest in the polls which show that the majority of Americans disapprove of George Bush and his administration and are opposed to the war in Iraq. All of this is part of the ?soft? fascism. The original authors of the neoCon revolution of America, identified in part above, were a group of neoCon scholars. Many of them eventually became part of the Bush administration. They make the dominant policies that Bush follows slavishly and which incorporate simplified versions of their more sophisticated expression of global dominance.

The Pentagon has now released the summary of a top secret document which illustrates the U.S. agenda for global military domination. The Wall Street Journal provides some insight to this new policy. At its heart the document is driven by the belief that the U.S. is engaged in a continuous global struggle that extends beyond specific backgrounds such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The vision is for a military beyond preemptive to proactive, focusing on changes in the entire world and giving greater prominence to countries in which the U.S. is not at war (The Wall Street Journal, 11 March, 2005). This new document is a blueprint for global dominion and goes far beyond the earlier policy documents, i.e. Program for a New American Century (PNAC) or Rebuilding American Defenses, which we have analyzed in the past. (?A Declaration of War?, by Phyllis Barnes, tompaine.com, Sept. 1, 2005.

Finally, still further evidence of the validity of our term ?soft fascism? is that the U.S. has the worst social indicators of any country in the western industrialized world. In fact Cuba has health indicators superior to those of the U.S. Murder and obesity are very widespread. It is also a partly self-disenfranchised society. And, if anything more shocking, a study by Brandeis University (2005-10-29) has discovered that hunger in America has risen by 43% over the past five years (centeronhunger.org). This is yet another gift of George W. Bush to his people. Soft fascism goes beyond global imperialism in the many ways we have illustrated in this article.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 November 2005 02:57

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