The Shadows Of Fascism
by thinkforyourself, Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 03:43:20 PM EDT
"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." -- Justice William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court (1939-75)
Why do so many Americans not see this now?
I would suppose many people believe that Fascism is something that happens with a loud crash, all at once, loudly and incidiously catching you in its grip. I would also suppose the majority of Americans also believe that Fascism is something you only see in European countries led by tyrants in jackboots and uniforms. Well, that is wrong on both counts. Fascism has come to America, slowly, quietly, methodically, and at the hands of those who do not wear uniforms, but suits and ties and cry out the loudest about America, apple pie, and "Democracy."
You know who they are too. They are the ones who push nationalism, the corporation over the people, and wear flag lapel pins as if that alone makes you an American. They are the ones who cry the loudest about war, revenge, and years of sacrifice that must be made for the good of all. They are the ones who think that decreeing this to be a "war on terror" gives them the right to take away your freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and expression because they tell you that it is for the better good, all the while talking out of the other side of their faces about the need to not let "the terrorists" take away your freedom.
They are the ones who use tragedy for a political end, who call election fraud and questions about 9.11 "conspiracy theories" and try to shut up those who dare question this government on anything. They are those who use fear as a weapon, wear their false religion on their sleeve to justify their murder and torture, who condone the Patriot Act, the RFID chip, "total information awareness", the NSA spying on innocent Americans, building "detention centers," first amendment zones, spying on groups that promote pacifism, and calling anyone who dares to dissent a traitor. All of this and more is now happening in this country, and yet no one seems to understand that we are now living in a Fascist state, (or are afraid to admit it) because it has been so slow, so subtle, and so quiet.
I have been amazed these past few years at how afraid so many Americans are to say the F word. However, I knew we were living in such a state when the 2000 election was stolen and we as Americans were told to get over it, and the vast majority of Americans did...That absolutely stunned me to be honest, and since then I have lost much faith in the people of this country as a whole because this country is not on a slippery slope any longer, as we have fallen off of it into the abyss with nary a whimper and I don't see many signs of it being countered, nor at this point really believe it will be.
I really wish I didn't feel this way, but reflecting on how Fascism got a hold in other places at other times in the past, I had always wondered how people living in Nazi Germany, Italy, Spain, etc. who were not part of it just embraced Fascism. And now, I am living it right here in America, and it truly frightens me to see the silence, complacency, and fear that prevails not only in our halls of Congress, but out here.
Consider the book, "They Thought They Were Free" by Milton Mayer about Nazi Germany.
Thom Hartmann Review
Read this excerpt:
Among Mayer's stories are some of the most telling aspects of how the Nazis came to take over Germany (and much of Europe). I first quoted them a year ago in a Common Dreams article linked from BuzzFlash titled The Myth of National Victimhood. I noted that Mayer told how one of his friends said:
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security"....
As a friend of Mayer's noted, and Mayer recorded in his book:
"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter. ...
To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it - please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, "regretted," that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these "little measures" that no "patriotic German" could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."
In this conversation, Mayer's friend suggests that he wasn't making an excuse for not resisting the rise of the fascists, but simply pointing out an undisputable reality. This, he suggests, is how fascism will always take over a nation.
"Pastor Niemoller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing: and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something - but then it was too late."
"You see," my colleague went on, "one doesn't see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don't want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' Why not? - Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.
Secrecy, the "Unitary Executive", making people believe all that is done is for their good, circumventing the Constitution and saying it is for security reasons, and assuring the people that they need not know information or cannot know it because it would compromise our security is not Democratic. Bullying dissenters is not Democratic. Using religion as the driving force of political policy is not Democratic. Perpetual war is not Democratic. Controlling the media in order to cover up the truth and use it as a tool of propaganda is not Democratic. Playing on that fear and uncertainty is not Democratic. It is Fascist, and it is about time we get used to saying it.
I truly cannot believe all that has happened in this country and in our names in the last six years has actually taken place. I am sure we could all come up with our own reasons why this is happening. Are Americans on the whole afraid? Lazy? Just don't care? Or do they really want it? Do Americans really want those in this government to just do it all for them so they don't have to worry about anything but what they want to worry about? People too content with their lives will not feel the urgency that should be felt at a time like this. So is that really what this is all about? Selfish contentment? I can't believe that all our Founding Fathers worked to build upon and all that Americans from that day forward have died to preserve will now be handed over to these usurpers because people are too content or afraid to give a damn!
This administration is Fascist. Their enablers then are Fascist. And if we, like the Germans of the thirties continue to be silent about it, we will be Fascists too whether by choice or not. We are standing in the shadows of Fascism. This is not the time to hide in them but to step out from them. How do we do it and why aren't we doing it now? Why is it that it seems we are waiting for the "big one" to hit? Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.