Alex carries himself away to la la reich

By Owen Paine on Saturday May 19, 2012 04:19 PM

"if there’s any nation in the world that is well on the way to meriting
the admittedly vague label of “fascist,” surely it’s the United States.......
We live in a fascist country"

alex ? that you ?

you're that desperate . ?

so desperate for another 15 minutes of bad boy spot light
you pull this old polecat out of your sack and do
the libertarian equivalent of a jerry lewis hebephrenic jig

i mean really dear one ...climate change denial is one thing
mocking castro even ...but now you're clacking the cow bell of cow bells

that vague shape shifter of an earth final menace ...

rampant yankee doodle FASCISM

Comments (25)

Back in my college Yippie days in the late '70s, as I watched the incoming Born-Agains and Reaganoids seizing power, "fascist" was a word I threw around with mad abandon.

By the time I'd hit thirty, though, I'd calmed down a bit, as I remembered that I wouldn't be getting away with anywhere near as much I could as an artist and activist were the US truly fascist, though, granted, the US was becoming undeniably and uncomfortably authoritarian.

The events of the past ten years or so, however, pretty much convinced me that, yeah, the US is becoming pretty much undeniably fascist. I may be still getting away with metaphorical murder as an artist and activist, but I could still see the signs of emerging fascism and totalitarianism everywhere in the course of my work with the antiglob and antiwar mobilizations and with Indymedia. I knew for sure five or six years ago that I wasn't employing excess hyperbole by terming the US "fascist" when I heard my wife -- who, compared to me, is practically a Republican -- also characterizing the US's direction as fascistic.

Still, what bugs me about Cockburn's commentary isn't that he's flinging the term "fascist" around; it's the whole day-late-dollar-short feeling of it. After the past decade's turns of events, Cockburn suddenly wakes up and realizes the US has turned fascistic, and all I can think is "no shit, Sherlock!"

Shame, really, because I really do dig Counterpunch.

While I share Mike F's view that the US is basically a fascist state, I wouldn't be surprised to find that Mr. Cockburn's characterization of the US being as such is primarily a function of his concern over a declining readership and revenue stream.

I used to be a devoted reader of his website. Now, if it's alternative commentary that I want to read his is the last place I go looking for it.


mike a tropical depression is not a hurricane

and fascism is not a reduction in civil liberties

its an explicit regime change
not creeping anti liberalism

despite certain parallels
to the onset of mussolini
the new deal phase one with its NRA
wasn't fascism on the installment plan

this isn't incrementalized reich and roll time
here in the global hegemon

that we call this tightening by the state
"fascism "
the horrors that came
"the real thing "


huey long was called a fascist

juan peron

george wallace


all blast-able over statements

crying wolf crying fire

my rule:

never cry fascism metaphorically

save that lebel for the real thing

take not fascism's name
in vain

that fascist organizations exist
in a nation
in itself
suggests nothing

polyp or malignant tumor

regime change is required
fascism to be itself requires state power

don't confuse the power of the state
to squeeze the people's liberties
oppress minorities
disable unions
censor the press

with fascism

the global hegemonic nation state
will never "go fascist"
it doesn't need to
that state is already
where the fascist state wants to go

Well the US is certainly corporatist which is a major component of fascism but we don't seem to have the whole jackboot in the face thing going yet. I'd agree with OP that such brutal tactics clearly aren't needed in order for the corporatists to maintain control. They have much finer methods that are more effective and let the people maintain the illusion of "freedom" through sham elections.

Sometimes though it can "feel" like fascism, especially if you're a victim of the drug war.

"Well the US is certainly corporatist which is a major component of fascism but we don't seem to have the whole jackboot in the face thing going yet."

Hey, even Fascism has its learning curve. Do we really expect it to "come back" (like it went anywhere) with a funny mustache and a rubber truncheon? The jackboot is a Birkenstock now and the Nuevo Nazties want to "help" you "grow"; most of the blood is pretty far offstage. But the definitions of blood and murder have nothing to do with distance, right? It's even bloody murder when it happens far far far away! Very cleverly, you see, the Nuevo Nazties turned most of the electorate a little fascist before getting down to business, so "we" don't even consider the habitual invasion of sovereign nations and the executions of their leaders and many of their civilians as "jackboot" material!

So the question in question is, in fact: what would *Fascists* consider Fascist? And do we really want to know...?


Robert Paxton came up with a useful model of "stages of Fascism":

The right questions to ask of today's neo- or protofascism are those appropriate for the second and third stages of the fascist cycle. Are they becoming rooted as parties that represent major interests and feelings and wield major influence on the political scene? Is the economic or constitutional system in a state of blockage apparently insoluble by existing authorities? Is a rapid political mobilization threatening to escape the control of traditional elites, to the point where they would be tempted to look for tough helpers in order to stay in charge?

Across Europe many previously pariah Neonazi groupsicles have successfully rebranded themselves and are now vital members of coalition governments. The "Party for Freedom" forced new elections in Netherlands because of disagreements over budget cuts.



i don't even think hungary can go fascist
let alone morte amigo

apropos yankee dom:

". Are they becoming rooted as parties that represent major interests and feelings and wield major influence on the political scene?"


" Is the economic or constitutional system in a state of blockage apparently insoluble by existing authorities?"

but the MSM has fun pretending so

its good for capitaliswm
for liberals to ridicule the liberal state

" Is a rapid political mobilization threatening to escape the control of traditional elites, to the point where they would be tempted to look for tough helpers in order to stay in charge?"

nope the tea baggers and ..alas OWS
represent spectacle extreme beasts
so far way short on sharp teeth


Mike, I myself used to call the religious right types "fascist" until I noticed that they never really got around to setting up a "Republic of Gilead" style theocratic dictatorship whenever they got into power (in fact, Internet pornography exploded under Dubya). This is because most of the Bible thumpers really worship Mammon, of course.

I do think the "fascist" label more accurately applies to people like pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Michael Bloomberg, though.

Owen's objection to fascism assumes a fixed type. This seems to contradict his core philosophy.

Fascism also evolves, as was noted above. One would expect a dialecticaliologist to concede that point.

...and the Germans, Austrians, collaborating French and Poles within the Nazi states and protectorates didn't experience it as a distancing abnormality. They didn't really recognize it as some sort of abomination. Because it was within the framework of Westphalia. It conformed to the beliefs in force: nations, balance of power, exchange, race and expansion.

Would most American citizens, as good Americans, really recognize or admit their own norm is a form of abominable fascism? I doubt it.


from the perspective of its countless victims, domestic and international, amerika has always been fascist.

to pretend and posture otherwise is lying plain and simple (and it's an odious lie):

"Some of us are old enough to remember when we condemned the communists for their 'slave societies,' believing that our own slavery was somehow an aberration instead of the absolute prerequisite to establish today’s American way of life. Our system’s continued success still requires these critical factors. We still have slaves but now we don’t have to see them. They toil on plantations, mines and factories hidden away in far continents, victims of centuries of western plunder, today camouflaged as 'globalism.' We employ terms like 'neo-colonialism' but pretend this term does not apply to us. What else was Cuba before Castro but an American satrapy? What else South Vietnam, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Iran before 1979, Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and many others? Why else has the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan but to try to secure the world’s remaining second largest deposit of oil and to acquire oil and natural gas from Central Asia in the very backyards of our rivals China and Russia? As Edward Said asked, 'if the principal product of Iraq were broccoli would the U.S. be in Iraq?'

"Victims of our wars are dismissed under the Orwellian rubric of 'collateral damage' committed accidently in the 'fog of war.' While our government now goes to some lengths to ensure that the worst of such crimes are committed by proxies wherever possible, when all else fails we send in our own armed forces. As reports from Iraq and now Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia show daily, our pilotless predators wreak a terrible slaughter on civilians. Our Army and Marine Corps do not exist to protect and defend our shores but to enter other nations and force them to our will.

"We Americans hide from such uncomfortable facts largely by ignoring them, believing the lies we are told, or by fantasizing that we are a new chosen people, or the redeemers of a benighted world. We have constructed a mass delusion that our way of life represents the most advanced civilization in human existence despite the fact that its perpetuation has required the deaths quite literally of many millions as it took shape, the wholesale violation of the very values we claim, and the destruction of the very resources and environment that made the 'American way of life' possible in the first place.

"Any trust in this system is really a kind of fundamentalism; many want to believe that all of this was ordered on high, perhaps encoded in our genes at the very dawn of humanity, its inevitability impressed in the Book of Time.

"As in all fundamentalist faiths we have created a set of myths about why we go to war and these myths center on the falsehood that we do so to protect and defend noble values, and principles, and our superior way of life; never for the reasons others wage war, such as lebensraum, or to seize resources, or to prevent others from exercising their ‘right’ to self-determination should that impede our 'interests.' "
- Paul Atwood, High Noon for the Imperium: American Empire and the Future

The Creator:

We-ell, fascism isn't a brandname; you can't say "this guy hasn't ticked all the boxes so we can't let him into our club".

In this instance it's a bit more like a warning. And, probably, a warning based on the Obama experience that the Bush experience wasn't an anomaly (though the Clinton I experience should have revealed that). I'd say when you start writing political murder and detention without trial into your peacetime rulebook, you're starting to earn the old black shirt a bit. (Of course, it helps when youre killing and jailing tens of thousands; that really clears the controversial air.)

I grant you, a fair bit of Counterpunch is wordy junk. Much of it is still worth looking at, tho'.


Great text EXCEPT for the kind of Counter Punch nonsense (supporting the mainstream narrative while attacking it) that almost always pops up in these otherwise-right-on screeds:

"Consider Peak Oil. A concerned geologist at Columbia named Hubbert began to worry about how long oil would last and he predicted that American production would peak about 1973. He was correct. Since 1859 the US has used half of its oil and now the other half will be consumed in the next 50 years, though it will undoubtedly be so expensive well before that many will have to choose between heat and food. He also predicted global oil production to peak about now and most analysts agree that his prediction is correct."

The inflated price of oil is based on the carefully-crafted illusion of its scarcity. The problem being that the "conspiracy" huckster-mogul at that "infowar" site has tainted the compelling, scholarly evidence against "peak oil" with his off-putting carnival act.


The term "fascism" has come to mean, and especially to evoke, very specific things.
Looking at the defense of its use, most of it is of the form "look up the 'real' meaning of the term, and you'll see that we're headed there".

It's like parading with a sign that says "fight the fascist state! (look up the definition, and make sure you follow all the links)".
Even if you're right you're wrong.

Brian M:

So, Mr. must believe in a cornucopian view of oil. Oil in never endintg supply if only the evil capitalists would just get out of the way then a glorious People's Five Year Plan for production would lead to unending supplies of the precious lifeblood of industrial civilization? Really?

No, Brian, nothing so benign or bounteous. I merely believe (from what I've read, just as your beliefs on the matter are based on what you've read/heard/seen on TV) that oil formation is a geo-chemical ("abiotic") process and a negligible amount is made from dead dinosaurs. I'm no fan of internal combustion, in any case (though spontaneous human combustion sounds pretty cool)... I'd love to see you driving to your daily indoctrination center in a wind-powered land galleon!

Of some interest (re: "peak oil"):

and info on the article's author:

(jaunty retort pending, Brian... my comment had links in it and is in moderation limbo just now)

Su Amigo Juan:

monopoly capital
ruined middle class

charismatic [civilian
or military] leader.

of course many finer

“The gigantic growth of National Socialism is an expression of two factors: a deep social crisis, throwing the petty-bourgeois masses off balance, and the lack of a revolutionary party that would be regarded by the masses of the people as an acknowledged revolutionary leader. If the Communist Party is the party of revolutionary hope, then fascism, as a mass movement, is the party of counterrevolutionary despair”

“Fascism has opened up the depths of society for politics. Today, not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside of the twentieth century the tenth or thirteenth. A hundred million people us electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms. The Pope of Rome broadcasts over the radio about the miraculous transformation of water into wine. Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man’s genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery! Despair has raised them to their feet, fascism has given them a ganner.Everything that should have been eliminated from the national organism in the form of cultural excrement in the course of normal development of society has now come gushing out from the throat; capitalist society is puking up the undigested barbarism. Such is the physiology of National Socialism.”
“German fascism, like Italian fascism, raised itself to power on the backs of the petty bourgeoisie, which it turned into a battering ram against the organizations of the working class and the institutions of democracy. But fascism in power is least of all the rule of the petty bourgeoisie. On the contrary, it is the most ruthless dictatorship of monopoly capital.

Leon T.,


note to Steven Augustine:

if your comment is in moderation at this site, it will remain there in perpetuity.

the moderation committee has adjourned sine die.


over one trillion bbls 'in place' in the orinoco heavy oil belt,,,a fair qty in the canadian sands, the us is far from exhausted,,,,,,reorg of supermajor producers, new tech, iraq w/ greater reserves than yes 'peak oil' but not for quite some years.

since roughly 1987, pricing has - centered - in the futures markets, i.e., new york merc [NYMEX], intercontinental exchange [ICE], and over the counter exchanges [OTC]. there are substantial differences, please allow another night.

manipulation? nearly from 'day one', but never more so than post-2000.


Not disputing the possibility of reaching "peak oil" or more realistically a series of peaks and troughs in the future, but the idea that some guy in 1959 using the existing database could somehow accurately predict when that peak would occur 20 to 40 years later is utterly absurd.

Even if all existing reserves of oil were known at that time, and somehow the rise of the BRICs could have been accurately foretold and taken into account, any estimate on oil consumption over those years would still be little more than a wild ass guess. Given that none of these variables were either known or fixed in stone, any estimate of "peak oil" even based on modern data is nothing more than statistical quackery. You would have better luck accurately charting the progress of a single commodity over that same timeframe by throwing darts at a board.

If you can't predict the commodities market accurately even a few weeks out, how successful are you going to be in predicting oil consumption vs oil reserves over decades?

Percival Simpkins:

Two-buck Chuck! We didn't miss you.


"if your comment is in moderation at this site, it will remain there in perpetuity"

As ever, the gesture (and my isolated knowledge of it) will have to stand for the deed!

@Brian (May 21 comment, 5:36)

Re: oil and how it got that way... it appears my moderated comment really is gone for good. Instead of linking, I'll quote (this will only do you any good if you're not particularly attached to the bullshit-n-myths we're force-fed-via-suppository in order to, among other things, facilitate the psychological manipulations that make current oil prices possible):

*****The notion that oil is a 'fossil fuel' was first proposed by Russian scholar Mikhailo Lomonosov in 1757. Lomonosov's rudimentary hypothesis, based on the limited base of scientific knowledge that existed at the time, and on his own simple observations, was that "Rock oil originates as tiny bodies of animals buried in the sediments which, under the influence of increased temperature and pressure acting during an unimaginably long period of time, transform into rock oil."

Two and a half centuries later, Lomonosov's theory remains as it was in 1757 -- an unproved, and almost entirely speculative, hypothesis. Returning once again to the Wall Street Journal, we find that, "Although the world has been drilling for oil for generations, little is known about the nature of the resource or the underground activities that led to its creation." A paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica concerning the origins of oil ends thusly: "In spite of the great amount of scientific research ... there remain many unresolved questions regarding its origins."

Does that not seem a little odd? We are talking here, after all, about a resource that, by all accounts, plays a crucial role in a vast array of human endeavors (by one published account, petroleum is a raw ingredient in some 70,000 manufactured products, including medicines, synthetic fabrics, fertilizers, paints and varnishes, acrylics, plastics, and cosmetics). By many accounts, the very survival of the human race is entirely dependent on the availability of petroleum. And yet we know almost nothing about this most life-sustaining of the earth's resources. And even though, by some shrill accounts, the well is about to run dry, no one seems to be overly concerned with understanding the nature and origins of so-called 'fossil fuels.' We are, rather, content with continuing to embrace an unproved 18th century theory that, if subjected to any sort of logical analysis, seems ludicrous.

On September 26, 1995, the New York Times ran an article headlined "Geochemist Says Oil Fields May Be Refilled Naturally." Penned by Malcolm W. Browne, the piece appeared on page C1.

" Could it be that many of the world's oil fields are refilling themselves at nearly the same rate they are being drained by an energy hungry world? A geochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts ... Dr. Jean K. Whelan ... infers that oil is moving in quite rapid spurts from great depths to reservoirs closer to the surface. Skeptics of Dr. Whelan's hypothesis ... say her explanation remains to be proved ...

Discovered in 1972, an oil reservoir some 6,000 feet beneath Eugene Island 330 [not actually an island, but a patch of sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico] is one of the world's most productive oil sources ... Eugene Island 330 is remarkable for another reason: it's estimated reserves have declined much less than experts had predicted on the basis of its production rate. "It could be," Dr. Whelan said, "that at some sites, particularly where there is a lot of faulting in the rock, a reservoir from which oil is being pumped might be a steady-state system -- one that is replenished by deeper reserves as fast as oil is pumped out" ...

The discovery that oil seepage is continuous and extensive from many ocean vents lying above fault zones has convinced many scientists that oil is making its way up through the faults from much deeper deposits ... A recent report from the Department of Energy Task Force on Strategic Energy Research and Development concluded from the Woods Hole project that "there new data and interpretations strongly suggest that the oil and gas in the Eugene Island field could be treated as a steady-state rather than a fixed resource." The report added, "Preliminary analysis also suggest that similar phenomena may be taking place in other producing areas, including the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and the Alaskan North Slope" ... There is much evidence that deep reserves of hydrocarbon fuels remain to be tapped."

This compelling article raised a number of questions, including: how did all those piles of dinosaur carcasses end up thousands of feet beneath the earth's surface? How do finite reservoirs of dinosaur goo become "steady-state" resources? And how does the fossil fuel theory explain the continuous, spontaneous venting of gas and oil?*****

From an article by Dave McGowan.

Also interesting, from the same article:

*********** There is a close parallel here with the diamond industry. It is a relatively open secret that the diamond market is an artificial one, created by an illusion of scarcity actively cultivated by DeBeers, which has monopolized the diamond industry for generations. As Ernest Oppenheimer of DeBeers said, nearly a century ago, "Common sense tells us that the only way to increase the value of diamonds is to make them scarce -- that is, reduce production." And that is exactly what the company has done for decades now.

There are reportedly nearly one billion diamonds produced every year, and that is only a fraction of what could be produced. Diamonds are not, conventional wisdom to the contrary, a scarce resource, and they are therefore not intrinsically valuable. Without the market manipulation, experts estimate that the true value of diamonds would be roughly $30 per carat.

Interestingly enough, Soviet researchers have noted that diamonds are the result of the same processes that create petroleum: "Statistical thermodynamic analysis has established clearly that hydrocarbon molecules which comprise petroleum require very high pressures for their spontaneous formation, comparable to the pressures required for the same of diamond. In that sense, hydrocarbon molecules are the high-pressure polymorphs of the reduced carbon system as is diamond of elemental carbon." (Emmanuil B. Chekaliuk, 1968)



Sean, I agree, Hubbert pretty much used a sine wave and guessed. Also agree that a
global peak...' will, as you intimate, very likely
never transpire - No one knows total global reserves or the technological future of exploration and production.
other hand, given the financialized price regime, price prediction does not depend on these...., when you study the history, it never did. [Texas Railway Commission and its control of production for example. See 'prorate' and RRC]

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