« What My Inbox Told Me | Main | It's a league game, Smokey »


By Al Schumann on Saturday October 23, 2010 09:23 AM

Yes, fascism. And not just any old fascism either. I'm talking about fascist fascism. The kind that runs over your foot with its Medicare scooter while the Democratic president approves raids on peace groups, while the Democratic congress retroactively legalizes foreclosure fraud, while Democratic military occupations get rebranded and expanded and disemployment becomes officially denied policy.

As bad as that sounds, and I concede it sounds dreadful, there's even more. But let's skip that and just imagine what would happen if Sarah Hitlerpalin were to resign in a petulant tantrum while attempting to manage government business. That's what she did when she was governor of Alaska. It could happen again. John "Adolf" Hitlerboehner could cook liberals in tanning machines... Mitthitler Romneyhimmler might turn Obamacare into Romneycare. Bobbyeichmann Jindalgoering could sign leases for BP to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It goes on. Distant Ocean explains how and why. Consider that before you dismiss the threat of fascism.

Comments (25)


Your snark would work if the Teabaggers were actually a grassroots movement of cranky old racists and a few crackpots in the Republican party.

But there's big money behind them. The Koch brothers are no joke.

So the old question remains, if Clinton/Obama is really giving the right all it wants, why does the right so passionately hate their guts. Why is there so much big money involved in trying to bring them both down?

Are the bros. Koch just crazy racists? Or is there a split in the ruling class?

Al Schumann:

Indeed. If we let the Koch brothers win, they might enact Democratic policies. Like the ones we have now, except they'd be branded Republican.

I'm actually glad you whipped out the Koch brothers. They throw money at everything with a libertarian tinge. It looks self-defeating to me. The Republicans will never support anything with real libertarian substance. But wealth is no guarantee of insight and they wouldn't be the first to be taken for one ride after another by political charlatans.


Well, I was wondering something like this.

When Obama got into office he favored Goldman Sachs over everybody else on Wall Street.

Are there people on Wall Street who got wiped out in 2008 (and by this I mean lost their influence not all their money) who identify what Paulsen did to Lehman Brothers with Obama?

Are there any conflicts between socially liberal people on Wall Street and socially conservative capitalists in the Southwest?

Oh well, I guess I have my answer. You think it's all smoke and mirrors.

...if Clinton/Obama is really giving the right all it wants, why does the right so passionately hate their guts. Why is there so much big money involved in trying to bring them both down?

Because it's part of the goddamn' show, man. Jeez, where've you been for the past thirty-odd years?

They're both slightly different factions of The Party, as I like to call them these days. Maintaining the illusion of two separate institutions is important to The Party. That's why I've been totally rooting for the final collapse of the Donkeycratic faction, because it'd destroy the illusion and people might -- just might -- finally wake the fuck up and realize we've been under one-party rule since the Lord was a corporal.


"The illusion of freedom [in America] will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."

~Frank Zappa


Mike. I can understand your desire to see both major parties collapse but don't you have to deal with the implication of this election.

Both parties have been thoroughly discredited, the Republicans under Bush and now the Democrats under Obama.

But the Republicans have also managed to rebrand themselves as "The Tea Party" without opening up the ballots or the debates to third parties. They've taken that anger at both major parties and used it to reinforce one of them.

I suppose you could say the same thing about what the Democats did in 2008, running on "change" and then bringing in Rubin and Summers.

The more people hate the Republicans and Democrats the stronger they seem to get and the weaker the chance of an alternative. At least in 1992 you had Perot and in 2000 you had Nader.


Or to put it more succinctly:

"Hating both major parties is a feature of the system, not a bug."

Al Schumann:

What's so strange about ungrateful, grasping, insatiable capitalists? The political economy they inhabit and defend is always in crisis mode. They always want more subsidy and state support. They have to have that. They'll go under if they don't get it. When they've gotten what they can from one faction of the political class, they turn to another. You don't fix that catastrophic dynamic by casting your sad little vote towards the faction you dislike least.


Al. Agreed.

But whether or not the elites are split can often determine how much room you have to organize outside of the major political parties.

There was a lot of space back in 2002 and 2003 when the Democrats wanted to use possibility of an invasion of Iraq to damage the Republicans but didn't quite want to come out against it themselves.

That space got smaller in 2005 and 2006 after the Democrats began both to make a show of opposing the occupation of Iraq and at the same time put limits on HOW you could oppose it. And it slammed shut after they took control of Congress in 2006 and they shut down the anti-war movement.

I hope it's the same with the Teabaggers. They have a lot of space now because the Republicans want to rebrand themselves. Hopefully, they'll fade from history after the Republicans take congress this fall and they actually want to start getting things done.

But what happens when abortion remains legal, not all Mexicans have been deported, and there are no concentration camps for Muslims? Do the Teabaggers just go away quietly like "the left" did in 2006?

Is there any significant faction of the ruling class that wants full throttle fascism?

I hope you're right and the answer is "no." But if you're not I'll share my biscuits with you behind the barbed wire.

The missing ingredient for true fascism in this country is large numbers of angry young men. The Tea Partiers and their ilk are a bunch of angry old farts. With a nod to Al I'd say the likelyhood of them taking to the streets in their medicare scooters and overthrowing the government is thin.

The fact is the sympathies of most young people in this country do not lay with the right.

Now that doesn't mean we can't get various forms of what I like to call "soft" authoritarianism. This country is moving rapidly toward a state of affairs seen in many Latin American countries where the elites control all the levers of power, the population is kept in a state of turmoil and constantly on the edge of poverty and the elites use their complete media control to divide the population against each other and maintain control. Also known as a banana republic I believe.

And I do feel like the US is becoming the largest banana republic on the planet.

In this state of affairs there is no need for concentration camps, ovens, mass arrests of political opponents and other forms of fascism. The population is controlled through much finer means obviating the need for such blunt instruments of oppression.

The Tea Party is Reagan Democrats is Change You Can Believe In. It is political marketing within and on behalf of the a particular Brand of the ruling Business Party duo-mono-poly. Nothing more. It is a vehicle for delivering recalcitrant, over-heated but way under-informed targets back to the point of sale.

As to fascism, no society that has the television system we have is ever going fascist. Fascism is too inconvenient and too serious. It means you can't catch American Idol or Entourage or Sunday Night Football.

And besides, the percentage of the population that holds proto-fascist views is 25 percent.

The real scandal, as ever, is the Dimbots, who truly despise their constituents, and clearly prefer to see them rot, if they won't come out for what's "on the table" strongly enough.

Al Schumann:

Drunk Pundit, nice wrap-up. I completely agree.

Al Schumann:
As to fascism, no society that has the television system we have is ever going fascist. Fascism is too inconvenient and too serious.

MD, you nailed that one. And I can't stop laughing, because Sarah Palin has a "reality" show now. Why wear uncomfortable jackboots when Sarah, the barcalounger and the remote are right there?

Mike F. has reminded my of something: My new political party is now under construction, and it will be called the "GTFO!" party. Inspired by my earlier project, the "STFU!" party.

Whenever some local business baron starts whinging about how hard it is for them to stay in Oregon to work* because bawwwww! taxes high wages bawwwww!, my party's sole job will be to show up in their offices the next day carrying large banners with arrows pointing to the door and bellowing, "GTFO!"

Watch for our debut in 2011! Contributions gratefully accepted. Those banners don't come cheap, y'know, especially since I'll be "manufacturing" them on the living room floor; probably using the partially-flattened corpses of various unlucky outdoor-dwelling animals and a handy craigslist-provided cinder block.

*"Work" in these cases as defined by that treacley piece of crap: -Oregon Business- magazine. In which some self-congratulatory (usually) White person burbles on and on about how they've toured the world and just looooove cheap labor the Chinese. Which is why nearly all of their "local" business'es employees reside there. Invariably, they simultaneously tout the wonders of small carbon footprints or some other trendy shit that their business model adheres to about as closely as my figure does with that of Lady Gaga. They like to manufacture useless garbage like quasi-disposable diapers. (There's a part inside the diaper that you supposedly can throw away "responsibly" while the rest is washable and comes in a variety of Feng Shui prints or whatever.)

No Comment:

This discussion of fascism is confounding stylistics with fundamentals.

Thomas Friedman:

As to fascism, no society that has the television system we have is ever going fascist.

No Two Countries with McDonalds Have Ever Gone to War!


"if Clinton/Obama is really giving the right all it wants"
the right ??
as in "The Koch brothers " ??


"socially liberal people on Wall Street"

even if its clearly not
"all smoke and mirrors"

why need we do more then
notice these conradictions within the corporate elite
unless they can be used ??

and how can they be used ??

share the essential class interests
of the jobbled masses eh ??

its up to the collaborators to prove their case

meliorism the dime's difference line
seems worn out to me

seems the symbiosis of the duo
has proven itself
the party of reform has reshaped
the state's role
in two large sectors
health and finance

now the reaction party
can have it's turn

and popular forces
will be mobilized
into a holding action mode

holding on to what ??

a pro corporate reform path
an essentially non popular reform path
defending what we should be attacking


"Is there any significant faction of the ruling class that wants full throttle fascism?"

of course
but so what ???

are they and their methods needed
by our corporate establishment
to sustain itself here at home ??

are u calling for a rally 'round the Dems
to preserve our "rights" ???

1930's all over again ???

i guess if you see the tea crowd
as a mighty force for reaction
a base for assaults
on our cherished liberal institutions

then i guess
if you're a merit class type
that gets your hair in a tangle over
then you ARE scared ...
if we lost abortion rights
in certain states
if we went to war with iran
if we cut off
the long term unemployed
fucked social security
hacked up pub sec job ranks
etc etc
what suggests
the Dems aren't
part of that "solution" ???


As to fascism, no society that has the television system we have is ever going fascist. Fascism is too inconvenient and too serious. It means you can't catch American Idol or Entourage or Sunday Night Football.

I agree that Amerikkkan fascism is not right around the corner, and I'm equally suspicious of the Donkery-doings that inspire such overheated claims. But it's not as if your average German under Nazi rule spent most of her/his time in goose-stepping drill formations or attending Nuremberg rallies. Good Germans kept up their private leisure pursuits. They had picnics. They went on holidays. Once the unemployment problem was cured, everyday life for most was pretty "normal." Hobsbawm writes about this.

Germany in 1928 had no corporate television. The USA in 2010 has it, and has it way up the ass.

What about that distinction strikes you as unimportant, gluey?

Do you think corporate TV is not an important institution in this society?

If so, I suppose that makes you par for the course among what passes for the left, which takes pride in being lobotomized-stupid about noticing the details of market totalitarianism, which is not fascism.

P.S. Germany in 1938 had no corporate-capitalist TV.

Sarah Palin is not Hitler. Not even close. Ordinary Americans would not tolerate Hitler. What they would tolerate is what we have.

That's every bit as dangerous, but opposing it takes actual thought and attention, not tossed-off bullcrap.


Fascism is too inconvenient and too serious.

What does this mean? What is the essence of fascism, as you see it, that makes fascism inconvenient and serious beyond other social/political arrangements? Can not one imagine a fascism without some or many of the ugliest characteristics of German fascism? How does TV make a fascist essence impossible?

On the other hand doesn't our present USA system display many of the features, though perhaps not the essential features, associated with Germany during the fascist period? Here I am thinking not of Teabaggers but of governmental practices, for example, aggressive foreign policy, use of ultimata, invasion, occupation, ......


Ha ha, MD, if you've been paying any attention to what I've been propounding over the years, you're daft to accuse me of ignoring the atomizing, distracting, and stupidifying effects of commercial culture on the body politic. If anything, I err on the side of being too damn Frankfurtian about it. And I concur that much of the left is way out to lunch on this score.

Perhaps I misinterpreted what you wrote. I was simply making the point (in the form of a rejoinder) that round-the-clock mass mobilization was not a central facet of one example (for some, the paradigmatic one) of historically existing fascism. So, accordingly, there's no necessary reason to suppose that a population pacified by media spectacle and fascism are incommensurable.


@MD (again) If your argument is that social control by means of reality TV, infotainment, and celebrity news crawls is less costly, more seamless, and more effective -- and hence preferable from the point of view of the ruling class -- than social control by outright suspension of bourgeois democratic rights, then I'm with you. And I'm also with you if your argument is that this is the situation which prevails (with all kinds of qualifiers, of course) in the USA, today -- and thus there's no need for mass arrests of activists, naked suppression of First Amendment rights, disappearances of leftists, etcetera.

But my earlier point remains: turning a populace into couch potatoes (or obsessive iPhone tappers) does not logically preclude fascism. Fascism does not require a dynamic majority of shock troops. All it requires is a passively consenting majority of "go along to get along" types, who concentrate on their private consolations while the horror slowly unfolds around them.


And I'm waiting for someone to mention the obvious, so obvious I haven't mentioned it: the electronic media, including in its now-"decentralized" incarnations, is a wonderful tool for disseminating fascist propaganda as "common sense." It's certainly worked that way for raging Islamophobia, hasn't it?

If your shtick is that the deep structure of US political culture is too "libertarian" (with all its racist trappings) to stomach full-blown fascism, well then, that's a bird of a different feather. (And a bird that I'm sympathetic to.)


About 15 years ago, a friend and I were watching the NBA playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs vs. Another Team. A bunch of fat, middle-aged white guys (straight out of central casting for Falling Down ) were cheering fanatically for a dyed, pierced, and tatted Dennis Rodman. My friend turned to me and said: "THIS is why fascism will never fly in the US."

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Saturday October 23, 2010 09:23 AM.

The previous post in this blog was What My Inbox Told Me.

The next post in this blog is It's a league game, Smokey.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31