Signs of American fascism: Here … or on the way?

The comments that follow, resulted from an online discussion relating to a interview with former New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges, author of the book “American Fascists.”

The major element of fascism seems to have been missed in all this discussion: the marriage of corporations with the state.

Who can say today that our system of “representatives” (from either party) really represents the people who voted for them? The Congress long has been swayed in its decision-making by corporate money through lobbyists, personal favors and corporate-funded “experts” and pressure groups.

This already anti-democratic practice was worsened when the foxes were brought in to protect the hen house as many of those with corporate connections began getting invited to sit on those regulatory panels which were created to represent and protect citizens. That’s how we have an FCC not protecting our freedom to use the airwaves for public communication, but rather protecting media conglomerates’ “rights” to grow ever more powerful and determine what America shall hear and see—effectively becoming SuperCitizens with special rights and enormous influence.

Now, ratcheting up further, this already anti-democratic environment has evolved to the unbelievable state of taking those corporate representatives and putting them into the Cabinet and higher. The People’s access to their government and government “by and for the People” has been lost—and is now practically irretrievable because neither Republicans nor Democrats either publicly recognize the above history or are perfectly happy with it.

In the meantime over the last four or five decades, nearly all other possible institutions that might also represent ordinary citizens’ voices and therefore help defend them against these onslaughts have been systematically weakened, twisted or have faded away: independent farmers, unions, free and fair election practices, solid public education, fully-funded public libraries. a relevant public health system, decent public housing.

Decision about every major facet of Americans’ lives are made in board rooms not in town halls or Congress. You name it: jobs, wages, outsourcing, the air we breathe, the water we drink, healthcare and healthcare access, education, radio, TV, newspapers, elections, food sources, commerce and trade, sports, entertainment, and on and on.

Tell me, just what do everyday American citizens get to say on ANY of this?? What? Through their “elected representatives” who, with few exceptions, never saw a lobbyist they couldn’t love?

The most major decisions any society could make have been made without the input of the American People. We have turned our entire economy from an industrial, exporting one to a service economy with millions of jobs being lost or exported without ever asking American citizens: “Is that what you want?” All debate and opinions are controlled from the top down in a powerfully controlled but seemingly “open” system.

How about going to war—on phony pretenses—decided basically by corporate interests (in this case largely the petroleum industry) not only in the Cabinet but in the White House itself, taking all of our resources, buying Congressional compliance, paying out enormous sums in no-bid contracts for friends, losing (!?!) billions of dollars and thousands of arms, along the way, putting our grandchildren into massive debt, killing, maiming, and exiling millions, listening to our phones, reading our mail, peeling away our civil liberties and rights—manipulating media here and abroad with false information (pressures, psy-ops and more)—just because they CAN?

And the whole country sits around waiting for the decisions on such crucial matters as war and peace to be pronounced by one C-student who may or may not have been elected.

That, my friends, is a picture of fascism—either in development, or very well on its way.

Oh, yeah, We the People have places for “input” and to “let off steam,” but to really participate in the major decisions that affect our lives? Mainly here on these blogs.

We are “free” to say whatever we want—until we start to be … effective. Effective in challenging, much less changing the status quo. Then watch out for someone protecting others from your words and ideas. Remember the “Miami Model” and the FTAA in 2003. Eight million dollars of Iraq-earmarked money to equip troops to intimidate thousands of concerned citizens (largely union, many elderly) from discussing and expressing legitimate (and widespread) opposition to the corporate “free trade” proposal which ignored environment, salaries, and safety. Eight millions, and they got, perhaps, one possibly legitimate arrest for minor infractions? Who is making those decisions? Surely, no one representing you or me.

Forget concentrating all that attention on judges, etc. as the judiciary is nearly peripheral to the Big Picture painted above. That being said, judges do have certain powers to sway our approximation to, or flight from, constitutional government. Overall, it is about Power alone … and who has appropriated the right to exercise it, … and in whose name. The Constitution has become a rapidly shredded fig leaf for this corporate grab of power in the US.

When corporations were given “personhood”, it all started going downhill.

Only the return of institutions representing people in a more direct way—new parties, new or resurgent organizations, serious electoral reform—can restore any semblance of real democracy to this land.

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