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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/20/14

The New Fascism: Terms and Conditions

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Many people might interpret this to mean that Capital One can trick you into thinking you're getting a call from your doctor's office or your mother-in-law, and it's all perfectly legal.

The invasive nature of Bank of America's and Capital One's terms and conditions are another example of how corporations have run amok in America, with very little to stop them.

But they're also symptoms of a larger problem: fascism in the 21st century.

Historically when we talk about fascism we think about Mussolini and his replacement of the elected parliament with corporate representatives.

After all, he invented the word "fascism" to describe the merger of corporate and state interests.

And today when we talk about fascism, we talk about how corporations are buying off politicians in Washington, and taking control of our democracy.

But what about fascism that doesn't even involve governments, except to enforce contracts?

We're witnessing a new era of fascism, where corporations are creating intrusive and over-bearing terms and conditions that customers click to agree to without even reading.

As a result, corporations in America have acquired king-like power, while we're the poor serfs that must abide by their every rule or else.

But enough is enough.

It's time for us all to start saying "wait a minute."

We need to have a national conversation, and establish clear guidelines on what corporations can and can't do in those never-ending lists of terms and conditions.

And we need to put those guidelines into law, so Bank of America can't spy on you in the bedroom, and Capital One can't come running into your workplace.

Sometimes big government is needed to help Americans take back their lives, and this is definitely one of those times.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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