In fascist countries, by contrast, it is the other way around, with the economic elite controlling the political class. Note, too, that fascism does not necessarily require a dictator, which is the only element missing in the U.S. to complete the common stereotype of the system. We have no dictator in the U.S., but we do have a small oligarchy of powerful individuals who have no concern for the good of the nation or its people, or for the good of any other nation. There is no need for a dictator in a fascist nation whose people willingly give control of their government to an economic elite in exchange for promises of endless wealth. The "shining city on a hill" envisioned by Reagan was built on sand. It was a mirage, becoming more distant the nearer Americans were told we were coming to it. The collapse of that shining city was inevitable, as the whole system it represented was based on credit backed only by worthless derivatives.
If fascism is defined as corporatism, then all the elements
are present in the United States to make us a fascist nation. A police state apparatus is in place. People
have been brainwashed into accepting an extreme version of nationalism known as
"American Exceptionalism." The government has imposed the most intrusive
surveillance methods ever devised. War,
always regarded by most as inevitable, has become endless.
Until recently, these elements have been accepted as the price of security, false as the sense of it might be. What most activists aware of these problems have missed, however, is how the elements are related to one another. They must understand those relationships, so that they can connect the dots for the population at large. That is the basis for developing a strategy for the progressive movement as a whole. Fortunately, recent events have made such a comprehensive understanding much easier.
To reach our goal of establishing representative democracy,
our strategy must build on the partnerships we are forming across ideological
divides on critical issues such as domestic surveillance, the NDAA, and the
pursuit of world domination by endless war. All of these are related to the global war on
terror, which is in reality a global war on national sovereignty and democracy.
Its economic counterparts are the Trans
Pacific Partnership and the proposed Trans Atlantic Partnership with
While general recognition of the danger of these massive free-trade agreements has been slow to build, the phony outrage of European governments over U.S. corporate spying revealed by Snowden has put the brakes on expanding such agreements. That gives us a chance to make Americans realize that the ultimate goal of free-trade agreements is to make national governments subject to the demands of transnational corporations, regardless of the interests of the people of any of the subject nations. That should alarm both liberals and conservatives, who hold national sovereignty as an unshakable principle of peaceful coexistence, on the one hand, and economic self-determination on the other.
Neoliberalism and neoconservatism are two sides of the same
coin. The first seeks to establish global corporate dominance by economic
coercion, while the other is a policy of militarily destroying any nation that
stands in the way. The majority of Democratic and Republican politicians
While Americans continue to divide themselves into liberals and
conservatives, and argue nonsense with one another about who is responsible for
destroying the American dream, the corporate criminals responsible remain at
large, laughing all the way to their respective banks. If there are an "us" and a "them," they are the
99% versus the 1%. However, we cannot claim to represent the 99%, if we cannot persuade
those who fail to understand that, despite any differences, we have vital common interests. We have to abandon the model of politics as
civil war and build alliances based on mutual interests, if we are going to use
the power of our numbers to ensure that our children will know the real freedom
that comes from the absence of economic coercion. That is the nation Americans
were promised and that the rest of the world aspires to. Another world is
possible, but it will require forging a united international front against
fascism and war.
This article was originally published on the website of Soldiers For Peace International. It may be reproduced unedited without prior permission of the author.