Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Definition of Fascism: "Any program for setting up a centralized autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship and forcible suppression of opposition." ~ New Collegiate Dictionary based on Webster's New International Dictionary second edition, copyright 1956.
I love that definition. It just goes to show you that something we think we know well can still be described in a way that makes us perceive it in totally different ways.
But what of programs and systems we do not know well? What of systems we are made not to know well?
The United States was formerly one of the few anti-institutional, anti-oligarchical nations in the world, but we have succumbed to the oligarchical corporaculture that has been pushed for the last couple of hundred years, whether fused by labels like the divine rite of kings or by corporate personhood. The United States used to push for individual rights, but now we yield to violent fascism just like the rest of the intolerant world. Hell, we were once so anti-fascist and anti-oligarchy that it used to be illegal to do business in more than one American state, now the police and political system seems to only serve and protect business interests. But at what cost?
Imagine if this culture of anti-fascism were still the case, perhaps none of us would ever question our water supply, hijacked for a nuke plant or polluted by a petroleum conglomerate".
Learning from History
Recent events at Fukushima have highlighted the uncontainable dangers of nuclear experimentation. If one examines trends, there are bound to be more accidents, spills and "unprecedented events' within the nuclear industry.
The first nuclear power generation experiment began at Oak Ridge in 1948, and first massive one began in the Soviet city of Obninsk in 1954. In the 65 years that followed, there have been numerous known meltdowns at nuclear facilities around the world, as well as environmental, human and political destruction at other sites that did not (by luck only) experience full meltdown.HANFORD, USA, 1943 -- 1987
As an early "flagship' nuclear experiment, many of the safety procedures and waste disposal practices employed at the Hanford site were completely inadequate. Although most of the reactors were shut down between 1964 and 1971, government documents have since confirmed that operations at the Hanford site released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the Columbia River, which still threatens the health of residents and ecosystems today. Hanford is currently the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States, representing two-thirds of the nation's high-level radioactive waste by volume. .BIKINI ATOLL, NORTHERN PACIFIC OCEAN, 1946
The United States military undertook nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. At the request of the US military, Bikini's 146 native residents agreed to temporarily evacuate the island so the United States government could begin testing atomic bombs for "the good of mankind and to end all world wars." After "confused and sorrowful deliberation", the Bikinians agreed to the relocation request, announcing "we will go believing that everything is in the hands of God."
Most residents were moved by the military to Rongerik Atoll, 125 miles away. Only one-sixth the size of Bikini Atoll, no one lived on Rongerik because it had an inadequate water and food supply, however the United States Navy left the natives there with only a few weeks of food and water. Predictably, this soon proved to be insufficient and the Bikinians were left starving on Rongerik. (Read more: http://www.bikiniatoll.com/history.html)
As a series of large thermonuclear tests continued at Bikini Atoll into the 1950"s, the island was eventually rendered unfit for subsistence farming and fishing, and because of radioactive contamination still remains uninhabitable today. So much for the "temporary" evacuation of the Bikinians from their native island to help the United States "end all world wars."WINDSCALE FIRE, UK, 1957
The worst nuclear accident in Great Britain's history, the core of the nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumberland (now Sellafield, Cumbria) caught fire, releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area. Caused by operators pushing the first-generation design of the Windscale facility beyond its intended limits, the fire burned for three days releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere that spread across the UK and Europe.SANTA SUSANA, USA, 1959
A reactor at the Atomics International field laboratory in the Santa Susana Mountains, California, experienced a power surge and subsequently spewed radioactive gases into the atmosphere. According to a 2009 report from the Los Angeles Times, residents blame the facility for their health issues and say the site remains contaminated.