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Enablers of Fascism: Fatalists, Corporatists, the Uninformed

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Enablers of Fascism: Fatalists, Corporatists, the Uninformed

To accept passively an unjust system is to co-operate with that system;
thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor.

--Martin Luther King Jr.


There is an old parable about a Zen master who lives on the outskirts of a small village and practices his skill as an archer as part of his daily meditation. When the villagers ask him why he doesn’t use his extraordinary archery skills to hunt animals or fight in battles, the Zen master replies, “I do not use my bow and arrows to kill things.”


One day marauders attack the village and begin to slaughter the inhabitants. When the Zen master sees what is happening, he grabs his bow and quiver of arrows, and with amazing speed and accuracy, kills one marauder after another until they retreat and leave the village.


The villagers are stunned and ask the Zen master why he chose to break from tradition and use his archery skills for killing. The Zen master looks at them impassively and says, “It wasn’t necessary until today.”


Americans who have enabled large corporations and corrupt politicians to turn America into a fascist state should take heed of the Zen master’s tale. The fascists may not be in their backyards yet, but they are getting closer each year. And there is no Zen master living nearby to stop them.


So who are these enablers, and why are they doing nothing to prevent the Bush/Cheney regime and their fascist friends from taking over our democracy?

As I see it, they fall into three primary categories.


Fatalists: The fatalists are the you-can’t- fight-city-hall crowd. They know the system is corrupt. They know things are getting worse. They know one day the forces of fascism may hit them personally. But just like Martin Niemoller, the German minister who stood idly by as the Nazis destroyed his country, they do nothing. They don’t vote, they don’t speak out, and they don’t protest or become politically involved.

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John F. Miglio is the former editor of the Online Review of Books & Current Affairs and author of Sunshine Assassins, a dystopian political thriller.

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