The roots of our fascist country dating back to post World War II
"I think they are very fine people." This was Trump's response to the neo-Nazis and white supremicists at the Charlottesville tragedy in 2017.
The lack of a clear line marking the transformation to a fascist state, points to the movement's insidious nature, and the impossibility of relying on simplistic definitions. Since there is no all-encompassing definition, it is necessary to look at the traits and explore the degrees of fascism. While many traits of fascism are almost universally accepted, some are contested. The following are generally accepted definitions of fascism.
1.Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2.Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3.Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4.Supremacy of the Military
6.Controlled Mass Media
7.Obsession with National Security
8.Religion and Government Connected
9.Corporate Power is Protected
10.Labor Power is Suppressed
11.Disdain for Intellectuals and the Fine Arts
12.Obsession with Criminality and Punishment
13.Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
15.Top-Down Revolution or Movement
17.Extreme Anti-communism, Anti-socialism and Anti-Liberal Views
23.Violence and Terror
24.Expounding of Mysticism or religious Beliefs
Any objective assessment of the George W. Bush administration during the Iraq war and after the reports of torture at the Iraqi Abu Ghraid prison in May of 2004 would find most of the traits listed above. Undoubtedly, that government was one of the most repressive in U.S. history. By the spring of 2004, journalists were already describing it as fascist, and now we have an openly fascist occupant in the White House, the despicable, repugnant sloth, who fraudulently became the president. But it didn't start with Bush and Trump.
The year was 1946, when the Army's orientation course, Program 64 was established to teach recruits what they were fighting for, to offset the fascist propaganda circulating at the time. Program64 contained the following definition of fascism:
If we don't understand fascism and recognize it when we see it, it might crop again under another label and cause another war. Fascism is a way to run a country; it's the way Italy was run, and the way Germany and Japan were run.
Fascism is the precise opposite of democracy. People run democratic governments but fascist governments run the people.
Fascism is government by the few for the few. The objective is seizure and control of the economic, political, social and cultural life of the state. Why? The democratic way of life interferes with their methods and desires for conducting business, living with their fellow men, and having the final say in matters concerning others as well as themselves. The basic principles of democracy stand in the way of their desires; hence democracy must go. Anyone who is not a member of their inner gang has to do what he is told. They permit no civil liberties, no equality before the law. They make their own rules and change them when they choose.
If you don't like it, it's TS. They maintain themselves in power by use of force combined with primitive ideas of blood and race, by skillful manipulation of fear and hate, and by false promises of security. The propaganda glorifies war and insists it is smart and realistic to be pitiless and violent.
It's hard to believe that this statement caused an outburst of protest on Capitol Hill, but it touched a nerve. Several representatives made indignant speeches on the floor of the house. Clare Hoffman of Michigan and John Rankin of Mississippi were outraged over Program 64, as were other pro-fascist congressmen. The indignation soon led to the discontinuance of the top rated orientation classes. The pro-fascists in congress did not want the GI's to know what they were fighting against.
An important factor here was the average American soldier's lack of education, which made the need for programs such as the Army's orientation courses. In 1946, the average education for all U.S. adults was only 8.6 years; 75 per cent did not complete high school. In 1946, only 19 percent of the voters had an understanding of the Wagner Act that brought unionization to the labor force. According to a Gallup Poll 69 percent of those polled simply had no idea, and the rest gave incorrect answers.
In 1946, only 8 percent of adults could properly define monopoly, an anti-trust suit, the Sherman Antitrust Act and interlocking directorates. This low level of education left 80 percent susceptible to anyone's propaganda. Most of the voters were mere dupes for whoever could shout the loudest. The pro-fascist faction in congress soon replace the Army's orientation course with an anti-communist program.
Just two years prior, the press suppressed all efforts to oppose this fascist campaign, including FDR's State of the Union Address on January, 11th, in which he proposed an economic bill of rights:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries, or shops or farms or mines of the nation. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation, the right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living, the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom, with no unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad. The right of every family to a decent home, the right to adequate protection from economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment, and the right to a good education.
In that same year the media also suppressed the "Century of the Common Man Speech" by Roosevelt's Vice President Henry Wallace.
In the 1946 election, the Republicans gained control of both the House and the Senate and true to their pro-big business agenda and their past support of fascists, more than 200 anti-union bills emerged in congress. The rehabilitated Fred Hartley, who supported Japan and Germany until the moment Pearl Harbor was bombed, coauthored the anti-union Taft Hartley act. The fascist group Christian America successfully lobbied several southern and Midwestern states to pass anti-union right-to-work laws. While such measures were not full fascism, it was the danger of creeping fascism. The anti-union measures were the initial steps on a slippery slope of accretion. Whenever the government passes a law placing the rights of corporations ahead or the elite class ahead of "we the people," it is an act of fascism or a step in that direction.
Understanding the plot is critical in recognizing the rise of fascism and the attempts take corporate fascism global in the form of globalization of the world's economy. In 1950, James Stewart Martin of the Department of Justice's investigation team in Europe summed it up in his book, All Honorable Men.
We had not been stopped in Germany by German business, we had been stopped in Germany by American business. The forces that stopped us had operated from the United States, but had not operated in the open. We were not stopped by a law of Congress, by an Executive Order of the President. Whatever it was that stopped us was not "the government." But it clearly had command of channels through which the government normally operates. The relative powerlessness of governments in the growing economy is of course not new. National governments stood on the sidelines while bigger operators arranged the world's affairs.
The New York Times in 1950 highly praised the book, All Honorable Men, and it became a very popular read, in large demand by the populace. By 1950, the agents of the CIA rounded up nearly every manuscript of the book they could find and had all of them incinerated.
The year 1946, was also when Jerry Voorhis, the liberal Californian was to run for re-election to House of Representatives. Three years prior the Congressman had entered a resolution calling for an investigation of the BIS, the Bank of International Settlements. Congress failed to consider the matter, while Voorhis a supporter of the New Deal and a relentless opponent of fascism, who in 1945 attacked the policy of placing former officers of American companies tied to IG Farben in the Office of Military Government which was supposed to destroy IG Farben. If Congress investigated either BIS or IG Farben, the risk was that many American corporations that continued trading with the Nazis would be exposed. Those Nazi sympathizers had but one choice; Voorhis had to be eliminated. The cabal of Nazi supporters selected Richard Nixon to run against Voorhis in the 1946 election. At the time Nixon was an unknown outside California and only a bit player in the state, yet he received financial support from the Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell. With big bags of campaign loot, Nixon easily defeated Voorhis by branding him a communist. Nixon later admitted that, "of course he knew Jerry Voorhis wasn't a communist, but I had to win. That's the thing you don't understand. The important thing is to win."
In 1948 the United States forgave all German World War II debt. Our fascist roots.
I am a progressive writer. I have recently written my debut novel titled THE FIND. It is due to be published this spring.