A strong indicator that there is a rising tide of Fascism in America is that the major political parties frequently accuse each other of being Fascist. In many ways, they are correct. No matter who is in charge, Washington D.C. is a runaway train without breaks careening toward Fascism. The partisan politicians in America are simply vying over the role of conductor of the brakeless train.
Fascism is neither right wing nor left wing. It is neither conservative nor progressive. It is simply a hyperactive statism administered by the Elites of a society. It is a political system wherein the Elites leverage a Permanent State to define, control, and reengineer society using whatever coercive means are necessary. The role of Everyone Else in this authoritarian arrangement is to conform and obey.
One of the reasons that the political factions in America accuse each other of Fascism is because the term has been misused so recklessly that it has lost much of its meaning and is now merely a pejorative to be hurled at any enemy. But when the political debate of a nation becomes which faction gets to control the apparatus of the Permanent State, rather than which faction is going to dismantle the Permanent State, all factions take on the stain of Fascism. That is where we are today.
The meaning of Fascism is blurry because the concept evolved over the past century in many different countries, in many different political environments, and for many different reasons. Fascism is often equated with the National Socialism of Hitler’s Germany, but Fascist movements arose in other countries many decades before. The Nazi’s merely adapted it to enable their pogrom against Jews and to justify their internal totalitarianism and their external military aggressions.
Let’s clear up the confusion and examine what Fascism really is.
It can be summarized as a political philosophy that exalts the nation above its individual citizens. It features a centralized autocratic government, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
To expand on that, here are twelve key features of Fascistic regimes, with parenthetical commentary on the current trajectory of American political society related to each:
- Defiance of old norms and political institutions. (There can be little doubt that America is becoming a post-constitutional society that is expending enormous social capital to erase the norms and traditions of the past to make way for collective action controlled by the Elites.)
- Primacy of a one-party state that demonizes political opposition. (The past six years have shown that one party in America is obsessed with demonizing the opposition and positioning themselves as the sole legitimate political party for ruling the Permanent State.)
- Authoritarian leadership. (The Executive branch of the Federal Government now dominates the other two branches, using a flood of executive orders and a regulatory bureaucracy that wields historic power. This is unfolding because there has been a generational shift toward supporting collectivism and obedient submission to centralized authority.)
- Widespread propaganda machinery. (The Federal Government, in alliance with Big Media, Big Tech, Big Education, and its own surveillance agencies, has created one of the most powerful propaganda and indoctrination machines that the world has ever known. It is particularly effective in skewing the minds of younger generations. This is a typical Fascist tactic, because one way to dispense with the old culture is to teach young people a new one. Young minds are far more malleable than old minds.)
- Corporate statism and syndicalism. (A public/private synthesis of large corporations, labor unions, and the regulatory state is gradually displacing small businesses and constraining the free market in America. The motives of national interest, elitist cronyism, and ESG are gradually displacing the profit motive. The Elites in society use this tactic to protect their current wealth and status by creating pseudo-monopolies that are not threatened by market competition.)
- Centralized police state. (The NSA, FBI, IRS, Department of Homeland Security, and many other Federal agencies that make up America’s Surveillance State are steadily arming themselves and using their coercive might to harass internal dissidents by any means necessary.)
- Permanent administrative bureaucracy. (America is increasingly controlled by armies of “experts” with regulatory authority. These experts are unelected, are difficult to fire, and are unapproachable by ordinary citizens. They therefore can ignore public outcries and survive changes in political leadership. This has led to a monolithic bureaucracy that is now a permanent fixture in our society.)
- Control of key sectors of the economy. (The Federal Government now has substantial influence and control over key chokepoints in the American economy, including the energy industry, the health care industry, the education industry, the media industry, the defense industry, and the financial industry.)
- Use of mythology to justify control. (The Federal Government is using the myths of racial animus, social injustice, gender fluidity, domestic terrorism, chronic victimization, and climate change as justifications for destroying the old culture of freedom and individual responsibility in America. In its place is a new culture of centralized Elitist control over thoughts, expressions, behaviors, and outcomes.)
- (The military/industrial/political complex in America remains on a permanent war footing. Our involvement in foreign conflicts never ends, although the nature of the belligerence adapts with each change in political leadership. As Pete Seeger put it, the first country that Fascists conquer is their own. Then they conquer other countries.)
- Leveraging crises. (The Elites in America leveraged Covid-19 to fundamentally enhance the power of government and to diminish individual rights. They are now leveraging the bogeyman of Climate Change for the same purpose. Their answer to every “crisis”, including the ones they create themselves, is always more government spending and power.)
- An organized minority dominating a disorganized majority. (The relatively small elitist ruling class in America now dominates its far more numerous subjects using control over America’s key chokepoints (e.g., media, economy, education system, financial system, etc.). This was accomplished because the majority was too often silent and passive, and it was coerced by the Elites to fight against each other (in class, gender, and racial conflicts) rather than to resist the rising Fascist tide in America. A key tactic of the ruling minority for maintaining their dominance is to make life intolerable for any prole in the majority who steps out of line (using Cancel Culture, the Police State, captive media partners, etc.).)
We don’t need any more politicians in Washington who merely aspire to assume control of the increasingly Fascistic leviathan. We need fresh, bold politicians with the courage and fortitude to dismantle the Permanent State.
The hope for that is slim, however, based on historical trends in America. This isn’t to discourage partisans from pursuing their political goals in Washington and trying to elect their preferred politicians. They should have their rallies, carry their signs, and contribute their hard-earned money. But such efforts have had little effect thus far in stemming the rising tide of Fascism, and they are even less likely to have an effect in the future. Too often we delude ourselves into thinking that politicians control the Permanent State, when the truth is that the Permanent State controls the politicians. The steady accumulation of Federal power makes individual political efforts more and more futile. As Mussolini put it, “The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State – a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values – interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.”
The alternative to the prospect of this dystopian nightmare is to turn our backs on the growing Leviathan in Washington. This would most likely involve a secession by kindred states who still value freedom and individual responsibility. It is too soon for that to happen, but not too soon to educate people about it, to strategize how to accomplish it, and to elect bold leaders at the state level who are willing to defend the fundamental principles of America.
An anti-Fascist is not someone who hurls epithets at enemies they imagine to be Fascists. A true anti-Fascist is someone committed to dismantling the Permanent State in Washington. A true anti-Fascist is committed to returning Washington’s ill-gotten power to the states and to the people where it rightfully belongs. That is the entire meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.
We all need to become anti-Fascists before America has its own events like the Night of the Long Knives or the Reichstag Fire, courtesy of our version of the Brownshirts and the SS.
Or maybe similar events have already happened here.