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When Fascism Comes to America, It Will Be Cloaked In Patriotism

paulryan1There is a quote (often misattributed to Sinclair Lewis) that states, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” While the actual quote seems to be a condensed meme of a collection of prognostications from the 1930′s as Hitler came to power, it is very true of where  we find ourselves headed in the 21st century here in the United States.

The word “fascist” is thrown around a lot these days and it’s usually by people who have no clue what it really means. They bleat about “Big Brother” and an authoritarian government, even as they ironically vote for the politicians who support the very same things. Even though we won the war against fascism in Germany, it seems as if we brought that back with us like a parasite that would lay dormant for a few decades.

In a nutshell, fascism is basically an authoritarian government for corporations, by corporations. Extreme nationalism, the loss of individual liberties, and collectivism that benefits corporations rather than people. Basically, corporate protection and welfare. This is where the dollar is placed above the individual, where human beings are just cogs in the wheel. Have you ever heard your boss say “you’re an asset to the company”? That’s it, you are an asset just like the office printer — and just like that printer, you’ll be thrown away once your usefulness has run its course.

Working class people have been voting against their own self-interests for a long time now, especially here in the South since the beginning of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.” They’ve been convinced that minorities and liberals will take their rights and jobs away, so they turn around and vote for the people who actually do take their rights and jobs away.

Fascism draws strength through the public’s need for patriotism and religion, hence the flag and cross reference in the misattributed Sinclair Lewis quote. Wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross, many of us have been duped by “patriotic” legislation like “Right To Work,” “Citizens United” and “The Patriot Act” which has received a lot of attention lately with the NSA leak.

We see it everywhere when politicians try to peddle their snake oil — they just wrap it in the flag and give it a pretty name designed to lull the public into buying it. Just look at Bush’s “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Or look through some of the details of Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget, which would have cut billions from social safety net programs in favor of tax cuts for millionaires, while adding a trillion dollars to the deficit by 2023. But it’s the “Path to Prosperity,” so it must be good for us, right?

It’s the “Patriot Act,” and I’m a patriot — it must be good for me!

It’s the “Right To Work,” and I want to work — it must be good for me!

It’s “Citizens United” and I want unity among my fellow patriots — it must be good for me!

Patriotism! Freedom! Prosperity for all!

Fascism depends on a “my country, right or wrong” mentality. It thrives on a twisted version of the words of a Jewish rebel 2 millenniums ago. Finally, fascism relies on the very people it suppresses to continue to support it and to be the storm troopers in the fight for the “Evil Empire” of corporate interests. As long as a good portion of the country continues to let the wool be pulled over their eyes, this strategy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” – 1984

About Manny Schewitz

Manny Schewitz is a progressive from the Dirty South with an inclination to say it like it is. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and also maintains an active and lively presence on Facebook.
You can find him on Twitter as well, @MannySchewitz. Be sure to check out Manny's archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.

  • spengler1

    America has one corporate party with two right wings, Republican and Democrat–Gore Vidal

  • ExRadioGuy15

    A better read about Fascism comes from Laurence Britt, a political scientist and ex-corporate executive who wrote an article for the Spring 2003 edition of Free Inquiry magazine called, “Fascism anyone? The fourteen identifying characteristics of Fascism” (in the subheading of the article, they’re referred to as “defining” characteristics)….
    The Republican Party adhere to all 14 of the “DCs” of Fascism and have since at least October 2001. One favorite false equivalency talking point the GOP use is to make the claim that “Democrats are Fascist, too”. WRONG. When the Cons belonged to the Democratic Party (early 1800′s to 1872), the Demos WERE Fascists. But, after Abe Lincoln’s assassination, it took just seven years for the Fascist Cons to leave the Democratic Party, join and infect the GOP and chase out the Liberals, leaving the Progressives of the GOP to fight the Con power structure.
    The FRWNJ media have spent the years since Britt wrote the article trying to “debunk” it, making wild accusations, telling outright lies or trying to employ logical fallacies to “prove” that Mr. Britt’s words are untrue.
    But, here’s the thing: Britt wrote the article in Spring 2003. If the GOP weren’t/aren’t Fascists, why have they proven every day that they truly are by their words and actions since then? ASLTW, Republicans (Actions Speak Louder Than Words)…if you want us to stop correctly calling you Fascists, stop acting like Fascists….

  • John Young

    ” It seems the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warrens of the world are very rare indeed ” common as dirt. Like the Senate and Congress, they too are making their pilgrimage to Israel. While there, they will get the grand treatment, undoubtedly including a tour of the process of the IDF training American cops on the issue of crowd control et al