“We could become the first country to go
fascist through free elections.” William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Generally we avoid using forms of the word “fascism” in
polite company, and until recently, a person citing parallels between
Nazi Germany and the current United States would invite elevated eyelids along
with the outworn charge of sounding like a “conspiracy theorist“. The current
electoral cycle seems to be changing that, so I will trust that now is the
right time to convey some ideas I’ve been marinating regarding fascism in my US
Homeland. The ruling plutocrats are clearly ferrying the ship of State along
that current, so if fascism is destined to be a part of our lives, perhaps we
should quit pretending we can’t see the ugly elephant in the room and somehow
respond to it.
In discussing fascism as it exists in the United States, an accurate definition is in order. If we can see past lurid images of swastikas, jackboots, and death camps, we might realize that some elements of fascism, such as presumed racial and religious superiority, have existed in the US since its inception and are more pervasive than we have so far acknowledged. While the historical racism responsible for the US slave trade, the ongoing genocide of American aborigines, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazism all reflect symptoms included in the fascist impulse, I am using the term “fascism” in its post-World War 2 context, which involves the rise of the Corporation as amoral tyrant.