Third Party & Independents Archives

Post 9/11: How America Went from a Republic to a Fascist State

Every time I have suggested that America has become fascist, I get looks of ridicule from the Right and a few nods from the Left, but no one wants to admit that Bush’s “trifecta” has issued in fascism. By using Dr. Lawrence Britt’s The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism, I will show how in post 9/11 America, we are indeed living in a fascist state.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism

Dr. Britt describes this as “Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.”

In the days after 9/11, sales of the American Flag and other patriotic icons skyrocketed to the point that stores could not keep them on the shelves. Row after row of houses on any given street in any given town in America were decorated with waving flags, flag magnets decorated cars and trucks, and people wore flag covered clothing to show their pro-America support. The Twin Towers became symbols of the American capitalistic might, new songs were written to express patriotic views and the disdain of terrorism, and the Bush Administration has continued, even two years later, to use the events of September 11th to rouse up patriotism for any foreign policy it wishes to emphasize.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights

Dr. Britt’s description for this point is “Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.”

This point is so blatantly obvious, and perhaps the scariest of all. One only has to remember how quickly Congress passed the U.S. PATRIOT Act, so named as to prevent any member of Congress from not signing it or be declared unpatriotic, which has the potential to strip away even our basic Constitutional rights and gives unprecedented powers to the FBI and other policing forces. Rep. Ron Paul has even admitted in numerous interviews that they signed that bill into law without having read the final draft. Any Americans who cautioned that we were giving up our Constitutional rights for a little security were scoffed at and called unpatriotic. And look how long we Americans have tolerated the incarceration of political prisoners without formal charges and proper legal advice.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause

Dr. Britt describes this point as “The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.”

In this case, Muslims have been targeted for both their religious ideals and for being “terrorists” and some Americans have rallied behind the President as he continually called these people “evildoers” over and over again in speech after speech. Although Bush commented that Islam was not a target, he has done nothing to silence the preachers from bellowing from their pulpits of the “evils of Islam” nor has he reprimanded the General who recently compared Islam to Satan while defiling the military code of ethics. Shortly after 9/11, Muslim-Americans in this country were rounded up and imprisoned without representation of legal council.

4. Supremacy of the Military

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.”

Unemployment in post-911 is at an all-time high. Health care, the environment, social security, and education have all fallen to the wayside. The Federal deficit is now at $374.2 Billion because of the Afghan and Iraq wars. Military spending is out of control. And big corporations with ties to the Bush Administration have been given sole military contracts to “rebuild” Iraq. However, the final blow came when Bush reinstated the nuclear program to build precision nuclear “mini” bombs.

5. Rampant Sexism

Many will say that this point doesn’t make much sense in today’s culture; however, Dr. Britt describes it as “The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homo-sexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.”

If you think this point has not reared its ugly head, then you are sadly mistaken. Abortion issues have been on the table, as well as a backlash against homosexuality. Marriage contracts involving money, with the goal to keep marriages from ending in divorce, have been discussed, as well as a proposed amendment to the Constitution to declare marriages as being solely between a male and female. Traditional family values and roles have been proclaimed. And if you look at the majority of decision-makers in the Bush Administration, they are mostly male-dominated.

6. Controlled Mass Media

Oh yes, this point has definitely come into play. Dr. Britt describes this point as “Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.”

In this case, the media was cautioned to “watch what they say,” journalists found themselves involved in self-censorship, and were embedded with the military during the Iraq war where all reports had to go through the military censorship before being allowed to go to print. And one final observation that I personally made during the build-up to war with Iraq, any time there was a special event planned on television for opposition to this war, the President or one of his advisors suddenly had a special news conference to discuss their own agendas, which of course, all news stations carried, thus eliminating the special event that was to take place. Furthermore, pro-Bush events are widely televised, whereas protests are rarely shown on television or in the print media.

7. Obsession with National Security

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.”

This point is undeniable: the creation of a new Homeland Defense department, constant terrorist alerts, new airport screening provisions, and the bombardment of messages from Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein any time it appears that the people are forgetting that Bush is fighting a war on terrorism. In the past two years, the anxiety levels of American citizens have been kept at a high level, lest we forget the events of 9/11.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.”

When the American President says that God told him to attack Iraq, this point has been made. Furthermore, there is a rising belief in this country among fanatical Christians that Bush was appointed President by the Christian God and that it is his role to stamp-out the “evil Satanic” Islamic religion. We also see the constant religious rhetoric in Bush’s speeches.

9. Corporate Power is Protected

Dr. Britt describes this point as “The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.”

There is little room for doubt that big corporations heavily supported and still support the Bush Administration and have called-in their favors for helping get him elected. Even during the façade of the corporate scandals that rocked the early part of Bush’s presidency, we witnessed favoritism over certain corporate CEOs like Enron’s Ken Lay. Furthermore, when military contracts were being handed out, corporations with close ties to many Bush officials were given sole rights. Even the tax cuts that Bush has handed out have benefited these wealthy CEOs more than the average American citizen.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.”

One of the key strategies of the Bush Administration has been to bust unions. Labor laws have also been tackled by this Administration and worker rights have been attacked. Bush even blatantly tried to end the Over-time pay laws for the working class.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.”

Although this point appears to be the least acted upon in the Bush Administration, there has been evidence that some professors and academics have been censored and some “liberal-minded” intellectuals highly criticized by this Administration. Some artistic expressions, like artwork showing Bush in an unfavorable light on t-shirts and signs, have been highly censored or criticized.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.”

The new laws under the U.S. PATRIOT Act gave law enforcement officials new limitless powers in searches and wire-tapping. Furthermore, efforts have been made to combine the CIA and the FBI together, as well as combine local and state police forces with military forces.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.”

The entire Bush Administration consists of personnel who were appointed to their positions because of friendships and/or business ties to the Bush Family. Ken Lay, as well as other CEOs, has escaped persecution because of his close friendship and business dealings with members of the Bush Administration. Our national resources, such as forests and wildlife refuges, have been attacked because of business ties with the Bush Administration. If you take a look at the policies behind the Bush Administration, these policies have almost been followed word for word from reports created by a group called PNAC (Project for a New American Century). Those on the board of this group are all working members in the Bush Administration, plus one of his own brothers, Jeb Bush.

14. Fraudulent Elections

Dr. Britt describes this point as “Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.”

Some still feel that the debauchery of the 2000 election has not been fully investigated in this country and has been generally overlooked by the majority of the populace due to media cover-up. Greg Palast, an American investigative journalist who writes for a British syndication, shortly after the 2000 election, uncovered numerous voting scams committed in Florida, including a list of voter suppressions due to criminal records that denied thousands of mainly black (and heavily democratic) voters from being allowed to vote. This list contained names that were similar or had the same birthdates as known felons. Some of the people on the list were denied the right to vote even though they had been given their rights back from a different state than Florida, which does not reinstate voting rights to felons.

Furthermore, states which are using the new electronic voting devises have reported discrepancies in elections even during the 2000 election and since. Many of these voting devises were manufactured from companies affiliated with the Republic Party and one is even owned by a Republican Representative in Congress. The Bush Administration has even encouraged all states to install these new voting devises and has set time limits and given funds to states to have these devises in working order before the 2004 election. Bev Harris has written a book about black box voting and the potential harm that can come to our elections due to the inadequacy of these voting devises. She has proven that they are not tamper-proof and are open to attacks from hackers. She has stated that they can also be tampered with to sway a vote in favor of one candidate or another.

In conclusion, every point that Dr. Britt has made for Fascism can be seen in the current Bush Administration’s policies. It is difficult to live in this country and see our great Republic being destroyed by the rampant disregard for our Constitution and rights by Bush and his regime. Some may think that what has been done cannot be undone and that we should just accept the current road our country has taken. Others are holding on to the belief that our government will not fail us and will remain true to the Constitution, and that these changes are only temporary and all of our rights will be returned to us once the “war on terrorism” is over. However, what they do not realize is that our forefathers cautioned us that once our rights have been stripped away, they may never be returned. They further warned that it is our duty, when we see that our government is not representing the people, to remove those in power and replace them with those who will represent the people, by using our vote, or by revolution if necessary.

Posted by at October 21, 2003 12:28 PM