Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just To The Right Of The Right

When an establishment figure like University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole warns about creeping fascism, it might be time to take note.

Fascism is something we relate with Hitler, and the Holocaust. Not many people, I'd guess, think there is any danger of fascism gaining a foothold here. But there has long been a strain among the powerful that think fascism isn't such a bad idea -- industrialists like Henry Ford supported Hitler and Prescott Bush, father of President George HW and grandfather of President George W, amassed the Bush family fortune by bankrolling Hitler's military buildup and he has been called Hitler's banker. As the political center in the US moves to the right, much further now than it was in the days of Prescott and Henry, it gets closer to fascicm.

Fascism is the fusion of the government and business. The Holocaust has nothing to do with it. When Republicans invite corporate lobbyists up to Capital Hill to write legislation, a practice formalized by former Representative Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, and when Republicans and corporate lobbyists get together as members of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, to write up legislation, those are elements of fascism.

In Leftist press I follow you hear warnings about creeping fascism in the US quite often, but to hear it from someone like Juan Cole is something different. Cole is closely associated with The Nation magazine, which is left of center but well within the mainstream of US discourse. Its Editor Katrina Vandenheuvel appears on TV frequently as a talking head political talk show guest. Cole just wrote an article warning about a new law just introduced in congress that would allow the military to use propaganda within the US.

It's worth celebrating the fact that a New York Federal Judge has struck down the provisions of the The National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Obama in January that allow the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. It gave the government powers that went way beyond what it has now. There was no jucidial review, no habeus corpus. US District Judge Katherine Forrest called the law unconstitutional on its face, or "fascially unconstitutional.

Two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that got the law overturned, Naomi Wolf and Chris Hedges, have written articles about the case.

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