John Dean: USA Close to fascism

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Do you think Republicans are authoritarian?

Duh! Do ducks float?
16
89%
No! And it's a great offense to Dear Leader to say so!
1
6%
I'm afraid to state an opinion
1
6%
 
Total votes: 18

AlphaLiberal
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John Dean: USA Close to fascism

Postby AlphaLiberal » Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:48 am

John Dean has a new book coming out that chronicles hwo the Repubclian Party has been overtaken with authoritarian zeal. To which many of us will say "Gee, no kidding!" But, it's good to see the theme get some play.

More (including video) at
http://www.crooksandliars.com/posts/200 ... onscience/

Dean, a Goldwater Republican, ends the video interview saying the USA is very close to fascism. Thank you, Mr. Dean!

This is a powerful message and one we need to propagate widely. Remember, they are not "Republicans," they are "authoritarian Republcians."

And, thing is, they can't stay in power without fear, without the war on terror.

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Postby PaleoLiberal » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:10 am

John Dean is not the only Republican saying this. Paul Craig Roberts, Undersecretary of the Treasury under Reagan and still a die-hard Reaganaut, has accused Bush and the neo-cons of marching towards a Jacobian facism. Pat Buchannon has called for Bush' impeachment as well. The Democratic Party seems to think it impolitic to point out the obvious.


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Postby Madcity Expat » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:15 am

The Republicans in the Bush Admin are most certainly authoritarian - and they are backed up by influential elements of the GOP in Congress, especially the House.

However, I would point out that "authoritarian" is not the same as "fascist". Put another way, Fascists are definitely authoritarian, but not all authoritarians are Fascists. For example, V. Putin is definitely authoritarian verging on dictitorial, but he is no Fascist.

Believe me, I don't say this to absolve the GOP (especially the Bush Admin) in any way. And I would cautiously agree that there are small, but inordinately influential true Fascist elements and individuals on the American right - along with a disturbingly large cadre of (often unwitting) sympathisers.

But that said "Fascist" is a specific ideological and historical phenomenon and it annoys me when it is used too loosely - which is almost always. And despite unprecedented flirtations, the GOP is not a "fascist" organization by any stretch and the US government is a looooooong sight away from Weimar Germany in 1932.

I don't have time to elaborate further. But I recommend this book to anyone who's interested:
[url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ZVGAZJWJOWkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=fascism+books+2003]Fascism in Europe, 1919-1945
[/url] by Phillip Morgan

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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:29 am

Madcity Expat wrote:I would cautiously agree that there are small, but inordinately influential true Fascist elements and individuals on the American right - along with a disturbingly large cadre of (often unwitting) sympathisers.


Would you say there is a link between modern convenience culture and authoritarianism as a form of societal convenience? As in; critical thought, as a necessary form of non interventionist individualism (core to the open society), is to time consuming, therefore it should be given up for the sake of economic time and false happiness trade offs?
Last edited by pulsewidth modulation on Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:30 am

Well put, Madcity - I, too, am getting fed up with the use of the word "fascist" (and Nazi) in our modern dialogue.

Proof we do not live under a fascist regime is all around us:
The existence of the movie Syriana, Michael Moore not being behind bars, the UW agreeing to let a faculty member teach that the Bush Administration was responsible for 9/11, letters to the editor which question the actions of elected officials, the continued insanity that is South Park and, of course, the fact that we can have this conversation in the first place without any real fear of reprisal.
None of these things (or a gazillion others) could exist under a fascist regime, so let's tone down the overblown rhetoric, please, okay?

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Postby Smartypants » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:36 am

I think they're just a bunch of super wealthy, lying, greedy, control freak assholes...who would love to take over the world...a la Pinky and the Brain.

Fascist wannabes perhaps?

Prof, who said we live under a Fascist regime anyway?

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Postby Madcity Expat » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:47 am

Having just watched the video - I should add that I largely agree with just about everything that Dean argued. My point is that - while the Bush Admin should rightly be denounced for the corrosive effect of its actions on American liberal democracy - let's be more precise when we use the term "fascist"

And in that vein, I would like to point out that Dean was not necessarily crying "fascist." His full statement on Fascism was (paraphrased, I didn't transcribe it) "I don't think we're on a fascist road right now, but I'm concerned that we're getting too close to it." With this statement, I largely agree.

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Postby AlphaLiberal » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:50 am

Madcity Expat wrote:However, I would point out that "authoritarian" is not the same as "fascist". Put another way, Fascists are definitely authoritarian, but not all authoritarians are Fascists. For example, V. Putin is definitely authoritarian verging on dictitorial, but he is no Fascist.
Well put. I agree.

As far as the objections to raising the term "fascist" (as opposed to "facist!") I think that's recoiling too soon from a word that has real relevance. Most who invoke the term, like John Dean, do so warning that we are heading in that direction, but have not yet arrived. (And I like the term "neo-fascist").

Being a fascist state does not necessarrily mean that all criticism of the Dear Leader is brutally suppressed. There are degrees to all these terms and states. Clearly, we now have a police state, we now have intimidation of critics (who are getting a bit feisty in response), we have an international torture network, we have news media under the influence (if not control) of the ruling regime, we have a leader who claims not to be bound by the Constiution and American tradition of separation of powers.

I agree the term "Nazi" should be avoided, but "fascism" is fair game. If it comes to that, it won't be the same as other fascist states we've seen, but will be unique and, as Huey Long told us, swathed in the red white and blue.
Last edited by AlphaLiberal on Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby PaleoLiberal » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:51 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Well put, Madcity - I, too, am getting fed up with the use of the word "fascist" (and Nazi) in our modern dialogue.

Proof we do not live under a fascist regime is all around us:
The existence of the movie Syriana, Michael Moore not being behind bars, the UW agreeing to let a faculty member teach that the Bush Administration was responsible for 9/11, letters to the editor which question the actions of elected officials, the continued insanity that is South Park and, of course, the fact that we can have this conversation in the first place without any real fear of reprisal.
None of these things (or a gazillion others) could exist under a fascist regime, so let's tone down the overblown rhetoric, please, okay?



I never claimed we are living under Facism. I pointed out that a former Reagan adminsitration official claims the neo-cons are moving in a direction towards Facism. If one is in California, and is driving towards the East Coast, being in Nevada is not the same as being in the East Coast, but it is moving in that direction. I once lived in a foreign military dictatorship, and the US is certainly freer than that country was. However, we are moving in the wrong direction. I also have seen how fragile freedom can be. The aforementioned military dictatorship is now a full fledged democracy, but only because a coup attempt failed. My prediction is things will either get noticably better or noticably worse in the next few years.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:25 pm

Calm down, everyone - I wasn't referring to anyone's statements in particular, just the tenor of discussions, in general, and not just on the Forum, that involve people invoking the term fascist. It's a sign of intellectual laziness, IMHO, and does nothing to further whatever argument you're trying to make.

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Postby PaleoLiberal » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:36 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Calm down, everyone - I wasn't referring to anyone's statements in particular, just the tenor of discussions, in general, and not just on the Forum, that involve people invoking the term fascist. It's a sign of intellectual laziness, IMHO, and does nothing to further whatever argument you're trying to make.


OK. Thanks for the explaination.

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Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:09 pm

I think we were pretty close to facism when we burned people alive at Waco and allowed masked men to grab a little boy in the middle of the night and send him back to the gulag.

Wonder how John Dean feels about that?

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Postby Madcity Expat » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:11 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:I think we were pretty close to facism when we burned people alive at Waco and allowed masked men to grab a little boy in the middle of the night and send him back to the gulag.

Wonder how John Dean feels about that?


Good thing we elected Bush because now we're free from heavy-handed government tactics. Things are so much better now, right Ned?

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:15 pm

Ned -
It sounds especially idiotic coming from you.
I know you're "kidding", but since you're a humorless fuckwad, it's just offensive.
Here's a thought: lead by example, for a change, whydoncha.

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Postby Chuck_Schick » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:16 pm

Facism?!

Hey Flanders: You're pretty close to fukism.

Wait ... scratch that ... you wrote the friggin' book.

You're the only idiot I know whose current events calendar ends on January 19, 2001.


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