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Is America playing with fire ?

User Thread
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Locut0s is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Is America playing with fire ?
Is America skirting dangerously close to fascism or at least fascism ideology?

First I'd like to say I'm Canadian so maybe I get more of a skewed view living outside the US. Also I know this is potentially an inflaming topic, as I've learned on other boards, and I'd hate to start a flame war but this seems like a much more open community.

By fascist I do not mean the fascist dictatorship of Hitler's Germany and the specter of concentration camps and mass murder. Instead I mean the ideological aspects of fascism, in many ways more sinister for their lack of conspicuousness. As defined in the wikipedai fascism is the political ideology which:

-exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual,
-uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition,
-engages in severe economic and social regimentation, and
-espouses nationalism and sometimes racism (ethnic nationalism).

I would largely remove the racist aspects of fascism here when talking about the US. Not that racism is not of grave concern, indeed it is, but it plays less of a central role in US politics from the point of view of this topic. That aside though I have seen some disturbing aspects over the past few years that do indeed bring fascist ideals to mind. America has always been something of a nationalistic country but I haven't seen anything on this scale before. Zel Millers speech at the RNC is a prime example of the kind of thing I mean. A truly horrific piece if you care to take a read:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/01/politics/main640299.shtml

However this isn't just relegated to the republicans. The other day I heard Hillary Clinton say something to the affect of "America is the greatest country the world has ever seen". I'm not arguing that such statements can't or should not be held by members of the populous but it seems that this kind of speech is being increasingly enshrined in the halls of government by politicians. You can't even get elected unless you mention in just about every major speech, the greatness of the country. Failure to do so risks the other side, Republican or Democrat, pulling out the old "unpatriotic" accusations. Perhaps scarier still is that such accusations should carry any weight. But it's a much deeper problem than that. With very few exceptions, there are some notable ones though, the media seems to be playing the same tune. Since when did real political debates become two guys towing their respective party lines throwing sound bites and personal insults at each other. I can turn to just about any channel and hear "and from the right we have" "and on the left" followed by 20 minutes of insults, calls of treason, and material that could have been written by your average grade 8 social studies student. Often even the moderator of the discussion will get in on the argument and accuse one of the guests, usually the guy on the "left", of lying. Overlying all of this is a layer of right wing Christian fundamentalism that seems to have smothered all sense of reasoning from the white house on down. You have an attorney general who had himself anointed with Crisco on assuming his office. You have Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Pearl who have been planning the invasion of Iraq for years before September 11th. Then of course there is Bush who can't seem to help almost quoting scripture in every major speech. Always trying to connect the War on terror with elements of heaven and hell and Gods will. Here is a letter that Bush sent out to fellow employees when he was governor of Texas in 1995:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
--

I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission.

My very close personal friend from Midland, Joe. J. O'Neill, III, recently loaned me a portrait entitled "A Charge to Keep" by W.H.D. Koerner. This beautiful painting will hang on my wall for the next four years.

The reason I bring this up is that the painting is based upon the Charles Wesley hymn "A Charge to Keep I Have". I am particularly impressed by the second verse of this hymn. The second verse goes like this:

"To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill;
O may it all my powers engage to do my Master's will"

This is our mission. This verse captures our spirit.

Joe was inspired to make this generous loan during the church service preceding the inaugural ceremonies. It was in this church service when we sang the hymn "A Charge to Keep I Have".

When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves.

Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your service to our State. God Bless Texas!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
--

That's how these people think. They actually believe that the war on terror is Gods will and that they are just here to carry out his orders.

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 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Bush embraces the belief that American values, that is, rule of law, democracy and freedom are greater then all others.

Is that fascism?

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Locut0s is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
No that's what the republican line is. What bush and his team really embrace is the belief that America is great by divine right and that American values, by virtue of being American values not because they are intrinsically right, should be imposed upon those who hold values deemed immoral. I am not arguing that freedom and democracy are not noble and great values, they are, but they are not unique to the US and there are many different varieties of freedom, not all of which conform to the American standard. I am also not arguing for supporting fundamentalist Islamic values simply because they are different, fundamentalism in any form is extremely dangerous. What I am arguing is the supreme arrogance with which the current administration, and even some sides of the democratic administration, carry themselves on the world stage. The "our way or the highway" attitude that assumes we are on the side of right 100% of the time and the supposed enemy are on the side of the wrong 100% of the time. They seem to be blind sighted to the fact that much of their Christian right wing rhetoric stems from the same source as Islamic fundamentalist rhetoric.

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 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
No doubt they are arrogant, or perhaps even imperialist. However, unless they create another 10 patriot acts, then its not fascism.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"The semantic of facism is irrelevent: it is proceeding that way, similar to the way it had proceeded in the past in other countries that eventually ended up being facist."
OK, just realise that when communicating to people you should use the words who actually apply. I see you're thinking of "despotic" instead of "fascist", but its ok.

"Do the people feel powerless?"
50% of Americans apparently.

" Are they filled with propaganda?"
Um.. The opposition to Bush is allowed to counter Bush's propaganda with their own. What, do you want to make a law outlawing biased opinion?

" Is there almost no truth in what the politicians tell us?"
I hate to tell this to you. But its the same EVERYWHERE.

" Are we fighting for reasons other than what is told?"
Again, this is the same everywhere bucko. Except in places where there is no states to tell them what to fight for.

"Yes, yes, yes... which do not make it a democracy. Perhaps not facism yet, but definitely going there."
We still elect our gov, we still have freedom of speech and association. Just because you disagree with a gov does not make it a dictatorship.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Decius, you will not find a SINGLE DEMOCRACY in which the politicians do not lie!

Its sad, but its true, abandon your naive prejudices and join reality.

"a real democracy entails people voting for a leadership that addresses their best interests. This is negated since they have no idea what each party actually intends to do."
What? You wanna make a law which says people can't be stupid?

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Locut0s is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
DT: This is not about whether politicians lie or not or to what degree they do on the right or left. This is about an all pervasive atmosphere that encompasses all of politics. This is about the increasingly narrow range of views you must hold in order to be accepted as being in the "main stream". Let's see, what does it take in order for a candidate, democrat or republican, to have a serious shot at the whit house? Well for one you need to be white and of American heritage, second you need to make it clear you go to Church every Sunday, third you have to oppose gay marriage, fourth you must be pro military on many issues. This doesn't mean you can't run as a candidate without those "qualifications" but you aren't going to get very far without them. What's seen as "normal" and or "moral" is shrinking with each Christian fundamentalist victory as they secure their hold on the government. The senate passed a bill 99-1 to increase tenfold the amount that the FCC could fine broadcasters for airing "indecent or lewd content". Excuse me but "indecent or lewd content" is NOWHERE near a good enough definition. One persons "indecent or lewd content" is another persons art and freedom of expression.

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 44yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"There is no ability for the general public to find out what is true and what is not, nor do they "truly" have the ability to vote for whomever they want to."

And yet they will fight to the death to argue that "their" candidate and party is better or right.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"This is about the increasingly narrow range of views you must hold in order to be accepted as being in the "main stream". Let's see, what does it take in order for a candidate, democrat or republican, to have a serious shot at the whit house? Well for one you need to be white and of American heritage, second you need to make it clear you go to Church every Sunday, third you have to oppose gay marriage, fourth you must be pro military on many issues."
Maybe because... people.. vote.. for... candidates... who ... have... those... VIEWS! Its called DEMOCRACY! This just shows that Americans AGREE on those issues, cripes this is basic.

You may argue the American people are stupid for having those views, but this is an example of democracy, no less!

"It is NOT a democracy if all parties involved do not have the same OPPORTUNITY to communicate to the public, because then it is not the POLITICIANS themselves that are voted on, it is their widespread coverage."
Yes its a problem. But Bush didn't invent it, it goes all the way back to the invention of television I'm afraid.

"There is no ability for the general public to find out what is true and what is not, nor do they "truly" have the ability to vote for whomever they want to."
The electoral college and 1 round presidency sucks I'll give you that. However THESE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS SINCE TEDDY ROOSEVELT FAILED THIS IS NOT CAUSED BY BUSH.

I commend you guys for finding all the problems that have affected our democracy since the 1930s!

Oh, and stop using fascism as if it means dictatorship.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 36yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Astarte is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Oh my lord.
People.
America isn't a democracy in any sense not because of this foolish argument going on, it's simple.

In a democracy, everyone is required to vote. Here, if you can muster enough interest to register and actually vote, that's an achievement. Reason number one why this is not a democracy.

In a democracy, people do not elect representatives to make decisions for them. Here, you vote for Senators and House representatives to argue for you over useless bullshit legislation in the bicameral legislature.

And I'm thankful it's not a true democracy.
Mostly because I'd rather not force stupid people with no interest in the amendments and issues at hand, to vote.

Democracy is just some vague term every politican throws up in the air to make things look more grandiose. The Greeks would have all of our asses for butchering its real definition, that's for sure.

Facsism is another story.
Although I did manage to make some interesting connections between politicans here in the states and the tactics used by Franco, Mussolini and Hitler. Nationalism is a powerful tool. The balcony technique, the appeal to the citizens' religious affiliation, all that crap are great to sustain power and popularity.

When fascism doesn't work, you just take over the damn place and make a dictatorship. But then Machiavelli wouldn't suggest that as your first incentive.

[/end rant]

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"Milk, almonds and pistachios."
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Its not a DIRECT democracy. Its still a democracy. Everyone makes the CHOICE of voting, if they dont vote, they merely saying "i'm too ignorant/lazy for my opinion to be worth anything, I let you guys decide".

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 36yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Astarte is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
That's not a true democracy. You can't be half of a democracy with exceptions, that turns into a completely different type of government.

I mean I could argue and say this is actually an oligarchy but we've all been brainwashed to think we actually have some sort of power, when actually, a small group of people are running the entire show.

Mmm.
That reminds me of Animal Farm.
Hot.

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"Milk, almonds and pistachios."
 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Instead of saying we can't be a half-democracy, I think its more true that its impossible to be a pure democracy.

But we're still a democracy.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 36yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Astarte is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It's not a democracy.
The entire country is setup and run by the Freemasons, dammit.
It's all a conspiracy.

Evil.
Pure goddamn evil.
They didn't put the eye on the behind of Washington for nothing.

Oligarchy in disguise.
Their plan is working.

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"Milk, almonds and pistachios."
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Wyote is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
your Boulder roots are showing Astarte

quote:
if they dont vote, they merely saying "i'm too ignorant/lazy for my opinion to be worth anything, I let you guys decide


very true DT!

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"A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. - Thomas Carlyle"
Is America playing with fire ?
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