Monthly Archives: May 2019

American-style Fascism

As quoted in an earlier blog post, in 1944 Henry Wallace, Vice-President under FDR, defined American-style fascism in this way:

“…(T)hey can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups. … (They) are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity. … They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective … is to capture political power so that using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Regarding the Trump administration, I am grateful for one thing: that its audacious greed and lack of subtlety have stripped the mask off the corporate fascism that is bent on looting and strangling our republic. But if the recent midterm elections seemed to be a setback for its program, recall that the corporate coup of our democracy has occurred under the watch of both parties. Neoliberal leaders like Macron, Trudeau, the Clintons, and President Obama have been merely the smiling face of the same corporate fascism. Their kowtowing to corporate power and their failure to address real economic inequalities helped set the stage for a Trump. Ralph Nader has written an important article about this in Common Dreams.

The only remedy is to get corporate money out of politics and to elect leaders who are not beholden to corporate interests– radical, systemic change that’s not going to be easy. Yet the difference between a corporate Democrat and a corporate Republican is the difference between ketchup and catsup. At the end of the day, they both spell the end of our republic. Throw in the urgency of climate change, and what we face as the voting public is a choice between radical change or the certain death of our democracy and civilization. Even if the majority of Americans prefer the latter, the rest of us must at least go down fighting.

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New Radio Broadcast

Just started a monthly broadcast, called, not surprisingly, “Majoring in the Majors,” on Artist First Radio. On this show we discuss, among other things, issues of social justice and how they relate to the church. My first guest was Zohra Sarwari, a Muslim American author and lecturer. We talked about the recent spate of terrorist attacks and what the vast majority of Muslims feel about them. Check out the podcast here.

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Non-violent protests do work, Harvard study says

In this era of political insanity and quiet outrage, it’s a shot of hope to hear that mass protests, the non-violent kind, are actually more effective in a majority of cases than violent ones– if, that is, enough people participate: 3.5% of the population, to be exact. Read the BBC article.  (In case you’re wondering what that would look like in the U.S., it would take about 11.6 million of us. Okay, folks, let’s get to work!)

 

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