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.