This article was last modified on September 22, 2007.


Is America Becoming a Fascist Nation?

What follows is a response to third-wave feminist Naomi Wolf’s “Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps”, a summary of her book The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.

There is a point I should raise first: While seemingly an independent progressive voice, Wolf is no stranger to partisan politics, having been a consultant to both the Clinton and Gore presidential campaigns and having previously been married to a Clinton speechwriter. What this background does to her views is a matter of debate, but one should be aware her history clearly puts her in a Democratic, rather than independent, grouping.

Wolf ends her piece with a quotation that I’d like to begin with. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands … is the definition of tyranny,” wrote James Madison. Mysteriously, despite a lengthy search, I was unable to find the original quotation without the ellipses. But assuming that this reflects an accurate depiction of what Madison thought, I ask: does it reflect an accurate depiction of America today? And the simple answer is no.

America is very resilient and flexible in the realm of politics. Our check and balance system allows mistakes to be corrected, and even the gravest of errors can ultimately be worked out through new laws an the court system. Democracy today is much stronger than in the days of Madison: whereas senators were once chosen by those already in power, today they are elected by the people. There is more openness in government today, and even the most secret of programs can hardly exist for long in a world dominated by the press and the watchful eyes of dissenters. And most importantly, the world is smaller and more interconnected, leaving even the most powerful leaders to be on some level held accountable by the other leaders around him. The day of kings is over.

Wolf intends to show that during the Bush Administration we have walked down the path that Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia have walked before. And on some level, she’s right. But by going over her case point by point, we will see she has exaggerated her arguments and jumped to the most unfavorable conclusions. While we may be going down the wrong path, we can easily change our course. Bush is not Hitler or Stalin, and to present hi mas such both makes Wolf look foolish and belittles the malevolence of those great dictators.

Invoke a Terrifying Internal and External Enemy

Wolf uses the most obvious example here: Hitler’s denouncement of Bolshevism and the Jews. She compares this to Bush’s call to a war on terror against Islamic terrorists. Such a comparison should be obviously preposterous.

Hitler used Jews and communists as his scapegoats. The “Jewish menace” was clearly false, as most people knew even at the time. The communist threat was somewhat more convincing — in fact, the Russians did defeat the Germans in World War II — and even worked for the American people for forty years. But the threat was with a nation — Russia — more than it ever was with the intangible idea of “communism”. There was little chance such a belief system would ever dominate Germany (or America).

Bush, to his credit, is using a legitimate threat. Terrorists do exist, and they have attacked America. They likely would or will attack America again. He may have gone about the war on terror in the wrong way, and he may have inflated the threat to unbelievable proportions (through the use of the color-coded threat level system and his claims of disrupting plots that were nothing more that wet dreams) but the basic points he makes have a kernel of truth.

Wolf even admits this: “It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course it is.” Her point is that while the threats facing America differ from Germany, the language is the same. So she is stepping away from her point: the threat is no longer a false internal or external enemy, but the way we talk about one. Overstating a threat, while still reckless and irresponsible, is far less of a crime than making up a threat entirely.

Wolf quotes Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda saying, “This time there will be no defined end,” referring to the “war on terror”. In some sense, this is correct. By having a war on “terror” (a thing as immortal as “hate”, “love” or “drugs”) there can be no defined end. But this does not mean the tactics cannot be changed. Like the war on drugs, there are right ways an wrong ways to proceed. Drugs are best defeated through education and rehabilitation rather than prison sentences. Terrorism is best defeated through education (both for Americans and for Arabs) and police work, rather than a military presence: terror is a crime, not an act of war.

Create a Gulag

Like Hitler’s concentration and extermination camps, and Stalin’s gulags, Wolf is quick to point the finger at Guantanamo Bay and the secret “black sites” run by the CIA in Europe. She quickly jumps from the current use for Guantanamo to a more drastic prediction: “But soon enough, civil society leaders — opposition members, labor activists, clergy and journalists — are arrested and sent there as well.” The comparison to past events is valid, and the existence of these places is horrendous, but again the differences are striking.

Have journalists, civil rights leaders and others been sent to these prisons? No. Will they be? No. Have others been sent them mistakenly? Yes, as well as hundreds of Afghanis and Arabs that did nothing criminally wrong. And this is lamentable — but temporary and fixable.

Almost across the board, the Democrats have called for Guantanamo to be shut down. Some, such as Barack Obama, are pushing for more normal relations with Cuba, which would also suggest the closure of the base as a whole (it makes little sense currently to have an American base on an island we consider to be the enemy). Although the process is going far too slow, prisoners are one by one being released. Law professor David Cole explains that reason is finally coming to Cuba: “The Pentagon’s Combatant Status Review Tribunals’ own findings categorized only 8 percent of some 500 detainees held there in 2006 as fighters for Al Qaeda or the Taliban. More than half of the 775 Guantánamo detainees have now been released.”

The big issue remaining is torture, but even that is likely to decrease over time. The courts do not favor torture, such tactics are banned internationally, and while our lawmakers have been far too lenient in their appraisals (such as Mitt Romney’s favored opinion of “enhanced interrogation techniques”) this is likely to change as the world stands against us. One need only compare American laws on the death penalty: we have gone from a society that tolerated — celebrated, sometimes — public lynchings, to one that has outlawed executions of the mentally ill, juveniles and eliminated the electric chair as “cruel and inhumane” (with lethal injection not far behind). America is not as forgiving as Europe or most of the world, but we are catching up.

Torture and long imprisonments without due process are likely to end for purely practical reasons as well. As David Cole clearly illustrates:

“When the Administration chooses to disappear suspects into secret prisons and use waterboarding to encourage them to talk, it forfeits any possibility of bringing the suspects to justice for their alleged crimes, because evidence obtained coercively at a “black site” would never be admissible in a fair and legitimate trial. That’s the real reason no one has yet been brought to trial at Guantánamo. There is debate about whether torture ever results in reliable intelligence–but there can be no debate that it radically curtails the government’s ability to bring a terrorist to justice.”

Like the Japanese internment camps in World War II, the prisons for “terrorists” will become a historical mistake. As the fear of women, Blacks, Italians, Jews, Irish and Poles entering into our right to vote has passed, so will the fear of homosexuals and Muslims.

Develop a Thug Caste

Wolf lays out the past instances of a thug caste: “The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany.” She then points at the current American thugs: Blackwater mercenaries (and other military contractors).

The comparison is not even close. Blackwater is a legitimate problem: they roam Iraq without oversight or Iraqi approval and wandered the streets of New Orleans shooting at civilians if they saw fit to do so. They are, as Jeremy Scahill has so aptly pointed out in both his writing in The Nation and his book on Blackwater, a shadow army — there are more mercenaries in Iraq than American troops (making us, as Scahill said on CNN, a “junior partner”).

But unlike the death squads of Germany or Italy, Blackwater does not answer to Bush. They are a corporation answering to their own boss (Erik Prince). And they are controllable. While they have shot innocent civilians, the instances are rare. And if Congress initiated an oversight procedure, which seems likely after the shootings in Iraq on September 16, 2007 (where 11 Iraqis died in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad), Blackwater would be effectively leashed. They are an inevitable force — when the Army becomes a volunteer organization, troop numbers must be fleshed out by deferring to private companies. This is not so much a “fascist” move by the Bush Administration as it is a practical reality to achieve the goals necessary.

With an oversight committee, easily established by Congress, Blackwater and all shadow armies in America will be a thing of the past.

Wolf also uses this anecdote: “Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000.” The implication seems to be that Bush somehow commanded these men to intimidate the workers into stealing the election for him. But the reality is probably far less sinister: Republicans are no more guilty than Democrats for underhanded tactics — dreamt up independently, with no approval by the parties or the men running for President. Yet another example of her jumping to overblown conclusions. (Note: I was unable to find any reports of this incident to verify the facts of the case.)

Set up an Internal Surveillance System

Wolf is not alone in her fear of a “surveillance society”. The American Civil Liberties Union is just as afraid, if not more so. They have recently — in September 2007 — set their “surveillance clock” to 11:54, suggesting the day of surveillance is almost upon us.

As of September 21, 2007, the ACLU website says, “The reality is we are fast approaching a genuine surveillance society in the United States – a dark future where our every move, our every transaction, our every communication is recorded, compiled, and stored away, ready to be examined and used against us by the authorities whenever they want.”

“The trend toward greater tracking and surveillance of individuals has intensified rapidly in recent years,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Project. “National identity systems, mass surveillance and data mining, the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, DNA data-banking, search engines that store our every query, even satellites – it’s worse than ever.” [ACLU: 2007]

They have also released a report detailing the increased threat of surveillance called “Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains”, available on their website and a legitimately interesting read. They lay out the potential problems with DNA collection and even discuss the RFID chips. RFID, as you may know, is a topic of great interest to conspiracy theorists and Seventh Day Adventists. Also discussed are National ID cards. All of these things help track items, vehicles and even people (RFID chips can be implanted in the skin).

Increased surveillance of the populace is a serious concern. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of their personal information being known by the government, or being sold to corporations for commercial uses. More than being uncomfortable, some uses could be dangerous or even criminal.

But the worst things that can be done — spying inside our homes and such — already have Constitutional failsafes. Laws protecting our privacy can easily be drafted in accordance with the Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

We are further protected under the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

Surveillance in America is increasing. However, this is no fault of the government or any strain of fascism. Let me dismiss the idea of agents embedded in peaceful groups: while this does happen, it is no more true now than during Vietnam. Like Vietnam, this situation will pass.

The bigger issue is video surveillance. And the increased video surveillance is by no means related to the government. Look around you: the primary placement of cameras is in front of, or inside of, businesses protecting their merchandise. Now even individuals increasing carry digital cameras or have cellular telephones with cameras — sometimes even video cameras — built in. If the government is using photographs or video surveillance at an increasing rate, this is due to the society’s acceptance of technology, not a government plot to spy on Americans.

One great irony, and a strong counter-argument to Wolf’s thesis, is how one aspect of fascism (surveillance) contradicts another (detention). Wolf freely admits that cameras have become commonplace enough to capture the Abu Ghraib scandal on celluloid: “We know from firsthand accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people, innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the U.S.-run prisons we are aware of and those we can’t investigate adequately.” Without the existence of the Lynndie England photographs, the mistreatment at Abu Ghraib would likely have never come to light and may have gone on to this day.

Other surveillance issues, such as Patriot ACT abuses and warrantless wiretapping, are credible threats to democracy. Yet, once more, these are likely to become eroded as the courts rule such practices unconstitutional. Consumers, likewise, can choose not to be affiliated with any corporation agreeing to support wiretapping. Far from being traitorous, the press’s exposure of such programs is precisely what the press was created for: to be a balance of citizen power against government abuse.

Invasions of citizens’ privacy have come and gone since the first days of our country. William Safire, in his novel Scandalmonger (fictional but based on real events), relates the story of President John Adams, who was so concerned about the unity of his country that he had the postmaster read people’s mail in search of treasonous or dissenting opinions. Adams’ paranoia ran so deep that even the mail of his own vice president, Thomas Jefferson, was being read. Today, the threat of our mail being examined is virtually non-existent.

Harass Citizens’ Groups

This is one of Wolf’s weaker points. She mentions the infiltration of peace and anti-war groups by federal agents. As already mentioned, this tactic was used during Vietnam. By and large, it is a harmless exercise — the government looks after those who are most likely against them. Harassment by police or federal agents may follow, but this is more likely traced to overzealous investigators than to any government conspiracy.

Wolf uses the example of “a church in Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in favor of peace, found itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, while churches that got Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal under U.S. tax law, have been left alone.” Until the facts are made known on these cases, I see no reason to suspect that anyone in the Bush Administration singled out the church in Pasadena.

What is known is that All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California had a guest minister (George Regas) make an anti-war speech prior to the 2004 elections. Someone notified the Internal Revenue Service, on the grounds that the speech was political and therefore in violation of the tax-exempt status of the church. The church was notified of the investigation on June 9, 2005 and as of September 2007 still have not concluded the case, or even know who was responsible for reporting them in the first place.

While the church has every right to fight for their tax-exempt status, the case against them is not entirely without merit. Reports of the incident claim “Regas imagined what Jesus would say to then-presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry about the war in Iraq.” Regas came down hard against President Bush. The church subsequently refused to turn over any financial documents to the IRS or even to attend a hearing that was scheduled for the case. [Williams 2007]

While All Saints and other groups have every right to free speech, not all government investigations of them are illegal or simply using them as targets. Wolf is no more a legal scholar than I am, so the case of All Saints could be argued either way by more capable analysts than ourselves.

Engage in Arbitrary Detention and Release

The Bush Administration has engaged in these sorts of maneuvers — locking American citizens up without charge for extended periods of time — as noted most clearly in the case of Jose Padilla. But Wolf is more concerned with the “Terrorist Watch List”, which calls for 75,000 people to be harassed before boarding flights. In many cases, the reasons have nothing to do with terror at all — critics of the Administration, even conservative ones such as Princeton professor Walter F. Murphy, are being asked to strip and answer questions as well.

In wolf’s book, she makes her case as follows: “When you are physically detained by armed agents because of something you said or wrote, it has an impact… you get it right away that the state is tracking your journeys, can redirect you physically, and can have armed men and women, who may or may not answer your questions, search and release you.” [Ross :2007]

While there is a big difference between imprisoning dissenters in a cage where no one can find them and simply harassing them at an airport, the point is clear and correct: this simply should not be happening. But, on the bright side, such cases are likely happening less and less since they began in 2003.

The airlines, like any other business, are profit-driven corporations. And profits have not been accumulating for the airlines. When restrictions were placed on air travel, such as the banning of water bottles, these same restrictions were removed as quickly as possible. An inconvenienced customer means an unhappy customer, which means frequent travel and less income. The government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can set guidelines, but when the guidelines begin to affect profits, profits will invariably win out. As with other abuses of privacy, the courts will come down against this as well. The detriment of keeping a dissenting populace scared far outweighs any benefits.

Target Key Individuals

The historical precedents are set up again by Wolf: “Mussolini went after the rectors of state universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile’s Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing pro-democracy students and professors.”

Bush seems weak in comparison. Universities may be intimidated for anti-Bush professors, but their removal is hardly common. Noam Chomsky is more free to speak his mind today than he was in the 1960s. Ward Churchill, who called the victims of 9/11 “little Eichmanns” and calls the United States a police state, was removed after years of debate, but due to fraud and plagiarism — not his political views (though, these did call more than a little attention to him).

Wolf’s best example of “key individuals” targeted are the eight United States attorneys who were fired for not being “loyal Bushies”. And this is a valid point, because when the government can choose the beliefs of their attorneys, the cases being prosecuted take an interesting turn. Look at the top of the chain: Janet Reno, a Democrat, targeted corporations. Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, focused more on individual crimes such as drug offenses. This trickles down.

But the attorney scandal was mild, only potentially illegal (there’s nothing inherent illegal about hiring or firing attorneys at will) and ended up being investigated by Congress to such an extent that Gonzales was forced to resign and the fired attorneys were vindicated. Was this fascism or merely party politics? Don’t be surprised if those fired attorneys become rehired under the next Democratic administration.

Control the Press

Control of the press is something that has been going on for decades, perhaps even centuries. And for Wolf to highlight it as a problem is something I couldn’t agree with more. Whoever controls the message and the language controls the debate. An agitated populace depends on an agitated newspaper editor to guide them. Think back to the illegal immigration debate not long ago — while still around, it blossoms for about two months when the press couldn’t stop writing about it. The immigration problem is no better now than it was then, but without the press, the people have no conductor.

The control is often subtle. The Associated Press is notorious for including extraneous words in a column to force the reader into a certain opinion if they are only a casual reader. Two big examples are with the treatment of Israel and Iran. On occasion, rather than simply saying “Israel”, a story will say “Israel, a peace-seeking nation” instead. Not only is this information debatable, but it pre-conditions the reader to favor Israel. Iran is sometimes identified as “Iran, a nation that calls for Israel to be wiped from the map”. This is blatantly false. And even if the article discusses some good done in Iran, the reader naturally assumes the intent is sinister because they want to “wipe Israel from the map”. Uses of the word “terrorism” are misleading, and the examples go on and on.

Wolf is right, though she overstates the case. Vice President Cheney did target Ambassador Joseph Wilson after he wrote a critical New York Times editorial. Al-Jazeera offices have been targeted in the Middle East. And one of the most egregious examples is a baiting technique used by Cheney and others: make an anonymous comment for a major newspaper, and then go on television citing the newspaper as your source — adding credibility to whatever the politician wants the “facts” to be.

The problem is less a fascist government and more a lazy and dependent media. The media are a profit-driven lot (like the airlines and other corporations), preferring to reprint things at a lower cost to get the maximum advertising revenue. This results in a limitation on viewpoints, reporters in the field, and conflicting reports that make information dissemination possible. The government will provide a press release, and the lazy media will reprint it as a news without the proper fact-checking or counter-arguments.

Does the government control the media? No. And they don’t have to as long as the media remains too lazy to do their job. (Luckily, as noted above in the Abu Ghraib and wiretapping cases, they will on occasion have a little courage.)

Dissent Equals Treason

Wolf has no point here. So what is the administration calls dissent “treason” and criticism “espionage”? This is mere rhetoric.

She cites a historic example: “[W]hen the 1917 Espionage Act was last widely invoked, during the infamous 1919 Palmer Raids, leftist activists were arrested without warrants in sweeping roundups, kept in jail for up to five months, and ‘beaten, starved, suffocated, tortured and threatened with death,’ according to the historian Myra MacPherson. After that, dissent was muted in America for a decade.” If dissent returned after 1929, and the Espionage Act hasn’t been “widely invoked” since 1919, isn’t this a good thing?

Wolf does make one very valuable point, which she also stressed during her appearance on the Colbert Report: The Military Commissions Act of 2006 removed habeas corpus and gives Bush the right to call anyone an “enemy combatant” and lock them up indefinitely in a military jail. But whether or not Bush can call an American citizen (rather than a captured foreigner) an “enemy combatant” is up for debate, and the entire act may well be unconstitutional and end up being thrown out.

On September 19, 2007, the Senate voted on whether or not to grant habeas corpus rights to the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay — as they are currently “enemy combatants” they must go before military tribunals and not before federal judges as other criminals would. The measure failed, despite all Democrats but one voting in favor of it. That one Democrat (technically an Independent and now a frequent Bush supporter despite being the 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate) was Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

Lieberman told reporters the following: “Look, we’ve got to remember that these are not normal criminal defendants being brought into a federal court in the United States. These are people seized in a war, the war against terrorism… If you’re a citizen of the United States, you’ve got a right to habeas. If you’re not a citizen, and you’re declared an illegal enemy combatant and adjudicated to be so after one of these military tribunals, I don’t think you have a right to go to court on a habeas action.” [Curry: 2007]

The issue of habeas corpus for these prisoners is still hotly contested in the courts, but may ultimately end up in their favor.
Enemy combatants did not have habeas rights until 2004, when the Supreme Court decided they did (due to the case Rasul v Bush). The Military Commissions Act of 2006 took the right away again, and a Court of Appeals agreed with the Act in February 2007.

This is not the last word on habeas corpus, though: the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case in the next few months, and with the precedent of Rasul v. Bush, we could well see enemy combatants become treated the same as anyone else — tried for their crimes or released for lack of evidence.

Where Wolf gets her idea that a citizen can be called an enemy combatant is due to poor wording in the Act itself: some passages refer to “alien unlawful enemy combatants”, whereas others simply refer to “unlawful enemy combatants”. Lieberman contends that the habeas corpus rights are still available for citizens, and legal scholar Robert A. Levy agrees: “A citizen may be detained (subject to habeas challenge), but not tried, under the MCA.” [Levy 2006]

Wolf, yet again, is jumping to the worst of conclusions.

Suspend the Rule of Law

Wolf warns of the president’s increased authority over the National Guard. Previously, the Guard was controlled by the governor of each state, traditionally sent to secure natural disaster sites (or, here in Wisconsin, chemical spills from train wrecks). National Guard troops were sent to Iraq as supplementary forces (often driving trucks, not usually in combat) but most if not all of these soldiers were volunteers and no Guard member was forced to go to Iraq.

Power leaving the states and becoming more concentrated in the federal government is more often than not a bad thing. This is no exception. But Wolf is looking at the worst cases scenario. What about the good? She speaks disapprovingly of the “thug caste” — the Blackwater mercenaries that police the streets in New Orleans. But, as illustrated, these forces exist because the military is stretched too thin. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that an increased ability to dispatch National Guard troops to New Orleans would have resulted in fewer mercenaries and increased accountability. Does Wolf prefer the thugs or the President being able to give troops greater mobility?

Until martial law breaks out, I won’t hold my breath for the president to abuse his powers over domestic troops.

Characteristics of Fascism: 10 or 14?

Before Naomi Wolf came along, other lists comparing America to fascist nations existed. Most notably is a list by Dr. Lawrence Britt, who relates the 14 defining points of fascism (I’ve included a two minute video in the source list for those interested in a quick overview). I’d like to call attention to two of his points Wolf ignores:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism. Fascist nations emphasize the flag, patriotism and other things associated with the “homeland”. America has long loved to honor its flag, sing the National Anthem before sporting events and have children recite the pledge of allegiance (to a flag, rather than to any ideals, it may be added). And after 9/11, patriotism in the form of flags, and “support our troop” ribbons really peaked. But, we have seen this same patriotism wane since then, and over time patriotism as a whole is diminishing: the Pledge is no longer ubiquitous in schools and universal respect for elected officials — if it ever existed — is dead. (Would Hitler have allowed a calendar to exist with 365 “Hitlerisms” highlighting his lack of intelligence?)

2. Religion and Government are Intertwined. A case could be made if we stretch what “intertwined” means. In Hitler’s Germany, he had the Catholic Church in his pocket. Pope Pius XII was quick to turn a blind eye and legitimize the Nazi cause (see historian John Cornwell’s book “Hitler’s Pope”). What does Bush have? He speaks in religious tones and phrases, and has the support of many religious organizations (see the documentary “Jesus Camp”). But no church is “intertwined” with him — the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI have flatly condemned his administration and the Iraq War. The Religious Right, powerful during the days of Ronald Reagan, has crumbled. Jerry Falwell has died and Ted Haggard was exposed as a homosexual. On this point, America fails miserably as a fascist nation.

Britt also includes “rampant sexism” in his list, with “male-dominated” power structures. This, obviously, is less true now than ever before in America. [Britt: 2003]

Conclusion

The primary problem with Wolf’s article is not so much her fact-digging or her point. The comparisons she makes are factual (although often stretched to serve her purposes) and the incidents she cites are real. Her point, that such a slouching towards the fascist state is happening and further slouching should be avoided, is also rational and logical. The problem is in her tone: she takes the low road, relying on sensationalism and the sense that the end is near. Horror fans may expect Crazy Ralph to appear and ominously warn that we are “all doomed”.

The bottom line, and Wolf even admits this after commanding our attention, is that the situation is reversible and more than likely will be reversed. After all her threats, she reminds us: “Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total closing down of the system that followed Mussolini’s march on Rome or Hitler’s roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.”

Is America becoming a fascist nation? In short, no. We have taken steps towards the fascist ideology, but as we have done many times before we are swinging the pendulum back towards liberty. The Bush years are only a minor setback in the overall journey towards a more ideal country and world. Call me optimistic, but given this country’s history, the sense of hope far outweighs the impending sense of Armageddon.

Sources

“America: 14 Characteristics Of Fascism.” Posted on YouTube, August 30, 2006. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keKsYVResL8

American Civil Liberties Union, “ACLU Sets New “Surveillance Society Clock” At Six Minutes Before Midnight”. Press Release, September 17, 2007. http://www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/31852prs20070917.html

Britt, Lawrence, “The 14 Characteristics of Fascism”, Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, p. 20.

Cole, David and Jules Lobel. “Why We’re Losing the War on Terror” The Nation. September 24, 2007.

Curry, Tom. “Senate defeat for detainee rights” MSNBC.Com, September 19, 2007. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20853029/

Levy, Robert A. “Does the Military Commission Act Apply to U.S. Citizens?” Cato-at-Liberty, official blog of the Cato Institute. October 2, 2006. http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2006/10/02/does-the-military-commission-act-apply-to-us-citizens/

Ross, Sherwood. “Bush Restricting Travel Rights Of Over 100,000 U.S. Citizens” OfficialWire. September 8, 2007. http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=recent&rid=21382

Stanley, Jay and Barry Steinhardt. “Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society,” ACLU Technology and Liberty Program. January 2003.

Williams, Janette. “All Saints rector to address IRS probe,” Whittier Daily News. September 22, 2007.

Wolf, Naomi. “Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps” AlterNet, April 28, 2007. http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/51150/?page=1

Also try another article under Political
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

One Response to “Is America Becoming a Fascist Nation?”

  1. Pierre Baucum Says:

    When are we going to learn and I find it hard to believe that the people in Washington and the military that we are never going to beat these guys. Alexander the Great , the British , the Russian and now us we will never get out that country holding our heads high. They have every advantage get out now and save our young men and women from further blood shed.

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