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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

So, is Dubya really just like Hitler?

Despite the frequency with which Dubya is compared to the Nazi dictator, claims about how the US is on the road to fascism tend mainly to show that the person making the claim knows little or nothing about fascism, let alone how this ideology was practiced in Mussolini's Italy or Hitler's Germany. Instead, fascism is a conventient bogeyman to throw up whenever the current regime in Washington commits another of its many abuses of power.

As almost-a-historian (no, you can't ask me when I'll be finished with my master's thesis), wildly innacurate claims about how close the US is to fascism are really irritating — especially since there's a good case to be made that Dubya's US has a lot of the features of classical fascism of the Italian or German sort. Over at Majikthise, Lindsay offers a lot of useful information for the ideologically impaired in this thoughtful and well-crafted post about how the actions and policies of Dubya's administration match up with the kind of fascism that was practiced in the 1930s in Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany.

I'm NOT saying that we have a fascist government in America today. The United States is a democracy, we still have a free press, and the armed forces haven't acquiesced to the one-man rule of George W. Bush. I'm not claiming that it's inevitable, or even especially likely, that America will eventually become a full-blown fascist state. I'm certainly not saying that anyone in power today is consciously striving to create a full-fledged fascist dictatorship on the model of Mussolini's Italy or Franco's Spain. What I am saying is that the Bush administration has embraced many of the key mutually-reinforcing ideological tenets of Fascism: militarism, imperialism, corporate statism, state-sponsored religion, male dominance, irrationalism, and mass propaganda....

For whatever reason, Fascism and modern [US] Republicanism share a set of ideas that has enduring appeal, especially when combined as an ideological package. I have attempted to show how these tendencies are mutually reinforcing and self-perpetuating. It is a mistake to ask how far fascism has "crept up" on us. Instead, we should be focusing on how unchecked militarism and corporate statism are already undermining our freedom, regardless of whether these fixtures of American politics are harbingers of an even darker future.

Those excerpts only scratch the surface of Lindsay's post. Read the rest here, and be sure to check out the comments, too.

Via BOPNews.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:02 AM | Get permalink




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