Is America on the Road to Fascism?
When I was a child and a young man, I lived in a free country. Now the government sticks its hands in my pants and searches my crotch if I want to fly a plane. And already happening, TSA searches in train and bus stations as well. It’s also illegal in three states now to photograph a cop that is arresting you in a public place, yeah, you can’t witness your own arrest apparently. Then there’s the so called “Free Speech Zones,” more police per capita than any other country, and the world’s largest prison system. What’s wrong with this picture? I don’t fully understand, but it’s becoming clearer all the time that this is not a good thing.
Until fairly recently I was of the opinion that I didn’t need to worry too much about fascism in America. Lately I’m thinking I may have been too optimistic, and that we have gone so far down a slippery slope that there is no turning back. I think a combination of factors since the 1960s have eroded our freedoms in a myriad of ways that people have grown used to. Like the proverbial frogs in a cooking pot, this danger has come on us so slowly that most of us aren’t aware that the water is starting to boil.
I think this started in the sixties and the early seventies. Decades of the Cold War had conditioned people to think of a huge and intrusive US government as “normal.” Then there was the sixties, when “Law and Order” and the “War on Drugs” started to enter the national consciousness. About the same time our once proud and independent press started to be acquired hyper-global-mega-corporations, a process that was complete sometime by the early nineties. The “War on Drugs” is important for it conditioned people to believe in a government that had the power to regulate everything, including what chemical citizens want to have in their bloodstreams. And Roe vs Wade also contributed, in that it created an entire and tireless political movement devoted to government regulation of what citizens do with their own bodies. (I’m not a fan of abortion, I think every child should be a wanted child, but abortion prohibition is a terrible way to bring that about and does far more harm than good.)
And then of course the past decade has conditioned people to believe in perpetual war. And be perpetually afraid of enemies lurking everywhere. Despite the fact that terrorism in the USA is and always has been a very modest threat, there are ever increasing and intrusive efforts to “protect us” from it. Not to mention that now the government is starting to exert far more control over the Internet, the last bastion of free speech for those who have realized that what the main stream media, from Fox to CNN, is feeding us pure Kool-Aid.
The last thing that factors into this mess is the fact that in the past few decades we have simultaneously allowed our infrastructure to decay, moved our manufacturing to other countries, and turned our schools into little more than day centres for an increasingly ignorant and powerless and futureless population. The only thing that the USA has really invested in in the past few decades is more military, more “security,” more government, more police, and more prisons. And absolutely none of these create wealth in any way. Military spending is some of the m0st wasteful spending imaginable, as a tiny number of people build incredibly expensive gadgets that perform no useful function and have to be replaced by even newer and more expensive gadgets. … forever! And then, just to make sure it’s wasted, we ship these gadgets to the other side of the planet at fabulous expense to be blown up. Yeah, that’s makiing America richer and stronger.
I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but I fear that sooner rather than later something is going to snap. I mean, if there were another 9/11 today, not only do I think we would have a police state overnight, many many Americans are so hooked on their Kool-Aid that they would support it. Legions of Fox News viewers would that’s for sure. And the liberals and progressives seem to be going down without a fight as the country has drifted (or been driven) to the right the past few decades. People used to give a shit about the workers and freedom in America, now “union” and “strike” are dirty words.
And I wonder if the Wikileaks will be the match that sets the house on fire. My biggest hope at this time is that the government will launch massive Internet censorship. Most Americans don’t seem to notice when their freedoms are stripped away one by one, but if they can’t log onto their favourite web site, many of them go ballistic. It’s a slender reed to grasp, but it is one of several, and the situation isn’t hopeless. It’s not a police state yet, but it’s time to start waking up America.
(The image above is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. I don’t know who created it, but clicking on it leads to the site I got it from. And yes, I know the juxtaposition of a swastika on the American flag is offensive to some, but fascism in America would be far more offensive, and I want to exercise my freedom of speech while I still have it. And no, I don’t think we have a Hitler on the horizon, but a Hitler isn’t required for a police state. There’s plenty of police states on Earth now that don’t have Hitlers.)