Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Name Calling

As we make the transition into a Second term for President Bush, I suspect the normal political invocations to begin. I have been called a commie so many times, that I turn my head now, thinking someone is calling me by name. But the GOP is looking at another name change by the far left of the Dem party. It looks like NeoCon was too Minnesota Nice, and the Fascism term is gaining more prominence.

Truthout has reminded us of a screed penned by then Vice President Henry A Wallace in the Spring of 1944. The New York Times asked him to answer the following three questions: What is a Fascist, How many Fascist have we, and how dangerous are they. OK, I'll cull the snippets that caught my eye, but you should read his take for the full context.

Keep in mind, this is 1944, pre D-Day, at the height of WWII
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.
The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.
The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power.
This one jumped right into my lap and sat there awhile:
The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. 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 toward which all their deceit is directed 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.
I'm not calling anyone names, and don't plan to. It is easy to generalize any person or group of people and lump them into a title of your choosing. The problem the left has, is that the Right is way to good at this. I am recognzing more and more every day why, because I am bound by the truth, and the Right is confused as to what the truth really is.


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