Keith's NO EMPIRE Blog

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Thursday, June 09, 2005


The United States is a fascist nation. The transition to fascism occurred during and immediately following World War II. No, we are not a fascist dictatorship like Germany or Italy was. Rather, we are covertly fascistic. A corporate dominated national security state.

The essence of fascism is governmental control of the economy through the military-industrial complex. Benito Mussolini once said that "Modern fascism should be properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state, military and corporate power." In the U.S., military spending provides the essential government spending which underpins the economy. Also, it provides the subsidized R&D that the high-tech sectors of the economy rely upon. Without massive military spending, the government would have to redirect spending to socially beneficial things (currently unacceptable to the ruling elites) or the economy would crash due to lack of demand.

The Great Depression was a wake-up call to the ruling elites. It became obvious to most of the corporate leadership that, rhetoric aside, advanced capitalism required massive government intervention in the economy. Obvious, direct quasi-socialist intervention could lead to citizen involvement in economic decision making and was totally unacceptable to American economic elites. Fascism, on the other hand, provided indirect control responsive to elite pressure and insulated from popular involvement. Additionally, fascism was mutually congruent with and supportive of empire.

For a country mired in a great depression, economic stimulation through military spending had great appeal. Prior to World War II, both Hitler and Mussolini received considerable favorable press coverage in the U.S.. FDR himself referred to Mussolini as "that fine Italian gentleman." In the 1930s, Henry Ford was honored to receive a medal from Hitler’s Germany. Charles Lindbergh was a frequent guest of the Third Reich, who downplayed the negative aspects of Nazi Germany. Before the war, American business found much to admire in Germany and Italy.

The war itself convinced elite skeptics that a war-driven economy was the way to go. I doubt that they thought of themselves as fascists or would have described the evolving system as fascism. The term fascism is usually used to describe overt fascist dictatorships, not the covert fascism of the national security state the U.S. became. In any event, World War II served to jump start the economy out of the Great Depression. Republicans are fond of saying that the war brought us out of the depression, not Roosevelt’s New Deal. True. And more significant than most people realize.

After the war, the business elites feared a return of the depression if normal demobilization occurred. The spending splurge of the returning troops bought some time as the elites frantically sought ways to justify the military Keynesianism that they had come to depend upon. Thus, the Red Menace was born as Americans were told that it would be suicidal to disarm and leave ourselves defenseless against the ruthless onslaught of International Communism. The onset of the Korean war provided the government with a pretext to rally the public in favor of massive military spending. A permanent war economy became the norm.

The transition to a national security state dovetailed nicely with elite imperial ambitions. After the war, the U.S. waged an unrelenting and successful effort to restore the pre-war conditions of western dominance and Third World subservience and exploitation. The key difference being that the industrial nations would no longer compete and war with each other over who gets to plunder what. Rather, Uncle Sam, acting as planetary mafia don, engaged in non-stop aggression against the entire Third World to keep them in their place and ensure cheap raw materials for the west, and open markets for western manufactures. Uncle Sam enforced order and called the shots, the western allies gave support and got a piece of the action. All of this was sold to the public as defense against communism.

A key to understanding current U.S. foreign policy is to understand the impact of American fascism. It has been said that the business of America is business. Following World War II, it would be more appropriate to say that the business of America is war. Not war against other industrial powers which would be mutually destructive and possibly suicidal, rather, war against some defenseless Third World country, justified by some flimsy pretext with the support of the doctrinal system. War on terror, war on drugs, humanitarian intervention, whatever.

Uncle Sam is always looking for some excuse to get involved in a war, although "war" isn’t accurate when applied to U.S. aggression against the Third World. If a mafia don were to send some goons to beat up some hapless shopkeeper, would you call that a fight? How many millions of Third World people have died because of U.S. imperial interventions? The sad truth is that the last thing our elite rulers want is peace on earth, goodwill to all. Our economy would have to change or collapse, and they don’t want either to occur.

The critically important point is that the massive U.S. military budget is not a response to any military threat, rather, the emphasis on military might leads to U.S. aggression and terrorist retaliation. Our excessive military spending doesn’t buy security, it promotes conflict. And profits for corporate America. It is imperative that we work to dismantle the American empire and roll back the national security state. No easy task with virtually every congressional district receiving significant money from "defense" spending. An essential first step is to relentlessly attack the patriotic, jingoistic mythology which provides the ideological justification for our warmongering insanity.

Seattle Keith 1/2/05


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