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Is America A Fascist Nation In Disguise?

By James Donahue

Writer Hari Heath once posted a thought-provoking essay in the Idaho Observer in which he argued that the United States shifted away from the principles of a democracy operating as a republic and into a form of fascism at the time of the Civil War.

Heath wrote: "Fascism is directly opposed to our original American philosophy and its emphasis on individual liberty, unalienable rights and the equality of all members of a society. Fascism extols the supreme sovereignty of the nation and the people's submission to the mandates of the state."

We tend to think of Hitler's Nazi Germany and the Italian government system under Benito Mussolini as fascism, and see no comparison to the "democratic" system operating in the United States. Heath agrees that the systems operating in Germany and Italy in the 1930s were an extreme form of fascism, but argues that fascism also can exist in more subtle forms.

Heath explained that "fascism is a political method of gaining and retaining power and the suppression of all opposition. It exalts an attitude that promotes the fighting spirit, military discipline, ruthlessness, the prevalence of the strong over the weak and the immediate, blind obedience to the dictates of an authoritative leader."

At the time Heath wrote this article, America was still reeling under the impact of the 9-11 attacks, there was a strong sense of nationalism as young men lined up for military service, knowing that we were probably going to declare war against someone for what was done. Our legislators also submitted blindly to accepting the Patriot Act that moved to strip Americans of many of their Constitutional freedoms almost overnight.

At that brief pivotal point in American history, President George W. Bush was in a position where he held almost supreme authority over the direction our nation was about to move. The people badly needed and wanted strong leadership and expected Mr. Bush to deliver. Instead, he botched the job and led us into the quagmire wars we now fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Since those days many Americans, especially the parents of the thousands of dead and badly wounded soldiers who have fallen in the Iraq conflict, have been waking up to the fact that we have all been had. They have used the only tool they still have to fight the powerful few that control the government, their vote at the ballot box.

While the reaction was strong enough to upset the lop-sided power the extreme right-wing Christian Republicans were holding over the nation under the Bush Administration, we also discovered to our horror that there is something terribly wrong with our electoral process. The electronic voting machines appear to be rigged so that certain candidates win office in spite of the wishes of the voters.

In the past year the scandals rocking Washington have shaken our nation to its roots. The media, which is still working to some degree, has reported arrests and convictions of some of our most powerful legislators for accepting bribes and favors from lobbyists representing mostly big business and special interest groups.

And this disclosure reveals just who it is that has been pulling the strings controlling our government. It is today, and has been since the time of Abraham Lincoln, big business that secretly overpower the will of the people in the interest of capitalism.

And here is where Heath's argument begins to make sense. He wrote: "just as socialism isn't exactly communism, a single dictator doesn't lead our federal fascists. Keeping the outer appearance of constitutional form, a multi-headed fascist, administrative dictatorship has assumed the awesome power to regulate our national lives."

The writer argues that "the basic forms of constitutional government are used only for show purposes. We are not actually governed by anything constitutional. Congress exceeds its constitutional powers with great abandon. The President operates an executive regime that declares war and issues its own orders. The courts no longer interpret laws in the light of the Constitution. They legislate with elaborate doctrines, in defiance of plain English and our fundamental Rights."

Heath then slams home his point by reminding his readers that the real power in the United States "lies in the shadows" within such agencies as FEMA, the CIA, the Department of Justice and the IRS. Such agencies "wield the fascist sword. In true fascist fashion, swarms of federal agencies have been sent hither 'with an ideology of belligerent nationalism' to control opposition and bring everyone into the fold of the corporate state."

--February 2007