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Friday, March 25, 2005

Corporate Fascism & the End of Nature

Daily Kos: Robert Kennedy Jr Implies Bush a Fascist
Sun Jan 30th, 2005 at 00:58:51 PST

I went to a lecture by Robert Kennedy Jr. tonight. As he got started, I realized something. Perhaps is it not me who is moving to the mainstream - perhaps the mainstream is moving to me. I realized this as Robert Kennedy Jr. said the "F" word, the "M" word and the "H" word - all in the context of Bush, corporate power and American democracy.

Fascism. Mussolini. Hitler. Bush.

fas-cism - A philosophy or governmental system marked by stringent socioeconomic control, a strong central government usually headed by a dictator, and often a belligerently nationalistic policy. (Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary).

Kennedy did not say: Bush is a fascist. Instead he said (in sequence):

1. Fascists are corporate plunderers of the commons
2. Mussolini and Hitler were from the fringe radical right, and were irrelevant until corporations bolstered them
3. Bush is a corporate plunderer of the the commons

Read between the lines. The implication can't be mistaken. Kennedy called Bush a fascist, and the progressive Seattle audience clapped and roared approval. There were Congressmembers in the audience - it was a mainstream crowd that had paid money to hear Kennedy speak.

Kennedy sounded like a man speaking at a radical rally. He talked of the extreme, radical, anti-democratic corporate powers that are destroying our nation - in economic, political and spiritual terms.

This is what we call a backlash. Vice President Gore says "police state" in a speech. Robert Kennedy Jr. implies Bush is a fascist, and I and other radicals are calling ourselves Democrats. Times have changed - and this was impossible to miss tonight. I felt at home, listening to a fiery speech about the defense of the republic in a mainstream setting, with a mainstream speaker, amongst a mainstream audience. Sure, we were progressives - but the words were radical. And lately more and more of the "sold-out Liberals" that I have been at odds with as a radical have been making sense to me.

Here is something in Salon on Kennedy's talk of fascism in America (emphasis added):

This week Kennedy declares war on this new "enemy within" -- the term his father applied to the Mafia lords who were subverting American politics, business and labor -- with a passionate, sweeping indictment of the Bush-sanctioned rape of our environment in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Kennedy lays out in legal-brief detail how, under Bush, the federal agencies supposed to be guarding our air, water and natural resources have been systematically turned over to the industry foxes that are ravaging them. But the tone of his lengthy essay is far from lawyerly. Kennedy's original subtitle was "Corporate Fascism and the End of Nature."

Another source on Kennedy calling Bush fascist (commondreams.org):

In the book, Kennedy implies that we live in a fascist country and that the Bush White House has learned key lessons from the Nazis.

"While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business," he writes. "My American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as 'a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership together with belligerent nationalism.' Sound familiar?"

He quotes Hitler's propaganda chief Herman Goerring: "It is always simply a matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Kennedy then adds: "The White House has clearly grasped the lesson."

Kennedy also quotes Benito Mussolini's insight that "fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

"The biggest threat to American democracy is corporate power," Kennedy told us. "There is vogue in the White House to talk about the threat of big government. But since the beginning of our national history, our most visionary political leaders have warned the American public against the domination of government by corporate power. That warning is missing in the national debate right now. Because so much corporate money is going into politics, the Democratic Party itself has dropped the ball. They just quash discussion about the corrosive impact of excessive corporate power on American democracy."

Democracy is worth fighting for. It is a wonderful concept, and the American republic is worth keeping around for the next generations. I'm in - are you?

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