American Fascism

•January 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol 22, issue 2, 1999 contains a review by Paul de Armond titled A Time for New Beginnings, in which he examines the history of ideas motivating the fascist movement in the United States. In this article, de Armond locates Wise Use and Christian Patriots within that movement. In his view, a study of the American far right was overdue, and he notes the U.S. Taxpayers Party was a merger of the Christian Right with Christian-Patriot white supremacists, that emerged as an important fusion party of the extreme right during the militia organizing drive of 1994. As Paul observes, USTP’s constitutionalist ideology, choice of phrases and catalogue of enemies provides targets for its “brigades”, much like the Tea Party does today.

Rather than toss political labels around, de Armond urged a behavioral definition of fascism, such as the Reagan administration’s use of the American extreme right to organize paramilitary action in Central America. He reminds readers that it was state and local governments that used armed right-wing paramilitaries like the Klan to attack civil rights activists, and that there is a continuity of the American paramilitary right that includes the Klan, Minutemen, Aryan Nations, Militia of Montana, Covenant Sword and Arm of the Lord.

With each successive wave of violence, notes Paul, the expressions of establishment surprise have become a predictable ritual, and that “It is only in the case of the most horrifying or politically inflammatory violence that significant law enforcement resources have been committed.” As de Armond observes, there have been three waves of right-wing militia organizing since the 1960s, which one can get more detail about in his report Racist Origins of Border Militias.

In his end notes, Paul says, “Fascism is a form of social change as a movement and a form of social institution as an establishment. It is neither a political ideology, a religion, nor a mental illness, though it manifests itself in all these forms. It is a rationalization of theft, just as statism is a rationalization of power, capitalism is a rationalization of acquisition, and sociopathy is a rationalization of the irrational. Anti-fascism is a form of informational public health, related to epidemiology.”

There are several books by our colleagues in the Public Good Project Bookstore that elaborate on parts of his analysis, but I figured this might suffice for an introduction.

Mandela’s Children

•December 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report discusses the neoliberal legacy of Mandela, the African National Congress and the South Africa Communist Party, and the inevitable struggle of poor Blacks against the Black compradors.

Revival

•April 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As a social artist, I am always on the lookout for community development opportunities that create a cultural context for social renewal. While that revival might take the form of media, medicine, music, politics or style, the common attribute of generating an ambience of belonging is the essence of this art. Reinvigorating or refreshing such things as hippie culture are thus vital social projects.

Subverting Spectacle

•January 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Assuming hypocrisy and betrayal are eternal human attributes, subverting spectacle becomes increasingly more of an art than a science. As such, our creativity and imagination are as essential as our understanding of the science of mass communication.

Criteria for Solidarity

•October 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

As Zapatista autonomous communities struggle to survive attacks by Mexican police and vigilantes, speakers for the Zapatista movement of liberation are reaching out to the world to prevent further massacres by the stormtroopers of Free Trade. When the choice is between assimilation or annihilation, one has to reconsider non-violent restrictions as criteria for solidarity. As privileged members of the first world, do we have a right to insist that the people of the Fourth World not defend themselves?

Zones of Survival

•February 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In his essay NoGoZone, Hakim Bey examines the state as the last spectacular locus of the world of simulation, and proposes that it will be forced to practice social triage in letting go of real control of zones that have been abandoned. Officially, he notes, the specto-state will continue to claim jurisdiction and proprietorship of these zones, but in reality these zones will have been sacrificed.

Constituting organic non-authoritarian entities, No Go Zones as real-life experiments, says Bey, will need to re-invent a spirituality of freedom. Whether we dread it or romanticize it, he asserts, the No Go Zone is on the way.

Whether we envision No Go Zones in the form of dystopia as represented in the movies Brazil or City of God, or utopia in the form of revitalized micro-nations on North American Indian reservations or in anarchic Italian social centers, creating autonomous zones of survival is fast becoming our most urgent task.

World Dominance

•February 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Watching the violent clashes worldwide between indigenous peoples and modern states, one might be inclined to wonder what’s at the root of the problem. Is it just philosophical values, control of territories and historical injustice, or is there more to it? With food riots and other uprisings becoming a regular global occurrence, it might be wise for us to step back a moment to get a grasp of what is happening in our world.

In his February 2 speech at Pennsylvania State University — School of International Affairs, Stan Goff put neoliberalism into an historical context that makes the political destabilization associated with the imperial food market comprehendable.  In The Roles of Finance Food and Force in US Foreign Policy, Goff illustrates the links between financial warfare, world dominance and the industrialization of agriculture.

If we are to be of any use to the world indigenous movement, our understanding of the context within which we work and they struggle must be clear and accurate. Toward that end, Mr. Goff has made a significant contribution.

 
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