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Gonzalo Lira: Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?

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By Gonzalo Lira, a novelist and filmmaker (and economist) currently living in Chile and writing at Gonzalo Lira

I lived in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship—I can spot a fascist police-state when I see one.

The United States is a fascist police-state.

Harsh words—incendiary, even. And none too clever of me, to use such language: Time was, the crazies and reactionaries wearing tin-foil hats who flung around such a characterization of the United States were disqualified by sensible people as being hysterical nutters—rightfully so.

But with yesterday’s Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project decision (No. 08-1498, also 09-89) of the Supreme Court, coupled with last week’s Arar v. Ashcroft denial of certiorari (No. 09-923), the case for claiming that the U.S. is a fascist police-state just got a whole lot stronger.

First of all, what is a “fascist police-state”?

A police-state uses the law as a mechanism to control any challenges to its power by the citizenry, rather than as a mechanism to insure a civil society among the individuals. The state decides the laws, is the sole arbiter of the law, and can selectively (and capriciously) decide to enforce the law to the benefit or detriment of one individual or group or another.

In a police-state, the citizens are “free” only so long as their actions remain within the confines of the law as dictated by the state. If the individual’s claims of rights or freedoms conflict with the state, or if the individual acts in ways deemed detrimental to the state, then the state will repress the citizenry, by force if necessary. (And in the end, it’s always necessary.)

What’s key to the definition of a police-state is the lack of redress: If there is no justice system which can compel the state to cede to the citizenry, then there is a police-state. If there exists a pro forma justice system, but which in practice is unavailable to the ordinary citizen because of systemic obstacles (for instance, cost or bureaucratic hindrance), or which against all logic or reason consistently finds in favor of the state—even in the most egregious and obviously contradictory cases—then that pro forma judiciary system is nothing but a sham: A tool of the state’s repression against its citizens. Consider the Soviet court system the classic example.

A police-state is not necessarily a dictatorship. On the contrary, it can even take the form of a representative democracy. A police-state is not defined by its leadership structure, but rather, by its self-protection against the individual.

A definition of “fascism” is tougher to come by—it’s almost as tough to come up with as a definition of “pornography”.

The sloppy definition is simply totalitarianism of the Right, “communism” being the sloppy definition of totalitarianism of the Left. But that doesn’t help much.

For our purposes, I think we should use the syndicalist-corporatist definition as practiced by Mussolini: Society as a collection of corporate and union interests, where the state is one more competing interest among many, albeit the most powerful of them all, and thus as a virtue of its size and power, taking precedence over all other factions. In other words, society is a “street-gang” model that I discussed before. The individual has power only as derived from his belonging to a particular faction or group—individuals do not have inherent worth, value or standing.

Now then! Having gotten that out of the way, where were we?

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project: The Humanitarian Law Project was advising groups deemed “terrorists” on how to negotiate non-violently with various political agencies, including the UN. In this 6-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court ruled that that speech constituted “aiding and abetting” a terrorist organization, as the Court determined that speech was “material support”. Therefore, the Executive and/or Congress had the right to prohibit anyone from speaking to any terrorist organization if that speech embodied “material support” to the terrorist organization.

The decision is being noted by the New York Times as a Freedom of Speech issue; other commentators seem to be viewing it in those terms as well.

My own take is, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project is not about limiting free speech—it’s about the state expanding it power to repress. The decision limits free speech in passing, because what it is really doing is expanding the state’s power to repress whomever it unilaterally determines is a terrorist.

In the decision, the Court explicitly ruled that “Congress and the Executive are uniquely positioned to make principled distinctions between activities that will further terrorist conduct and undermine United States foreign policy, and those that will not.” In other words, the Court makes it clear that Congress and/or the Executive can solely and unilaterally determine who is a “terrorist threat”, and who is not—without recourse to judicial review of this decision. And if the Executive and/or Congress determines that this group here or that group there is a “terrorist organization”, then their free speech is curtailed—as is the free speech of anyone associating with them, no matter how demonstrably peaceful that speech or interaction is.

For example, if the Executive—in the form of the Secretary of State—decides that, say, WikiLeaks or Amnesty International is a terrorist organization, well then by golly, it is a terrorist organization. It no longer has any right to free speech—nor can anyone else speak to them or associate with them, for risk of being charged with providing “material support” to this heinous terrorist organization known as Amnesty International.

But furthermore, as per Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, anyone associating with WikiLeaks—including, presumably, those who read it, and most certainly those who give it information about government abuses—would be guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism. In other words, giving WikiLeaks “material support” by providing primary evidence of government abuse would render one a terrorist.

This form of repression does seem to fit the above definition of a police-state. The state determines—unilaterally—who is detrimental to its interests. The state then represses that person or group.

By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court has explicitly stated that Congress and/or the Executive is “uniquely positioned” to determine who is a terrorist and who is not—and therefore has the right to silence not just the terrorist organization, but anyone trying to speak to them, or hear them.

And let’s just say that, after jumping through years of judicial hoops, one finally manages to prove that one wasn’t then and isn’t now a terrorist, the Arar denial of certiorari makes it irrelevant. Even if it turns out that a person is definitely and unequivocally not a terrorist, he cannot get legal redress for this mistake by the state.

So! To sum up: The U.S. government can decide unilaterally who is a terrorist organization and who is not. Anyone speaking to such a designated terrorist group is “providing material support” to the terrorists—and is therefore subject to prosecution at the discretion of the U.S. government. And if, in the end, it turns out that one definitely was not involved in terrorist activities, there is no way to receive redress by the state.

Sounds like a fascist police-state to me.

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203 comments

  1. i on the ball patriot

    Great post!

    The answer is YES!

    The Holder decision, historically pivotal, is the deceptive fascists taking freedom and democracy off of their sleeves and boldly coming out of the closet.

    The rule of law in scamerica is a bought and paid for selectively enforced scam from top to bottom.

    Election boycotts are in order as a ‘vote of no confidence’ in this over the top crooked government.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet

      1. i on the ball patriot

        Got the joke, regarding the real terrorists …

        The common denominator of all terrorist groups world wide is that they have ALL been severely fucked over by global corporate imperialism (the real terrorism) and the corporate imperialists either want their resources or their cheap labor and so they naturally resist the imperialist tyranny. Wouldn’t you want to protect you and yours if foreigners invaded and pillaged your country? Like in Sri Lanka — home of the ‘designated terrorists’, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) — where hundreds of thousands of women toil in fear in sweat shop conditions to make clothing for the logo lemming (Gap, Banana Republic, etc.) scamerican public at TWENTY EIGHT CENTS A FUCKING HOUR, with no benefits and NO representation!

        The real terrorists are the wealthy elite and their corporate butt sucking sell out pols in Washington.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  2. jumpjet

    Very good- you’ve successfully labeled the problem.

    Now what do you intend to do about it?

      1. jumpjet

        True enough! Well said. Thank you, very much, for your insights. Observation and classification should always be the first steps.

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        There is no solution. What socialists (liberals, progressives, leftists, whatever) can’t admit (comprehend) is that American society has been this way for generations. Test question: when was the pentagon built? What was the population of DC pre-ww2 and post? Did the government actually ever stop growing post-ww2? If you gather all the government loot into one single pile (say, oh, in DC) can you expect society’s sociopaths NOT to control it all? Bonus question: Is there any defense against the sociopaths from controlling an organization with lots of loot?

        Fascism and socialism are two sides of the big government coin. The American peasants (naturally) want a kick-ass strong daddy party to protect the from “those people” – the nobility is giving them exactly what they’ve been voting for. The author probably prefers a smoothering all-knowing mommy party, which is other most popular “choice” allowed by the human brain.

        (Republicrats: we have nothing to sell but FEAR itself).

        So, can we please stop complaining about fascism in American. It’s GOT to be someplace. It’s here (and in China), deal with it.

        If you don’t like fascism move to a country that’s not. And yes, I know, leaving is difficult (I’d have left already if it wasn’t) but there is NO solution to nature, and natural dumbass peasant will always demand to be lead by the sociopaths.

    1. Toby

      This is a rapidly accelerating problem worldwide. What are we going to do about it?

      Boycott the vote. Turn off our TVs. Tell our politicians we’re not playing along any more. In short, turn our backs on this system. It’s going to be messy, but we have to go through it if we want a renewal of human culture and civilization, and if we want these things to last more than another century.

      If not you, then who? (And that applies to all of us.)

  3. albrt

    >what do you intend to do about it?

    He doesn’t have to do anything about it – he lives in Chile. The question is what are the rest of us going to do about it?

    My answer is that I didn’t have children, and I went to law school so I would have a good chance of being among the last ones with a measure of civil freedom. As it turns out leaving the country after the 2004 elections probably would have been a better choice, but that’s hindsight.

    1. Friedman's Ghost

      You think that because you went to law school you might be in a better position? You, along with academics, would likely be one of the first to go to a “corrective labor camp”.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        The only survival trait you need is duplicity. That’s all you need to succeed in corporate management or a socialist / fascist society (which, yeah, IS redundant).

        Self-delusion helps, but we don’t get to choose how our brains are built. But, we can work on – and perfect – our duplicity.

        1. Friedman's Ghost

          Hmmmm. Cultural Revolution (Mao), The Great Purge (Stalin), Night of the Long Knives (Hitler), Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot). I could go one but, yeah, academics have faired well. Lawyers too.

  4. doc holiday

    Yes, yes, yes!

    Also see: The Rubin Influence Runs Deep in the Obama Administration
    http://desperadosoutpost.com/2010/02/09/the-rubin-influence-runs-deep-in-the-obama-administration/

    1. Cantwell says that Congress and the Obama administration are just watching it happen. The Washington state Democrat is among the most outspoken members of the Senate when it comes to calling for tough new regulations to rein in Wall Street.”

    2. And as head of the powerful Office of Management and Budget, Obama named Peter Orszag, who served as the first director of Rubin’s Hamilton Project.”

    …to serve alongside Furman at the NEC [Obama hired] management consultant Diana Farrell, who worked under Rubin at Goldman Sachs. In 2003… blah, blah, blah…

  5. john

    > As it turns out leaving the country after the 2004 elections probably would have been a better choice, but that’s hindsight.

    Sigh. I remember that feeling. I remember the opposite feeling in 2008 and now I will remember feeling duped. Alas, too late to marry a Canadian.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      The problem isn’t marrying a Canadian. It’s generally leaving your family, or dragging your family with you (meaning spouse and kids), or – the real problem – leaving the very comfortable life you’ve got now.

      Confession: I’ve been wanting to leave for years. If you’ve got the money you can (almost) buy your way into NZ or Australia. NZ is paradise (only because the assholes / square mile is lower than most places because the assertive assholes tend to go to Australia or England) The problem? My parents (on either side) wouldn’t go, and that creates guilt. Because I’m not an enlightened amoral-scumbag, my life is affect by guilt.

      If you were an amoral-scumbag you could get out of American tomorrow. I suspect you haven’t attained full scumbag enlightenment yet (“amoral scumbaginess” is the true path to happiness).

  6. Svend

    The dollar standard covered up what is really a decaying, degenerate political system.

    So, what am I going to do about it? Leave. Good bye. God bless my Irish mother for having the foresight to extend citizenship to me.

        1. olde reb

          Actually, people of all nations are usually warm and friendly. It is only when they find themselves in positions of power that they become monsters that advance their own position without considering the concerns of others. Power corrupts.

          1. zaknick

            Well said. Can’t wait for the fascist (the FED), ethnic cleansing (war on drugs), genocidal (imperialist)house of cards to crumble.
            Me? Mining GOLD in South America…. ha!!

  7. DownSouth

    The ironical part is that, just as in Chile, it is the libertarians, with all their flowery rhetoric about liberty and freedom, who are the überchampions of the police state.

    Frederich von Hayek and Milton Friedman were unwavering in their praise of Pinochet, Chile’s brutal military dictator.

    1. aet

      So-called “libertarians”.
      Whose arguments gain most of their force from the bayonets of the State militia.

    2. Tao Jonesing

      It always amazes me that libertarians are incapable of recognizing that Hayek’s and Friedman’s authoritarian actions fully repudiate their stated libertarian beliefs. When you combine that fact with the fact that the libertarian free market ideal is based on an obvious fiction (that individuals are the primary economic actors, not corporations), libertarianism is revealed as the hoax that it is. Libertarianism is nothing more than an Edward Bernays style propaganda campaign to dupe classical liberals into supporting corporate feudalism (aka, neo-liberalism). And it has worked brilliantly.

      1. Toby

        Good points, but the fiction is deeper than that. There can never be, nor has there ever been a ‘free’ market. There is no such thing as a rational individual, and certainly none that are perfectly informed about all past, present and future events. We are not machines. Our decision making, if we can call it that, is rooted in emotion. I mean even the core idea that accumulating material possessions and being richer than the other guy is a rational behaviour, is a biased assumption. It never motivated me, and I am not alone in that.

        The only real ‘truths’ are emergent and therefore dependent on resident forces and other phenomena, are the consequences of relationships between systems. It is in relationships that we understand, to at best a limited extent, how the world ‘works.’ The way we struggle to control nature now is the consequence of ignorance, an ignorance we must correct.

        “As in economics, biology posits discreet individual actos, i.e. Genes, behaving to maximize their self-interest, the means to survive and reproduce. Our very understanding of biology, i.e. of life, and in particular of progress in biology, i.e. of evolution, rests on a foundation of competition for survival. [snip]

        The view of life as a struggle for survival is woven into our worldview on a much deeper level than Darwinism. In fact, our guiding scientific paradigms can admit no alternative. Competition is implicit in our culture’s very conception of the self as an independent entity, distinct and separate from the environment and from other beings. [snip]

        Other societies, fast disappearing under the deluge of Western Culture, were remarkably free from the ambient anxiety we know today. It is no coincidence that their social systems were based on cooperation and that their self-definition were not atomistic like ours are, but relativistic: defined in relationship to a greater whole such as family, village, forest, nature.” Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity (my emphasis).

        I am most certainly not for a world government, but we are one species on a planet we must share with millions of others if we are to survive much longer. Nature does not care about our childish and partisan bickering.

        1. Patrick

          Pinochet was the best thing that happened to Chile in the second half of the 20th century and it had nothing to do with Libertarians.

        2. craazyman

          Jesus, Toby, you don’t really believe that nonsense do you? You’re a very smart guy.

          Those societies were free from the anxiety because they had very different consciousness structures, with far less individuation. Many had complex and horrific totems and taboos that held it all together. Not all deer are Bambi. This Golden Age of Acquarius Ancient History stuff is really nonsense.

          The apple hurts when it falls from the tree, but fall it must to make a new world. Mankind has to emerge from the garden of eden too and see himself. This is the Western Project, which is only a few hundred years old. And we’ve been around in our current anatomical form for 40,000 years. It’s just started. Of course, it may end soon too without a little more luck. LOL.

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        Re: And it has worked brilliantly.

        Yes. Libertarianism is a male fantasy. The male brain (aka: the bullshit machine) generates stories of its own greatness. This greatness is “oppressed” by “socialism”. If only – the male’s brain “thinks” – we lived in a world where the fittest won then (of course) I’d be the winner. The winner gets the females that (just happen) to look like those on this porn site I’m looking at right now (while generating more fantasies).

        America: a society of immature fratboyz. And somewhat was wondering why Americans act the way they do… Jeezzz.

    3. bob goodwin

      Freedom stops when you are offering practical support to a stated enemy of the state. This is not a new concept to the 1st ammendment argument. We cannot wish away enemies who have stated their desire to harm our society.

      1. Toby

        What do you do when the State is the enemy of The People? Or of nature?

        (No doubt you’ll think my question hyperbole.)

        1. patterson

          Not to deprive Bob of his ability to answer, but I believe that the argument must be that in a democracy, the state can never be the enemy of the people.

          Nature is always and forever an externality and therefore is irrelevant, except to the extent that the democratically elected government makes it relevant.

          As you can see, it is a position rooted in theory and untainted by reality.

      2. Francois T

        “Freedom stops when you are offering practical support to a stated enemy of the state.”

        What if the “practical support” in question is about making the enemy realize they should drop the weapons and join the legitimate forms of government?

        How do you think the Good Friday accords started? It started when a few courageous people from both sides talked to each other over a long period of time. A certain comprehension emerged, tentative, very fragile, but where there was only pure hatred and desire to kill, something new took hold. Slowly, with leaps and bounds, retreats and defeats, came the realization that talking was better than shooting.

        These courageous people also talked to their own. It took time, but at last, people sat at the same table. After long and protracted efforts, History was made.

        Nothing of the sort could have happened if the SCOTUS decision had been the law of their land.

        How many people would still be dying for lack of “practical support”…for peace?

        This edition of the Suppine Court of Amerika® is a national disgrace, period!

      3. i on the ball patriot

        One positive aspect of this ruling is that it will bring the closet fascists out into the light so that you can watch them panic, shit their little pants and scurry …

        bob goodwin says: “Freedom stops when you are offering practical support to a stated enemy of the state. This is not a new concept to the 1st ammendment argument. We cannot wish away enemies who have stated their desire to harm our society.”

        No, this is not a new concept at all Bob, it was used by fascist Hitler who declared the Jews the enemy of the state so as to demonize them and gas them in the concentration camps …

        • “Freedom stops” when the state is hijacked by the ruling elite and their predatory corporations through endless corporate graft and corruption, euphemistically known as; pac money, hard money, soft money, etc.

        • “Freedom stops” when that hijacked state then provides propagandist cover for its co-opted military and predatory corporations to make illegal and immoral invasions and rape and pillage other peoples around the globe.

        • “Freedom stops” when that hijacked state then provides propagandist cover by RE-BRANDING the VICTIMS of its illegal and immoral invasions and rape and pillage as TERRORISTS. Get it Bob? ITS THE SAME OLD SHIT! The pussy BULLIES, RELABEL THE VICTIMS AS TERRORISTS!

        • “Freedom stops” when that hijacked state then denies those VICTIMS, who attempt to fight and resist being INVADED, GANG RAPED, MURDERED AND KILLED, due process, in an also hijacked and co-opted scam legal system.

        • “Freedom stops” when that hijacked state, through its scam co-opted legal system, then bans, through intimidation, word, and deed, the peaceful nonviolent resistance politics of Ghandi, MLK, Tolstoy, etc., and FORCES, WITH STATE POWER, the placement of those VICTIMS in an untouchable, non human leper class of exile and further degradation.

        • “Freedom stops” when people stick their heads up the ass of naive deflective ideologies, look the other way, and aid and abet their fascist masters in the destruction of their VICTIMS — and THEMSELVES — by voting, which only serves to legitimize, validate, and keep in power that corrupt — NOW OPENLY FASCIST — system that enslaves them. YES! You only aid, abet, and assist in your own exploitation and the death of your own spirit when you vote.

        Freedom BEGINS when people of conscience and integrity unite against these dark forces and vigorously repel them!

        Election boycotts, as a ‘Vote of No Confidence’ in this now over the top corrupt government, are in order.

        No balls! No brains! No freedom!

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. DownSouth

          i on the ball patriot,

          When libertarians like bob goodwin talk about freedom and liberty, it’s only freedom and liberty for the rich and powerful, for the big corporations.

          For everybody else, it’s up against the wall mother fucker.

        2. NOTaREALmerican

          “Freedom stops” when the intellectual realizes it stops, but this doesn’t matter at all.

          For the peasants, as long as cable is running the circus show and the bread has lots of corn-syrup then they to hear the “Freedom song” playing in their tiny-brains.

          The also hallucinate about slow motion eagles with a background of slow motion flags (and peasants gazing skyward nearly in tears). Gimmy a break here, the peasants are dumbasses and the country has gotten exactly what the peasants wanted. So, democracy does work.

          1. i on the ball patriot

            Defeatist Kool Aid Salesperson …

            Hey … NOTaREALmerican … self proclaimed defeatist … who laments ”there is no solution” …

            … if you have really given up why do you endlessly persist in grinding your ax of denigration with; what “dumbasses the peasants are”, and what “tiny brains” they have, and then knock democracy by saying the country has gotten “exactly what the peasants wanted”, and, “So, democracy does work”, implying there IS a democracy.

            Errr …. There is no fucking democracy!

            That is the problem.

            You can be enticed, coerced, shaped and killed with propaganda just as easily as you can with a gun.

            But you know that. And so you relate and spew the hate and sell the defeatist drink to instill despair in those who might awaken.

            You are the poison one who says the rain will never end and the sun will not ever shine on another day … you are the man …

            Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    4. ip

      No doubt Pinochet was brutal. Not as brutal as most communist dictators, but brutal. Yet, he pursued relatively reasonable economic policy, ultimately stepped down, and Chile is now Latin America’s star performer. I have no doubt that, if Allende with his policy trajectory stayed in power, Chile’s fate would have been much worse.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You have that SO wrong its isn’t even funny. I happen to debunk the myth of Chile’s performance in ECONNED.

        Short version: When Pinochet implemented his “reforms”, the result was a plutocratic land grab and a debt stoked bubble that resulted in a near-depression when the bubble burst. Pinochet backtracked massively and implemented Keynesian policies.

        And the success of Chile (such that it is) is hardly a tribute to Pinochet. Its biggest export industry is copper, 70% owned by the government. As I note in ECONNED:

        The finance minister from the first post-Pinochet government, Alejandro Foxley, claims:

        “If you compare the performance of the economy in the best Pinochet years with the performance of the economy [during] democracy, I challenge you to find one single economic or social indicator in which democracy hasn’t performed much better.”

        Even so, the picture for Chile is far less rosy than reported in the United States. Chile has one of the most unequal income distributions in the world, with the top 10% getting over 50% of output. Wages for average workers have fallen since the 1970s despite minimum wage increases. Chile’s exports depend heavily on copper (still controlled by the government) and natural resources (wood, fisheries) that are being exploited in excess of sustainable rates. By contrast, manufacturing has dropped from 30% of GDP in the 1970s to 18%.

      2. Robin

        ip-

        You Seriously Need to Read Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”.

        Then come here and say that.

      3. D. Warbucks

        As much as I like Pinochet for his glorious capitalist revoltution, I happen to love Suharto more. How can you not love a guy who can kill a million of his own people to bring capitalism to a backwards country?

    1. aet

      Now, now.
      The Court explicitly allows one to advocate for anycause which one sees fit to.
      The Court found that one could not advise any organization labelled by the elected officials as being “terrorist”.
      One is (and remains) free to speak as one wishes. one may not advise terrorists. Nor sell them guns, nor tell them how to get to their targets using the subway.

      I really do not see much of a problem. This is NOT a limit on free speech. It limits to whom one may knowing direct that speech….and we do uncontroversially limit what people may say in other cases, based upon who they are speaking to, ie frank sex talk is or may be criminal if the audience is children.

      IMO there are some foreign groups who are lucky this law was not on the books when they were fighting for “freedom”.
      Successfully, as it happened to turn outs.

      I wonder how such a Law would have affected the American revolution if England had such – indeed, perhaps she did.

      1. psh

        Nice job ignoring the part of the First Amendment that secures freedom of association, as acknowledged by Supreme Court decision. Nice job ignoring the part of Article 19, supreme law of the land, that guarantees all humans the right to seek and obtain information. Now shut up and get back to work, slave. Your police state does not care what you think.

        1. D. Warbucks

          This is why people have to go to law school to become judges and interpret the law.

          Freedom of association doesn’t mean what you think. It means freedom for government officials to regard people as guilty by association.

          For example, if a lawyer defends a criminal, that makes him a criminal by association. Same idea with a lawyer or doctor for a terrorist.

          1. aet

            I do not think that the Court has yet held whether or not the Executive or the Congress may by decree deprive criminal defendants – terrorist or otherwise -of all legal counsel.
            Has such a law been proposed?

          2. psh

            Ah, yes, of course, my apologies, I will have to say a hundred pledges of allegiance as penance and quake in fear of being disappeared, how foolish I was to doubt my country.

            I actually think that an important element in that case was the fact that the defendant promoted access to a forum that is out of the police state’s control, namely Geneva. Later this year, a bunch of very competent foreign experts will tear the United States a new one. We can all watch on webcast as US officials eat shit or bluster and get ripped to shreds for breaking their solemn commitments. The much milder Human Rights Committee made fools of the Bush administration. This is going to be much worse.

            http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp

            Look how the administration is trying to control this process, interposing itself between NGOs and the the UNHCR, choking off press attention. They are running scared.

        2. aet

          A pity then that you were not there to raise those arguments, or that the counsel arguinf=g the case had not the benefit of your profound legal learning and knowledge.
          Or are you refrerring to Breyer’s dissent?

        3. aet

          And thou, psh , art duly deputized to speak for them?
          Show us your Warrant, then.

          For you make it quite clear what you think of us.

          1. psh

            You’re not gonna that clerkship kissing government ass here, get busy and take out some judge’s dry cleaning or something. Lemme guess: third-tier no-hoper, fated for some white-shoe’s cellar job shop.

          2. D. Warbucks

            I’d say with an attitude like aet’s, (s)he’s destined for a federal judgeship, if not attorney general, and then Supreme Court judgeship.

          3. psh

            He has a future as a Gonzales-style mediocrity with nothing to offer but slavish devotion. The Bush dynasty favors omega males like that. They make them do the family’s dirty work.

          4. aet

            I shall not argue with who I think you are but only with what you say.
            You guys have made up your minds, i see.

          5. aet

            But I note that I was right: you have made it quite clear what you think of…me?
            But you don’t know me at all!
            Is this akin to your “knowledge”in other areas as well?

            Ah, the hell with it, what do I care?
            You Yankees break me up.

          6. psh

            I find it helpful to read your posts aloud in a nasal Mortimer Snerd voice because otherwise the priggish paint-by-numbers fake reasoning gets too boring.

            And what’s this shall shit? What are you, from olden days? First work on smart, then try pompous.

      2. DownSouth

        I suppose that’s all honky dory as long as some elected official doesn’t brand aet a “terrorist.”

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but once some elected official has designated aet a “terrorist,” can’t they then incarcerate aet and hold aet without due process? No habeas corpus for aet. No right to bail for aet. No right to a trial by jury for aet.

        And now, anyone who even speaks to aet can be imprisoned for consorting with a “terrorist.”

        Fear and terror are what a police state is all about. And how better to inculcate fear and terror in a population than to capriciously and arbitrarily deprive people of their liberty? From there it’s just a short step to the “disappearances” and the death squads.

        1. D. Warbucks

          No it’s even better than that!

          If they tell aet to stop killing people, then they are guilty. Why? Because telling that to him legitimizes him since the “taint of [his] violent activities is so great.”

          1. D. Warbucks

            I hope that made sense to you…it sure did to me. They shouldn’t be called “the Supreme Court” they should be called “the Supreme Geniuses.”

        2. bob goodwin

          “Correct me if I’m wrong”

          you are wrong. If you are caught on a battlefield overseas, then you can be held. If you are in the US you can only be held for a limited time unless there is probable cause or reason to believe that you are an immediate danger to yourself or others.

          1. patterson

            please point to where it says people labelled as terrorists have due process rights in the U.S.

          2. bob goodwin

            Please point to a case where a terrorist has been captured within the US and held without due process (I know the Japanese were interned, and I think the courts have ruled that was illegal).

      3. Tao Jonesing

        If one cannot advise somebody who is labelled a “terrorist” without becoming a criminal for doing so, then what lawyer can represent an accused terrorist without subjecting himself or herself to criminal prosecution? When the “terrorist” is an American citizen, doesn’t this mean that the “terrorist’s” rights to Due Process have been infringed (this is the Constitutional basis for the right to an attorney, not the Miranda decision)?

        1. addicted

          Additionally, doesn’t this make the Supreme Court culpable?

          Didn’t they “knowingly” provide support to “Terrorists” in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld by saying that the military commissions were unlawful?

          Shouldn’t someone be taking the Supreme Court, to Court?

          1. patterson

            Well, if you really wanted to hold them to their own standards, you’d let the executive decide whether they deserved a day in court….or ten years in Gitmo/Bagram.

  8. D. Warbucks

    First, this is an age of terrorism, which means all the usual legal rules are suspended indefinitely…perhaps forever. Probably forever.

    Secondly, are you questioning the motives and sincerity of government officials? No matter–soon that will be a crime. http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2010/06/16/obama-admin-dont-question-torturers-sincerity/ …if it already isn’t

    Lastly, the economy is transitioning from a service oriented economy to an economy where the U.S. goes around the world and holds up other countries at gunpoint for the things it needs. In order to run that business efficiently, there needs to be certain rules. Capiche?

    1. aet

      This is not an unusual ruling, and roberts does not seem to me to be one to stretch a precedent.

      Why not read what they wrote for yourself?

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-1498.ZS.html

      I recommend that you read a few of the opinions, as each Justice has their own style. I shall keep my opinions as to their style – or lack thereof – to myself.

      I especially recommend the opinions which are unanimous, and there are still some of those. (Well, whatdo you know!)

  9. TC

    Wow this sure feels like McCarthyism all over again. Instead of calling your neighbor a communists it’s not in vogue to yell terrorist.

  10. Doug Terpstra

    So now we know where our AWOL DOJ has been under Eric Holder. In addition to keeping GITMO, extraordinary rendition, citizen assassinations, and covert wars running smoothly, it’s been tightening Israel and Wall Street’s noose on the American people.

    This is reminiscent of the weasel definition of “enemy combatant” used to dehumanize people and violate the Geneva Convention at GITMO, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib. So soon after ruling for the Orwellian named ‘Citizens United’, giving corporations free license to electioneer our “democracy”, the Supine Court has now lost all legitimacy. Soon it may rubber-stamp Liebermen’s “internet kill switch” and his proposal to arbitrarily strip Americans of their citizenship (at AIPAC’s behest?)

    Coupled with Arizona’s ‘show me your papers’ law, targeting brown people like carpintero Jesus for now, the provisions are surely in place for illegal violent repression—Blackwater not only in the Gulf, but throughout the homeland. Although relatively benign at present, it could get ugly with the impending collapse of the so-called recovery.

      1. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

        It doesn’t need one! The great majority of Americans are convinced that they are free. There is little need for overt repression.

        In such a setting, the entire country is an ideological concentration camp because the “cultural” forces – MSM, entertainment, religion, nationalism, sport, etc – in civil society – all promulgate the same message: You are Free!

        To label such a developemnt FASCISM is inaccurate because 1) the latter was state-driven from the top down; 2) the role of unions is so lacking as not to warrant additional comment. I have coined the term ‘MARKET TOTALITARIANISM’ to make it explicit on whose behalf and the direction from whence it sprang. The state is merely the hammer, but civil society is the anvil on which its hegemony is based.

        1. NOTaREALmerican

          Good points. You are right that this “fascism” isn’t really top-down. Top-down assumes a plan, and it’s pretty obvious that the government itself couldn’t plan anything.

          Re: The state is merely the hammer, but civil society is the anvil on which its hegemony is based.

          So, what you describe is probably the ultimate end-game of all modern societies. (What was the conclusion of that end-of-history dude? I read that way to long ago).

          1. i on the ball patriot

            NOTaREALmerican says: “Good points. You are right that this “fascism” isn’t really top-down. Top-down assumes a plan, and it’s pretty obvious that the government itself couldn’t plan anything.”

            The governments have been co-opted by the perniciously greedy wealthy ruling elite and re purposed.

            You mask the class warfare and the intensity and new elite flavor of the ruling class motive with your comment.

            Some pigs are more equal than others. The more equal pigs at the top call the shots. If you can’t see the top down co-opting of government in the last forty plus years by the wealthy ruling elite and the use of that government to radically reshape and reform the global culture than you should be without hope.

            Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

          2. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

            Certainly not the end-game of all modern societies… as I believe human agency can alter the course of events, perhaps not as willfully as some would have you believe, but it can be done. And I still believe there’s a bit more history left to be written about modern society that need not result in totalitarianism – market or otherwise.

            What Francis what-the-yama was implying in his “End of History” yarn was that the end of ideology had arrived again. Liberal democratic political regimes with market economies were the end all of human existence. State socialism and communism had failed and “ideologies” critical of capitalism were no longer relevant. It was only a matter of time before liberal democratic regimes coupled with market economies became the dominant paradigm worlwide. History, if you will, had ended. Well, as recent events have shown, it just didn’t work out that way…

            My use of “MARKET TOTALITARIANISM’ is merely a construct that approximates reality as I see it. But that’s all it is and nothing more. It can be rejected for that matter. Its emergence does not make it a certainty, but merely a possibility. We would be fools to accept such a deterministic fatalism.

    1. Rex

      “Blackwater not only in the Gulf, but throughout the homeland.”

      Hmmm. Maybe Blackwater was prescient when they changed their name to Xe. They suspected that in the near future the name Blackwater could have negative associations.

  11. sgt_doom

    Well, technically you’d want to refer to America as a Corporate Fascist State, China as a Totalitarian Capitalist State.

    Mexico and Pakistan could either be referred to also as corporate fascist states or closely-held oligarchies.

    China and the USA have similarly structured ownership model, with the Chinese military owning the majority of the factories there, while the Pentagon actively controls the purse strings of the largest concentrated chunk of capital and is the largest landowner of record.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Or, you could just say the smartest amoral scumbags own all the loot.

      Where – and when – isn’t that going to be true?

  12. scharfy

    The wolf makes the rules.

    Always been that way. Always will be be.

    But we are making progress as a species. The fact that Arar gets heard by the supreme court (yes he lost) and quasi-terrorsist groups (whatever that is) get a day in court to discuss first amendment rights, might be viewed as a positive through a historical lens.

    Before you flame me for defending the big bad wolf, understand the history of humankind. It’s littered with mans inhumanity to man.

    America falls short of ideal routinely, but the underlying construct of America is/was personal liberty.

    Someone old and white once said “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

    Stay vigilant.

    1. Gonzalo Lira

      First of all, Arar did not get his day in court—he was denied a hearing by SCOTUS, and the Second Circuit Appeals decision to dismiss his case was allowed to stand.

      Second, the whole point of America was the defense of individual’s rights against the encroachment by the state—but that ideal has been eroded with this ridiculous “Global War on Terror”.

      America used to be a better nation—a shining beacon of true liberty.

      The terrible sadness is, it has devolved.

      1. scharfy

        Thanx for the reply.

        Point taken. He wasn’t allowed to sue Ashcroft. But some form of due process was given, however shorthanded. The top of our legal system weighed in.

        I’m just trying to place America’s behavior into some sort of historical context, as well as against the international civil rights situation.

        While the tone of your post seems to imply that America is bad and getting worse, the internment camps of WWII, as well as other nation’s current civil rights behavior forces me to evaluate America against the backdrop of reality, not against her ideological underpinnings.

        I’m unabashedly pro-American, but certainly think posts like these are merit worthy.

        However, gotta be realistic – I certainly wouldn’t be able to sue Heads of State in any other countries for punitive damages if they locked me up for a year – would I?

        Evaluating America a ideological vacuum is a tough standard to meet.

        1. psychohistorian

          As one who has continually referred to America as fascist I suggest you measure current America against the following:

          14 POINTS OF FASCISM

          1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism

          From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

          2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

          The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

          3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

          The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

          4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

          Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

          5. Rampant sexism

          Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

          6. A controlled mass media

          Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

          7. Obsession with national security

          Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

          8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

          Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

          9. Power of corporations protected

          Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

          10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

          Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

          11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

          Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

          12. Obsession with crime and punishment

          Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

          13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

          Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

          14. Fraudulent elections

          Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

          NOTE: The above 14 Points was written in 2004 by Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).

          1. Gonzalo Lira

            psychohistorian,

            I’m sorry, but I cannot take this list seriously.

            Your points 1, 3, 5, 7, 11 and 12 are properly the expression of demagoguery, not fascism.

            Your points 2, 4, 6, 12, and 14 are elements of a police-state, be it of the Left or the Right. Your points 7 and 11 would also fit the police-state mold, doing double-duty with demagoguery, as it were.

            Your point 8 is a trait of a theocracy, not of a fascist OR communist regime.

            Your point 13 would describe more of an oligarchy, elements of which can be found in all regimes, be they democratic, fascist, theocratic, etc.—even communist.

            Your point 9 is the only one which is properly fascist.

            Your point 10, however, is definitely NOT fascist, as true Mussolini-style fascism treats labor unions as corporatist elements of society. All fascist regimes have been friends of labor unions—its the oligarchies and the aristocracies who have had adversarial relationships with trade unions.

            Note, too, that I make a distinction between control of the citizenry (the police-state), and the organizing principle of the citizenry under this repression (fascism). Many of these points confuse the two issues, turning the traits into blunt instruments rather than sharply distinctive characteristics.

            Bottom line, this list strikes me more as a Leftist wish-list of things hated, rather than as a serious definition of fascism.

            Thank you for your comment, but sorry to shoot down your points.

            GL.

          2. scharfy

            I’ll bite and tell you what I think regarding your points..

            1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism

            Not so much recently, on the whole. Pro-American sentiment, regarding the citizenry, seems low relative to the previous regimes. Rally round the stars and stripes in the deep south maybe. Not so much in blue states.

            2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

            Again, kind of split. Child labor laws, working conditions, disabled persons laws, civil rights equality (legally anyway), all are on paper and the US does ok on these fronts.

            3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

            Score one for you. War on Terror. Nuf said

            4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

            Score another one for you.

            5. Rampant sexism

            Compared to middle east, asia, or south america – the US is second only to Europe. Womens suffrage and women’s lib is American to the core. Our women are more educated and liberated than most

            6. A controlled mass media

            Yes and no. the big boys yup – but the internet means free speech has never been more free. There’s no Pravda here. Our journalists aren’t TOTALLY bought off.

            7. Obsession with national security

            Yes

            8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

            You’ll probably disagree, but I’ll say no way. Our ruling elite pray to the altar of money. Religiously diverse nation from my view. I’d bet you disagree.

            9. Power of corporations protected

            Oh yea.

            10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

            Me thinks labor and unions have pretty good pull here. Minimum wage, though low, exists. Unemployment, welfare. We aren’t a nation of sweatshops or 18 hour work days, comparatively

            11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

            No sir. We prize our brainiacs. Are we france with regards to the Arts? no. But plenty of authors, movies, opera, plays etc..

            12. Obsession with crime and punishment

            Hmmmmm… could go either way. America loves giving a second chance – but we incarcerated an entire generation of black males in the 80′s and 90′s.

            13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

            Ok. We are bad. The worst. No. But we need some improvement here.

            14. Fraudulent elections

            I’m sure you’ll site the 2000 election ipso fact, but I submit that our country has the most open election system in the World. I think we score high here.

            Thanks for the input. That’s my take

          3. Jack Parsons

            “Rampant Sexism”: in a different way. The conflation of sex and violence seems to be a hallmark of the Dominator Cultures: US, Rome, Japan, Germany (think Weimar), not so much Britain (except for the caning bit).

          4. psychohistorian

            Since the hierarchy of comments does not allow me to respond to Gonzalo Lira and scharfy I will do it here.

            GL, I sure wish you would have read down to the bottom of the list to the note about where the list came from. Let me repeat it:
            NOTE: The above 14 Points was written in 2004 by Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).

            I posted it to expand on the discussion of the fascistic aspects (IMO) of our current government or socio-political whatever that brings us continual war, un-prosecuted financial rape and now some form of ecological disaster totally rolled out by the private sector with sovereign nations on the sidelines (IMO). I think our current malaise is best described succinctly as theocratic fascism personally.

            1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
            scharfy says that #1 does not apply currently and I think our two wars and ongoing Manifest Destiny delusions didn’t go away when Obama came to office.

            2. Disdain for the importance of human rights
            scharfy says view of # 2 is split but doesn’t say what with. and I say the trend is fairly negative.

            3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
            sharfy says we got examples and I would agree.

            4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
            sharfy says this is true and I ask why is there never any question of our imperialistic militarism?

            5. Rampant sexism
            sharfy says we are better than others and I agree but to say that patriarchy is threatened in the US is laughable.

            6. A controlled mass media
            sharfy says the situation is mixed with still a “free” internet. sharfy says that we have no Pravda here and I LOL and wonder how history will characterize Fox.

            7. Obsession with national security
            Everyone agrees but we aren’t even doing the basics to secure our ports….all kabuki, all the time.

            8. Religion and ruling elite tied together
            sharfy is right in that I disagree that he thinks that the Gawd of money and religion are different. Both are faith based and while there are well meaning religious folk, too many lemming followers drink the associated fascist koolaid.

            9. Power of corporations protected
            Oh yea says sharfy and I would say that they continue to increase.

            10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
            sharfy says we are comparatively ok but ignores the freight train effect of globalism that is just starting to be felt in America.

            11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
            While this does not seem to be the case I would add a new bullet point to whatever history calls what we have now that speaks to the hypocritical treatment of science.

            12. Obsession with crime and punishment
            While sharfy says it might not be obsession I think the obsession is really about control. I would like for there to be more obsession with the punishment of crimes that are not currently being focused on.

            13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
            My position on this is that since control of the world stems from us we must be at the top of the fetid heap (so to speak)

            14. Fraudulent elections
            Sharfy says we have the most open elections in the world. S/he didn’t say honest however and that is where it is obvious that criminality is afoot…..why isn’t there an open source voting machine?

            Whatever we have folks is sucky and getting worse. Call it what you will but duck when the SHTF.

        2. Julie

          Scharfy–”I certainly wouldn’t be able to sue Heads of State in any other countries for punitive damages if they locked me up for a year – would I?”

          Well yes, if you were like Maher Arar you could sue Canada and win, say, 9.8 million dollars.

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        Re: America used to be a better nation—a shining beacon of true liberty.

        Perhaps that was YOUR fantasy?

        We used to have a strong dollar too. We used to have the 1950′s.

        What we do have is lots and lots (fat and) happy peasants. That’s what China wants. That’s what Mao wanted too. Perhaps you are looking at the wrong “beacon”.

    2. Toby

      That’s actually not true. Have a look at, for example, “Hierarchy in the Forest” by Christopher Boehm, or “The Ascent of Humanity” by Charles Eisenstein (even better). There are reams of examples all attesting to the fact that in hunter-gatherer societies and even in smaller sedentary tribal groupings, the ‘sheep’ make the rules, and the would-be alphas were ‘ruled.’ Boehm calls it ‘inverse hierarchy.’

      Our beloved system, the system we think of as nature itself, as a veritable embodiment of ‘The Law of the Jungle,’ is, in terms of homo sapien’s life on this planet, actually an aberration. And it’s killing us, and many ecosystems, too.

      1. Tom Crowl

        You are absolutely on to it!

        Our behavior in social contexts has constraints related to our evolutionary roots.

        Many of our natural drives and perceptions are shaped by a long history as hunter-gatherers. While self-interest (as a drive) scales very easily, biological altruism does not.

        This is because this drive is has a relationship to ‘natural human community size’ (Dunbar’s Number).

        Loss of social, psychological and physical proximity has allowed pernicious ‘sub-tribes’ if you will to see the rest of society as more or less as ‘outsiders’ suitable for exploitation and even destruction.

        Build the tools necessary for giving ‘sheep’ a voice!

        Facilitate the citizen’s ability in the public square.

        Technical systems can and must allow for the same kind of scaled response to Commons oriented issues which organized corporate (private) interests enjoy.

        Mechanisms for organization and action in the Commons are a central (but not only) critical need.

        Evolution requires tools.
        Revolution only requires inertia.
        (So far inertia is way ahead.)

        How Would Hunter-gatherers Run the World? (Psst… They DO!)
        http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-would-hunter-gatherers-run-world.html

        Credit Creation and the Building of Sustainable Economic Ecologies http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/02/credit-creation-and-building-of.html

        Personal Democracy: Disruption as an Enlightenment Essential
        http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2010/06/personal-democracy-disruption-as.html

        Demo http://www.Chagora.com

        The ‘wolves’ are very much NOT interested in these ideas. I’m starting to understand why.

      2. NOTaREALmerican

        Re: Our beloved system, the system we think of as nature itself, as a veritable embodiment of ‘The Law of the Jungle,

        And how many of America’s peasants will tell you “survival of the fittest” is what makes Merica great?

        The problem with intellectuals is they want a democracy but don’t like the results. We’ve gotten the country the peasants wanted. The American peasants have voted to cut-off-their-noses-to-spite-their-faces for 50+ years now (mostly to get even with “those people” for what they did to this great and glorious nation).

        You can lead a dumbass to knowledge, but you can’t make him think.

  13. Cindy6

    Great post!

    I always believe that the endgame for America is either an authoritarian state or being broken down into several smaller republics.

  14. don

    Cuba is labeled a state sponsor of terrorism. A few months ago I was in Havana and had a discussion with a US citizen. He told me that he was on his 6th visit to Cuba, where in his work with a religious group he was providing aid to citizens of Cuba. Would this be considered aiding terrorism? Probably not. But since Cuba is considered a totalitarian state by the US State Dept., then one must also consider all citizens of Cuba to be agents of the state, since in totalitarian states no one is outside the state. So in this respect maybe it could be considered to be aiding the state and thus aiding terrorism.

    As an aside. The individual I spoke with advised me not to go out on the streets at night. It wasn’t safe, he said. Of course I knew that was rubbish. Good I did, since the night life in Havana was quite enjoyable.

    1. aet

      “Terrorists” , “freedom-fighters”, a rose by any other name would still smell the same.

      This Law may stand, but the question of what exactly the Law captures in its net of words is a question for the Courts hearing the “Charges of the Future”.

      I still don’t see a problem with this Law.
      But I cannot see that it will do any great amount of good either, other than stir up some bees in some bonnets.

    2. Skippy

      Not to worry, religion is just the psych-ops branch.

      Skippy…Try that same trick with out ideological cover.

  15. ABC

    What’s new here? The Supreme Court has already upheld civil commitment, sex offender registries, prisoner abuse, immigrant gulags etc. Etc. The US already has more people in jail per capita and in absolute numbers than any othe country in the world. We already abolished habeas corpus for non-citizens. Police state? Old news….

    1. D. Warbucks

      Exactly. Although, one minor correction. The government can do all of that to U.S. citizens too. In any part of the world. And torture. And kill them with drones.

    2. aet

      Every State is a police state, as every state is a creature of the Laws. So what else is new?

      But do not look to the laws to establish morality, Laws cannot establish morality: they can only maintain what’s there already, in the hearts of the citizenry.
      Morality is in the control of each individual.
      Not in the command of the King, simply because it is such.

      And don’t be confusing Law with morality: for the Law is a matter of State, and the State is an inhuman dragon, covered with glittering scales, hard scales, scales which are actually people.

      1. DownSouth

        Whoa!

        That is a gross over-simplification, a half-truth at best.

        The whole concept of the state’s use of violence seems to be totally lost on you.

        1. aet

          The concept may have been but the tear gas batons and cuffs felt real enough, all right, i understood the cklank of the cell door….so what?

          1. DownSouth

            “So what” is that the relationship between morality and law, morality and punishment, the state’s use of violence and how all these interact to make a desirable, healthy and functioning society is not something that can be blithely reduced to a couple of sentences, as you are wont to do.

            Theologians, philosophers, biologists, social and political scientists, legal scholars and law enforcement scientists have written volumes on the subject. And yet you seem to think you can dismiss it all with a couple of sentences.

    3. aet

      ABC, why should the Court not uphold lawsaws passed by democratically-elected Legislatures?

      Please remember where the Court found this power to strike down such so-called “unconstitutional laws”…(hint: it is not in the Constitution)!

      Personally, if the Law is bad, you should complain to the people who wrote the law directly,not go crying to a Judge to throw out the results of the last election….

      1. i on the ball patriot

        aet says; “ABC, why should the Court not uphold lawsaws passed by democratically-elected Legislatures?”

        ROFL Funny comment, you are either drunk on the Kool Aid or you are selling it.

        at says further; “Personally, if the Law is bad, you should complain to the people who wrote the law directly,not go crying to a Judge to throw out the results of the last election….”

        Errr … the electoral process is as big a non responsive to the will of the people scam as the rule of law. Those who vote, and those who constantly tender remedial plans to the corrupt system, and complain to it, only serve to legitimize, validate, and keep in power that corrupt system. You only aid, abet, and assist in your own exploitation and the death of your own spirit.

        I repeat: you are either drunk on the Kool Aid or you are selling it.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. aet

          It seems that you have more confidence in your vision of what the “popular will” may desire, than I do in mine.

          My girl Prudence often keeps me from going out where the evidence and atmosphere gets too thin to support me….

          When things get dicey, me mates and i,putit up for a vote as to what we oughts to do.
          Got a better system, have you?
          Then out with it.

          1. i on the ball patriot

            Yes, stop drinking the Kool Aid, dump your system instilled girl Prudence (she’s a phony, wearying, worrying slut), and stop banging your head against the wall of TSTS — Too Sleazy Too Save — and then engage in election boycotts as a ‘vote of no confidence’ in this over the top crooked government and a constitutional rewrite outside the system.

            Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

          2. Toby

            The most pernicious argument is that there is no alternative to the current way. Of course all status quos will argue this, they are hardly going to press for their own downfall! And in that education and the vast majority of the media are organs of that status quo, there are many who truly believe there is no alternative, an overwhelming majority in fact. And yet an old status quo once had it that the world was flat, and most believed it. A cliche I know, but an important one none the less. Less well know is that it took almost 5 years for the mainstream to accept that manned flight was possible, after the Wright brothers had proved it so.

            If there were no alternatives, that would mean there will never again be any meaningful change. To think that is to think history has peaked, that we’ve worked it all out, etc. That is transparently absurd.

            There are indeed alternatives, and we would be wise to consider them deeply. We need desperately to reform our money system, embrace all technologies that are good for sustainability (regardless of their effect on ‘profit’), revolutionize education, and much else besides.

            In the end human social systems tend to petrify. R. H. Tawney said of this that “Systems prepare their own overthrow by a preliminary process of petrification.” To my eyes that is happening right now, and very quickly. Of course, in the bullet-quick media of 24 hour nooz and rapid turnover it must feel like a snail’s pace to most, but historically this is break-neck stuff.

  16. Peripheral Visionary

    If you can go on television (or in this case, on a public blog), and say “We are living in a police state”, you’re not living in a police state.

    1. D. Warbucks

      Of course it’s not a police state!

      Police states would be tapping your internet phone lines.

    2. Skippy

      Intel is more important, than body’s before a court.

      Skippy…fuzzy freedom lets them decide the out comes from a distance.

      1. Rex

        Skippy, feel free to just ignore this, but some of your posts are just a bit too cryptic for me to decipher.

        “Intel is more important, than body’s before a court.”

        Intel the company or the short form of intelligence?
        I can’t find a reason for the comma.
        Body’s would mean belonging to the body.

        On the net grammatical or spelling mistakes are usually ignored, but after juggling the various possibilities, it still doesn’t make sense to me.

        … and the end tags almost always seem like semi-random computer-generated word strings.

        It could just be something I’m missing.

        1. Skippy

          Ex-Military both DOD and private. Intelligence and yes we belong to the body political via the judicial system (Rule based/herding mechanism) or intelligence gathering has priority over prosecution, hence the fuzzy freedom, not unlike enigma was utilized during WWII.

          Skippy…

    3. Gonzalo Lira

      First of all, I don’t live in the U.S., and don’t intend to even though I could.

      Second, if people like Joe Lieberman get their way, I will still be able to say the things I wrote in this post—but you who live in the U.S. will not be able to read it.

  17. Sundog

    Bruce Ackerman, “An increasingly politicized military”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ackerman-mcchrystal-20100623,0,7659730.story

    Mac McClellan, “Louisiana Police Pull Over Activist at Behest of BP”
    http://motherjones.com/rights-stuff/2010/06/BP-louisiana-police-stop-activist

    Rodney Balko, “Another Marylander Arrested for Recording the Police”
    http://reason.com/archives/2010/06/21/another-marlyander-arrested-fo

    Balko is consistently good on domestic security issues such as the militarization of police and abuses in the criminal justice system.
    http://www.theagitator.com/
    http://reason.com/people/radley-balko/articles

    1. aet

      RE:Politicization of the US Officer Corps.

      A greater threat to the Republic, I think, than this restriction upon whom you may speak to..

    2. Andrew Bissell

      Balko is a libertarian, clearly his articles are clever lies meant to disguise his pro-police-state sympathies.

  18. D. Warbucks

    Here’s a little red meat for all you blood-thirsty lovers of torturing innocent Canadians:

    (from Maher Arar’s account of his torture: http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1027-23.htm )

    “The beating started the following day. Without no warning…(long pause as he fights tears) without no warning the interrogator came in with a cable. He asked me to open my right hand. I did open it. And he hit me strongly on my palm. It was so painful to the point that I forgot every moment I enjoyed in my life. ”

    ” Syrians released me and they clearly stated through the ambassador in Washington that they did not find any links to terrorism. I was not charged in any country including Canada, United States, Jordan and Syria. Since my release I have been suffering from anxiety, constant fear, and depression. My life will never be the same again. “

  19. Marco Antonio Moreno

    Great post!
    The neoliberal economic model is a dictatorship
    Benefits the Rich: Only 0,1% of people win

    Global wealth held by millionaires rose by 19 percent to $39 trillion. The number of millionaire households, or those with at least $1 million in investable assets, excluding primary residences, expanded to 10 million from 8.6 million a year earlier. The 0.15% of world population!

    However, poverty is a reality in America, just as it is for millions of other human beings on the planet. According to the US Census Bureau, 35.9 million people live below the poverty line in America, including 12.9 million children.

    It’s the dictatorship of Economic’s Model

    Dear Gonzalo, I write from Chile

    1. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

      Exactly! Fascism blurs this facet of the regime – it’s purpose is to create the conditions requisite to capitalist accumulation in one form or another. Allende’s election suggested a change in direction that precipitated his ouster.

      Pinochet’s regime then annihalated the forces in civil society opposed to such policies, brutally eliminating the “left” for a generation or two. Friedman and the Chicago School were only to happy to provide advice regarding economic policy on the other road to serfdom.

      The PURPOSE of such a regime is too often overlooked or masked by the concept of FASCISM.

  20. Hugh

    “And if the Executive and/or Congress determines that this group here or that group there is a “terrorist organization”, then their free speech is curtailed—as is the free speech of anyone associating with them, no matter how demonstrably peaceful that speech or interaction is.”

    I agree with the overall tenor of your post. We have a surveillance state, and the blurring and blending of government and corporations is the very essence of the Mussolini definition of fascism. I would add in corporatist kleptocracy but that’s just me. I bring up the citation above because it isn’t quite right. Roberts distinguishes between association which is covered by the 1st Amendment and support and coordination which is not.

    “The Court of Appeals correctly rejected this claim because the statute does not penalize mere association with a foreign terrorist organization. As the Ninth Circuit put it: “The statute does not prohibit being a member of one of the designated groups or vigorously promoting and supporting
    the political goals of the group. . . . What [§2339B] prohibits is the act of giving material support”
    (pp.40-41 of the pdf)

    Personally, I think this is a distinction without a difference. There is no metric to say where association leaves off and coordination or aid begins. This creates a chilling effect on any contact with a group that makes it on to the State Department’s terrorist list. In something I wrote on this, I also noted that many groups that were once terrorist according somebody’s definition made the transition to mainstream status. The problem is that in restricting expert information on non-violent alternatives this transition can be greatly impeded, increasing the duration and severity of violent action. This is the very opposite of general defense Roberts invokes.

    1. aet

      I disagree…I think that the distinction does indeed make a difference.
      I note that being a member, and standing up in public an arguing for the group’s cause, is also not prohibitied.
      It may be that some are misreading the ratherlimited and defined scope of “material assistance”as set out in the statute.
      It would be different if it were otherwise, though., that is, if membership or advocacy (without advice) were also prohibited – at least,that is the Court’simplication, is it not?.

      1. aet

        And the hypothetical benefits of such postulated peace-mongering apparently was not enough to persuade the Court to overturn a piece of Legislation deabted and passed by Congress and signed by the President.
        I just do not find it all that shocking.
        I suppose I’ll suspend judgment until I see what kind of prosecutions, if any, are brought under the statute.

    2. Gonzalo Lira

      Hugh, thank you for reading my post with such care.

      Your comment high-lighted certain distinctions which I chose to ignore so as not to lose sight of the main point—but you are right on all of them.

      Your bit about corporate kleptocracy? On the money.

      Your point that Roberts distinguished between association on the one hand and “material assistance” on the other? Right again.

      However, your further point—that Roberts was drawing a distinction (between association and “material assistance”) without a difference—is precisely why I didn’t flesh out the issue. From my point of view, Roberts’ distinction was like saying, “It’s okay to have six eggs, but you’re not allowed to have a half-dozen eggs”—nonsensical.

      Finally, your point that this creates a chilling effect on speech is the one issue I would disagree: I would argue that this decision doesn’t create a chilling effect on speech, but rather, it outright criminalizes speech. After all, how can anyone distinguish between “association” and “speech”? Between “speech” and “material assistance”? Someone here in the comment section pointed out that giving directions to the nearest subway station—clearly speech—could be interpreted as “material assistance”—too true.

      But who determines if this innocent speech is crosses into the realm of the criminal “material assistance”? The state, without even the possibility of redress.

      Hence my view that this decision is a big one on the road to a fascist police-state in America.

      Sorry for going on. Hope this clarifies my position. GL.

      1. DownSouth

        For an anecdotal example of how quickly communication morphs into “material assistance”—-and for some insight into the nuts and bolts of how a police state operates—-there is this example from the G20 meetings in Pittsburgh last October:

        http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09278/1003126-53.stm

        The accused were listening to police scanners and broadcasting on Twitter the movements of the police.

        Two important points:

        1) As the article points out: “To earn a conviction, prosecutors will have to show that Mr. Madison and Mr. Wallschlaeger were assisting criminal activity.” The only two criminal activities committed by the actual protesters were a) some protesters destroyed private property, something that occurred after the arrests of Madison and Wallschlaeger; and b) the protesters’ “failure to disperse.” As the article goes on to sate: “Indeed, the court filing specifically notes that the underlying crime Mr. Madison was assisting was the protesters’ failure to disperse.”

        2) Notice how the police have managed to criminalize not only the act of protest, but the act of communicating with the protesters as well.

        The message the police want to send is that they can trump up some sort of charges to not only make protest illegal (and arrest the actual protesters), but they can also charge and arrest anyone who communicates with the protesters, even though the information communicated was freely available on the public airwaves and communicated via an open public forum—-Twitter. And even though the accused may eventually beat these charges, it will only be done so after a great deal of expense and inconvenience.

    3. i on the ball patriot

      Hugh, you have it right!

      It is an intentionally vague ruling meant to be chilling and intimidating of Free Speech and selectively enforced as needed to effect that intimidation.

      It is also meant to be intentionally divisive in furthering the perpetual conflict scheme, as it will now cause all of the butt sucking system twits to come out of the woodwork and say divisive bullshit things like;

      “I note that being a member, and standing up in public an arguing for the group’s cause, is also not prohibitied.”

      I”t may be that some are misreading the ratherlimited and defined scope of “material assistance”as set out in the statute.”

      “It would be different if it were otherwise, though., that is, if membership or advocacy (without advice) were also prohibited – at least,that is the Court’simplication, is it not?.”

      All disingenuous crap designed of course to suck you in and dissipate your energies which might otherwise be better spent in revealing the class warfare of the rich decimating the middle class and the masses and exposing the fascist scum bags that are their lackeys.

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      1. patterson

        You should be sure though that when you advocate, you don’t provide anything that could possibly be construed as assistance, or that the advocacy itself couldn’t be construed as assistance.

        Also, advocating for such a group openly is like painting a bullseye on your back.

  21. Ottawan

    One of the salient bits of “fascism” is the power of paramilitary forces.
    Are scary paramilitaries pervasive in the USA? Do security guards count? The tea party guys?

    “Corporatism” and/or “pluralism” are sufficient to describe This part of history.

    On secod thought, “pluralism” is kinda Orwellian.

    1. Charles

      If by terrorist you mean Israel, then yes. Their 9/11 operation was quite successful. The United States is about to attack Iran, after successfully removing Saddam and introducing chaos to Iraq.

      Yes, the terrorists won. Completely.

  22. doc holiday

    Richard Nixon: “I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue.”

    Alexander Haig: “That’s not a lie, it’s a terminological inexactitude. Also, a tactical misrepresentation.”

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”

    BP CEO Tony Hayward on Sunday (many weeks ago) disputed claims by scientists that large undersea plumes have been set adrift by the Gulf Oil Spill and said the cleanup fight has narrowed to surface slicks rolling into Louisiana’s coastal marshes.

      1. Toby

        Are you actually saying that poets are less honest than politicians, or that humans lie? If it’s the first then that’s a bizarre claim. If it’s the second, well duh!

        1. NOTaREALmerican

          I think it means that most people are duplicitous scumbags, including the “poets” – who spew bullshit to maintain their status.

          I’m also assuming here he didn’t mean “poets” literally. Historians are wonderful “poets”.

  23. Transor Z

    Your piece is very weak in treating the syndicalist piece of fascism, Gonzalo. For reference, Noam Chomsky is a syndicalist.

    Asserting the existence of the regimentation and discipline ethos that is a hallmark of fascist regimes is an absolute joke in light of America’s deteriorating work ethic and pathological levels of narcissistic individualism.

    The “police-state” doesn’t have the manpower, will power, or political mandate to act on domestic espionage in anything like a systematic fashion. More than that, the hackers and young people are many steps ahead in technological sophistication.

    There will always be abuses and yes, creepy incursions into personal freedoms by law enforcement and government. It’s good to be on guard against that but… perspective please.

    But I’ll let Bogie do my talking for me:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46pQwwF8uww&feature=related

    1. D. Warbucks

      Yes, Americans are the fattest, laziest, and most incompetent people on the planet. Here’s looking at you kid!

  24. Ronald

    “The United States is a fascist police-state.” or military state but either or it has been this way for a very long time.
    The list is long but I will only mention a few beginning with our treatment of Japanese Americans during the War not only putting them in camps but taking their homes and land and the Supreme Court upheld the right of the government to imprison Americans based on race, the Anti-Communist 50′s,60′s,70′s was a world wide campaign against humanity finally generating the Vietnam experience with over 50K Americans and 500K wounded and now the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan are just the latest.

    Thanks for your point of view but its old news but I am always glad that someone is reaching out trying to educate and make a difference.

  25. Robin

    Comment? Nothing substantial, other than when I saw this,I could only think, “No duh, and this will be fun!” 91 comments? Bliss.

  26. Matt

    I read the first decision, and it says on the first page:

    The authority to designate an entity a “foreign terrorist organization” rests with the Secretary of State, and is subject to judicial review.

    And it also makes references to a case where an organization appealed its designation as a foreign terrorist organization (i.e. got judicial review) but the designation was upheld.

    Not saying I agree with the direction of the fed govt on “terrorists” but it does seem like you do have judicial review… am I missing something?

    1. Gonzalo Lira

      Matt,

      You’re missing the Arar denial of cert., which is why it’s key.

      There’s the illusion of judicial review—but in an unequivocal case (such as the Arar case), there is in fact no review or redress.

      GL

      1. Transor Z

        Gonzalo, review by the U.S. Supreme Court is extremely rare. They deny cert something like 99% of the time (no exaggeration). Arar got his case reviewed by the 2nd Circuit. The 2nd Cir.’s not exactly chopped liver in the U.S. federal judicial system.

        1. patterson

          The only “review” the Second Circuit conducted, was to say that there would be no review.

          As it stands, you can be a completely innocent Canadian connecting through JFK airport, snatched up, flown to a dark site and tortured and have your human rights violated for 10 months, and you can’t do a damn thing about it in a U.S. Court.

          1. D. Warbucks

            Yes, as long as Federal Judges can submit dissenting opinions, democracy is alive and well.

  27. EmilianoZ

    There’s some truth in that post.

    Noam Chomsky says: “propaganda is to democracies what the bludgeon is to dictatorships”.

    I think we’re entering an era where propaganda is starting to fail. That necessarily means: they must go back to the bludgeon. The supreme court is paving the way for that.

    1. i on the ball patriot

      Very astute comment!

      Yes, freedom and democracy, which the closet fascist bullies (that’s all they really are — bullies who label their victims terrorists!) have been disingenuously wearing on their sleeves, now comes off, and the fascists come out of the closet of secrecy and into the open.

      The internet has exposed them like shining a light on cockroaches and they now scurry and try to bludgeon anything in their path.

      It will have the reverse effect, it will awaken people to the propaganda illusion that they are living in.

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  28. addicted

    Another interesting aspect that struck me when reading the NYTimes editorial. This same supreme court has identified money as “speech” (hence preventing corporations, a fictitious “person”, from donating during elections is breaking their first amendment rights). So would that make the US crackdown on monetary donations to terrorist organizations illegal? According to this same Supreme Court, wouldn’t that be the government breaking real “persons” First Amendment Rights?

    Whats up with the Supreme Court prostituting themselves to the Executive?

    1. D. Warbucks

      The only important people are corporations. And the only important speech is money.

      Now can you understand?

  29. Sanford Calef

    I’m dismayed that Citizen Obama has let torture, Gitmo, and all the rest of Bush era policies stand. I’m disappointed Cheney isn’t in the Hague defending his crimes against humanity.

    But we’re not a fascist state yet.

    That will happen when Ms Palin or whatever crazy Teabagger takes over in a few years. Everything is in place for an American Dear Leader to run roughshod over the rest of us.

    Liberals are such wusses.
    Should be an easy coup.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Based on your dislike of Obama (really the Democratic Party) so far, why do you fear Palin?

      If there’s no difference between the Parties stop voting Republicrat and vote for somebody else. How much worse could it get?

      Vote Republicrat: We have nothing to sell but fear itself.

      1. BAukerman

        I agree. Vote Green. Or even better, let’s do something with this whole internet thingamajig. What about a Wikiparty? Let the people in the party write the party platform. Or, IMHO what we really need, a constitutional convention, wiki-style. Food for thought.

  30. Bernard

    the denial of reality doesn’t change reality. no matter what some say, there are enough of reality based thinkers to dispute and call “a spade a spade.” that’s the part i find most fascinating about the “oh, it’s not what you think!” bs. the constant dismissal, denial and denigration of a fact based “reality” is so consistent and astounding. this constant denial to any other concept that might dare questions some’s right to fantasy/faith based thinking at the expense of fact based reality. a form of anti intellectualism, thinking is too dangerous to be left to fact based reality. lol

    that old “faith based” concept of “truthiness” highlighted by Stephen Colbert is just one part of larger concept of never admitting errors. however adamant the “faith based theorists” are, the reality of facts can’t be questioned for every without having the consequences we see today. the constant questioning is so much the point. any tolerance of the “inexactitudes” of the faith based “reality” reinforces the whole farce.

    never forget how irate Alan Simpson became when Bill Maher asked him if he really believed some “inanity” that was clearly impossible. the indignation of being questioned on his “beliefs” was the most fascinating aspect of Simpson’s reply. such audacity to question your beliefs. such self importance, such pomposity. i understand the kind of people who held such “truthiness” as unreachable and remote to the reality most of us live in.

    just the conversation itself legitimizes such an argument. i don’t expect these faith based believers ever to admit much less acknowledge any version of “truth” but their own.such. the fact based truth is like the surf endlessly pounding the sandcastles of this fantasy based “truthiness.”

    those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither and usually lose both.

    for 30 years or more, America has been under the influence of such pomposity and “unquestioned” inanity. the loss of freedom of speech is just but one of the many “gifts” of such “faith based truthiness.”

  31. Paul Tioxon

    The central argument of fungibility of resources, the freeing up of cash and or materials due to the aiding and abetting of the terrorist organization, even if you consult with them to bring them into the family of civilized nations, so to speak, is a false one, previously used against the mafia. Criminal defense attorneys have pointed this to the absurdity that it pursues. Namely, if you see any contribution to an illegal organization as contribution to its capacity to operate illegally, you are aiding and abetting. The defense was, in the case of the Philadelphia Mafia figures, do they shop for food, do they call one another on the phone, send letters through the mail, drive Cadillacs, or Lincolns, buy Esso gas for the cars? Then, they are being aided and abetted by the Acme, Ma Bell, The US Postal Service and General Motors and Ford and Standard Oil of NJ. They are taking their presumed blood money and spending it and those that accept it are deriving the benefit of the illegal activities just as if they participated. They provide communication, transportation and oh yes, where do they deposit their cash? PSFS? Needless to say, trying to pressure one point of contact of a terrorist organization, begs the question, of who else do they transact with, no matter how mundane. It would seem to the benefit of any sovereign state, that a non profit peace maker, consulting with the Tamil Tigers or The IRA or Hamas, in order to get them to stand down from their violence would be a rational activity to be supported. Apparently not, indicted are the peace makers, for theirs is kingdom of special rendition in the bowels of corporate Global America.

  32. Francois T

    Awesome post Don Gonzalo!

    Contrary to the cloud-shovelers of pissy-mamby pseudo-theories, your definitions are OPERATIONAL and easy to observe for confirmation or ejection.

    To me, the key resides in this pearl:
    What’s key to the definition of a police-state is the lack of redress

    Pure brilliance!

  33. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

    MARKET TOTALITARIANISM…

    Overt repression is not required because the citzenry is convinced that they are free. The state is merely the hammer whereas civil society is the anvil on which this variant of totalitarianism is based. It has emerged out the cultural forces – MSM, educational, religious, entertainment, nationalist, sport, etc – from below in odolatry to and for the MARKET. That is its explicit purpose! Let’s be clear about this.

    The entire country is one ideological concentration camp. Anonymity into the vacuum of consumer society is the equivalent of “nacht und nebel” employed previously.

  34. Debra

    The comment I’m going to make here is similar to a comment I made about our take on observing the chimps…
    While I think that generalizing is important, and that it is essential to try to look for similarities between political regimes AT DIFFERENT TIMES, I think it is perhaps dangerous to ignore the specific historic contexts involved when the regimes appeared.
    Nazi Germany, and Italy took place in a context of the final period in the unification of the nation states of Germany, and Italy, against a backdrop of less than solid republican institutions and traditions.
    What is happening in the U.S. right now is perhaps more similar to the McCarthy period, isn’t it ? Is terrorism “replacing” “communism” as the exterior enemy ? Does the comparison with fascism really work from an historical standpoint ?
    It has always impressed me that the Terror in France following the French revolution was linked to the nature of the republic, and of democracy itself.
    Monarchy traditionally didn’t seem to secrete that kind of.. fanaticism.
    I don’t think…
    What about the relationship between industrialization and fascism ?

    1. aet

      I take it that the chimps distinguish friend from foe on the basis of smell.
      With people, how the “enemies”are to distinguished is somewhat more difficult.

      Upon reflection, the decision as to the constitutionality of the Statute forbidding defined material support being given to designated groups is not objectionable as to freedom of speech, IMO.
      What is objectionable is the process by which and the indicia used in that process to designate any group whatsoever as “bad enough”, so as to by that decree alone athe members of that group are thus treated as not having the full legal rights which all people have….now that IS repugnant to Freedom of Association: nothing could be clearer!

      So it is really the process by which such groups are designated as being “terrorist” which must be very closely scrutinized.
      For that is where the great mischief, or abuse, may arise.

      1. aet

        ie the abuse of judging people and then discriminating against them, by the fact of their associations, or “links”, without more: and by Executive or Legilative decree, alone.

  35. BAukerman

    Great article. We’ve certainly seen a bevy of fascist policies implemented in the US over the past decade. The recent financial crisis, healthcare reform, and now the BP disaster have all shown that our society is indeed “a collection of corporate and union interests, where the state is one more competing interest among many, albeit the most powerful of them all.”

    The state had to compete with the banks, insurance/pharmaceutical companies, and BP to get financial reform (a bit of a misnomer), healthcare reform (oops another one) and the BP escrow fund (the result of a “shakedown”*, like “street-gangs” do) respectively; achieving those ends only by “virtue of its size and power, taking precedence over all other factions.” The individual is an afterthought in these examples.

    As philosopher Slavoj Zizek points out in his book First as Tragedy then as Farce, “the future is either socialist or communist,” meaning either we will live in oppressive state capitalist societies, similar to China, or with some luck and mass participation, our political and economic systems will be taken over by communities and federations of communities.

    As for the here and now, I recommend Sheldon S. Wolin’s Democracy Inc. It is a perspicuous account of the United States’ descent into fascism or in a democracy, “inverted totalitarianism,” beginning in the 1930s.

    Here’s a review of the book by Chalmers Johnson:

    http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/20080515_chalmers_johnson_on_our_managed_democracy/

    Here’s the first chapter:

    http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9175.pdf

    *I think it was a “shakedown” but that doesn’t mean I feel bad for BP. They should pay and the management should go to jail for reckless negligence. Hell, for that matter, in my opinion BP’s assets in the Gulf of Mexico should be turned over to the communities of the gulf states. I certainly believe people won’t shit (risk spilling oil) where they eat.

    1. aet

      That the corps do battle with the gov arguies that the corps are not fascist – ie deferential to Authority, just because it’s authority, and for that reason alone..
      When the Legislature must debate with the citizens to change laws- and these are corp citizens – that’s not quite so “dictatorial” as fascism usually denotes, IMHO.

      If this WERE fascism, BP could be crushed by the Government with ease.

      1. aet

        Indeed, I see the problem in the US – to the extent that there is a problem – to be less any deference to Authority, as in fascism, and more the inability of people to defer to any Authority, or to any Authority with which they do not personally agree.
        Americans need to compromise a little more: remember, it was Churchill who, without asking the Americans, announced to the world that only “unconditional surrender” was acceptable as an outcome to the war with germany….why the Americans have inherited (apparently) that kind of bull-headedness in international conflicts has baffled me.

      2. BAukerman

        Two points. Ok, maybe three.

        “When the Legislature must debate with the citizens to change laws- and these are corp citizens – that’s not quite so “dictatorial” as fascism usually denotes, IMHO.”

        First, that you point out the state has to compete with corporate citizens only restates what Lira has already written about the “street-gang” model of fascism. The issue is where individuals stand in all this. The fact that corporations are considered citizens only lends further evidence to Lira’s claims that individuals have been displaced and an individual’s “power [is] only… derived from his belonging to a particular faction or group.” More to your point, I don’t think dictatorships and fascism necessarily go hand in iron-fisted hand, at least according to Lira’s definition of fascism. North Korea, IMHO, would be an example of a dictatorship sans fascism. On the other side of the coin, I think the US is an example par excellence of fascism without a dictatorship.

        “If this WERE fascism, BP could be crushed by the Government with ease.”

        Fascism from the 1930s had certain characteristics. Fascism today has different characteristics. Today, for fascism to function smoothly it relies on good public relations and not, as Noam Chomsky says, “a bludgeon.” Crushing BP is bad PR. Shaking them down is good PR but fascist. Modern fascist states allow some dissent and challenges to their power because it makes the system more stable and at the same time more illusive. In short, it is a better way for elites to hold power.

        Bad Joke: McChrystal/Palin 2012!!!

        1. aet

          Not a “shake-down”, not “fascism”: rather, security against the possibility of a future finding of liability, where the miscreant is a foreign national, or may otherwise dispose of assets prior to determination of liability.

          Good, prudent government, operating with the tools given it by and under the Law.

    2. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

      Leave it to an academic [Sheldon Wolin] to muddy the water… ‘inverted totalitarianism” is just another way of not having to say ‘MARKET TOTALITARIANISM’ where the both the direction and purpose are EXPLICIT. There is little ambiguity in the latter.

      1. BAukerman

        I agree. We don’t really need another scholastic term describing our situation. However, having read the book, I don’t think Wolin would disagree that the market is the cause of the drive towards fascism. The market distributes power inequitably, allowing those with power to get more power. But if that’s the case why not clear the waters even more, drop the term “market totalitarianism” as well, and just call it capitalism.

        To sum up his book, our political system, representative democracy, is used as a cage to keep ordinary folks in check. Outside the cage, the markets, and the near-monopolies that operate within them, do what they want. Democracies require deliberation which takes time. The market is in constant pursuit of speeding everything up, because you know, time is money, thereby engendering it with a natural disdain for democracy.

        1. aet

          Uh, “disdain for democracy wherein most have no property”, would be better.
          For the Markets contempt is not for democracy, so much as it is for poverty.

          Where the gathering is of equals in terms of possessions, these capitalists can be democratic enough.

          1. aet

            I suppose the word for that would be “oligopoly”: but my pre-supposition is that the Law always values life above mere property.
            Unlike some, I cannot feel that for example a vase or painting can be worth more than a human life.

        2. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

          BAukerman,

          Capitalism is too loaded ideologically. If it is questioned then it leads inquiring minds inexorably to concepts like socialism and, god fobid, communism. Better to fly under the radar and never even have to mention the ‘C’ word… FREEDOM subsumes it by definition.

          1. aet

            Eh…simply accept the principle that human freedom may never be over-ridden by the market (ie no slavery & certain inalienable rights for all natural humans) and the conflict between the liberty of the markets and the liberties of the citizenry may be resolved.
            “just assign the trumps correctly”…people before property.

  36. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

    Don,

    “Fascism” has been used by both the left and right in this country so much as to have obliterated its historical context and meaning beyond all recognition. Moreover, the fact that it was imposed on civil society from above by the state in both Italy and Germany disqualifies “fascism” in this regard in this country. My recollection of events in Chile in the fall of 1973 – I’m old enough to remember – was that Salvador Allende, popularly elected president, was deposed in a violent coup d’etat by Augusto Pinochet with the support of the United States. What followed was the systematic extermination of all forces of opposition on the left. The generational slate, if you will, was wiped clean by the state to make Chile safe for capitalism first. Some semblance of democracy and freedom would then follow later… perhaps. Do I have it right?

    In this country, the impetus for totalitarianism is from below, rooted deeply in civil society, in support of and for the MARKET. That is its explicit purpose. It does not have to be imposed from above. Capitalism has never been seriously challenged in this country. The Railway Strike of 1877 was quickly suppressed and who remembers that? Equally important is that what overt repression is required to maintain it is not seen as such by a largely suburban white America! In fact many of them view it as the enforcement of “law and order”. Add to this the fact that many of the “oppressed” have internalized the values of their oppressor as well.

    Come the 4th of July what will most Americans be doing? Barbecue, pigging out with family and friends, attending parades, waving flags, with red, white, and blue firecrackers and rocket bottles streaming high into the late night sky. Convinced that they are free, this acceptance or acquiescence by Americans to the hegemonic value system does not have to be imposed from above. It’s natural! To question it is what is deemed unAmerican! The “inner cop” that renders repression unnecessary is internalized from birth via education, religion, nationalism, patriotism, entertainment, sport, the MSM, etc in a cacophony from below devoted to “freedom” – freedom of the market that is! For everything else there’s MASTERCARD! Come Monday morning though, after a long weekend of celebrating FREEDOM, it’s back to WORK for the technopeasantry on the corporate manor! At least for those still fortunate enough to have a job.

    This is what makes the emergence of MARKET TOTALITARIANISM so sinister. Getting clubbed in the street, arrested and jailed, or rousted out of bed in the night is overt and intended to terrorize the populace into submission. The “iron fist” is blunt and unmistakable. In the ‘burbs it is very quiet and peaceful. There people mind their own business, surfing the net and blogging about “police states” and “freedom”. The police are our friends – to serve and protect [US] is their motto. If they arrested you, you must have done something wrong…

    In the other America where I live it’s a bit different. Here the “police state” of which you speak remains largely confined to urban America – “code word” for largely Black, Hispanic, immigrant neighborhoods. And we haven’t designated the “gangs” that control the streets there “urban guerrillas”, “freedom fighters”, or “terrorists” yet. And if a source inside the federal government can be believed, the most likely candidates for designation as “terrorist” in this country are the domestic right-wing religious fundamentalist paramilitary militia groups like that in Michigan… hardly the typical targets of fascist, police states. I’ll believe it when I see it… and wouldn’t hold my breath.

    But in a fascist, police state criticism and discussion of the sort found on this blog would likely be deemed treasonous, participants warned, and perhaps arrested, if not worse, and the site shut down. Would such ”open” discussion have been permitted in the early years of the Pinochet regime? The fact that it hasn’t occurred suggests one of two things. Either the police and internal security forces have more serious things to do or the discussion itself is so much idle banter as not to warrant suppression. Besides it reinforces the belief of just how “free” we Americans really are, right? That’s why ‘MARKET TOTALITARIANISM’ seems more accurate than “fascist, police state” in describing what is occurring in this country today.

    1. BAukerman

      Well said. “Market totalitarianism” is at its core an ideology that paints itself as an extension of human nature and non-ideological… but Marx said that 150 years ago so it must be doubly wrong.

      “… the ‘oppressed’ have internalized the values of their oppressor…”

      What’s the Matter with Kansas? They’re feeding the mouth that bites them.

      1. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

        But a specific human nature that is every bit as ideological and historically specific as those proffered in the past whether Graeco-Roman, Medieval Christianity, Protestant Reformation, Enlightenment, or more recently. Surely, you’re not arguing that “human nature” is a constant… and therefore it isn’t ideological, are you? To what extent is the concept of “human nature” intended to serve an ideological purpose?

        As for Marx, I’m more inclined to draw on the more recent works of Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser, two Marxists who articulated quite a different view of ideology than their predecessor. Both argued that ideology [superstructure] is not subordinate to the base [forces of production] and plays a more dynamic role where civil society is more fully developed. Such orthodox Marxism on this score is so outmoded as to be irrelevant, particularly in the United States and Western Europe.

        As for ‘Market Totalitarianism’ it is intended to be ideologically and historically specific, an approximation of current reality as I see it. Nothing more. Feel free to consign it to the dustbin of history… But if you have a better approximation or construct, I’m all ears.

        1. psychohistorian

          Nice comments, thanks.

          My construct for America is theocratic fascism.

          The theocratic part was born in the 50′s with the intellectual war against godless communism. It was used as the lever to change the original American motto from E Pluribus Unum to In God we trust and give corporations the rights of “We the people…” so they could defeat communism.

          In exchange and in cooperation with the military, Democracy of a Christian flavor and American capitalism were exported to the world…..others might call it imperialism.

          I have posted enough about the fascism part in comments above with reference to the 14 points of fascism as defined in 2004 by Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).

          The theocratic fascists and all their money in control of the MSM have been steering the public consciousness for decades and tilting elections by sufficient margins to continue their strategies. We are seeing social safety net programs being challenged while we engage in two imperialistic wars.

          It doesn’t sound like the little guy is winning to me.

          My $.02 as we all try and understand the current societal discordance.

          1. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

            He isn’t…

            But with regard to Theocratic Fascism:

            While the role of religion in the US is never far from the surface – God’s chosen people – the “theocratic” variant is more specific to the “fundamentalist” branches of Protestantism, is it not? Its more virulent forms emerged in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and Watergate as Americans “looked to God” for redemption… An interesting parallel is its counterpart in the Muslim world after the ’67 Israeli victory. Yes, the antecedents in both can be traced back further but the more modern currents emerged in the turmoil and aftermath of the godless 60s. The problem with “theocracy” is that while many of the ruling elites may pay lip service to it, they have no intention of living according to its prescriptions. Moreover, the theocracy is not monolithic and does not speak with one voice. Equally important is the 1st Amendment and its separation between church and state… Blurred as this “separation” may seem at times, many average Americans remain leery of anyone telling them how they should worship and live. Even some of the “more strident” theocrats have withdrawn from the political fray, returning to their congregations to concentrate on spiritual matters.

            Blunting some of this theocratic fervor also is the challenge to the hierarchical-patriarchal domination of religion posed by the feminist movement and issues related to gender. Despite the best efforts to put such issues out of sight out of mind, the feminization of the labor force has made this impossible. Many a woman is simply not going to put up with this secondary status and submission to men on the basis of religious doctrine. Economics has trumped God in this respect. The more egalitarian relationship between men and women inherent to gender issues is corrosive of the patriarchal domination of women implicit in monotheism. Short of “witch trials” or persecution many women have no desire to go back to the “good old days”. This would seem to blunt much of the “theocratic” impetus.

            Finally, religion itself can be reactionary or revolutionary. Liberation Theology in Latin America and more recently, environmentalism among some fundamentalist religious groups here in the US are just two examples that pose challenges to the “theocrats” and their view of the world. Social justice and environmental stewardship are no longer the exclusive prerogatives of the “Left” and we would be foolish to shun such movements because of their religious affiliations.

            The danger of the “American Ayatollahs” and their religious paramilitary followers has not gone unnoticed by the federal government either, both in the FBI and the Dept of Homeland Security.

            Hence, while the theocratic presence exists in American society, its importance fluctuates over time. Right now, its influence has been checked or marginalized somewhat. Its roles in supporting the dominant economic system and rendering repression unnecessary both require additional investigation as they are too readily dismissed by the ‘left’.

            As for fascism, it’s like basing your current model on the past model and wondering why it failed… The contending social forces and economic circumstances in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 30s were markedly different than those in the United States. Fascism, in many respects, was a reaction to Bolshevism in Russia in particular and “socialism/communism” in general. There is nothing comparable in the US today… There is no competing ideology to capitalism per se, but rather its particular form – free or more mixed. The Left has been discredited and is fragmented so as not to constitute a threat to the current regime in spite of what the radical right might want us to believe. Once again, there is a growing concern in/among law enforcement agencies that the “right” is a far bigger “terrorist” threat than the left. Fascism suppressing “right wing extremists” is paradoxical even though Hitler’s purge of the SA would offer some precedent. The overt repression of the general population associated with Fascism is simply not required in the United States as ideological factors, among which religion is only one, make it unnecessary. This is not to say that this will always be the case. Islamic Terrorism, while a threat, is incapable of challenging the United States from without directly. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are sideshows and hardly a threat comparable to that posed to the US by the Soviet Union.

            So to my way of thinking “fascism” distorts more than it clarifies in this regard, particularly as it pertains to the United States. And I did read your above commentary detailing fascism. There are parallels but there are differences as well that make me hesitant to use the word “fascism” in this specific historical context. That’s not to say that ‘market totalitarianism’ doesn’t need work or fuller exploration/explanation. I simply don’t have the time to make it whole and invite anyone who wants to do so to have at it.

            Mickey

    1. JTFaraday

      Kleptofascist.

      I like “market totalitarianism” in terms of the public space most people inhabit, but I don’t think it quite captures the whole sociopathic beast.

  37. ben

    talk about hitting a nail on the head!!!. too bad the general public of the U.S. doesn’t see it.they have had the wool pulled over their eyes. this decision will be sold as protecting americans against the evil terrorist that lurk around every corner real and imagined. also anyone that speaks against it will be labeled un-american and accused of consorting with terrorists …same old song and dance

  38. felix

    Mike said:
    In this country, the impetus for totalitarianism is from below, rooted deeply in civil society, in support of and for the MARKET. That is its explicit purpose. It does not have to be imposed from above.

    You did hit the nail right on the head, Mike. Also, your assesment about what happened in Chile in 1973 and after that couldn’t be more on the spot. In both the U..A. and Chile a repressive state has been established along the years, the only difference being that in Chile, given the high degree of political awareness of its population, they had to use extreme force to subdue all opposition to the change, while in the U.S. with its politically uneducated, brainwashed populace, there was not need for that, they themselves asked to be put the noose around their neck.

  39. M in DC

    How the ruling was worded is particularly troubling, and full of irony from a conservative leaning court focusing more authority in a central government.

      1. aet

        And “fascist” Courts are not so careful of criminal defendants’ rights: and they’ve got the proper way to read a criminal statute down too.
        The answer is: restrictively.
        An inferred “duty of loyalty”, the breacjh of which may ground a criminal sentence?

        The Court is right to require the State to be more specific, if that’s what they meant to do with the “honest-services” provision.

        A Court which restricts the prosecutors so is not what I’d call “fascist”: but I wonder about the Courts below…

        1. aet

          Oops sorry: the last post was re: the decision in Skilling, and in Black.

          Ooops again: that’s Lord Black of Crossharbor, to the like of a swain such as I. But I’m not the one in gaol, am I?
          He ought not to have touched those boxes…

  40. Ken

    I thought the points effectively RE-defined “fascism” based on the way actual states behave, updating the dated traditional (WWII-era) model. Some criticism seems to be that the list doesn’t match the historical model, which I didn’t think it needed to, or intended to. Other criticism I think flawed for treating the concept ‘fascism’ at the same level of technique as demagoguery, propaganda, or some other technique or institution.

    I think the list does a good job of describing a system. You can find governments that do some of these things, or other, equally bad things, but that’s not the same as finding a coherent, self-sustaining package. Whether or not the word “fascism” is the word, I think it is important that we have a single word for what the list items, and relevant governments, have in common.

    Ex. – to say something is demagoguery and not fascism is like saying it is guns and not war – so what? It was offered as one of the identifying characteristics of war, which it is. Police academies or hunting expeditions may have large numbers of guns without either being fascist or violating the description of large numbers of guns as part of war.

    One of the characteristics of fascism as a form of society – is that the rulers use tools like demagoguery and a false front (often a very shallow one) of theocracy. And while elements of oligarchy can be found in all kinds of organizations, you won’t find a functioning fascist state without it.

    And a pathetic aside… many won’t even be able to watch their kids set off fireworks to celebrate their illusory freedom – they will have to watch authorities do this. Especially ironic given that the fireworks symbolize our right and obligation to overthrow our own government by violence when and if (the founding fathers thought ‘when’) it becomes necessary.

    Pathocrat – similar to pathogen. A pathogen causes it, a pathocrat wants it to rule.

  41. Element

    Despite the story that Fascism is just a nexus of State and Corporatism the fascists love to misrepresent what they are, and do. It’s what they have to do, for if people pre-WWII really grasped what the fascists were they would not have gone along.

    Read Mussolini’s rubbish in that light.

    The fascists came from the Italian fascisti movement, who’s core principle was that violence was the first-resort of politics, never the last-resort.

    Deferring political violence was to be preferred only if it allowed you to position to better to apply even more violence for greater political and strategic gain. Hence peace in our time with London and a Non-Aggression Pact with Russia.

    Does the USA do this?

    The way I see it you have to view all countires on s spectrum that looks like this;

    | Govt Policies of Gandhi /// Govt Policies of Hitler|

    Forget left or right, they don’t apply, because on this scale the ultra-right nazi and the ultra-left commie of 1939 thru 1945 were plotting consistently in about the same place, and the allies were better, but not that much better.

    Is the USA a fascist police state?

    On that scale they are much closer to Hitler than Gandhi.

    The Nazis also had a version of Patriot Act and Homeland Security apparatus, and people who followed orders without question or morality or any thought for right or wrong or Human Rights.

    Is the USA structurally any different? – not much.

    Is the USA operationally any different? – yes, but not so much.

    Has the USA taken a giant leap toward the Hitler end of the spectrum since 2000 – absolutely YES!

    Has it stepped back any? – almost none.

    What constitutes a step back to wards the Gandhi end of the spectrum?

    Full observance of the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948 – the actual document that was drafted and designed by humanity to make sure that Fascism would never again infest planet earth and create a global nuclear war.

    Oh yes, that’s a document the USA needs to be applying – right now.

  42. Tom Hickey

    Bin Laden has won. The only way he can get us to give up our freedom is influence us to do it to ourselves. And he is succeeding marvelously.

  43. CertainQuirk

    The solution? As someone mentioned below, it will be messy, but it must be done, and this is how you do it:

    Those who can STOP paying taxes.

    Everyone STOP obeying fascist laws.

    They cannot arrest everyone. Will that get messy? Yes. But sooner than later the prisons will fill up, their consumers will all be in jail, they will have no money, their courts will jam. The word will spread to EVERYONE, and even many those who are drunk on KoolAid will wake up.

    This is PEACEFUL EVOLUTION and it will work.

  44. Jana

    The false economy can only be upheld through silence, lies and denial, and so it is time for the integrated sovereign to stand up and speak their truth…lest the material wasteland gobble up the universe. No language cuts to the heart of truth better than Native American earth-speak. Indigenous male leaders, being more right brained and heart intelligent are able to speak truth to power with the full force of universal law…through an embodied spiritual justice. We need a movement of indigenous poets and musicians to work within our school systems to teach children from infancy to collage use how to speak from the heart and embody their truth. If white males in particular were able to heal and access the power of the voice of the right brain we may be able to steer culture away from the decent into an immoral fascist corporate oligarchy.

    If the U.S. government is a terrorist organization then the American Taxpayers are “providing material support” to the terrorists.

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