The Shiny Bright Line of Fascism
It would come as a mild surprise to outsiders, I suppose, that there has always been a squabble among historians and political geeks over the definition of fascism. Each flavor of political disaster unique to its own country, of course, but one camp has always maintained that fascism is a political entity, an authoritarian one-party state lead by a charismatic idolized leader.
Poppycock, says the other group, fascism is inherently the overtaking of the state by oligarchic corporate interests, the “charismatic” leader almost a puppet to the money masters that truly rule.
Well, says an uneasy group of onlookers, whatever particular model one examines in a certain time and place in the human arc of history fascism always has one critical element that has to be present: systemic violence against political opponents. Hitler and Mussolini of course had very dedicated bands of thugs on the street to brutally beat into a citizen the reality of authoritarianism.
One can have a very corporate state or essentially a one-party state to whatever degree, but when people are beat in the streets for political activity the ultimate nightmare has arrived, everyone calmly, grimly nods at that.
The Oakland police department isn’t an organized political entity, of course not, America didn’t trip over the shiny bright line Tuesday. But one is completely naïve to American politics to assume tribal camps will not soon form over the approval or disapproval of the Occupy movement, and it’s absolutely frightening to envision police departments being brutally repressive with the wrong political leadership.
One fervently hopes the stupidity and horrifying violence of the Oakland incident slams home a good lesson to local governments across the land, notwithstanding the bloody fang of fascism hot on our jugular. Yes, mayors and police chiefs everywhere, truly know what dark, insidious power is in your hands in 2012. Not surprisingly the Mayor of Oakland is running the marathon of her life to flee from it.
The list of corporate afflictions to a model is truly frightening too: supremacy of the military, persecution of labor, cronyism of government to corporate interests, obsession with national security, fraudulent elections, obsession with crime and punishment. Frightening enough, obviously, to spawn the Occupy movement, America will not end up fascist but many, many citizens will flatly state the awful corporate state is here.
It’s debatable, of course, but the soft roaring winds of fear and concern continue to rise across the country, tent enclaves of protest growing everywhere. Don’t mace me, bro, my Mom is here.
President Obama says he understands their frustration, but there also must be respect for the law. Ah yes, the law, that codification of rules and punishment our banking and finance industry know very well indeed, everyone in America sees that very clearly. Whether he knows it or not, the more President Obama intones respect for the law the more resolute the Occupy movement will become.