Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fascism Rears Its Ugly Head

Germany lost World War I, but the war was fought on foreign soil, and that country was severely punished by the allied powers. The Germany of the post war era was economically ravished. German workers were generally poor peasants and workers, and they were hungry and jobless. In 1918 a group known as the Thule Society began to take shape. It was made up primarily of racist, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic fringe elements. This group wanted to cleanse the human race of all that it perceived to be impure, and the Jews were considered to be at the root of the contamination.

The Thule Society began its rise to power by infiltrating the workers groups since it needed the support of the majority of Germans. Capitalizing upon an already intolerable economic situation worsened by the Great Depression, the Society, known eventually as the Nazi Party lead by Adolph Hitler, looked to find a scapegoat. What better group to blame than those whom the Party wanted to eliminate?

The Jews were blamed for all of the woes brought on by the Depression and the end of WW I. They sold Germany out to the west and brought on the great allied punishment. The German people fell for it and the Nazi Party, through deception, violence, political manuvering, and Hitler's great oratorical skills, assumed the reigns of power and began to put in place its "final solution"

There are troubling parallels to the roots of Fascism beginning to take shape in this country. The election of a mixed race president seems to have been the catalyst that brought an already simmering stew of racist and fundamentalist Christian groups together within a Republican Party reeling from a massive defeat. The tragedy of the World Trade Center and the ensuing ill advised invasion of Iraq fueled hatred for the Muslim religion. Illegal immigration from the southern Hispanic nations, together with an economic meltdown turned racist hatred toward yet another ethnic group.

This rag tag racist and Christian fundamentalist group has taken a page from the Thule Society by infiltrating a long time, accepted organization, the Republican Party. It has effectively appealed to the lower tiers of society and the racist element, which is scattered throughout all its layers. Through its currently splintered leadership, lies and innuendo have spewed forth on a daily basis across the Internet and the airwaves of radio and TV.

Unlike the early days of Nazism, the modern US version has had access to an element of media that has effectively reached millions. FOX News has become its mouth piece, aiding in the dissemination of the half truths and outright lies of the extreme right wing, while radio hucksters with large followings, such as Limbaugh have pounded those out of sight of TV. Daily, a barrage of misinformation on every aspect of government and society pounds the senses of those who seek confirmation of their greatest fears.

The President is characterized as a Muslim, born outside the United States, who is intent upon destroying all that has been built in this country since its founding. All of his followers are considered agents of the devil, prepared to destroy all Christian elements and to dilute the Caucasian race, in favor of Hispanics and Arabs.

Fundamentalist Christian churches have turned to politics, exhorting their followers to carry arms in defense of their religion and to pray for the President's death. They preach revolution and the spreading of their brand of the Christan gospel by force. One presidential contender, Huckabee, has talked of revising the U.S. Constitution to reflect the fundamentalist Christian ideology, while others talk of taking over the government and using the U.S. Army to spread Christian fundamentalism around the world. Already there are some indications of proselytizing by members of the armed forces in the Middle East.

An underlying thread throughout this Fascist-like movement is racism. Although is it usually denied, the evidence is everywhere. From the birthers to those praying for the death of president, there is no other explanation other than this disease that has eaten away at this country for so long. It is rooted in Christian fundamentalism from the days of slavery, when Bible quotations were used to defend that "peculiar institution." In today's world it is married not only to African-Americans but to Hispanics and Arabs as well. It is easy for this lunatic fringe to appeal to workers who have lost jobs that can be blame on Hispanics and to those who fear a Muslim invasion.

To date no clear leader has emerged. Several have spoken to the fringe issues. Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jerome Corsi, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Michelle Bachman have all reared their ugly heads. This past week in Georgia, Nathan Deal, a Congressman and candidate for governor, joined the fray. Others across the country have spoken out from so-called pastors to politicians. In Germany it was a lowly army corporal who rose to lead the murderous legions.

It will be up to mainstream America to defeat these roots of Fascism. In Germany the citizenry turned a blind eye to the murder of the Jewish population and the theft of its assets. Secretly, they reveled in that population being brought to its knees and claimed in the end that they knew nothing of the extermination of millions. What will it be in this country? Will we turn our heads to the mistreatment of Muslims and other minorities? Will we sit quietly by as gays are exterminated by fundamentalist fascists? We did it during WW II with the Japanese and throughout the 19th Century as the Native American population was decimated, and black Americans were held as slaves. Americans are quite capable of allowing bad things to happen to good people.


Doug B said...

Excellent, thougt-provoking essay. My fear, however, is that you are describing the mainstream now, and that those of us who recognize the danger are the minority.

Diane J Standiford said...

I am more optimistic. We have something the Nazis didn't---rich movie stars and Bill Gates. We have reporters, still a few, who dig out the truth about the dirty "leaders" and make their followers look like fools. In polls (and I hate polls but if it fits my hopes...:') most people's religious beliefs are more Buddhist than Christian. And let us not join the right by already writing Obama off. I am not about to fuel homosexual fears with "they will kill us all" which is spoken often behind closed doors in the gay community. I judge our future by looking at children, not the headline grabbing bullies and brainwashed tweeps (they will, 50% of the time, rebel against their models, Ma & Pa, in due time.), but the majority of kids I see are more accepting of differences in people, more kind and have a desire to do good. It is children, not their parents who are most causal about my wheelchair. It is children who shrug at my being gay with a "so?" attitude. I see a bright future. (Or is it just my Starbucks speaking?) Our biggest problem will be the relaxing that happens after liberals win a battle. I think I just realized---the fight against wrong, never ends. That may not be a bad thing, just how it is. That may be our reason for being. OMG! I just found the meaning of life.

That Baptist Ain't Right said...

Excellent! Very well said. Chris Hedges says things very similar.

smokinq72 said...

I am certainly glad that someone knows the actual definition of "Fascist" and "Nazi (National Socialist). Each of these organizations had more in common with the far right of our country than the mainstream they blame. If the media is MAINSTREAM, it must agree with most people. There is validity in "setting oneself apart". However we must live in this world. We cannot bring anyone to Christ by beating them over the head.