Is America ‘Yearning For Fascism?’ by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
March 29, 2010

Graffiti "4 More Years of Fascism"

The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.

“We are ruled not by two parties but one party,” Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. “It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded.”


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2010 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).


Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (2004; must-see)

Financing Fascism, Part I by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 3rd Installment: Chapter Two

Chris Hedges: Are the two main US parties just proto-fascist misfits?

14 thoughts on “Is America ‘Yearning For Fascism?’ by Chris Hedges

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  3. Pingback: Chris Hedges: Is America Yearning for Fascism? « Dandelion Salad

  4. Very good article. The ridiculous rhetoric of the “teabaggers” notwithstanding, it seems odd to be arguing that the U.S. stands on the cusp of falling into the fascist abyss given that a black president is in power, but this article illustrates well the distance between the elite and the populace that create the permissive atmosphere for the emergence of fascism in the U.S. I would also add another point. It seems that although the U.S. is touted as the last enlightenment society on the planet, it more accurately resembles those European countries that stood between the late middle ages and the early modern period. It was in these nations that the scientific revolutions that preceded the Enlightenment co-existed with witchcraft and witch trials. This is one distinguishing feature of fascism, namely that it prospered in nations where substantial cross-sections of the population were unable to adjust to the onward march of “capitalism” or “progress” or “modernity”. My point is that, though the U.S. has the trappings of modernity it is still hemmed in by a cultural outlook amongst the mass of the population which is resolutely unreconciled to modernity.

    This makes for a very unstable mix.

  5. As with cancer…the longer we wait to eradicate it, the more impossible it will be to do so.

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  9. Fascinating article. I will not comment on it in detail. I will refer to one detail, however. Fritz Stern, a man with a brilliant mind and an insatiable appetite for work, was a professor of mine at Columbia College in 1967. I don’t remember all of my Columbia professors, but I surely remember him. I do think that one should be careful in interpreting his statement: “In Germany there was a yearning for fascism before fascism was invented.” I don’t how far back in time Prof. Stern was going with this statement, but post-World War I what we now refer to as the fascist state first appeared in Hungary in 1919 and then first in a major power of course in Italy in 1923. So unless the “Germans” were yearning for it before World War I, when they lived under a constitutional but authoritarian monarchy, by the time “they” could have been yearning for it, it already existed. Much more important than that, fascism and most expressly Nazism was not “yearned for” by the “German people” as a whole the highest vote total the Nazi Party ever got in a fully free election was 37%, in 1932 (similar to what the Tea Party would get now, in a multi-party election). No, Nazism was a minority movement in Germany, which came to power as a minority party and then quickly turned to terror, especially first against their main enemies, the SPD and the KPD, to impose its will on the whole of the German people. Then, combined with the terror, with its success in dealing with the Great Depression, first and foremost because they were Keynesians, they gained much wider popularity.

  10. Take a step in the right direction …

    Join the Green Party … being registered Dem or independent means they have you in their grasp … Tell TPTB you are not their fool … register Green …

  11. Chris, thank you for your very articulate article that concisely identifies the problem and foreseeable consequences.

    Based on your observations and experience, can you recommend any specific, concrete steps to Americans of good faith to help prevent America’s sad slide into decline and conflict? For example, should we embrace a new third party and abandon the Democratic Party’s nominees in the upcoming 2010 Congressional and state Gubernatorial elections that would almost certainly, as a practical matter, allow the divided Republicans to have their more demagogic candidates elected instead? But that does not seem like such a promising solution during this unfortunate time of religiously driven right-wing ideologies that would serve to help progressives achieve any meaningful results to prevent what you describe. Then shall we attempt to do more public protests to make the progressives cause more visible and in order to help awaken our obliviously misinformed but stressed populace to the dangers? But such protests by progressives have in the past been rendered all but invisible by a manipulative corporate press that without shame ignores such protests and by compliant police actions that coral protests to places where they are least noticeable.

    I recommend that progressive groups attempt to organize brief but frequent, non-violent, lawful protests directed at the sources of the problems such as offices of the corporate press, prime offending industries, and of Democratic and Republican Parties and their elected office holders themselves. The goal of such protests should be to loudly but lawfully demand that complacent liberal elites become more effectual, behind-the-scene string pullers of regressive policies be exposed to sunlight, and to interfere with the normal patronage system of corporate wealth dictating public policy by making their method of influence ever more expensive.

    To maximize effectiveness, such protests should likely appear to be random and be unpredictable in locations and duration, but need not and should not involve unlawful behavior that is designed to lead to fruitless arrests. Such arrests usually merely increase the cost of protests to the protestors without contributing to effectiveness. Nevertheless, ultimately, local police agencies will predictably compliantly cooperate with officials in falsely arresting leaders of such protests in an attempt to discourage them. Accordingly, it would be useful for progressive groups to be prepared by also organizing legal defense teams with sufficient funds to provide immediate legal assistance. Since the corporate press can not be counted on to report about such issues and protests, I propose that progressive groups should also engage in massive efforts of leafleting pamphlets to the public, as well as using blog sites, email, and texting to communicate.

    Don Farkas, Los Angeles

  12. While not familiar with Mr. Hedges writings, I find what is here
    a truthful glimpse at the reality that is the U.S.. We are desending into madness.

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