Chris Hedges: Undercurrents of American Fascism

Scene on the Stairs of the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021

Image by Brett Davis via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

Originally on RT America on Sep 16, 2021

The Chris Hedges YouTube Channel on Jul 5, 2022

On January 6, 2021, a mob incited by outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump, stormed the U.S. capital in an attempt to halt the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Within the mob, as the scholar Gabriel Rockhill points out, were many current members of the military and police. Some of the leaders of the organizations involved, such as Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio and Joseph Biggs, had direct ties to U.S. intelligence agencies, having served as FBI informants. Only one fifth of Capitol Police were on duty that day, and they were unprepared and under-equipped, even though the U.S. national security state had advance knowledge of the plot. Capitol Police were seen opening barricades and fraternizing with the mob.

The assault raises questions about how deeply fascist undercurrents run within the ruling elites and organs of state security. How much of the ruling capitalist class backed the organizations behind the assault on the Capitol? To what extent are proto-fascist groups such as the Proud Boys “astroturfed” by them (meaning discretely funded to create the illusion of a grassroots movement from below)? What was the exact ratio and relationship between state agents and the para-state—i.e. vigilante—actors? Was this solely an organic conflict between the Trump and Biden camps, or was something more at play? And what does all this portend for the future, especially given the staggering levels of social inequality, deep financial wounds cause by the pandemic and decision by the Biden administration to walk back from its tepid campaign promises, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Is this a moment of rising fascism in American society? And is prefigured by the attempt by the ruling elites in the 1930s to carry out a fascist coup with the breakdown of capitalism? Is this where we are headed?

Gabriel Rockhill is professor of philosophy at Villanova University.

Fascist plots in the U.S.: Contemporary lessons from the 1934 “Business Plot” By Gabriel Rockhill

Transcript and video

See also:

Woodward revelations expose Democrats’ calls for “unity” with Republican coup plotters, by Patrick Martin

From the archives:

Joe Biden’s Hollow Resistance: Words vs. Deeds, by Paul Street

Michael Parenti: When you had the Crisis of Capitalism, Fascism is an Attempt at a Final Solution to the Class Struggle

No Time to Relax: Dark Clouds in Biden’s America, by Paul Street

America’s Political Illiteracy Sustains the Two-Party Tyranny, by Finian Cunningham

Paul Street: Is Trumpism Fascism? + Paul Jay: Trump’s Treason and McConnell’s Mayhem

Chris Hedges: How Republicans, Democrats, and the Media Have Weakened US Democracy

Riots Don’t Change Systems, by Pete Dolack

Warnings from Weimar + The Corporate State is Not Our Friend, by Kenn Orphan

The Threat of Fascism Rears its Head in Washington, by Pete Dolack + PSL Statement: Trump Incites Fascist Insurrection Against Congress — What Comes Next?

Chris Hedges: The Undercurrents of Fascism in America’s DNA with Gabriel Rockhill

War Is A Racket By Major General Smedley Butler

How U.S. Race Laws Inspired Nazis by David Swanson