Tuesday, May 22, 2007


By Ivan G. Goldman
AS I HEARD THE FATHER of a newly dead American soldier ask this morning, if this is a democracy, why is this happening? The Democrats in Congress decided to fund Bush’s pointless war in Iraq after all, without strings, as they’ve done more than four years already. Probably most of them understand that the war not only kills and maims people without purpose, but helps America’s enemies as it sends some of the best young people we have home in coffins (that the government won’t allow to be photographed).
VIRTUALLY ALL polls show that support for the president and his war is now below 30 percent. This less than 30 percent of our populace, the “dead-enders,” to borrow Donald Rumsfeld’s term for Iraqi Baathists, follows a ghastly set of individuals whose tight little faction controls almost every facet of our government at home and abroad. Yet Americans whose Constitution is being carried off by this hard-core minority still refer to their country as a democracy.
FASCISM IS NOT always easily defined because it adjusts to its environment, and like bacteria, morphs into new varieties at different times to respond to specific situations.
ROBERT O. PAXTON, a Columbia professor since retired, concluded that fascism is always based on “a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions,” that it contains the “belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits,” that it compels a “need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts,” and that these special leaders and their societal foot soldiers have the right “to dominate others without legal or moral restraint.” Fascism also, Paxton found, always had a fear of “foreign 'contamination.’" I invite you to study these factors one by one and see if they apply to the Bush regime.
BUSH, HIS DISCIPLES, and handlers saw Nine-Eleven as a tool to crack the safe of U.S. government and impose a polity that few of them would define as fascist. But it is not up to the criminal to define his action. That’s done by society at large, and these people are in fact following a fascist code.
THEY'VE SUSPENDED habeas corpus and dispensed with rights of privacy. They employ torture, have renounced the Geneva accords on prisoners of war, and use Americans’ fear of an invisible enemy to justify a succession of other unconstitutional acts that steal our freedom. They use our military as a private army to settle their personal scores and enrich favored corporations. Yet they’re so inept, that unlike Mussolini, they can’t even make the trains run on time. It’s tragic that so-called opponents of Bush in Congress caved in to them once more at this vital juncture and will enable more of the same.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, in the past I’ve rarely dwelled on political questions. I prefer to consider art, sports, philosophy, and fun. Some people find politics enjoyable. I don’t. But I believe we’re living in terribly dangerous times. We all better start paying more attention, even though that won't be enough to cure what ails our nation.


paddy said...

Its coming through a hole in the air
]from those nights in tiananmen square
Its coming from the feel
That it aint exactly real
Or its real, but it aint exactly there
]from the wars against disorder
]from the sirens night and day
]from the fires of the homeless
]from the ashes of the gay
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a.
Sail on, sail on
O mighty ship of state!
To the shores of need
Past the reefs of greed
Through the squalls of hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on
Great post. I can't say it better. Y;-) Paddy

Ivan G. Goldman said...

Oracles do appear, and Leonard Cohen is one. Thank you.