Encroaching Fascism In The United States
An American form of fascism is unfolding in our country. What exactly is it and what can we do to fight it?
We see a massive political effort to legitimatize and normalize white minority rule. Things are happening rapidly. A year ago our capital was attacked pursuant to a plan to reverse the results of the election. Soon the Supreme Court will likely overrule the almost 50 year precedent set by Roe v Wade on the question of women’s rights to control their own bodies. Voting rights have been and will continue to be extremely restricted particularly in communities of color. Irrational and magical thinking has been legitimatized. More than 900 thousand people have unnecessarily died of Covid. There has developed in our country a culture of cruelty manifested by Trump, but initiated in CIA torture and detention camps for Muslim men and boys in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.
It didn’t start after 9/11 with the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. It goes back further than that. America has been prosecuting wars abroad during our entire lifetimes. The provocations against Russia regarding NATO military encroachment on its borders are the latest chapter in almost continual and seemingly endless wars. A lesson of history since Greek and Roman times is that you cant have imperialism abroad and democracy at home.
Guest – Professor Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University chair for a Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department. He has written many books, most recently The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism.
The Inauthentic Opposition Within The Empire
The January 6th event last year was a peculiar kind of coup, not one that would install an authoritarian figure, but one that was designed to keep him in his job. It almost worked, but not quite. Trump had support but not enough in the right places. There wasn’t enough support for him in the military, the national security establishment, nor in the corporate elite, nor in the media. That doesn’t mean that we are out of danger.
We are seeing the success of a creeping homegrown Christianized form of fascism in our country. A particular American form. 150 million people live in red states. The far right has seized local politics. The majority of legislatures and the governorships in 22 states as compared to 15 by the Democrats. Thirteen are divided.
Nineteen states have passed voter suppression and voter nullification laws as documented by the Brennan Center at NYU School of Law. In the face of this the Democratic Party has been supine. They will not mobilize the American people. The late political philosopher Sheldon Wolin has called the Democratic Party the Inauthentic Opposition. The Democrats function as a junior partner of the Republicans.
As Noam Chomsky has stated, the January 6 events show that the limited political democracy that still exists is hanging by a delicate thread. The Republicans have rejected democratic, with a small D, politics. What are the reasons for The growth of Christian fascism? What might be in store for us? What is to be done?
Guest – Roger D. Harris is closely affiliated with the Task Force on the Americas and The US Peace Council. He is a leader of the California Peace and Freedom Party, the only socialist party in the state to hold ballot status.