The American Heritage Dictionary
defines the word fascism as "a philosophy or system of government that is
marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong centralized
government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent
nationalism." Moreover, and most importantly, it also defines fascism
clearly and succinctly as "oppressive or dictatorial control." There
are those who will sarcastically say that the political/social situation in and
with America is not "that bad," when in fact things are far, far
Whether or not one chooses to
define this increasingly all-encompassing suppression of people in America as
authoritarian, totalitarian or fascist is a ridiculously moot point for the
overwhelming majority of people who have lost or are losing their already
limited freedoms, their livelihoods and their very lives to the organized
repression of this hypocritical, cynically racist and genocidal American state
apparatus. The organized and sustained political, economic, social and cultural
repression being waged by the American state against its own citizens and
persons globally is nothing short of fascism.
At this precarious period in history, with repression
intensifying on all levels, quibbling about whether or not America is
technically fascist amounts to intellectual masturbation. The fact is that the
internal and external repressive policies of the United States of America have
already destroyed -- and continue to decimate -- millions of people inside
America and throughout the world. Especially is this true with respect to the
vast majority of people of color in the ghettos, reservations and barrios of
the U.S., as well as in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean
Contrary to the well perpetuated myth, fascism is not
limited to storm troopers blatantly goose-stepping down streets and alleyways,
engaging in bloody search and destroy missions. Germany's fascism under Adolf
Hitler differed from Italy's fascism under Benito Mussolini, but they were both
fascist nation states. Fascism has different forms, all of which are equally
deadly, all of which must be identified, seriously resisted and stopped.
Complacently insisting that the organized state repressive
apparatus of, in and by the United States must not be defined as fascism is
incredibly dangerous, especially at this point in history. It's a bit like
quibbling with a person who is in the death throes of drowning that he is not
actually drowning but merely suffocating! No matter how it is defined, the
person is dying, and immediate action is needed to save his or her life!
Whether it is defined as blatant fascism, benign fascism or
so-called creeping fascism, it is still fascism; and if left unchecked, the end
result is precisely the same: total and utter disenfranchisement under an
authoritarian, repressive state apparatus. The urgency of this reality in
America cannot be overstated.
The enormous internal and external destruction of peoples
and cultures around the world caused by the fascistic policies of the United
States -- cloaked in a mythical democracy -- have wreaked more havoc, misery
and destruction upon peoples nationally and around the world than the blatantly
fascist regimes of World War II Germany and Italy combined. Notwithstanding the
over 100 million Black people who had previously been murdered as victims of
Europe and America's African "legalized" slave trafficking, it should
be remembered that many years subsequent, Adolf Hitler, in his published book
"Mein Kampf," made it quite clear that the idea for waging the
horrible genocide against Jews and other so-called "undesirables" had
been borrowed from none other than the earlier genocide waged by the United
States against the indigenous -- so called "Indian" -- peoples of
Ironically, many pundits of that 1930s era confidently and
incorrectly argued that due to Germany's achievements in culture, politics, the
arts and technology of that period, the unthinkable could never happen there.
Obviously, they were wrong. Nevertheless, the enormous horrors inflicted by
fascist Germany and Italy upon the world pale by comparison to those carried
out by the much larger, deadlier and far more sophisticated United States of
America, whose internal and external "news" and information
propaganda machine would make the former fascist German and Italian propaganda
machines green with envy.
Thus, to compare the contemporary United States, or any of
its leaders, to the former fascist leaders Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini is
utterly missing the point, as the U.S. is much, much worse, and its global
power is far more encompassing and devastating.
It is important not to be fooled by the feigned surprise on
the part of some at the limited, tip-of-the-iceberg revelations about U.S.
torture, internal spying by the U.S. government and corporations, the
militarization of the judicial process, massive national voter
disenfranchisement and the demonstrated de facto contempt by the U.S.
government and corporations for the Black victims of Hurricane Katrina, etc.
Substantively, virtually none of these systemic practices are new but now are
integrally part and parcel of an increasingly blatant form of American fascism.
No matter what individual may be the nominal
"leader" of the United States, or what political party -- Republican
or Democratic -- is in power, fascism has undeniably become an American
reality. No matter what name or under what guise America cloaks its fascist
policies, the undeniable fact is: America's own style of fascism is a reality
here and now.
It is no wonder that Austrian born Arnold Schwarzenegger
demonstrated no compunction or inhibition whatsoever in repeatedly and openly
expressing his "admiration" for German fascist leader Adolf Hitler
before going on later to become the Republican Party's governor of the state of
California (see "Events
Related to Schwarzenegger.")
Moreover, there is no sustained and overwhelming outrage and
incensed repudiation of Schwarzenegger from the leadership of either the
Democratic or Republican parties regarding his arrogant and chilling admiration
for a fascist leader who was directly responsible for the dehumanization and
murder of millions of people. A distinctly American version of fascism has
taken root in this nation, and has created a political climate wherein
politicians can openly embrace with admiration past fascist leaders without
seriously jeopardizing their own political careers.
Furthermore, other than as an increasingly obvious
propaganda tool to further its global hegemonic objectives, America's cynical
racism and hypocrisy has made a meaningless mockery of words and phrases such
as democracy, legality, freedom, fair judicial process and justice. This is a
reality which most of the peoples of the world outside of the United States
have already acknowledged.
Attempting to minimize the precariousness of the political
situation in this nation by denying the reality of fascism in America does not
change or stop it. Maintaining, like ostriches, the denial of fascism's active,
significant existence and role in the American body politic, actually
strengthens its stranglehold on the people of this nation and world. Only by
removing our heads from the sand, facing up to, organizing against, resisting
and struggling for systemic change here and now is there the real hope, for
ourselves and for people around the world, of stopping and dismantling this
fascist onslaught. Indeed, we can ill afford to do otherwise.
Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of
Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the
only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights
case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights. Email him at Lecconsult@aol.com.