Pigeonholing Dragons While Waiting on Answers


The secret to seeing clearly, as anyone who's operated binoculars knows, is not only which end you look through and where you point the thing, but how well you adjust the focus, too.

The same process is helpful when asking questions, sorting information, and attempting to do any meaningful pigeonholing.  It's also helpful to not stuff dragons and griffins into slots better sized for sparrows or starlings.  But, it can be exhilarating to try.

Take a wide-angled view of fascists, for example:  They have a long history in America and abroad -- Germany and Italy, of course.  But, the fascists of today are not like those our fathers and grandfathers fought here and abroad.

In the 1930s, there was a near coup d'etat in Washington, D.C. that failed during FDR's time -- a wolf pack of fascist bankers and financiers were the basis of that one, just as there were similar (and sometimes the very same) corporate forces maneuvering in Germany and Italy.

A basic feature of fascism:  The marriage of corporate control into government's -- along with bully boys and their brown shirts.  But that's been changing.

Our question today: How best to sort out and try to make sense of any similarities and differences within and among our fascists and theirs?  How can we best try to understand such alien things?

(Here, a slight pause is imposed to fairly let you know, right off the bat, that the content by weight, here, so to speak, is high in questions and low in answers.  There is no nutritional information to post, to speak of -- no protein count from big chunks of red meat.  If anything, this excursion is bittersweet, based on a recipe of Basic Questions handed down through the ages.)

One firm question to really start things off:  Why are Germany's Nazis changing?  They've been doffing their usual leather duds and slipping into trendier threads, trying to buff up their collective and individual images.

A Reuters article quotes a German journalist, Johannes Radke, who's reported on far right wing issues there for more than a decade:  "Today, a neo-Nazi can eat Turkish kebabs and still go out and beat up immigrants.  They say, 'We'll let everyone do whatever they want as long as they're a Nazi at heart.'"

Becoming more like everyone else around them makes upscale-imaged neo-Nazis much more dangerous, he says. There is likely a recruiting aspect to these changes, too -- sympathizers who didn't much relish the "jackbooted skinhead" image are now much more likely to join in, outfitted in their brand-name clothing and designer colognes.

That's Germany.  What about here -- any similarities?  Well, one thing seems clear:  Neo-Nazis have gotten stronger and bolder over time, everywhere, or they'd still be cowering in the shadows.  In Germany, they've run for public office, and have won seats.  That's been tried here, less successfully, and less openly, so far.

But, doesn't operating out in the open indicate they think there's nothing to fear?  If this is so, we are in deeper trouble than we think.  It's a short jump from openly operating to officially operating.

And, without letting the Tinfoil Beanie Society have its way with my hat size and approve me for a lifetime fitting, I have to say many current corporate activities and government actions induce in me a major case of goose bumps.

These are just questions.  Although, every question is potentially dangerous, I suppose --which must be why questions tend not to be asked within totalitarian borders.  But, here, we are still advertised as a free country.  But, free to whom -- and for what purposes and under what conditions?

While we ponder, perhaps our news media will explain its reasons for so long abdicating its hard-ball, Constitutionally-protected role to question government, along with corporations and American life, instead of pimping for psychotic, mind-numbing pablum.

Sometimes, the similarities start lining up too evenly and too well, with alignments downright spooky.

How to explain the haunted feelings caused by Republicans who block jobs bills and come up with none of their own, even as they howl about the importance of jobs?  How to explain Republicans who demand everyone "Support the Troops," yet block a bill to help create jobs for returning veterans?

How to explain Republicans methodically and unpatriotically blocking all useful and meaningful measures to help Americans, the economy, and the country, hoping instead that everything will crash and collapse, so they can later on rush in to pick up only the pieces they like?

Stop and think of the endless cascade of corporate crimes and questionable activities in the last dozen years that would have been shameful in the past, but have been blatantly done in broad daylight.  From these thieves, scammers, and charlatans -- all dressed in their name-brand clothing and suits -- there have been no regrets, no apologies, and no sense of shame.  Governmentally telling and quite obvious, too:  No prosecutions and no convictions, either.

From bankers and financiers running footloose and fancy-free on Wall Street, at Main Street's expense, and all the assorted financial looting and bankster pillaging that's gone on -- especially throughout all the Bush "Too Big" and Big Bailout years -- here's another icy chill that won't quit: out-of-control, rightwingnut Republicans in public office.

Deep breath for some hip-shot definitions taken on the wing: Teabaggers want almost no government, except those that make war.  Libertarians want selective government services, but believe someone else should pay for them -- not them.  Mainstream Republicans simply want their fair share -- hey, 100% of everything seems fair!

All Republican groups want almost all government abolished -- except for the parts from which they currently and directly benefit:  Social Security, Medicare, and various government aid.

However, in Germany, many neo-Nazis do not work, instead living off welfare and benefits provided by a social democratic state that they themselves vehemently oppose and despise, in spite of benefits received.  Many people would see similarities here.

But, Republicans are not full-blown neo-Nazis -- not yet, despite many unnerving, lockstepping similarities.  Mainstream Republicans all hate government too much -- although they spend a lot of time and energy working within it, and spend millions trying to get re-elected so they can stay in the thing they hate and think should be torn down.

Republican-rightwingnut politicians in office are becoming much more blatant in their actions, too.  Sample questions: How many states have been trying their damnedest to limit voter participation by suddenly scrubbing their rolls, and real hard, in an election year?  Why does so much Republican effort go into voter suppression and dirty tricks?

And, more:  How much damage has already been done by the Citizens United ruling that has conjured cyclones of corporate cash washing through the political system, benefitting all those (R)-tagged runners, but no others?  How much more damage is to come?

How many state governors have slipped into office on corporate coattails, then obediently done their master's bidding -- closing down services to people, moving state funds into the pockets of cronies, while maintaining barricades of lies?

How many state and national lawmakers are in those corporate vest pockets, safely tucked away, and in place for key votes that will favor corporate interests?

Is that number greater or lesser than the numbers of legislators who are religiously insane, insisting their creation myths be inserted into all secular activities, places, and all Americans, so all embrace the notion that the Earth is 3,000 years old and that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs?

How many of these religious crackpots are lawmakers who nonetheless sit on powerful committees regarding space, technology, and science?  How many hold university degrees based on scholarly work their religions insist they refute? How many hold licenses to practice medicine, based on the science they renounce?  By definition, can there be religious fascism?

How many people understand that fascism is a thin line separating American government from all else -- a line that's constantly worked by corporate erasers?  Or that government is the one and only protection against corporations?

How many lawmakers and everyday Americans believe Willard Romney is right -- that 47% of the people can and should be just written off:  people too poor to pay taxes, losers who might dare to believe they are entitled to food or medical care?

How many Americans are clueless to the manipulations of rightwing media brainwashing -- yes, using techniques of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels -- routinely imposed on them by their nitwit talk show idols and by airheads at Fox?

How many people think Rush Limbaugh constitutes harmless entertainment, even after his saying a woman testifying before Congress is a slut, or that racism and hanged effigies are hilarious, or that we need no school lunch program -- not when hungry kids can eat from dumpsters?

Questions, always questions I ponder.  You'd think it was my week to watch the species, or something.

And now, before I ask what you think we should all do about this particularly lunatic moment in our history, there's one more question.  It concerns fascism, both here and abroad, now and throughout history:

What is the major difference between the policies and actions of Nazi Germany's treatment of some everyday groups of people, there, back then...

...and the policies and actions of corporations and governments, and the treatment given some equivalent group of everyday people, here, today?

Taken to its inevitable extreme, the question can be rephrased this way:

Is there any real difference in the tragic end results, from constantly slashing people's economic lifeblood, raiding people's life's savings, and destroying the basic health of the country and its population -- many of whom are in Willard Romney's 47%...

...and in the Nazi extermination of groups of people they found undesirable, as seen from the lofty perch of the percentages in their own ruling class?

Blood on their hands versus blood in their eyes, or on their keyboards and money:  are these real differences?

Today, large groups are slowly being decimated by actions, policies, and laws of an increasingly fascistic America and ruling class;  in another time, many similar things were done, just more directly, using Zyklon B.

Any major differences in lethality here?

Just asking.

Germany's Neo-Nazis:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/11/uk-germany-neonazis-idUSLNE89A00S20121011

Super-brief summary of American fascism of the 1930s: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/COA404A.html

A funny, and not-so-funny piece regarding voting from The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/articles/florida-to-experiment-with-new-600lever-voting-mac,29699/