Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nascent Fascism

I'm not the only one who sees nascent fascism lurking in all this mindless anger and the spitting on congressmen and the cursing of Democrats, all this Tea Party insanity. Chris Hedges is again today calling for all us who are good and true to stop supporting the Democratic party, which is a tool of the corporate interests who are the true enemy. "We are bound to a party that has betrayed every principle we claim to espouse," he writes, "from universal health care to an end to our permanent war economy, to a demand for quality and affordable public education, to a concern for the jobs of the working class. And the hatred expressed within right-wing movements for the college-educated elite, who created or at least did nothing to halt the financial debacle, is not misplaced. Our educated elite, wallowing in self-righteousness, wasted its time in the boutique activism of political correctness as tens of millions of workers lost their jobs."

I don't disagree. Not at all. Just by accident I stumbled across this story of the arrest of 10 so-called Christian kooks in Michigan (it ended up being big news last night) who are apparently gunning for the anti-Christ and were actively involved, according to the report, in a plan to kill police and incite an uprising against the government. I mean, it's getting so loco out there that I'm running out of adjectives.

I abhor violence. Hate it. It's the violence in our souls that makes us beasts. The better angels of our nature flee from it in detestation and fear. Violence corrupts us, twists us. Like meth or heroin or crack cocaine, it seduces us and makes us its slave. But violence is where we're going, it's the slop pit we're going to roll in unless things get turned around fast. The mob out there is mindless, but it is not without grievance. These are the people who have been left in the gutter by the system. They can't make ends meet; their jobs are gone; their houses are being foreclosed; their kids are a mess; their mom is dying of cancer with no healthcare. They are not students of fine analysis. They're going to strike whatever enemy they're pointed to: Muslims, foreigners, black people, progressives, the government. It will not be a pretty or edifying sight.

Hedges concludes his piece with this: "Our continued impotence and cowardice, our refusal to articulate this anger [the anger of the Tea Party people] and stand up in open defiance to the Democrats and the Republicans, will see us swept aside for an age of terror and blood." The "us" in Hedges' calculations, presumably, are all us progressives who have not realized that the Democrats are as much the enemy of real reformation as the Republicans are. There is no compromising with the existing system. It's too far gone. It needs to be replaced, not tinkered with. Unfortunately, the cost of bringing it down is astronomical and forbidding.
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