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Since 9/11, things have been going a little crazy in the United States. Americans committing non-violent crimes are getting longer sentences. At the same time as violent offences are dropping, police forces across the United States are stocking up on all manner of armaments. (1) John Whitehead has also commented that cops just can’t help themselves with their new toys. (2)
“The results are deadly, as can be seen in the growing numbers of unarmed civilians shot by police during relatively routine encounters and in the use of SWAT teams to carry out relatively routine tasks.
For example, a team of police in Austin, Texas broke into a home in order to search for a stolen koi fish. In Florida, over 50 barbershops were raided by police donning masks and guns in order to enforce barber licensing laws.” (9)
There is a further cruel irony in all of this, as we shall see in the end. Moreover, there are interesting parallels with fascism that cannot be ignored.
“They Are Out to Get Us All”
In Nazi Germany, Hitler’s enemies are described as an amorphous collection of communists, Jews, colored people, gypsies, intellectuals, and special needs folk. This wash was effectively Hitler’s “International Bolshevism”.
The idea was patently ridiculous then as it is now. However, Hitler got support from his public because he also enacted economic reforms that had offset Germany’s downward spiral since WWI.
Hitler’s social policies were hardly pioneering. Numerous governments in the West had begun the process of rebuilding in the wake of the Great Depression.
What made Hitler’s rise so spectacular was the pageantry, and mechanical efficiency, of the German operation (not to mention his murder and abduction of enemies of the state).
Those Germans deemed worthy of living in this Aryan utopia tolerated Hitler’s militarized police because they were apparently doing a dirty job for their sakes. The fact your neighbor went on permanent vacation for calling the Fuhrer a name was a small price to pay.
Police State Without the Payoff
Hence, what is rather incredible about the rise of the police state in the U.S. is how little the public at large have bought into the mystical terrorist line. Moreover, the government has invested little in local jobs and social infrastructure since 9/11.
Part of the reason for the success of the United States’ “Faceless Enemy & Police State without benefits” comes down to strong inter-generational myths. Elites in the U.S. have been highly selective in their usage of foreign social reforms since WWII. Continually choosing the very worst examples of Keynesian economic theory, they make it seem that social spending, community initiatives, and urban renewal are part of a slippery slope towards Communism, and Nazism.
In so doing, they conveniently ignore the fact that most of their major Western Allies utilize mixed economies. The result of this cultural and historical amnesia has created a bizarre double standard. Welfare for the public is akin to fascism, yet welfare for corporations assisting the current American police state is assisting democracy. That being the elites “democracy” where they can do anything they want.
Fascist Corporationism/Inverted Totalitarianism
Benito Mussolini described his form of government as being based on Corporationism/Corporatism. While the term is less an ideology, rather it is used as an explanation of economic management style. It concerns itself as a melding of government and private interests for the benefit of society. At its core was/is the idea that the two would entwine and form a state.
Mussolini’s corporationist vision was based in fascism and Nazi sympathies. Moreover, it required a strong popular leader to bring industry to heal.
The U.S. corporationist outlook is very different. There are no popular/strong leaders in public view only straw political candidates. Industry and government have conjoined, yet corporate America sets the agenda.
This has led a number of authors like Sheldon Woilin (who coined the term) and the excellent Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco to examine American “Inverted Totalitarianism”. (3) (4)
Indeed, it is capitalism more so than leftist ideals that have been perverted. The elites push the illusion of the “American Dream”. This wins support of the American right; however, with deregulation and the rise of mega-corporations smaller businesses are no more. The same folks who said free trade and free markets would bring wealth and jobs to the United States then shipped jobs out of the country.
Adam Smith would be turning in his grave! (5)
Nazism With Better PR, and Inclusive of Black People
A result of the psychotic corporate onslaught of America is it’s becoming a self-conscious fascist state. The authorities will act in a draconian manner; however, they will deny any fascist agenda. Nevertheless, only mega money gives you entrance into this brave new world. Sure, there is racism but black and jispanic’s also have less financial wealth; hence, it is no surprise they are the major components of a vicious and perverse cycle the Nazi’s would have envied.
Economic de-regulation in the Reagan era assisted another mythical campaign, “The War on Drugs” which created the Prison Industrial Complex. Now, while Reagan started it, why has no one from either party stopped it? In short, there is a lot of money to be made. The Nazi war industry used slaved labor in all manner of internment camps. (6)
So too does the U.S. internment system, the helmets, bulletproof vests, and ammunition belts used by U.S. law enforcement/Gestapo squads are made by prisoners for 23-25 cents an hour. However, don’t worry if you behave there is every chance the anti-tank missiles prisoners make parts for won’t be aimed at you. (7)
References & Image Credits:
(1) NBC News
(2) Huffington Post
(3) The Nation
(5) Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy
(6) Jewish Virtual Library
(7) Global Research
(8) Scolirk via Compfight cc
(9) The Rutherford Institute