Thursday, November 02, 2006

As U.S. Slides Toward Corpo-Fascism, This Election May Be Our Most Crucial


"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

There's a new color of fascism out there -- it's the shade of a Brooks Brothers gray flannel suit.

This is not your grandfather's fascism. They don't need to put dissidents in camps. They can often accomplish the same thing with private blacklists or firings to economically marginalize or eliminate foes.

And next week, U.S. voters may decide in a midterm congressional election whether this is the future of the once great hope for democracy in the world.

Examples of how the new smiley-face fascists operate are plentiful, so for brevity's sake I will focus on a very recent one: NBC's refusal to air an ad promoting the Dixie Chicks' new documentary, Shut Up & Sing.

According to the Web site Think Progress, Variety reported that "NBC's commercial clearance department said in writing that it 'cannot accept these spots because they are disparaging to President Bush.' "

Imagine the international reaction if the TV network were in Venezuela and the leader in question were Hugo Chavez. Braying jackass though many people believe Chavez is, he was, for an example of hypocrisy, vehemently criticized when he had the audacity to fire a high-ranking government official who disagreed with him (like this has never happens in our own government).

But, back to the Chicks. Harvey Weinstein, who is distributing the movie issued the following statement, according to Think Progress:

"It's a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American."

So, what's next for NBC (and parent company General Electric)? Will they stop accepting campaign ads from the Democrats? Kick Leno off the air the next time he tells a "disparaging" joke about Bush?

If the Republicans manage to win, or steal, next week's election, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see such things coming to pass very soon.

It has been Republican policies that have built the foundation of the new fascism, as the main political arm of corporate America. It has long been the case that Americans are bought and sold in the marketplace, or discarded for the sake of profits -- but of course, they are theoretically free to change masters anytime. But now, suppression of free speech has become endemic in the corporate media, even when the speakers have the money to buy the air time. And, let me remind libertarians that this is an FCC-regulated concern, as it should be (unless you want to go back to pre-1934 broadcast anarchy). But regulation that is actually in the public interest seems a lost concept.

In the upcoming election, if a fix is in, my words here may be rather futile. But there's only one way, in the short term, that Americans can possibly stop the corpo-fascist octopus: Cut off its political arm (or should I say tentacle?).

If you value freedom, vote Democratic on Nov. 7. If nothing else, we can, as Greg Palast has put it, "make them steal it."



Anonymous said...

Go here to view trailer for Dixie Chicks new film:

Anonymous said...

I've heard that experts who study elections have long believed that the vast majority of voters decide who they'll vote for only a day or 2 before the election. Therefore if the Bush team is going to pull any Oct. surprise, this will be the time to do it.

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Manifesto Joe,

Can you tell me what city you live in?

Anonymous said...

No. I live in Texas. Period

Anonymous said...

Democrats win! Take that, ConTards! I look forward to the coming year.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel that positive about the Democrats being able to fix the Iraq mess. Bush has dug us so deep into a quagmire that there doesn't seem to be any real solution, outside of just withdrawing our troops. To those who say that anarchy would ensure, I ask: what do you call what's going on there now? Peace & stability?

chawil said...

The error a lot of people make is that they think Iraq is some kind of mistake. Actually it was a coldly calculated armed robbery. As long as Saddam was in power there would be no access to Iraqi oil thanks to the UN. Solution: remove Saddam; discredit the UN internationally (after all they don't support the US hegemony and they criticise its record on human rights, etc.) and move in to make massive profits. The people who planned it and who gained by it are now sipping cocktails in the sun while the small fry pay the price, just as in every other well planned and executed major crime. A change in presentation, i.e. the Democrats, will not alter the basic policy. So long as there are profits to be made the US will remain in Iraq to protect the vested interests.