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“America: from Freedom to Fascism”

There exists, by my count, about one million definitions for the overused and misunderstood multi-purpose-pejorative-at-large: fascism. This section from Wikipedia gets closest to what I judge to be its essential defining characteristic:

Fascism is also typified by totalitarian attempts to impose[s] state control over all aspects of life: political, social, cultural, and economic. The fascist state regulates and controls (as opposed to nationalizing) the means of production.

(strikeouts & brackets, mine)

See here as well for a broader discussion. I don’t have a reference in front of me and Google didn’t save me, but I think Ayn Rand did the best job of crystallizing the difference between socialism and fascism. Both wield absolute control and power over everything, but in socialism there is no pretense at "property rights," whereas in fascism, there is. In fascism, the corporations are turned into the agents of the state, i.e., pretty much what the United States is today.

You, my dear friends, live under a fascism that you have easily been fooled into believing was "freedom," and you have for a pretty long time now. Perhaps now the Leviathan is getting to be such that people might start to get a clue. I dunno, but I certainly applaud anything that makes a serious try at waking people up to it.

So I came across what looks to be an interesting new film today. Head over there and do watch all three trailers. They are worth more than several thousand words of description here. Oh, yea: I could pick at it quite a lot. The whole Federal Reserve and tax protester stuff is nonsense. I mean, it undercuts the entire premise of the film: if your problem is a fascist State that creates funny money and taxes you, your problem isn’t funny money and taxes. Your problem is a fascist State. More fundamentally, your problem is the State.

Baby steps.

This sort of thing is step one for most people. Before they come to recognize the total illegitimacy of the State, per se, they perhaps must first come to understand how it arbitrarily creates politicized laws it does not itself abide. Of course it doesn’t: it’s the State. It seems simple enough, but the journey of enlightenment from democrat or republican to libertarian to anarchist can be a long road that takes decades to traverse.

In that sense, it looks to me like this film is potentially a great step along that road. Not everyone will be convinced, of course. At a point along the journey, everyone must ultimately grapple with one single principle: do you believe that domination of others  (excluding small children and the infirm) through the initiation of force (non-defensive) to achieve any goal is ever justified for any reason, including retribution? If you cannot answer in the unequivocal negative, then you are either a brute whom peaceful people ought never associate with, or you’re unwilling to dominate people yourself, but are content to have your agents (those people you "vote" for and those in their employ) do your dirty-work for you. You know, dirty work like deporting "illegal" immigrants:

Elian_gonzalez2

(I posted that photo here before, but John Lopez just reminded me about it.)

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

7 Comments

  1. Kyle Bennett on June 2, 2006 at 19:37

    "If you cannot answer in the unequivocal negative, then you are either a brute […] or […] are content to have your agents (those people you "vote" for and those in their employ) do your dirty-work for you."

    I'm willing to admit a third alternative, (third only if we take your "content" as a knowing acceptance), which is that an equivocal negative could mean that they just can't resolve the apparent contradiction between what they know is right, and what they see those people, who they believe are also right, doing.

    I think the vast middle does believe that it is wrong to use force to acheive their goals, but also believe in our government and constitution, and have resorted to what is, obviously to us if not to them, absurd, but still good-faith, mental contortions in order to reconcile the two.

    It's these people that can (maybe) be redeemed by facing the fact that one of the two is flat-out wrong. What it will take to get them to see it, I don't know. Obviously, it will take more than seeing a lunatic in military gear holding a 4-year-old boy in the sights of an automatic rifle.

  2. Tom on June 2, 2006 at 22:44

    I remember Ayn Rand said something to the effect that "Fascism is the government control of private property while maintaining the semblance of private ownership."

    On a semi-related note of curiosity, there's an Ayn Rand dating service now.

  3. Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2006 at 09:16

    "On the contrary: anyone who DOES answer "no" to that question doesn't know what the real world is like anymore."

    On the contrary. It is the recognition that the real world is composed of brutes and those content to sanction them as agents that leads one to the enlightenment of being different — of swearing off the convenience and utility…

    "Governments […] keep showing up because they are workable solutions to certain problems."

    … of the State, i.e., organized force, as the solution to perceived problems.

    "Denying that the problems even exist does not make them go away."

    Now, you just made that up, which makes you a liar. I've never, ever claimed that problems don't exist. I don't even claim that the State is not a "suitable solution" to them — so long as one is content to steal, abuse, dominate, and even kill some for the "greater good" of others.

    Oh, no, I have no problem acknowledging the sanctity of the slide-rule, the utility and efficiency of the State.

    But that's not the issue. The lives of people are not yours to dominate, no matter what problems you perceive or grand goals you envision. Period.

  4. Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2006 at 09:55

    Kyle:

    Looks to me as though you're talking about the old theory-practice dichotomy. They know what's right, "in theory," but cannot reconcile what they believe to be "practical necessities."

    Of course, this is because they have been spoon fed a whole host of "practical necessities" that aren't necessities at all but convenient political and authoritarian devices all wrapped up in religious belief (whether religious belief in fairy tales or religious belief in the just omnipotence of the State).

  5. Rollory on June 3, 2006 at 08:39

    On the contrary: anyone who DOES answer "no" to that question doesn't know what the real world is like anymore.

    Governments do not keep showing up over and over and over because of some great conspiracy or fundamental evil in humanity or because assorted varieties of anarchy have just never been tried before. They keep showing up because they are workable solutions to certain problems. Denying that the problems even exist does not make them go away. Even the denial itself is only possible for someone, like yourself, who has lived in the bubble _created_ by a government for so long that they no longer are in touch with the realities that required a government to form in the first place.

    If there really IS a superior alternative to government, implement it. Then say "I told you so" all you like. Until then, you're talking out your ass.

    It has not been done because it cannot be done, not until we reroute some basic circuits in the human brain.

  6. Richard Nikoley on June 6, 2006 at 08:38

    Sean:

    Well, no, not in the legal sense. The courts have, in case after case, judged the law and legislative intent to be what it is. If you accept the law, per se, as you seem to do, then the court's interpretation is part of the baggage that goes along with it.

    It's all part of the whole package of "checks & balances," you know.

    But that's not the point. The point is that the state is an agent of force. The law is mere pretense to make it appear as though its use of force is objective and not arbitrary.

    It's an illusion, just like the law itself is an illusion.

  7. Sean Wheeler on June 6, 2006 at 08:11

    You make some good arguments, but I wouldn't be so quick to say "The whole Federal Reserve and tax protester stuff is nonsense".

    Listen to what Sherry Peel Jackson, a Certified Fraud Examiner and ex-IRS agent, has to say about it here.

    The fact that the government is illegally enforcing the income tax doesn't mean the argument is "nonsense," it simply means it's getting away with committing a crime.

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