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Fundamentalists and Fascists

Pat Robertson

 Dylan’s “With God on Our Side”

What do fundamentalists and fascists have in common? Frighteningly, quite a bit. I am going to briefly list and describe the parallels between them from my perspective. And while I’m speaking about Christian fundamentalists, because I am an American and have had several encounters with them over the years, Islamic and Jewish fundamentalists share many common characteristics with Christian fundamentalists.

Benito Mussolini

Charles Dickens

First, both fundamentalists and fascists believe in a powerful and continuing nationalism. If you reflect back on the history of nationalism, you will see that the rise of the modern nation state has increased not only the deaths of innocent civilians but also, the scope of death & violence due to the ever increasing destructive power or capabilities of modern weapons and warfare. The modern penchant for love of one’s country has been carefully & subtly developed in order to whip up the citizenry’s passions whenever the status quo wants another war or to raid the federal treasury and line their pockets with our tax dollars. Of course, whenever the peasants dare to ask for more porridge as Pip had the temerity to do in Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist, the power elite become indignant and question our patriotism. There rarely seems to be any money for health, education, & welfare but for the military/industrial/congressional complex, the money keeps on pouring into their bank accounts (off shore accounts in the Cayman Islands & elsewhere). So, nationalism serves the interests of the fascists in business and government. And nationalism serves the interests of the fundamentalists because as long as they exhort their congregations to be loyal Americans and fight America’s enemies both domestically & internationally, the government doesn’t make them pay taxes even though scum like Pat Robertson has amassed a personal fortune of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. The fundamentalists are very vocal and active politically and this too is why the fascists court them and pay their homage regularly on national television by proclaiming “God bless America.”

Jerry Falwell

Next on our list of common characteristics between fascists and fundamentalists is their disdain for human rights. This really angers me particularly on the part of the so-called Christian Right because Jesus made it very clear that the priorities of true Christians were to care for the poor, the homeless, the sick, etc. in his Sermon on the Mount. And the televangelist snakes in the grass like Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, et al, have time and time again, publicly declared their support for fascist dictators around the globe and called them good, Christian men who love America and are our allies in a holy war against evil. Fundamentalists don’t give a damn about all the misery and suffering that corporate America and our government have caused and continue to perpetrate. Both fundamentalists and fascists think that human rights is about as pointless as women’s rights i.e. women are suppose to always defer to their husbands, shut up, stay barefoot and in the kitchen. They believe that people who are suffering must’ve done something to piss-off God and/or are inferior beings that don’t merit our sympathy or financial aid.

Hugo Chavez

Noam Chomsky

Following this, the identification of enemies is a unifying cause for fascists & fundamentalists. One of the most hated world leaders at present is Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. Pat Robertson even had the balls to call for Chavez’s assassination. Yes indeed, Christian compassion and charity in action. Chavez is reviled and hated because he dared to stand up to American and other foreign powers who want to exploit Venezuela’s oil for their own profit and keep the Venezuelans poor and needy. I found it particularly amusing when during an address to the United Nations, Chavez recommended to a world-wide audience that they read Noam homsky’s latest book at the time, Hegemony or Survival? This really infuriated both the fundamentalists and the fascists because they have effectively marginalized Chomsky throughout most of his career but those Progressives like myself who have marveled at Professor Chomsky’s insights and encyclopedic knowledge over the decades, weren’t surprised that Chavez did this. Chomsky is sometimes referred to as the “most important intellectual alive,” and rightfully so. By identifying and rallying around a “common enemy,” the fascists and the fundamentalists offer their toadies a false sense of we’re in this together i.e. fighting against both secular and non-secular enemies who are seeking to destroy not only America but the God fearing Christians as well. Chavez and all who dare to speak out against their corruption, greed, & perverted ways are branded not only traitors but blasphemers, devil worshippers, etc. They relish their self-righteous smug assurance that they have the truth and will see us all suffer Hell’s torments for eternity.

Undeniably, at the core of fundamentalist & fascists’ power is their military might. Of course the fundamentalists don’t have the weaponry that the government does but they serve an important role with their perpetual linking of God and country and serve as cheerleaders for American aggression abroad. Everyone knows that America spends close to what all the other countries in the world combined, spend on military weapons, troops, etc. And it is through intimidation, fear, & physical aggression that the United States rules the world. This is why it’s necessary to wage a perpetual propaganda campaign painting any who dare to question America’s benevolence as enemies not only of America but enemies of God as well.

Rush Limbaugh, smug, oxycontin-loving, fear & hate monger

harpies are harmless in comparison

Sarah Palin, sex, guns, & God hides their hatred

another couple of pernicious secular humanists

Rampant sexism is another common characteristic of the fundamentalists and the fascists. Military recruiters don’t forewarn female recruits that one out of every three women who join the military will be raped by one of her fellow soldiers and most who suffer this bestial act, are urged to drop the matter by their commanding officers or they’re made to feel that it was somehow their fault that they were brutalized and degraded in such a horrible manner. Fundamentalists, as I said above, have long made it clear that women are subservient, second-class citizens as far as they’re concerned. Women who are raped in America are labeled as seductresses who asked for such treatment. Women are suppose to dress conservatively e.g. skirts and dresses below their knees, no cleavage showing, no make-up, etc., it’s not that different from Muslim women who can be stoned to death for revealing their faces in public. Women are not suppose to enjoy a natural, healthy sexually active life and are to only have sex with their husbands, with the goal of creating a child. Both fundamentalists and fascists live in the Dark Ages or even farther back in time. I just learned that Jewish fundamentalists start off their daily prayers thanking God they weren’t born a woman or a goy. And of course, fat, oxycontin taking Limbaugh rails against “feminazis” regularly to his brain-dead viewers and listeners. Women on the far right of the political spectrum are shrieking harpies who try to outdo their male counterparts in the sheer stupidity & shrillness of their prejudices against liberals and progressives. Just consider Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin. Perhaps this is a good point to define “sexism” in the sense that I am referring to? Sexism (prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.) In short, fundamentalists and probably a majority of fascists see women as weaker or inferior to men, they see women as overly sensitive, sentimental, emotional. Moreover, they prevent women from entering many professions arguing that women can’t compete with men because they aren’t physically, emotionally, or intellectually capable of doing everything a man can. Women typically earn far less than a man even when they perform the same functions within a corporation. The wicked secular humanists, on the other hand, see women as equals and worthy of the same respect due to men.

Joseph Stalin, former friend, like Mussolini, of corporate America

For fear that their followers might start thinking for themselves or that people may be influenced by a liberal press, both fundamentalists and fascists believe in a controlled mass media. And in America, the extreme right-wing both religiously and politically, have succeeded in convincing the public that the mass media is liberal and has a bias or prejudice against God, conservative politics, & corporate America. If it weren’t so serious, it’d be laughable because the fascists and the fundamentalists clearly dominate the radio waves as well as television and most of the mass media. Common sense tells you that the corporate media behemoths are conservative because most businessmen are conservative—not in the original sense of the word, but in the modern sense that they are only concerned with making as much profit as they can. So obviously, the corporate media aren’t going to allow many if any, “liberals” on their programs because they would undermine the “values” that the greedy and controlling ones worship e.g. greed is good, just trust us because we love America and know what is best for America, don’t worry about the environment, losing your jobs, having no health insurance, etc., all Americans have to know and do is work their butts off with three jobs if necessary, and trust their government, religious, & political leaders. Let me remind you that Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia believed and acted the same way. In fact, any totalitarian society does.

For the most part, the fascists and the fundamentalists get away with this massive deception by their skillful and perpetual psychological war of terror against us i.e. in the 20th century it was “the communists are coming,” then the drug lords were coming, and now it is the terrorists are coming. By continually whipping up the public’s fears, they keep the public scared and confused and therefore easier to manipulate. Naturally, the fundamentalists frame the fear more in “good vs. evil,” or God & Satan. But the fundamentalists join in the chorus of the fascists with their rants against evil terrorists like Osama bin Laden and never ask any probing questions as to why he and others are mad at America. More specifically, this manipulation of our fears and emotions is carried out under the banner of “National Security.” Naturally, whenever some of us on the Left have the audacity to ask what exactly do they mean by “National Security” on a specific issue, we are told, “sorry, it’s top secret and would jeopardize our soldiers if we were to tell you i.e. it’s the same old “just trust us, we know what’s best.” By the way, my political education began in L.A. when I started listening to a program on the fabulous Pacific Radio Network and its L.A. station, KPFK. There was a program on every Sunday called “National Security,” hosted by Ian Masters and the name of the program has now changed to “Background Briefing,” but you can still listen to it and you’ll receive quite an eye-opening view of not only American politics but world politics as well by listening and researching for yourself, the pundits, politicians, professors, journalists, etc. whom Ian interviews. To conclude, “National Security” is the large umbrella the powers that be hide under whenever they fear that we are getting a bit too close to the truth of what they are up to. It’s not a coincident that the most secretive and powerful branch of our “intelligence agencies,” is the N.S.A. (National Security Agency). As a matter of fact, the N.S.A. makes the C.I.A. look like the Mickey Mouse Club.

The Pope & Reagan, separation of Church & State?

As indicated above, the fundamentalists represent the Christian far right but there are free market fundamentalists as well. And the fascists represent the political & business fundamentalists who have in common with the religious extremists, a fear & hatred of anyone and everyone who dares to question their “values.” And this leads us to the eighth tenet of fascism i.e. religion and government intertwined. This has been going on for centuries if not millennia. The church confers “holiness” on the state or government and in return, the government confers respect on the church, gives them tax free status, allows the Church to become a profit-making industry and joins the church in exploiting the peasants and keeping them ignorant. Of course in today’s world, the techniques for manipulating the masses has become more refined but the results are just as dire as in the Dark Ages when the public were known as peasants, serfs, etc. Every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter goes out of their way to regularly & dutifully show their fealty to God and continually declare “God bless America.” Politicians fear the wrath of the vocal fundamentalists because they know how effective the fundamentalists are at grassroots organizing. This is why politicians walk a fine line and are very careful to not go too far in the way of offending the fundamentalists on such issues as gay rights and abortion. And as long as the politicians tow the religious line, the fundamentalists exhort their congregations to vote for the obliging politicians. The simple goal for both fundamentalists and fascists is to keep the public under their thumbs and ignorant so they are powerless and the fundamentalists and the fascists can continue their lavish lifestyles with all the attendant pomp and glory. Note also the power of the Jewish fundamentalists in the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. Any time someone dares to point out the corruption, the crimes against humanity committed by Israel, or the suppression of the Palestinian people, the anti-defamation league kicks into high gear and they smear the person’s name and threaten any politician who dares to agree with the critic of Israel.

What do you get when you add a fundamentalist to a fascist?

Above all, in my opinion, corporate power is protected by both fundamentalists and fascists because corporate power is where the true power is in America and most of the so-called “developed or industrialized” world. You may recall a famous quote attributed to Mussolini, the Italian fascist leader, who joined with Hitler and Japan in their war against the rest of the world known as WWII. Mussolini said “It (fascism) should more rightly be called corporatism because it was a combination of government and corporations.” And this is the bedrock or my central point in drawing my parallels between fascists and fundamentalists. I don’t have time to go into any depth on the subject but I’m writing a massive tome which does precisely that. Do a little research on your own and find out for yourself, if I have managed to stimulate your curiosity a little? The world is de facto ruled by corporate warlords who have infiltrated every level of government with their lobbyists, there are dozens if not hundreds of transnational corporations whose budgets are bigger than many countries. Consider NAFTA, which our so-called “liberal democratic” president, Bill Clinton, signed into law. NAFTA effectively overrules governments who have passed laws protecting their economies & their environment i.e. if a country tells a multinational corporation it can’t exploit its citizens in a particular fashion, the invading corporation can invoke NAFTA and threatens the country saying no with a huge fine under the rules of NAFTA. And lastly, consider the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision allowing corporations to now spend as much money as they want in influencing the outcome of political elections. The floodgates of corporate greed have been opened and people are losing their jobs, their homes, their health insurance, their pensions, etc. by the tens of millions.

Moreover, the flip-side of the tremendous gains in corporate power is the ever increasing suppression of labor power, another in the list of tenets of fascism. Labor unions have all but disappeared. In the 1950s, labor unions made up about 35% of the American workforce and today it is down to about 7%. Union workers have been forced to give up hard-earned benefits they fought to gain over the decades and we have Wal-Mart, touted as America’s largest retailer which openly warns its employees “if you even think about unionizing, we’ll shut down your store and you’ll be out of work.” Don’t forget that one of the lies the fascists used in getting NAFTA passed was that it would level the playing field i.e. it would help to lift up the poor workers of other countries. Instead, we are witnessing a race to the bottom where corporations are in competition with one another to see who can make the greatest profit by exploiting their workers the most. And these patriotic corporations are rewarded by our government for closing shop in America and going to some underdeveloped country where they can work people for 14 hours a day for a mere dollar or two. They’re rewarded with tax breaks and other incentives to leave America and destroy the lives of countless Americans, who are forced to pay the taxes used to reward the corporate cockroaches.

As a result of the steady propaganda campaign against intellectuals and artists, the ranks of the fascists and fundamentalists have swelled significantly. It stands to reason that when a people are bombarded with mind-numbing television ads and idiotic programs along with the public indoctrination system known as public schooling, people are more susceptible to absurd slogans and irrational appeals to nationalism and seeing foreigners as their enemies. Totalitarian regimes have long realized that they must first silence the intellectuals and the artists because these are two forces which threaten to undermine the status quo. Consider the typical steps dictators the world over take when they effect a coup d’état. Shut down the universities, the journalists, the mass media, etc. and silence their critics in these institutions by either jailing them or killing them. It is through self-education whether in a university or a library, that people’s eyes are opened and when people wake up, they start to infect or inspire others. This is a clear and present danger to despots, tyrants, oligarchs, etc. So, both fascists and fundamentalists fear the intellectual and the artist and rail against them with all the venom they can muster.

Donald Rumsfeld, former pharmaceutical corp C.E.O.

fascists are shameless in exploiting tragedies, even if their incompetence lead to the tragedy

respect for Law & Order is chief among their "values"

Dick Cheney, aka The Cheshire Cat

the atomic mushroom cloud Condoleeza Rice warned us of

Colin Powell's U.N. testimony pre-Iraq invasion http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-09-08-powell-iraq_x.htm

A.W.O.L. from the Texas Air National Guard that daddy got him in?

Next in our list of fascists’ criminal actions is their obsession with Crime and Punishment. To someone like myself who has studied these phenomena for many years, it seems patently obvious but perhaps it’s not so for some readers so reflect on this if you will? Fundamentalists consistently keep their flocks in line by beating their chests and wailing against the rampant crime and moral degeneration across America. Of course they gloss over or don’t even mention all the preachers, priests, & ministers who have exploited their gullible followers and committed far more crimes than the “liberal” sinners ever thought of committing. To keep the sheep from wandering, it is necessary to regularly remind them of how good they are and how bad the outsiders are. In the fascist political and economic realms it is necessary to focus on the international terrorists or the liberals who want to give everything away. Therefore, both religious and political fascists are always demanding tougher laws and stricter punishments. As a result, we have more people behind bars than any other nation on earth. So much for the “land of the free & home of the brave.” You see, jailing dissidents and critics is one way to keep a stranglehold on the public. It says, step out of line and this will happen to you too. We are such a nation of hypocrites! We train our kids to be violent with our obsession with violent sports, our glorification of war & constant ads & propaganda designed to dupe kids into joining the military and when they return from these immoral wars, our government dumps them on the street and says “tough shit.” Naturally, many of the broken-spirits turn to drugs and/or alcohol and because they can’t find work, there’s no welfare, little if any unemployment or serious job training, their pathetic public education, etc., many turn to crime and then we lock them up and kill their spirits even more effectively. We are cultivating the seeds of our own destruction because when a society has turned so callously on its own citizens, we begin to rot from within and it is only a matter of time before so-called “civilized society” collapses all together and there is no longer even any need for the pretense of a free or just society.
Another parallel between fundamentalists and fascists is the rampant cronyism and corruption in both camps. Cronyism is the appointment of family and friends to positions of authority without proper regard to their qualifications. Two of the most obvious examples would be Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Consider the cabinets of both these presidents and many others e.g. Donald Rumsfeld, a C.E.O. of a major pharmaceutical corporation who thought he could downsize the military like a corp. and outsource military jobs to private mercenaries, or corps like Cheney’s Halliburton who ripped up off for millions yet still enjoys the fat contracts handed to it. Or Condoleeza Rice, the so-called expert on Russia who didn’t even know it was collapsing until it did. Or “Brownie” the head of FEMA who was a former official in horse racing and didn’t act or have a clue when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. The list goes on forever. As for cronyism and corruption in the Christian fundamentalist camp, I’ve already mentioned how Pat Robertson got his fortune. Many other televangelists have equally sordid stories. But again, their lack of ability, their moral bankruptcy, their racism, etc. is overlooked because they are gifted at speaking and seducing the common folk into coughing up their hard-earned money. Reflect on the fact that Bush Sr. used his clout as Director of the C.I.A., to cover up juniors drunk driving, cocaine use, going AWOL from the Texas National Air Guard, etc. and disappeared the record and Dubya steals the presidency not only once but twice. The Bushwhacker lied us into a war and helped significantly to ruin our economy but yet he’s not held accountable. This is justice in America. Yeah, the America that boasts it is founded on the principles of Law & Order.

Bill O'Reilly, attack dog for power elite & traitor to the real Irish

one who speaks for true American values/principles

You’re probably growing tired of my ranting and raving, and since I’ve already mentioned the stealing of the presidency by the Bush crime family, I’m going to start winding down this essay. They, the fascists and fundamentalists in all their various shades and roles, seek to erase our collective memories. They purposely distort, misinform, & lie about our true history so we will continue playing the patsy in their rigged game. They via their putrid pundits such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, etc. have largely rewritten our history and made many of us forget about the founding principles set forth in our most important documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. If you’d like a brief review of these sacred principles i.e. what our soldiers are supposedly fighting for, I heartily recommend a short book by the former presidential candidate, George McGovern, titled “The Essential America.” I hope it angers you when you start contrasting what we started out as and how far we have been led away from those noble values and principles by the corrupt, lying bastards I have been speaking of. In conclusion, when that Alfred E. Newman lookalike (George W. Bush) first stole the presidency and declared that he was a “compassionate conservative,” I almost puked. One of the first things he did as president was to pass his “faith based initiative” over the wishes of Congress and effectively broke down the barrier between Church and State. There is not an ounce of true Christianity, compassion, or conservatism in any of these repugnant, rapacious, reptiles! And though I’ve warned readers in countless essays like this one, we’d better wake up and get busy doing something about taking our country back, I am still basically spitting in the wind and I worry constantly if it isn’t perhaps too late and all is lost?
Addendum
Considering all that I have said, I’d like to end on this quote from George McGovern’s book The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition:

No one who aspires to lead this nation into an uncertain future in war or peace should undertake that daunting task without drawing on the time-tested moral and political principles of our founders—liberty, equality, justice, truthfulness, and compassion for all of God’s creatures everywhere.

Rob DeLoss, April 25, 2010 (Arcata, CA)

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