I’ve written some articles comparing America today to Hitler’s Germany; and it seems it’s not just me being paranoid and over-reactive. That concern is appearing in a number of places. Now The American Conservative magazine is running an article, “Hunger for Dictatorship” (subtitle: “War to export democracy may wreck our own.”) on fascist tendencies in the American right, particularly in the current administration. It’s author, Scott McConnell, quotes Lew Rockwell:
…. “the most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. …. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing.”
Then he says there is
…. a mood among some conservatives that is at least latently fascist. Rockwell describes a populist Right website … as “hate-filled … advocating nuclear holocaust and mass bloodshed for more than a year now.” One of the biggest right-wing talk-radio hosts regularly calls for the mass destruction of Arab cities. Letters that come to this magazine from the pro-war Right leave no doubt that their writers would welcome the jailing of dissidents. …. That mood, Rockwell notes, dwarfs anything that existed during the Cold War. “It celebrates the shedding of blood, and exhibits a maniacal love of the state. The new ideology of the red-state bourgeoisie seems to actually believe that the US is God marching on earth—not just godlike, but really serving as a proxy for God himself.”
In case you didn’t think of it, that is idolatry, which is not a high-ranking virtue in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. It’s also not smart. We become like what we worship; so if there is Good God, then I want to worship That One, not some cheap (morally speaking) human militaristic substitute.
McConnell says we’re not there yet, and points out some evidence.
…. America hasn’t yet experienced organized street violence against dissenters or a state that is willing—in an unambiguous fashion—to jail its critics. The administration certainly has its far Right ideologues …. But the Bush administration still seems more embarrassed than proud of its most authoritarian aspects.
I say: True, the Nazi’s were more violent at home more quickly, and that is, so far, a significant difference. But hate-filled rightist propaganda is moving our culture that way. And the Administration continually pushes its agenda while not speaking very openly about it, and constantly expands the boundaries of what’s permissible with “little” moves on several fronts at once. That was very much the method of Nazi development throughout the thirties. And as to the Bush administration seeming “more embarrassed than proud of its most authoritarian aspects”, well, Hitler had that act down pat. Let the underlings seem too extreme while the guy at the top looks more sensible. I’m not buying it. They guy at the top is as guilty as the rest.
…. the very fact that the f-word can be seriously raised in an American context is evidence enough that we have moved into a new period. The invasion of Iraq has put the possibility of the end to American democracy on the table …
There. “The end to American democracy” has been put “on the table.”
It hurts even to say so, but it’s well known that the name “Christian” is being widely used to promote these developments. It is being used falsely, treacherously, even blasphemously. These are not Christian attitudes or goals or techniques, and those who promote them are betraying the names and values of Christ and of Christianity. We should not let ourselves think of these leaders as, or call them, “Christian,” or in any way encourage or justify their behavior and their deceptions. We should, as Jesus recommended, judge them by their fruit.