The Phantom Menace

September 30, 2009

Brian Leiter (Prof. of Philosophy and Law at the University of Chicago) points to this interesting piece on identifying the hallmarks of fascism.  Leiter’s been following this theme  for some time now, and this is just one of many in a string that were much more prevalent during the Bush administration.  Now that we’ve had something of a political turnover, one would think that such concerns about fascism should rightly and finally be put to rest.  Looks like we can weather democratic storms relatively well, without falling into fascism.  Curiously, however, this diatribe calling for a military coup against Obama came out at approximately the same time (today) as the piece on fascism, and one ought not to discount the hysteria at the recent town hall meetings, the birther nutbaggery, the facebook poll to vote on whether the president should be assassinated, the teabagger parades, and the second coming of the right wing media.

Media Matters has the full story on the editorial calling for a military coup.  Newsmax, the conservative outlet that originally published the editorial, has since taken it down.


  1. Fascims is more commonly defined as systems/countries where the state (never democratic) accepts but controls capitalism, often in a triumvirate together with the unions (always with the state in control).
    Historically, see Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s National Socialist Germany.
    These days the most prominent fascist state is China.
    The US is far from becoming a fascist state, but Obama seems to be working on it pretty hard, nationalizing & controlling businesses, giving power & capital to the unions (as reward for their support), telling opponents to shut up (or calling them Nazis like Pelosi did), sending out his “brownshirts” to beat up opponents, never tiring in his effort to increase the control of the people by the state, and so on.
    But there is long way to go, so there is still hope.

  2. Until this: “the teabagger parades”, I thought perhaps you were worth following. No more. If you can fall sway to typical Left-wing smears like that, you obviously don’t have the ability to generate enough independent thought for me to spend my precious time on.

    Alas, I was hopeful.

  3. Don’t give up hope. It’s their self-styled name, not mine. But if that’s all it takes to turn you off, there’s little I can do to salvage your readership. And Johan, dare I suggest you take a few political theory courses?

  4. Ben, likewirese.
    Are you disputing that Mussolini’s Italy was fascist? Or the similarities between Italian fascism and German national socialism?

    Fascism is described by one source as “”totalitarian philosophy of government that glorifies the state and nation and assigns to the state control over every aspect of national life”, coupled with “elitism”.
    Also, “the corporative state is a part of fascist dogma”, and corporatove state is
    “based upon unlimited government control of economic life, it still preserved the framework of capitalism”
    and the “corporative state [is] aimed in general at reduced consumption”.

    Who actually needs to read up on polisci (and history)?

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