The history of Germany's Third Reich was certainly tragic, both for Germans and the world. If man never learned from it, then man must be woefully ignorant or extremely forgetful. While those who lived through those times will likely never forget, "man-in-the-street" interviews demonstrate the appalling ignorance of history among the younger generations, at least in America. These are the people who were surprised to learn that the movie, "Titanic" was based on a real event. Polls indicate that one-fourth of Americans don't even know the Earth revolves around the Sun. So, if the history of the Third Reich has been erased from the public consciousness, except perhaps for the numerous parodies of the movie about Hitler's last days, "Downfall", what, then, is to prevent the tragedy from repeating itself?
To postulate that current conditions in the United States are reminiscent of Germany during the rise of the Nazis may seem far-fetched. Indeed, conditions now are considerably different than they were when Hitler rode his version of "Hope and Change" into power. We haven't suffered a "Great War" or the depth of economic troubles that Germans experienced in the 1920's and 30's. Nor is there anything like the Third Reich in place now. Yet, there are troubling indications that the pattern of events is being repeated and that conditions are being deliberately constructed to facilitate the rise of a more malignant form of fascism.
WHAT IS FASCISM?
Germany under Hitler's rule is usually termed fascist, a term that means different things to different people, so the definition of fascism is controversial among scholars. For today's leftists, the term has come to mean capture of the government by corporate interests, a theme espoused by President Roosevelt when justifying the expansion of state power under his authority. However, the term was founded in 1922 by Mussolini and it derives from the Roman "Fasces" which was a bundle of sticks tied together with a protruding ax that symbolized the unity of the people under the authority of the state. During the early 20th century, several countries adopted a fascist-style of government, including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Argentina and, of course, Germany. Yet, each had their own characteristics.
In general, and greatly simplified, fascist states were characterized by an economic system that preserved private property, but put it under control of government bureaucracy so that it would, first and foremost, serve the ends of the state. The economy was micromanaged, with wages, prices and profits determined by government policy. Big industries complied both because they had no choice and because, in return, they were assured freedom from competition and were guaranteed profits.
Since nobody agrees on the definition of fascism, some scholars have agreed that there are a minimum number of characteristics that define a fascist state. These include a charismatic dictator, disdain for and elimination of parliamentary systems, oppression of human rights to include ruthless suppression of dissent, a collectivism that treated individuals according to their ethnicity, class and political beliefs, a "progressive" agenda to benefit the worker, extreme nationalism, pervasive propaganda, and usually a militaristic government. Hitler's Germany exhibited all these traits and more, such as a preoccupation with "race", mainly Jews, and a strong opposition to communists.
THE POPULARITY OF FASCISM
Fascism, to varying degrees, has always been a popular form of government, at least among those who govern. It enables state bureaucrats and officials to enact their ideas and prejudices while brooking no opposition. Fascism has also been popular with giant corporations. As mentioned, for big businesses, partnership with the state, even if under repressive government control, is the next best thing to actually being the state. After all, business is dependent upon the good will of its customers and can only succeed by gratifying customer demand with products that are of better value than that of competitors. That is difficult to do, which is why so many businesses become big and ossified, that is, bureaucratic, only to eventually fail due to innovative competition. Partnership with the state guarantees corporate survival.
Only the government has the authority and legitimacy to use force, not only to suppress competition, but to manipulate the market place. That's why in today's Washington, with the government playing such a crucial role in the economy, there's perpetual war going on as companies try to use legislation and regulation against their competitors and to ensure their own success. Obtaining government contracts or subsidies is even better. All you need is pull, that is, someone with influence in the halls of power. So businesses benefit by purchasing influence from politicians whose primary interest is in perpetuating their job and their own power. And it takes money, lots of money, to run for reelection. Moreover, politicians and bureaucrats can also look forward after retiring to getting cushy jobs in industries that had bought them off when they were legislators or regulators.
The left deems this system fascist because of corporations buying off politicians and regulators. From their perspective, government is no longer in the hands of the people, but rather, it serves the interests of big business. There is some truth to this, in that corporate influence is pervasive in Washington. However, voters (to the extend voting isn't corrupted) still have the final say as to what kind of government we have. The left's solution is to reduce corporate influence either through extreme regulation or nationalization, while expanding government power in the name of the people. The irony is that "the people" are represented by bureaucrats and politicians who inevitably act in their own best interests, whether it be in wielding power or garnering affluence. Their solution, then, is to implement economic fascism for free enterprise. And in another irony, the left apparently doesn't realize that their solution is the same that was instituted in Nazi Germany where Hitler claimed he was uniting all Germans, including the heads of major industries, under the banner of the party and the direction of its bureaucrats.
THE ONGOING TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICA
America was founded with principles diametrically opposed to those of totalitarian fascism and communism. Our founders studied the history of governments and knew that they reflected human nature, that is, governments were always used by some to forcibly take advantage of others. And some things never change. So they envisioned a democratic system that restrained the ability of the majority to tyrannize minority interests and vice versa; a limited government constrained by Constitutional limits to enumerated powers; and a Bill of Rights, where individual liberty, free markets, and non-interventionist foreign policy would be the underlying philosophy.
Those ideals were slowly eroded with the rise of a neo-mercantilism under the Hamiltonian Federalists, who envisioned government-private partnerships, a central bank, and an authoritarian government, all to promote industry and trade, especially for favored interests, that is, the cronies of politicians. The triumph of Hamiltonian economics led to the excesses of big business, including co-opting government by purchasing politicians. That corruption, then, fostered the rise of progressivism, ostensibly an effort at reform, both for the good of workers who were seen as being unjustly exploited, and to return power to the people as a means to restore a purer form of democracy. And to enact that reform, progressives looked to ever expanding government power, provided it was under their control.
Progressives have always believed that limited government, as intended by the Constitution, is an impediment to the creative solutions they propose for society's ills. Ironically, in this they are joined by the very forces they oppose. For Hamiltonian big business, government force is the tool they can use to fashion the marketplace to their advantage and to stifle competition. Hence, during the "progressive era", most of the laws regulating business were enacted at the behest of big businesses. Big businesses were more afraid of "unbridled competition" than state regulations.
The historical result has been a two-pronged attack on Constitutional liberty by progressives and big business. Neither of these interests wants to be see government constrained by the Constitution. Both just want to use government power for their own purposes. In this, they have the makings of fascism, that is, bringing society under the allegedly benevolent power of state control. The result, whether it be Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt's progressivism, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, Johnson's Great Society or the various government schemes since, has been a government that gives big business what it wants just so long as progressives are also taken care of and their social agenda enacted.
ARE THE REPUBLICANS FASCISTS?
The left commonly characterizes the right as fascists. Tea Partiers, for example, are designated fascists along with, of course, being racists. As evidence, they point to the alleged Republican support of big business, nationalism in the form of extolling patriotism, national sovereignty and, of course, American exceptionalism, alleged racism (the right is depicted as consisting of only old white people), opposition to immigration, and support for military interventions. These are likened to Nazi corporatism, extreme nationalism, racism, ethnic cleansing and invasions of neighboring countries. This critique of the right leaves aside the Democrats' own close association with big business, of course, but it also willfully mischaracterizes love of this nation's founding principles and spiritual heritage as genuine evil.
ARE THE DEMOCRATS SOCIALISTS OR FASCISTS?
There has for some time been an accelerated transformation taking place, driven largely by the Democratic Party's "progressive" wing, to make America into a more statist country featuring expanded government, more regulation, onerous taxes, social engineering, income leveling, enforced equality of outcomes and an interventionist foreign policy. Reflecting Marxist philosophy, they believe people are infinitely malleable and are a product of their society. There is no personal responsibility or, in essence, freedom of choice. For progressives, the only way to improve people is to improve their environment and in creating a social utopia, people have no choice but to be model citizens. So progressive reformers have created a nanny state that intrudes into every aspect of the citizen's life.
There's no doubt that most progressives are compassionate people who see government as the tool to create a more perfect society and better living conditions for all. Equality is their foremost value and they frequently see themselves as morally superior to those on the right. Other progressives, especially those who deem themselves intellectually superior to those on the right, see government as the means to personal power, whether to enact their own ideas for social improvement or just because they have a lust for domination over others. These include everyone from petty bureaucrats to major politicians. It's the first group that enables the second group to achieve their power because they sanction the legitimacy of statism and are willing to sacrifice individual liberty for the so-called common good.
Meanwhile, businesses "too big to fail" have helped create a system where they keep their profits and taxpayers compensate them for their losses. Moreover, the burden of taxes and regulations are so onerous that it becomes difficult for potential competitors to start up and threaten their market position. While Democratic progressives have criticized this type of corporatism, they have eagerly sought money from those same businesses and have frequently granted them subsidies or favorable regulations in return. So it's not surprising that the Wall Street financial industry contributed heavily to the Obama 2008 presidential campaign. Fascist corporatism is not confined to the Republican establishment. It's a natural outcome when Washington plays a dominant role in the economy.
It's commonly thought on the right that Obama, who said he would "fundamentally transform America", is a socialist. As for Obama, his upbringing, with Marxist parents, a communist mentor, a black liberation theology pastor, and association with Marxist radicals in college, led to a community organizing career, candidacy for office in the socialist New Party, and now, as president, the creation of numerous Marxist "czars" in his administration. As for the Democratic Party, it is seen by the right as the Trojan Horse of Marxism. The right would paraphrase Homer's Iliad, "Beware of Democrats bearing gifts." Entitlements come at the cost of liberty and prosperity. Moreover, there are at least 80 Democrats in the House of Representatives who are members of the Progressive Congressional Caucus, an organization founded by the Democratic Socialists of America, which is a branch of the Socialists International. But the Democrats' ability to enact a socialist program, that is, nationalize major industries, at the least, is limited by resistance from conservatives.
Hence, they're mostly using the Fabian Socialist approach of incrementally ratcheting government to the left as bureaucracies grow and issue regulations that become more and more intrusive, even down to regulating school children's behavior. And while they can't nationalize industries, they can create the infrastructure to micromanage those industries. For example, unable to immediately create a "single payer" health care system (another name for socialized medicine), they enacted a bill that puts government in control of the entire industry. Is it any wonder that even small businesses form associations that attempt to influence politicians and bureaucrats? It's self-defense.
This process of intruding the state into every aspect of life is typical of fascism. In the case of America's progressives, it's a way station on the road to socialism. And it's apparent that the process of creating a suitable climate to enact growing totalitarian control has been accelerating ever since the left assumed considerable controlover institutions that influence society, that is, education, academia, the entertainment industry, mass media, unions, and now, with the Obama administration, the federal government.
The right is growing increasingly alarmed over the rise of fascism in America, although they usually refer to it as socialism. The backlash is growing, as demonstrated in the 2010 congressional elections, where the Democrats were trounced in districts that were not overwhelmingly liberal. If the left is to succeed, they may believe that it will take a crisis that will enable them to seize power in the name of saving the nation. That's how the Nazis achieved a one party dictatorship.
Consider the similarities between Nazi Germany and the agenda of the Democratic Party and its practices as listed below. This does not necessarily exonerate the Republican Party establishment, which has in all too many cases aided and abetted the abuses that have steadily eroded the original concept of what America is and was meant to be. Whether it's the "war on drugs" or the "war on terror", the temptation to dilute and diminish human and civil rights as necessary to combat some menace, in the name of expediency, has led to even well-meaning Republicans and Democrats voting for measures they must know can be used as tools of oppression if the chief executive so decides. America's founding fathers knew that you couldn't rely on the good will or character of the powerful. So, how are the Democrats mimicking the rise of Nazism?
THEN: When Hitler took power, his followers likened him to a messiah, the long awaited savior of Germany. People were enraptured by his rhetoric. Children sang about him, with lyrics saying he would change the world. In some homes, shrines were set up to worship Hitler, and people would pray to him. Hitler never would have risen to power, even within the party, if it weren't for his ability to deliver a mesmerizing speech. What's more, it's surprising how many Nazis mentioned that it was Hitler's eyes that drew them in. Hitler told people what they said they were thinking anyway, appealed to their patriotism, and gave them hope for the future. In the election of 1930, a host of young people who had never voted before came out for the Nazis. They also won the women's vote overwhelmingly. Interestingly, Hitler became rich off the sale of his two books after becoming dictator.
NOW: Obama, too, was elected based on his charisma and rhetorical skills. Likened to "the one" and the Messiah, posters showing him with a halo around his head became common. Children sang songs about how he would change the world. In one video, people are seen praying to Obama. The idea of hope and change, of being non-political and only American resonated with people who hoped for a better future. In 2008, a host of young people who had never voted before came out for Obama. He also won the women's vote overwhelmingly. Like Hitler, Obama became rich from sales of his two books after he became candidate for president.
THEN: Hitler, and his propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, developed a sophisticated propaganda system based on centralization, that is, propaganda had to be approved by one authority and then disseminated to all of the outlets. Propaganda emphasized simplicity, with catchy slogans and concepts easy for even the least educated people to understand. The simple slogans were repeated often, so ideas were converted into memes that became self-evident truths. And the memes, which were devoid of actual intellectual content (such as "The Jews are our misfortune"), had to appeal to the emotions, especially people's resentments and prejudices. There was no regard for the truth. Truth was whatever people would believe, and while people might doubt a small lie, big lies were deemed so audacious and incredible they must be true.
Starting in 1933, Reich Propaganda Minister Goebbels would meet with Hitler and develop propaganda themes. He would then meet secretly with selected newspaper men and tell them what stories and ideas he wanted their papers to print. Sometimes he even gave them entire articles to be published under their names. They were not to disclose who actually originated the stories. Likewise, the government shut down newspapers and radio stations that refused to promulgate propaganda.
NOW: Obama and the Democrats have virtually the same system. Media Matters consults with the White House to develop propaganda themes, and sometimes entire articles or stories, which are then disseminated to outlets such as MSNBC, certain reliable newspaper pundits in liberal newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, and on various left-wing blogs and web sites.
These themes are created into memes by simplistic slogans (Republican War on Women, Republicans Pushing Grandma Over a Cliff, Republicans Want to Return to the Days of Jim Crow, Republicans Want Dirty Air and Water, The Rich Don't Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes, and the Tea Party is Racist, for example), and are outrageously false. But they're designed to appeal to the emotions of poor and uneducated people by evoking envy, resentment, victimization, and self-righteousness. They also appeal to the party's leftist base by offering validation for their political beliefs. Obama, himself, admits he created a manufactured image of himself for the public, and his speeches are filled with whatever content he thinks will sell, even if what he's saying is completely false. And if confronted on his lies, he will claim he never said it or will say he was misunderstood.
FASCIST ECONOMICS AND CORPORATISM
THEN: Initially, National Socialism was just that. It was socialist and anti-capitalist. Eventually, Hitler was introduced to wealthy industrialists who wanted to fund the Nazis as a way to stop the communists who in 1919 had staged a failed revolution in Germany, but who still represented a threat by taking over city governments and even the state of Bavaria. Hitler never did receive a significant amount of money from industrialists, but he revised the party's stance and instituted fascism and corporatism, that is, the creation of industries into cartels and workers into labor unions, both with state oversight. The Nazis modeled their economics on the fascist system in Italy. (So did Roosevelt's New Dealers.) Mussolini, the Italian dictator, was initially a Marxist who realized that Italy would not obtain foreign investment as a communist nation, so he invented fascism. In Nazi Germany, corporatism meant that businesses would be subsumed into industry-wide organizations under government oversight. Likewise, independent unions were destroyed, and then workers were "encouraged" to join government approved unions. Even artists were herded into state organizations, such as "The Union of National Socialist Stage and Movie Artists."
NOW: The Obama administration publicly disdains capitalism and regularly blames Wall Street financiers and private industries, such as "big oil", or shadowy speculators for society's economic woes. Despite that, Wall Street and other industries contributed heavily to the Democratic Party and Obama in 2008. It's similar to a protection racket. If they don't pay the Democratic Party, there will be consequences. (Nice little business you have there. Shame if something happened to it.) In return, they are rewarded with bailouts and awarded with government contracts or subsidies to achieve administration industrial policy, another feature of fascism. Just consider how many companies that made financial contributions to Obama's election campaign were given billions of dollars in contracts to create "green energy." (Virtually all, such as Solyndra, the solar panel maker, have gone bankrupt.)
Moreover, the administration has created more bureaucracies to regulate the economy and businesses, taken over some companies, such as GM, where the government even fired the CEO, and has issued a flood of regulations that ensure only big businesses have the resources and armies of lawyers to remain in compliance. The creation of de facto big business cartels thereby ensure profits and limited competition, provided they do business in accordance with government policy. GM, for example, has produced the Chevy Volt, a car so expensive that its manufacturing cost is subsidized by the taxpayers, even though it has virtually no buyers.
Likewise, some of Obama's closest associates are labor union leaders whose agendas, such as card check (no need for elections to approve a union) are supported by the administration. This is an effort to force workers into what are essentially union cartels, limiting the workers' ability to negotiate on their own behalf, and putting them under government control. Historically, unions have destroyed several industries by creating uneconomic cost burdens when they were trying to compete against low-wage foreign companies, so now unions mainly represent government workers or workers in heavily regulated industries where taxpayers can be forced to pay for increased union pay and benefits.
In a fascist economy, big businesses and unions enjoy similar benefits in return for their contributions. Consumers have no choice but to buy government approved products. An example is the banning of incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact florescent bulbs and LED lights manufactured by GE, a business whose CEO, Jeff Immelt, leads Obama's Council of Economic Advisors. Immelt believes in government-business partnership along the lines of the Chinese model.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENEMIES
THEN: As everyone knows, the Nazis blamed primarily Jews and Communists, along with other alleged traitors, for Germany's defeat in the Great War (the "stabbed in the back" theory as to why Germany lost) and for the economic catastrophe and cultural degradation afterwards. Jews were, ironically, seen as synonymous with both greedy capitalists and Bolshevik communists. Hitler wanted a Germany that was racially "Aryan", and everyone else, from Jews to Gypsies, was regarded as polluting true Germanic culture and had to be removed. When a demented Dutch man set fire to the Reichstag, the Nazis used it as a pretext to create a dictatorship and to round up anyone who opposed the regime.
Aside from internal enemies, the Nazis also blamed international bankers, who were seen as controlling France and Great Britain, for starting the war and profiting by it. Hitler, and for that matter, most Germans, also hated the unreasonable and humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which they blamed largely on the French, which not only robbed Germany of her wealth through reparation payments, but much of her territory. And, to the east, the communist Soviet Union was also touted as an existential threat that would eventually invade and take over Germany. Consequently, Germany had to rearm and reverse the outcome of the Great War.
NOW: Under the Obama administration, class warfare is a major propaganda theme, with the middle class being pitted against the rich. For example, the rich are vilified with the claim that they haven't paid their fair share in taxes (despite the fact that the top 10% in income pay 70% of the income taxes while the bottom 50% pay about 2%). And, of course, the Tea Party is labeled as extremist, racist and possibly a hotbed of potential terrorists.
The Obama administration also supported the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and some of Obama's Marxist associates (Van Jones, SEIU, Media Matters) had tried to organize and control it for their own purposes. The OWS protestors were a mixed bag, but were mostly anti-capitalists, anarchists, anti-globalists and a variety of other sentiments. In common, they all demonized the "one percent", i.e., very rich. Just as rich capitalists were initially seen as the enemy in Germany, until fascism was instituted, for the OWS protestors, rich capitalists were also seen as the enemy responsible for corrupting the government. Interestingly, for some OWS protestors, capitalists were associated with Jews.
As for other enemies, Democrats, as well as Republicans, have consistently used the threat of drugs, communism and Islamic terrorism to justify domestic and national security measures that diminish our liberties. Despite Obama's promises while campaigning to end national security abuses, his administration has actually worsened them.
THEN: The Nazis were famous for the "Brownshirts", also known as "Stormtroopers." They were the Nazis's own private army that fought battles in the streets against rival political groups' armies, such as that of the communists' Red-Front Legion or the Social Democrat's Reichsbanner. They also arrested and tortured opponents. Most stormtroopers were unemployed thugs.
When opposition parties held a rally, the Brownshirts would show up and shout down the speakers. If that didn't work, they would physically assault the participants. Groups of Brownshirts would go to the homes of opposition members and harass them. Likewise, in universities, it was Nazi student associations who invaded classrooms, shouted down or beat up professors or speakers they despised, staged sit-ins to disrupt the university administration and pulled books from the libraries to burn.
NOW: Obama is allied with the SEIU union whose members wear purple shirts and who have been known to beat up conservatives and even go to the private homes of business executives to intimidate them. In universities, leftist students shout down conservative speakers and in some cases assault them. Meanwhile, the OWS protestors engaged in vandalism reminiscent of Nazi violence against Jewish store owners during the infamous "Krystallnacht."
DISDAIN FOR LEGISLATURES
THEN: Nazis were openly disdainful of democracy and representative government through parliaments and legislatures, saying they were debating clubs where nothing was accomplished, acted too slow, and were comprised of corrupt representatives. Hitler and his followers believed only a dictator could get Germany moving again. In fact, the polarization in the Reichstag between Nazis and Communists was so great nothing did get done. So the government created a bureaucracy to bypass the parliament. After Hitler became Chancellor, the Nazis passed the "Enabling Act" (Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich), which granted Hitler's cabinet the ability to enact laws without the approval of the Reichstag (German legislature). By late 1933, the Reichstag rarely bothered to meet.
NOW: Obama is also disdainful of Congress, which is polarized and essentially dysfunctional. As he put it, "When Congress refuses to act, I have an obligation to do what I can without them." The president even introduced the slogan, "We Can't Wait" to indicate that he would start acting independently of that body, despite the Constitution. More recently, he said he had a "pen and a phone" and would bypass Congress for the good of the people. He also said he would issue "executive orders" to enact policy. Obama has also unilaterally changed laws passed by Congress and refused to enforce others.
The leftist Center for American Progress provided a list of ways Obama could bypass congress and rule by executive order and other means. To that end, Obama appointed dozens of "czars" to bypass Congressional approval, as stipulated in the Constitution, and govern directly from the White House. He also appointed officials who did require Congressional confirmation by decree, saying they were recess appointments even though Congress was not in recess.
Obama has displayed disregard for Congress in a variety of ways. For example, going against the express wishes of Congress, Obama gave billions of dollars to Palestinians and Egyptian terrorist organizations, by executive order instituted the "Dream Act" that Congress had disapproved, granted "No Child Left Behind" law waivers to 10 states, declared he would not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, created numerous "signing statements" indicating there were portions of bills his administration would disregard, involved American forces in a war against Libya without even a Congressional resolution and disregarded the War Powers Act, ignored Congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony in the "Fast and Furious" investigation, as well as many other egregious acts.
In other examples of dictatorial disregard for the Constitution, the Environmental Protection Agency has become famous for going beyond its Congressional mandates and has harassed businesses, farms and energy companies with swarms of regulations. It has even decided, on its own, to regulate carbon dioxide. Worse, Obama also decided that American citizens can be assassinated by executive order. Obama has also demonstrated disregard for the courts, for example, refusing to obey a court order to restore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
LOSS OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
THEN: After the Reichstag burned in 1933, the Nazis claimed communists were starting a blood uprising and issued the "Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State." The decree erased all of the human and civil rights protections written into the Weimar Republic Constitution. That, and the Enabling Act, effectively turned Germany into a dictatorship. From that point on, those who disagreed with the regime were arrested and thrown into concentration camps, or worse, killed. The Nazis then made the politicians and industrialists who thought they could control Hitler by appointing him chancellor follow orders, just like everyone else in Germany.
NOW: Both Democrats and Republicans have enacted several measures that have eroded the liberty of Americans, and the process has been ongoing for decades. As examples, the government declared that if you have a large amount of cash, it can be confiscated under the suspicion that it was obtained illegally. The Supreme Court ruled that your property can be taken by the state so that another private commercial interest can use it. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act was intended to be a tool against organized crime. In reality, it's hardly ever used against Mafia bosses, but instead, is wielded against corporations, large and small, and their CEO's. Local law enforcement can now go after alleged drug dealers knowing that property seized from suspects can be retained by the department before the suspects are even convicted and the property will not be returned even upon acquittal.
Regulatory agencies are notorious for prosecuting people under the flimsiest pretexts. A person filling in a backyard depression can be prosecuted by the EPA for destroying a wetlands. Hiring someone can result in charges of violating EEO rules if the employer didn't advertise far and wide enough first so as to include possible minority candidates. The National Labor Relations Board arbitrarily stopped Boeing from locating a plant in right-to-work South Carolina because of union objections. And, of course, the IRS can arbitrarily designate how much you owe in taxes and then it's up to you to prove you're innocent in a tax court where Constitutional rules don't apply.
The erosion of rights accelerated after the attacks of September 11. The Patriot Act negated several Constitutional guarantees by allowing the government to spy on Americans. Shockingly, under President Obama and the Congress, the abuse of civil liberties has gotten considerably worse. The National Defense Authorization Act enables the indefinite detention of American citizens without due process. That provision was inserted into the act at the insistence of the administration and an attempt to rescind it by Congress failed when a majority (mostly, but not all, Democrats) decided they'd rather keep it. Likewise, the Trespass Law gives government the authority to arrest people for protesting in areas the government arbitrarily deems unauthorized. In another shocker, Obama has signed an executive order amending the National Defense Resources Preparedness Act to allow the government to confiscate virtually everyone's property and resources, even in peacetime. Obama also signed an executive order that subordinates US regulatory law to international law, meaning that, for example, United Nations' policies would trump US law.
All of these laws and executive orders have plausible rationales to meet specific needs. But they also have the built-in ability to be abused at the whim of government officials, which effectively substitutes the rule of law with the rule of man. Meanwhile, returning veterans and conservatives are being viewed as potential terrorists by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) treats airline passengers like inmates in prison, and various organs of the Democratic Party have been trying to silence opponents by eliminating Fox News, ending conservative talk radio and shouting down conservative speakers.
The guardians of "political correctness" have made it a social taboo to engage in free speech. In schools, little children can be treated like criminals, even so far as being arrested for breaking absurd rules, and the "nanny state" is now dictating behavior and diet to both children and adults. What's more, the Obama administration has supported the organization ACORN, which is under investigation in several states for committing voter fraud, while also stopping states from enacting voter identification statutes to prevent such fraud. Obama has also required private companies to provide the names and addresses of their employees to unions, and has had the IRS tell Tea Party chapters to provide the names of all their donors.
THEN: The Nazis built a large number of concentration camps, created a private army (first the SA Stormtroopers and then the SS) to guard the party's hold on power, instituted a secret police (Gestapo) and put government spies on every block, encouraging people to report on their neighbors and even members of their own family.
NOW: The Obama administration has created a couple of web sites for people to report on anyone who disagrees with Obama's policies, and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are monitored for criticisms of Obama and his policies.
While campaigning in 2008, Obama said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” That idea seems to be slowly coming to fruition. Ominously, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is building detention centers around the country, while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is buying armored check point huts, distributing armored vehicles to local police, acquiring hundreds of millions of ammunition rounds, and is sending up a fleet of airborne drones to patrol America's skies.
Local police departments have been turned into paramilitary organizations with armored vehicles and upgraded weapons. Routine police activities result in heavily armed SWAT teams descending on people's homes, even for domestic disturbances. In increasing numbers of cases, any semblance of resistance (such as when police raid the wrong address) results in the shooting of innocent people and, routinely, their inoffensive dogs.
THEN: The Nazis promoted many policies that modern progressives would find enlightening. Philosophically, the Nazis believed that the common good is superior to private interests and the fascist slogan was "Everything within the state, nothing outside it." They believed in collectivism, so that national unity was enforced and everyone was expected to work together for goals dictated by the Nazi party. Nazis believed they could perfect society by decree and would not tolerate dissent.
To achieve their ambitious goals, especially rearmament, the state increased expenditures far beyond tax revenues, then raised taxes to compensate. But the taxes were never nearly enough, so the Nazis basically used borrowing and then plunder of Jews to finance their operations. (One-third of the state's revenue was derived by stealing property from Jews.) They took over the health care industry, then claimed it was too expensive to take care of people who were called "life unworthy of life" because of mental problems, disabilities or alleged genetic and even moral defects. So they were eliminated.
Christianity was suppressed and put under control of the government, with worship of Hitler and the state being substituted for religion. On the other hand, workers were given free vacations and numerous benefits such as pensions in a cradle to grave welfare state. The Nazis were also zealous advocates of animal rights, environmental protection, confiscation of private firearms, abortion on demand, eugenics (good breeding) and free education.
NOW: Modern progressives also believe that society can be perfected if only the decrees of enlightened and morally superior politicians and bureaucrats could be enacted unhindered by dissent. Progressives also believe in the common good overriding private interests. Like Hitler, one of Obama's consistent themes is the need for national unity and for everyone to work together for a common purpose, by which he means his policies.
Also, Democrats they believe there is no limit to government spending, even if it means unsustainable debt, and like the Nazis, they would like to plunder the rich through confiscatory taxation to help pay for their cradle to grave welfare state. When Obama was asked if he would tax the rich more even if it made no difference to the deficit, he said he would out of "fairness", meaning, as he once said, that after you've earned so much, that's enough. Democrats also deem income redistribution to be "social justice."
Under Obama and the Democrats, the so-called "Obamacare" act essentially took over the health care industry, and so-called "death panels" will determine if someone is worthy of a medical procedure. Likewise, abortion has no limits and some progressives are now talking about infanticide being legalized. Eugenics is practiced through such organizations as Planned Parenthood. The original founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, wanted to eliminate inferior races and the genetically undesirable through abortions.
Religious objections to certain practices (abortion, contraception, gay marriage) are being overrode by the state which mandates they be provided by organizations who find such matters offensive. In fact, Christianity is being disparaged everywhere and is being downplayed in favor of religious diversity, as America is deemed no longer a Christian nation and, instead, one of the world's largest Muslim nations, according to Obama. The progressives in Hollywood even created a TV show, Good Christian Bitches, which mocks southern, Christian women.
Workers are promised a cradle to grave welfare state (see the Julia ad put out by Obama's reelection campaign which touts all the government programs and handouts she'll have from age 3 to 67), the student loan industry has been nationalized and demands are being made for free higher education. Environmentalist goals are deemed superior to economic growth and energy production, and gun control is being replaced by ammunition control since gun ownership is a Constitutional right.
The Supreme Court has a poor record for sustaining Constitutional rights, and the 10th amendment (which reads that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved for the states and the people) is routinely ignored. Likewise, the "commerce clause" which gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, has been stretched and abused to include virtually any human economic activity, and the court has permitted it. This disregard for the Constitution will only degenerate further since the court is being politicized by the installing of "progressive" justices (Kagan and Sotomayor, so far) who believe empathy and social justice are more important than the actual law or the Constitution when deciding cases.
THEN: After the trauma of losing the Great War, suffering the economic hardships inflicted by the allied naval blockade, and having to pay huge amounts of reparation payments in gold, the Weimar Republic created a massive welfare state that paid pensions and benefits to millions of veterans and the disabled, along with widows and orphans. To pay for both reparations and welfare, the government raised taxes on the rich. When that didn't cover the bill, they started printing money, which only drove the value of existing currency downward, resulting in the need to print even more money. That ended up causing the worse runaway inflation in history. Where once two marks equaled an American dollar, by November 1923, the going exchange rate was 4 trillion, 200 billion Marks to the dollar. The Mark was worth less than the paper it was printed on. That caused an astronomical increase in crime as people had to steal things they could sell or trade for food or fuel. People were rendered destitute as even their life savings became worthless. The inflation ended when the government created a new currency and severely cut back welfare payments, causing even more social unrest.
But then, after the inflation ended, the government eased credit and lowered interest rates, hoping to spark economic growth. Businesses and farmers became heavily indebted, figuring inflation would start again and they could pay back their loans with worthless Marks. However, it wasn't long before the Great Depression struck Germany, causing more than a third of all workers to lose their jobs. The government, fearing inflation, deliberately chose to foster deflation. Hence, loans couldn't be repaid, so bankruptcies and foreclosures became pervasive. And because of paying unemployment benefits and social welfare, the government ran huge deficits until they could no longer afford it. Then they stopped paying to as many people as possible while shifting the burden to state governments. Misery prevailed as social mores broke down, women sold themselves for a pittance, art became licentious and nihilistic, and politics became extreme.
Whenever economic conditions were the worst, votes for the Nazis peaked until they became the largest party during the depression. When Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis instituted a dictatorship with the consent of many German people who longed for strong leadership to restore German greatness.
NOW: Beginning in 2008, America went into a deep recession caused by the sub-prime mortgage melt down. The Obama administration rode that crisis into power, along with enough Democrats to control both houses of Congress. Once in office, the Democrats' response to the economic crisis was to take advantage of their new found power to concentrate not on the economy, but rather on enacting progressive laws, such as Obamacare and financial "reform", while throwing billions of dollars at organizations and projects dear to the liberal agenda. Under the Keynesian assumption that demand can be created simply by putting more money into circulation, nearly a trillion dollars of stimulus money was showered on the economy in that manner, yet, not surprisingly, it failed to bring America out of recession. Unemployment has steadily worsened ever since. Now, America has a record number of workers who have dropped out of the job market, making unemployment statistics look as if the economy is improving.
In addition to these measures, the administration has put an emphasis on placating radical environmentalists by hindering energy production and threatening oil and coal companies, resulting in the loss of even more jobs. Regulatory agencies have massively increased the number of new rules inflicted on the economy during Obama's administration, resulting in uncertainty in the business community as to what is required of them.
Although five trillion dollars have been added in only three years to the national debt, and annual budget deficits have exceeded a trillion dollars, there has been no effort on Obama or the Democrats' part to find a solution or cut back expenditures. A plan put forth by Republican Representative Paul Ryan has been derided for daring to cut entitlements. So, in fact, Obama continues to propose even more spending, saying it will be paid for by budget cuts in the future which, history demonstrates, never happen.
Indeed, the Democrat controlled Senate hasn't even done their Constitutional duty to pass a budget for over three years now. Consequently, the government has put more people on the dole than there are people actually paying income taxes. In fact, there seems to be an effort to make as many people dependent on government as possible. For example, the government has even been training people to go out and find people to sign up for food stamps and other benefits.
In 1966, two Columbia University academics, Richard Cloward and Frances Piven, came up with a scheme to collapse the capitalist system by overloading government welfare programs. Entitled, "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty", the "Cloward-Piven Strategy", as it's called, was tried in New York City and the welfare rolls increased so much and so rapidly the city was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. Cloward is now dead, but Frances Piven is still seen in Obama's White House and was telling OWS crowds about the evils of capitalism.
What if the Cloward-Piven plan is being implemented on a national scale? That is, suppose you wanted to create the kind of social upheaval that resulted in the Nazis taking power. One aspect of that plan would be to fill the welfare rolls and create so many people dependent on government that there could not possibly be enough tax dollars to fund their entitlements and benefits. Part of that effort entails allowing millions of illegal aliens to enter America and overburden many schools, hospitals and welfare programs. And suppose that to exacerbate the lack of revenue, almost half of all citizens would not be required to pay income taxes and would even get tax dollars instead, with the tax burden being left to the inadequate resources of the comparatively wealthy.
And when the federal government finds it necessary to borrow 40 cents on the dollar to cover federal expenditures and increases the national debt to astronomical levels, and then shows no inclination to find a way to stop the deficits, how long would it be before those countries who lent to the United States would grow tired of accumulating ever more worthless dollars, especially if the United States credit rating was being downgraded (which it is)? And if other countries, such as China, our main creditor, decide to quit loaning money to America (which they have), how could the federal government fund its expenditures if not by essentially printing more money? And if the government prints more money (actually, the Federal Reserve buys government bonds with money it creates), how long before inflation begins and the dollar sinks into worthlessness? Remember Weimar Germany? It's the same story. Such is the recipe for financial collapse.
As it stands now, it appears that nothing is being done and nothing will be done to stop this death spiral, at least under the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress. That suggests the crash is welcomed, but to what end? What if all this is a deliberate policy to create an economic crisis severe enough to declare a state of emergency to suppress social unrest?
Suppose, then, that the idea is to create catastrophic economic conditions sufficient to provoke societal collapse. Like Weimar Germany, suppose there's runaway inflation, unemployment is astronomical, people are rioting in the streets against the government or there are race riots, looting of stores and destruction of property is pervasive, demonstrations erupt into pitched battles between left and right, and desperate demands for order and stability arise.
What, then, if the government suspends the Constitution and elections? And using the National Defense Authorization Act law that allows the army to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, puts dissenters, whose names they got from "Main Core" (a database of possible dissenters that NSA keeps that has at least eight million names), in the new FEMA detention camps. Then again, under the executive order Obama signed, their property is confiscated and most industry is nationalized. Imagine the new DHS armored checkpoints placed in strategic locations to check on the movements and identity papers of Americans, while drones fly overhead seeking out right-wing militias for assaults by United Nations troops invited in by the President to help restore order. (Russian troops have been conducting anti-terrorism exercises alongside American soldiers in the United States and US troops have emphasized urban combat, even exercising in American cities.) Is such a scenario possible?
In 1933, after a mental case set fire to the Reichstag, the Nazis created a massive propaganda campaign, complete with forged documents and alleged confessions indicating the communists were planning a bloody uprising, something like the revolution they staged in Russia, and planned to slaughter the bourgeoisie. People bought it and were relieved when Hitler issued an edict eliminating all civil rights and constitutional protections as a tool to handle the "emergency."
Suppose that the government staged a similar fake attack and brought out fake evidence that right-wing militias were planning to start a race war or assassinate leading Democrats. What if that and the social unrest caused by economic collapse caused the administration to declare martial law and suspend elections? Is that plausible?
It may be that such a scenario is far-fetched and the administration, along with their left-wing colleagues in Congress, are simply ignorant of basic economics, which it appears they are. So, in that scenario, the destruction of the United States has been the unintentional result of their sheer incompetence and their vision of a better world. And, in any case, unless voter fraud is pervasive enough to ensure Obama's reelection, he and many Democrats may well be thrown out of office come November 2012. And who would believe that right-wing militias plan to topple the government?
But even if Republicans take over, and no false-flag attacks occur, the odds of stopping the coming economic catastrophe and social upheaval are not good anyway. In a sense, the American people have become corrupted into relying on bribes from politicians, in the form of benefits and entitlements, of which there are thousands. Not many people are willing to sacrifice, not when someone else can do it. The Republican establishment is not likely to risk their careers by doing what must be done sooner or later, that is, cut back the welfare state. That would cause rioting in the streets regardless. And if they did, they'd just be replaced by Democrats who would make things worse.
From my perspective, the left has a vision and a plan that entails the destruction of America as we know it and its replacement by something that resembles anything from a typical European welfare state, to a dictatorship along the lines of China, Cuba or Venezuela. And it appears that there are globalist, one world government, fascists that manipulate the left by providing funds, organizations and leadership to help them achieve their goals. So while the left dreams of creating a democratic socialist state, their actual destination will be something that more closely resembles the Third Reich. Unless America wakes up, the new fascism may become our reality.
(By the way, for those who believe in reincarnation, there's a case to be made that Obama and many of his associates are reincarnated Nazis. See the Obama Circle section of www.reincar-nation.com for the rationale.)