January 08, 2007

American Fascists

Former NY Times reporter Chris Hedges has a new book out titled American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. The book's promotional materials offer the following:

The Christian Right, like these early fascist movements, does not openly call for dictatorship, nor does it use physical violence to suppress opposition. In short, the movement is not yet revolutionary. But the ideological architecture of a Christian fascism is being cemented in place. The movement has roused its followers to a fever pitch of despair and fury. All it will take, Hedges writes, is one more national crisis on the order of September 11 for the Christian Right to make a concerted drive to destroy American democracy. The movement awaits a crisis. At that moment they will reveal themselves for what they truly are the American heirs to fascism.

If this is isn't the biggest bunch of bullsh** I've read in a long time (excluding the usual drivel here) I don't know what it is. Even the NY Times itself didn't give the book a favorable review which, in this case, especially is a good indicator the book is crap. Not because the Times is so adept at reviewing books; but, because the Times, never at a loss for causes liberal, doesn't want to go too far and throw in with the loonies ... and realizes this book is just way out there.

Laughingly, the Hedges promo also offers this: His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant. What delicious irony! What better "warning" for the American people of the American Left, that which essentially owns popular culture, including the education establishment. It is at American universities, especially, where this tyranny is most evident. Campuses take "the danger of tolerating the 'intolerant'" to the extreme: They enact speech codes (can't tolerate "intolerant" speech), bypass normal due process procedures (can't tolerate "intolerant" judicial operations), and utilize "guilty until proven innocent" when it comes to people of certain class/race (can't tolerate "intolerant" typical legal procedures created by white males).

Why do they do this? At least the Right has the "excuse" of national security in [some of] their desires for, say, a streamlined due process in times of a terrorist war. But the Left? They truly believe in their philosophy. To believe otherwise is akin to heresy and dissenters must not only be punished, but made into "unpersons." For excellent examples of what I'm talking about, just peruse FIRE's website. In addition, see what La Shawn Barber has to say about the Duke "rape" case and how 88 -- 88!! -- Duke professors said "Screw due process!" to the accused rapists by taking out a full-page ad in the Duke Chronicle where

The professors definitively asserted that something "happened" to the accuser, while saying "thank you" to campus protesters like these, who had called the players "rapists" and distributed a "wanted" poster with lacrosse players' photos. The statement's author, Wahneema Lubiano, gleefully labeled the players the "perfect offenders," and, as ESPN reported, fully understood that "some would see the ad as a stake through the collective heart of the lacrosse team." (Source.)

Contrast that to the only THREE Duke professors that have actually criticized prosecutor Mike Nifong's gross misconduct in the case. As author KC Johnson says,

The behavior we've seen from Duke's faculty the frantic rush to judgment coupled with a refusal to reconsider was all too predictable. The Group of 88's statement was fully consistent with basic ideas about race, class, and gender prevalent on most elite campuses today. Reconsidering their actions of last spring would have forced the Group of 88, and sympathetic colleagues, to reconsider some of the intellectual assumptions upon which the statement was based.

The modern university's views on race, class and gender do not gibe with, among other things, the Bill of Rights. Or, at least not the way the Bill of Rights has been interpreted over history. Since the Bill of Rights is an invention of privileged white males, there needs to be a "modern interpretation" of these rights in an era of great demographic change. As discussed here at Colossus previously, ideas such as "Critical Race Theory" hold that the First Amendment should be adjusted to allow minorities an "equal footing" on which to debate. In other words, since the majority (whites) hold institutional power, merely "matching words with words" does not suffice for a minority when attempting to deal with a member of the majority. The majority still "holds the power." Thus, legal safeguards need to be put in place to quell the majority from using "hurtful" speech.

Look at which speakers get shouted down and are prevented from voicing their opinion at universities. They are not leftist speakers. They are speakers who, like the head of the Minutemen, articulate a point of view which is anathema to leftists: proper [national] border enforcement. Leftists abhor this viewpoint because 1) the people affected are "people of color," 2) the white oppressors "stole" the land originally from said people of color, and 3) since they (leftists) disdain concepts like private property in the first place, national borders are moot.

Universities often get away with this sort of nonsense because leftists form a monopoly on thought there. Liberal/Democrat professors outnumber their conservative/Republican brethren by a huge margin. Quite hypocritical for institutions that harp "diversity" more than any other catchword, but the most important type of diversity you'd expect at a place of learning is pooh-poohed. And again, conservatives/Republicans aren't just wrong -- they are to be completely disregarded for their beliefs.

And why is it that the media, like the academy, are so fearful of true diversity? The number of liberals/Democrats in the media mirror those of universities. How dangerous is it that the Fourth Estate -- unregulated at that, unlike the three political branches -- is controlled by one political philosophy? This is just one more element that makes Hedges' hypothesis akin to that of global warming hysteria or any other sort of "crisis mongering." With these two elements of American culture firmly in the camp of liberals/Democrats, it is beyond difficult to imagine Christian radical rightists scheming to transform -- and succeeding -- American democracy into the next 1930s Germany or Italy.

UPDATE: Darren has a post up that adds an exclamation point to my own, here. He notes a statement by the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby: "This helps explain why the left is so often infatuated with the idea of its own benevolence -- and why liberals are so quick to accuse their opponents of being not just wrong, but wicked."

Posted by Hube at January 8, 2007 05:15 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Hube,

You had me and then you lost me when you pushed your argument over a cliff with this:

They are speakers who, like the head of the Minutemen, articulate a point of view which is anathema to leftists: proper [national] border enforcement. Leftists abhor this viewpoint because 1) the people affected are "people of color," 2) the white oppressors "stole" the land originally from said people of color, and 3) since they (leftists) disdain concepts like private property in the first place, national borders are moot.

Proper border enforcment is not an anathema to us. The key word is "proper" and I'm glad you used it. If we had "proper" border enforcement that starved Tyson's chicken and Hormel of illegal workers I would not have to be a wage slave.

Instead of proper border enforcement we have a bunch of armed red neck racists on the mexcian border. And yes - that is an anathema to anyone who values decency.

Posted by: jason at January 8, 2007 05:38 PM

Instead of proper border enforcement we have a bunch of armed red neck racists on the mexcian border.

God I love it when people make my point! Yeah, that black guy who was assaulted at Columbia is a racist because he wants better border enforcement. Oh.

Businesses that hire illegals can (and are) be[ing] dealt with, but securing the border should be the top priority before anything else. This is just common sense. That is why it eludes you.

And even conceding the Minutemen are racists (which I do not), by what right do students at a university have to prevent them from speaking -- after they were invited?

Posted by: Hube at January 8, 2007 05:45 PM

Interesting blog - well writtenand clear.
The Hedges book is simply bound toilet paper. I wonder if he was even serious when he wrote it?

Posted by: hunter at January 8, 2007 05:59 PM

Armed redneck racists? My, my, my! What intolerance of those of different backgrounds and beliefs. Seems to me that jason merits jail time under the standard Hedges announces in his book -- that First Amendment protections should not apply to intolerant statements or statements that encourage intolerance. Book him, Hube-o!

And by the way, that is precisely what Hedges does propose -- locking up Christians who dare to preach a traditional, orthodox version of Christianity that does not conform to all the left-wing bromides of the day on the basis that their "intolerance" is a prelude to "fascism". the problem with his logic is that it is he who is the primary exemplar of the promotion of intolerance -- making him the prime example of hypocrisy.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at January 8, 2007 05:59 PM

Thanks, hunter, and welcome! Stop by again!

RwR: Ain't it a hoot?

Posted by: Hube at January 8, 2007 06:02 PM

"His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant."

Will Hedges' next volume be about expanionist Islam and CAIR?

Posted by: Tomb Z at January 8, 2007 06:07 PM

"If we had "proper" border enforcement that starved Tyson's chicken and Hormel of illegal workers I would not have to be a wage slave."

so you are a "wage slave" (what's that?) because illegals are plucking chickens at Tyson? How does that work?

Posted by: steamboat willy at January 9, 2007 12:40 AM

So wait, the conclusion is that modern academia is fascist? Let's see now, one sociopolitical philosophy has absolute dominance, ideological purity is the ideal, and anything that conflicts with your weltungshaung can be dismissed by labeling it intolerant, reactionary, or whatever label suits the purpose. Sounds like fascism to me - let's ask Larry Summers what a pogrom feels like.

Posted by: G Rex at January 9, 2007 10:36 AM

It seems some have taken offense to my calling minute men armed redneck racists? I apologize for that. I should have said "armed redneck CRACKER racists" which is the consensus term that last time I checked in with Barney Frank.

Posted by: jason at January 9, 2007 01:47 PM

Oh, you think that's bad.

We all know Andrew Sullivan hasn't said anything complementary about Christianity - since he first coined the term "Christianist." But I think his commentary on an unfair piece of journalism from WaPo takes his rant a bit far:

But you also see in this story a shift from a traditional, ritual-based, small-c conservative form of faith toward a radical, modern, individualistic brand of fundamentalism. This is the strain within Islam as well. The Wahhabists - with their contempt for tradition, custom, conventional authority, and ritual echo the modern mega-churches of evangelical Christianity.

Christians who break away from their church because their sect now thinks it's debatable whether or not Jesus is the Son of God (among other things) now have Wahhabists who follow in their footsteps.

Remind me again, which religion has Sharia and entire nations that force it on the populace without regard to what faith an individual adheres to?

Posted by: AnonymousOpinion at January 9, 2007 02:02 PM

I wonder -- what would jason's reaction be to someone referring to "armed subhuman N!GGER racists" in a post referring to the Black Panthers, a group with many murders to its credit? You know, since he is willing to use such inflamatory and intolerant language towards members of a group that has not one murder or documented act of organized violence in its history.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at January 9, 2007 07:19 PM

And let me remind jason that the Minutemen are a group made up of white, black, Asian, and Hispanic individuals -- a true rainbow coalition of patriotic Americans.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at January 9, 2007 07:23 PM

...and before we hear again the canard that even George W called the Minutemen vigilantes, let me remind everybody that what he actually said (can't seem to find the actual quote) was that he didn't want them to act like vigilantes. In other words, he told them to behave themselves, and they have done just that. As for some of them being armed, I would be too in that sort of wild environment. Heck, I take a .45 along when I go motocrossing in upstate NY, in case I run into a wolf or bear or whatever.

And hey, have you noticed that the same people who say immigration enforcement shouldn't even be considered because we can't possibly deport all ten million of them are the same ones calling for us to inspect every single cargo container that enters a US port?

Posted by: G Rex at January 10, 2007 10:42 AM

I notice that jason is remarkably silent.

Guess he realizes his racist attack on the Minutemen is indefensible and that he is a stone-cold liberal hypocrite.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at January 10, 2007 08:59 PM