I don’t know why
Nobody told you
I don’t know how
Someone controlled you,
They bought and sold you
–George Harrison, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
If our leaders were not fascists, and we didn’t have a fascist press, all inside a fascist system, perhaps an average citizen could see more distinctly what is happening, rather than missing the forest for the trees as so many do.
For those who question that we are fascist, I am using the Franklin Roosevelt definition, “ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling power.” We are ruled by those plutocrats who finance our elections and control the mass media, particularly television, and, therefore, our system is fascist, serving the few at the expense of the many.
I have long wondered what the world would be like if those who share my leftist vision of peace, social justice, a clean environment, human rights, a living wage, universal health care, and equality for all, were in charge, rather than the current fascists.
Many of my fellow leftists believe we would be kinder rulers, allowing other viewpoints and promoting freedom for all. Today, of course, we have no leftist network on television, nor even a single leftist TV program, with the fascists solidly in control. We would not be like the fascists, my friends say, but I wonder.
It would seem that the Jews, so beset by horror from the Nazis during the last century, would be kind rulers today, having learned something about social justice and human rights from the suffering, but then we look at the paradox of Israel. In Israel, Arabs are treated like scum, their land stolen, their people seemingly without a system of justice. I’ve long thought that since Arabs are Semitic peoples, Israel is in fact an anti-Semitic state—another paradox.
So when those mistreated rise to power, they may become like those who once oppressed them, having learned nothing from the experience.
Jews, when in a minority, such as in the USA, seem to me to be good people. During the early part of the 20th century, when Black people were treated horribly under Jim Crow, the Jews and communists were two groups who came to the defense of the Blacks, and were quite heroic, even risking their lives (some died). Most white people shamefully ignored the plight of people of color and accepted it (to some extent this is still largely true as racism remains an integral part of America’s dark side).
I would hope that if by some miracle—and it would take a miracle—the left took power to actually represent the people, rather than the plutocrats, differences would particularly be defined by the media with which to promote understanding and unity. The masses would then see a completely changed system.
Imagine a social justice TV program after such a miracle took place, instead of cheering a great economy as we now get 24/7 on all TV channels, recognized that one in five American kids goes hungry at least part of every year. That homelessness has increased for two years running despite Trump’s “great economy.”
Imagine a TV program which recognized that Roundup weed killer is in our food supply and a carcinogen. Imagine TV executives who would not allow commercials advertising Roundup (as I see each day on CNN in the current fascist system).
Imagine a second opinion on wars now glorified in the cable news. Instead of parading retired generals, ex-CIA officials and other war-friendly people, we were allowed to get opinions from the peace side of things, such as Medea Benjamin, David Swanson or Cindy Sheehan?
Imagine a government made up of people who were not bribed by campaign contributions so that they would empower polluters, banksters and defense cheats on behalf of plutocrat investors, selling out the people.
When the evening “news” is a fascist viewpoint, one tends to believe that fascism is normal and okay. One votes for the fascist Republican or the fascist Democrat, because both seem normal in supporting the wars, the pollution, the rigged economy (there may be slight rhetorical differences). The final two candidates for the presidency are given all the free media time and a billion dollars or so in campaign funding to drown out any public interest candidate who might have a remote chance of being heard.
The capitalist US economy can’t even function without the world’s largest prison system both in numbers of inmates and as a percentage of the population. It takes massive propaganda to cover up facts such as these and pretend that the system works well for the masses.
Michael Parenti pointed out long ago that one-fourth of one percent own more than the rest of the population combined. Our fascist government insists that when almost anything happens in our society—a child gets sick, someone goes to prison—whatever, the rich get richer from privatized health care, privatized prisons, privatized sweat and blood.
Those of us on the left see a potential for politics that truly represent the people, instead of the plutocrats, hopefully a kinder politician. We see TV with opinions stretching from left to right, instead of the restricted center to right which exists today. In today’s media one is not allowed to question capitalism, which is more like a religion than an economic system as it is described on 100% capitalist-controlled TV, which is of the capitalists, by the capitalists and for the capitalists at the expense of the poor, working class and middle class.
The old fascists like Mussolini didn’t like the term fascism and preferred to call it corporate capitalism, the system we have today, which rewards the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, with a few crumbs falling off the table for the fastest butt-kissers.
But in a fantastic world in which the left took power would we open things up, or would we treat the fascists as they now treat us? The fascists obviously live in fear of a second opinion getting loose, as you can’t find one on your television.
In that fantastic world should we not fear the fascist views getting out, as long as there would be balance? Ahhh, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare might have put it. Who sees this balance objectively?
Seeing fascism as a great lie, I wouldn’t give it equal status to the compassion, sharing and understanding of socialism. I see fascism, or modern corporate capitalism as representing the opposite—hatred, greed and delusion.
The rich have long called democracy “the tyranny of the majority,” and the Founding Fathers did their best to construct a Constitution which did not allow such tyranny. The first chief justice, John Jay, said he thought the men who owned the country ought to govern it, and that is what we have.
That which exists will hopefully be replaced by the tyranny of the majority. It will probably take massive violence to replace, after which those newcomers to power will not wish to give the fascists a platform on which to rebuild.
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.