Poor Goebbels, if only he had access to DVDs and the internet, he could have run a fear mongering operation as effective as the one described so brilliantly by Pam Martens here (also attached below) — a thought which suggests a question: Is 21st Century American Crony Capitalism merely a way station on the road to real fascism (as distinguished from the oxymoronic soundbyte of Islamofascism)? After all, in addition to fear mongering, Mussolini and Hitler enlisted the corporate class to weaken the working class to gain and retain power. To wit, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Mussolini, banned all Marxist organizations and replaced their trade unions with government-controlled corporatist unions. Until he instituted a war economy in the mid-1930s, Mussolini allowed industrialists to run their companies with a minimum of government interference. Despite his former anticapitalist rhetoric, he cut taxes on business, permitted cartel growth, decreed wage reduction, and rescinded the eight-hour-workday law. Between 1928 and 1932 real wages in Italy dropped by almost half. Mussolini admitted that the standard of living had fallen but stated that “fortunately the Italian people were not accustomed to eating much and therefore feel the privation less acutely than others.”
Although Hitler claimed that the Nazi Party was more “socialist” than its conservative rivals, he opposed any Marxist-inspired nationalization of major industries. On May 2, 1933, he abolished all free trade unions in Germany, and his minister of labour, Robert Ley, later declared that it was necessary “to restore absolute leadership to the natural leader of the factory, that is, the employer.” Nazi “anticapitalism,” such as it was, was aimed primarily at Jewish capitalism; non-Jewish capitalists were allowed to keep their companies and their wealth, a distinction that was made in the Nazi Party’s original program and never changed. Although Hitler reduced unemployment in Germany, most German workers were forced to toil for lower wages and longer hours and under worse conditions than had been the case during the Weimar Republic. His solution to the unemployment problem also depended on the recruitment of thousands of men into the military.
But of course any analogy to the United States is absurd. After all, since 1980, deregulation, union busting, a lower standard of living, lower wages, longer working hours, and using of the military and its industrial complex as a jobs program have not been accompanied by a rise in the politics of fear in the United States. … Oops.
There is one difference however, given Congress’s and the Supreme Court’s supine complicity in promoting these trends (by representing the interests of the Crony Capitalists at the expense of the masses), the President will not need a Reichstag Fire to keep the program moving.
October 26, 2010
The Far Right’s Secret Slush Fund to Keep Fear Alive
By PAM MARTENS
A secretive libertarian nonprofit with ties to Charles Koch bankrolled what was widely perceived to be a fear mongering effort to throw the Presidential election to Senator John McCain in 2008. Until now, where the money came from has been a hotly debated mystery.
Seven weeks before the Presidential election of 2008, approximately 100 newspapers and magazines in the U.S., including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, and St. Petersburg Times, distributed millions of DVDs of the documentary, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” The DVDs were included in the Sunday editions. Altogether, including a separate direct mail campaign, 28 million DVDs flooded households in the swing voter states.
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CounterPunch can now report what this race-baiting, fear-mongering campaign cost and where the money, at least nominally, came from…..
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What we do know for sure is that the far right has assembled a $6 billion interlinked machine of think-tanks, lobbyists, PACs, astroturf front groups, media sycophants, endowed professorships, state-based political fronts and now even their own centralized headhunter; all to throw us off the scent that the real threat to the poor and middle class in America is corporate domination.
Phi Beta Iota: The research is impressive and the findings alarming–between the Supreme Court rolling over and playing dead for corporate personality “rights” to propagandize the public, and extreme wealth with no ethical underpinings, the public is caught between a government that cannot think or educate, and a varied cabal of interests seeking to keep the White House under their control. What is most interesting to us is the plethora of “options” that those who seek to subvert the Republic have explored–this “old news” from 2008 appears to be the last gasp in getting McCain into the White House, and was probably not approved by the Bush Mafia; Ron Paul never really gained traction in part because he simply will not play well with others; the smart money on Wall Street had Barack Obama in play for a decade and put over $300 million into his win (that’s the part not yet accounted for). To end on a positive note: as dumb as many in the public are, the Collective Intelligence of the public is surging, and we are betting that wisdoms of the crowds will ultimately defeat wealth of the crooked. Missing in Action (MIA) is a “Smart Government” able to provide the public with education, intelligence, & research nurturing of a “Smart Nation.”