Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Definition Of Fascism....Are We There Yet?

Fascism is such a strong word and scary too. For me it conjures images of corrupt, totalitarian dictatorships. I purchased Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism this summer but didn't feel compelled to read it just yet. I confess that prior to reading this article posted by 23rd Eagle on his blog "I Saw Right" that even I would have thought the notion of fascism in America was just too far fetched, but 23rd Eagle has compelled me to rethink that supposition. He writes:

"The definition of fascism from The Holocaust Dictionary:

(Fascism) was a type of original, modern thought that reflected change and the need for something new and different amongst the young people of Europe, who disdained their parents’ middle class values.

There is no disdain for middle class values in America, right? And the young people didn’t like Barack Obama at all. And “change”? That wasn’t even in the official language of the presidential campaign.

Fascism tries to create a new civilization, based on the total community, in which all sectors and classes of the population will find their niche. As a result, the nation will be revitalized and strengthened, and each individual will be nothing more than a cell in the communal organism.

There is no attempt in the current administration to make a “total community” where “all sectors of the population will find their niche”. And this administration certainly doesn’t publicly ridicule and threaten the lives or incomes of specific individual citizens who disagree, ask too many questions, or don’t fall in line.

Fascism even poses as a type of spiritual revolution.

Spiritual revolution?! Nah. It’s not like schoolchildren are singing hymns to him or anything.

Fascism came up with two tools that would help maintain “the unity of the nation”—corporatism and totalitarianism. In a corporative state, a country’s political, social, and economic power is held by a group of corporations, made up both of employers and employees. This group of corporations plans the economy and settles differences between social classes. In a totalitarian state, the government has total control over and can intervene in every aspect of an individual’s life. Using these two instruments, the nation would easily be maintained as the highest ideal.

There’s no move in our country for the government to have that much control over a few corporations who are too big to fail. UPDATE: WOW.

According to Fascist ideology, the nation will not become a completed unit as long as the working class is not assimilated into it, and until a way is found to harness each individual in a joint effort to achieve the common good. Fascism is also a reflection of certain values of the time: namely, emotions and spontaneity as opposed to reason—reason being the basis of democratic thought. In Fascism, the idea that emotions and the subconscious are more important in politics than reason is totally acceptable.

We’re a way too rational, civilized and mature society to fall for that bull.

Even if it's happening right before our faces, it can't happen here, right? "(Source)

Well, obviously the last question is rhetorical. I fear that all of this time I have been missing the forest for the trees, PSBO & Company aren't socialist...they are fascist. Thanks 23 Eagle for breaking this down for us like a fraction. How can anyone not see that fascism is ever so swiftly gaining a foothold in the good old USA. The saddest part of all is that Obama's supporter will not care because anything "The One" does is for all practical purposes "annointed" in their minds.

43 comments:

Clifton B said...

Oh yes, we are headed towards facism. What I like to call Happy Face facism, where the government is all to happy to help us if we will only give up a little bit more of our freedoms.

We have been on the path ever since the New Deal. The only thing that has slowed us down was the Reagan years. Now Obama has his foot firmly on the accelerator crying that the sky is falling as he goes.

uptownsteve said...

Where do you confused negroes come from?

Reagan and Bush Jr had definite fascist leanings as described here.


Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people's attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choicerelentless propaganda and disinformationwere usually effective. Often the regimes would incite 'spontaneous' acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and 'terrorists.' Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes excesses.

7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting 'national security,' and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.


Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elites behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the godless. A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.


Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of have-not citizens.


Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.


Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. 'Normal' and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or 'traitors' was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.


Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.


Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing lega

Conservative Black Woman said...

UTS~I'm not even disagreeing with you. I believe Clifton B even says it's been a longtime coming. I feel like my eyes are just opening....I'm not blaming it all on PSBO & Company. It's just that I'm seeing the world differently and you made very valid points.

So for once I'll take the "confused negro" moniker. I just expected facism to be found in Europe of Cuba...not USA.

uptownsteve said...

CBW

Uncle Clifton said that Reagan "slowed down" the process to fascism.

Is he crazy?

It was the Bushies who lied to get us into war with Iraq, who labelled anyone who saw through the ruse as "anti-American", scapegoted the religion of Islam, stifled civil liberties, demonized liberal media and on and on.

Obama is REVERSING this trend.

You don't WANT to see reality.

JMK said...

“Where do you confused negroes come from?

”Reagan and Bush Jr had definite fascist leanings as described here;


”Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism.” (UTS)
<
<
(Apparently UTS can’t rein in his penchant for insult and personal attack in even a single post, funny stuff. Still, somehow UTS has taken up the mantle of the internationalists who clamor that “Patriotism and love of country are BAD things.” Why am I not surprised? IN FACT< Reagan inherited the WORST post-WW II American economy (double digit unemployment and inflation AND a staggering 21.5% prime lending rate – the current administration inherited a 7.4% unemployment rate, a 2.2% inflation rate and a 2.5% prime lending rate) and turned that around in five years – the Misery Index dropped from a HIGH of 22 to single digits by 1986 and the prime lending rate dropped to single digits by 1985, while tax revenues ROSE from $619 BILLION in 1980 to over $1 TRILLION by 1986!)
<
<
“2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted...” (UTS)
<
<
(Here UTS seems to think that the RENDITION program (sending some high value captures to foreign ports for coerced interrogation) and keeping captured “enemy combatants” (fighters without an army, with no Geneva Protocols rights) in prisons away from the U.S. mainland is a violation of human rights. Well, the RENDITION program has been stepped up under the current administration...and THAT’S a GOOD thing!)
<
<
“3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people's attention from other problems...” (UTS)
<
<
(So, UTS sees Bush’s belated response to the global War on Terror as “scapegoating” radical jihadists. Figures. The FACT is radical jihadists had been targeting America and legitimate American interests around the world for over a decade prior to 9/11...and they needed to be confronted)
<
<
“4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it...” (UTS)
<
<
(America had to be attacked on its own shores for it to engage in a needed military action against radicalized Islam. In Iraq, the war was over in 3 weeks, as Saddam’s regime went down in 19 days. The U.S. military stayed on to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure and to train Iraq’s military and police, so that it’s new government could take hold.)
<
<
“6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy...” (UTS)
<
<
(The “mass media” in America is indeed “controlled by Liberal Democrats, and while that is nefarious, it’s impact has been blunted by people turning away from the newpapers to the internet – the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the giant the Tribune Company, whose holdings include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune have all gone belly up and the NY Times is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. There’s NEVER been a “Republican controlled mass media,” and even though liberal Democrats control appx 80% of the MSM in America, few, like the NY Times, operate as house organs for the Democratic Party)
<
<
“7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints...” (UTS)
<
<
(Yeah, what’s the big deal over national security? I mean what’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, with some 19 suitcase nukes missing from the former Soviet Union’s arsenal, I guess it could be pretty grim...BUT apparently UTS is more than willing to roll the dice on that. Thankfully Barack Obama and his administration seem to strongly DISAGREE, After all, they DID sign onto the NSA Surveillance program WITH the Telecom immunities...just like G W Bush did!)
<
<
“Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug...” (UTS)
<
<
(So now religion itself is a bad thing to UTS. No government in the U.S. has institutionalized any religion, so that’s pretty much a moot point. In FACT, ALL U.S. governments have stood idly by as America’s moral decay has continued unabated.)
<
<
“Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised...” (UTS)
<
<
(UNDER G W Bush?! Not hardly. Bush signed onto the most expensive and far-reaching regulation (Sarabannes-Oxley) in decades and over the past year took government control over a number of high profile financial services companies, as the current administration is continuing to do. Clinton signed onto the eradication of Glass-Spiegel that allowed banks and brokerages to break their confinements and offer “a full range of financial products, from banking, to insurance to brokerage products.)
<
<
“Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless...” (UTS)
<
<
Funny story, but with Americas move AWAY from its manufacturing base, which started in the late 1960s and sped up with the advent of global Free Trade, the Unions pretty much died along with the dying sectors they once represented. That’s been a FORTY YEAR trend, not something that happened over the past tweny AND Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress passed NAFTA back in January of 1994!
<
<
“Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power...” (UTS)
<
<
(Yeah, it’s that damn obsession with law enforcement that’s screwing everything up, right?

The fact that the Bratton Plan that transformed NYC from a 2500/year murder rate to under 500/year, saving upwards of 10,000 minority lives in the process, was really oppression. I guess UTS’s heart bleeds for the predator class. What is that with guys like you? Is it sympathy for those who’d do things you wouldn’t dare yourself? Seriously, I don’t get it. Crime, especially VIOLENT CRIME hurts the poor most of all.)


“Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves...” (UTS)
<
<
(Yeah, just look at Democratic strongholds like NY, NJ and Connecticut – the worst kinds of political corruption, nepotism and cronyism imaginable. The current round of bailouts lend themselves to that as well and it’s not like there isn’t a penchant for that – look at how many Democratic tax evaders have been nominated to important positions and the ongoing scandals surrounding Charles Rangel, Barney fank and Harry Reid - both his sons are paid lobbyists)
<
<
“Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus...” (UTS)
<
<
“I know what you mean about ACORN, but the investigations are still ongoing. I wouldn’t want to jump on that UNTIL AFTER the results of those bi-partisan investigations are done.

Well, in total, I’d say that you pretty much amplified Clifford B’s point! I AGREE with Clifford too.

uptownsteve said...

We were attacked by Al-Queada not Islam which last I looked had over 6 billion observants.

Many of them American citizens.


Despite your cheerleading of the prison-industrial complex, violent crime has been steadily on the upswing over the past 6 years, directly in line with this crappy economy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/01/AR2007060102360.html

You don't even want to go into a tit for tat in corruption and cronyism.

Cheney's company Halliburton and it's 7 billion dollar no bid contract.

Bush's top campaign contributor and good friend Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, used his connections to write Bush's energy policy. As a result of this deregulation cronyism the state of California got price gouged by Enron and a handful of other big energy companies for several billion dollars. We then witnessed Enron collapse under the weight of it's own greed and the executives walk away with piles of cash while its employees, shareholders, and creditors got stuck with a bankrupt worthless corporation.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

You defense of Bush is amusing.

uptownsteve said...

"The “mass media” in America is indeed “controlled by Liberal Democrats, and while that is nefarious"

More terds pulled from your rear end.

The US media is corporate owned and mainly by conservatives.

The following are but a few of the corporate board interlocks for the big ten media giants in the US:

New York Times: Caryle Group, Eli Lilly, Ford, Johnson and Johnson, Hallmark, Lehman Brothers, Staples, Pepsi

Washington Post: Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Dun & Bradstreet, Gillette, G.E. Investments, J.P. Morgan, Moody's

Knight-Ridder: Adobe Systems, Echelon, H&R Block, Kimberly-Clark, Starwood Hotels

The Tribune (Chicago & LA Times): 3M, Allstate, Caterpillar, Conoco Phillips, Kraft, McDonalds, Pepsi, Quaker Oats, Shering Plough, Wells Fargo

News Corp (Fox): British Airways, Rothschild Investments
GE (NBC): Anheuser-Busch, Avon, Bechtel, Chevron/Texaco, Coca-Cola, Dell, GM, Home Depot, Kellogg, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, Motorola, Procter & Gamble

Disney (ABC): Boeing, Northwest Airlines, Clorox, Estee Lauder, FedEx, Gillette, Halliburton, Kmart, McKesson, Staples, Yahoo

Viacom (CBS): American Express, Consolidated Edison, Oracle, Lafarge North America

Gannett: AP, Lockheed-Martin, Continental Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Prudential, Target, Pepsi

AOL-Time Warner (CNN): Citigroup, Estee Lauder, Colgate-Palmolive, Hilton

JMK said...

"@JMK:

"You defense of Bush is amusing." (DJBA)
<
<
FIND a "defense" of GW Bush

I'll put up $100, if you'll do the same. I presume we both have PayPal accounts. Up the ante if you'd like....fact is, there's no defnse of the KEYNESIAN G W Bush in that post.

So, FIND IT.

The Reagan accounting is all documented and verified and I posted that documentation earlier on and it's gone unchallenged, because it's true.

G W Bush, like Nixon and Hoover was a stalwart Keynesian.

The disaster under Carter was exacerbated by his following Nixon's Keynesian OVER-REGULATION and OVER-SPENDING with MORE of both.

We seem, sad to say, to be following that same path today.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

Very well then, your worship of Regan is amusing.

My bad.

JMK said...

"We were attacked by Al-Queada not Islam which last I looked had over 6 billion observants.

"Many of them American citizens." (UTS)
<
<
Absolutely bone-headedly wrong....as usual with you.

We were attacked by the forces of radicalized Islam.

Al Qaeda is only a small part of the global Jihad, one of hundreds of such groups that pose the same threat.
<
<
"violent crime has been steadily on the upswing over the past 6 years, directly in line with this crappy economy." (UTS)
<
<
"The nation's murder rate rose slightly last year but the number of robberies skyrocketed by 6 percent, preliminary FBI data released Monday show.

"The statistics were part of an overall 1.3 percent rise in violent crime across the country in 2006 -- the second straight annual increase.

"However, car thefts, arsons and other property crimes dipped for the second straight year, the data show."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,277695,00.html

VIOLENT crimes are not related to economic distress, crimes against property ARE.

As that last paragraph stated, "crimes against property dropped for the second straight year."

AND from the article YOU posted, "The number of rapes and assaults declined slightly, while property crimes, such as auto theft and vandalism, fell by 2.9 percent, continuing a long trend."

Why do you keep posting things that contradict your own inane presumptions? Hmmmm?

As for Halliburton, it's been getting OVER 90% of all the government's military-related contracts for decades, many of them no-bid contracts.

They glommed every one in Gulf War I and every one in the Balkans as well.

And Ken Lay?!

Ken Lay was an FOB! ("Friend of Bill's")...in FACT, Ron Brown was on an errand for Enron when he was killed over the Balkans.

By all means, keep on making your opponent's points for them.

JMK said...

"Very well then, your worship of Regan is amusing.

"My bad." (DJBA)
<
<
I appreciate the clarification.

The challenge still goes for Reagan, if you can PROVE what I said was wrong, I'll accept the wager.

Reagan inherited the HIGHEST post-WW II Misery Index (inflation + unemployment) and dropped it from a high of 21.9 down to single digits by 1986, where it stayed throughout the rest of his tenure.

He also inherited a staggering 21.5% prime lending rate that was also brought down to single digits by 1985, while INCREASING tax revenues FROM $619 BILLION in 1980 TO over $1 TRILLION by 1986.

Regan and Gingrich's Supply Side policies have generated the best economic times in over four decades, while Hoover's FDR's (FDR followed up WITH more Hooverism), LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Bush Sr and Bush Jr's Keynesian policies have delivered nothing but economic disaster.

JMK said...

The media and BOTH political Parties are "Corporately owned."

So WHAT!?

It's not like we're going to do anything about that any time soon.

And those Corporations are ALL anti-Supply Side, anti-Open/free markets because competition is NOT "in their best interests."

They want competition regulated out of the market. They revile economic liberty, which is the foundation of ALL other freedoms.

Our own corporations are VERY happy in Western Europe, where competition is regulated out of the market and they trade off high social welfare costs for control of a closed market.

GE (parent of NBC and the vile MSNBC) has sold parts used in IEDs to Iran.

The NY Times at all times and in all instances promotes more government spending, higher taxes, more regulation and a more "European styled economy."

Armand Hammer, the founder of the Communist Party USA was a tycoon and founder of, among other ventures, Occidental Petroleum (which the Gore family is heavilly invested in) and he was a pal of Joe Stalin's and had a number of monopoly deals with the former USSR. Socialist feudalism was very, VERY good for the likes of Armand Hammer!

Apparently you didn't know any of this...not surprising. Not surprising at all.

uptownsteve said...

"So WHAT!?"

So what is that you claimed the mainstream media was controlled liberals.

Looks like you're all wet again Jethro.

JMK said...

"So what is that you claimed the mainstream media was controlled liberals." (UTS)
<
<
No, what I DID was to prove that it IS.

ALL those corporate entities favor Keynesian regulation and oppose Supply Side market-driven policies....as I explained.

Seriously, what's wrong with you?

You can't possibly be as brain-dead as you present yourself....no possible way.

This is like that Frank Zappa song with that refrain, "Sorry John, sorry better try it again..." but with YOU it's over EVERYTHING! From debts and deficits to rural vs urban poverty, to NYC's violent crime rate improving dramatically under Bratton/Guiliani, to...well, EVERYthing!

Come on....you can do better if you just try a little.

uptownsteve said...

"ALL those corporate entities favor Keynesian regulation and oppose Supply Side market-driven policies....as I explained."

I see now that you are just a babbling buffoon.

Corporate heads now favor regulation and oppose market driven policies.

ROTFLMBAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

uptownsteve said...

BTW you lying racist, Armand Hammer was NOT the founder of the American Communist Party but indeed his father Russian born Julius was recruited into the Socialist Labor Party which eventually became the American Communist Party in 1919.

Armand Hammer was never even a member.

Indeed Hammer was a heavy contributor to the Republican Party, even making an illegal campaign contribution to Richard Nixon.

Busted again racist.

23eagle said...

Just want to be sure folks know that I reposted from the always excellent Six Meat Buffet.

Thanks for the shout!

23eagle said...

BTW,

"confused negro"?

Soooo - if someone DARES leave the liberal democrat plantation its open season for using racial slurs, huh?

JMK said...

"Corporate heads now favor regulation and oppose market driven policies." (UTS)
<
<
Now????

Corporate heads have ALWAYS supported "regulating competition OUT of the market."

There are NO/ZERO industrialized countries with "socialist economies."

Sweden came the closest, but that failed experiment ended in the mid-1990s.

Today, Sweden has a Center-Rigth government and the SAME REGULATED market-based economy that the U.S. Japan, England, Germany and the reat of the industrialized nations have - privately owned and publically traded corporations like Volvo and Erikson [rovide the foundation of that country's economy.

But there, like hee, those that succeed at business tend to agree with the late John D Rockefeller, the founder of the Rockefeller financial empire, "Competition is a sin."

Same with the Fair Tax, a consumption based tax that would replace the income tax, FICA taxes, the Corporate income taxes AND it would be the ONLY tax under which the truly wealthy would pay anything close to "their fair share."

Right now, few truly wealthy people pay much in taxes. In 2004 both Teresa Heinz-Kerry and Tom Keane Jr., both scions of two very large fortunes lamented about paying "only 5% of what they bring in each year." They "lamented", but not enough to pay any more.

Like virtually ALL truly wealthy people, their money didn't come from income (the least effective generator of wealth), their income came almost exclusively from investments, dividends, most of those protected by Trusts and Foundations.

I don't believe there are many Americans who resent truly wealthy people like the Trumps, the Gates and the Johnsons, BUT it would be nice if they bucked up a little more than the 5% many of them point to paying and the ONLY tax system that would effect that would be one like the Fair Tax that taxes based on consumption, rather than work/productivity.

uptownsteve said...

23 eagle

"Soooo - if someone DARES leave the liberal democrat plantation its open season for using racial slurs, huh?"

Liberal Democratic plantation?

How about you show me the intelligence of a black person aligning themselves with an obviously failed conservative ideology, a party that has actively rejected our support and can't get a black person elected to any significant office?

A BLACK DEMOCRAT is the leader of the free world Eagle.

You make no sense.

JMK said...

You have almost as much rage as ignorance!

The Hammers founded the CPUSA...I appreciate your acknowledging that much, the rest you have wrong.

YES, it WAS Armand’s father Julius who founded the CPUSA, though Armand Hammer has been named as a collaborator with the former USSR. A “conduit for money from the former USSR to the CPUSA.

“Julius Hammer met Vladimir I. Ulyanov (Lenin) as he was then at The Seventh Congress of the Second International in 1907, and became his man, helping split the SLP in 1919 to form the Communist Labor Party, which became part of the CPUSA.

“Then in 1920 Julius Hammer went to jail. Pro-choice activists will be gratified to learn that it was not for having performed an abortion, but for having performed an abortion where the mother also died, that Dr. Julius Hammer was given 3½ to 12 years at Sing Sing, for manslaughter. Moreover, it seems that Armand had actually performed the abortion. This left the Hammer enterprises in something of a quandary. Fortunately, there was something that could be done.

“Armand's trip on his father's behalf (and in his place) to Russia in 1921 brought two important people into connection with him. That year heralded the first of several false thaws in Soviet policy that were to spur the dreams of wishful thinkers for seventy years; the Soviet capital-building New Economic Plan (NEP), heralded at the time as a return to capitalism. Being reliable politically, Armand Hammer was seen as an acceptable front man for Soviet economic enterprises abroad. And he got his confirmation from the very top; Lenin himself gave this progressive capitalist his marching orders in a personal meeting on October 22, 1921, a meeting which Hammer was to continue to identify with his entire life. (Curiously enough, Hammer never seems to have met his Soviet namesake, Vyacheslav Molotov.)

"Throughout the twenties, Hammer's affairs spread, if not prospered. His various financial dealings with the Soviets showed a tendency that would recur throughout his life; they were seemingly prosperous, but actually less so. His concession, an asbestos mine, turned out to be thoroughly worthless; a project to make pencils also came a cropper. (A warning to those who co-invest with the PRC government on such deals.) Perhaps he was distracted because he was still laundering money for the Comintern (see also The Secret World of American Communism, pp. 26-30). But then it did stick to his fingers for the longest time (op. cit., pp. 28-9).

“In 1961, Anatoli Ivanovich Golitsyn had come to America, his legend of a vast Soviet plan to whisper into the ears of James Angleton, CIA chief of Counterintelligence. Among his tales was that of a Capitalist Prince, who had fathered a son in Russia, and who worked hand in glove with the KGB. Angleton's principal suspect was Averell Harriman. His deputy Raymond Rocca thought it was Hammer, who fit Golitsyn's description better. The "son," for example, could have been Hammer's namesake nephew. (Angleton's assistants seem to have had better judgment than the boss; it had been Bill Harvey, not Angleton, who first suspected Kim Philby.)

“On December 10, 1990, reality finally caught up with Armand Hammer. As it would with his latest partner, his financial deals came apart after his death. Occidental had to take a huge charge and post a loss of $2.5 billion to cover closing down the joint enterprises with the communist countries all worthless, just like that asbestos mine back in the twenties. The estate faced a phalanx of lawsuits.”

http://members.iglou.com/jtmajor/Hammer.htm


“The Times described Secret World as a book "which details links between Moscow and the American Communist Party from the 1920s to 1945...” documenting, among other things that “It [the former USSR] also funded capitalist Armand Hammer who, according to Comintern documents, was a conduit for transfers of funds to the United States during the 1920s.

http://www.aim.org/publications/aim_report/1995/04b.html

Armand Hammer was, as his father was, an avowed supporter of the former Soviet Union and a friend of the communist movement.

uptownsteve said...

So JMK,

The only capitalists left in America are you and Lush Rimjob, eh?

Three-quarters of my annual salary is COMMISSION.

And I know of some of your fellow conservatives who feel that fire departments should be privatized.

You are a government employee, aren't ya?

What a clown.

uptownsteve said...

"Armand Hammer was, as his father was, an avowed supporter of the former Soviet Union and a friend of the communist movement."

But he was not the founder or a member of the American Communist party as you stated.

And if he was Communist, why did the Republican party willingly take his money and support?

JMK said...

Most working Americans are Capitalists whether they realize it or not.

Most realize that the market-based economy works best and the Command (government-run) economy has never worked at all.

The wealthy do NOT support any kind of "democratic control" or "the people's (even via government) control" of businesses and industry...and neither do most rational people.

They support a Keynesian (highly regulated) market-based economy that regulates competition out of the market....makes perfect sense to any rational person.

As for Armand Hammer, the Venona Papers and the subsequent books that chronicled them made very clear both Armand Hammer's business interests in the former USSR AND his work funneling Soviet money to the CPUSA.

There are few, VERY FEW rational people who believe in the comamnd economy of socialism. All you need do to see the failures of its current incarnation is to look to Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

JMK said...

"And I know of some of your fellow conservatives who feel that fire departments should be privatized." (UTS)
<
<
A friend of mine helped privatize a Fire Department near Phoenix.

BUT I am a Civil Servant, and as such I recognize the undeniable FACT that the ENTIRE public sector is funded by a healthy private sector.

I don't want to see a larger Fire Dept or Police Dept, I wanted to smaller, better trained and better paid Departments....fewer teachers with more responsibilities as well as better training and better pay. That's what Michelle Rhee is proposing for Washington, D.C.

I WANT a very healthy, vibrant private sector and that can only be had with a low tax, less regulatory environment.

The private sector is the "founder of the feast" for the public sector.

EVERYONE knows that!

uptownsteve said...

"I don't want to see a larger Fire Dept or Police Dept, I wanted to smaller, better trained and better paid Departments.."

More training and better pay means more tax payer money, doesn't it?

And if you got more tax payer money, you'd be able to fight fires better, right?

Can you identify any of your colleagues who are eating doughnuts or watching TV during a fire?

JMK said...

"More training and better pay means more tax payer money, doesn't it?

"And if you got more tax payer money, you'd be able to fight fires better, right?

"Can you identify any of your colleagues who are eating doughnuts or watching TV during a fire?" (UTS)
<
<
No, it's actually a way to SAVE money.

You pay a smaller a group more for more responsibilities and more training...it saves tons of money, both upfront and over the long haul...and you kill overtime in the process.

When I went to the Special Operations Command (SOC) almost five years ago, the overtime there was through the roof.

They used to justify it because of all the extra training, endless drills and being sent out of state to schools for six to twelve days fairly often.

But it attracted lots of guys who wanted to pad their overtime numbers right before they retired.

A couple of years ago, the City began paying SOC guys 12% more, ostensibly to cut down on all that overtime, which in some Units had reached over $30K/year.

Today, the overtime is under control and you have a smaller, leaner, better paid and better trained SOC at a big savings to the city.

A smaller, leaner public sector is one of the best things for maintaining a vibrant and robust private sector.

The loss of positions from a once bloated public sector will create a manpower pool for an expanding private sector.

It's a "win-win."

DJ Black Adam said...

@Uptown:

Conservatives like JMK forget that fire departments USED to be privatized and were a "private" insurance issue. Sort of like medical insurance is now. Guess they can understand socialism when they have a fear that being selfish (and having fire service for only those who can afford it) might adversely affect them (i.e. the house next door burning and catching your their house on fire). With that logic, I guess all we have to do is scare them that they will catch the bubonic plague if they don't make sure their neighbor without insurance has accessability to at least preventive medical coverage even if the have no job or are under employed.

Jus saying, the right always is motivated by thir base emotions, fear cheif amongst them...

uptownsteve said...

DJBA

Right on point.

Selective amnesia and selective outrage are staples of the right.

JMK has been ranting for a couple of days about pure unregulated capitalism, supple side economics and open free markets and wouldn't you know it, he's a government employee sucking on the taxpayers teat.

Doncha just love righties?

The gift that keeps on giving.

Paul said...

here see what i see!

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/04/03/0403sixthstreet.html

JMK said...

Actually DJBA, Fire Departments were transformed NOT from "private" Departments, but from "Volunteer" Departments that also served as de facto "political clubs."

In NYC Boss Tweed's headquarters was in the quarters of Engine 15 in lower Manhattan.

Until the early part of the 20th Century, people paid/"contributed" to the political Party in power to get jobs in the Police, Fire and other City services.

That's how inherently corrupt political machines like Tammany Hall was able to dominate politics and run NYC as they saw fit.

The Civil Service system eliminated that innate corruption, nepotism and cronyism by subjecting every applicant to the SAME standards (written and physical exams) that were open to all.

Conservatives, such as myself believe ONLY in what works.

History shows that the command economy has NEVER worked and thus CANNOT work.

The market-based economy, although not without its flaws (ALL human systems are flawed), works best.

In FACT, Hong Kong, like the U.S., has shown that the MORE market-based and the economy, the better it works.

Hong Kong has not been able to regulate its economy which is almost entirely dependent on foreign trade, while in the U.S. a decade and a half of Keynesian rule (LBJ, Nixon and Carter) resulted in the WORST post-WW II economy in America and the Reagan administration was able to bring a staggering 22 pt Misery Index down to SINGLE DIGITS by 1986 and dropped a record high prime lending rate FROM 21.5% down to single digits by June of 1985...the best economic improvement in over a century, at that time.

When George Bush-Sr. flirted with Keynesian policies again, he became only the second elected U.S. President to serve over a full term of double digit Misery Indexes.

When the Gingrich Congress came into power in January 1995, they CUT the federal budget, for the first time in over 100 years, slashed the Capital Gains tax rate FROM 30% TO 20% (spurring the investment that led, in large measure to success of the IPO boom of the late 1990s) and welfare reform that largely eliminated the HUGE problem of "double dipping" (cheats getting welfare largesse from multiple sources), while putting tens of thousands of Americans back to work and self-sufficiency. The Supply Side reforms of the Gingrich Congress delivered the best U.S. economy in over four decades. 1998's 6.06 Misery Index was the lowest since the mid-1950s!

(AGAIN, if ANYONE can prove this wrong, my wager still stands...don't feel bad, no one from any other site has ever taken me up on this either.)

G W Bush governed as Keynesian as his father (a Nixon protege). Bush-Jr spent even more than LBJ on reckless social spending (even adjusted for inflation) and regulated MORE than any President since Richard Nixon.

The G W Bush administration was able to shield the economy from the effects of all that excess spending and regulation because two early tax cuts (the across-the-board income tax rate cuts AND the Capital Gains rate cut FROM 20% TO 15%) so greatly INCREASED tax revenues.

To date, America's economic history shows that Keynesian policies always deliver MORE misery, while Supply Side policies deliver a LOT MORE prosperity, along with a lot more of a disparity/inequitable distribution of that prosperity.

It seems that the disparities of income and wealth inherant in a Supply Side (more market-driven) economy are just something that we just have to live with.

JMK said...

"JMK has been ranting for a couple of days about pure unregulated capitalism..." (UTS)
<
<
Can you read UTS?

I've NEVER lauded UNREGULATED anything. You'll never find any post of mine that did that.

And we, in America, haven't had an "unregulated market" since 1912, when Bernard Baruch and J P Morgan brought about the modern REGULATED market.

I support the REGLATED market-based economy (also called Corporatism" by some).

We NEED a strong military, a strong and very intrusive justice system that emphasizes PUNISHMENT for felons.

While the SEC fell down on the job over the past two decades, it IS a policing organization and should be empowered as such and it should be aggressive in the prosecution of its duties.

Just as there should be total transparency in all financial dealings, there should also be complete transparency (security cameras on every street, random DUI checks and internet stings for pedophiles, terrorists, etc)....in our day-to-day interactions - that's called "Civil transparency".

Felonious activities (both violent crimes and financial crimes) are, outside of a government itself, the biggest threat to individual liberty.

You NEED a strong police presence to maintain order in both civil and financial operations and preserve individual liberty.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

"Actually DJBA, Fire Departments were transformed NOT from "private" Departments, but from "Volunteer" Departments that also served as de facto "political clubs."

Thanks for the clarifcation, since we are getting historically accurate, might I add that: “volunteer fire departments would compete with one another to be the first to respond to a fire because insurance companies paid brigades to save buildings. Underwriters also employed their own Salvage Corps in some cities.”

JMK said...

"Thanks for the clarifcation, since we are getting historically accurate, might I add that: “volunteer fire departments would compete with one another to be the first to respond to a fire because insurance companies paid brigades to save buildings. Underwriters also employed their own Salvage Corps in some cities.” (DJBA)
<
<
That is correct.

Fire Department's in any form always made money....as "people respond ONLY to incentives", no service is offered, no goods created absent the profit motive.

When these Fire Companies were "Volunteer," they often looted the buildings they fought fires in. In many cases, they were little more than criminal gangs, with political connections.

The Civil Service Merit System was a HUGE step forward for ALL American citizens. It opened up these positions to all and based their criteria on a standard set of parameters applied fairly to all.

Again, in NYC, Mayor Mike Bloomberg has sought to "streamline" the public sector, by looking to CUT numbers, while paying those left, MORE in compensation for MORE responsibilities and mandated extra training.

That idea is sound, as a vibrant private sector is what allows the public sector to exist at all.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

"That idea is sound, as a vibrant private sector is what allows the public sector to exist at all."

That we agree upon, as we may also agree on some economic precepts, in my opinion for a strong public sector, there should be a basic level of meidcal insurance available to every citizen provided by or subsidized by the federal government.

JMK said...

"...in my opinion for a strong public sector, there should be a basic level of meidcal insurance available to every citizen provided by or subsidized by the federal government." (DJBA)
<
<
I don't have a problem with some form of "Universal Healthcare."

ALL of America's corporate entities have been pushing for that for years. So has government, which sees all that untaxed compensation (in the form of employer-driven healthcare) in terms of "lost tax revenues."

While this would, without question, free America's corporations from the burden of providing health coverage for their employees, it is not without it's potentially severe downsides, including shifting the burden of providing healthcare FROM America's employers, where it is now, ONTO America's taxpaers...where it actually does belong.

But that will come at a fairly high cost to those workers.

My own problems with this are primarily logistical and are pretty much twofold, (1) In virtually EVERY government-run system, there is healthcare rationing (due to the problem known as "the tragedy of the commons" - the innate overuse of "free" services) AND restrictions on procedures, often based on age and "intrinsic value" of the recipient (in most such systems, a young physician or an aged politician will get a liver transplant, while an older woman or a an aged retiree won't because the former have more "value" to society). An American system would HAVE to come with some form of private insurance available to those willing and able to pay to circumvent the government system's rationing and restrictions...and (2) Given government's woeful inefficiencies in providing actual commodities - the government is a terrible banker, car-maker, steel maker, etc. some kind of independent quality control would have to be implemented.

The logistics aren't all that easy, or business and governemnt would've already combined to get this done. America's inustries have been complaining about this for over two decades.

I have faith in one thing, government screwing this up - that's why it'll be imperative to have some forms of private insurance available to supplement this kind of system.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

We seem to be able to find some agreement, at least you didn't just shout the blanket "socialism" arguement when discussing Universal Health Care.

@CBW:

Let's look at "Fascism". From here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism#Abortion.2C_eugenics_and_euthanasia

"Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race."

Is this not the intent of the Conservative Right who feels that all should bow down to their ideology and in some cases theology because this is a "Christian" (translation WHITE Christian) Nation?

"Fascist movements promote violence between nations, political factions, and races as part of a social Darwinist and militarist stance that views violence between these groups as a natural and positive part of evolution"

Has this not been what the RIGHT has forwarded with the "War on Terror" often described as the natural conflict and clash of cultures between Islam and the West?

"Different fascist groups had differing positions on abortion as a whole but agreed that abortion amongst healthy members of their nation or race should be forbidden, while other cases of abortion were viewed differently by some fascists. The fascist government in Italy banned abortion and literature on birth control in 1926, declaring them both crimes against the state"

Seems like its the RIGHT wants to outlaw abortions? While I myself am against abortions, I wonder is the right only against them because they don't want to lose anymore numbers?

"Fascism tends to promote principles of masculine heroism, militarism, and discipline; and rejects cultural pluralism and multiculturalism"

Good Lord, I don't even have to TRY to make this one match, THIS is obviously a description of the right.

"Fascist movements and governments oppose homosexuality. The Italian Fascist government declared homosexuality illegal in Italy in 1931"

Uhmmmmm Prop 8 in Cali anyone? Right wingers in general.

Soooooo let's stop with the "Fascist" stuff Right wingers, it applies more to the RIGHT than the LEFT

JMK said...

"Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race."

"Is this not the intent of the Conservative Right who feels that all should bow down to their ideology and in some cases theology because this is a "Christian" (translation WHITE Christian) Nation?" (DJBA)
<
<
Ironically enough, that is actually the reverse.

Virtually EVERY authoritarian/totalitarian regime has been Left-wing.

Conservatives in America have ALWAYS fought to force America to be true to its Founder's design - sacrosanct property rights and LIMITED government, with an emphasis on LOCAL, rather than on centralized governance.

Even the 50 Million Evangelical Christians who comprise the so-called "Christian Right" have never sought to make Christianity the State religion, ONLY that Christianity be at least "as respected" as ANY other religion.

Banning the Ten Commandments on school grounds is fine, ONLY in so far as that applies to ALL other religions in ALL other public places - that would mean no Muslim foot baths in airports, no Muslim prayer rooms anywhere on public property.

Most religious people seem to have few, if any problems with CIVIL UNIONS for gays, but they do have a HUGE problem with "Gay Marriage" or ANY kind of legislation that might be used to even allow gays to "have their day in court" over the issue of "being able to be Married in Churches and Synagogues."

I'm not at all religious, but I've read the 1st Amendment and I WANT ALL religions to be able to be able to be practiced as the adherants wish. If the Catholic Church refuses to Marry gays for ANY reason or even NO reason at all, that is their First Amendment right under our existing Constitution.

What most Leftists seem to overlook is that INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY is rooted in ideals like inviolate private property rights, limited governance and "freedom of association" - the right of individuals to form and join groups in order to associate with those they want to and yes, to avoid associating with those they don't - THAT'S freedom/liberty.

The wonderful thing about INDIVIDUALISM and LIBERTY can also be a terrifying thing when misused.

That is the very SAME 1st Amendment that allows citizens to criticize their servant government and to protest what they see as injustices (ie unjust war) , ALSO allows the likes of the Aryan Nation, the Nation of Islam, the Skinheads, the New Black Panther Party and other such hate groups to freely spew their venom.

We DON'T get to pick and choose which freedoms we like NOR who gets to make use of those freedoms nor even in what way.

That's why a belief in freedom as INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY is a supreme act of faith....a faith in one's fellow man.

DJ Black Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJ Black Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

I know the arguement can be made that the left acts in a "fascist" manner from time to time, HOWEVER it is clear that the RIGHT has acted in a serious fascist manner since at least the mid 90's.

Further, your statement regarding the Christian right is funny, you can believe what you want, hell, I am a Christian, and their eschatological world views are frightening.

In any case, BY DEFINITION, the last 8 years have been clearly FASCISM at its FINEST.

April 3, 2009 9:12 PM

JMK said...

"Fascist movements promote violence between nations, political factions, and races as part of a social Darwinist and militarist stance that views violence between these groups as a natural and positive part of evolution"

“Has this not been what the RIGHT has forwarded with the "War on Terror" often described as the natural conflict and clash of cultures between Islam and the West?” (DJBA)
<
<
No one in America promoted “violence between nations” over the past two decades – not Bush Sr in Gulf War I, not Bill Clinton in the Balkans and not G W Bush in responding to the worst attack on American soil since the Civil War.

In FACT, the shame of the ongoing global war on terror (WoT) is that it wasn’t engaged earlier on!

Radicalized Islam had been waging a relentless war on America and legitimate American interests for nearly a decade before 9/11.

The idea that “America over-reacted” post-9/11 is a sick and twisted one, born of moral cowardice and self-loathing.

All the aggression in the WoT was initiated by the jihadists.
<
<
<
<
I know the arguement can be made that the left acts in a "fascist" manner from time to time, HOWEVER it is clear that the RIGHT has acted in a serious fascist manner since at least the mid 90's. (DJBA)
<
<
NO, the American Left has rarely acted “fascistically”, although it’s been consistently anti-democratic, as in their current machinations to block the absentee military ballots from overseas in the election over Gilibrand’s now vacant Congressional seat.

Multiculturalism predicated upon all other cultures assimilating seamlessly into the predominant and already established “American culture” is fine, but those who champion America bending and changing to accommodate other cultures are once again, arguing out of a weakness of character and moral cowardice.

What Conservatives in America have championed since the 1980s has been what’s best for all Americans – LESS government, lower taxes, a stronger law enforcement presence, which has saved tens of thousands of lives mostly among America’s poor and welfare reform, which saved tens of BILLIONS of dollars by ending the odious practice of “double dipping” and also putting thousands of once dependent people back to work and onto the road toward self-sufficiency. The Gingrich Congress passed almost all of its Contract with America and in the process delivered one of the most prosperous periods (1995 – 2000) in America in over a century.
<
<
<
<
“In any case, BY DEFINITION, the last 8 years have been clearly FASCISM at its FINEST.” (DJBA)
<
<
Actually, the last eight years have been very Keynesian years fraught with over-regulation (Sarbannes-Oxley was one of the most expensive and far-reaching pieces of business regulation in U.S. history) and over-spending (G W Bush spent more on reckless social spending than LBJ did, even adjusted for inflation!)

In FACT, the current credit crisis, borne of the subprime mortgage meltdown, WAS due to Bush’s Keynesianism, BUT NOT out of any “fascistic” reasons, but out of the initial goal of “increasing minority home ownership.”

That goal wasn’t a bad one, the way government got involved in trying to implement that goal, was disastrous...and yes, it was a bi-partisan disaster, fully supported by the liberal Dems (Pelosi, Reid, Rangel, Frank, Dodd, etc.) and opposed by a few Conservative Dems (Evan Bayh among others) and Conservative Republicans.

The “fascist Right” charge is a canard.

Misinformed liberals called Bill Bratton’s and Rudy Giuliani’s tenure “fascistic,” but it was ANYTHING BUT.

Bratton’s ComStat program revolutionized urban policing and coupled with processing “quality of life” crimes in order to fish for suspects with outstanding wants and warrants and the “three strikes” laws for violent offenders, they were true to their word in reducing crime by a massive amount, actually quartering NYC’s murder rate and in the process saving at least 10,000 minority lives in the process.

I believe that that kind of aggressive policing is VERY consistent with individual liberty, it is not at all consistent with fascism.