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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Are We Drifting Toward Liberal Fascism?

“Fascism is a political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism” — Roger Griffin

In his definition Roger Griffin uses the adjective “palingeneticto describe Fascism. Griffin goes on to state:

“Fascism is a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity, one which has assumed a considerable variety of external forms to adapt itself to the particular historical and national context in which it appears, and has drawn a wide range of cultural and intellectual currents, both left and right, anti-modern and pro-modern, to articulate itself as a body of ideas, slogans, and doctrine. In the inter-war period it manifested itself primarily in the form of an elite-led "armed party" which attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to generate a populist mass movement through a liturgical style of politics and a programme of radical policies which promised to overcome a threat posed by international socialism, to end the degeneration affecting the nation under liberalism, and to bring about a radical renewal of its social, political and cultural life as part of what was widely imagined to be the new era being inaugurated in Western civilization. The core mobilizing myth of fascism which conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions is the vision of the nation's imminent rebirth from decadence”

The word "palingenetic" refers to notions of rebirth (in this case, national rebirth) or as we might translate to the ideology of Barack Obama — “Transformation”

In his provocative and well-researched book, “Liberal Fascism”, Jonah Goldberg probes modern liberalism’s spooky origins in early 20th-century fascist politics. With chapter titles such as “Adolf Hitler: Man of the Left” and “Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism”—Goldberg argues that fascism “has always” been “a phenomenon of the left.” Goldberg’s study of the conceptual overlap between fascism and ideas emanating from the environmental movement, Hollywood, the Democratic Party and what he calls other left-wing organs is enlightening to those with a sense of history and a mind opened to facts. He lays low such lights of liberal history as Margaret Sanger, a radical eugenicist, and JFK, whose cult of personality, according to Goldberg, reeks of fascist political theater. Goldberg draws parallels between Nazi Germany and the New Deal, which many people on the left will reject. But taken in the context of history the reader will see that Goldberg’s parallels are accurate. Even Roosevelt’s “stacked” liberal Supreme Court could not stomach his National Recovery Act as constitutional. Goldberg writes in National Review, in defense of his accusation:

“That’s all true, but misses an important point. What the fascists were or are primarily known for is not necessarily dispositive to the question of what they actually were. Speaking for myself, the relevance of the generous social welfare programs and anti-smoking programs is to point out that the Nazis weren’t exactly what we’ve been told they were. Sure, they were violent and hysterically devoted to an authoritarian leader, but they were also more than that and their popularity with the German people cannot be easily chalked up to those features either.

The Nazis did not rise to power on the promise of bringing war and violence. They just didn’t. They rose to power by promising national restoration, peace, pride, dignity, unity and generous social welfare programs among other things including, of course, scapegoating Jews. People forget how Hitler successfully fashioned himself a champion of peace for quite a while. Limbaugh’s counter-attack on liberals, specifically Pelosi, is exactly that, a counter-attack. He was saying that if liberals are going to call conservatives Nazis for opposing nationalized healthcare maybe they should at least account for the fact that Nazis agreed with them on the issue, not conservatives. If liberals want to have a fight over who is closer to fascism, I see no reason why conservatives should cower from that argument, particularly since the facts are on our side. But I reject entirely the idea that liberals today are literally Nazi-like, particularly if we are going to define Nazism by what “they were known for.” Liberals don’t want to invade Poland or round up Jews. As I’ve said many times, one naive hope I had for my book was that it would remove the word “fascist” from popular discourse, not expand its franchise. Alas, on that score the book is a complete failure.”

The video clips shown below is taken from a speech Goldberg gave to members of the Heritage Foundation on January 9, 2008 explaining some of the points in his book.

Government takeover of auto companies, forced national health care, corporate bailouts, more and more federal control of our public school system, increased power of the public sector unions, and the use of military power (as in Libya) without Congressional approval are but a few signs along the road toward a more tyrannical, corrosive and statist federal government, or in other words Fascism.

As Goldberg points out that Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin did not came to power offering conquest, war, destruction and suffering. They all came to power offering their people hope and change — a transformation of their societies. They promised free and universal public education, national health care, zero unemployment and redistribution of wealth, except for the crony capitalist supporters such as Fiat, Krupp and I.G. Farbin. No matter what color these statists were they all had one thing in common — to grow government.

On June 15th the lefty pinhead Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times that he thinks a great idea to use the military model for civilian America. He writes:

“As we search for paths out of America’s economic crisis, many suggest business as a paradigm for cutting costs. According to my back-of-the-envelope math, top C.E.O.’s earn as much as $1 a second around the clock, partly by cutting medical benefits for employees. So they must be paragons of efficiency, right?

Actually, I’m not so sure. The business sector is dazzlingly productive, but it also periodically blows up our financial system. Yet if we seek another model, one that emphasizes universal health care and educational opportunity, one that seeks to curb income inequality, we don’t have to turn to Sweden. Rather, look to the United States military.

You see, when our armed forces are not firing missiles, they live by an astonishingly liberal ethos — and it works. The military helped lead the way in racial desegregation, and even today it does more to provide equal opportunity to working-class families — especially to blacks — than just about any social program. It has been an escalator of social mobility in American society because it invests in soldiers and gives them skills and opportunities.

The United States armed forces knit together whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics from diverse backgrounds, invests in their education and training, provides them with excellent health care and child care. And it does all this with minimal income gaps: A senior general earns about 10 times what a private makes, while, by my calculation, C.E.O.’s at major companies earn about 300 times as much as those cleaning their offices. That’s right: the military ethos can sound pretty lefty.

“It’s the purest application of socialism there is,” Wesley Clark, the retired four-star general and former supreme allied commander of NATO forces in Europe, told me. And he was only partly joking.

“It’s a really fair system, and a lot of thought has been put into it, and people respond to it really well,” he added. The country can learn from that sense of mission, he said, from that emphasis on long-term strategic thinking.

The military is innately hierarchical, yet it nurtures a camaraderie in part because the military looks after its employees. This is a rare enclave of single-payer universal health care, and it continues with a veterans’ health care system that has much lower costs than the American system as a whole.

Perhaps the most impressive achievement of the American military isn’t its aircraft carriers, stunning as they are. Rather, it’s the military day care system for working parents.

While one of America’s greatest failings is underinvestment in early childhood education (which seems to be one of the best ways to break cycles of poverty from replicating), the military manages to provide superb child care. The cost depends on family income and starts at $44 per week.

“I absolutely think it’s a model,” said Linda K. Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, which advocates for better child care in America. Ms. Smith, who used to oversee the military day care system before she retired from the Defense Department, said that the military sees child care as a strategic necessity to maintain military readiness and to retain highly trained officers.

One of the things I admire most about the military is the way it invests in educating and training its people. Its universities — the military academies — are excellent, and it has R.O.T.C. programs at other campuses around the country. Many soldiers get medical training, law degrees, or Ph.D.’s while in service, sometimes at the country’s finest universities. “

Kristof’s thesis is that the US military is actually a “socialist” institution that should be a model for our society:

“If we seek another model, one that emphasizes universal health care and educational opportunity, one that seeks to curb income inequality, we don’t have to turn to Sweden. Rather, look to the United States military”

Now, it’s reasonable as far as it goes to point out that the military, being wholly-owned and operated by the government, does not behave like a private for-profit enterprise. But does Kristof really think the military isn’t too bureaucratic and inefficient to be a model for the private sector? Hint: it is, because it’s a government bureaucracy, but we tolerate that because it performs an essential and irreplaceable function. Even leaving that aside, however, let’s look at the essential characteristics of the military as a workplace, few of which Kristof seems to have thought through and many of which, I’d guess, he would find objectionable as applied to the private sector:

1. The workforce is not free. You join the military, unless you are discharged, you must serve out your enlisted term of years. Most American workers are free to change jobs, and even if you have a contract for a stated period, the Thirteenth Amendment protects you in most cases from being compelled to do more than pay money damages for quitting. Not so with soldiers, who can be imprisoned for desertion. Also, enlisted soldiers often must live in housing provided by their employer (depending on their rank and other conditions), and ordinarily have few rights of privacy against inspection of their living quarters. They can be shipped hither and yon without their consent.

2. The workforce is not unionized. The military’s complete control over working conditions is in no way obstructed by collective bargaining or work rules. Nor are wages protected by statutory schemes such as the Davis-Bacon Act. The cannot strike!

3. The employer is largely immune from suit. Americans with Disabilities Act? Sexual harassment litigation? Medical malpractice? Age Discrimination in Employment Act? Never heard of them. Most of the workforce is under 40, disproportionately male, physically fit, and until very recently did not permit open homosexuals to serve. Military culture is distinctive, and feminists in particular have long complained of the persistence of a ‘macho’ culture. The upper ranks of the military are naturally dominated by men, because women are barred from the jobs (i.e., combat) that provide the most important opportunities for advancement.

4. The entire workforce is armed and wears uniforms. I’m guessing this is not the case in the New York Times newsroom.

As it happens, the things that make the military so cohesive, and so willing to accept wages and working conditions that would be objectionable in the private sector, are inseparable from its dangerous and violent mission, focus on combat and, yes, its irreducibly masculine culture. As Jonah Goldberg traced in his excellent book Liberal Fascism, Kristof is following an impulse here that recurs with great regularity in the liberal imagination: the desire to replicate the “socialist” nature of the military — or of civilian life in times of total war — without its military-ness.

Goldberg draws extensively on the history, from post-World War I progressives (including FDR) seeking to recreate the conditions of the wartime Wilson Administration, to LBJ’s War on Poverty, to Jimmy Carter’s “moral equivalent of war” on energy consumption — he might have added Kristof’s colleague Paul Krugman, who is constantly harping on the economic conditions of the World War II era as a model. But they always fail; men who will run uphill into a machine gun nest for their comrades simply will not do the same thing to sell dishwashers, and no amount of re-imagining of fundamental human nature will make them do so. Militarized societies inevitably founder on this basic reality; they face constant pressure to become wholly militarized and regimented, yet sooner or later they still fail to sustain conditions in which ordinary citizens act like soldiers. They tried that in Germany and Italy once. The results weren’t what anyone could have hoped for.

People don’t enlist in the military for the health care, child day care and education benefits. They do so to server their country and protect and defend us and the Constitution. They may also join to stick a K-Bar knife into the throat of a terrorist, hit the bulls-eye with an M-16 at 100 yards or drop a JDAM from 10,000 feet into a pickle barrel. In essence to kick some ass.

However, Kristof touches on the AmeriCorps, CCC, WPA. PWA and Organizing for America concept of boosting and economy, eliminating unemployment and creating wealth. After all didn’t Hitler have his national organizations like the Deutsche Arbeits Corps, the Hitler Youth and the Bund Deutscher Mädel? These national organizations also promoted work, health, community and unity. Of course most of the men eventually ended up on the Russian front and the girls became Nazi baby factories. This is stuff the liberals love, government sponsored work and community groups. It’s helps them stay in power.

When Obama was running for president he had this to say:

“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that 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.”

The immediate context for that amazing statement was a preview of parts of his plan to vastly expand community service opportunities for Americans of nearly all ages. He said,

"People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve."

In his campaign document entitled "The Blueprint for Change: Barack Obama's Plan For America," Obama's "Service" section ran a close second to "Education" in complexity. But, with his Colorado Springs' statement, it grabbed first place in its projected costs to taxpayers. Obama did the cost projection himself.

He his plan was to double the Peace Corps' budget by 2011, and expand AmeriCorps, USA Freedom Corps, VISTA, YouthBuild Program, and the Senior Corps. Plus, he proposed to form a Classroom Corps, Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, Veterans Corps, Homeland Security Corps, Global Energy Corps, and a Green Jobs Corps. Here a corps — there a corps — everywhere a corps.

Senator Obama aims to tap into the already active volunteerism of millions of Americans and recruit them to become cogs in a gigantic government machine grinding out his social re-engineering agenda. It's Orwellian-like, with a novice social activist's mentality at the helm. In his speech he said,

"Now I know what the cynics will say. I've heard from them all my life."

Has he? Well, given his absence of noteworthy community organizational achievements, perhaps he might have done more listening to the "cynics" for constructive criticism.

It seems clear that he meant to say, in effect, that the security of the nation is as dependent on its unarmed community service providers as it is on its armed military personnel. Even the nomenclature "corps," as in Peace Corps, carries a martial connotation as does the name, Salvation Army. His point: national security begins with civilians. It's a message like the one America's home front heard throughout World War II. Except in his case, he means to marshal volunteers for social service and economic equality while saving the environment.

"Because the future of our nation depends on the soldier at Fort Carson, but is also depends on the teacher in East LA, the nurse in Appalachia, the after-school worker in New Orleans."

That is, of course, true. But ultimate national security requires someone to carry, and, if necessary, discharge a deadly weapon with intent to kill. This is something teachers, nurses and after-school workers are typically unaccustomed to doing as part of their service obligations.

In the last two years President Obama has been working hard with his previously Democrat controlled Congress to do exactly what he proposed. This is why he appointed green czars, health care czars, job czars, education czars, car czars, energy czars and many more.

People scoffed at the conservatives’ criticisms of Obama’s plans and called them conspiracy theorists. But in 2009, soon after Obama’s election and the Democrats solidifying there stranglehold on the House Rep. Bob Filner [D-CA-51 – Imperial County] introduced the a bill to amend title 10, United States Code, (HR-675) to provide police officers, criminal investigators, and game law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense with authority to execute warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms.

In January, without any recognizable corporate media coverage, Rep. Bob Filner, a California Democrat, introduced H.R. 675. The bill would amend title 10 of the United States Code and extend to civilian employees of the Department of Defense the authority to execute warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms. The bill was referred to the Armed Services Committee on January 26, 2009.

Filner’s bill would have amended the United States code with the following:

“Sec. 1585b. Law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense: authority to execute warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms for any offense against the United States.”

The Posse Comitatus Act, passed on June 18, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction, limits the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits members of the federal uniformed services from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain “law and order” on non-federal property within the United States.

H.R. 675 would have sidestepped Posse Comitatus by defining “law enforcement officer of the Department of Defense” as “a civilian employee of the Department of Defense,” including federal police officers, detectives, criminal investigators, special agents, and game law enforcement officers classified by the Office of Personnel Management Occupational Series 0083 (the United States Office of Personnel Management is described as an “independent agency” of the U.S. government that manages the civil service of the federal government).

Fortunately with the focus on ObamaCare Filner’s bill went nowhere and was tabled in committee.

However, this did not stop Obama or the Democrat Congress. They simply found a back door way to get at least part of Obama’s civilian defense corps dream into the law of the land. They did it through H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Executive Order.

Section 5210 and Section 203 adds and amends Section 204 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204), passed July 1, 1944, during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of the seven uniformed services in the U.S. However, Obama’s changes more than double the wording of the Section 203 and dub individuals who are currently classified as officers in the Reserve Corps commissioned officers of the Regular Corps. The section of the bill states:

“IN GENERAL- There shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.

2) REQUIREMENT- All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act of 1923, as amended.

(3) APPOINTMENT- Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the President and commissioned officers of the Regular Corps shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(B) Be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel.

Yes, I have picked out only a few particulars. For those who have the time to read it all you can download a PDF version of the Bill as passed into law and signed by Obama by clicking here. Use the “find” function to navigate to section 5210.

So what we have here is a Ready Reserve Corps that will have law enforcement powers. Law enforcement cannot be done with polite language and kind words. It needs the coercive power of government and that requires the use of a gun. So what will we have in the event of an “emergency” doctors, nurses and medical personnel running about with a Beretta M9 strapped on their hip telling us they want to take our temperature?

The second part of Obama’s grand scheme of civilian defense was done with Executive Order. The Canada Free Press (CFP) reported on January 12, 2010:

“Quietly—even stealthily—in the opening days of the New Year, President Barack Obama has set up a “Council of Governors”.

Like the 30-plus czars running America with neither the people’s nor the congress’s blessings, the Council of Governors is already a done deal.

“Is this a first step towards Martial Law, or a tie to the InterPol, RAND National Police Force stuff we’ve been hearing about,” asked a Texas patriot who tipped off Canada Free Press (CFP) after finding news of the new Council of Governors on Twitter. “Is this a sort of Homeland Security Politburo?

According to an official White House statement the Executive Order will “Strengthen Further Partnership Between the Federal and State and Local Governments to Better Protect Our Nation”:

“The President today signed an Executive Order (attached) establishing a Council of Governors to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards. When appointed, the Council will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of the various States; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

The bipartisan Council will be composed of Ten State Governors who will be selected by the President to serve two year terms. In selecting the Governors to the Council, the White House will solicit input from Governors and Governors’ associations. Once chosen, the Council will have no more than five members from the same party and represent the Nation as a whole.

Federal members of the Council include the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, the U.S. Northern Command Commander, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Secretary of Defense will designate an Executive Director for the Council.

The Council of Governors will provide an invaluable Senior Administration forum for exchanging views with State and local officials on strengthening our National resilience and the homeland defense and civil support challenges facing our Nation today and in the future.

The formation of the Council of Governors was required by the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act which stated, “The President shall establish a bipartisan Council of Governors to advise the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Council on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.”

Sec. 2. Functions states:

“The Council shall meet at the call of the Secretary of Defense or the Co-Chairs of the Council to exchange views, information, or advice with the Secretary of Defense; the Secretary of Homeland Security; the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism; the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs; the Commander, United States Northern Command; the Chief, National Guard Bureau; the Commandant of the Coast Guard; and other appropriate officials of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, and appropriate officials of other executive departments or agencies as may be designated by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security. Such views, information, or advice shall concern:

(a) matters involving the National Guard of the various States;

(b) homeland defense;

(c) civil support;

(d) synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and

(e) other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.”

This is something straight out of one of those science fiction movies where aliens attack the United States and martial law is declared to defeat the invaders from outer space.

The CFP report continued:

“I do know it’s another sleuth order executed without any announcement, OR EXPLANATION to the People.”

Patriots know by now that the promised Obama “transparency” is a fog.

Checking the Net on the Council of Governors, CFP found other than a few blogs only had the story as of this morning

And here is the Obama Civilian National Security Forces that he accidentally leaked out all by himself on the campaign trail that no one addressed except a scant few in the conservative press and blogosphere.

This is a done deal. It is in place. And now we have the (by Executive Order) Interpol with law enforcement authority in the United States.

This now says that Interpol is no longer subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Their premises or staff can no longer be searched either. Their files are not subject to legal subpoena or discovery. Our government could just hand documents and files over to Interpol and Americans would no longer have access to them. Interpol can legally keep files now on all citizens of the US with no right to redress.

In reality, we have just handed over our sovereignty. Interpol headquarters in the US is currently headquartered in the Department of Justice. A ‘separate’ Interpol agency has been created in the DOJ – let that sink in for a moment. Interpol has been granted diplomatic immunity now by Obama – they have exemption from being subject to search and seizure by law enforcement, US taxes and immunity from FOIA requests, etc. This action could also be used to divulge American military secrets and a whole host of horrific practices having to do with going after our military. It’s the road to internationalism on steroids.

Conspiracy theory — I don’t think so. By now the reader should have a better understanding of how the Obama administration and the progressive Democrats are shredding the Constitution. I guess Article, Section 8 and the Tenth Amendment mean little to these statists. Power is all they care about. What all of this means no one really knows or understands except Obama. If he can ignore and spin the language the War Powers Act when it comes to his intervention in Libya what action will he take if a flood or fire comes to your neighborhood?

Will officials from the Army Corps of Engineers or the California Department of Forestry force your evacuation at gun point? Yes, I know it sounds prudent and logical to evacuate in the event of an emergency created by fire or flood. The question, however, is what constitutes an “emergency.” Just ask the Japanese-Americans about Executive Order 9066.

If Obama and his Council of Governors are so concerned with national emergencies how about putting that Civilian Defense Force on our southern border — that’s a real emergency.

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