JR'S Free Thought Pages
In Case you Haven’t Noticed, It’s Back
By JR, July 2020
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State” – Joseph Goebbels
The Fascist New World Order
The primary concern of priests, politicians and capitalist marketers is to find the most efficient and effective means of manipulating and altering a person’s belief. In an important 1980s book on the mass media, Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann referred to this surreptitiousness process as The Manufacture of Consent.
Today we find ourselves on the brink of global fascism for which the financial dictatorship of neo-liberalism has seemingly been preparing us for the past four decades. Simply observe several Western countries that have succumbed: Donald Trump in the United States, Boris Johnson in the UK, Bolsanaro in Brazil, Duterte in the Philippines, Orban in Hungary, just to name a few, with many countries featuring fascist parties becoming popular, even having gained positions as the official opposition. Consider the despotic absolutist pronouncements of US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who, in the face of the current stock market turmoil has stated the Federal Reserve will do “whatever it takes” to keep the stock markets afloat. This is not only the quintessence of dogmatism, but the depraved dissolute conflation of ends and means whereby any and all means will be justified to the end of maintaining the obscene wealth of the Wall Street Theocracy and the .01% Corporatist Oligarchy. This is after already creating trillions of dollars out of a vacuum (public money in the form of debt) to feed the privatized gods (Adam Smith’s “invisible hands of the market”) of the stock markets.
Before the advent of our so-called capitalist “democracies” and their farcical parliaments of the people, for the people and by the people, it was generally thought by the ruling classes that gross economic disparity and oligarchic tyranny could only continue to exist on the condition that the people were rendered illiterate and ignorant of their oppression. After all, knowledge is freedom and you cannot enslave people who have learned how to think for themselves logically, rationally and scientifically.
For people to believe they have democracy within the capitalist state, freedom of assembly and speech and genuine knowledge about history, philosophy and science, it became necessary to construct a massive system of indoctrination, propaganda, economic obscurantism, market mystification and the mythologies of debt. One of the most effective political ideologies to carry out this program has been fascism, a rhizome of far right conservatism. But fascism is back like a viral meme that has returned like the plague covid-19, to contaminate and control the minds of world’s malleable inhabitants. Political philosophers today call this political mutation of 20th century fascism, neo-liberalism, the dictatorship of corporatism and finance capital. This legalized larceny and tyranny of the masses is orchestrated by crime syndicates such as government sponsored central banks, the private bank mafia and vulture capitalists in penthouse corporate offices who manipulate the economy for the profit and enrichment of the world’s 1% with computer algorithms and programs deployed by mouse clicks.
“Ha Ha Ha – Hey Ron, we really took the boots to the working class scum! Right on Maggie; nailed their unions to the cross as well!
Christian Founding Mother (TINA and “there is no such thing as society”) and Christian Father (Trickle Down - Being pissed on - Voodoo Economics) of neo- fascist (aka neo-liberal) casino capitalism and financial tyranny
A Little History
With full support from prominent far right wing Americans such as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, you have the capital to pull off a hideous spectacle such as occurred at Madison Square Garden in 1939.
Like Hank and Chuck, many other prominent and wealthy American power elites, business tycoons, religious icons like Father Coughlin were quite willing to support fascism and their regimes in the United States and Europe from the 1920s through the 1940s. These people also supported Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War of 1936 which was all about fighting a combination of monarchy, Catholic Medievalism and Fascism to rescue the newly formed democratic Spanish Republic. If the capitalist West had intervened in Spain it is very likely that Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler who aided Franco’s fascists financially and militarily, may have been stopped, averting the Second World War.
Let’s face an unpleasant fact: Fascism is wired into the conservative brain, always lurking and ready to be released when it becomes necessary to confront any rise of the political left against entrenched hierarchy and privilege of powerful oligarchs and their capitalist pillage and exploitation. Every conceivable conservative faction in Germany, including the churches, military, police, big business and wealthy elites supported Hitler’s rise to absolute power in the 1930s.
Capitalism has been and continues to be adaptable to any political ideology on the far right as profits were lucrative during the reign of monstrous tyrants such as Hitler, Mussolini and Franco. This was true particularly for large multinational business enterprises in the United States and elsewhere that flourished as well as during any other period of the capitalist era. For example, many American oil companies and other industries sold military and other needed equipment with impunity to the Nazis throughout the Second World War. During wartime, this is typically referred to as treason.
Some of the primary and more famous Americans and companies that were involved with the fascist regimes of Europe between the two World Wars are: William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Kennedy (JFK's father), Charles Lindbergh, John Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon (head of Alcoa, banker, and Secretary of the Treasury), DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil (now Exxon), Ford, ITT, Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA), Prescott Bush, National City Bank, IBM and General Electric.
But Canadians have no justification for self-righteousness. In Canada during the 1930s multi-millionaire Conservative Party Prime Minster R B Bennett and even Liberal PM Mackenzie King were admirers of Benito Mussolini along with reactionary monarchists such as Winston Churchill in Britain who in the 1920s asserted that the Italian Fascist movement had “rendered a service to the whole world”.
But during World War II collaboration with the Nazis blitzkrieg throughout Europe, including Vichy France, now glorified by current French President Macron, was the norm. 
In its many nefarious configurations, fascism is back in several parts of the world including the UK, most parts of Europe and the Americas. But the case can be made that fascism has never left, forever lurking within conservatism, ready to emerge when real democracy looks as though it may emerge.
Fascism is back in a big way, in the form of the Dictatorship of Capital
If by fascism we mean the regime that was created and embraced the ideology explicitly, we then have to conclude that the concept is strictly applicable only to the political regime of Mussolini (who coined the term “fascism”, referring to it synonymously as “corporatism”) that reigned in Italy between 1922 and 1943. This, however, amounts to little more than a tautology since many other regimes of that era such as Hitler’s Germany, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s Portugal andFranco’s Spain featured very similar characteristics of reactionary far right wing forms of power: hyper-nationalism, religion (as a form of psychological control) and ruling elite bonded together as the separation of church and state is de facto erased, disdain for the importance of human rights, obsession with national security and surveillance, obsession with crime and punishment, identification of enemies and scapegoats as a unifying cause, suspicion and suppression of intellectuals and the arts, power of corporations elevated and protected combined with rampant cronyism and corruption, racism, machismo of the strong man leader, glorification of military and police who are granted extraordinary power, the cult of the leader, the political myth of decline-rebirth in the new political regime, the more or less explicit endorsement of violence against political enemies such as labor unions, communism and socialism and other forms and most importantly the cult of the state. We witness all of this in today’s so-called bogus “democracies” in the globalized neo-liberal capitalist states.
Today it has become patently clear that political and big business financial elites of capital have no solutions to any of the major world problems, including global warming, ecological collapse, species extinction and countless other crises confronting humanity and life forms on the planet – and now the global pandemic. Capitalist parliamentary “democracies” have been hollowed out by corporate power and the billionaire classes who now bribe politicians (called lobbying) and finance elections of their latest pre-selected sock puppet, whether liberal or conservative. Authoritarian nationalist regimes that are full blown fascist police states are gaining control in the United States and throughout the world.
Labour movements – the trade unions and the mass social democratic parties of the post World War II era are mere shadows of what the once were, subdued by at least 40 years of globalization and its ideology of crypto fascism called neo-liberalism. Most working people battered by the crisis lack effective mechanisms for fighting back in solidarity as the left has either caved to a failed reformism as those groups that are genuinely revolutionary are fragmented and in disarray. Social life is characterised by cell phone addiction, the banalities of face book and twitter, narcissism, atomization, alienation, anger, resentment and too often, resignation. What left populists in the US such as what Bernie Sanders are proposing is mild, even conservative, when compared with what any country in Scandinavia or Western Europe represented during the three decades following World War Two. 
The political right has no solutions and nothing to offer but law and order (for the masses only, not capitalist plunder) resulting in a fascist police state. The essence of its politics, therefore, is to turn working people against each other, making scapegoats of women, the poor, the disabled, ethnic-minority people, Muslims, LGBTQ people, migrants, refugees, and so on. There is Trump in the US, Bolsanaro in Brazil, Boris Johnson in the UK, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Le Pen’s National Front in France, AfD in Germany, Golden Dawn in Greece, Freedom Party in Austria, People’s Party in Canada and on it goes as the core message is the same which is the path to full blown fascist police states.
But as mentioned earlier, fascism could have been stopped in the 1920s and 1930s - especially in the Spanish Civil War in which the Western nations shamefully abandoned the Spanish Republic to Franco and his Christian fascist thugs - and it could be stopped today. It all depends on what we do, but I’m not at all hopeful, given the docility and zombie-like behaviour of far too many people floating aimlessly in cyberspace. History has shown that the masses have all too willingly supported far right wing demagoguery (such as Donald Trump) and authoritarianism, including fascism. The challenge is extremely urgent as we need nothing less than a radical programme of economic and social transformation to reverse a generation of privatization, widespread corruption such as bailouts of financial criminals, mafia banks and multinational corporations, outright looting of the commons, brutal austerity and the grinding down of working people. For a depressing snapshot what is happening in Donald Trump’s United States, below is an excerpt from a recent article by Henry Giroux:
Theodor W. Adorno argued in “The Meaning of Working through the Past” that “the past that one would like to evade is still very much alive.” This is particularly evident in the debilitating pronouncements of William Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, regarding his defense of unchecked executive authority, which he believes should be unburdened by any sense of political and moral accountability. Tamsin Shaw is right in suggesting that Barr bears a close resemblance to Carl Schmitt, “the notorious…‘crown jurist’ of the Third Reich.” Barr places the President above the law, defining him as a kind of unitary sovereign. In addition, he appears to relish in his role as a craven defender of Trump, all the while justifying a notion of blind executive authority in the face of Trump’s endless lies, racist policies, and lawlessness that echo the dark era of the 1920s and 30s. His attack on the FBI, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, and his threat to remove police protection from Black communities who are not loyal to Trump are at odds with any viable notion of defending the truth and “the most basic tenets of equality and justice.” James Risen claims that Barr “has turned the Justice Department into a law firm with one client: Donald Trump [and that] under Barr, the Department of Justice has two objectives: to suppress any investigation of President Trump and his associates, and to aggressively pursue investigations of his political rivals.”
Shamelessly, Barr issued a directive to National Guard soldiers and police to attack individuals peacefully protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Lafayette Square in order to clear a path for Trump’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op. In the photo op, Trump stood before the church awkwardly holding a bible in his hand, echoing a history one associates with the Ku Klux Klan and iconographic images right out of D. W. Griffith’s 1915 racist film, The Birth of a Nation.
Some influential commentators such as Cass Sunstein have argued that America’s system of checks and balances protects the U.S. against the threat of a full-blown authoritarianism. Bill Barr has made it clear that the law is just as susceptible to the reactionary forces of political power as is any other institution and can succumb to the depths of depravity and even worse. A criminal state is not contained by the law; in fact, it corrupts it as has been made clear by the rebellions taking place across the globe in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by police who believe they are above any just notion of the law. Trump and Barr are apostles of white supremacy, avatars of racial cleansing, and their lawlessness is a testimony to their belief in a politics of disposability. Nazi Germany proved with frightening clarity that the rule of law and its institutions can be easily transformed and implemented into agents of state violence, if not domestic terrorism. What Trump and Barr have proven with utmost audacity and little regret is that no institution is immune from the reach and power of a fascist politics. As William Robinson points out, one of the first elements of a fascist politics is the emergence of the state as a reactionary and repressive political power. In addition, the state is reconfigured to meet the needs of the financial and corporate elite, and on the cultural front the emergence and mobilization of fascist wannabe groups such as nativist movements, neo-Nazis, right-wing militia groups, and corporate controlled right-wing media apparatus. Trump and Barr support all of these elements, and wear their commitment to lawlessness and state violence like a badge. The thousands marching in the streets and the Black Lives Matter movement have forcefully maintained that lawlessness is not about the transgressions of a few bad cops, however egregious, or a few corrupt politicians such as Trump and Barr, or even a Republican Party dominated by white supremacists and Vichy apologists. They have made it clear that the struggle is about dismantling a system that has made violence its organizing principle and echoes a past in which horrors of that past must not be either normalized or repeated.
 To cite just one example; when the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia on April 1, 1941, a few months before the beginning of the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union, on June 22, 1941. In Serbia, the nationalist Chetnik army (Yugoslav Army), though formally aligned with the Allies until 1943, began collaborating with the Wehrmacht already in the fall of 1941. It played a critical role in the fight against the partisan movement against the fascist occupation, and helped run the Semlin camp, where thousands of Jews were murdered in gas vans. Serbia thus became the second country in Europe, after Estonia, to be declared “judenfrei” and free of “gypsies” by August 1942. Less than 5,000 Serbian Jews survived the war.
The collaborating Serbian government of Milan Nedić endorsed the genocide of the Jewish population. In 1942 Nedić declared, “Owing to the occupier, we have freed ourselves of Jews, and it is now up to us to rid ourselves of other immoral elements standing in the way of Serbia’s spiritual and national unity.’”
After 1989, the Serbian state criminalized the communist resistance movement against the Nazis and the Chetniks while rehabilitating Nedić. History textbooks now describe the Chetniks as “national patriots” and “an antifascist movement from the right.”
In Croatia, with fascist leader Ante Pavelić, the promotion of the fascist Ustaša has assumed even more staggering dimensions. The Ustaša movement set up the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in 1941 and established an expansive camp system which included 26 concentration and death camps. Among these was the Sisak camp, the only camp for unaccompanied children in Europe during World War II, where an estimated 1,600 children died. The most notorious Ustaša-run camp was Jasenovac, also called the “Auschwitz of the Balkans.”
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Ustaša regime murdered between 77,000 and 99,000 people at Jasenovac, among them between 45,000 and 52,000 Serbs, up to 20,000 Jews, 20,000 Roma and up to 12,000 political and religious opponents of the NDH. The Ustaša and the Nazis were defeated by the partisan movement that was headed by Tito.
Almost immediately after the break-up of Yugoslavia, the newly created Croatian state moved toward criminalizing the partisan movement against the Ustaša. Streets, schools and public buildings were renamed almost overnight to carry the names of famous Croatian figures of the NDH, instead of those of famous partisans and communist leaders. Monuments for Jewish victims and the partisan movement were destroyed and vandalized. This included a bombing attack on the monument at Jadovno in 1991. History textbooks in schools are openly glorifying the Ustaša.
Similar Nazi collaborative movements were common including particularly noxious movements in the Ukraine and Lithuania.
The Red Army and the partisans in Yugoslavia were able to drive out the Nazis and local fascists by 1943–44 not because of the horrid Stalinist regime, but in spite of it. Mass struggles of the working class in opposition to fascism and capitalism erupted starting in 1942, with mass factory occupations taking place in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. All of Greece was engulfed in a bitter civil war. However, the lack of a revolutionary leadership allowed the Stalinists to stifle these movements, creating the conditions for the re-stabilization of capitalism on a world scale.
The Stalinist bureaucracy moved to nationalize private property in Eastern Europe only by 1947–1948, facing enormous pressure from imperialism. However, its main priority remained the strangling of an independent revolutionary mass movement of the working class against capitalism that would also threaten a political revolution against the bureaucracy’s rule in the USSR by the Soviet working class. The regimes that were set up on this basis were deformed workers’ states. In Yugoslavia, Tito’s Communist Party, which had come to power as a result of a mass social revolutionary movement, established a deformed workers’ state. Like the bureaucracy in the USSR and Eastern Europe, it remained dedicated to the Stalinist program of “socialism in one country” while trying to balance between the Soviet bureaucracy and imperialism.
By the late 1980s, these regimes were facing collapse, and the bureaucracies, fearing a political revolution from the working class, moved toward fully integrating themselves into the world capitalist system. As Leon Trotsky had predicted in his Revolution Betrayed, this process entailed the transformation of the bureaucracies into a new ruling class and the destruction of all social conquests that had been bound up with the 1917 revolution. Politically and ideologically, the restoration involved a return of the bourgeoisies in South Eastern and Eastern Europe to their historical traditions of extreme nationalism and fascism, and a close collaboration with imperialism.
Yugoslavia was a particularly stark example of this process. In its drive toward restoration, the bureaucracy systematically promoted ethnic nationalism and appealed to imperialism. The result was a decade of ethnic massacres, civil wars, and NATO bombings that cost the lives of tens of thousands of people. It is in on this historical and social basis that the falsification of history and promotion of fascist ideology became central to the politics of these new globalized neo-liberal capitalist states.
 Whoever understands the real history of this period of history will understand today’s emergence of fascism. As World War Two was about to erupt the conservative whitewashed narrative we were peddled in our high school and university history courses was that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23rd 1939 is “proof” that Stalin supported Hitler’s fascist agenda and thus the pretence of the Soviet Union being the great defender against fascism during WWII is a fable.
However, what is conveniently extricated from this discussion is that in the previous year, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed an appeasement deal with Hitler on September 30th 1938, a betrayal known as the Munich Agreement whereby Hitler demanded and was promptly granted the annexation of Czech border areas known as the Sudetenland. It had thus become official British policy as part of the “appeasement” process to allow Hitler carte blanche expansion of German territory.
The perverted logic behind it was that Britain would acquiesce to Hitler demands in hopes of mollifying his imperialist cravings and thus avoid further conflict. But it did not end there; there is the whole embarrassing sordid affair with the Bank of England and Bank of International Settlements, to which the Bank of England Governor Montague Norman allowed for the direct transfer of money to Hitler. This concession was not with England’s own money however, but rather 5.6 million pounds worth of gold owned by the National Bank of Czechoslovakia. And let us not forget, the Union Banking Corporation, with founding member and director Prescott Bush also caught in the funding of Hitler before and during WWII until Oct 20th, 1942 when its bank assets were seized under the “U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act” and “Executive Order 9095”.
It would seem obvious that such nefarious deals with Hitler by the UK made Joseph Stalin uneasy as it was becoming apparent that Hitler’s vision was shared by others of within conservative elites, Christian hierarchy and big business establishment. Why should we expect Stalin to have stood alone with no support and risk being immediately destroyed when his alleged Western Allies were signing betrayal appeasements and handing over money to what was supposed to be the biggest threat to the free world? In the end, the worst of the Second World War was played out at Stalingrad, Leningrad and throughout Russia as there Nazis laid waste to the country, massacring millions. When the Red Army finally was able to turn the tide and get the upper hand following the Battle of Stalingrad, it was Russia which really won the war and at a huge price, with conservative casualty rates of 27 million people.