American Samizdat

Wednesday, July 16, 2008. *

Speaking of fascism, Chris Floyd puts together the dots globally (with a focus on the neofascists in Italy) and tells us that there are no center left parties in most of the industrialized nations of the world. They've all been co-opted. When things like that happen across the globe perhaps its inappropriate to call them "accidents".

But Milne makes a further point. The rise of neo-fascism in Italy, and elsewhere, is tied to the collapse -- or rather the surrender -- of center-left parties to the pernicious doctrines of the Right. Everywhere, these parties --- Democrats in America, Labour in the UK, various Social Democrats throughout Europe – have turned themselves into pale copies of conservative parties, adopting policies that have degraded society, destroyed communities, entrenched injustice, rewarded greed, poisoned the earth, embraced militarism and aggression, inflicted vast suffering on developing nations (through the straightjacket of "market reforms," i.e., corporate-crony welfare), subverted democracy, diminished liberty and gutted the very notion of the common good.

[Yet we are being too kind in calling this process a "surrender." As Arthur Silber has pointed out many times, the Democrats – and New Labour and other craven centre-left parties – have embraced the Right's agenda of elitist domination, militarism and scorn for the common good because they agree with it. Any figures with genuinely "progressive" views have been winnowed out or marginalized by the big money machines that run the parties. Such people are always a minority amongst the self-interested factions who vie for domination over a nation's affairs, of course. But there used to be a more substantial minority of such folks in U.S. politics, with enough leverage to sometimes affect national policy and even score some successes. But this strain has been almost completely bred out, as we have seen in the latest Democratic Congress – the most reviled and unpopular Congress in American history.]

And there's this:

In the current U.S. presidential campaign, we can see this dynamic of center-left collaboration with the Right – which has been going on for almost a quarter-century in America – playing itself out once again. Barack Obama's "surge" to the Right – as exemplified by his vote for the tyrannical FISA measure – is just another iteration of this process. Likewise, his embrace of the Terror War; true, he wants to do it more "efficiently," and perhaps add a few more targets – in Pakistan, say – but he still wants to do it. He makes no bones about continuing this militarist project which has already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, bankrupted the national treasury, and is now – through the Terror War oil price spike – strangling the entire national economy. All of this – especially the Terror War's continuing brutalization and coarsening of the national ethos – is meet food for neo-fascism to feed upon.

And it's already gorging itself in its ancestral homeland. Rounding up Gypsy children, fingerprinting them, driving them from their homes, applauding pogroms -- as Faulkner said, the past is never dead; it's not even past

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:37 PM
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