Fascism or Democracy
A specter is haunting America – it is the specter of fascism. Once associated primarily with Hitler’s Germany, this wholesale assault on democracy and human and civil rights is quickly becoming a reality right here in the USA.
Building on a legacy of slavery, genocide, and discrimination, elements for fascism have always existed in our country. However, they have been suppressed when business interests and politicians saw fit to do so. This happened with the United States and its allies joining together to defeat fascism during World War II.
Today, fascism is rearing its ugly head once again. This time however, promoting and/or allowing fascism to grow and thrive serves the interests of corporations and elected officials. It is happening because there is no “carrot” anymore (the ability to guarantee its citizens a well-paying job, home, adequate health care, and education) due to rapidly evolving labor-replacing technology at home, and the intense international competition that engenders. What is left is the “stick.” This means repression, control, restriction of democratic rights, and scapegoating vulnerable populations.
This understanding helps to explain the administration’s assault on immigrant’s rights. Just as Hitler criminalized and dehumanized immigrants and Jews before WWII, Trump and Sessions through ICE are putting children in cages and tearing families apart – as scapegoats to blame for a falling standard of living for many Americans.
Fortunately, this is not the vision of America that the vast majority of the American people share. We witnessed the moral revulsion and ire of Americans protesting in the streets and the capitols across the country. Ordinary citizens, devout church members, union members, college students, grade school teachers, neighbors, and many others proclaim that this is not the America they want.
We are facing critical times in America. A battle is being fought for the hearts and minds and soul of America.
What stands in the way of the corporate agenda and the complete takeover of a fascist dictatorship is the American belief in democracy: government of the people, for the people and by the people. As long as misleaders continue to confuse and divide working people by race and immigration status, the corporations and those that serve them may well succeed.
The fight for what we have in common, regardless of race or national origin, is for the basic necessities of life. It is the best and only viable defense against fascism. In a country of such vast wealth, there is no need for anyone to suffer from want, or having to flee brutal, U.S.-backed dictatorships in the home countries.
What holds us back is our lack of unity as a class of workers with interests opposed to the corporations. We need to understand each other and what brought us here, and how we have to work together for the common good. That’s the formula for success and our very survival.