By MICHAEL W. DOMINOWSKI
American democracy is not just in decline, it is in imminent danger of collapsing into fascism. An openly fascist regime is about to seize the reins of the greatest and most powerful nation the world has ever known, to the thunderous applause of Donald Trump’s cult followers – those who most benefited from the democracy his fascists will replace. Our government, “…of the people, by the people, for the people” may indeed perish from the earth.
Government in service of commerce
Since America has, heretofore, been a capitalist democracy, it is easy to confuse democracy with capitalism – which is a system where commerce and industry are controlled by private owners rather than by the government.
Capitalism can thrive under almost any political system, but it prefers fascism or similarly authoritarian permutations. To capitalists, democracy is the least hospitable form of government.
Capitalists – spelled with a big C – loathe having to deal with a constant stream of uncertainties – taxes and worker rules and wage laws and safety demands and environmental limitations and other restrictions, and the regulatory agencies that create them.
It is much easier for capitalists to deal with an authoritarian leader who will simply order things done. Fascist goverments have had their duce, their führer, their “great helmsman,” and soon, their Trump.
Democracy has been in startling retreat in places long identified as bulwarks of government by the people. For example, it is polling increasingly poorly in Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.
“Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived in their relation to the State.”
—The Doctrine of Fascism (1932)
For an inattentive population, fool’s gold
America has been drifting toward fascism for quite a while. It only came up on the political radar for most people when the government, acting on behalf of the corporatists, started pushing glittering fools-gold images of the benefits of “privatizing” (handing ownership and control to corporations) such successful American ventures as Social Security, Medicare, the Postal Service, national parks and public lands. etc.
There certainly would be benefits, but they would all accrue to the capitalists.
The effort was greatly aided by the Supreme Court ruling that unlimited political spending (Jimmy Carter called it legalized bribery) by corporations was protected free speech. The shift of Big Media away from its First Amendment underpinnings also helped the rise of fascism as a means of protecting its own corporate interests.
Since then the conversion of American democracy to fascism has been very successful and alarmingly swift. America is about to enter its fascist phase.
An extreme crisis
The enormity of this crisis cannot be overstated.
Trump, who lost the popular election by more than 2.2 million votes, will control the White House, our vast military and intelligence agencies, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary. The corporatists already own the Congress.
Add to these advantages a servile press and the demise of American democracy as we knew it seems all but inevitable.
If the fascist regime decides, years from now and for whatever reason, to stay in power, who will stand in the way? You do not need the 19th century German philosopher (and capitalist nemesis) Karl Marx to explain where this is likely to lead.
Suffice to say that once they are established, fascist regimes are never peacefully voted out. Do not delude yourself into thinking the wealthy and powerful will allow their privilege to be simply voted away.
Michael W. Dominowski is the editor of Not For Hire Media