Saturday, August 08, 2009

Is This Where Fascism Begins?

Pretty provocative eh? Maybe, and maybe not. I posted about the end of civility and specifically noted;

..., but I want to end here by noting that if we, as a society, don't insist on a more civil manner of discourse then I fail to see how we can avoid falling into a trap where the loudest, most intimidating voice is taken as the purveyor of truth, even when the words are lies.

Over at FactNet, in their Larouche forum, a poster by the name of Larouchetruth goes even farther than I and suggests that the town hall protests of health care reform are potentially proto-fascist or fascist. He makes what I consider to be a fair argument. Your mileage may vary.

The crux of his argument:
I use the term "fascist" advisedly, to make the analogy to Mussolini's brown shirts, who used thuggery to bust up meetings of political opponents. If the people at these meetings had lined up at the microphone and asked very specific questions about features of the bills before Congress, or had made statements as to why they found one or other provision unacceptable, even horribly unacceptable, even fascist or Hitlerian, I and everyone else would have had no problem. I think these bills before Congress are monstrosities that won't fix the problems, and will introduce new problems potentially more troublesome than any we have already. I think I actually hope that nothing can be passed this year, because that will keep the issue on the agenda, as the present system is so unacceptable.


I don't see how the manner of these interventions can be justified as anything other than an attempt to shut down, not foster, honest debate, and, even more serious, as an attempt to intimidate people into abandoning any effort to reform our health care system. I can well imagine that many people attending these meetings who are not part of the organized mobs and who came to learn something, and perhaps to ask their own questions, are intimidated into silence for fear of being attacked by these people, and who also may be swayed into thinking that maybe there's something in their crazy arguments. If a near majority of Republicans can believe that there might have been something to the "birthing" argument (until yesterday's revelation that the Kenyan "birth certificate" was an absolute, certified fake), clearly people are highly suggestible. So, the inability of the member of Congress, or his supporters in the audience, to be able to argue with these people and demonstrate that their charge that health reform as being proposed equals euthanasia is not factual, opens the door to leading other people attending these meetings to falling under the sway of this swill--ironically, swill that is exactly what LaRouche has been and is saying, and arguably may have said it first, starting in April.


Remember, irrationalism, and totally emotional arguments devoid of any factual basis, is at the heart of any fascist movement, and it creates its own kind of "event horizon" where once part of such a movement, facts, reality, simply doesn't matter. They become impervious to any kind of argument, no matter how absurd their own position is. And the level of emotion on their part justifies them in resorting to violence.

Whether or not you agree with his assessment, it is certainly a possible outcome. Yesterday it was Obama's birth certificate, today it is health care reform, what will tomorrow bring?

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