After Fascism: Muslims and the Struggle for Self-determination

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The most restrictive definitions of fascism include only one government, that of Mussolini in Italy. However, this definition leaves too many regimes, including those with characteristics even worse than Mussolini’s rule, off the hook. Benign titles can hardly make fascist regimes look normal. This is why historians and analysts frequently applied the term “fascism” to Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and used it to refer to similar regimes and movements across Europe in the same period, such as Hungary’s Arrow Cross Party, Romania’s Iron Guard, Spain’s Falange, and the French political movements led by Marcel Déat and Jacques Doriot.

More broadly, the term fascism is sometimes applied to other authoritarian regimes of the period, such as those of Imperial Japan under Hideki Tojo, Austria under Engelbert Dollfuss, and Greece under Ioannis Metaxas. Its use for similar but longer-lived regimes such as Spain under Francisco Franco and the Estado Novo of António de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal is also widespread among opponents of those regimes.

Fascism is considered a government structure. The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems. The available definitions of fascism suggest that a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior (good) to another (bad) based upon race, creed, or origin. It is possible for a state to be both a republic and fascist. The preferred class lives in a republic, while the oppressed class lives in a fascist state. Mussolini insisted, “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”[5]

Keeping the present state of affairs in the United States and the complicity of “mainstream” media and academia in mind, it is not surprising that ordinary people have shouldered the responsibility of analyzing the main characteristics of fascist regimes. Lawrence Britt, a retired capitalist and novelist,[6] wrote an article about fascism, which first appeared in Free Inquiry magazine, a journal of humanist thought.[7] This article spread all over the Internet. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found that all these regimes had 14 things in common. Britt calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

One political website–”Project for the Old American Century–”fleshes out Britt’s 14 points with examples of how America is slouching toward fascism.[8] The 14 characteristics are:

  • – powerful and continuing nationalism
  • – disdain for the recognition of human rights
  • – identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
  • – supremacy of the military
  • – rampant sexism
  • – controlled mass media
  • – obsession with national security
  • – religion and government are intertwined
  • – corporate power is protected
  • – labor power is suppressed
  • – disdain for intellectuals and the arts
  • – obsession with crime and punishment
  • – rampant cronyism and corruption
  • – fraudulent elections

Other analysts, such as W. David Jenkins and Sara DeHart, are busy drawing parallels between the present day United States and the Germany of the 1930s.[9] On the other hand, Roderick T. Long, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University, recommends revisiting three books written in 1944–”The Road to Serfdom, Omnipotent Government, and As We Go Marching –”with the present political climate in mind, because he believes “the U.S. government is making ever-bolder strides toward fascism while mouthing slogans of freedom.”[10]

In short, whether America is becoming fascist is the question uppermost in many minds in the United States. Anis Shivani, author of The Age of Critics and Memoirs of a Terrorist, believes, “The similarities between American fascism and particularly the National Socialist precedent, both historical and theoretical, are remarkable. Fascism is home, it is here to stay, and it better be countered with all the intellectual resources at our disposal.”[11]

In spite of some fuzziness regarding the difference between various historical forms of fascism, it is not difficult to see that the defining characteristics proposed by the analysts make perfect sense. These features cannot be organized into just one type of governing system. Some of these features are also typical of other kinds of despotism and fanaticism. But it is enough to see one or more of them present in the world’s so-called leading democracies, allowing fascism to coagulate around them. The definition of fascism that limits it to one state and its apparatus makes sense only when looked at from a narrow perspective.

Of course, there are mountains of evidence available about the crimes of Hitler and Mussolini. However, much has been documented about colonialists’ crimes against humanity and the United States employing police state tactics at home and waging many wars abroad. In fact, the point which most of the historians and analysts have missed is that colonialism is a crime in progress. They have even drawn parallels to show similarities between fascist regimes of the past and the present day United States, but have stopped short of concluding that the old colonialism has been replaced by a fascist colonialism in our age. Keeping continuation of the crime of colonialism in mind makes us see the fact that the real fascists are the colonialists who continue to commit the worst crimes against humanity and who have the potential to undermine the future of humanity.

If fascism is despicable because of its crimes against humanity, the point that remains missing from the intellectual discourse is that the curse of colonialism is far worse than fascism. Colonial fascism spreads over many centuries with many millions of victims and endless devastation. It continues and thrives in new forms even today. Understanding this point is possible only if all the available evidence about crimes against humanity is objectively analyzed and compared, irrespective of the titles used for each kind of crime and the system behind it. As a result of this exercise, what will come before the world is the fact that World War II in particular was a clash of fascists. Every fascist regime had colonies abroad. Every fascist state was busy in its own genocidal campaign: some had been for centuries and others had only begun their colonial adventures. Some used gas chambers to commit genocide, while others used less visible or unreported means. What remains undisputed is that all these fascists committed genocides at different times to different extents. But all of them committed countless crimes against humanity. It is only the victors in this clash of fascists who had the opportunity to minimize their crimes and exaggerate the crimes of their opponents.

What Mussolini and Hitler did in a limited time and geographical area pales by comparison to the damage Western colonialism has done, and continues to do, to humanity. In fact, the adventures of Hitler and Mussolini are just a fraction of the broader, never ending Church-sanctioned Western colonialism. Even during the clash of fascists, the so-called democracies showed no compunction in waging warfare on a mass scale against both German and Japanese civilians. In addition, once the war was won, they swiftly incorporated the Nazi apparatus into the U.S. military, the U.S. space program, and the national state security apparatus, especially the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Previous colonial adventures allowed explorers to gradually institutionalize their global dominance in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and East Asia. It’s the academic sympathizers of these fascists who exaggerated and promoted the crimes of Hitler and Mussolini only, partly with the intention of covering the crimes of their own colonialist ancestors and partly due to the frame of reference and the kind of mindset they had developed of hating their enemies. We see Hitler presented as an example whenever there is a discussion about crimes against humanity. However, there is hardly any talk about Columbus, who launched his genocidal campaign under the auspices of the Church. For his second voyage to the Americas, he “took the title Admiral of the Ocean Sea and proceeded to unleash a reign of terror unlike anything seen before or since. When he was finished, eight million Arawaks–”virtually the entire native population of Hispaniola–”had been exterminated by torture, murder, forced labor, starvation, disease and despair.”[12]

Later, European Christian invaders systematically murdered additional tens of millions of aboriginal people from the Canadian Arctic to South America. The exact number is unknown. Natives were murdered by warfare, forced death marches, forced relocation to barren lands, the intentional and accidental spread of disease, poisoning, the promotion of suicide through the destruction of their cultural and religious heritage, etc. Even today, Canadian natives have the highest suicide of any population group in the world. The genocide against American aboriginals is one of the most massive and longest lasting genocidal programs of colonialists in human history.[13]

The European invasion of Australia started in 1788. The population of Aborigines in the country was approximately 750,000. By 1911, the number had been reduced to 31,000. Most were decimated by diseases introduced by the invaders against which the Aborigines had no defense. Some 20,000 were murdered. In those days, “The Sydney Herald claimed that blacks had ‘bestowed no labor upon the land–”their ownership, their right, was nothing more than that of the Emu or the Kangaroo.’ Courts rejected Aborigine evidence, because non-Christians could not swear oaths, and white killers used ‘the defense that Aborigine morality did not exist.'”[14] The extermination of Aborigines in Tasmania was particularly brutal; many white settlers would shoot them on sight. In 1830, the remaining 300 Aborigines were ethnically cleansed from Tasmania. They were captured and transferred to Flinders Island. They signed a treaty that guaranteed their later return. It was never honored. By 1843, only 50 remained alive.[15]

The atrocities in Australia continued into the twentieth century. Between 1910 and 1970, “between one in three and one in ten indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families.” They were placed with white families in order that they could be absorbed into the general population. Aborigines were finally granted citizenship in 1967. They still await an apology from the Government of Australia. Under colonial rule, the population of the Congo declined from about 20 to 30 million to under nine million during this time of atrocity. The Congress of Berlin gave King Leopold II administrative powers over the Congo Free State. The colonialists used the native population as forced labor to exploit local resources. The human toll under Leopold’s administration was staggering. People who resisted were beaten, tortured, mutilated, or killed. Writer Algis Valiunas described the situation as “wickedness triumphant.”[16]

The most despicable aspect of colonial fascism lies not only in the mutilations and genocides, but also in the systematic approach adapted to psychologically control and dominate the native populations for generations to come. The best description of these colonial crimes is the story told by the colonial fascists themselves. The recently declassified six volumes of Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India, compiled in the British Intelligence Branch Division of the Chief of the Staff Army Head Quarters between 1884 and 1987, give us details of the methods and tactics adopted by the colonialists. These details from the mouth of the colonialists show how their approach encompasses all the characteristics of fascism described above.

The human rights of the ruling class were important, but the ruling class did not value the human rights of their subjects. They studied the characteristics of each individual tribe and identified enemies and scapegoats as a way to unify those natives who supported colonialism. The colonialists had trust in their military supremacy and used it indiscriminately against local populations. They totally dominated the few newspapers and sources of communication, and transferred their educational systems. Various tribes were systematically pitted against each other under the divide and rule strategy. In describing the characteristics of people from different ethnic backgrounds, the colonialists went to the extent of writing comments, such as:

"His women wear a loose shift, wide, wrinkled drawers down to their ankles, and a wrap over the head. Both sexes are filthy in their persons. Such is the Pathan in his home among the fastnesses of the frontier ranges. But the Pathans of our territory have been much softened by our rule, and by the agricultural life of the plains, so that they look down upon the Pathans of the hills, and their proverbs have it–””A hill man is no man”; and again, “Don’t class burrs as grass, or a hill man as a human being… The Pathan mother often prays that her son may be a successful robber. They are utterly faithless to public engagements, it would never even occur to their minds that an oath on the Koran was binding, if against their interests."[17]

The focus of the colonialists remained on cultivating faithfulness to their rule. The same trend of loyal subjects looking to “our territory” and “our markets” continues even today. Typical colonial mindset is on display in the following comments from the British colonialists of late nineteenth century:

"…they have intrigued with the disaffected everywhere, and tempted our loyal subjects to rebel; and they have for ages regarded the plain as their preserve, and its inhabitants their game. When inclined for cruel sport, they sally forth to rob and murder, and occasionally to take prisoners into captivity for ransom. They have fired upon our own troops, and even killed our officers in our own territories. They have given an asylum to every malcontent or proclaimed criminal who can escape from British justice. They traverse at will our territories, enter our villages, trade in our markets; but few British subjects, and no servant of the British Government, would dare to enter their country on any account whatever."[18]

The burning and total destruction of village upon village, was similar to the destruction witnessed later in Vietnam and now in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. One colonial fascist proudly penned:

"Seven Kashmir sepoys were wounded in this skirmish. Surgeon-Major Robertson now assumed the offensive, and crossing the river burnt the village of Chilas and occupied the fort on the 30th November 1892."[19]

Collective punishments, as we witness under the Israeli and American occupations today, were also used by former colonial fascists. Present day fascists have learned from the methods of their predecessors. In “Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India,” the colonialists report “[Darel and Tangir] community [were] fined because they had made no efforts to arrest the raiders during their subsequent passage through their limits. As neither Darel nor Tangir made any effort to pay the fine, a blockade was established, and all Tangiris and Darelis found within the Agency limits were arrested and deported to Kashmir. The fines were paid by 1904, in which year the blockade was raised.”[20]

Such horrible details are spread over hundreds of pages in each of the five volumes of Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India produced by the colonial fascists themselves. The work is a kind of confession of guilt on their part, though their fascist mindset did not allow them to see their actions as something to be guilty about. Dr. J. W. Smith writes in Economic Democracy: the Political Struggle for the 21st Century that even after the end of direct colonialism, the West “violently” killed “12 to 15 million people since WW II” alone and caused “the death of 100s of millions more as their economies were destroyed or those countries were denied the right to restructure to care for their people.”[21] He adds, “Unknown as it is, and recognizing that this has been standard practice throughout colonialism, that is the record of the Western imperial centers of capital from 1945 to 1990….One hundred and fifty thousand to 300,000 of these were tortured and killed by death squads set up by Western intelligence agencies, primarily the CIA.”[22]

These figures simply show that colonialism is not dead and that the fascism of Hitler and others was no worse than the crimes of other colonialists. Although most (but not all) direct colonialism has been ended, colonialism persists in neo-colonialism and in settler colonial societies. What is more, the imperial societies are re-colonizing the globe under the doctrine of neo-liberalism, direct corporate rule via forms such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and, increasingly, the direct application of military might. Colonial fascism thus continues under new labels and new justifications.

Despite apparent decolonization after four centuries, the Western powers have managed to maintain global dominance and influence on the affairs of non-Western nations. The colonial legacy in the Muslim world in particular goes on. In the past, the colonialists were ruling the Islamic world using direct force, but once they were forced to withdraw their troops from the Muslim lands, they made sure to leave behind puppet that would safeguard their interests. To achieve this objective, in most cases the colonialists constituted armed forces of the colonies they were leaving behind. These armies resembled the colonialist armies in many ways and acted as their eternal defender, fighting against any national uprising.

The educational system in Indian sub-continent, for example, are classic examples where the curriculum were designed in a way to guarantee indoctrinating the youth and eradicating any sense of independence and self-respect from their minds, instead infusing in them a sense of servitude that would make them proud of mimicking their foreign masters. In Pakistan, the provincial and federal civil service officers are still getting the same kind of training which the colonial officers used to go through with a specific objective of dominating and controlling the occupied masses. The geographical maps of these countries were altered in a way to ensure permanent border disputes among neighbors. Obedient minorities were installed in the government that could cling to power only with the support of their foreign benefactors.

The scale of genocides in this new age of colonialism has been reduced to some extent. But genocide, such as starving 1.8 million Iraqis to death through 12 years long economic sanctions with legitimacy from the United Nations, is still an effective tool in the hands of colonial fascists. In any event, exploitation of their wealth and resources continues until this day. Many analysts in the later half of twentieth century were of the opinion that a difference existed between capitalism and imperialism in general and between capitalism and fascism in particular. To them, fascism was a form of imperialism in extremis, moved to taking desperate measures for its survival. The beginning of the twenty-first century brought them out of this denial. The extreme and desperate measures taken by the United States and its allies have crossed all limits that previously defined fascism. The renewed fascism involves the focusing of its perpetrators’ energies on interference in the internal affairs and domination of Muslim states in particular, because of the perceived ideological threat. This interference is being done in the name of survival and defense of What Bush, Blair and their allies call “our way of life”.

Today’s international politico-economic structures, continued turmoil, wars, and regional conflicts are the logical culmination of colonial fascism, fully legitimized by an undemocratic United Nations and fully consolidated by undemocratic organizations, particularly the WTO and IMF. These organizations present a very real threat to democracy and to the so-called sovereignty of member states, particularly former colonies.

In response to criticism, the WTO claims that it does not dictate to member states. However, in almost its next breath, it says that member states are required to abide by WTO regulations since they previously agreed to follow them. They also claim that membership is voluntary, but the very nature of the WTO would make it hard for non-member states to compete economically if they did not join. The Western academic world generally disregards exploitation by these organizations. Similarly, they hardly refer to genocides, plunder of resources, introduction of class systems, and other legacies of their colonial past, which have been consolidated in new ways in the modern age. It would be total disregard of the facts to say that colonial fascism did not provide foundations for the building of the contemporary inequalities and an unjust world order.

It is naive to expect that someone will order the reopening of Auschwitz or make their supporters parade in black shirts in the Italian squares. History does not repeat itself in such simple terms. Modern day fascism is far worse, and it has made its comeback under the most innocent of disguises. Lewis H. Lapham lists some of the ways in which fascism has made a comeback in the United States in the following words:

"I don’t say that over the last thirty years we haven’t made brave strides forward. By matching Eco’s list of fascist commandments against our record of achievement, we can see how well we’ve begun the new project for the next millennium — the notion of absolute and eternal truth embraced by the evangelical Christians and embodied in the strict constructions of the Constitution; our national identity provided by anonymous Arabs; Darwin’s theory of evolution rescinded by the fiat of “intelligent design”; a state of perpetual war and a government administering, in generous and daily doses, the drug of fear; two presidential elections stolen with little or no objection on the part of a complacent populace; the nation’s congressional districts gerrymandered to defend the White House for the next fifty years against the intrusion of a liberal-minded president; the news media devoted to the arts of iconography, busily minting images of corporate executives like those of the emperor heroes on the coins of ancient Rome." [23]

From the January 17, 1991 U.S. war on Iraq, called “Desert Storm,” to the Mary 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, called “Shock and Awe,” and from the genocidal United Nations’ sanctions on Iraq (from 1991 to 2003) to the planned destruction of Iran under the pretext of its refusal to stop enriching Uranium, we are witnessing a gathering storm of tyranny that every age has had to witness before experiencing a period of relative calm. In every age, tyranny touches its peak with full legitimacy and popular acceptance before facing its destiny.

We need not spend hours comparing the gathering storm of present tyranny with the fascist tyrannies of the distant past or understanding how Nazis rallied almost every German behind Hitler’s extremist approach. The question is: Does it make any difference if George Bush, Tony Blair, and their allies in the war of terrorism do not display pictures of earlier fascists in their offices? The offices of Hitler and Mussolini were also devoid of any portraits of the enemies of humanity before them. Does it make any difference that Nazis are not around today to gleefully celebrate Bush, Blair, and company’s horrific terrorist wars and crimes against humanity? We see people jumping on the bandwagon of democracy and celebrating Bush and Blair’s “successes” in the so-called war on terrorism. The blind belief in the war-mongering leaders is one of the signs of a fascist movement. In the early twentieth century, fascism had its roots in the European nationalist and socialist movements, and a grotesque biologically-determinant view of so-called “Aryan” supremacy developed. Today, we see fascism’s roots in the feelings of Western supremacy that exist on global scale.

In identifying “goodness” and “superiority” with “us,” there was a fascist tendency in the past to identify “evil” with “them.” The same process of dehumanization is underway before our eyes, today. In fascist Italy and Germany, for example, it was an easy step to blame all societal problems on “them” and presuppose a conspiracy of these evildoers that had emasculated and humiliated the idealized core group of the nation. To solve society’s problems, one needed only to unmask the conspirators and eliminate them. Today, this phenomenon is being played out on a global scale with Islam and Muslim in the spotlight. The modern day fascists are presenting Islam as “Islamism,” portraying it as evil incarnate. In comparison to the inflated “Islamism,” the fascists’ exploitation, oppression, militarism, and repressive measures are presented as benign or justified.

In Europe, Jews were the handy group to scapegoat as “them.” Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and discrimination against Jews were not new phenomenons, but most academic studies of the period note an increased anti-Jewish fervor in Europe, especially in the late 1800s. In France, this anti-Jewish bias was most publicly expressed in the case of Alfred Dreyfus, a French military officer of Jewish background, who in 1894 was falsely accused of treason, convicted (through the use of forged papers as evidence), and imprisoned on Devil’s Island. Zola led a noble struggle that freed Dreyfus and exposed the role of anti-Jewish bigotry in shaping French society and betraying the principles on which France was building its democracy.

Today, Islam is paraded as a threat to democracy in a world where we do not witness any real democracy in practice. Democracy has no place in the present day fascist world order, which is run for the Western colonialists and the benefit of the large multinational corporations they own. These corporations dictate to individual governments, including that of the United States. The establishments of these Western governments run the present day world order. These establishments have become a vast and cryptic cult of fascists that aggressively infiltrates and consolidates positions of social influence and control at home, with the totalitarian ambitions to encompass the entire world. It is a functionalistic hierarchy. There is hardly any difference between Hitler, whom the present Western establishments decry, and the way they govern themselves.

A member of the establishment in modern “democracies” who defies its commandments in an obvious and visible fashion is ejected whenever it is feasible without causing net injury to the interests of the establishments (most vitally, to their covertness). Ejection is by social ostracism; denial of insider privileges and immunities; and sometimes by various forms of deliberate and punitive economic, legal, and political measures that constitute harassment, oppression, and deprivation; and, on rare occasions, by assassination.[61]

Over a period, the “democratic” establishments have become collections of people and ideas that scrupulously preclude the possibility of conscious awareness of establishment methods, goals, and consequences. The fascist cults have become ever more cryptic, ever more effective at defying investigation and exposure, ever more thorough in evading accountability. In short, the secrecy of broad establishment programs is secured, and totalitarian alliances and adventures abroad are made acceptable by depriving the whole of the establishment of conscious awareness thereof. The so-called politicians and members of the establishment have lost the ability to discern what is and is not permissible and advisable to openly articulate. There have been only a couple of members of the U.S. Congress, for example, who could dare say that the war on Iraq was illegal, illegitimate, and totally unnecessary.

Because decision-makers in the fascist establishments can never bring unfettered conscious examination to bear on the matters before them, their decisions exhibit the dream-like semi-logic of the subconscious. Irrationality is fundamental to the process, and the “democratic” establishments can never withstand even a cursory examination by reason. What is happening with the investigations about 9/11 in the United States provides an example. Despite the obvious contradictions, ambiguities, impossibilities, and big holes in the official conspiracy theory, the Senators, the Congressmen, and others in the Administration are unable to speak or stand up for the truth; they do not even try to find answers to pertinent unanswered questions.

Democracy did not turn to fascism all of a sudden. As described earlier, its very roots lie in colonial fascism. Some colonial fascists lost and others succeeded in World War II. President Woodrow Wilson wrote of the western establishment in 1913:

"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." [62]

Colonial fascism is touching its peak in the twenty-first century. Because of the actions of a few powerful people at the helms of affairs, the western world is in a downward spiral of demoralization and irrationality that will quite possibly end in the spastic, catastrophic collapse of western civilization, into a new dark age akin to what followed the disintegration of the Roman Empire. If the domineering habits of the corporate United States and the authoritarian and collectivistic trends throughout the western world do not abate, such a collapse will certainly transpire. Unfortunately, we do not see any sign of the fascists backing down.

The fascists of our age now seek only to make their control at home and domination abroad more precise and complete. They seek to make the exercise of their global control less unwieldy and risk-laden, and its instruments and infrastructure more permanent and unchallengeable. The fascist establishments protect their interests by cultivating public indifference and incredulity, as well as by outright endorsement of an operational facet (manufacturing consent through the co-opted media), as regularly as through lies and deceit. Feeling insulted and often sensing impending humiliation, the indoctrinated public rejects the revelations of wise dissenters, researchers, and truth-tellers.

The mass media machine–”referred to as the “mainstream” media–”is commissioned (in the case of broadcast media, under state license) to deceive and pacify the public at home and pave the way for wars and occupations abroad. The mass media commands the attention of the public for many reasons, but the definitional constant is that each person knows many other people will pay attention, so that by paying attention, information can be gathered that is useful as a common cultural language. The mass media can thus be used to force-feed propaganda at a level of which former fascists could not even dream and still pays for itself through advertising.

The media and education apparatuses have been effectively used to manipulate popular perception in a manner that discourages resistance to fascism and encourages servitude. Laws and corporate policies are subtly–”or sometimes, blatantly–”formed to alter the relative profitabilities of behaviors. Media campaigns leverage off the tendency of people to be concerned with others’ unreasoned opinions; this tendency is, of course, encouraged. Over time, a majority of the population comes to abandon the “undesired”–”truth-exposing and resistance-encouraging–”behaviors and exhibits slave mentality and servitude, without having been forced to.

Laws, policies, and systems are emplaced both at home and in former colonies in ways that are sufficiently flexible that they can be made to imitate just and robust systems, or at a moment’s notice, be wielded as vehicles of tyranny at the discretion of the establishment. Society is arranged so that the behaviors desired by the establishment are, in the short to medium term, more convenient, more profitable, or simply more likely to meet with success than the alternatives.

Very few people realize that so-called democracy and fascism have a long, over 80-year history of collaboration based on shared ideas, practices, and perceived common enemies under the pretext of self-defense.[63] They abhor every way of life other than their own, fight “just wars”–”if need be, suicidal and genocidal ones–”by indiscriminate means, and fanatically go for the destruction of the perceived enemies, whether Jews in the early twentieth century, communists until the fall of Soviet Union, or Muslims since then.

The views of Islamophobes ring some familiar tones. Daniel Pipes states that even legal activities of “the Islamists are a challenge.”[64] Sam Harris goes to the extent of persuading others in Washington Times not to call it a war on terrorism, but to openly call it a war on Islam.[65] Diana West suggests in the same newspaper a need exists to “discredit Mohammed” to win the “war on terror.”[66] Above all, the U.S. government plans to “change the very face of Islam.”[67]

In modern history, such a convergence of views, methods, and goals goes back to the 1920s when both burgeoning secular democracy and fascism, ideologically pre-shaped in the late nineteenth century, emerged as organized political movements with the ultimate aim of consolidating their global outreach and imposing their ideological and social policy precepts. Fascism succeeded in its aims in the early ’20s and ’30s in Italy and Germany, respectively. In the guise of democracy, fascism succeeded after the Second World War. After the fall of Soviet Union, fascism is reaching its zenith in the most exploited form of democracy.

Both the earlier fascists and the present day democratic fascists claim to be the true representatives of some of the most civilized, technologically advanced, and superior nations. In the case of Nazism, Aryan “Volksgemeinschaft” was paraded before our eyes. In the case of democratic fascism, we are given even more obscure and confused reasons for the crimes against humanity. Interestingly, religious fanatics are imposing secularism as a panacea on the Muslim world. They are leading this war with claims of being sanctioned by God. Bush’s statements with regard to defending “our way of life” and doing “God’s job,” and him even claiming that God told him to invade and occupy Iraq are worse than anything associated with the fascists of the past.

The Nazi (“national socialist”) movement was formed on the fear that the whole world was against the superior Germans. It led to its racialist, corporatist ideology laid out in Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The hypocritical (secular for others, religiously committed by itself) approach of the democratic fascists was formed after World War II based on the fear of “evil” communism. The fear of an “evil empire” of communism was instantly replaced with the fear of an “axis of evil” to continue and consolidate the post World War II fascist approach.

The history of fascism of the past needs not be dwelt on further here. It led to the horrors and destruction of World War II and the Holocaust. Democratic fascism, nevertheless, remains a terrorist threat and–”as the U.S. policies have demonstrated since 1990–”it retains a larger measure of political clout than Nazis and others had in their age. Like its ideological twin of the past, it is not a boxed-in niche force with little capability for breakout. It is set to cause escalating havoc worldwide like the havoc it has already wreaked, based on its disregard of the United Nations, international law, norms of decency, and, above all, the will of the people at home and abroad.

Immediately following September 11, 2001, U.S. President George Bush declared a war of “liberation” for “freedom and democracy.” What the world witnessed as a result was: re-emergence of concentration camps; the killing of at least 100,000 innocent civilians; the imposition of puppet regimes; and a never ending cycle of violence, abuse, and naked aggression. Hypocrisy of the modern day fascists touched its peak when Bush and company threatened Iran with nuclear weapons for its alleged intention to have nuclear bombs.[68]

The democratic fascists of our age have unprecedented military power at their disposal. They have the will to abuse as well as to ditch the United Nations when needed. They have more effective police states in operation than did Hitler or Mussolini. Imagine a United States where one in every 138 Americans was in prison.[69] The fascists of our age can confer the air of wisdom and profundity even on white lies and let what’s unfathomable appear deep in the eyes of a brainwashed public.

But Bush, Blair, and their fellow democratic fascists are not intellectuals. The extremist brains in many thinks tanks and the chief ideologues in the “mainstream media” are at their service. The New York Times, for example, will keep on beating the fear drums and exhort the warlords to continue their totalitarian adventures to prevent Islam from taking over the world.

Pages of the New York Times and other similar publications are clear evidence of how history is repeating itself–”this time with more sophisticated tools at the disposal of fascists who are no longer covert. “The Calm before the Storm,” by Thomas Friedman is a classic example of how the promoters of fascism are equating the gathering storm of tyranny with calm.[70] A quick analysis of this piece alone is enough to show how all the recognized, credible, mainstream newspapers are acting in the service of the fascists of our age.

Thomas Friedman’s article is just eight hundred and forty-one words in length. However, it is replete with repetition of the derogatory term “Jihadists,” which appears no less than eight times in the last six paragraphs. Similarly, the word “terrorist” appears three times, “Ba’athists” three times, and “Al Qaeda” two times. Imagine the image of the enemy that the article is trying to create. This is a classic piece that represents the way mainstream media is serving the modern day fascists in creating and sustaining fear in public mind.

The theme in this little piece swings between arousing feelings of insecurity; the fear of the coming storm; complaints about “unprotected ports and borders”; and appreciation of the U.S. invasions and harder visa policies, and of further suggestions for staying the illegitimate “course in Iraq” and staying tyrannically “extra-vigilant at home.”

Do not forget that all these themes are finding a space in just 841 words because they do not need any elaboration due to many such pieces appearing in many other sources over a long period. These short op-eds, as well as quick commentaries made in cable television programs, exist just to hammer the same point. It shows that fascism has already become mainstream in the Western countries, particularly in the United States and among its staunch allies. A mindset has already been developed, and all the mainstream media has to do is to keep it fresh.

Those who oppose and resist the wars launched with lies and deception in Afghanistan and Iraq are demonized by two pejorative terms: Jihadists and Ba’athists. The sum and substance of the majority of op-ed pieces in the leading dailies is: The United States is safe because of its invasions abroad and draconian measures at home.

In a United States turned upside down, where even well known public representatives cannot pass through airport checks without facing the harassing tactics of security agencies, the analysts in favor of twenty-first century fascism want to make us believe that security at the “private terminals is still so lax that if you showed up in a Saudi headdress with a West Virginia driver’s license under the name of “Billy Bob bin Laden” and asked for flight directions for your chartered Learjet to Lower Manhattan, there’s a good chance no one would stop you.”[71]

These statements are in total contradiction to the widely known facts. Despite the 12-year-long genocidal sanctions on Iraq, and despite the loss of 1.8 million lives, not a single Ba’athist or “Jihadist” came to attack the United States. It is a universally recognized fact that Iraq had nothing to do with what happened on September 11, 2001. Irrespective of these realities, the pro-fascism analysts still struggle to make their public believe that by invading Iraq, “the Bush administration has taken the fight to the enemy.”

Without the mainstream media and corporate support, present-day democratic fascism as a noxious amalgam of fascist totalitarianism and extremely twisted form of democracy would not exist. Corporations own the media and are the real power in the shadows. The media’s principal accomplishment has been to articulate the social and political practices of the neoconservatives since the mid-1940s–”including support of illegitimate, unrepresentative, fascist regimes and organizations, and involvement in anti-communist, anti-Islam, and pro-Israeli actions. Apparently, the mainstream media is not religiously fundamentalist, but a Goebbels-style propagandist for a new totalitarianism to stand side-by-side with democratic and corporate fascism. Hitler’s early 1933 accession to power in Germany was widely cheered by the present day fascist regimes. (Bush’s family links to the Nazis has resurfaced recently.) When the Third Reich spook and horrors were over, 12 years later, many refused to allow Jews to land in their own countries and simply bemoaned the fact that the Nazis’ final solution to the Jewish problem had not proved final enough. In 1914, with the Balfour Declaration, and in 1948, through the establishment of Israel, the British got rid of the Jewish problem in Europe forever. Jews were run out of every country in Europe for 1700 years.[72] Muslim countries never experienced a Jewish problem, nor have the Jews ever been thrown out of any Muslim country, not even in Afghanistan under the Taliban. A.S. (Steve) Adler writes in his upcoming book, As thou Goest by the Way:

"It would have been an easy matter for the Taliban to, God forbid, throw the Jews out on the street (or worse), and use the sturdy synagogue building and courtyard for their own purposes–”to house Moslems, for example. That they did not do such a thing suggested that they might not only be lawful, traditional Moslems, who would recognize that the synagogue belonged to the Jews, but that they also did not look for a loophole in Moslem law that might still allow them to take the Jews’ property under an assumption of some special circumstances. This suggested that they were trying to be genuinely and visibly just and kind and that they recognized that traditional Jews are not a threat to traditional Moslems."

Substitute national (corporate) interest for racial purity, the idealized democracy of the rule of the Bush and his minions for the mythical Aryan “Volksgemeinschaft”, and most ideological and organizational precepts of Nazism laid out by chief theoretician Alfred Rosenberg in his work The Myth of the 20th Century and by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, and later put into practice, are in all essential respects identical to the precepts of the fascist, corporate democracy after its initial phase of forced implementation in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.

Modern day fascism ranges from the radical rejection of any other way of life–”particularly Islamic–”or any other standard of living or governance to endorsement of the use of terror and assassinations for seizing and controlling as many Muslim states as possible. Concocting fantastical anti-Islam conspiracy theories and linking the message of the Qur’an to instigating violence living by Islam to radicalism, and “Islamism” to all-encompassing Muslim world control are the hallmarks of this type of fascism.

Not surprisingly, then, as Zionist fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East, close collaboration between Zionists and democratic fascists ensued. During the establishment of the Israeli state through naked terrorism, Britain and the United States fully supported the Zionist terrorists.[73]

The present day secular, corporate democracy–”to be precise, fascism with a humane face–”was born of the urge to dominate the world during the Cold War period. It proved (and improved) its fascist core convictions and practices through collaboration with the corporate world’s interest, the neoconservatives, and the warlords, making use of corporate media.

This multi-stakeholder fascist collaboration did not cease with the Cold War. Rather, it focused its energies on eliminating any presumed and real hurdles in the way of realizing the dreams of global domination. The modern day fascists have intellectually failed to prove how Muslims living by Islam in their own countries could be a threat so large to the future of humanity that annihilating any number of Muslims associated with this cause is fully justified. They would never admit that it is not the issue of Islam and democracy that has brought Muslim masses to the edge of desperation; that it is actually the continued colonialism and repression of the despotic regimes these fascists have put in place that has made some people prefer death to life.

The April 2005 report of violent attacks in Egypt confirmed this fact. First, a bomb killed three people on April 7, 2005. The bombing was followed by two incidents on April 30, in which a person by the name of Yasin was killed. During the pursuit, a bomb went off. A few hours later, two fully veiled young women opened fire on a tourist bus, injuring 10 people. Witnesses in the report claim that the incident took place because the women simply wanted to avoid the Egyptian regime’s torturing them to death.[74] Muhammad Sayid Said, political expert at the Ahram Centre for Strategic and Political Studies, believes government torture of suspects might have been the motive for the revenge attack by two desperate female relatives of a suspected bomber. “If the Interior Ministry’s account is true, then these women were harmed some way or another very severely, and this bombing and shooting came as revenge. The family for sure suffered torture besides the disrespect that occurs in such circumstances [through detention].”[75]

Hisham Qasim, a leading member of the Kifaya (Enough) opposition movement, believes fear of detainment and torture might have pushed the relatives of Ashraf Said to acts of desperation. “If what was said about the bomber’s act being a sort of revenge for his cousin who died in detention, then most probably those who were involved in this bombing and shootings were acting desperately to evade imprisonment. They know that if they got caught by security forces, they will be tortured to death. Killing themselves this way was their only way out to evade this,” Qasim said, in reference to media reports that the two women fired on one another rather than risk being captured by police.[76]

A simultaneous report, however, reads: “Egypt forces arrest 200 after attacks.”[77] This arrest happened despite the fact that General Fuad Allam, former head of Egyptian security, said the aforementioned attacks were poorly coordinated and executed and not the work of a terror organization. His words were, “I believe that this is an individual act.”[78]

A security apparatus, far worse than what the world witnessed under Saddam Hussein, has already had over 50,000 Iraqis imprisoned since the invasion. Only 1.5 percent of them have been convicted of any crime. Currently, U.S. forces hold 15,000 to 18,000 Iraqi prisoners, more than were imprisoned under Saddam Hussein.[79] The level of violent deaths is far higher than in the last years of Saddam Hussein’s rule. At least 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died, most of them at the hands of U.S. forces, but also increasingly from terrorist groups and Iraqi government death squads. Although it seems Sunni and Shi’ias are in conflict with each other, this conflict would not have arisen if Iraq had not been invaded and Iraqis had not been divided into those who supported the occupation forces and the puppet regimes they installed and those who rejected every move of the occupiers.

Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police have also been killed. Amnesty International and other human rights groups have cited U.S. forces with widespread violations of international humanitarian law, including torture and other abuses of prisoners. As much as half of the labor force is unemployed, and the cost of living has skyrocketed. Oil production, the country’s chief source of revenue, is less than half of what it was before the invasion. All political powers have been circumscribed. The security forces have done everything possible to break the back of resistance to the U.S. occupation. The American and European fascists will, however, never utter a single word as long as the undemocratic, fascist regimes serve the interest of the United States and indirectly of the state of Israel. Islam is a scapegoat. Years after occupying Iraq, the new justification given by Bush, Rumsfeld, and their British counterparts is that they want to contain the rise of an “Islamic empire” with the war in Iraq. Islamism is the title these fascists have given to the scapegoated Islam.

The hatred spread by these fascists against Islam has acquired wide acceptance in the Western world, especially after the despicable crime of 9/11 that was instantly blamed on Muslims, taken as proof of the depth of depravity to which Muslims standing against the despots in their respective countries had sunk. For instance, the Saudi regime is not labeled as fundamentalist, despite the fact that it applies all Shari’ah laws, including chopping off hands and heads on regular basis. However, those who stand against them are instantly labeled as Muslim fundamentalists and Islamists. It shows that the fear is not of Islam or application of Shari’ah as such, but of those who can say no to the corporate and neoconservatives’ exploitation of the Muslim world.

Looked from this perspective, It is not difficult to conclude that living by Islam has nothing to do with undermining anyone’s interest as such. However, if the financial system of the corporate world collapses due to 1.5 billion Muslims’ coming up with an alternative economic system, whereby they refusal to deal in Riba (interest) according to the basic injunctions of the Qur’an. That shock to the existing monetary system and economic order would be collateral not intended. On the other hand, the corporate democratic fascism of our age is a form of fascist madness–”the same type of madness which one of Hitler’s closest confidants, convicted war criminal Albert Speer, saw during the Fuehrer’s final days. In his Spandau prison diary entry for November 18, 1947, Speer recollects: “I recall how [Hitler] would have films shown in the Reich Chancellery about London burning, about the sea of fire over Warsaw, about exploding convoys, and the kind of ravenous joy that would then seize him every time.”

Compare these words and feelings with the footage aired by the BBC of President Bush preening before his live speech that announced war on Iraq that would kill more than 100,000 people and begin the cycle of never ending violence. The video shows Bush smiling and overwhelmed with joy while having his hair primped and readied by a female stylist.[80] The way Bush conceals his joy when the broadcast or recording begins is obvious. As reported by Knight Ridder Newspapers, "Minutes before the speech, an internal television monitor showed the president pumping his fist. "Feels good," he said."

The march toward the present day fascism gained momentum during the last decade of the twentieth century. The charade from Bush and company about democracy is not new. On January 18, 1999, the San Francisco Chronicle carried a story, originally published in the Los Angeles Times, detailing the plans of U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to establish “a new international order, one that would revamp existing global institutions and spawn entirely new ones.” According to the Los Angeles Times, Albright was referring to “the new order” as a kind of “international democracy club” where the United States would be the “organizing principle.” “The 21st century … ought to be the century of democracy,” Albright told the Los Angeles Times.

The language we hear from the Bush administration is that we heard from Clinton years before. Albright said, “We [the U.S. foreign policy establishment] are the organizing principle.” Other nations will “either organize with us or against us,” she declared, meaning that those nations that refuse to play ball will be branded as pariahs and ostracized by the so-called international community. From Albright to Condoleezza Rice, democracy means living by the U.S. administration’s way of life.

Theoretically, democracy is synonymous with government of, by and for the people. It means self-determination, rule of law, and an open society. In reality, this type of democracy is a mere illusion in current systems of government. Actually, democracy is misused to refer to a system of governance in which elite elements based in the business community control the state and its resources by virtue of their dominance, while the population observes quietly. So, understood democracy is a system of elite decision-making and public ratification. Correspondingly, popular involvement in the formation of public policy is considered a serious threat. It is not a step towards democracy; rather it constitutes a crisis of democracy that must be overcome.

Hitler also solidified his political power by joining an alliance with the industrialists of Germany. In turn, he protected the large corporations and extended them favorable treatment. Hitler reigned in Nazi radicals who sought to topple big business in what was called “the second revolution.” On July 1, 1933, Hitler told his S.A. and S.S. leaders, “I will suppress every attempt to disturb the existing order as ruthlessly as I will deal with the so-called second revolution, which would lead only to chaos.”[81]

The marriage of money and demagoguery was as consummated in Hitler’s Third Reich and Mussolini’s Italy as it is now in the Western world. While wealth and political power have always colluded to some degree, there comes a point where religious motivation, apathy, pseudo-tolerance, and ignorance bind the will of the masses to a fanatical idea that brings their destruction. Is anybody observing the re-election of Bush and Blair? The silence of a majority over the bloodbath in occupied Afghanistan and Iraq and the concentration camps all over the world is a sign of a brain-dead mental state like happened to the Germans and which made them embrace the Nazi regime.

Note:

The above is an excerpt from Abid Ullah Jan’s latest book, "After Fascism: Muslims and the Struggle for Self-determination." Avaliable at:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0973368756/mmn-20/

Also see: "The ICSSA"

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