Campus personalities present and past Rebecca C. Brown and Tommaso Sciortino tackle the issues. This week on a very special CalJunket: Rebecca learns not to chew with her mouth open and Tommaso finds out his best friend is addicted to no-doze.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
A post by Ornicus got me hating Rupert Murdoch even more.
Conservatives and Liberals throw word Fascism around a lot. And while it’s easy to point to a swastika and say “Never again”, it’s much more difficult to recognize fascism in general. Its traits are nebulous: a delegitimization of difference and dissent (both in and outside the party); the desire for unfettered leaders without corrupt parliamentary procedure; and exalting power and moral clarity over cooperation and logic.
Rush Limbaugh is a fascist. Just like Bill O’Riely and Ann Coulter. In Rush’s world, anyone who disagrees with him is a Liberal. Liberals never act in good faith. Latte-Liberals (any liberal really) indulge in luxury and are aloof wasting time in ivory towers, theorizing without doing. They are morally base and groups in league with the Liberals (Unions, environmental groups) are corrupt. Republicans on the other hand agree that “Rush is right”. They always act in good faith. Republicans do not indulge in extravagance not do they bother themselves with difficult issues when moral clarity can lead you true. They are morally superior, and understand that America’s military power should not be hampered by international law or the treaty of Versailles.
The problem with Fascism is that it doesn’t exactly attract the best and brightest. You need to be a personal failure to have enough hate to lead a fascist movement, and that doesn’t make for a good business plan. It’s necessary to have an outsiders fund your loser group of fascist rabble-rousers.
Corporatists fit the bill. Their goal: advance the interests of corporations and the rich. That’s why we see Republican implementing regressive taxes while removing irksome American traditions like the Estate Tax. Surely, the idea to tax earned money (Payroll tax) and not unearned money (Capital gains) could only be supported by a rich person, or a person who doesn’t really understand economics.
In places like post WWI Germany and Italy, the rich found a sure fire way to avert socialism: support Fascists! Without German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, Hitler and the Nazis would have been historical also-rans. Republicans, which pre-Nixon looked a lot like a reunion of stunt doubles from the movie Arthur, realized it would take more that alcoholism, money, and cockney charm to get power. The innovation that brought Nixon-Republicans (like Rumsfeld to Cheney) to power was to appeal to racism and anti-communism to gain votes. They learned the lesson of those that went before them, though: let the Fascists talk, but do not let them drive.
Modern Day Australian industrialist Rupert Murdoch might have shown up late in the game, but his work would make Adolf cry with joy. Here’s a corporatist who knows his interests. In China, his network has helps support the world’s last communist power. In America, Fox news empowers failures like Bill O’Riely, allowing him to say whatever he wants as long as he supports media deregulation. It’s a dangerous game Murdoch plays, but if America ever falls to Fascism, you can bet that Murdoch will be some where else, delighting people with his irascible charm and down-under wit.