Saturday, September 01, 2012

The American Brand of Fascism on Display at the RNC

 The circus of hypocrisy and propaganda that was called the Republican National Convention leaves me with the difficult task of sorting out the plethora of delusional material delivered from the podium. 

Many commentators are presenting the fact-checks on the speeches like VP candidate Paul Ryan’s and showing how virtually every other sentence was a lie of some sort.  Clint Eastwood’s bizarre performance is a cautionary tale about why the logical fallacy of making that straw man argument (in this variation it was the empty chair argument) should be avoided.  See Republicans vs. Straw Men at

Ann Romney’s speech was so much ado about nothing.  Does anyone really choose their president based on his wife’s accolades?  Apparently some do because this silliness is repeated at every convention. But we should deeply consider whether people who vote for a president because his wife says she loves him should even be allowed to vote.

The Republican convention is a clear example of how our democracy has become disabled by people who vote based on delusions and illusion.   The Republican playbook on rhetoric is taken directly from Chapter 6 of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”  The Republican convention doesn’t make any sense until one realizes that it was just a propaganda message to the masses.  Here are several quotes from Hitler’s book by way of understanding what was going on at the Republican convention:

“To whom should propaganda be addressed? To the scientifically trained intelligentsia or to the less educated masses?  It must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses.”
“All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.
“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
“the very first axiom of all propagandist activity: to wit, the basically subjective and one-sided attitude it must take toward every question it deals with.”
“The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”
“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”
“For instance, a slogan must be presented from different angles, but the end of all remarks must always and immutably be the slogan itself.”

 The propaganda slogan of the Republican convention was “We Built It.” The genius of this slogan is that the words themselves are generous and charitable while its meaning is just the opposite in true Orwellian doublespeak.  I can say “We built it” and mean it because as a Buddhist I’m aware of the total interdependency of how anything and everything is built.  The toothbrush held in the hand, the tomato in the salad,  the car being driven on the freeway: none of these are brought to us by some individual at the top of a business who can  take credit for it all, but by the incalculable activities of numberless persons.

However, the different angles applied to the slogan of “We Built It” by the Republicans were actually: “We (not you) built it,” “We (the rich) built it,” “We built it (and you pay for it.),” “We built it (in spite of you),” “We built it (in a vacuum without anyone else’s help),” etc.   The Republican meaning of “We Built It” is derived from the greedy egotistical delusion of an individual as Herculean Hero.  

This egotistical delusion of entrepreneurial self-sufficiency pulling oneself up by one’s own boot straps creates the shadow of enemies seen everywhere out to get us.  What this does is create a mind-set for Republicans to deny the very foundation of our democracy as so eloquently stated by our first Republican president Abraham Lincoln :

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

When it comes down to basics, the Republicans do not believe in Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”   No, they believe in the American Brand of Fascism in which government is controlled by the wealthy and rich elites of our corporate feudalism for the protection of those interests. 

How do I know? Because when the Republicans play upon the middle and lower classes frustrations with government, they don't point out that the problem with government is due to the influence of corporate money on Congress and the President, and they don't demand that we restore government of the people, by the people and for the people. Instead they bring out their favorite long term slogan: "smaller government, less taxes."  But what does "smaller government" mean? To Republicans it means "smaller government (of, by, and for the people)" and smaller government in the departments that regulate the corporations for the good of the people.  Republicans are all for bigger government as long as that bigger government is engaged on the one hand in foreign hegemony and imperialist extension (Defense Department) and on the other hand in domestic surveillance and reduction of civil liberties (Department of Homeland Security).  Every other department of government that actually is for the people can be thrown out as far as they are concerned, but the departments of government that control and dominate the people and instead work only to enforce the power of the corporations just get bigger and bigger.


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