Alex Constantine - October 27, 2008
By Alex Constantine
America "Going" Fascist ... or Long Gone?
Ms. Klein is a widely-promoted anti-fascist who is found ubiquitously on the establishment left. I read a long interview with her this morning, and found that it contained very little actual information, a "structural" analysis in the Chomsky vein that avoided particulars.
God is in the details. But Klein speaks in safe, vague generalities and ignores every significant, concrete development in fascism - an ideology that is supposedly "coming," a "creeping" threat, not breathing down our backs for decades, despite the murder of John Kennedy in a public square in broad daylight 45 years ago, while the fascist press covered it up, MLK, etc., etc.
It takes a fully-evolved, fascist state to accomplish this. These murders she ignores in favor of a generalized, macro view. Klein forgets to speak about historical particulars (in the Wall Street disaster, for example, Paulson's role in organizing the Watergate Plumbers for Nixon and Robert Bennett, other biographical details that demonstrate fascism has been a constant in American politics for years), and stick to one theme - shock - repeatedly, while overlooking 90 years of American fascism's complex historical context.
No mention of interaction with Nazis and old guard fascists by the intelligence underground. Not even the Kennedy assassinations, drug importation by the CIA, media opinion formation and the strategic denigration of liberalism, or a million other well-known particulars she ignores in favor of academic generalizations like Milton Friedman's shock/oppression "structure." Safe, padded establishment thinking for liberals who don't want to look too deeply into inherently-conspiratorial fascism.
I've been writing about fascism for 20 years - names, dates, places, motives. Fascism isn't nascent, suddenly occurring like the Wall Street Journal on our doorsteps - Klein's misapprehension - but deeply ingrained, and it has been with us for decades. To pretend otherwise, to falsely claim that it is not already an integral part of American life, is a psyop tactic that the bad guys have been plying for a few years. I learn very little from Klein, whose readers come away with some confirmation of their beliefs, but little actual concrete historical knowledge or evidence is passed. Names, dates, places are not that important to her.
Spoon-feeding from Naomi Klein will leave you intellectually underfed. The establishment left clings to her because, in the end, she has little to say about real fascism and its intelligence "service" pawns, and they like it that way. "Conspiracy" is outré in the CIA-controlled press down to The Nation, so let's all play along like good little Nazis, "it didn't happen here ... "
"Is America going fascist?" is an ignorant and wrong-headed question. It's been here for decades. During the McCarthy period, this question was proper and should have been asked. In 2008, it's willfully ignorant and redolent of denial.
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@Alex: Well, I suppose Klein is acting as an interface between the halls of power and the intellectual establishment – much as the BRIC and G20 meetings are a comms interface for true power and politics.
True, this is a corrupting position to be in – but I suppose it’s also a place of some leverage. Klein’s work is perhaps not unleavened with good results, despite the truth of your critique here.
I wonder if she’s read your work?
@Alex again: At least, she doesn’t stick in my craw the way George Monbiot does.