“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.” –Khalil Gibran
We live in a culture that’s suffocating under the stifling cross-stitched blanket of state and corporate power, and there is a single word sewn onto that two-sided blanket: Fascism. As it stands, the U.S. fits every single one of the fourteen defining characteristics of fascism, according to Dr. Lawrence Britt. And a recent study at Princeton has revealed that the U.S. is no longer an actual democracy. It is a particularly greedy and underhanded form of oligarchy known as plutocracy. So what are we to do about it? In the past I’ve written about how to unfuck the world, how we’re victims of the state, and how to combat psychopathic tendencies with empathic tendencies, but for now, how about I go into a fascist-blanket-shredding diatribe about how to guard against the rise of American Fascism.
1.) Turn the Tables on Unbridled Nationalism
“Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.” –Mark Twain
We live in a hyperreal culture so high on itself that it might as well be huddled in the corner of a padded room self-fellating. We are so full of ourselves that most of us probably believe that if we shit in another culture’s backyard it would somehow turn into gold and the locals could use it to barter at a nearby Medina. Well, I’ve got news for all of you who think your culture’s shit doesn’t stink: shit is shit, and yours stinks just like the rest of ours. We’re all fallible human beings trying to make sense out of our humanity. Nobody is “special” because they were born in a particular place. Nobody is more or less human because they live here or there. You want to counter fascism? Counter your own baseless nationalism first. Question your own blind faith. Tear down the fence of your ignorance and dare to allow the free-range sheep of your unfounded xenophobia to come traipsing through. Melt down your false idols and then transform it into gold that you can use to barter with a healthier way of being a human being in this world. And if you’re absolutely dead-set on being a patriot then be a patriot for humanity. “A true patriot must,” as Edward Abbey said, “always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
2.) Counterattack Rampant Militarism
“‘American Sniper’ lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression.” –Chris Hedges
Like I wrote in Five Things No One Tells You about The Military Industrial Complex, we’re a nation of gun-toting sheeple. We’re warmongering West Highland terriers who believe we’re wild-eyed wolverines. We all grew up watching Rambo First Blood part two, and all of us imagine there’s a tiny little Rambo inside us wrapping a tiny little red kerchief around his tiny little blood-soaked head. We’re a nation of pawns with cartoons for brains singing “America, fuck yeah!” while the rest of the world is screaming “America, fuck you!” Indeed.
You want to counter fascism? Unglorify mindless military self-sacrifice and death. Disparage torture and violence as being an initiation into manhood. Vilify the culture of war and its greed-driven machine-heart. Stop idealizing the warmongering warrior with his hard-as-a-tank heart and false power, and start honoring the peaceful warrior with his absolutely vulnerable heart and ability to let go of true power so that power doesn’t have the chance to corrupt. Stop romanticizing obedience and unquestioning loyalty and start honoring disobedience and the art of questioning authority to the nth degree. Break the chain of command. Shatter it on the concrete of your courage. Like Henry George said, “Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.”
3.) Diagnose Corporatized Mass Media:
“With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.” –Henry A. Wallace
The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, which is why false media is so dangerous. The mainstream media is wholly owned and manipulated by the ruling elite and is nothing more than a propaganda machine. They are engineered to keep the masses distracted and forgetful.
You want to undermine fascism? Demand media transparency, de-commercialization and free speech. Become more aware of the scapegoating tactics of the corporate-driven media machine. Understand as Niels Bohr did that, “Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are.” The best way to make things better is by becoming the media yourself: Be the pen defeating the sword. Lead by example. Be a walking talking billboard of change by becoming the change you wish to see in the world.
Like Banksy ingeniously opined, “They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are THE ADVERTISERS and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like whenever they like with total impunity. F#$! THAT. Any advert in a public space that gives you no chance whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, rearrange and reuse. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing. You especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have rearranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”
4.) Become Indifferent to the Surveillance State
“If you want to tell people the truth, make ’em laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you.” –Oscar Wilde
Fear is being used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. The surveillance state is counting on you to be paranoid so that it can use the illusion of national security to “protect” you. But it doesn’t want to protect you; it wants to control you. It wants to keep you in a state of ambiguity so that it can keep spoon-feeding you unfounded morsels of fear propagandized by a giant red, white, and blue filter that creates an us-versus-them mentality against the rest of the world. It inadvertently creates a false, our-way-is-better perception of reality. It causes us to think we have an innate right as a “better” nation to guard against the “less important nations” of the earth.
But like Simone De Beauvoir said, “A freedom that is interested only in denying freedom must be denied.” You want to counter fascism? Demand whistleblowing protection so that we can keep those in power accountable for their actions. Make a point of pulling the curtain aside and insouciantly jeer at the wizard vainly trying to hide behind his smoke and mirrors. Openly laugh at the fact that the emperor has no clothes. Challenge the surveillance state, lest we inadvertently become what George Orwell warned us against in1984. Like Emiliano Zapata said, “It’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”
5.) Disrespect Corporate Power
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt
The U.S. spent 2 trillion on the war in Iraq. 90% of that went to the richest 1% of Americans. This is because we live in a plutocracy that is only concerned with keeping the oil flowing and the greenbacks stacked. It gives two blue shits about you or your children. It only cares about how it can keep you and your children subdued, dumbed down, and enslaved to it.
Like John Adams said, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” Sadly, the way of debt is working. And any sign the so-called “authorities” get that debt isn’t working (such as riots, protests, and civil disobedience) they are resorting to the sword. We do have a choice though. But it’s a scary one. And it is this: create something new that trumps the conquer-control-destroy-repeat mindset that has plagued the human condition for a millennium. You want to counter fascism? Make a mockery of power. Ridicule the powers-that-be. Use the truer power of your art to throw a wrench into their unsustainable machinery. Whether it’s writing, painting or vandalizing, do it with all of your creative heart. Don’t give into these overreaching corporations with their machine-minds and machine-hearts. Trump their cog-in-the-clock ignorance with your heart-on-your-sleeve artistic passion. Art is primary and will stand the test of time.
6.) Mock the Law
“For a state in which the law is respected, democracy is the worst form of government, but if the law is not respected, it is the best.” –Plato
A fascist state is obsessed with crime and punishment and the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. No longer do police act in the capacity of peace officers. They are simply hired thugs of a government that no longer has the best interest of the people. They have been brain-washed by a system that is hell-bent on destroying the natural world for a profit. But the black-booted police state with their fascist violence is no match for our fleet-footed noncompliance and creative freedom.
You want to counter fascism? Piss on the thin blue line. Carve a line in the concrete and declare: “Your fuckery stops here!” Hold police accountable with ruthless non-violence and in-your-face civil disobedience, especially if the justice system is not holding them accountable. Just be smart about it. Outthink them. It shouldn’t be too difficult. And don’t for a second think that you can teach your kids not to be violent when your fascist state’s solution to its problems is almost always violence. Act with love and compassion, not hate and violence. Think for yourself. The shit is hitting the fan, but you don’t have to be the shit or the fan. You have other choices. You can just as easily choose to unplug the fan. Or hey! Maybe just don’t throw shit!
Like Howard Zinn said, “There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that governments cannot suppress.”
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
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