Truthout - September 12, 2020

Viewing the GOP convention seemed a little like binge-watching the last several years’ parade of none-too-subtle signs of incipient fascism. We saw extreme nationalism, scapegoating immigrants and foreigners in general, white supremacy, “strong (narcissistic)-man” government, aggressive foreign policies, and hysterical red-baiting. Those signs reflect how capitalism’s deepening crisis undermines both the center-left (Democrat) and center-right (GOP) and shifts politics further right and further left. Trump represents the anti-center right, Bernie Sanders the anti-center left. Most capitalists want neither; the center worked very well for them over the last 75 years. As that political center implodes, U.S. capitalists favor the right over the left. They see the difference between fascism and socialism very clearly. They are not fooled by the crumbling old center’s self-serving efforts to equate socialism and fascism.

Fascism can indeed “happen here,” but in unique fashion. Fascism, like all other systems, has varying forms. As 20th-century fascisms took shape in Italy, Germany, Japan, and Spain—to take some major examples—the same basic system interacted differently with each country’s particular history and conditions. The fascism where U.S. capitalism is now headed will display unique features as well.

The fascism taking shape here is not primarily the crude political theater that today’s wannabe fascists offer. The Trump regime’s courting of white supremacists and other extreme nationalists, its virulent scapegoating of immigrants, Latinx, and African Americans, and its encouragement of police repression are too often counterproductive. Those symbols are similar enough to many of 20th-century fascism’s horrors that they are too easily recognized as dangerous. Today, the United States moves more quietly and more effectively toward fascism via its fast-evolving credit system. It’s time to expose borrowing as a path to fascism. ...
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