Friday August 14, 2020
Jan-05-2009 17:30TweetFollow @OregonNews
Op-Ed: Fascism Feeds
By Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross" Sinclair Lewis
(EUGENE, Ore.) - WHY is it we continue to face unreasonable and irrational, sometimes even threatening, reaction to all forward progress worldwide by those determined to “reverse-the-world back to the Middle Ages”? ARE there, even today, those who would prefer the social, cultural and --for sure-- the predominant ruling class economy/culture then in place?
You better believe it: Check out Comments received whenever any statement of “progressive” --much less “radical”-- political philosophy appears, anywhere.
You’ll recall that Middle Age image of castle-on the-hill --occupied by you-know-who-- and that bitter/cottage village-below for you, me and all others.
We all slaved away at whatever, while those born to the castle made the most of that accident-of birth and capital and cultural resources so inherited. Feudalism also demanded serf-service in continual wasting wars, you will note; not only to support “the royals” at varying levels but also to provide acquisition of richer resources by the power of bloody conquests.
That early “Royalism” is what later became the “Fascism” we fought as authoritarian essence of anti-democracy during two World Wars.
The basic principle of both is “imperial power overwhelming any other conceptual pattern provided for governance, in any culture or economy.”
That puts at great risk the absolutely essential American “consent of the governed” concept - what Lincoln famously phrased as “...of the people, by the people, for the people”.
Do you doubt for even a moment that many in like position today, with capital resources at hand from any unearned-income flow, do not still cling possessively to precisely the same political philosophy?
They never admit to that truth, and will literally “fight to the death” to deny it in the face of universal, modern social, cultural, and economic realities. But at heart it is any added costs, shared via tax or otherwise, that delimits their vision and defines their “objectivity”.
They will insist that “education should be run like a business”, evasively forgetting that no child is ever a commodity. To treat any one-so is to defy and deny the empowerment of the individual demanded in the 21st Century.
That’s because modern society now denies these regressed-feudalists any other protective pattern, while still providing them with the rule of law to protect private property, as it should surely do.
Meanwhile they continue to defy and deny more democracy in whatever form, wherever it may grow and strengthen. The last thing they are willing to allow is the heart of democracy: Equal opportunity, afforded by strong government, dedicated to close control by citizen choice of ethical, elected representatives --and funded by progressive taxes sharing the burdens equitably.
That’s WHY the Founders provided our free press, worthy of responsibility to inform and address all key issues for citizen understanding and shared choices.
It is notable that their First Amendment to the Constitution is the strong protection demanded to preserve and project our democracy. That experiment-turned-into reality in the past 230 years is now threatened by the distortion/perversion of “corporate campaign contributions”, ostensibly for the same political free-speech the Founders granted ONLY to human beings.
That’s WHY deathly-determined neocon-principle opposition rears its hydra-heads with the many widely-varying ways to oppose further extension of threatening democratic decision. That occurs whenever our elected-representative democratic-pattern for progress begins to bear down on its basic principle; equality of opportunity and pursuit of happiness, under law, for every person.
Primarily that explains why the Southern states continued to protect, preserve, extend and strengthen the pattern of outright human slavery for so long. There was money --much of it, easily acquired-- in both “the slave trade” and the prolific private-profit gain/pattern it served and made-possible. Plantation-style production was based on forced human productivity at very low costs.
That may sound all too familiar to many working, both with hands and with heads, in corporate-controlled similarly-run environments. That’s WHY corporate management and money strength is so often opposed to any unionism-based practice of any kind, as underlying threat to the continuing Plantation Concept, still carrying-on.
The current consequences of our economic collapse are now due in large part, a broad worldwide economist consensus now states. That’s reflected by David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter: “Ronald Reagan’s remaking of government’s relationship with private interests --a vision of lower taxes, less regulation, and maximum economic leeway for those at the top.” (See “Fiscal Therapy” in Reader’s Note.)
You’ll recall that the Articles of Confederation, first-step/taken as consequence of the 1776 American Revolution, was ”weak-government and unfettered capitalism/oriented”...and soon festered and failed. That was what drove our Founding Fathers to bring forth, first, our Constitution and then its essential Bill of Rights.
Both were cannily contrived, presciently produced to provide wise, lasting and inclusively democratic means for modifying and multiplying what they had learned from long-continued study of leading philosophers. (See The Federalist Papers, in any edition.)
They knew what they were doing, and why, that’s for-sure, too --reflected in our ongoing American progress for the early development of our nation.
More-current proof is found today in our robust and ready response to the truly horrendous attacks on our democracy underway by neocon cabal for the past thirty years and more: We have survived, and even “overcome” and we are ready for the oncoming challenges in a new century.
Surely the “transformative opportunity now in place after the huge mandate of Nov. 4” provides us all with a test of our own dedication to the vaunted “American Way”: “Equal opportunity, under law, and consummate continuation of democratic principle and potent pattern in all we do now” --for the 21st Century.
Feudalism is long behind us, and must be abandoned to its Rightful place in the pages of history. But such euphoria will never arrive until and unless we all do our part.
We must start with a truly American fair-shake, patient opportunity for President-Elect Obama to open the White House door, and then begin his transformative work --WITH OUR ESSENTIAL SUPPORT AND DIALOG.
Reader’s Note: More than 30 Internet, national-source, other references and writer’s files were consulted for this Op-Ed. “See also”: FISCAL THERAPY: Getting the economy back on its feet, giving taxpayers a break, saving your retirement fund, and your kid’s college tuition? Done: And it won’t cost you a penny”; David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer-winning reporter; Mother Jones Magazine Jan/Feb 09. Quotes are shortened, condensed, summarized for space restrictions here. Source-and-references list and quotes-verbatim are available on request to Editor with full ID, street and e-mail address.
Henry Clay Ruark is the one of, if not the most experienced, working reporter in the state of Oregon, and possibly the entire Northwest. Hank has been at it since the 1930's, working as a newspaper staff writer, reporter and photographer for organizations on the east coast like the Bangor Maine Daily News.
Today he writes Op-Ed's for Salem-News.com with words that deliver his message with much consideration for the youngest, underprivileged and otherwise unrepresented people.