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Wolfenhoffen

Is the United States now a fascist country?

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dog_day_sunrise
It may call itself a democracy, but it isn't in the eyes of other nations. It places itself high above others, acting as chief police protector for the world, and maintaining global economic dominance in the meantime, though failing to now. It has disobeyed U.N regulations and votes like any other nation.

That doesn't make a country undemocratic.

 

The system of international relations is governed by realism- all states seek to further their own cause and enlarge their balance of power. Nations only make alliances in order to further their goals and aims. Anyone who denies this is just plain narrow-minded- it's the way that international relations is, has always been, and shall always be. There is no reason for nations to co-operate with each other if it is is not in their national interest.

 

The US acts unilaterally because the US can act unilaterally. It has the rhetoric to coerce other nations into doing it's bidding and the firepower to convince them if they cannot be persuaded by peaceful means. The UN, EU and to a much lesser extent NATO are hollow shells of organisations, which aim to bring a degree of civility to what is essentially a totally anarchical system. It doesn't matter what other countries think of you democratically, when you have a near-monopoly on defence technology and have the potential to be relatively self-reliant. That's one reason why China will never be a true great power without excercising it's military or coersive power- in order for it's economy to expand technologically, they need materials they do not have inside their borders.

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Jesus'En'Hitler420

 

The US acts unilaterally because the US can act unilaterally. It has the rhetoric to coerce other nations into doing it's bidding and the firepower to convince them if they cannot be persuaded by peaceful means.

 

I just fear for my country's sake that we get ourselves out of the financial trouble we are in so we can continue the behavior (Albeit in a more productive way). Only because soon countries like China and Japan I believe will be more than willing to use some of that coersive power they do have to further devalue our waning currency by saying that there is no chance of us being able to repay off our debts to them or any other nation that has bought our bonds. Couple that with the Federal Reserve's new policy of paying off our Visa card with our Mastercard, it just does not look good.

 

As for the topic: Slowly but surely the Federal level is gaining grip around the individual and private enterprise. The T.S.A just seems to be making up rules on a daily basis for the airports and the passengers. But what can you expect? It seems some on this board wouldn't mind having their testicles tugged a bit by a latex coated hand. I suspect it's because no one else would ever do that for them confused.gif. It's kind of like the frog that is slowly being boiled. Will the frog jump out of the pot before it gets too hot? Or will that frog just sit and enjoy itself while being cooked alive?

 

cookie.gifcookie.gifShifty41s_beerhatsmilie2.gif Post #1,000!!!! Shifty41s_beerhatsmilie2.gifcookie.gifcookie.gif

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GrandMaster Smith

 

haha wow I just think the new security measures at the airports are...s searching little children like that.. it just seems a step too far in my eyes. But like TUBBS said earlier there's some crazy sh*t goin on out there so you never know what could happen so it is tough to draw the line..

Then make a topic about that for f*cks sake, don't be so dramatic, it undermines your point. You have all these people, who in their hate for you are praising the TSA, the most incompetent unnecessary department of government this side of the DEA.

 

 

wait what? i was bein dramatic to the-kings childish response..

 

But check out this congress bill called S510, it allows government to take total control over our food and will make it illegal to grow or share your own food.. and who better to sign than the head of Monsanto, the company that goes around patenting seeds, dropping them over other peoples fields, come back and claim the field since it contains their patented seeds. If you know nothing about Monsanto, I very highly recommend you search up on them.

 

S510

 

I love how mainstream media never tells us anything that matters like this, its always 'paris hilton got a boob job!' 'omgz tiger woods cheated on his wife!!'

 

Monsanto also produce aspartame, one of the most toxic things to be put in our food to date. It has a list of symptom like 90+ things, yet it is a artificial sweetener used in almost everything we eat today..

 

Here's a list of symptoms:

 

Eye

blindness in one or both eyes

decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision

pain in one or both eyes

decreased tears

trouble with contact lenses

bulging eyes

 

Ear

tinnitus - ringing or buzzing sound

severe intolerance of noise

marked hearing impairment

 

Neurologic

epileptic seizures

headaches, migraines and (some severe)

dizziness, unsteadiness, both

confusion, memory loss, both

severe drowsiness and sleepiness

paresthesia or numbness of the limbs

severe slurring of speech

severe hyperactivity and restless legs

atypical facial pain

severe tremors

 

Psychological/Psychiatric

severe depression

irritability

aggression

anxiety

personality changes

insomnia

phobias

 

Chest

palpitations, tachycardia

shortness of breath

recent high blood pressure

 

Gastrointestinal

nausea

diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools

abdominal pain

pain when swallowing

 

Skin and Allergies

itching without a rash

lip and mouth reactions

hives

aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma

 

Endocrine and Metabolic

loss of control of diabetes

menstrual changes

marked thinning or loss of hair

marked weight loss

gradual weight gain

aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

severe PMS

 

Other

frequency of voiding and burning during urination

excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating

increased susceptibility to infection

 

Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all

death

irreversible brain damage

birth defects, including mental retardation

peptic ulcers

aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets

hyperactivity in children

severe depression

aggressive behavior

suicidal tendencies

 

Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Epstein-Barr

Post-Polio Syndrome

Lyme Disease

Grave’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease

ALS

Epilepsy

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

EMS

Hypothyroidism

Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings

Fibromyalgia

Lupus

non-Hodgkins

Lymphoma

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

 

And the government actually allowed that sh*t to be put in our food? Do we have a team of f*ckin monkeys sitting in the white house?

 

 

Also a report by Washington Post, Top Secret America

 

Edited by GrandMaster Smith

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K^2
Utter crap. If the US is neither democratic nor liberal, why is it ranked 18th on the Democracy index, 8th on the Liberty index, and (just) in the top 20 on the Reporters without Borders index of press freedom?

No idea. Care to post all of the criteria which go into these indices and how these were derived so that we can discuss whether they are applicable to the topic of discussion?

 

United States is a Republic. Feel free to read the constitution. People within a Republic are not equally represented, and the executive branch can be extremely authoritarian, depending on a whole lot of other things. In particular, in United States, the government is effectively authoritarian when the country is at war, which it is. As result of current wars, basic rights, such as right for trial, no illegal search and seizure, and so on, are effectively suspended.

 

Finally, don't confuse Democracy and Democratic. Soviet Union was Democratic. Had popular elections and everything. Yet you wouldn't stop me from calling it authoritarian, would you?

 

Liberty and liberal aren't synonyms either. US populi have a lot of liberty, but they tend not to vote for liberals.

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Mainland Marauder
United States is neither a Democracy nor Liberal, and due to the executive orders, as stated, it falls under authoritarian hierarchy.

Utter crap. If the US is neither democratic nor liberal, why is it ranked 18th on the Democracy index, 8th on the Liberty index, and (just) in the top 20 on the Reporters without Borders index of press freedom?

That's admirable if you are, say, Mexico - but for the supposed leader of the free world, just being in the top 10 or 20 isn't exactly something to crow about.

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E.A.B.

 

It seems some on this board wouldn't mind having their testicles tugged a bit by a latex coated hand. I suspect it's because no one else would ever do that for them  confused.gif.

orly.giforly.giforly.giforly.giforly.giforly.giforly.gifLOL YEH DAS EET orly.giforly.giforly.giforly.giforly.giforly.giforly.gif

 

 

I love how mainstream media never tells us anything that matters like this, its always 'paris hilton got a boob job!' 'omgz tiger woods cheated on his wife!!'

 

You make a lot more sense and are much more respectable/sane when 911 ISN'T the issue.

 

Because I can agree with a big portion of your post. Thx for the vid, too icon14.gif

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Niko_Vercetti7

Those new security scanners really are ridiculous. Our problem is that our damn government is so f*cking worried about terrorism that they don't even care about an individuals personal privacy anymore. Also it's been like 60 years since the end of the Cold War and the government is still so against communism. Yes, I'll admit communism isn't exactly the best system of government but it certainty isn't the most evil devilish thing in the world as our government makes it out to be. People think that if they elect Republicans things are going to magically change well I got news for you it doesn't matter who you elect they aren't going to get things done. I know it's been said a million times before, but all these politicians are crooks and liars Nixon was just the only one that got caught.

Edited by Niko_Vercetti7

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QwertyAAA
Those new security scanners really are ridiculous. Our problem is that our damn government is so f*cking worried about terrorism that they don't even care about an individuals personal privacy anymore. Also it's been like 60 years since the end of the Cold War and the government is still so against communism. Yes, I'll admit communism isn't exactly the best system of government but it certainty isn't the most evil devilish thing in the world as our government makes it out to be. People think that if they elect Republicans things are going to magically change well I got news for you it doesn't matter who you elect they aren't going to get things done. I know it's been said a million times before, but all these politicians are crooks and liars Nixon was just the only one that got caught.

Apart from being a dishonest and possibly criminal scumbag, Nixon was a superb statesman.

 

You know what? My honest opinion? f*ck privacy. The point of government is to maintain civilization. If you coordinate people well enough, you can do anything. Remember all of the technological achievements that Soviet Union pioneered?

Biopower is, for all intents and purposes, useful. Despite its moral grayness, it is at the very least the glue that holds humanity together. If we are to wish for socioeconomic accomplishments, we must realize that everything comes at a relative price, and that price is allowing some ruling body to coordinate people. Privacy is the least of the issues here, and hey, if we can convince people to forfeit their rights in exchange for technological expansion, then all the better.

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darthYENIK

I don't think we are now. But when a state's proposing changing the legality of say marijuana, and the federal government says they'll still enforce the law as if it weren't legal. That to me feels quite fascist. (by the way, the proposition didn't pass. Furthermore, medical marijuana is supposedly legal, but even now, when people use it legally under state law, the feds can treat them as criminals) The country is broken up into states having different needs and ideals that might conflict if we were all under the same laws. And when the federal government basically tells you, even if you pass a law, you'll be arrested, that doesn't seem like something a democracy is defined by.

 

As for the airport scanners and new security measures. The media has pretty much shined a completely negative light on the matter. I personally think there are pros and cons, but mostly pros. It's one more tool to stop a possible incident or smuggling. I think Kevin Smith put it best. He said something along the lines of people don't like these scanners because "they don't want anyone to know how small their dick is." They don't care if it helps deter someone from possibly hurting or killing people. Now supposedly there are some people that say there may be some health issues, and that is the only reason I would disagree with the use of a full body scanner. Even then I'm fairly sure these people's agenda is to keep anyone from seeing their small dicks.

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GrandMaster Smith

 

Those new security scanners really are ridiculous. Our problem is that our damn government is so f*cking worried about terrorism that they don't even care about an individuals personal privacy anymore. Also it's been like 60 years since the end of the Cold War and the government is still so against communism. Yes, I'll admit communism isn't exactly the best system of government but it certainty isn't the most evil devilish thing in the world as our government makes it out to be. People think that if they elect Republicans things are going to magically change well I got news for you it doesn't matter who you elect they aren't going to get things done. I know it's been said a million times before, but all these politicians are crooks and liars Nixon was just the only one that got caught.

The reason things never change no matter who you elect, is because they're all on the same team.

 

Now before anyone goes off on 'alex jones lolz what a joke,' actually pay attention to the video. Ya sure this guy can be totally over the top at times, but doesn't mean you need to dismiss it before even watching it. Now John Kerry and George Bush both belong(ed) to a secret society called skull and bones, yet they ran as opponents.. doesn't that make you start to think this whole election between dem. or rep., left and right is just a giant illusion that we actually have a choice and say in the matter? No matter what they say and who we vote, it ALWAYS stays the same.

 

 

 

Actual footage of these strange rituals are kept for the end.. really just makes you go.. wtf?? these are our elected officials.. notify.gif ?

 

And I saw a report the other day about how after this 11 year old girl got searched at the airport, then went home and cried for 5 hours because she had felt that she'd been sexually assaulted. Also this elderly man had a catheter and one of the tsa agents grabbed it, pulled it, then squeezed it making the bag leak all over.. it's like their conditioning us to believe we're just objects that need no rights in the face of danger. We need less people like qwerty who think 'technology goood, basic human rights for living beings baaad.' I'm glad to see people be upset about this though, it gives me hope that this country isn't entirely full of brain dead, propaganda filled objects that feel safer with their life in the hands of big brother.

 

I would much rather face the realities and dangers of the real world with my basic human rights intact than be some slave living in the comfort zone and life style the government finds to best suit me..

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tubbs51

Last i heard you only get the pat down if you decline the body scan... which i dont see the problem in.....

 

@Wolfenhoffen: nice way to put words in my mouth dick... what i meant is that just cause we believe children are off limits doesnt mean islamic extremists do... and their reach is very far...

 

and once again if you agree to the body scan (by a machine) you wont get the pat down...

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dog_day_sunrise

 

No idea. Care to post all of the criteria which go into these indices and how these were derived so that we can discuss whether they are applicable to the topic of discussion?

 

United States is a Republic. Feel free to read the constitution. People within a Republic are not equally represented, and the executive branch can be extremely authoritarian, depending on a whole lot of other things. In particular, in United States, the government is effectively authoritarian when the country is at war, which it is. As result of current wars, basic rights, such as right for trial, no illegal search and seizure, and so on, are effectively suspended.

 

Finally, don't confuse Democracy and Democratic. Soviet Union was Democratic. Had popular elections and everything. Yet you wouldn't stop me from calling it authoritarian, would you?

 

Liberty and liberal aren't synonyms either. US populi have a lot of liberty, but they tend not to vote for liberals.

Liberty and liberalism are synonymous. Liberalism is the promotion of minimal governmental interference in the day-to-day life of it's citizens, most notably individual personal rights, freedoms, and a level of constitutionally enshrined equality between aforementioned citizens. Liberty is the extent to which the above exist in a nation. Note that equality does not mean equality of representation, which in itself is a dangerous thing; no country has a political system in which the rights of every citizen are equally represented. One man, one vote, is about the closest you can get to that- along with the principal that given the same individual circumstance, any two people in aforementioned circumstance would be treated according to the same set of rules (precedent), which is most definitely the case.

 

You seem to be confusing the political concept of Liberalism and the sociological concept of Liberalism, which are to some degree intertwined but not even close to being the same thing.

 

I appreciate the fact that civil liberties have been squeezed in most Western democracies by the "War on Terror" but there's nowhere near as much infringement into people's lives by the legislative process in the US than there is is most of Western Europe (particularly EU states, though Scandinavia ranks highest in terms of individual liberties). In terms of political liberty, the US is pretty good.

 

Also, the comments about infringement into personal privacy are pretty moot. No part of the US constitution enshrines privacy as a right.

 

Democracy index:

> The extent to which elections are free and fair

> The security of voters regardless of which political party or organization they support

> The level of influence foreign powers have on government or political processes

> The capability of the bureaucracy and other state institutions to implement the law

 

Reporters without Borders

> Direct aggression against the media

> Coercion and indirect pressure on the media

> Freedom of information

 

State of World Liberty

> Legally enshrined human rights and freedoms

> Economic freedom

> Government intervention and taxation

 

By any measure, the US is a democratic, economically and socially liberal system. I know it's become the "fashion" to question the freedom and fairness of the US administration but lets be fair, they're not planting microchips in your heads or throwing out all the Roma, are they?

Edited by dog_day_sunrise

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GrandMaster Smith

Well our media is getting taken down step by step. There are numerous reports where reporters have been told to change their story cause it doesn't 'get the right message across.' We have our mainstream media with for the most part is utter crap, then we have media from the internet which is our main portal for the most unbiased reporting imo. If I recall correctly there was a bill put forward a while back to require online journalists to have some sort of license basically trying to turn online media into mainstream but thankfully it didn't pass.

 

The same people own the majority of networks out there so when one channels crap, usually all of the rest are too. For a good example go google videos of Charles Jaco and fake coverage on Persian Gulf war and also FEMA faking a new conference with their own employees, or Fox news exposes Monsanto cow hormone BGH.. the same guys who produce the deadly artificial sweetener also try genetically altering cows and telling us its good despite the research showing how harmful it can be. These are just a few real good examples of media corruptness.

 

We are far from being in some sort of total police state, and as long as we make sure the government does their job right we should have nothing to worry about. We just need to make sure people don't give into government propaganda and do whatever they tell us to without critically and logically thinking about it first, thats where things can start to get ugly.

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illspirit

 

If we were living in a fascist police state you wouldn't be able to ask that question, now would you?

 

Quit with your delusions, they've gotten stale.

Word on the street is there's a memo floating around the DHS Office of Intel and Analysis instructing all applicable agents to gather info about any person or group that objects to the screenings or encourages others to do same. Still waiting on verification on this, but if true, you can scratch being "able to ask that question." tounge.gif

 

Now, with that out of the way, no, we're not now a fascist country. We've been one for the last 70 or 80 years. While police states and fascism tend to correlate rather strongly, one is not truly necessary for the other. Mussolini himself said that "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." The police state tactics he used were only to accelerate the process. Between the bailouts, subsidies, the revolving door of lobbyists/bankers/executives in government, quasi-state entities (such as Fannie Mae, the Fed, all the way down to weird sh*t like the National Dairy Council..), and other such public-private partnerships, can anyone think of a better term to describe the US than Corporatism?

 

And while all these little (and not so little..) things aren't brutally enforced in public by men in jackboots, every rule and regulation is still backed by the implicit threat of lethal force.

 

 

Liberty and liberalism are synonymous. Liberalism is the promotion of minimal governmental interference in the day-to-day life of it's citizens, most notably individual personal rights, freedoms, and a level of constitutionally enshrined equality between aforementioned citizens.

Maybe in proper English speaking counties, but here in 'Merca, most words in the political lexicon have been twisted to mean the exact opposite. Hence why we had to invent the word "libertarian" to differentiate ourselves from the statists who hijacked the word "liberal" (with the aid of "conservatives" who use the word as a bludgeon). wink.gif

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dog_day_sunrise
Now, with that out of the way, no, we're not now a fascist country. We've been one for the last 70 or 80 years. While police states and fascism tend to correlate rather strongly, one is not truly necessary for the other. Mussolini himself said that "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." The police state tactics he used were only to accelerate the process. Between the bailouts, subsidies, the revolving door of lobbyists/bankers/executives in government, quasi-state entities (such as Fannie Mae, the Fed, all the way down to weird sh*t like the National Dairy Council..), and other such public-private partnerships, can anyone think of a better term to describe the US than Corporatism?

 

And while all these little (and not so little..) things aren't brutally enforced in public by men in jackboots, every rule and regulation is still backed by the implicit threat of lethal force.

 

 

Liberty and liberalism are synonymous. Liberalism is the promotion of minimal governmental interference in the day-to-day life of it's citizens, most notably individual personal rights, freedoms, and a level of constitutionally enshrined equality between aforementioned citizens.

Maybe in proper English speaking counties, but here in 'Merca, most words in the political lexicon have been twisted to mean the exact opposite. Hence why we had to invent the word "libertarian" to differentiate ourselves from the statists who hijacked the word "liberal" (with the aid of "conservatives" who use the word as a bludgeon). wink.gif

Corporatism suggests that the principal power rests with defined social and economic groups into which all citizens can be comfortably slotted. I'm not denying that that if often the case, but it's not necessarily fascist. Corporatism has been associated with almost every major philosophical theory besides communism/far-left socialism, because all it simply does it expand on the principal that all humans are not equal, which is, lets be fair, the truth.

 

Tripartism exists to some extent in any nation with a developed economy. Big business has so much influence over US legislation because of the complete separation of the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government. With so little interaction between them as political organisations it gives a perfect opportunity for business to exercise it's influence- hence why the collaboration between business, interest groups and political policy is so pronounced in the US.

 

That does not make it fascist to any degree- a corporatist society can be fascist, but it's not a prerequisite. Yes, there has been some erosion of civil liberties in the USA, as there has elsewhere in the world, but freedom of speech, belief, free elections with limited terms, expression and press are all enshrined in the US legal and political systems, and all play a paramount role in everyday US life. In terms of constitutionally enshrined rights that contravene the fascist principals of extreme autocracy and restriction of personal freedom, the US is far more liberal than somewhere like the UK.

 

I'm fully aware that language varies on either side of the pond, but I'm addressing political theories by their name, and don't care much for the whole liberal/conservative branding. Especially when both the democrats and republicans are working in a political system that is, by it's definition, a near-perfect replication of the liberal principal of enshrined equality of freedom and rights for all citizens. Whether that leads to equality of opportunity is utterly irrelevant, as that's far more down to social background, upbringing and sheer luck than it is to any limitations in the political system.

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Breaking Bohan

Calling it a police state may be a bit over the top but it certainly is true that individual liberties are being restricted in the name of "security." Not only are people being searched now when traveling but I saw a news report of how New York City is now putting up thousands of cameras just to record people walking/driving on the streets and in public spaces. I recognize that having cameras everywhere is common in Europe, but it is sort of sad/alarming to have little or no privacy when traveling anywhere ... but it is frightening to think how all these security measures could be abused by authorities.

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dog_day_sunrise
Calling it a police state may be a bit over the top but it certainly is true that individual liberties are being restricted in the name of "security." Not only are people being searched now when traveling but I saw a news report of how New York City is now putting up thousands of cameras just to record people walking/driving on the streets and in public spaces. I recognize that having cameras everywhere is common in Europe, but it is sort of sad/alarming to have little or no privacy when traveling anywhere ... but it is frightening to think how all these security measures could be abused by authorities.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the question:

 

What's more important: personal privacy or personal security?

 

 

 

 

Give me the intrusive, safe state any day of the week. I have nothing to hide.

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illspirit

 

Corporatism suggests that the principal power rests with defined social and economic groups into which all citizens can be comfortably slotted. I'm not denying that that if often the case, but it's not necessarily fascist. Corporatism has been associated with almost every major philosophical theory besides communism/far-left socialism, because all it simply does it expand on the principal that all humans are not equal, which is, lets be fair, the truth.

 

Tripartism exists to some extent in any nation with a developed economy. Big business has so much influence over US legislation because of the complete separation of the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government. With so little interaction between them as political organisations it gives a perfect opportunity for business to exercise it's influence- hence why the collaboration between business, interest groups and political policy is so pronounced in the US.

Ah, but corporatism is intertwined with communism/socialism as well, what, with the alternate name for fascism being national socialism and all. The primary difference between Marx and Mussolini was that the former saw socialism as a transitional stage on the path to international communism, and the latter saw socialism as the end itself. That one or the other saw nation, class, or race as the unifying theory is merely semantics as far as I'm concerned, being that all of the above subjugate the individual to the collective. Likewise, Marxist theory also relies on an elite and well-connected Vanguard Party to guide the revolution through a socialist dictatorship to communism. Not only are such inner-parties often filled with (self-loathing) rich people, they weren't (and, in the case of, say, China, still aren't) afraid to partner with corporate interests when seizing them outright wasn't an option.

 

As such, yea, I agree that tri-(or is it really trans-?)partism isn't unique to fascism. But then I also reject the traditional left/right dichotomy, and would (and just did tounge.gif) argue that fascism isn't unique to the "right." Like Hayek or Rand, I do not differentiate between economic and civil liberties since both involve personal choices and interactions. Any limit on either (both implicit or explicit) by the collective therefor moves the needle towards collective authority. According to Marx's own words, his Utopian vision would have the collective control everything in the world, so, for the sake of convenience, let's place that at the furthest left end of the spectrum. Fascists, who, by nature of their nationalism, tend to "only" want to control a nation or region cannot really be considered the opposite of communists since they still want massive amounts of control. Instead, I would place the anarcho-capitalist at the far right end of the spectrum. From this perspective, everything in between then becomes a sliding scale of the individual versus the size, scope, and authority of the collective.

 

Going from right to left on this scale passes first through family, community, and tribal, then on along through things like mercantilism, state-capitalism, and fascism, before finally ending up in socialism and communism. When viewed as such, it almost goes without saying that there is a lot of overlap between the stages. Mercantilism and corporatism, for instance, would be a large, hazy economic blob which starts just to the right of Marx's final, post-socialist ideal of communism and ends just to the left-- or, because of her support for a state monopoly of force --overlapping Rand's ideal form of capitalism. Which, in turn, is a few clicks left of, say, Rothbard or Mises.

 

 

That does not make it fascist to any degree- a corporatist society can be fascist, but it's not a prerequisite. Yes, there has been some erosion of civil liberties in the USA, as there has elsewhere in the world, but freedom of speech, belief, free elections with limited terms, expression and press are all enshrined in the US legal and political systems, and all play a paramount role in everyday US life. In terms of constitutionally enshrined rights that contravene the fascist principals of extreme autocracy and restriction of personal freedom, the US is far more liberal than somewhere like the UK.

I think you're missing my point that a police state isn't a prerequisite for fascism. The actual use of force in politics is as much a function of (perceived) resistance to an idea as the ideology itself. Aside from (and by no means minimizing) Hitler's insane obsession with eugenics, fascism's brutality in the early 20th century was limited mainly to holdouts from existing socialist regimes and movements. In the US and UK, our progressives and your Fabians openly praised fascism for its core, economic components before the war made it unpopular to do so. Were it not for Hitler's madness, and if fascism was allowed to run its course in Spain and Italy, their police states would have likely faded out as the corporatist economy normalized. Much like Pinochet eventually gave up control in Chile.

 

Without some perceived internal threat to a system, otherwise totalitarian ideologies can and do hobble along bloodlessly for the most part. This is why hippie communes full of consenting Marxists or small towns of religious fundamentalist can exist without the mass graves and burning witches in town square which would happen without fail if imposed on a larger scale.

 

As for our liberties, again, I do not differentiate between civil and economic, and the economic side has been under heavy attack since the early 20th century. Being that fascism is corporatism, and corporatism is an economic position which doesn't care about abstracts such as civil rights or classes, it is really no surprise that those have generally been left alone. If all one wants is economic control, what better distraction than to say the subject is "free" because you let people complain about it?

 

With regards to elections, well, those are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Thanks to decades of corrupt and/or lazy politicians, more and more rules are being written by fiat by unelected bureaucrats at various agencies Congress has delegated their power to. Agencies who are increasingly acting without oversight and forming their own SWAT teams to impose their non-legislative rules. We may not be a police state yet, but if this isn't checked, we'll be there soon.

 

 

I'm fully aware that language varies on either side of the pond, but I'm addressing political theories by their name, and don't care much for the whole liberal/conservative branding. Especially when both the democrats and republicans are working in a political system that is, by it's definition, a near-perfect replication of the liberal principal of enshrined equality of freedom and rights for all citizens. Whether that leads to equality of opportunity is utterly irrelevant, as that's far more down to social background, upbringing and sheer luck than it is to any limitations in the political system.

Fair enough. Just wanted to make sure since there are a surprising number of people who don't realize this.

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dog_day_sunrise
With regards to elections, well, those are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Thanks to decades of corrupt and/or lazy politicians, more and more rules are being written by fiat by unelected bureaucrats at various agencies Congress has delegated their power to. Agencies who are increasingly acting without oversight and forming their own SWAT teams to impose their non-legislative rules. We may not be a police state yet, but if this isn't checked, we'll be there soon.

A lot of good points on here- particularly noting the overlap between the extremities of both right and left-wing policy (which is something that's often neglected by, well, just about everyone when they address the political extremes), but I'm going to focus on this one.

 

This is in no way meant to be derogatory or offensive, but I think this statement has as much to do with personal disillusionment with political system as it does have basis in truth. The US political system is designed in such a way that each individual electoral process is effectively pointless, but the overall balance of power across the three arms of the government is what produces policy. It's been a while since I've studied US politics, but doesn't the US system pride itself on a bureaucracy that operates independently of the legislature, and is principally answerable to the executive?

 

The gradual erosion of civil liberties is a sad truth, as is the bureaucratic nature of most modern political systems- the power to implement and enact law is in the hands of the civil service in most democracies- but in the US at least there is a degree of power separation. In the UK, the executive branch is judge, jury and executioner- formed from the leadership of the largest party in the legislature, and with the ability to appoint most of the judiciary. Powers in the US have been diverted towards the bureaucracy because the separation of powers means that no individual branch of government can act effectively- just look at how complicated and drawn-out the US lawmaking process is. The real reason for the gradual dilution of US legislative and executive law-making powers is simply the absurdly complex nature of the US Federal system. Nothing can be done unless all parties are in agreement, so the onus is on the civil servants to ensure that policy keeps pace with society.

 

The US political system has function well for hundreds of years but modern requirements for rapid legislation and progressive government render the US system too bloated and unwieldy. Germany, the other great western Federal government, survives by having collaborative government which enables a degree of cross-party consensus for the enacting of legislation. The factionalised nature of the US political system is it's greatest downfall when it comes to lawmaking.

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vinnygorgeous

You know big business attempted an actual military coup d’etat in America in the thirties to bring about a fascist state based on the ideas of Hitler and Mussolini. It was a corporate reaction to the policies of FDR which they called socialism. It only failed because the general recruited, Smedley Butler, decided he was fed up of being a gangster for capitalism and made the plot public.

I’ve often wondered if they teach this in school, they probably do but tell the kids “it was a giant hoax” as did the contemporary American press, but it has been explored in depth in Britain by historians on our most respected radio station as well as appearing on television history documentaries. It definitely was not a hoax or tinfoil hat conspiracy, the question you have to ask yourself is, can I expect corporate America to behave more democratically today than in the thirties. My opinion would be no but I am an anti free market capitalist and would love to see capitalism 4.0 finally get started.

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dog_day_sunrise
You know big business attempted an actual military coup d’etat in America in the thirties to bring about a fascist state based on the ideas of Hitler and Mussolini. It was a corporate reaction to the policies of FDR which they called socialism. It only failed because the general recruited, Smedley Butler, decided he was fed up of being a gangster for capitalism and made the plot public.

As far as I'm aware, yes a plot was floated, but there is an utterly enormous divide between planning an enacting ideas. Many absurd ideas have been floated (see comments in other threads re. remote viewing, or operation Northwoods as a perfect example), but very few make it past the original inception stage. I'm not saying that there was no potential for the plot to be enacted, just that, as it never was, it is unlikely that we will ever know whether it was a serious idea or a half-brained scheme that would never have got off the ground.

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illspirit

 

This is in no way meant to be derogatory or offensive, but I think this statement has as much to do with personal disillusionment with political system as it does have basis in truth. The US political system is designed in such a way that each individual electoral process is effectively pointless, but the overall balance of power across the three arms of the government is what produces policy. It's been a while since I've studied US politics, but doesn't the US system pride itself on a bureaucracy that operates independently of the legislature, and is principally answerable to the executive?

It's entirely fair to say that has much to do with disillusionment, though it might not be technically accurate since I was never really suffering from any illusion to start with. My political life, as it were, began with hardcore anarchism, and over time I've pragmatically "settled" on libertarianism since almost everybody else seems to want some government doing something; and there's no sense pulling out entirely and ceding the proverbial battlefield. As such, I'm not one to think the original (or any other) system was perfect. Being that the very concept of government is all but alien to me, my analysis of how it's evolved is more from a sense of of cynical detachment than disillusionment.

 

Now, with the root of my bias out of the way, yes, the US electoral process was designed to be somewhat pointless because the Federal government was only supposed to have a handful of strictly limited powers and little effect on the everyday lives of the people. Even the Federalists-- who wanted a powerful central government for the purpose of defense and international trade/diplomacy --thought it best for most legislative power to remain within the several States and at the local level.

 

For the first 130 years or so, if the Feds wanted to outlaw something or otherwise invent a new power, they generally accepted that the Constitution must be amended to do so. Likewise, Congress also used to abide by the nondelegation doctrine and rather jealously protected their legislative powers from acts of administrative fiat. This was in part due to the fact that the Senate was appointed by State legislatures who generally wanted to keep powers away from DC altogether.

 

The latter check on central power went the way of the dodo in 1913 with the passage of the 17th Amendment which made Senators elected by popular vote. Then in the wake of the New Deal in 1942, the Supreme Court pretty much eradicated the notion that there are any limits on Federal power in the case of Wickard v. Filburn to defend themselves from Presidential threats to stack the court. Where the Constitution once needed amending to outlaw even something obvious like slavery, now they can ban light bulbs on a whim or send in an FDA SWAT team if you ship lobster in a bag rather than a box. Where once they needed an amendment to prohibit (and another to re-allow) the sale of alcohol, there's a War on (some) Drugs, and, just in the last week or so, an arbitrary prohibition on certain brands of alcohol due to a ridiculous media-induced moral panic.

 

One might (and at the time of passing, they did) argue that the aforementioned 17th Amendment empowered the electorate. But all this has done has diluted the power of every vote at every level of government while DC has used every popular complaint and crisis as an excuse to consolidate more power into their own hands. This strength is also their very weakness, as such central power provides a single point of attack for rent-seekers and the power hungry who wish to capture the system.

 

So, yea, I guess you could say the system itself prides itself on its bureaucracy, but outside of the ruling class, government employees, and the pundits from both "sides" who worship the system, most people are rather sick of it. While the "right" decries Big Government and the "left" rant about Big Business, they're generally all angry at the same thing even though most of them are too busy shouting at each other to realize it.

 

 

The gradual erosion of civil liberties is a sad truth, as is the bureaucratic nature of most modern political systems- the power to implement and enact law is in the hands of the civil service in most democracies- but in the US at least there is a degree of power separation. In the UK, the executive branch is judge, jury and executioner- formed from the leadership of the largest party in the legislature, and with the ability to appoint most of the judiciary. Powers in the US have been diverted towards the bureaucracy because the separation of powers means that no individual branch of government can act effectively- just look at how complicated and drawn-out the US lawmaking process is. The real reason for the gradual dilution of US legislative and executive law-making powers is simply the absurdly complex nature of the US Federal system. Nothing can be done unless all parties are in agreement, so the onus is on the civil servants to ensure that policy keeps pace with society.

 

The US political system has function well for hundreds of years but modern requirements for rapid legislation and progressive government render the US system too bloated and unwieldy. Germany, the other great western Federal government, survives by having collaborative government which enables a degree of cross-party consensus for the enacting of legislation. The factionalised nature of the US political system is it's greatest downfall when it comes to lawmaking.

Well, as above, the whole thing was designed so there wouldn't be much national lawmaking. But I still think you hit the nail on the head there with regards to the design being its own downfall. The fact that it's so hard to get anything big done is why it's next to impossible to repeal seemingly small laws which passed easily only to morph into massive bureaucratic nightmares decades later.

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dog_day_sunrise
Well, as above, the whole thing was designed so there wouldn't be much national lawmaking. But I still think you hit the nail on the head there with regards to the design being its own downfall. The fact that it's so hard to get anything big done is why it's next to impossible to repeal seemingly small laws which passed easily only to morph into massive bureaucratic nightmares decades later.

Federal systems need to strike an effective balance between local level and national powers. Generally, a bias towards local-level legislation means that regulation is harder to enforce (individual states are underfunded compared to central government agencies) and poses problems for those who live or work across a number of different states (complex legislative system). In contrast, a large central government makes lawmaking extremely unwieldy and imprecise, meaning that legislation spends most of it's time stalled or being filibustered half to hell.

 

Personally, I've never seen the appeal of the "left". I started out much more "liberal" than I currently am, but over the last 5 or so years I've come to realise that the vast majority of people have no understanding of what is best for them in the long-run, and only care about maintaining a short-term equilibrium. Hence becoming gradually more enamored by benevolent dictatorship or (to a greater extent) technocracy. Transferring power to the people only works if the people have an understanding of the economic, political and social implications of that power, and can make a rational decision based on not only what is best for their own, selfish short-term interest, but what is most effective over a longer period of time, or wider society as a whole. People seem to neglect the fact that a self-serving decision that has a negative effect on others will, in the long-run, usually be worse for them.

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illspirit

 

Federal systems need to strike an effective balance between local level and national powers. Generally, a bias towards local-level legislation means that regulation is harder to enforce (individual states are underfunded compared to central government agencies) and poses problems for those who live or work across a number of different states (complex legislative system). In contrast, a large central government makes lawmaking extremely unwieldy and imprecise, meaning that legislation spends most of it's time stalled or being filibustered half to hell.

Yes, but the inability to enforce homogeneous regulation was one of the selling points of the US Constitution. The original idea was that the several States would have to compete amongst themselves, and if regulation (or lack thereof) didn't work in one State, people and business could vote with their feet and move. This might not make sense in the context of modern government, but for the Federal government to invent new powers to do things without amending its own charter is to undermine the rule of law. Whether or not the intentions are good, when people see the government acting outside the black letter of the law, they begin making topics (and protest signs and newspaper editorials, etc..) asking whether "fascism" is upon us.

 

 

Personally, I've never seen the appeal of the "left". I started out much more "liberal" than I currently am, but over the last 5 or so years I've come to realise that the vast majority of people have no understanding of what is best for them in the long-run, and only care about maintaining a short-term equilibrium. Hence becoming gradually more enamored by benevolent dictatorship or (to a greater extent) technocracy. Transferring power to the people only works if the people have an understanding of the economic, political and social implications of that power, and can make a rational decision based on not only what is best for their own, selfish short-term interest, but what is most effective over a longer period of time, or wider society as a whole. People seem to neglect the fact that a self-serving decision that has a negative effect on others will, in the long-run, usually be worse for them.

The "left" makes a lot more sense if you view "left and right" like I do as a sliding scale of individual vs. collective rather than as opposites. At its core, the left promises just what any other group-based ideology or activity does: absolving the adherent of personal responsibility. Whether it's politics or even team sports to an extent, members of a collective are inclined to believe that anything bad which happens isn't their fault, but that society/the whole team/whatever or an outside force/opposing team is to blame. When the group's policy/gameplan is what messes up, well, since it's everybody's fault, then it's no one's. And if nobody personally feels the regret, any blame on the group itself becomes merely abstract if nobody will accept it. Should an outside force (or an internal scapegoat they feel like throwing under the bus) causes (or seems to cause..) the failure, this gives them an enemy/other to unite against and an output for their repressed blame.

 

In reverse, a member of the collective is prone to think any short term gain for self is good for the group, regardless of the unintended consequences which may follow since that won't be anyone's fault anyway. To continue the lazy sports analogy, this is as true of the politician who votes to bankrupt their country ten years from now for an election today (and the morons who in turn vote for them) as it is of the hotshot footballer who tries to make a mathematically impossible goal only to give the ball to the other team. In both cases, members of the collective and their sycophants in the press will likely praise the fool for his "brave" move and blame the banks/other team or political party/whatever for the inevitable fail.

 

What's not to like about this? tounge.gif

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GrandMaster Smith

came across this earlier, personally thought it was hilarious the thought of government officials trolling forums..

 

Homeland Security trolling

 

 

Tax dollars at work people! Glad they work so hard for the people haha

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Icarus

The only comment I have about this topic is about an experience my friend had dealing with a government agency of the United States.

 

He was crossing into the United States from Canada by land border (he is Canadian) and when he got to the border, US Customs and Border Protection brought him inside for secondary questioning. In the end, he ended up being refused entry into the United States because he could not prove he had the money to sustain himself (although he was working full-time). He figured that would be the end of it, but he said before he was allowed to return to Canada, he was brought into a room where he was photographed and fingerprinted for future records.

 

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like that's a bit excessive for something that does not seem really severe (i.e. not being able to prove sufficient funding). If he was caught trying to smuggle something illegal into the US, I could understand the fingerprinting and such, but for a minor violation, that seems a bit excessive. However, since I am not an American citizen, it's not really my call to be questioning CBP's procedures on border clearance.

 

As far as I know, if you get rejected from entering Canada, you just get a letter from CBSA saying you retract your request to enter Canada and they send you on your way.

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mike752
Americans. You internets now also isn't free anymore since a anti-piracy countermeasure bill almost passes:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1828922520101118

 

Disabled access to sites tagged as pro-piracy. I think in the future 'terrorist' websites will be added.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans attack this just like they attacked the Healthcare Bill by saying it's unconstitutional. They'll probably make the claim that it violates the freedom of speech/expression.

 

On topic: I personally don't have a problem with being searched. I like the peace of mind that everyone on my plane has been checked.

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Jesus'En'Hitler420

The body scanners or any of this crap isn't foolproof anyways: Man passes TSA checkpoint with fully loaded gun in carry on (12/17/2010)

 

I say we just go back to profiling. When Bush made that standard practice, I don't seem to recall anything else happening post 9/11/01. The machines cost money we do not have, the pat downs take too much time and are just unnecessary. Quite frankly I think this whole business is just a bunch of backroom deals to sell expensive equipment coupled with Obama's pussyfooting stance of not wanting to appear "Islamophobic" to the world. I contend he's the real racist of the bunch.

 

We're just entering some kind of soft cuddly tyranny, man, just go with the flow sarcasm.gif The only time it will really be fascism is when the Constitution is wholly suspended (Borderline is as far as I'm concerned) and the executive branch declares Marshall Law.

 

@mike, how do you even know everyone is being checked? You're just assuming a bunch of doodyhead TSA agents are doing a diligent job at protecting you when the fact is these planes have loads of people on them and they are still only humans with human limitations. What has even convinced you that checking everyone is required for you to feel safe anyways? Do you not live in fear then that when you board a bus you might get yourself blown sky high because these isn't a handful NHTSA agents checking everyones bags and feeling genitals up before you take a seat?

 

Planes just make a sensational news stories.

Edited by Jesus'En'Hitler420

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