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Is fascism coming to America?

Published 9:23am Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fascist Italy celebrated youth and idealism. Students were easy converts, as were many intellectuals. The unemployed or underemployed were won over by large public works projects. If that coalition sounds more left-wing than right, it was. Benito Mussolini, like Adolf Hitler, dabbled in socialism before adding nationalism to his ideological mix and gaining absolute power.

The essence of fascism in Europe was the all-powerful government, the direct opposite of conservatism. Left-leaning historians affixed a right-wing label to totalitarian regimes that were enemies of Stalin’s communist rule, even though there were more commonalities between the two than differences. Students, intellectuals and blue-collar workers formed the core. Their central tenet was that a smooth, persuasive leader at the head of a powerful central government was needed to create a better society. Sound familiar?

In the U.S. today American students, professors and union members are overwhelmingly on the left. In the 1920s in Italy that same coalition overwhelmingly fell for Mussolini’s message of idealism and action. Those who paved the way for fascism in Italy were militant union members or on college campuses. Today, look to Occupy Wall Street, university faculty and the Service Employees International Union to pave the way for the same.

Is this happening here now?


Paul Westrum
Albert Lea

  • Thomas Delano

    The argument of this letter is that an educated and unionized society enables socialism, which will eventually transform into fascism, and all of this will be the fault of politically liberal Americans.

    To answer your question, Paul, no. This is not happening here. The point you are trying to make (relating the rise of socialism and fascism in the early 1900s in Europe to the modern political climate of the USA) forgoes including the context of both situations, including the technological and social tools of the times and the developments and political shifts that have happened since. In short, your argument that students, professors, and union members enable fascism is inaccurate and ignores too many changes and contextual differences to have any sense of a coherent argument.

    You argue that fascists and socialists “central tenet was that a smooth, persuasive leader at the head of a powerful central government was needed to create a better society”. You then try to imply that our current president fills this role in the same manner as Hitler and Mussolini.

    Can anybody tell me if a branch of government has had the power recently to shut down the government itself?

    Can anybody tell me if, in recent day and weeks, the power has shifted and become centralized on a particular group of representatives who have undermined the democratic process in favor of pursuing their own ideologies and goals?

    Point out the faults and unethical actions of the NSA, and I will direct you to the Patriot Act that was blindly accepted in the nation-wide fear after 9/11.

    Tell me about the unfortunate loss of life in Benghazi. Tell me about the worries of war in Syria. Show me a president who let four citizens die in a terrible error, and I will remind you of a president who sent hundreds of me and women to fight for our freedoms and die for somebody’s profit. I will direct you to the two wars fought in heated reaction, one of which was largely fueled by corporate interests that resulted in far too many of our fellow citizens dying while our Vice President’s company reached record profits.

    Tell me how scandalous the Obama administration has been, and I will show you how the people of this country were pillaged for eight straight years.

    Tell me how the Americans who are working toward liberal or Democratic goals through education, understanding, and unity are destroying this country. Tell me that the way to work with those who disagree with you is by destroying the playing field, and I’ll show you how it’s already been done.

  • Angry1

    Maybe Thomas you didn’t see the Hudson school district apologizing for video with ‘political slant’ at Peace One Day event forcing kids to watch a slavish devotional to the current president. Maybe if one is truly interested one could look up Critical Pedagogy then tell me it’s not being employed on students a captive audience it’s that whole hearts and minds thing.

    Tell me why we have a president willing to follow some laws and ignore others as he pleases that is tyranny, he changes the law after passing favoring some and punishing others. “If” obamacare is so good why are the representatives, senators and cabinet members to include the current president exempted or have generous subsidies that the general population does not. They passed the “law” but are not subject to the law how lawful is that I am not subject to be ruled. I say obey obamacare as passed no more no less, without exemptions, without notwithstandings and carve outs but they won’t do that will they because the law is bad, bad for people and bad for the economy.

    I find it strange that most people find food tastes best when it comes from the producer instead of being processed and handled through middle men then why is healthcare different explain.

    Maybe there are union members more than a handful who’s money is being used in causes that they are vehemently opposed too but it’s mob rule so their voices are silenced but are forced to pay anyway, how American is that.

    There are THREE equal branches of government but according to the current administration everybody must bow down to the senate and executive branch no negotiations, but yet we will talk to Iran that made IED’s that killed our troops…..STRANGE.

    The average guy is not being served by the government but being forced to serve it by the consolidation of power to the federal level, government is not a wonderful tapestry being woven into everybody’s life it’s a necessary evil that needs to be kept on a short leash by the people it serves.

    Open and transparency were words used by this administration they forgot accountability either way it was just empty words by empty suit ideologues.