Germans did it. The Italians. The Chileans. The Spanish. And, now, the Americans.
When I was a kid, the ultimate enemy, other than the bully down the block, was the Nazi. This cruel and malevolent force filled with cretinous fiends would just as soon toss a baby into the air and catch it on a pitchfork in the name of nationalism as brush their teeth. They were despicable. Despite the desire of many to paint the Germans as a people who were completely deranged, my young mind could not believe that every single German was happy with a regime that was so evil. And, of course, not every German was such a monster. But the victims, many of them, were Germans--Germans who were branded not German, the other, the lower creature. Yet, enough people turned their heads, closed their eyes and often willingly and enthusiastically participated in the mayhem. Why?
Is it simple tribalism? I don't know. I wish I did. The next question is what do we do about this rise of fascism? The progressive left counsels that we not greet violence with violence because we become no better than those who impose violence upon us. I then think back to what ultimately helped destroy fascism in history and I see it is war. It is resistance. Very few, if any, repulsions of fascism occurred with only the voices of the people. World War Two was an orgy of violent action that only came about after Fascist countries had already killed millions through death camps and cleansing operations. While it is clear that the companies which profit from war were clearly behind a great deal of the impetus for war, and it is true that those same companies could care less about the motivations of any of their customers, the fact is, it was violence that destroyed the fascist movements of the mid twentieth century.
One must ask, then, will countering violence with violence in the early stages of fascism hinder it or help it? Unfortunately, I believe that violence to counter fascism will lead to more fascism because fascists have only one tool in their toolbox and that is violence. Like Hitler, they will seize upon any act of violence against their authority as reason to apply more violence. We know this from history. Many of the false flag operations of history were developed to justify a fascist response. Agents provocateur are rife within the Occupy Movement: cops and soldiers and spies who are all throwing brickbats in order to justify escalation of violence across the spectrum of peaceful dissent.
What to do? Now, before some creepy right-wing shitbag grabs what I am about to say and uses it out of context, I will right here say that the following is not a call to suicide-bombing by anyone anywhere. One of our greatest tools is the rise of complete video coverage of every event and the Internet as broadcast medium, as long as it remains open. With constant live-streaming and posting, every time some cop throws a punch at a peaceful protester, a journalist, or a hapless stander by, that video becomes the equivalent of a peaceful suicide bomb. Peaceful protestors and, increasingly, journalists are putting their bodies in the mine-field of the police lines. They trigger the cops who are essentially human suicide bombs. The cops do not die; however, they go on to explode over and over. One never knows when a cop will grab the cord on his suicide vest and explode. Who knows? You may be guilty of the heinous crime of using the sidewalk. Bam, cop explodes wounding three.
If this incident is captured on video, it affects more than those who are hit and those who do the hitting. (Make no mistake, the police suffer psychological injury as well--at least the sane ones do.) It shows people the facts on the ground, much like television did during the Vietnam War, when it was a responsible, fact-oriented enterprise. The government, and that includes the Obama administration which is coordinating this suppression, is hell bent on clearing journalists from the operating area and on conducting operations, where possible, at night to forestall those who might document and post their crimes. They know the power of exposure. They know that when people see the inherent unfairness and cruelty manifest in a fascist government, that the people will rise up and hang them from their heels. But, that may take some time.
The truth is, the majority of Americans are completely out of the loop. They know that things aren't as good as they used to be, but they buy into the propaganda that applying more of the same will somehow make it all better--for now. The news they get is biased and completely untrue, and due to the gutting of the Fairness Doctrine by Raygun, it is likely they will never get the truth from the four to six media conglomerates that control 95% of everything that hits the average American's brain pan. The corporate media that they watch is tilted to the corporation's viewpoint. They watch one station and one only and without the Fairness Doctrine, they will never be in danger of receiving the opposing view. In other words, even though they are fixated on how evil the socialist government is, according to their TV personality, they will support their glorious government when they fight the socialists and anarchists and jihadists on the streets.
But, like Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Spain's fascist era, these cruel people will continue to apply the only tool they know, violence, and they will eventually affect those brain-dead people who are for now comfortable. As each new group of aggrieved people take to the streets, a new level of violence is enacted to suppress them. This causes collateral damage to friends and relatives and the ranks of the anti-fascists grow.
Now, having said all that, I have bad news. It seems that the fascist impulse is hard to kill. A year or two after WW2, a survey indicated that better than fifty percent of French people felt that violence should not have been used to overthrow Hitler.
Really? It is to weep.