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Is Fascism Possible Here?


Short Version: mp3, 2.32 MBs, 2:54

Long Version: mp3, 4.04 MBs, 5:02

[Col. Recorded 10/28/04]

Fascism.

The very word evokes dark, menacing images of troops, marching in lockstep, in support of a terrible, malevolent ideology.

In a word, it suggests the followers of Mussolini in Italy, or Hitler in Germany.
To most of us, its very mention suggests its foreign nature; its Otherness.
Therein lies its danger. For, because it is seen as a foreign ideology, the inevitable idea arises: "It can't happen here."

Those who say this, either don't know, or don't want to know, American history. They prefer the safe myths, to the ugly truths of how this country came to be what it is.
What is fascism? In short, it is the merger of state and corporate interests.
What is totalitarianism? On April 23rd, 1976, the U.S. Congress issued its Final Select Committee report, which charged:

We have seen segments of our Government adopt tactics unworthy of a democracy and occasionally reminiscent of the tactics of totalitarian regimes. ... [T]he chief investigative branch of the federal government [FBI], which was charged by law with investigating crimes and preventing criminal conduct, itself engaged in lawless tactics and *responded to deep-seated social problems by fomenting violence and unrest.* [From Dr. Huey P. Newton, *War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America* [Ph.D. Dissertation (New York: Harlem River Press, 1996), p. 110]

Six months earlier, then-Sen. Walter Mondale (D-Minn.) would make similar comments as he opened hearings into the COINTELPRO revelations. On Nov. 19, 1975, he stated:

.... Yesterday, this committee heard some of the most disturbing testimony that can be imagined in a free society. We heard evidence that for decades the institutions designed to enforce the laws and Constitution of our country have been engaging in conduct that violates the law and the Constitution. We heard that the FBI, which is part of the Department of Justice, took justice into its own hands by seeking to punish those with unpopular ideas. We learned that the chief law enforcement agency in the federal Government decided that it did not need laws to investigate and suppress the peaceful and constitutional activities of those whom it disapproved.

Sen. Mondale added, on the floor of the Senate:

We heard testimony that the FBI, to protect the country against those it believed had totalitarian political views, employed the tactics of totalitarian societies against American citizens. We heard that the FBI attempted to destroy one of our greatest leaders in the field of civil rights [here, he refers to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], and then replace him with someone of the FBI's choosing. [From: U.S. Senate, *Hearings Before the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities:* [ (Vol.6)-F.B.I. (Wash., DC: U.S. Gov't Printing Office, 1976), p. 61.]

The state waged war against its own alleged 'citizens', with impunity.

But now, years after these hearings, thanks to the cleverly-named U.S. PATRIOT Act, what was illegal during the COINTELPRO era, is legal today. People who have opposed the Iraq War, or other actions of the Bush Regime, have been beaten, pepper-sprayed, framed, jailed, and tortured, in Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and beyond — for following their alleged 'rights' under the 1st Amendment. They have been caged, and corralled into so-called 'Free Speech Zones!' Which almost literally begs the question: If cages are 'free speech zones', what do you call the huge tracts of land and air that are outside these cages? Non-free-speech zones? And virtually every judge who has been asked to protect the people's rights to protest and assemble, over the cop's 'right' to cage and repress, has gone the cops way.

Fascism — the merger of state and corporate power — has made the struggle of workers for an 8-hour day, for the right to unionize, for vacation days, for collective bargaining, one stained with the blood of thousands of martyrs, martyrs for labor, like many of the members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), known as the Wobblies. They were beaten, thrown off trains, jailed by the dozens, framed, and slain, for defending worker's rights.

Fascism is more than a funny-sounding word; it is dyed deep into the fabric of American life; and creeps forward today, under cover of 'Law.'

[*Sources*: Newton, H.P., *WATP*.; Donner, Frank. *The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America's Political Intelligence System*. (NY: Vintage, 1981); McGuckin, Henry E., (Memoirs of a WOBBLY) (Chi.: Kerr, 1987).]

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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Reprinted by permission of the author.