When Robert Jordan is asked in Ernest Hemingway’s FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS if the US could ever be permeated with fascists, he says: There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.
The time is now, as we sink and stumble toward a kind of familiar fascism:
~~~Forges national unity under an autocratic, authoritarian leader—the classic Strong Man—who will “solve all your problems” as he implements a program advocating stability, law and order, and more and more centralized power, claiming all of this is necessary in order to defend the homeland, and to respond effectively to economic instability.
~~~Attempts to mobilize a mass base through deliberately constructed fear and hatred as the leader prepares for armed conflict and permanent war, holding the military as a unifying model of organizational excellence, expanding the carceral surveillance state, glorifying national greatness and appealing to patriotic nationalism while militarizing the police and security forces and all aspects of society; agitates bigotry, intolerance, and threats as it fuels violence by demonizing targeted, distinct racial, religious, or gendered vulnerable populations, and creates sacrificial scapegoats who are repeatedly blamed for every social or economic problem people experience.
~~~Promotes disdain for the arts, for intellectual life, for reason and evidence, as well as deep contempt for the necessary back and forth of serious argument or discussion.
~~~Entangles corporations, the military, and the state, creating a military/industrial/corporate complex that takes over the instruments of government while it works to destroy the commons or a free and public space (public schools, public health, public safety), and disappear any sense of a public or a collective need in favor of hyper-individualism.