Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America (Forbidden Bookshelf)

Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America (Forbidden Bookshelf)

Language: English

Pages: 442

ISBN: B01AVTU70C

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A treatise by a White House insider on the root causes and inherent dangers of late twentieth-century American despotism written by a White House insider, with a new introduction by Chris Hedges

In 1980, US capitalist politics wore a “nice-guy mask,” a troubling disguise to cover up a creeping despotism in which the ultra-rich and corporate overseers were merging with a centralized state power in order to manage the populace. This immanent corporate authoritarianism threatened to subvert constitutional democracy. But unlike the violent and sudden usurpations that led to fascism in the days of Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese empire builders, this new “smiling” American breed of fascism was gaining ground through gradual and silent infringements on the freedoms of the American people.
 
First published over three decades ago, Friendly Fascism is uncannily predictive of the threats and realities of current political and economic power trends. Author Bertram Gross, a presidential adviser during the New Deal era, traces the history and logic of declining democracy in First World countries and pinpoints capitalist transnational growth and inappropriate responses to global crises as the sources of late twentieth-century despotism in America. Gross issues ever-urgent warnings about what happens when big business and big government become bedfellows—chronic inflation, recurring recession, overt and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of the environment—and simultaneously proffers a practical shift of perspective that could help US citizens build a truer democracy. He imagines an America in which heroes are no longer needed and the leadership is a group of non-elitists who “recognize the ignorance of the wise as well as the wisdom of the ignorant.”

 

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everybody really knows is that the fanfare of elections and “participatory” democracy usually disguises business-government control. Some years ago, a few students popularized this conjugation of the verb “participate”: I participate. We participate. You (singular) participate. You (plural) participate. He, she or it participates. THEY decide. In a world of concentrated, impersonal power, the important levers and wires are usually pulled by invisible hands. To no one is it given to look on

many people who try to unravel these mysteries. Social scientists receive research grants not to study power structures in any comprehensive sense. Those who make the effort—like G. William Domhoff, C. Wright Mills, and Gabriel Kolko—have had to operate on the fringes of scientific respectability, with more academic obstruction than support. Fortunately, their work has been aided by an equally small number of investigative journalists such as Ferdinand Lundberg and Morton Mintz, and lawyers like

Goldwater in 1964 was a defeat for the northeast liberal corporate wing of the Establishment. But in 1968, with the nomination and election of Richard Nixon, who succeeded in planting one foot firmly in each camp, a new synthesis was achieved. By admitting the new challengers from the West, Southwest and South, the northeastern wing succeeded in maintaining its power. By the 1970s it slowly began to dawn on political commentators that there is no longer any northeastern liberal corporate faction

was on its way out and the majority of the population had attained “affluence.” Thus the mere contemplation of the “objective data” carefully selected under his direction induced the usually self-contained Arthur Burns (later named chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve Board) into the following orgasmic spasm of economic hyperbole: “The transformation in the distribution of our national income … may already be counted as one of the great social revolutions in

left-wing parties and getting them to go along with the massive public-sector assistance to the Birlas, Tatas, and other large capitalist conglomerates. But much more was needed: a large infusion of foreign capital and technology. This was obtained under Nehru’s inspired leadership by an adroit playing of the Soviet Union against the capitalist countries. The more help they received from the Soviet Union (in return for which small favors were given on the world political arena), the easier it was

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