Wednesday Warning

I saw an excerpt of this quote in Never a Dull Moment, and when I looked for the full article online, I was amused to find it posted on what was once a big anti-Bush forum:

Jim Garrison, Playboy Interview, October, 1967
“What worries me deeply, and I have seen it exemplified in this case, is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans evolved; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours, curiously enough, seems to be emerging from prosperity. But in the final analysis, it’s based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. Its origins can be traced in the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower vainly warned us about, which now dominates every aspect of our life. The power of the states and Congress has gradually been abandoned to the Executive Department, because of war conditions; and we’ve seen the creation of an arrogant, swollen bureaucratic complex totally unfettered by the checks and balances of the Constitution.

In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We’re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn’t the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same.

I’ve learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I’ve always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government’s basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I’ve come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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8 Responses to Wednesday Warning

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    I think that Jim Garrison is right in a sense (BTW: Have you read his book ‘On the Trail of the Assassins’? It’s pretty good), in that America – or at least some significant sections of it – has been steadily drifting towards Fascism since the 1960’s and probably before. But I don’t think that it will be something imposed upon a resistant people by the CIA or the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’. It’ll be demanded *by* the people and by the politicians that feed off them – all in the name of “security” of course….. But I think that the most important part of that quote was that it was made in 1967. Strange days indeed and very different from 2021.

    • I would have agreed before 2020, but after 2020 I’m absolutely sure of it. I’ve never seen an allegedly free people so eager to accept such irrational tyranny, so eager to police others for nothing. I can finally understand outlaw bikers now.. 😛

      I don’t think it’s so strange that the statement was made in 1967: the state had already assumed a benevolent master-subject relationship over the people thirty years prior, and a massive world war and the whole Cold War scene had mesmerized the people into identifying totally with the state.

    • Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

      The US is flinging itself off a cliff toward Marxism and socialism, not fascism. Unless you mean a state controlled country as the countries in Europe seem content to be, then I agree. A rose by any other name…

      I think this is because left wing idealogues have a stranglehold on our communication systems, like Hollywood here and the BBC in the UK.

      • Fascism is a…troublesome word. I personally prefer to reserve it for referring to Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain in the 30-40s (longer, in the case of Spain), for an ideology which exhalts and conjoins the Race & Nation as the greatest good, and rejects both free choice (capitalism) and Marxist theory in favor of a pseudo-mixed economy that is oriented explicility to serve the State, and thus the Race/Nation. These days most use the term (badly) to describe a “right-wing dictatorship”, that is, any authoritarian regime that seeks support from traditionalist quarters (family, religious, law-and-order types). This is sloppy and misleading, in my opinion.

        There is another use of fascism, though, the one most apt for today — a union of the State and corporate powers, so that one does the other’s bidding. This is unquestionably the state of affairs today, and it isn’t partisan: some corporations control and distort politics to favor war, mass medications, etc because of their interests, and some control and distort politics to push more leftist social policies. It doesn’t matter where you look, corporate and DC interests work together hand in glove. Traditionalists are more acutely aware of how Google/Facebook/DC are working together to push patent nonsense like the trans agenda, while progressives tend to be more acutely aware of the military-industrial complex part. I think the corporate-DC fusion is at its most obnoxious when it’s pushing the agenda of the left, because those issues are far more wide-ranging, effecting and distorting society as a whole, rather than their damage being defined and limited to getting us bogged down in terminable wars and empowering the militarization of the police.

  2. My fear is that the Bureaucratic state will continue to grow no matter which party is in power. Within that state the deepest and darkest corner is the intersection of the CIA and the Pentagon. Nothing I’ve seen in the five decades that I have been a voter has done anything to change that irreversible momentum.

    • I think this is true, and it’s why I’m more agreeable to ‘vonu’ than I would have been in earlier years. Rayo’s argument against political libertarianism was that even if a liberty paradise was established, it wouldn’t last long: the state itself would grow, as they inevitably do, or some power within the territory (a gang) would began asserting state-like privileges, as gangs do in many areas of Mexico and Central America. Or, the territory would just fall prey to an outside state. Rayo believed there was no solution for the state, no ideal arrangment, just an eternal war of determined individuals to live their lives just out of its grasp.

      • Cyberkitten says:

        I can conceive of something like Larry Niven’s ‘anarchy parks’ existing within a State system – essentially a hived off area (ex-National Park maybe?) where usual State rules don’t apply/enter at your own risk sort of deal. They could be used to allow violently anti-State people to live or blow off steam whenever they need to…. Kinds of a best of both worlds scenario??

  3. There are many people who are anti-State and anti-violence. In the United States there exists much State-sponsored violence that is usually propagated by the Bureaucracy to which our Congress has ceded the reins of power.

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