By Karl Arnold Belser
10 November 2013

I intend that this BLOB be politically neutral, soI debated a long time before commenting on the book I recently read, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America by the Pulitzer Prize winning Chris Hedges.  See the Wikipedia Summary.  

I want to report what I consider data, with which a person might be able to better prepare for possible futures. So let me state up front that the rest of this post is a potential Black Swan that may or may not be of importance.

I know a person who has in recent years become more religious. What he reports are immoral trends in the US, for example the giving to homosexuals rights to marry, allowing obscenity like pornography, giving women the right to choose to give birth, and   socialism like the  affordable care act (ACA). He apparently thinks that the government is swinging toward communism. He thinks something should be done. See the video Agenda: Grinding America Down.

I reviewed the rise of fascism in Italy during the 1920s and there in fact was this kind of moral imperative. The question was: who is going to define what is immoral and who is going to enforce and curb the lack of morality? The problem lies in the required kind of unfettered authoritarian judgment and enforcement.

It seems to me that people are entitled to their views, even if the views might be in conflict with the US constitution, namely the 14th Amendment that defines the rights of US citizens. The resulting 14th amendment paradox is that of being tolerant of those that are not tolerant.

It also seems to me that the only time that  authoritarism like this would be palatable to the general public is when there might be great economic hardship or public strife. 
If a lack of food or housing were to happen on a large scale, then there might be enough unrest for something stupid to happen. I see little chance for a general civil unrest because it is apparent that the US government is dedicated to allowing a tolerable life for all of its citizens.

I read another book Savage Continent by Keith Lowe that describes the severe aftereffects in Europe after the Second World War as a result of the fight against fascism during and before the war. The nations of Europe and the Communists inflicted atrocities nearly as bad as did the Nazis in the name of ethnic cleansing and ridding nations of Nazis. This conflict lasted for some 20 years after the war and left deep scars on all nations involved. The behavior of the Europeans states today still seems to reflect and intrinsic distrust between nations and religious groups that might be an underlying cause of the difficulty Europe is having in coming together to form the European Union.

I live in California whose population is racially, ethnically and religiously diverse. It appears to me that this diversity is in fact one of the strengths of the state. California is outstanding in creativity and productivity. Further it is managing environmental issues with great care and effectiveness.  This part of the nation never experienced the strife of war.

I think that we, in the United States, are fortunate that we have not had a recent war that divided us on religious, ethnic or racial grounds. However, I note that even today, some 150 years after the Civil War there are parts of the country that maintain prejudicial views against blacks. The fact that the US currently has a black president, president Obama, illustrates how far we have come as a nation, even though there are a significant population that attack his presidency from a racial and religious point of view.  Past scars seem to take a long time to heal.

I suspect that the heterogeneity of the American public and the tolerance among the people who think differently is one of the fundamental strengths of the United States. If our government were to succumb to the moral imperatives of the religious right or try to eject the illegal immigrant population that the United States could very well fall into the fascist trap that Europe fell into in the last century.
Last updated January 2, 2014
HTML 4.01