Governments that spy on citizens
The recent revelations concerning secret surveillance of private communications on the world wide web by the USA National Security Agency will not have been surprising to anyone who had read the book "Cypherpunks - Freedom and the Future of the Internet" by Julian Assange and others ()published by OR Books at the end of 2012 - shown right). Whereas before there was a sort of plausible denial that such activities were being carried out by the USA and UK government agencies, it would seem that now the facts are seeping out to the general embarassment of those who would like to uphold a more wholesome if not rational image.
President Obama has exposed his weakness by trotting out the tired time-tested justification that if people want security they need to give up some of their privacy (read freedom).
This was the underlying thrust of Nazi and Fascist "reasoning" used to control the middle classes who accepted official outrages against others for fear of becoming conspicuous by rebelling against it and becoming margilised. This regime of fear lets the government off the hook in their particularly aggressive treatement of whistleblowers and is a testament to the command and control absolutist approach to defending the image of officialdom and governance, through intimidation.
According to Ibn Nr the international strategist we live in a world where corporatism (fascism) has become more prevalent and it operates through informants or spying and by eliminating transparency except for the release of information considered to not harm state tactics, generally through a dumbing down of public knowledge and ably supported by a pliant, so-called, free press. It would seem the surveillance referred to is not in fact concentrated in areas of the world related to "terrorism" but also to areas where spying on commercial and technological information transactions are of importance.
This includes everything from commercial exchanges concerning intrenatiional bids for contracts, World Trade negotiations and obtaining a heads up on what smaller innovative firms are up to. So, of late, some people have gone so far as to say the US government is acting in a fascist way where intrusions have less to do with security and more to to with global competition. Some say Europe is moving towards a corporate statism also. In this article fascism and the more anglo-centric term, corporatism, are considered to be equivalent.
PRISM is a computer system used by the United States government in the collection of foreign intelligence information from internet service companies, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).Documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden in June 2013 describe the PRISM program as enabling in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. It provides for the targeting of individuals who are outside the United States for foreign intelligence purposes. Data which the NSA is able to obtain with the PRISM program may include email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice over IP conversations, file transfers, login notifications and social networking details.
Fascism is a term thrown around with too much ease. However, it had and has a specific meaning. Fascism was founded by Mussolini, in Milan, on 23 March, 1919. Contrary to popular belief, fascism, from early on in its existence, was popular with the wealthy and the middle classes. Also contrary to popular belief it grew out of capitalism and without a "revolution". A vitally important characteristic was the speed with which it took hold (2 years).
Security in exchange for civil liberties
At the time of its growth, the major political movement in opposition was the Communist party. But the Communists thought that fascism was irrational and bound to collapse. This was because they considered the influential middle classes to be sacrificing their own basic freedoms by binding themselves into this nationalist system by trading, they thought, security for past uncertainty and instability. On the other hand, workers, worker unions and minorities were suppressed, sometimes violently because they were perceived to be causes of past instability and uncertainty causing loss of income to commercial corporations.
It is worth reviewing the thought of those who had to confront the fascists as political opponents. It is worth noting that some of the clearest early analysis on fascism was by Trotsky (1931/2). He pointed out the failure, of the early Communists in Italy, Germany, and indeed Russia, to first of all, understand what it was, as well as to attack it, and stop it, in its tracks. Stalin didn't like this analysis and for this analysis, and several others, Trotsky became an enemy of Stalin; he escaped the Gulag only to be murdered by agents in Mexico.
An important note made by Trotsky (1940), on the potential for fascism in the United States, was that the American worker organizations there were a feisty bunch, better organized and less of a walk over than those in Italy or Germany had been; their temperament would make things difficult for fascists. He therefore predicted that an increasing support for fascism in the US would only find its impulse from .. a feeling of desperation of large masses of people .. and he saw that farmers, small business men, the unemployed and even soldiers would become capable of supporting a fascist moment .. also, with reference to Germany, Trotsky (1932) saw the large potential base in support of fascism as the new middle class, functionaries of the state, private managers and administrators and those with much to lose in terms of 'status' and 'income'.
Obama's justification for spying on his own and other citizens in such a wholesale manner only follows the thrust of Nazi and Fascist "reasoning" used to control the middle classes who accepted official outrages against others for fear of becoming conspicuous by rebelling against it. This lets the government off the hook in their particularly aggressive treatement of whistleblowers and is a testament to the command and control absolutist approach to defending the image of officialdom and governance, through intimidation.
Characteristics of fascism
Many years have past since such contemporary analyses of fascism were undertaken. So below there is a check list of what may be considered to be modern characteristics of fascism. Readers can assess their own countries by ticking off any correlations. More than 20? Well this should be a matter for concern.
Getting fascists on your side - or the three Ms
- development from capitalism
- political parties largely funded by large corporations
- close association of military activity with increasing corporate fortunes
- funding is an essential weight in lobbies
- ongoing policy script written in collaboration with large commercial corporations
- blind party allegiance
- often lead by increasingly messianic cult like figurehead who considers themselves to always be in the right, harbouring no doubts, "charismatic"
- religious Reich (fanatical absolutes of good and evil) ideas "appear" as policy
- consistent and rigid beliefs embodied in party "philosophy"
- significant use of propaganda or spin (erosion of freedom)
- radically opposed to communism (currently being extended to include other systems of governance and specific groups of people)
- not to be explained mysticism/irrational beliefs e.g. concepts of superiority
- convergence of movement on concepts of a superior "civilization" (now a newly-defined "democracy")
- increasingly to absolutely intolerant of dissension at home and abroad (erosion of freedom)
- increasingly to absolutely intolerant of those uncovering inconvenient facts (such as government and government agencies breaking the law and contravening constitutional provisions) such as whistleblowers
- racism or targeting of "inferior" cultures a common component and people of no consequence - people with no value (erosion of freedom)
- targeting of the poor and people of no consequence - people with no value (erosion of freedom)
- destruction or effective erosion of right of labour to organize (erosion of freedom)
- strong to rabid nationalism (code word patriotism) to rally masses
- consistent calls for national unity and defense (today in the context of terrorism)
- tackling presumed internal and external threats by limitation of freedoms (erosion of freedom)
- constant reference to external threats to massage up to a malleable mass hysteria so masses "thankful for strong leadership" (today in the context of terrorism)
- tendency to authoritarian rule (erosion of freedom)
- any failures in corporate sector - blame a race, the poor, unions or the communists
- not comfortable with press freedom
- increasing control over popular media content (erosion of freedom)
- marginalisation of investigative journalists or writers of dissenting content (erosion of freedom)
- constant use of rallies to intimidate any opposition and encourage "like thinking" (erosion of freedom)
- increasing use of violence and terror by civil security including police in psychology of "defense of the system' (erosion of freedom)
- any dissension classed as treacherous, of the enemy, irrational, mad (erosion of freedom)
- less, and finally, no protests to violent treatment of presumed "enemies" at home and/or abroad (societal cowardice sets in for self-preservation) (erosion of freedom)
- decreasing dialogue, eventually decisions and government by decree (erosion of freedom)
- a subordinated and obedient mass "lead" by an elite "who know best" (erosion of freedom)
- law by decree - reduction in incidence of the use of juries on various pretexts (erosion in freedom)
- removal of juries (no freedom left)
- final destruction of democracy (tyranny)
Such a corporate statist system can be easily manipulated by others if they have the right resources. Those who want to drive corporate statist government (anywhere) to support their own causes (anywhere), and with no questions asked, need to organize themselves to feed its prejudices and fears by influencing effectively the allocation of Money to decision makers, by influencing the content of Media and influencing the thinking of the Military. In this way military campaigns become more closely aligned to corporate interests and, therefore, the interests of the government and decision-makers.