Yes Virginia, Fascism in America can happen
Fascism in America, some insist, is impossible; it could never happen here. Yes, Virginia, it can happen here and the turn in America towards fascism is dismally and infectiously increasing, sort of like a disease.
Fascism in America Comes with Corporate Logos
Comic George Carlin once opined that fascism in America arrived with Nike swooshes and corporate slogans. Part of the base definition of fascism is a merging of corporate power with the state. There can hardly be any doubt that corporate interests and government interests are at least consanguine, if not the same.
Corporate profits and incomes for the very wealthy are at record highs. Census data finds median income, however, has increased only marginally since 1950, according to The Economist while, according to the New York Times, worker productivity increased 80 percent from 1970 to 2011. Business is getting more bang for less buck.
Economic policy is clearly aimed to preserve this status quo and why? To keep a very few ensconced in opulence and power – untouchable by the unwashed masses.
Search and seizure
Perhaps the best litmus test for the existence of freedom is the Fourth Amendment, the freedom from arrest or search without cause. Fascism cannot abide the private citizen being secure in their own home or person, and fascism in America is no exception.
The Supreme Court has been reticent in upholding the Fourth Amendment. The Court has held that police can perform a warrantless search of a home if they think they hear evidence being destroyed (according to NPR) among many other decisions granted police the right to warrantless searches. The court has also avoided curtailing police brutality or prosecutorial misconduct; rarely do perpetrators of either of those malfeasances of office face consequences. How could one doubt that the government has its own cadre of untouchable goons when, according to Cato.org, Centers for Disease Control data indicates cops are 8 TIMES more likely to kill a person than terrorists?!
The TSA has conducted countless malicious searches, stolen property and has largely gone unchallenged and unrestrained.
Custodiet ipses custodes
Fascism in America includes covert surveillance. A hallmark of fascism is to put everyone under watch and a fascist undercurrent in America has existed for decades, extant most notably in the CIA and the FBI. Illegal surveillance, blackmail, harassment, intimidation were all carried out by these agencies without even reproach. So was human experimentation; the CIA’s MKULTRA program dosed people with LSD to see if their minds could be controlled. One subject was Theodore Kaczynski – the Unabomber.
Even corporate America is in on the act. According to Mashable, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple and Microsoft collected data for the National Security Agency for the controversial PRISM program. They aren’t alone. According to the Washington Post, wireless carriers have also been collecting data for surveillance programs.
Domestic drone surveillance is the next frontier; while the FAA, according to Forbes has provided a little push back against drone surveillance through FAA regulations, it will not likely be long before law enforcement agencies have more leeway. Fascism in America, it seems, is here to stay.