Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two Visions Of The Future-- Us Against Them


Two very diverse visions of the future inspired my day in Bangkok yesterday. I wish the BBC video of the Hard Talk discussion with brilliant Thai philosopher Sulak Sivaraksa was available for sharing. He discussed the wrong turn modern society has taken in a tragic pursuit of materialism in the craving for happiness. Instead, I posted a clip of him (above) from 2004 at the Parliament of the World's Religions. I hope you'll get his 21st-century Buddhist perspective from it. [UPDATE: Found it! The 2 clips are posted below; you should watch them. As the BBC points out, "Thailand like many Asian countries, has focused on rising GDP and national income as a sign of success but is that focus misplaced? Sulak Sivaraksa thinks it is. He's a veteran social campaigner, Buddhist activist and writer who has been jailed in Thailand and briefly forced into exile."]

The second inspiration came from Glen Yeadon's book on fascism, Nazi Hydra in America. Their thoughts melded almost seamlessly as Yeadon discussed how in 1942, "The DuPonts, one of the country's 13 controlling families and notorious Nazi sympathizers, dressed fascism up with a smiley face and labeled it with the electioneering jingle of free enterprise... Many prominent Americans-- including the Dulles brothers, Prescott Bush, Averell Harriman, Henry Ford, and the Rockefellers-- deserved to be tried for treason and hanged at Nuremberg." None were punished. In fact... after the death of FDR, they and other native fascists and their movement were the actual victors of World War II, despite U.S. victories on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.

It was the leaders of corporate America who willingly entered into the cartel agreements with I.G. Farben that hindered the early war effort. Likewise, it was the leaders of corporate America that funded many of the pro-fascist groups prevalent in the 1930s.

It was these same American corporations that built much of the Third Riech's war machine. GM and Ford built nearly 90 percent of all the three-ton vehicles and nearly 70 percent of all medium and heavy-duty trucks for the Reich. GM also built thousands of bombers for the Luftwaffe. When American forces liberated the Ford plants in Cologne and Berlin, they found destitute foreign workers confined behind barbed wire. Records show that nearly half the labor force of Ford's Cologne plant was slave labor. Shamelessly after the war, both GM and Ford demanded reparations for damages from Allied bombing to their plants. In 1967, GM received $33 million for damages sustained to its Russelsheim plant.

However, unlike the corporations, those forced into slave labor for Ford have yet to be compensated. The issue will be left to die quietly as the victims of slave labor pass away-- as most are now in their 80s. The corporations will continue to hide behind the false claim that they lacked control over their investments in Germany. Such claims are frauds. Almost all American corporations went to great lengths to remain in control of their facilities in Germany. Both Edsel Ford and Robert Sorenson, a high-ranking official at Dearborn, served as directors of Ford Werke A.G. throughout the war years. Furthermore, Edsel Ford sent direct orders to France that Ford was to build trucks for the Nazis once war broke out.

The same is true of almost all other American corporations that had investments in Germany. Many took extraordinary means to remain in control, oftentimes through shell corporations in Switzerland. These same corporations sought the help of the Dulles brothers in concealing their treacherous dealings from our own government. With the first step toward remaining in control or in concealing their dealings with the Nazis, these corporations became traitors to their country, war criminals and morally responsible for the resulting Holocaust and the deaths of thousands of GIs.

...Although the Allied forces were victorious on the battlefields of Europe and the South Pacific, tragically, the war against fascism was lost on the home front. In the 1946 election, the Republicans gained control of both chambers of Congress. True to their pro-big business agenda and their past support of fascists over 200 anti-union bills would flood Congress. The rehabilitated Fred Hartley, who had supported Japan and Germany up until the moment Pearl Harbor was bombed, would co-author the anti-union Taft-Hartley act. The fascist group Christian America would successfully lobby several Southern and Midwestern states to pass anti-union right to work laws. One could argue that such measures were not full-blown fascism but that is the danger of creeping fascism. Such steps as the anti-union measures were only the first steps on a slippery slope towards fascism. However, anytime the government enacts a law placing the rights of corporations or the elite ahead of the people it is an act of fascism or more properly another step towards fascism.

Fascism is an inherent problem of any economy based on capitalism. It's insidious as corporations grow and become more powerful, more and more laws are passed favoring large corporations and the rights of the people are damned. Fascism has never appeared first in its full-blown totalitarian state. It took Hitler six years to consolidate his power into a fully fascist state. Fascism always assumes power in gradual steps. It destroys our rights one at a time until suddenly it blossoms into full-blown fascism, a totalitarian society controlled by the corporate elite.

If you follow this blog at all, you've probably noticed that I keep harping on this general story and on Yeadon's work. It's that last paragraph, and that last sentence: "Fascism has never appeared first in its full-blown totalitarian state." What Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin, what John Kasich is doing in Ohio, what Rick Scott is doing in Florida, what Rick Snyder is doing in Michigan, what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey... all states where Nazi war criminals were resettled (illegally) in great numbers after WWII, is heading directly towards the fascist state their financiers have always wanted.

It's serious; I hope you're paying attention. And it's why we need strong, smart fighters in government, rather than compromised, compromising hacks with good campaign slogans.

UPDATE: The Sulak Sivaraksa Hard Talk videos:

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At 6:24 AM, Blogger Pash said...

Here are links to the whole HARDtalk with Sulak Sivaraksa:

HARDtalk: Sulak Sivaraksa PART 1 of 2

HARDtalk: Sulak Sivaraksa PART 2 of 2

At 6:43 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Thanks Pash! I posted the two videos above.

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with what is said here. I can only wonder when the first credible political leader will say the "f" word. If it's happened yet I missed it.



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