Creeping Corporate Statism, aka Fascism

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When I look back to the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, four light years ago, the first image that comes to mind is that of Jimmy Dore’s conversation  with Glenn Greenwald about Congressmember Adam Schiff’s appearance on The Tucker Carlson show. Schiff is a Democrat representing California’s 28th District, and the military industrial complex . Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon are among his most generous campaign contributors. He voted against  banning armed forces in Libya without congressional approval, voted against  removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, voted in favor  of the Iraq War, voted in favor  of arming moderate Syrian opposition rebels, and pushed  for the US to arm Ukrainian rebels.

Greenwald told Dore that Kyle Kulinski had recommended Dore’s video  “Tucker Carlson SHREDS Adam Schiff on Russian Election Hack,” and it was one of the funniest things he’d ever seen, so he’d be happy to appear on the Jimmy Dore Show any time. It was the beginning of a collaboration that keeps getting better, and the video that started it all is aging like a fine wine. 

Here’s an excerpt of Dore’s commentary while playing the Tucker Carlson segment in which Schiff was insisting that Russians engineered Wikileaks’ release of the DNC and Podesta emails. Dore intervened right after Schiff told Carlson that Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave to hear him carrying water for the Kremlin:

Jimmy Dore: A journalist [Tucker Carlson] asked him [Adam Schiff] to reveal his sources and to say something. “I want you to say that you know this for sure.” He won't say it. And what is his defense? His defense is the Hillary Clinton’s defense: “You're a commie. You're a commie. You're a commie.” That's what they're fucking doing. These are Democrats!   . . . . 

So do you see how shitty Republican the Democrats have become? They’re now the redbaiters. . . He's on Fox News red baiting a Fox News host who actually has it right this time. That's how shitty the Democrats have become. They’ve made Tucker Carlson look good. That's how shitty they are. 

Comedian Dave Ryan: That is not easy. 

Jimmy Dore: They're making him look like fuckin’ Walter Cronkite. Tucker Carlson!

Adam Schiff to Tucker Carlson: You’re gonna have to move your show to RT, Russian television. 

Jimmy Dore: Can he not stop it? This is your defense? “You're gonna have to go work for Russia?” This is disgusting. These are Democrats doing this. This is gross. It doesn't help them get elected. It hurts them. This is hurting the Democrats. It doesn't help. This is 100% distraction from what the problem is in this goddamn country.

To Jimmy Dore’s credit, he acknowledged having once performed at a fundraiser for Adam Schiff, and Dave Ryan admitted to having made that mistake more than once. Both were likely spooked by whatever ghoulish Republicans LA County spit up to run against Schiff, but they swore they’d never do it again. Greenwald, in one of his many reappearances on The Jimmy Dore Show, acknowledged that he’d once thought the Democrats were just kind of wishy-washy and spineless, but now he realizes they’re hopelessly corrupt. I hope it’s more than a tiny percentage of the tiny left fringe who had come along with them by the time Hillary, on her podcast with Nancy Pelosi, alleged that Trump was on the phone with Vladimir Putin during the Capitol Riot.  

(And, not to be self-righteous, I should admit I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and, like Jimmy Dore, climbed aboard the Bernie Sanders train again this year, only to be open-mouthed when he dropped out after Obama’s Super Tuesday engineering on behalf of Joe Biden.)

Fascism

As soon as Trump won the presidency in 2016, the Democrats whipped up “The Resistance,” taking the name of movements that resisted within Nazi and Italian fascist-occupied Europe. Pacifica’s KPFA Radio began airing a “Resist, resist, resist” jingle, and on June 27, 2017, Pacifica Radio aired a 15-hour marathon broadcast of George Orwell’s novel “1984” for the first time since the original broadcast in 1975. That was just an early instance of Trump Derangement Syndrome and NeoMcCarthyism that consumed much of Pacifica and the rest of the left-of-center for the next four years. 

There was much talk of impending fascism, but it wasn’t clear just what that was supposed to mean, and the frenzy about Trump’s white supremacist intolerance became hugely intolerant in itself. I’ve started keeping a list of dissidents, left and right, who’ve been suspended from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms. As Glenn Greenwald said, in an interview  with Unherd, “It’s Kafkaesque, and to call it that is almost to minimize how repressive it is.” There’s no one to appeal to but some anonymous Big Brother-Big Tech authority, and if they don’t give you an answer, tough luck.

“I’ve started keeping a list of dissidents, left and right, who’ve been suspended from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms.”

Last week YouTube disappeared  all 24 hours of an academic conference on academic censorship produced by Project Censored, with no explanation. When queried by Mint Press News writer Alan McCleod, Google responded that they had no record of its existence. 

Ralph Nader’s 2014 book “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State ” may have been overly optimistic, but it includes a far better definition of fascism than I’ve heard from anyone in the anti-Trump army these past four years:

"Corporatism, or 'corporate statism,' as Grover Norquist calls it, is first and foremost a doctrine of corporate supremacy. Whatever advances that system of power and status over the constitutionally affirmed sovereignty of the people comprises the widening, all-encompassing corporatist agenda. As befits the ever-concentrating command of ever more mobile capital, labor, and technology—as well as its own media—the corporations’ dynamic of expanding control with ever more immunity knows no self-imposed limitations. Large corporations usually push, with whatever political, technological, economic, marketing, and cultural tools are required, the frontiers of domination in all directions. Wielding the tools to advance their agenda is an army of diverse experts and operators bound together by common economic interests within the authoritarian hierarchy of the modern global corporation. However you might describe them, it is hard to deny that their DNA commands them to control, undermine, or eliminate any force, tradition, or institution that impedes their expansion of sales, profits, and executive compensation. That is what their extensive strategic planning is all about. What they want is maximum predictability and the most feasible control of outcomes, with government being the preferred servicing or enforcement tool.

“The corporations’ dynamic of expanding control with ever more immunity knows no self-imposed limitations.”

“That is what is meant by corporate statism. And as it gets stronger, it delivers a weaker economy for a majority of Americans, a weaker democratic society, and record riches for the few. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, though hailing from the patrician class, put his finger on the dangers of corporatism. He wasn’t charitable in his message to Congress in 1938, successfully calling for the creation of a Temporary National Economic Commission (TNEC) to examine the concentration of corporate power. He averred that 'the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than [the] democratic state in its essence is fascism.' Though World War II’s Axis powers gave the word a more lethal meaning, Roosevelt was equating fascism with the corporate state, uniting corporate influence with, over, and inside the government at state and national levels.”

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize   for promoting peace through her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes Region. Please help support her work on Patreon. She can be reached on Twitter @AnnGarrison  and at ann(at)anngarrison(dot)com.

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