by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
BAR and 12 other leftwing web sites have been put on a hit list publicized by the Washington Post. Fascists of the Democratic kind are responsible. “Had Clinton won the election, she would have begun a campaign of repression against the Left along the same national security lines as the Washington Post article, with that paper probably leading the propaganda charge.” Donald Trump isn’t the only fascist to worry about.
Fascism with a Democratic Party Face
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Fascism looks like Democrats and Republicans; it operates through the duopoly, the political apparatus of the ruling class.”
If anyone thought that BAR was being shrill when we said that a late-stage capitalist variety of fascism was brewing in Hillary Clinton’s Big Tent, the “fake news” offensive proves our point. On the heels of President Obama’s outburst on his farewell tour of Germany, where he twice whined about the dangers of well-packaged “misinformation” on the internet, the Democrat-friendly Washington Post conveyed legitimacy to the propagators of a list of 200 web sites designated as “Russian propaganda outlets and sympathizers” – including Black Agenda Report, the only Black outlet to make the cut.
Although totally devoid of substance, the Post article was no overnight wonder, but a methodically crafted facsimile of investigative reporting that was no doubt produced on orders from the paper’s top management, if not the owner, Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos. Bylined reporter Craig Timberg refused to name the people behind his principal “source,” the web site Is It Propaganda or Not, in order to avoid them “being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers” – a new twist on journalistic ethics that no real editor would abide. This piece was boss sanctioned.
PropOrNot seems to have arrived out of nowhere a few months ago. Its anonymous spokesperson, when contacted by The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton, claimed to oversee “over 30 people, organized into teams,” but said “we cannot confirm or deny anyone’s involvement.”
“The FPRI was founded in the 1950s and has been searching for Russians in every dark corner ever since.”
The other “team of experts” cited by the Post operate out of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. The FPRI was founded in the 1950s by a now-deceased Austrian-born right-winger named Robert Strausz-Hupé, and has been searching for Russians in every dark corner ever since. FPRI Fellow Clint Watts could offer nothing juicy for the Post article except that the Russians “want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests.” Watts co-authored an article on a site called War on the Rocks titled “Trolling for Trump: How Russia is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy,” where he writes:
“Russia is helping Trump’s campaign, yes, but it is not doing so solely or even necessarily with the goal of placing him in the Oval Office. Rather, these efforts seek to produce a divided electorate and a president with no clear mandate to govern. The ultimate objective is to diminish and tarnish American democracy. Unfortunately, that effort is going very well indeed.”
From the FPRI’s standpoint, it is immaterial whether or not Russia was trying to affect the outcome of the election (something the U.S. routinely does in countries around the world, including this month in Germany, where Obama said he’d vote for President Merkel if he could). Anything that tends to “diminish and tarnish American democracy” serves the Russians, or so the reasoning goes. Facts that reflect badly on the U.S. political and economic system are, therefore, subversive. The very word “imperialism” is a crime of some kind.
The amateurs at PropOrNot are even cruder. The sites on its list were put there for “behavioral” reasons, says their anonymous Fuhrer. Thus,
“in an important sense it does not matter whether they are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers (although some of them undoubtably are), or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda before being called out: If they continue to do so, for whatever reasons, their willingness to uncritically echo Russian propaganda makes them a tool of the Russian state. The term ‘useful idiot’ often applies, and calling them out is justified, appropriate, and valuable.”
The object, however, is not just to “call out” the listed sites, but to prosecute and suppress them, since they may “have violated the Espionage Act, the Foreign Agent Registration Act, and other related laws.”
“Facts that reflect badly on the U.S. political and economic system are ‘subversive.’”
Clearly, there is a conspiracy afoot, involving the outgoing president, the woman he hoped would succeed him, the Democratic Party apparatus they lead, and the corporate media and national security establishment that came together in Hillary Clinton’s Big Tent after Donald Trump wrecked the Republican side of the corporate electoral duopoly. Trump’s campaign positions against the free outward flow of capital and jobs, via NAFTA and TPP-type corporate rights deals, and his stated reluctance to pursue “regime change” against states that “kill ISIS” caused panic among his brethren in the ruling class. They had lost control of the political narrative, and feared that a heretic might take over the State.
Had Clinton won the election, she would have begun a campaign of repression against the Left along the same national security lines as the Washington Post article, with that paper probably leading the propaganda charge.
The Obama administration and Post owner Bezos are quite tight, politically. Back in 2013, when Obama was still trying to reach a “grand bargain” with the Republicans in Congress, he proposed lower corporate tax rates as a way to spur economic growth, and showcased the Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as a model -- despite the deplorable working conditions, low pay (less than $12 an hour, to start) and heavy use of part-time and contract workers at the plant. His White House economist, Gene Sperling, told the press, “We should be looking for other avenues of progress, other 'grand bargains' that can be for middle class job growth." Bezos closed the deal on the Washington Post the same year. His paper is clearly the go-to media for the Democrats’ brand of fascism, which is crazily cloaked as an anti-fascist crusade.
“The established corporate Democratic and Republican brand of fascism is far more racially, sexually and culturally inclusive, but just as ruthless.”
The term “fascist” is bandied about today more than at any time since 1969, but there is little discussion of what fascism actually looks like in the 21st century. The truth is, it looks like Democrats and Republicans; it operates through the duopoly, the political apparatus of the ruling class. Donald Trump’s fascism is largely the residue of the fascism of apartheid America, under Jim Crow, which had many of the characteristics of – and in some ways presaged – the “classic” fascism of pre-World War Two Europe. The establishment corporate Democratic and Republican brand of fascism is far more racially, sexually and culturally inclusive, but just as ruthless. And, at this moment in history, the corporate Democratic fascists are the more aggressively warlike brand.
These fascists also fight each other, sometimes viciously – as we are now witnessing. But they mesh and overlap more than they differ. Donald Trump rants about taking away people’s citizenship for burning the flag, but Hillary Clinton introduced her own flag-burning measure when she was a senator. And Trump could become a regime-change fanatic in an instant. It’s all part of the menu in the late-stage capitalist duopoly.
As BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley wrote in her article, “Who’s the Fascist”:
“In just the last 40 years American presidents or their allied partners in crime have killed people in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo, Somalia, Haiti, Grenada, Gaza, Kosovo, Serbia, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen. What do they have to do to be called fascists? Showing bad manners seems to be the only thing that sets off expressions of outrage among Americans.”
The Democrat-Fascists are most concerned with maintaining their endless wars for global domination. Therefore, their hit list is heavy with anti-war folks, mostly right-wingers who dance to Trump’s “America First” tune. The leftist sites on the Democrats’ hit list are:
As the only Black site in the bunch, we can safely say that BAR is the poorest, money-wise. Anybody that wants to help us out financially should go to the PayPal on the upper right corner of the page to make a contribution before the Hillary (or Donald) fascists arrange to bar us from PayPal, as they did to Wikileaks. Hard (Right) times are coming.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].