The US is drifting toward fascism. A small minority is advocating it; a larger portion is being suckered in by the lies and misinformation and an even larger portion just simply can’t be bothered to worry about it because American Idol is on.
When I say fascism I’m referring to a highly Authoritarian Right Wing philosophy that is quite willing to tell you how to live, how to behave and what to think. Non-conformists will not be welcome. Gays, artists, atheists and progressives will have no place in the public discourse and science will be displaced by dogma.
The problem as I see it is the limited patience of the American public.
We have been indoctrinated by television that everything gets solved within a half hour. At worst, if there are bad guys or suspicious diseases involved, it takes an hour. We growl and get belligerent whenever we don’t get instant gratification of our every whim.
In other words we’re spoiled rotten.
We’ve been living beyond our means for far too long. We’re too lazy to check facts and have allowed ourselves to be led around by those who have the audacity to tell the lies that we want to hear.
If you say it loud enough and often enough you will get people to believe it. If enough people believe it, then it’s as good as being true. We’ve allowed demagogues who couldn’t care less about the truth, as long as they have good ratings, to control our public discourse while the “mainstream media” grovels at the false god of “even handed reporting” because it has begun to believe the constant barrage of charges that it’s “liberal biased.” Since when has “truth” been a liberal monopoly? Oh yeah, that’s right, ever since the Right became the Religious Right.
A lie is still a lie. A distortion is still a distortion and spin doctoring is still spin doctoring. Those pitching the lies and distortions always have the advantage. It’s always easier to develop bald faced assertions than it is to demonstrate WHY such statements are total crap.
Lies are also more effective because they’re simpler, prettier or scarier. A lie can be made simple, attractive or frightening, or even some combination of the three, depending upon the objective of the lie. The truth is constrained by reality and is often far more complicated.
Most Americans find it easier to listen to the pretty lies than to put in the effort to understand the truth even if they get the opportunity to hear the truth which is becoming rarer and rarer these days.
Bad news sells better than good news and the loud bald faced assertions that you want to hear are more entertaining than the sometimes tedious factual analysis that you may not want to hear. If you want good ratings and good advertising revenues, then accentuate the negative and the easy to understand attractive lies because it sells better. Now that virtually all “news outlets” have become “entertainment outlets,” we’re treated to a constant stream of bad news, scary crap and flattering lies designed to keep us in a constant state of fear, trepidation and indignation.
This is precisely the state in which weak men begin looking for a strong leader; they need a father figure to make it all ok again. American fascists have gone one better, they’re not offering a mere man as the father figure, but a god.
Jesus is going to make it all better. Just put your faith in Jesus and do what we tell you, because we know what he wants you to do, and everything will be just fine.
Christianity has been preying on the young, the ignorant and the frightened since its beginning. The meme is even designed to create the frightened with its threat of eternal damnation and torture. Of course that’s too obscure, and a bit of overkill, for most Americans. All you have to do to frighten them is imply that they might not be able to buy that spiffy new I-Pod; all you need to do to get them indignant is imply that someone is trying to pick their pocket or is threatening their freedom.
Throwing around the word Socialism is always effective especially since so many Americans don’t have the faintest idea what Socialism is or how much they depend upon the socialist aspects of our mixed system.
The pathetic part is that the people most successful at picking their pockets, and would like nothing better than to eliminate those freedoms altogether, are the ones being listened to. The American Public is great at missing the forest for the trees. We seem to be incapable of seeing the big picture. That’s what a limited attention span does to you. If it can’t be explained in a 10 second sound bite, then no one is willing to expend the time or effort necessary to let it sink in through the bone.
We seem unable to differentiate the trivial from the substantive. We seem more than willing to happily accept superficial short term satisfaction without considering that it might lead to ultimate long term destruction.
There is a whole lot of F-A-I-L out there at the moment and I don’t see any way to make it better anytime soon. Sharpen those combat knives, oil up the old AKM and check your stock of 7.62 mm ammo because the scene might be coming sooner than you think.