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  • Friday, October 15, 2004


    The Brownshirting of America

    Sometimes I think I'm just an innocent, lilywhite liberal, and not in a good sense. Sure I talk about progressive politics and anarchism (on occasion) but I'm still stunned every once in a while by political writing further left or more radical than my usual reading. Thus I was woken up by a brisk slap to the face when I came across the Counterpunch site. The excerpt below isn't very radical but other perspectives on the site really startled me, mostly because I was startled. I like the following quote mostly for the poll figures. I keep reminding myself of these facts because I cannot believe that so many people in the US still believe these ideas. From Paul Craig Roberts: The Brownshirting of America:

    Nevertheless, [David] Brock makes a credible case that today's conservatives are driven by ideology, not by fact. He argues that their stock in trade is denunciation, not debate. Conservatives don't assess opponents' arguments, they demonize opponents. Truth and falsity are out of the picture; the criteria are: who's good, who's evil, who's patriotic, who's unpatriotic.

    These are the traits of brownshirts. Brownshirts know they are right. They know their opponents are wrong and regard them as enemies who must be silenced if not exterminated.

    Some of Brock's quotes from prominent conservative commentators will curl your toes. His description of the rightwing's destruction of an independent media and the 'Fairness Doctrine' explain why a recent CNN/Gallup poll found that 42% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11 terrorist attack on the US and 32% believe that Saddam Hussein personally planned the attack.

    UPDATE: Also of interest is the links page at Counterpunch. Not my usual web fare but I like getting a swift kick in my beliefs in erratic doses. Some of these sites are, mmm, challenging. These are Counterpunch's "favorite websites. We've picked sites that we've found useful, amusing and, occasionally, outrageous. Not all of them mirror our politics, of course. But most display a certain energy and zest that make them worth a serious look." A few of the links seem to be outdated or dead.

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