The article “Elected officials in Thurston County begin allocating new federal funds,” in the November/December issue, is an encouraging example of watchdog journalism. I was especially struck by the fact that $100 million in pandemic-related federal funding has nearly doubled the size of the Thurston County budget. “A substantial infusion of money,” notes the article’s subheading. “Is anyone counting?”
Clearly, this article required a substantial amount of reporting on a half-dozen local government entities’ poorly publicized spending plans. This article highlights the importance of local news—what’s left of it.
It may be unclear who’s counting, but I’m glad to know WIP is
David Jette’s article on identifying fascism (November/December 2021) is misleading. He bases his remarks on a book by a former FBI agent. I would argue that the FBI is one of the most anti-socialist, pro-fascist organizations out there and that his affiliation with them has caused author Mike German to be unable to recognize our own government’s fascist tendencies.
Just look at the history of the FBI’s involvement in the deaths of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Che Guevara and the violence surrounding the American Indian Movement, the Black Panthers, and more recently, the Proud Boys, who were FBI informants during BLM marches.
Benito Mussolini, fascist leader of Italy, said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Why were the above-named leaders killed or imprisoned? Because they were a threat to capitalism. To be anti-fascist one must also be anti-capitalist.
These acts continue because capitalism is more important than people’s lives. We see more evidence of this with how the Covid response is being handled. There are no more stimulus checks even as new variants are raging through communities of color.
The social implements Jette is talking about will uplift fascism instead of tearing it down. Free and fair elections elected Hitler and Mussolini. And the US has a long history of overthrowing legitimate democracies and economies. Especially ones that happen here.
After World War 2, the FBI imported over 1,500 Nazis and incorporated many of their tactics in their day-to-day operations. That’s why so many democratically elected governments in Latin America (and elsewhere) fell after US-backed coups installed fascist leaders. Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet is a perfect example. Chile was rich with natural resources that the free market coveted. And since the business of America is business, the Chicago School (another beacon of Nazi ideology) with Milton Friedman at the helm, had then-president Salvador Allende killed, clearing the way for backed Pinochet to come to power.
Friedman was a key developer of the economic policy of the free market that is still in effect today. The Chicago school is also where Carl Schmitt, another “ex-Nazi”, developed the Duoply theory that Jette refers to in the first paragraph, in which most governments fall between two extremes. Those who fail to see fascism as an ideology missed the point of all those WW2 documentaries on the History Channel.
Hannah Arendt in her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem, says it’s not the street fascist we need to worry about—the bureaucrats who enact fascist policies are much more dangerous. I have fought street fascist in the Pacific Northwest. I was in Portland when the Trump caravan went through and witnessed street fascism in action. We need to take fascism out at the roots. Are we prepared to stand up to the federal government? Or will most of us go back to the couch with a cup of coffee while the real anti-fascists die in the street; while the anti-fascists are slowly being destroyed by the federal government and capitalism? That famous quote about the holocaust is being played out in front of us. “I was not a socialist, so I did nothing….”
Maybe we should listen to the people who have been fighting fascism since 1492 instead of ignoring it until it comes to our front door.
*Jette does note that German authored another book about the FBI’s civil rights abuses after 9/11. But those tactics, foundational to the FBI, may only have come to light after 9/11 because that is when such abuses started to affect white people. Black, indigenous and people of color have been the subject of such harassment since the inception of the FBI. —Ed.