Nmherman on Fri, 18 May 2001 11:42:18 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> cyberfascism in Italy?

In a message dated 5/15/2001 4:23:32 PM Central Daylight Time, 
lop1912@iperbole.bologna.it writes:

> The financial domination on  the italian media landscape for two decades 
>  has created the conditions of a new form of power, deeply pervading the 
>  Infosphere.
>  May we call it Cyberfascism?
>  bifo

I'd call it just plain fascism, if it's like the US.  There is a hidden and 
disguised quality to this new fascism, but it's fascist nevertheless.  Call 
it neofascism, modern fascism, or 21st century fascism but it's still just 

I apply the term to the USA because Chomsky influenced me by saying back in 
the early eighties that the US was already a totalitarian state.  
Corporations control the media and hence information, hence the consent of 
the governed is merely manufactured.  In his documentary about the book, 
Chomsky had some footage of the head politician of the Netherlands calling 
the decisions made to influence public awareness--for example, the decision 
not to report on the genocide in East Timor--by the unusual term "gronslag" 
or ground-laying or something.  

Fascism means not a certain fashion style, like swastikas and architecture by 
Speer using spotlights pointing straight up.  It means the removal of rights 
from regular people and allocation of all power, even over life and death but 
certainly over free speech and economic activity, to the State.  The fascist 
state is also heavily militarized, nationalistic, fueled by hate, fear and 
conformity; race becomes a source of insecurity and violent obedience; 
propaganda dominates the fascist society.  

Fascism is already intact in the US and functioning fairly well.  Fascism 
always has to conceal its gruesome and inhuman mechanism, so even the hidden 
character of US fascism doesn't warrant a new name.  Back in the 30's and 
40's it was called "the Big Lie" even by strategists like Hess.  

Big corporations like Daimler-Benz, Krupp, and I.G. Farben (or Ford, General 
Dynamics, and General Electric) always profit under fascism because they are 
the seat of the state's material power.  They employ people, preventing 
unrest, and supply armaments.  Now the large media corporations make huge 
profits in the US (and overseas) even though their product is inferior; under 
fascism they enjoy freedom from competition.  

Physical savagery also makes fascism work.  Executions, incarcerations, 
brutality by the police are all primarily indimidation tactics selected 
precisely to feed the bloodlust of the loyal and terrify the weak.  
Full-scale ethic genocide is not publicly condoned by the US government today 
not because they don't practice it--they do--but because given the public 
mind it would be contrary to state interest.  Hiding the human cost of 
fascism is not a new element however.  The measures and techniques required 
to hide it have merely mutated over the last fifty years.  

The breakdown of the system of checks and balances in government has also 
occurred in the US.  The judiciary is not alive and well.  Why would US 
fascists make the blunder of disbanding the Supreme Court if it already 
caters to their every desire?  It would be like the Nazis using 
crucifixions--too evidently historical.  three strikes and you're out is 
sufficient.  Fascism has always had to wear the mask of benevolence and 

I vote we just call it fascism, if the situation in Italy is comparable to 
that in the US (Reagan) and the UK (Thatcher).  Certainly totalitarianism is 
accurate to a very precise degree.  Or how about just plain war?


Max Herman
The Genius 2000 Network

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