American fascism

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  • by Frank Paynter on October 4, 2024

    Hi Frank,

    I’m sorry, but I’m gonna kill all links to American web sites or
    blogs in the next installment of Shutterclog. Your country has turned
    fascist and you and your fellow Americans have allowed it to happen.

    So excuse me if I can no longer take your blog seriously…

    Niek [UPDATE - content at this address may ironically not be safe for work, if you work in the US where Ashcroft draped the nude breast of the statue of Justice because he and his repressive ilk find beauty intolerable. -fp-]

    I’m sorry you feel that way Niek. I certainly haven’t been doing enough to stop it from happening, but many American bloggers and web publishers are working hard every day to turn the tide of fascism. I have two books to review on my desk right now. One is Cross-X and the other is The God Delusion. Neither speaks directly to the political/economic realities of global fascism, but each addresses a facet of mindfulness and concern that I think will be valuable to illuminate. So while I understand your principled exclusion of American web-links, I hope you will find a way to survey Listics from time to time and make personal use of anything valuable you may find here.

    There are dozens and dozens of American sites that don’t deserve the boycott… off the top of my head (and with some concern that I will leave out someone close to me and be embarrassed by it): The River, Mystic Bourgeoisie, One Good Move, PRWatch, Tom Matrullo, Kombinat, UFOB

    Hell, that’s a small sample of mindful and aware American bloggers that I read during each month. (UFOB remains mysterious, and if they’re a canuck conspiracy, my apologies since I deliberately tried to leave the Canadians like Moffatt - who shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush - out of my quick-links. And I left out the artists and the poets, arguably a stupid omission… people like Ray. And I left out the techies, from Shelley to Dean and in between… mindful and aware politically but not publishing darts aimed at the heart of the fascist beast. And I left out a raft of personal and professional and personal/professional people publishing on the web from Grace Davis to Jeneane Sessum to Ronni Bennett to George Kelly to Jon Lebkowsky to Tamarika Jacobson… and I left out all kinds of friends who I believe would help me hide a body or get out of town in the dark of night… some named above and others like jr and Winston and Ken who probably wouldn’t want to discuss it, but whom I feel I can trust on so many levels.

    I can appreciate the need for people to take a stand against American fascism, and your boycott is a good one, a personal statement that says “when they turned away from freedom and democracy I stood up.” But I refuse to take it personally. I’ve been making these gestures myself for the last five years (and of course on and off since Vietnam when I began to understand some of the terrible choices global corporate capitalism forces on its flagship states). I think you know that. And on one level I am terribly disappointed because people offshore like you and Golby are people I think we will need to count on when things get even darker.

    So cut off our links if it helps you draw a clear bright line against the fascist evil that has replaced American democracy, but don’t cut yourself off from us.

    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    Peter (the other) 10.05.06 at 9:47

    Frank, this seems like a fairly important point in the world. As we are the rogue nation, terrorizing and murdering all over the planet, we should be boycotted severly. I think I have an idea about how it must have felt to be a South African a few decades ago. “But it is not meeee”, may be true to a point, but as painful as it may seem, we should ask our friends from other places to boycott us. It is probably more effective then our belittled protests, and the pain must be enough to force us (already lefty, liberal, enemies of the administration) into an even more active stance.

    “So cut off our links if it helps you draw a clear bright line against the fascist evil that has replaced American democracy, but don’t cut yourself off from us.” I love that, and most importantly, put the economic screws to us, as hard and as fast as possible.

    McD 10.05.06 at 10:18


    If I thought that it would make a difference, I’d stop reading you too. But I have this totally foolish idea that you… yes you… will turn this century around for us and our European buddies.

    Keep at it.

    A journey of a thousand miles… gathers no moss.

    How ’bout those {A’s, Dodgers, Yankees, Twins, etc)

    Doug Alder 10.05.06 at 11:52

    Frank I can’t imagine how boycotting all American sites could possibly help. I can see boycotting the neocon sites - they don’t need the Google juice from anyone. Boycotting sites like yours only prevents the rest of the world from knowing that ther are still Americans who care about freedom.

    You were far more p[olite to Niek than I wuold have been as his comment about how he can’t take your blog seriusly because “Your country has turned fascist and you and your fellow Americans have allowed it to happen.” is about as ignorant a comment as I’ve read coming out of the left for a long time. It shows an astounding lack of understanding with regards to the American political system as well as the totally compromised MSM.

    Yes individuals can sometimes have a tremedous effect on the system, as people MLK and Rosa Parks showed, but the system is rigged against that and all most people can do is raise their voices as loud as they can and hope that others take up the call as well and force a change through awareness.

    In effect by boycotting all American sites he is helping those who push for fascism attain their goal.

    /me pouting ’cause I was left off the list of Canadians dissing Bush and his neocons ;) LOL

    Jesse 10.05.06 at 2:20

    For all of us that do our surfing at coffee shops, at work, or in other public spaces, you should make a NSFW note next to Niek’s address.

    Frank Paynter 10.05.06 at 2:52

    I NSFWed it Jesse. Didn’t mean to leave you out Doug. Thanks for the kind words McD. Peter… it’s sad but it has really come to that.

    Ken Camp 10.05.06 at 3:01


    I painfully understand Niek’s stand, but like others, I mourn the loss.

    Thanks for including me in that list of people. And count on me any time you need to hide a body. No questions asked.

    Mike Golby 10.05.06 at 3:15

    Through close on five years of on-and-off blogging, I now count more Americans among my friends than I do people belonging to any other ‘country’. Among them are those you mention here, Frank, and yes, many more who, despite my lack of linking, continue to bolster my belief that the goodness of some will prevail over the criminal indifference and stupidity of most.

    I share Niek’s abhorrence of what the United States has become in law: a terrorist state; a rogue nation, and the gravest threat to peace and sound human values the world has known. I know the Dutch, with the Scandinavians, were at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid and I know that sanctions and boycotts worked. I didn’t take them personally; I supported them. They brought the National Party to its knees, democracy to South Africa, and PTSD into our homes. The world (if not its governments) was correct in setting South Africa where it should set Israel and the United States, i.e. beyond the pale.

    Like Niek, I believe it’s time the world boycotted American products and services (you still have such things?); enacted sanctions against those doing business with U.S. companies, and lent support to those who have the power to break the stranglehold the American regime maintains - through war and its myriad paid proxies - on the global economy.

    But shun my friends - the people with whom I’ve shared so much and with whom I identify so closely? I see no need to contemplate any decision to do so. More, sucking in news and opinions dished daily by U.S. journalists on the frontlines of the disinformation war, I’d feel a hollow hypocrite were I to fall into such a trap. Should I cut ties with Israeli or Jewish friends for fear they might harbor Zionist tendencies? C’mon…who am I? the Little Commissar?

    Nope, I will continue to back my American friends, that outrageous fringe who, despite a fast-worsening global and domestic threat to their well-being, continue to speak out vociferously against a fascist state counting among its friends a country which boils its arbitrary enemies. And I’ll continue, without hesitation, to back my American friends because it is they, not we, who will turn this around. And I’ll continue, again, to back them because they are, when all is said and done, more than members of a geographical club.

    They are my friends, and that is all there is to it. But like you, Frank, I will not disrespect Niek’s decision. He too, is a good friend and now, more than ever, friends are what we need.

    Frank Paynter 10.05.06 at 3:30

    Ken, I had your looking out for friends post in mind when I mentioned that. And you too, you can call on me any time to help with a tarp and a shovel.

    Mike, I thought hard before publishing Niek’s note. It was addressed to me, and therefore personal in context. But I decided to publish it because of the power and the truth in the gesture he’s making. I’m glad that a thoughtful and supportive conversation has come out of it.

    J. Alva Scruggs 10.05.06 at 4:15

    I don’t think a boycott of the U.S. is in the cards or even possible. If it were, and it were done, I don’t think it would have the desired effect. The elite political culture has locked itself into belligerent posturing for so long that invasions, meddling and punitively harsh trade agreements are debated in terms of timing and management. Appeals to the most vulgar forms of national self-interest are greeted with greeted with derision. The political elite, dominant and opposition alike, are the worst kind of careerists and have shown no compunction when cannibalizing the country. And they know full well the strength of the threat of self-destruction when you owe and hold an enormous amount of debt.

    Getting out from under this, if it can be done at all, is a long term project, in which it would be most helpful I think to address the prosecutable criminal sideshows and work that program up the food chain. The difference, for example, between a conservative politician with no criminal ties, like Ron Paul, and a conservative like Tom Delay, whose misdeeds could keep a prosecutorial team employed for years, is striking. So too with the difference between Kucinich and Clinton. There has to be space in out politics for people who aren’t so badly compromised, morally and ethically. It would be helpful as well to stop rewarding careerist misanthropes with votes. The lesser eviling has eviled its way down to hairsplitting.

    As I said, I don’t know if anything meangingful can be accomplished. I may just take up barking with Molly and hope for the best.

    Niek Hockx 10.05.06 at 6:47

    “I’m glad that a thoughtful and supportive conversation has come out of it.”

    Yes, so am I! Now do the rest of the world a favor and kick the Bush regime out! Then we can start talking again….

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