"Balance" by Chicana Muralist Judy Baca (used by permission)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Apocalypse No! Christian Fascism and the Nazi Legacy

Apocalypse No! Christian Fascism and the Nazi Legacy

Part 2 of Apocalypse No! An Indigenist Perspective
by Juan Santos

“… an observation of [Elie] Wiesel’s regarding the perpetrators of the Jewish Holocaust is an equally apt beginning for those who would seek to understand the motivations that ignited and fanned the flames of the mass destruction of America’s native peoples:

‘All the killers were Christian… the Nazi system was a consequence of a movement of ideas and followed a strict logic; it did not arise in a void but had its roots deep in a tradition that prophesied it, prepared for it, and brought it to maturity. That tradition was inseparable from the past of Christian, civilized Europe.’” - David Stannard, American Holocaust

When the world shattered they closed themselves, folded in upon themselves, sought security in the known; it was the beginning of the era of the great fear, the era of atomic war. Joe McCarthy was their shaman, the one who would fix the crack, bring everything back into order, under control.

They blamed everyone but themselves, anything and everything but the white imperial “we” – the “we” that people mean when they say “we” invaded Iraq, or “we” are the “richest nation in the world.” That same “we” had dropped the Bomb.

For them it wasn’t real. For them it meant power, god’s will. It wasn’t a death sentence for the world, for life on Earth; it was only a sentence on the Others, the dangerous ones. And the sentence had been executed.

The world had not shattered, it had not split, the Sun was still in the sky - not on this Earth: the Sun was not boiling here, on this block, this street; the sun had only spilled its force there, among the Others, the dark skinned Japanese. “We” – they - still had bicycles and bobby socks, Shetland ponies, fringed cowboy suits, white hats, the movies and Dad’s Chevy. Everything was still “normal.”

But shadows were burnt into the wall.

The message was plain and it could not be hidden. Millions read its writing. The world turned upside down, millions spoke the unspoken, the forbidden: power comes from the barrel of a gun: turn on, tune in, drop out: earth first: get your laws off my body: and worse, Black Power, Red Power, Brown Power and the rebirth of an Earth based spirituality rooted in non-Western traditions.

With the advent of the bomb, the foundations of the culture had cracked; “civilization” now threatened the foundation of life itself. Reality itself had imposed the need to re-evaluate all values, to question the foundations of morality, culture, purpose and the relationship of human beings to the Earth and the millions of other living beings that are her creation.

People sought and demanded new myths to live by, a new sense of who we are, where we come from, and where we are going.

The questions were fundamentally religious and ontological. The very foundations of the political world and the world of production came also came under attack as people raised the most basic questions about social organization; whose needs are to be met; by whom; and on what terms. Everything came open to question.

For white middle class fundamentalist Christians it meant that everything, therefore, had come under assault.

The Empire itself was threatened with disintegration as hundreds of millions rose up in anti-colonial struggles across the globe.

To listen to Christian radio in the 60s and 70s was to hear an ongoing litany of a culture in disintegration; the stunned litany of a religious white middle class that had become, in its own mind, a victim – a victim of the savages, Blacks revolutionaries, radical women, crazed gun-toting Indians, Brown Berets, LSD, birth control, lesbians, gays, and New Age “occultists.”

The Christian Anti-Communism Crusade urged its members to heed the advice of the Book of Ephesians: "And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead expose them."

For the emergent Christian Right, it was not the Earth and Life itself that were threatened, it was their place in the world as they knew it, their small power, the rules they lived by that secured their position; their sense of belonging in a world that no longer was.

They weren’t about to take it lying down. Power and privilege were theirs by “right,” by assumption, by training, by virtue of their race, class and culture. “God” had “given” them “this great country” to conquer. It was their manifest destiny, their prophecy, a populist white version of the divine right of kings.

The world would get back in its place. Or they would kill it, as surely as they had wiped out or enslaved all the rest of the savages.

This faith was the very foundation of their heritage. That’s what they mean when they say this is a “Christian Nation.” That’s why, in the 1950s, they added “one nation, under god” to the pledge of allegiance.

But by the time the 60s passed, conservatism was in shambles, and white colonialist US culture was on the defensive in every sphere.

Finally, Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation and co-founder of the Moral Majority, called for a retreat from politics and for a conservative re-grouping, for the formation of a more conscious reactionary agenda.

What emerged was a drive for a new drama, a new counter-counterculture, or an alternative counterculture, as they called it, a drive to create a cult of normalcy whose aim was to reverse the verdicts of the 60s and “reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil” along traditional Christian lines.

The means were to be the building of “alternative” right wing counter-institutions like Fox News, the Washington Times, a massive network of radical right wing talk shows, counter-cultural efforts like home schooling, and massive outreach to radical Christian fundamentalists of every persuasion, to the Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and to the Catholic Charismatics.

They sought to spark and capture a counter-imagination, to spawn a “culture war,” a Christian Cultural Counter-Revolution to appeal to the fantasies of those in the deepest denial. They wanted to crush, once and for all, the religious, cultural and political questions of the 60s counterculture, and to wipe away any memory of the verdicts it had rendered about the nature of oppression, racism and genocide, ecological destruction, the “one true god,” and the very nature of Western civilization.

It was to be a new movement – with a vengeance.

The world was to be what god said it was. “Civilization” and “civilized” values would reign: no matter that it was only a moment until midnight on the atomic clock; no matter global warming and the limits to growth – no matter reality itself.

Today, the extreme Right criticizes its opposition as “reality based,” holding that reality is something created by action and power – ultimately fascist action and fascist power backed by “god”– nothing more and nothing less.

The “reframing” of the struggle “as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil,” would require not only the delegitimization of bourgeois democratic institutions and the creation of “alternatives,” but the waging of the fiercest kind of counterattacks against post-Hiroshima culture in the US and anti-colonial cultures around the world. Christian Fascist strategist Eric Heubeck wrote:

"We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today's American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.”

This repressive “spiritual warfare” is one of the hallmarks of Christian fascist practice as they prepare the ground for the apocalypse. Disgraced former House Speaker Tom DeLay – who believed the US invasion of Iraq would open the gate to Armageddon, called the 2000 election a "battle for souls."

Katherine Yurica summed up the Right’s new rules of engagement this way:

1) Falsehoods are not only acceptable, they are a necessity. The corollary is: The masses will accept any lie if it is spoken with vigor, energy and dedication.

Think Iraq.

2) It is necessary to be cast under the cloak of "goodness" whereas all opponents and their ideas must be cast as "evil."

Think: “War on Terror.”

3) Complete destruction of every opponent must be accomplished through unrelenting personal attacks.

Think, among others, of Bill Clinton, who the fascists see, amazingly enough, as a dangerous embodiment of the 60s counterculture.

4) The creation of the appearance of overwhelming power and brutality is necessary in order to destroy the will of opponents to launch opposition of any kind.

Think: the legalization of torture - virtually unknown since the Christian Inquisitions.

Think of the fundamentalist-backed death squad regime of Rios Montt in Guatemala, as he carried out the genocide of 250,000 Mayan Indians with the praises of fundamentalists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell.

The historical legacy of Eurocentric Christianity is a record of racist and sexist genocide – 100 million dead Native Americans and 100 million dead Africans – conquered, colonized, converted and enslaved by the sword and the cross; millions of women burned at the stake under a regime of mass torture called The Inquisition; millions of Gypsies and Jews burned in ovens, the shadows of Japanese burned into the walls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…

Break the taboo. Think.

The Christian fascism we see arising before us is not the historical exception – it’s the rule, a rule proven time and again over the last half – millennia. Christian Rome got its start slaughtering pagans and Gnostics in a drive for imperial cultural conformity and conquest. It’s little different now.

This is a deadly serious business. The top priority and main target of the Christian Right in its first period in power under Ronald Reagan was peoples of color in the US. They carried out, not a “War on Terror,” but a “War on Drugs” which was successfully aimed at creating police state conditions in the nation’s ghettos, barrios and reservations.

Fascism always targets the Other, and comes first for the Other.

Black, Red and Brown have lived under virtual fascism - mass terror, police occupation and mass incarceration - for a generation now, suffering the highest rates of incarceration in the world, since the War on Drugs and mass incarceration took the place of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

Not thousands, but millions have been snatched off the streets in a rigged war that targets not terror or drugs, but the oppressed nationalities in the US.

Colonized Black, Red and Brown peoples are Christian Fascism’s new “Jews,” the new “Other,” whose mass imprisonment has been met with silence by the white nation – and by the world - for 25 years. They’ve only recently been joined by Arab and Muslim as mass targets.

Remember Katherine Yurica’s point: the Christian Fascists hold that

The creation of the appearance of overwhelming power and brutality is necessary in order to destroy the will of opponents to launch opposition of any kind.

People in the US have become deeply adjusted to these conditions over a generation, now.

It’s no wonder, then, that the only mass resistance to emerging fascism has come from the millions of migrants and Chican@s who took the streets last Spring, a resistance that stopped Christian Fascist’s plans for mass roundups cold, and split the Republican Party wide open. These protests – with their implicit threats of mass resistance and rebellion - began the process of the Republican Party’s recent infighting, disintegration and unraveling.

Otherwise, since 1992, there has been little but silence.

Think of your own silence in the face of what is coming. It’s time now to come out of the fog. It’s time to see things for what they are.

It’s no secret. The Christian Dominionists, a fascistic cult that appears to include US President George W. Bush among its followers, seeks to end the separation of church and state and to replace current governmental structures with a theocracy ruled by Old Testament law. Only then, they believe, will Christ “return” to rule – and end - the world. Dominionist George Grant writes:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ - to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

“Dominion” of course means “domination.”

Grant continues:

"World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less…

“Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God's Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God's rule.”

Gary North, one of the founders of Dominionism, complained that the counterculture of the 60s had undermined three basic tenets of Christian civilization: a faith in its cultural supremacy and destiny – or “predestination”; rigid reactionary moralism, or “biblical law”; and an assured sense of ultimate global “victory” for the West – what he called an end times “eschatological optimism.”

Using slightly different language, North also made it clear that the Christian fascist movement would have to emulate the sense of certainty that motivates revolutionary Marxism and Islamic Jihadism:

Three basic ideas are crucial for the success of any religious, social, intellectual, and political movement. First, the doctrine of predestination. Second, the doctrine of law. Third, the doctrine of inevitable victory. The fusion of these three ideas has led to the victories of Marxism since 1848. Islam has a similar faith.

To restore these elements of faith in Eurocentric civilization would be to “have laid down the foundations of a paradigm shift,"

It is of urgent importance that we look closely at the notion of “evil,” remembering that a key goal of the Christian Right is to reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil.

“Evil” in this context means little more than opposition to the strictures, mores and authorities of an oppressive civilization.

M. Scott Peck, the popular Christian psychiatrist, spoke of evil in different terms altogether, placing primary focus on the use of power to scapegoat others in order to avoid one’s own spiritual and moral growth.

Yurica notes:

Peck draws a profile of the evil: they have no regard for the truth; they lie and live in a world of lies. They are masters of disguise and cloak themselves with masks of respectability, goodness and often piety. (Peck tells us that religiosity is a common and effective disguise.) But it is the appearance of propriety and respectability that is the important factor. Peck defines evil as: “The exercise of political power—that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion…” Or in other words: it is the use “of political power to destroy others,” for the purpose of defending or preserving the integrity of one’s sick self (or group).

The Christian fascist movement seeks political power; it is driven by a profound urge to scapegoat and punish the Other, especially those who will not accept the norms and mores it seeks to impose.

Most fundamentally, the movement is comprised of a group that seeks to avoid the growth inherent in facing the reality that the foundations of oppressive civilization have shattered: who refuse to believe that civilization, as we call it, has led us to the brink of collapse and an incomprehensible mass death of life on Earth.

This is a group comprised of people who refuse to take moral responsibility for the impact of this civilization on the living Earth, and on all her living beings. They refuse to acknowledge that we are responsible, that we are both the inheritors and authors of our cultures.

These are people who refuse to acknowledge that we, as Walter A. Davis suggests, “must listen to the details” of our illness if there is to be any hope for the world to heal.

These are people who believe the answer to the crisis we face is to strengthen and reinforce the most reactionary aspects of an oppressive system that is destroying us all, and they are doing so for the purpose of defending and preserving the integrity of a sick, dying - and killing - civilization.

If our intentions are shown in our actions and in the ultimate impact of our actions on others and on the world, then these are worshippers of death, of a dead body hanging on a tree – not of a rising, living spirit.

They are traitors to Life. We dare not leave the fate of the Earth in their hands.

Part 2: The Blessed and the Cursed

“But first you must learn how to smile as you kill, if you want to be like the folks on the hill.”

John Lennon, Working Class Hero

There is a profound appeal in Christianity, even for those who have been most oppressed by it: the promise of peace and of being blessed and cared for by god. To be “saved” is to be someone special, anointed by god, chosen for his purposes, secure in one’s struggle against a world that has lost its way. Some make the choice hoping for a sense of spiritual community in an alienated world, in a hope for hope, in a hope for healing.

But a glance beyond the surface shows the reality of a different social dynamic at work, a dynamic of exclusion, punishment, shunning, internalized oppression, and of a series of impossible hopes – impossible because the foundation on which they rest leads in exactly the opposite direction than the promise they seem to hold.

To be “saved” is also to be among god’s “elect.” The theory – the theology - is that god has pre-ordained who is to be “saved” and who is not – who’s in and who’s out, who’s blessed and who’s cursed. The problem of course, is that one can never know. But the “saved” act like they know. One of the signs of being among the “elect” is the accumulation of wealth. In the Protestant US, that’s the main way you “know.”

To be “blessed” is to be wealthy – or like the wealthy – in spirit. The “well being” of the blessed imitates the “special” well being of the wealthy, the wholesome, the privileged and the “beautiful.” It also imitates their smug sense of superiority.

Those who aren’t blessed, of course, are cursed. The elect, the blessed, and the chosen require the outsider, the cursed and the inferior, simply in order to exist as a category of special people in the eyes of “god.”

Just like the soldier needs an enemy, like the wife beater needs a wife, like the employer (user) needs the employee (the one used), like white needs black, like rich needs poor, and just as the oppressor needs the oppressed, the blessed need the cursed.

The truth is that everyone knows which category they fall in.

The anxiety over whether one is “chosen” masks an underlying fear that being “better” than others may actually constitute an arrogant sickness, or a fear that no matter what one does or becomes, one will never be good enough.

Under such conditions, there can be no real moral or spiritual community, no real acceptance of self or other, no moral equality, and no truly common purpose other than to punish the outsider, the Other, and a joint defense of the illusion of the special stature of one’s own group.

The imprint of the Inquisitions lies very heavily on white European Christian culture. Its legacy is a profound fear of being different, of being found out as different, of being punished – tortured and burned alive - for being different, of profound punishment for those who stray, who bring the family or the group under the suspicion of the authorities for being different.

It is a legacy of the “blessed” destroying those who are different, and of doing so on an unimaginably mass scale. For the Spanish conquerors in the Americas, human beings were referred to as Christians. The non-Christians, the Indians, were not a part of their blessed ranks. Not being Christians, they were, by definition, sub-human.

Part 3: A Manifest Destiny: “God has selected them to battle the forces of evil…”

“…every nation needs sacred legitimation. It needs the authority of transcendence: of a story larger than itself, a story that connects past with present and future. An Empire needs an even broader story: one that connects with cosmic and/or historical redemption and new creation.” – The Reverend Rich Lang in George Bush and the Rise of Christian Fascism

Many Americans disapprove of the Bush Administration's belligerent policies, but few are aware of its extremism, its totalism. – Robert Jay Lifton

The occult foundation of Christian fascism lies in the embrace of an impending apocalypse and the conviction that only “true” Christians will be saved from the coming period of the Great Tribulation and Armageddon. Everyone else – human and non-human alike, will die; the Earth herself will be destroyed.

Hal Lindsey, author of the best selling book The Late Great Planet Earth calls us the “terminal generation," in a scenario in which god is the Terminator.

According to a Time / CNN poll 59% of the people in the US believe the prophecies in the Book of Revelation will come true, while 36% believe that the Bible is the word of God and is to be taken literally. 35% say that, since 9-1-1, they are paying closer attention to news events and how they might relate to the coming end of the world.

Time says, “Talk to the people who were already inclined to read omens in the headlines, and you hear their excitement, even eagerness to see what happens next.”

Millions of people see – or, more often, only sense, the catastrophic potentials of the global war on terror, the nuclear threat posed by the US to the people of Iran, the unfathomable devastation promised by global warming and peak oil, and have no other language in which to describe an impending collapse other than the language offered by the Book of Revelations.

But for true fundamentalist “believers” every emergent horror we face - from the impending probability of nuclear war against Iran to the incomprehensibly vast mass extinctions that will come with global warming - is a cause for celebration. They are celebrating global genocide and ecocide – in a word, omnicide; the Death of Everything.

These are the sickened, hardened, psychologically split adherents of the “one true way” of life enforced by this civilization, those who greedily seek out each sign of approaching doom in what Walter A. Davis has called a “self-hypnotic iteration of all the signs or behaviors one maintains in order to reassure oneself of one's salvation.”

The signs affirm them and “prove” to them the validity of a sado-masochistic, Orwellian logic in which apocalyptic Destruction = Salvation, and Death = Life.

Each harbinger of doom is a sign that Jesus is “coming back” to save them, and only them, from the global destruction they have wrought.

The Reverend Rich Lang noted:

“It used to be that the Church could control people through the fear of eternal damnation. Today it is through fear of the future. The theology is basically this: The Bible is a code book that when rightly interpreted reveals that we are living at the end of history. History is scripted and is about to come to a catastrophic conclusion. The only hope is to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior so that you can be "saved" from the future apocalypse. God will "snatch you up" (Rapture) right before a seven year series of horrible events that will see the rise of Antichrist and the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. There will be world war with most of humanity dying. At that point Jesus will return to restore law and order. This theology of despair "fits" our current culture of powerlessness and fear. From… weapons of mass destruction to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to ecological collapse, the whole world seems to be on a "no exit" slide into an end times abyss. The theology of despair is very seductive. It is shaping the spirituality of Christians which provides a strong core from which Bush draws political strength.”

There’s nothing innocent or passive about any of this. Apocalyptic fears are being promoted and played on by the Christian Right to prepare their followers to play an active role in a coming holocaust. Their influence is profound.

One in eight people in the US has bought a book in the Christian apocalyptic Left Behind series: over 60 million copies have been sold.

Michelle Goldberg says Left Behind

“…creates a Christian theory of everything, one that slates current events into a master narrative in which the world is destroyed and then remade to evangelical specifications. It's an alternate universe in which conservative Middle Americans are vindicated against everyone who doesn't share their beliefs...”

In the Washington Post, Melani McAlister described the outlook of the Left Behind series as “Christian Jihadist,” deriding the

“chorus of fundamentalist commentators who, despite their protestations to the contrary, have expressed a perverse enthusiasm for the spilled blood and millions of dead that will signal the Second Coming…

“What they say is sobering: that war is not proof of the failure of politics, but the necessary sign of God's action in history and the path to world redemption.”

There are other, largely unnoticed and extremely violent signs of the times emerging, as the culture and propaganda of the Christian Right take on a sharper tone of militarism. This new, violent propaganda especially targets young people, and some of it, at a minimum, has the backing of prominent figures on the Christian Right like George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Jerry Falwell, Tim La Haye, and Pat Robertson.

On November 7th, 2006, on election day and just in time for the Christmas shopping season, a new video game based on these novels will be released; it’s called Left Behind: Eternal Forces. It’s aimed at young teens, whose mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare," to train for a coming holy war against the anti-christ and the “forces of darkness.”

Left Behind: Eternal Forces will sell in the millions: some predict it will go mainstream. It’s being marketed through the same network of mega-churches that made the Dominionist guidebook The Purpose Driven Life a best seller. The game’s producers claim market surveys show that 92% of Left Behind readers will buy the game, as well.

One can “play” on the side of the (Christian) Tribulation Forces or the Global Community Peacekeepers (the “bad guys”) in the final showdown between “good and evil.”

The game might better be called “Convert or Die,” “Christian Militia,” or even “Christian Death Squad.” Highly armed and newly converted Christians roam the streets of New York in a scene set during the Great Tribulation: their job is to “witness” to non-believers, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Gays, moderate mainstream Christians and others, and if they fail or refuse to be “born again” on the spot, the task is to kill them.

And, of course, in the classic genocidal gesture, to let god sort them out.

One commentator complained that the game teaches Christian youth “that to kill nonbelievers is fun and consequence-free.”

The game prefigures a religious war in the US and Israel – it’s a computer version of the kind of madness seen in the documentary film Jesus Camp, “where kids are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God's Army and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ.”

The "Kids on Fire Summer Camp," which is featured in the film, is a Christian camp consciously modeled on the Islamic Madrassa schools where individuals are indoctrinated in the outlook of the Jihad.

Others are intent on “saving” young people from the profound questioning inherent in post–Hiroshima culture, claiming that “today's teens are being attacked by popular culture like no other generation.”

At a series of heavy handed, thudding Christian “rock” concerts called Battle Cry, Ron Luce, concert organizer and head of Teen Mania Ministries, declares to the crowd, “This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action.” He calls of tens of thousands of young people to join the “battle for the souls of men” (sic). No battle can be won, he proclaims, and “no souls can be saved without the shedding of blood. Blood must be shed!”

Military imagery is a constant at these events, and Battle Cry attempts to enlist teens in what it calls “God’s Army: The Battle Cry Coalition.”

Sunsara Taylor, noting the “spectacular light shows, Hummers, Navy SEALs and military imagery on stage,” wrote:

“This merging of God’s army and the U.S. military echoed the event that opened the day: the reading of a letter of greeting and blessing from George W. Bush. After the reading, a minister led thousands to bow their heads and thank the Lord for giving them George Bush, the commander in chief of America’s military.”

Battle Cry attendees have also been addressed by Barbara Bush and by former President Gerald Ford. The group is backed by Christian extremists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell – infamous for their support of the Guatemalan death squads that carried out the genocide of 250,000 Mayan Indians in the 1980s.

Like the youth exposed to such “games,” “camps” and “concerts” however, not everyone who is drawn to the fundamentalist version of the apocalypse is a conscious or indoctrinated Christian Fascist.

But everyone in the US is immersed in a set of cultural assumptions that have laid the foundation for the particular form Christian Fascism is taking here, assumptions that are central to US history and the Euro-American sense of identity.

David Neiwert correctly maintains that the Christian Right holds “a religious view akin to Manifest Destiny, a belief in American exceptionalism viewed through a prism of apocalyptic fundamentalist Christianity.”

Manifest Destiny is an outgrowth of the apocalyptic world view of the early European invaders of the Western Hemisphere. Cristóbal Colón (Columbus) believed his “discovery” of the “new” world was an intimate part of god’s plan which would soon result in the “last judgment” and the apocalypse.

Converting the “Indians,” had to be accomplished before the world could end. Instead, as Patricia Eddy noted, “the world ended only for the Indians.” The real apocalypse - genocide – ended the world for some 100 million people.

The Puritans, who established a European colonial and totalitarian theocracy in the western hemisphere and who initiated a quarter – millinenum of English genocide in what is now the US, were also motivated by an apocalyptic world view.

Eddy writes, “In the seventeenth century… the Puritans, set several dates for the end. The most famous was 1666. They believed that God would punish wicked England with his heavenly fireworks, and they fled to these shores for safety. Some arrived as early as 1630 thinking the world will end in only 36 years.”

The Puritans saw themselves as “the elect,” a chosen people with an elevated role in the battle between christ and the anti-christ, a theme that has morphed over the centuries to include the special role Christian fundamentalists in the US imagine for themselves today.

There was nothing unusual in the Puritan interpretation. Avihu Zakai, in Exile and Kingdom: History and Apocalypse in the Puritan Migration to America, notes that:

“Protestant historiography based itself on a historical interpretation of divine prophecies and regarded the Apocalypse the guide to the entire course of the history of salvation and redemption. Consequently, the Reformation gave rise to a new form of historical consciousness… based upon apocalyptic interpretation of history.”

Martin Luther thought the world would end no later than 1600.

Manifest destiny, a direct outgrowth of Puritan theology and an apocalyptic sense of history, is a fascistic, messianic myth of divine nationhood and expansionism.

It was first used to justify the conquest of Native lands and peoples in what is for now the US, then to justify US colonialism and empire elsewhere, US interventionism, and, by the time of Woodrow Wilson, to justify the exportation and imposition of “democracy” on other peoples.

The myth is inherently racist, and rests on a belief in “progress” and European superiority. The “civilized race” still uses this myth to justify white subjugation of an entire world of Black, Brown and Yellow peoples. Theodore Roosevelt made it plain:

“Of course our whole national history has been one of expansion… That the barbarians recede or are conquered, with the attendant fact that peace follows retrogression or conquest, is due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually bringing peace into the red wastes of the world where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway.”

In The Star of Empire Albert Jeremiah Beveridge said it even more succinctly:

“It is destiny that the world be rescued from its natural wilderness and savage men.”

These ideas are nothing antiquated. The logic of Manifest Destiny is precisely the same “logic” that underlies the current bid for a Pax Americana, and the crusade for US global domination - the crusade to “tame” the “savage” Muslims of the world.

For the founders of Christian Dominionism and its practitioners in power – men like R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North - racism and the urge to dominate the Other don’t start, or stop, with Muslims and Arabs.

These are some of the central political and cultural positions of Dominionists. The wedding of key elements of Manifest Destiny and Christian extremism should become obvious:

North on Native Americans:

Liberals, he writes, never, ever say "American natives," since this is only one step away from "American savages," which is precisely what most of those demon-worshipping, Negro slave-holding, frequently land-polluting people were.... This was one of the great sins in American life, they say: "the stealing of Indian lands".... That a million savages had a legitimate legal claim on the whole of North America north of Mexico is the unstated assumption of such critics.”

Rushdoony on Black slavery and white guilt:

“The political cultivation of guilt is a central means to power, for guilty men are slaves; their conscience is in bondage, and hence they are easily made objects of control. Guilt is thus systematically taught for purposes of control… the white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off.”

North on Citizenship:

“Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant--baptism and holy communion--must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.”

Rushdoony on Democracy:

“The church today has fallen prey to the heresy of democracy.”

North on European Superiority and Genocide:

“It occurs to me: Was Moses arrogant and unbiblical when he instructed the Israelites to kill every Canaanite in the land (Deut. 7:2; 20:16-17)? Was he an "elitist" or (horror of horrors) a racist? No; he was a God-fearing man who sought to obey God, who commanded them to kill them all. It sounds like a "superior attitude" to me. Of course, Christians have been given no comparable military command in New Testament, but I am trying to deal with the attitude of superiority--a superiority based on our possession of the law of God. That attitude is something Christians must have when dealing with all pagans. God has given us the tools of dominion.”

Rushdoony on Conquest

“All enemies of Christ in this fallen world must be conquered.”

North has said that “back alleys are where abortions belong,” and that women who have abortions should be executed - publicly, "along with those who advised them to abort their children.” Sunsara Taylor, attacking the Christian Right, has a different point to make:

“Today, their cruel attacks on the fundamental rights of women —to remove reality-based sex education, to criminalize and even kill doctors who provide abortions, to dry up access to and social acceptance of birth control, and to reassert the shackles of traditional marriage including through legally and culturally attacking divorce… hearken back to the traditions of this country which regard women as the legal property of their husbands.”

Dominionist theologian Rev. William Einwechter, wrote an essay entitled "Modern Issues in Biblical Perspective: Stoning Disobedient Children," in which he advocated a return to the practice.

“Contempt of parental authority, if left unchecked, is the death of the family, law, and order… Therefore, the execution of the rebel [the child] in view is just, merciful, and preventive. Just, in that the transgressor deserves to die; merciful, in that his quick death prevents the destruction of the family, society, and others; preventive, in that it strikes fear in the heart of other would-be rebels and restrains them from taking a similar ruinous course."

That’s what they mean by “family values.” Hate. And more than hate. Murder.

The list of those to be degraded and persecuted is ultimately endless because the hatred and resentment that give rise to it have no point of resolution in the outside world of “enemies.” Empire, and the “need” for it, are both endless and bottomless.

This is exactly the sensibility in which President Bush was immersed as part of his conversion experience. It’s what he was born into when he was “born again.”

George W. Bush’s religious training came at the hands of Dominionist preacher Dr. Tony Evans of the Christian male supremacist organization Promise Keepers, which holds a vision of an "apocalyptic masculinity,” and which targets lesbians, feminists and gays "as a threat to the pure community."

Chris Hedges, a reporter for The New York Times, writes:

“It was through Evans, who was a spiritual mentor to George Bush that Dominionism came to dominate the politically active wing of the Christian Right. The religious utterances from political leaders such as George Bush, Tom Delay, Pat Robertson and Zell Miller are only understandable in light of Rushdooney and Dominionism. These leaders believe that God has selected them to battle the forces of evil…”

No one knows – or no one who knows is saying - whether Bush fully embraces Dominionism or whether he’s that other brand of fundamentalist – a premillinealist. Perhaps both influences are at work. Modern Christian fundamentalism is split on the question in what North calls a “theological schizophrenia.”

There’s little difference, however, in terms of its impact on his actions as a ruler. In one case he’s seeking to consolidate a Christian empire that dominates the globe so Christ and the apocalypse can come; in the other case he’s laying the groundwork for an Armageddon type scenario in the very short term.

Both involve an apocalyptic embrace of genocide and ecocide.

Part 4: An Apocalyptic Destiny: Christian Fascism and the Nazi Legacy

“In ideological analysis we so often fail to attain anything truly hopeful because the need for hope clicks in too early, preventing us from perceiving the depth of the problem.”

- Walter A. Davis

“The classical pattern of apocalypse, comprising in its active form, an initial phase of savage destruction followed by a phase of messianic rebirth, can be recognized in individual psychosis and in the Nazi type of destruction, persecution and virtual suicide.”

-- Mortimer Ostow, "The Psychodynamics of Apocalyptic: Discussion of Papers on Identification and the Nazi Phenomenon," International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1986

For white Christian Fascists in the US, a racist belief in Manifest Destiny, the sense of “divine nationhood”, and the prophecy of the Apocalypse have merged into a mythos of a chosen volk destined to rule in an era of utter disintegration, destruction and rebirth, an Apocalyptic Destiny that profoundly echoes the mythos and pathology of the last century’s most important right wing religious, political and cultural revival – Nazism.

Similarly, Nazism was a racist apocalyptic movement, one that gained and consolidated state power as part of a classic millinerian contagion, and that aimed at laying the foundation for a hierarchical millennium – a Thousand Year Reich.

Raymond Sickinger, writes in Apocalypse now: Magic and the Millennium, from the Journal of Popular Culture:

“…most people fail to realize that the most significant, and most frightening, millenarian movement of the twentieth century was not a small, fringe cult, but was rather a large movement with mass appeal: the Nazi Movement. In his work, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution, James M. Rhodes contends that ‘National Socialist radicalism was a mutant, secular variety of the apocalyptic thought that was first manifested in the Revelation of John and then in the religious movements typified by groups as the crusaders, the Free Spirits, the flagellants, the Taborites, and the Anabaptists during the Middle Ages.”

However secular its official ideology, Nazism functions psychologically and culturally as an apocalyptic religion.

Let’s make it plain:

Hitler was a German messiah – a savior and redeemer of the German nation, just as christ is the savior and redeemer of the Christian nation, and just as the Mahdi is the savior and redeemer of the Islamic nation.

In the Judeo – Christian – Islamic tradition the original Messiah, the Hebrew Messiah, was a national savior who would defeat the gentile nations and restore the kingdom of Israel, just as Hitler, in turn, meant to destroy the Jews and “restore” Germany.

Like the Christian fascists today he sought to wipe away the old order in preparation for a new millennium, the “Thousand Year Reich.”

The Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, made the connection explicit in a WW2 report entitled A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend.

As time went on, it became clearer that he was thinking of himself as the Messiah and that it was he who was destined to lead Germany to glory. His references to the Bible became more frequent and the movement began to take on a religious atmosphere. Comparisons between Christ and himself became more numerous and found their way into his conversation and speeches…

White tells us that now when he is addressed with the salutation, "Heil Hitler, our Savior", he bows slightly at the compliment in the phrase - and believes it. As time goes on, it becomes more and more certain that Hitler believes that he is really the "Chosen One" and that in his thinking he conceives of himself as a second Christ who has been sent to institute in the world a new system of values based on brutality and violence. He has fallen in love with the image of himself in this role…

… It was not long before the German people were prepared to take the short step of seeing Hitler, not as a man, but as a Messiah of Germany.

Historian Fritz Stern, University Professor emeritus at Columbia University, who fled Nazi Germany as a young man in 1938, said

…Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker, Nobel-laureate in physics and a philosopher, wrote to me in the mid-1980s saying that he had never believed in Nazi ideology but that he had been tempted by the movement, which seemed to him then like “the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” On reflection, he thought that National Socialism had been part of a process that the National Socialists themselves hadn’t understood. He may well have been right: the Nazis didn’t realize that they were part of an historic process in which resentment against a disenchanted secular world found deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason. German elites proved susceptible to this mystical brew…

The Nizkor Project on the Nazi holocaust shows how deeply the messianic furor penetrated the German culture.

The parallel between Hitler and the Messiah was made explicit in German schools. On 16 March 1934 children wrote out the following dictation approved by Hitler's Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda:

‘Jesus and Hitler. As Jesus freed men from sin and Hell, so Hitler freed the German people from destruction. Jesus and Hitler were persecuted, but while Jesus was crucified Hitler was raised to the Chancellorship ... Jesus strove for Heaven, Hitler for the German earth.’

The League of German Girls developed a new version of the Lord's Prayer which was a supplication not only for the Fuhrer but to him as a deity:

‘Adolf Hitler, you are our great Leader. Thy name makes the enemy tremble. Thy Third Reich comes, thy will alone is law upon earth. Let us hear daily thy voice and order us by thy leadership for we will obey to the end even with our lives. We praise thee! Heil Hitler!’

And smaller children were taught to use this grace before meals:

‘Fuhrer, my Fuhrer, sent to me from God, protect and maintain me throughout my life. Thou who hast saved Germany from deepest need, I thank thee today for my daily bread. Remain at my side and never leave me, Fuhrer, my Fuhrer, my faith, my light. Heil my Fuhrer!’

The Southern Poverty Law Center in the US cites the example of American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell, who “gushed about having had a mystical experience when he first read Hitler's Mein Kampf. ‘I realized that National Socialism [was] actually a new religion,’ said Rockwell.”

In a word, as bizarre as these extremes may appear to us in 2006, such extreme psychologies and belief systems are in no way confined to the German psyche or culture. These are simply “born again” Nazis. All of them have undergone the same fundamental psychic split that characterizes the “born again” experience as such.

In his compelling Psychology of Christian Fundamentalism, Walter A. Davis describes the conversion experience – the “born again” experience - as “the use of the primitive psychological defense known as splitting to establish an absolute separation of the saved psyche from the damned.”

The splitting experience of being instantly “born again” is the opposite of psychological healing, the opposite of integration, of remembering, understanding and discharging one’s most fundamental hurts and hopes. It is the opposite of the tears and trials of transformation and the slow and determined growth that leads to spiritual, psychological. moral and political maturity and tenderness.

It is rather an instantaneous “salvation” that reduces to an escape from pain, an evasion of the lessons that pain teaches and the moral responsibility such lessons always imply.

Because it is an escape, it is also a moral and psychological numbing against inner despair and terror, one that leads, in turn, to a refusal to acknowledge the validity of information about the world that might disrupt the fragile internal equilibrium that holds pain, fear and despair at bay.

Davis writes:

One could say that conversion transforms the self, but it would be more appropriate to say that it annihilates it. That is in fact its function. For salvation to occur the self is precisely that which must be rendered powerless then transcended through a transformation that can only come from without. That transformation accordingly produces a split that is absolute and must be maintained at all costs. For it is what the psyche depends on to deliver it from everything disruptive and unstable in itself. Even if at times one finds oneself again a sinner, that sinfulness is all the work of the Big Other, Satan. Salvation is deliverance and such is the fundamentalist despair over the self that deliverance must be total.

This baseline evasion – this splitting away from the pain in what one “was,” and the embrace of a “new life” in christ – or Hitler and National Socialism for that matter – undermines, even forbids, the capacity for self-reflection and for authentic spiritual, emotional and moral responsibility and growth.

The terror that motivates Christian Fascism is a terror of the self. The “terrorist” is one’s own repressed feelings, and, of course, those feelings are always seeking to become conscious. The terrorist, satan – the split off and buried emotions - are always out to “get” the true believer.

For the most deeply split converts, the “true believers,” there is now nowhere to turn inside oneself. The self – the “sinner” – has been banished or repressed, leaving nowhere to turn except to an outside authority, to “signs,” and to an ecstatic merging with the crowd of “believers.”

What the believers believe must be true. One has sold one’s soul for it, committed a kind of spiritual and psychological suicide for it – soul murder, as Davis notes. One has split away from one’s pain and shame, and then projected them onto the “devil,” or more aptly, onto the Other, the scapegoat, the Jew, the Black, the homosexual, the Woman, the Native and other “heathens and “sinners.”

Because “sin” and the “threat” of sin is now perceived as something outside of oneself, and because “sin” must be controlled and “evil” destroyed, there is now no way out but the destruction of the Other, a worldly re-enactment of the destruction and hatred of the self. There is no way out except Apocalypse, the fascistic control and destruction of the Other and the world itself.

Davis writes:

Apocalypticism expresses… the final evacuation needed to prevent a return of the projections… that complete unbinding that can only come by putting an end to everything. The hatred in which the psyche is grounded requires no less: it is total in its control over the inner world and thus demands a matching totalization. In the images of destruction… one sees externalized the process that has ravaged the inner world…

…Literal obedience to literal commands is merely the tip of that iceberg. It is within that the true process of soul-murder takes place. In a psyche that is willing to sacrifice everything in itself in order to placate an authority that is vindictively cruel in the wrath it directs on the slightest opposition to its will. In an attempt to achieve identification with that force the psyche wages war first on itself and then upon the world.

In the Christian apocalyptic computer game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, one kills those who will not “convert” or be “born again.”

They have become the imagined agents of one’s internal demons, one’s pain; by refusing to convert they deny and thus threaten the fragile authority that now rules the split-off personhood of the “believer.” The non – believer is a threat and an affront to the fragile psychic balance of the convert, just as the Gypsy, the Slav, the Black, homosexuals and the Jew were threats and affronts to the born again “Aryan.”

The “new” identity depends on the rejection of the old one, and on the rejection of the Other.

The post-apocalyptic “new world,” depends not only on their rejection, but on their destruction. The millineal world in which the split-off believer thinks s/he will finally find a thousand years of “peace” depends on genocide – just as it did under Hitler and just as it did in the conquest of the Americas. Only when satan has been banished and destroyed can god rule.

This cultural logic, the logic of apocalypse and genocide, had laid the foundation for the emergence of a Hitler over a period of fifteen hundred years, since the Roman Empire had begun to force Christianity on its conquered territories in what is now Europe. It had found its most profound expression in the apocalypse which ended the original, native world of the Americas.

Nazism rests on the cultural and psychological foundation of apocalyptic Christianity, on its historical legacy of Europe’s Inquisitions, its persecutorial millinealist movements, and its legacy of genocide. Nazism is a Germanic expression of this legacy in modern cultural and political practice, with the twist that this time the genocide was carried out against other Europeans, and was thus considered compelling and noteworthy in the West.

Sickinger wrote:

…Between the years 1000 and 1700, there were a number of millenarian movements which looked to these biblical sources for inspiration and whose members shared six essential characteristics.

He draws the parallels between 700 years of Christian apocalyptic movements in Europe and Nazism. The brief comparison below will utilize the basic framework of his analysis and extend it to include today’s Christian Fascist movement.

“First,” Sickinger writes of the Christian millinealist cults, “they viewed themselves as victims of terrible disasters.” In comparison “Hitler convinced the German people that they were being victimized by the allies, the vindictive Treaty of Versailles, and, of course, the Jews.” Today, for the Christian Right, the “victimizer” is “terrorism” and multiculturalism.

“Second,” the Christian millinealist cults “believed that they had special insight into their hardships and that there was hope of salvation.” Sickinger notes that Hitler believed that he, too had a “special insight” into the trauma of the German nation and claimed that there was “hope of salvation.” Many Germans obviously believed that Hitler was the hope of their salvation. Today’s Christian fascists are bent on “saving” the US for “god.” It’s convert leader, George W. Bush, believes he has been called by god, and that he has special insight deriving from special divine communications to do things like invade Iraq and launch the “war on terror” against “evildoers.”

“Third,” Sickinger notes that the Christian millineal cults “believed that their problems were caused by the forces of evil and that the societies in which they lived were being destroyed by these forces.” He notes that “Hitler believed, and convinced others, that Germany's problems were caused by forces of evil and that Germany was being destroyed by these forces.” Today, the “evil ones” are not Jews, but so-called Islamo-fascists – the Islamic world - while the blitzkrieg has been renamed “Shock and Awe.”

“Fourth,” the Christian millineal cults “believed that they were specially selected to fight and defeat the forces of evil. They were the ‘Elect.’” Hitler and the German people clearly came to believe that the Nazi leadership was divinely inspired, that Hitler himself was a German messiah figure, and that the Aryan nation was a kind of “chosen” people. Christian fascists, like the Puritans before them, see themselves as an “elect” or chosen people, called to defeat the depraved forces of “sin” and to do god’s will by establishing his “dominion” over the Earth and all its creatures.

“Fifth,” Sickinger notes, the Christian millineal cults “were convinced that the forces of evil were poised to destroy goodness at any moment, requiring quick and decisive action on the part of the chosen. Battles of Armageddon were necessary.” As for Hitler:

“Hitler was clear that the forces of evil represented by the Jewish anti-race were poised to destroy Aryan goodness and that Germany had to respond quickly and decisively to the Jewish threat to the German, Aryan.

“The Final Solution to the Jewish question which was developed during World War II and which resulted in the terror of the Holocaust was, in the warped minds of Hitler and his closest advisors, that very battle of goodness purging evil in order to usher in a golden era. James M. Rhodes concurs: ‘The Nazis could not live without the magic ritual of slaughtering the 'bacilli.'”

Today in the US, the “terrorist threat” and the New Crusade against what George W. Bush calls “evildoers” and the “Axis of Evil,” the “War on Terror,” the CIA’s "Worldwide Attack Matrix" and the “Islamo-fascist threat” serve exactly the same ends, with the added “bonus” that the dramatic center of the action lies in the “Holy Land.” Palestine is, of course, the very scene of the prophesied battle of Armageddon.

“Sixth,” the Christian millineal cults “had faith that their efforts would be successful and would result in a new and beautiful era of peace and prosperity.” The Thousand Year Reich held the same promise, and the Christian Fascists have gone back to the root belief: the return of christ and his thousand year reign following the apocalypse they are seeking so diligently to arrange.

It should go without saying that Nazi anti-Semitism was – and is - rooted in ancient European Christian traditions and in a long and vile history of Christian pogroms, murders, forced conversions and expulsions of Jews. And there is a straight line between The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the extreme right wing views of powerful figures like televangelist Pat Robertson, whose notion of a Jewish Illuminati is central to his conspiratorial sense of history, and to the his sense of the role of Christianity in history.

David Stannard, in his seminal American Holocaust, writes:

“… an observation of [Elie] Wiesel’s regarding the perpetrators of the Jewish Holocaust is an equally apt beginning for those who would seek to understand the motivations that ignited and fanned the flames of the mass destruction of America’s native peoples:

‘All the killers were Christian… the Nazi system was a consequence of a movement of ideas and followed a strict logic; it did not arise in a void but had its roots deep in a tradition that prophesied it, prepared for it, and brought it to maturity. That tradition was inseparable from the past of Christian, civilized Europe.’”

In the eschatology of the Christian fascists, Israel plays a key role: the nation must exist, according to Biblical prophecy, for christ to return, for apocalypse to unfold, and for the “Kingdom of God” to be established.

For this reason we have seen the rise of a new “Christian Zionism” among fundamentalists in the US, who are bent on “defending” the white colonial settler regime and its genocidal relations with Palestinians at any cost.

But the Christian Zionist support for Israel is hardly “pure”: it’s a set up.

There is a reason Israel “has to exist”: It has to exist so that, at the proper time it can be wiped out - so that at the proper time the “anti-christ” can destroy it, so that all Jews can die, or be condemned by “god” to “hell.” As a former Southern Baptist Convention leader put it, “God doesn’t hear the prayer of a Jew.”

The message is simple, and it serves as a template for Christian fascist intentions toward Jews. It’s a template for genocide. It’s the same message offered in the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces. The message is the same as the offer the Spanish gave to untold millions of Native Americas before they slaughtered them: “convert or die.” Indeed, as the Conquest of the Americas was underway, the Spanish Inquisition offered this very choice to many Jews in Spain, as well.

According to Christian fascist eschatology, only 144,000 Jews will be “saved” – those who have converted to Christianity will be bodily wisked away to heaven in a moment called the “Rapture.” Those who adhere to their own culture and religion will be “left behind” to face Armageddon, utter destruction; a cultural and physical genocide more thorough than that of the Nazis.

That’s the prophecy, the master narrative, part of an overarching European narrative of genocide – and like all cultural scripts, it’s meant to be acted out. It’s a very old tradition. One might say that Nazism was only a variation on the Christian theme, or one might say that the Christian Fascist template is a variation on the Nazi theme.

Part 5: Stopping Christian Fascism will only be the beginning

Fascism is the reactionary re-constitution of the capitalist state based on an appeal to cross-class coherence and to a revitalization of the nation’s dominant ethnicity through the medium of religious contagion and organized violence.

In multicultural nations, which means in virtually every nation, Fascism always re-constitutes culture and power around the traditional reactionary values of the dominant ethnicity as they pertain to upholding the key elements of “civilization” – the family, private property and the state.

Thus the focus on “family values,” the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of corporations, and the embrace of new, overtly authoritarian powers for the state such as torture and open spying.

The furtherance and renewal of the cultural myths that justify the traits of the dominant culture in relation to family, property, authority and the use of violence

is a key element of reinforcing “civilized” “normalcy” in times of crisis, and themes that reinforce these norms are thus among the key themes of fascist movements.

Since the cultural mythos and justifications that surround the powers of the family, property and the state are different in different cultures, and since each dominant cultural group subordinates and suppresses distinctly different cultural groups, fascism takes on a different appearance and tone in each culture where it arises.

Only a potent counterculture can successfully combat fascism, since fascism is fundamentally a psycho-cultural movement that rationalizes new forms of reactionary governance by a reframing of core cultural values – a reframing that becomes normative for the majority of the population in the dominant ethnicity.

Fascism arises under conditions in which there are extremes of cultural, political and economic fragmentation that appear to justify a call to a new level of cultural unity and coherence among members of the privileged, dominant ethnicity.

The ability of the dominant culture to meet the needs of its members begins to fragment, laying the basis for alienation, malaise, or widespread fear, insecurity and disappointment.

The old rules, the old gods, the old economic and ethnic relation break down, impacting people’s sense of identity, function, sense of belonging and status within the dominant culture, and their economic, social, cultural and emotional security, especially those securities based on economic, ethnic and gender dominance.

These securities are what fascism promises to restore. It re-crystallizes social, cultural and economic relations through establishing and reinforcing norms of cultural coherence through religious contagion and force – thus its militant masculinism.

Members of the dominant group adhere to fascism at the level of personal and cultural identity and with a sense of religious purpose as they “re-fuse” with the newly enforced norms, resolving the crisis of social identity and personal “power.”

Any effective and true counterculture – any authentic alternative to fascism - must offer a new basis for cultural identity, power and effectiveness, and ethnic, gender and economic identity. It must re-solve the questions of cultural norms with respect to the family, private property and the state in a workable, practicable and experiential new way that, at a bare minimum, directly challenges each of these three building blocks of “Civilization.”

Fundamentally, fascism is an armed defense of repressive, oppressive civilization and a reinforcement of its norms in a given dominant culture group, and is most likely to arise in colonial settler states and neo-colonies that are ethnically divided along sharp lines – like the Ladino / Mayan split in Guatemala, and in imperialist states undergoing crisis.

Because the fragmentation of cultural coherence that leads to fascism is experienced by the dominant group as extreme, and since it is culture, not politics, that mediates the totality of life in “civilization,” fascism, is of necessity, both extreme and total in its impact on society.

All signs of cultural, political or gender “difference” are read as signs of fragmentation and destruction that in the aggregate are experienced by members of the dominant group – the “Good Germans,” as we say, as having very personal impacts on their emotional lives, their status and sense of identity. For this “reason,” “difference” must be repressed or destroyed.

Especially targeted are those groups, who by virtue of culture and / or differences in skin coloration are perceived as irreconcilably different (inferior), countercultural groups or religious minorities, and those who are seen as “decadent,” as a threat to the moral and cultural coherence of the dominant group.

The submission of such groups to newly imposed authorities and norms serves only to justify the drive to suppress them by signaling an acceptance of a status of inferiority, and serves to reinforce the sense of superiority and “rightness” of the culture that seeks to suppress or destroy them.

This is why adapting to fascistic norms spells death, and why rebelling against and openly resisting them is the only answer to the persecutorial dynamics of fascism, especially in periods of time before fascism has consolidated state power, and before the contagion of religious or quasi-religious conversion and its absolutist certainty in fascism’s cause and in its leadership has taken over the majority of the members of the dominant group.

It is not enough to expose the reality of persecution – only rebellion, resistance, or a credible threat of rebellion and resistance – on a mass scale, and particularly among the targeted group(s), can undermine the power of the spreading contagion, and re-create the level of self-doubt in the dominant group that characterized its crisis as the dynamic began to unfold.

That’s why, despite all the flag waving, the millions of Others who marched in the pro-migrant movement were able to have such a significant impact. No one laid down to “take it,” and the Republican Party, having failed to reach a critical mass in support of its fascistic agenda, cracked open.

The fascist movement in the US today has several areas of vulnerability.

Its leadership under Bush inspires no confidence and widespread disgust (although if a John McCain were to convert fully to the cause that might all change):

The faith of Christian Fascists in the “moral leadership” of the Republican Party has been gravely undermined by scandal:

Militarily, and this is of signal importance, the US is being defeated in Iraq, bringing home the ghost of the imperialist’s “Viet Nam Syndrome”:

Migrants and Chican@s have risen up in their millions, undermining key plans for ethnic scapegoating and ethnic cleansing in what is still reputed to be a “democracy”:

And the Republican Party is divided – deeply divided, on a number of key fronts.

But there are underlying pressures that highly favor the development of fascism, as well among them pressures on the Democratic Party, which understands as Larry Everest correctly notes

“…that the extreme right, including a Christian fascist core, remains extremely well organized, funded and powerful, and that any effort to overturn the Bush agenda would be met with howls of treason and betrayal (and perhaps even a coup).”

The Christian Fascist’s greatest strength is the extent to which their agenda has already been normalized. This normalization has occurred with the help of the Democratic Party - and by virtue of the mass silence that has accompanied the mass incarceration of peoples of color in the US, a silence that has helped engender a profound sense of isolation and demoralization in the ghettos and barrios and on the reservations.

The “failure” of the Democrats to stand up signals something much deeper than a lack of “spine” or even fear of the Christian Fascist movement. It signals fundamental agreement with many of the aims of the fascist movement with respect to who must be attacked both overseas and in the “homeland” if the Empire is to stay afloat in a coming period of immense danger and instability at every level.

There is a dangerous and compelling necessity – from the imperialist standpoint - of coming resource wars, as oil and agricultural production begin to decline on a global basis, and as water resources become vastly depleted on a world scale. In a word, the collapse of a global economy based on oil is on the horizon, and the empire is compelled to consolidate its global control of energy resources.

Both Democrats and Republicans are targeting Iran, for example. The Democratic leadership supports the aims of the occupation of Iraq, as well, no matter what the base of the party may say.

It makes no difference, from this standpoint, whether Republicans or Democrats are in power. Economic collapse and Global Warming are on the horizon; the civilization itself will enter a period of irreversible decline – if not collapse - as the energy source that drives it dries up, and as the exploited and depleted ecosystems – life systems – that sustain it reach the edge of collapse and extinction.

As a consequence there is a compelling urgency on the part of the ruling elites in the US to establish an unprecedented military dominance abroad and deepening levels of social control in the “homeland.” For a more thorough analysis see part one of this series, Apocalypse No! under the subtitle Resource Wars and Fascism: Babylon’s Way Out.

The single greatest danger is that many now alert to the need for resistance may be lulled to sleep again by a Democratic Party victory.

But a simple election can neither reverse the underlying compulsions toward Christian Fascism in the US, nor defeat a psycho-cultural movement toward Christian Fascism that has its roots in the deepest aspects of the very oldest and most enduring traditions of an oppressive civilization on the verge of collapse and global destruction.

If Life on Earth is to survive, if we and millions of other species are to survive, human society will have to undergo the deepest of transformations on a global scale.

Stopping Christian Fascism will only be the beginning.


Juan Santos is a Los Angeles based writer and editor. His essays from 2006 can be found at: http://the-fourth-world.blogspot.com/. He can be reached at: JuanSantos@Mexica.net.


Tim Barton said...

You mighht like tis book if you can get hold of it...

KAHL, JOACHIM - Misery Of Christianity, The: A Plea For A Humanity Without God
{Pelican pbk 1972)


SJR said...
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Inge B. said...

just picking on the issue of "EvilPeople": I "ve read/skimmed through the blog spot and I found lots of convincing sounding rhethoric but it didn't really satisfy me or give me the feeling of "spot on". To start with the notion and definition and mental acrobatics around "evil". I see one camp accusing another camp of being evil. I see people grabbing hold of the concept of "evil" , something completely bad, devoid of rational and understandable roots, the antithesis of God, the thing that gives me the moral right to thunder from the pulpit, or from behind my psychiatrists desk. I see people driven by the desire to find a reason for human suffering, for their own suffering, acting out their disappointment with life, their painful experience of separation form the original bliss of existence, their loss of awareness, their loss of integrated wholeness resulting in a kind of partial blindness, a fragmented consciousness and all is left seems to be intellect, they sit and think and think, - as i have done for years and I know what i'm talking about - and try to come up with the perfect answer, the ultimate definition of "evil" the answer to :"What on earth is wrong here?" Depending on background and conditioning their answers differ, but not their energy. If i imagine I would hear them and blank out the wordrecognition only leaving the beat, the intonation and melody of their speech, the "energy" of their communication, I think they would sound pretty similar. They operate on the same wavelength. I very clearly recall the satisfaction of venting my frustration with life by proclaiming with gusto whatever deep and meaningful answers i had found at any one time. - Now i think it's a trap. There is no evil person. There is no-one to blame. All energy that goes into finding "The Mistake" with another person or group is wasted and stops me from finding solutions, possible ways of progress. Everyone is doing their best and everyone wants to do good. Everyone who is judged by another person or group will hurt and resist. Everyone who resists and defends becomes too rigid to allow change. Evil has no existence of its own. I like the description that it is the absence of God. I imagine a temporary accumulation of confusion and fragmented energy. There cannot be an evil person, because a person is a mini-universe, a reflection of the wholeness. The very urgent problem exists how to facilitate a spiritual reconnection that unmasks and dissolves this temporary confusion. I found that I need to concentrate on where people are right. Even if I disagree with 99% of their thoughts and actions, I try and find where they have their inner umbilical cord to their inner truth. That is sometimes difficult and often my own emotions get in the way and I fall back into the trap but still, I believe it's the only way to not leave people out in the cold and make them into dangerous enemies. If I look at Bush and the neocons and fascist evangelicals I focus on the thought that this is the best they can do. I include myself and say that this is the best we have - the world has - to offer at present. I feel I must do this. Only when I take it personally do i get this inner tension that opens the door to my intuition and I become in a little way the change I want to see in the world. xxxinge B.

christianconservative said...

I happen to be a right-wing conservative Christian, but either I don't know what fascism is, or this Christian Fascist movement must not be real. (Fascism-(sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.) In times past, the CATHOLIC church, not Christians, terrorized the common people and the minorities, but then along came Luther, and translated the Bible into the common langauge, which happend to be German, and the common people could read the Bible for tehmselves. This did not eliminate the Catholic church's persecution of non-catholic persons, but because the common person could read the Bible, the Catholic church could no longer be his master. At this time in history, true Christians, ones that believe that Jesus is God, and that Jesus died to save us from sin (the real evil in this world) and that we can gain eternal life through Him alone (not by works or deeds), are not a Fascists. I personally do not wish to control everything, nor do I wish to supress opostition and criticism, because that is what America is all about. If I did not recieve criticism or opposition, I would have nothing to do, as I am supposed to, as stated in Matthew 28:19-20, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen"