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TomDispatch: American Kleptocracy: How Fears of Socialism and Facism Hide Naked Theft

From TomDispatch: Today's offering, a new word to describe how our country works -- kleptocracy -- and an original analysis to go with it -- William J. Astore, "American Kleptocracy, How Fears of Socialism and Fascism Hide Naked Theft."

Close your purse or keep your hand on that back pocket where your wallet's lodged while you read the latest post at, or you could find yourself without a cent. Americans, right and left, express fears about the coming of "socialism" or "fascism," writes historian and TomDispatch regular William J. Astore, but "what if instead of looking at where our government might be headed, we took a closer look at where we are -- at the power-brokers who run or influence our government, at those who are profiting and prospering from it? "

"If we were to take an honest look at America’s blasted landscape of 'losers' and the far shinier, spiffier world of “winners,” he adds, "we’d have to admit that it wasn’t signs of onrushing socialism or fascism that stood out, but of staggeringly self-aggrandizing greed and theft right in the here and now. We’d notice our public coffers being emptied to benefit major corporations and financial institutions working in close alliance with, and passing on remarkable sums of money to, the representatives of 'the people.' We’d see, in a word, kleptocracy on a scale to dazzle."

"Kleptocracy" is, of course, a word normally associated with corrupt and exploitative governments that steal ruthlessly and relentlessly from the people. It’s a word, in fact, that’s usually applied to flawed or failed governments in Africa, Latin America, or the nether regions of Asia, not the mature republic of the United States. Well, says Astore, think again -- and he makes a compact, brilliant argument for just why kleptocracy is now the word for us.

He concludes: "Is it any surprise then that, in seeking to export our form of government to Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve produced not two model democracies, but two emerging kleptocracies, fueled respectively by oil and opium?... Why do we bother to feign shock when Iraqi and Afghan elites, a tiny minority, seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority? Shouldn’t we be flattered? Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form of flattery. Isn’t it?" This is an original. Don't miss it. Read it now.

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Whether or not there is social opposition, as there was in Nazi Germany, two working class parties, though divided,the purpose and goal of Corporate fascism, was to smash working class resistance to achieve the same end, namely, complete totalitarian control to steal social wealth, from below, as the parasitic classes, who had the middle class fascist shock troops defending their criminality.

Today corporations, finance capital, do not need to smash workers resistance, especially in America where not even one working class party exists. The ideological capitulation caused by the succes of forcing the social masses to accept corporate parties, means that they have lost before they have realized the battle should have begun, much earlier.

So America is more likely to be prone to class and police totalitarianism, just using its class hierarchies, servile criminal classes, to smash social resistance, and allow the class despotism, imperial fascism, criminality to continue.
The means are different, the outcome, fascism, is the same.

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