The United States of Cowardice: Why We Cling to Authoritarianism

How did we become a nation of frightened followers?  Has the American state become so repressive and anti-progressive that we are all now doomed to live under irrational, invasive, public, TSA searches at airports and howling mobs at home as the boot of the national government crushes against our necks in the name of our own good safety?

Too many of us crave the cravenness of total authority.  Instead of living rightly on our own, we want to be told where to stand, how to hold our head and when to sleep and the why of what we consume.

Authoritarian followers want to disappear as individuals. They’re not comfortable taking stands on their own, or acting alone. Instead they seem fulfilled simply by being part of a large, powerful movement on the march. Thus the insult-hurling Tea Partiers probably would have been quiet, even deferential, had they met with their member of the House one-on-one last August. But experiments have shown that authoritarian followers are highly conforming. When they are in a group of like-minded persons they are much more likely to do things, especially aggressive things, that they would not do alone. They make a good mob, winding each other up by hearing each other yell. Did you notice how they got louder and louder as the town halls wore on? Being in a crowd of fellow-believers also helps them maintain their opinions through the “GOP echo chamber.” “You say to me, ‘Obama’s a tyrant!’” and then I’ll tell you, ‘Obama’s a tyrant!’” Then we’ll both be more certain he is. And if we’re with lots of other people who agree, we’ll all shout it. And the more we shout it, the more I’ll believe it.”

We deserve to live in a Fascist state, and we’ve already met — as one nation under God — all 14 characteristics of Dr. Lawrence Britt’s conflation of the shared Fascist memes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), and here are the first three of the infamous 14:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

We have become a nation of the cowed.

We are the United States of Cowardice.

Few really believe in God. Most of us place our faith in the rough hand of justice and the iron-fisted shackles of man; and to what end — to live in suffocation under the majority thumb of our political oppressors and their power-starved minority leadership minions?  We have forgotten the bitter taste of freedom and the consummate price we must all pay to tempt that sweet and fallible human nectar.

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