Friday, April 13, 2012

The 9/12 Project, 9/11 and the idea of a "National Revolution"

There's a very interesting book out there called Mussolini's Intellectuals" by A. James Gregor. Gregor is a scholar of Italian Fascism who is clearly sympathetic to his subject, but who nonetheless is a true academic who brings real insights, and is the opposite of a simplistic apologist. One of the most interesting interludes he brings up is the change of Italian Anarcho-Syndicalist Sergio Panunzio from Syndicalist to  Fascist ideologue, a position he retained throughout the Fascist regime. Particularly interesting is Panunzio's feeling that the First World War produced a unity in Italy that served as a "national revolution", a unification of Italian society under the watch of nationalist principles. This "national revolution" was of course the foundation of the later nationalist/Fascist violence committed against Communists in the wake of the war, where the ultra-nationalists formed Fasces di Combattimento, street violence groups, and beat up Communists and union members who tried to push for an Italian socialist revolution like the one that recently took place in Russia. How interesting, then, is the Glenn Beck founded  "9/12 Project" that, though less active than last year, still seeks to be a force "uniting our communities back to the place we were on 9/12/2001." 

There are quite a few parallels between the 9/12 Project and the ethos of early Fascism, not to mention the  Patriotic upsurge that followed 9/11 itself, where the supposed spirit of society, its putative 'general will' was acted on by President Bush as the 'Decider' to put in place dictatorial measure and make war on the world. But lets focus on the 9/12 Project  now. 

After talking about the putative expansion of Statism in the wake of Obama's election, while saying nothing about the actual expansion of Statism under Bush, the 9/12 site makes this statement 

"Do we need a Paul Revere. No we need hundreds if not thousands of Paul and Paula  Revere’s. The water is getting warm, but like the proverbial frog, it will be too late to jump once the water starts to boil. When the history of our time is written, what will be said of us? Will we be the generation that stood strong and maintained the defense of our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Will we stand up for and defend the Constitution?" 

Interesting, Paul Reveres, potentially in the streets? 

And as part of it's Nine Principles and 12 Values   we have these:


The 9 Principles

  1. America Is Good.
  2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
    God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.
  3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
    Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington
  4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
    Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson
  5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
    Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson"
The whole Nine Principles could be charitably named 'The Nine Principles of American Nationalism'. There are of course more Principles, but these have been omitted to make the post shorter. Many of them affirm the rights of the individual against government, particularly against a supposed encroaching government tyranny, but they seem oblivious to the fact that the only way you can truly realize many of them is through government intervention. For instance, affirming the family means either not certifying gay marriage or criminalizing homosexuality, and affirming God as the Center of one's life as a basic principle is only possible on a social level by attacking the secular basis of American government and replacing it with government endorsement of Christianity. Not to mention the statist concern of the swift administration of justice. For sure, I assume that apprehending terrorists through the USA-PATRIOT Act wiretapping, mosque infiltration, and the invasive procedures of the TSA are not something the 9/12 project objects to. Nowhere is statist action in the form of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan or the prison at Guantanamo Bay or the torture that is practiced there mentioned. 

By implication through its association with the Tea Party and Freedomworks, and selective silence on issues of government abuse that doesn't fit in with its ideology, the 9/12 Project proves itself not,  in point of fact, to be anti-statist or anti-government at all, but supportive of the worst statist excesses in American government, and to approve of a popular movement that will bring back the sense of fear and intimidation associated with 9/12  reminiscent of the early Fascist movement. In the name of Unity, of course.  Intimidating everyone to echo American patriotism, and having that reflected in schools, in the media, and everywhere else, through returning to the climate of fear and intimidation that prevailed after 9/11, the 9/12 project would institute a conservative dictatorship centered on an idealized American state of the kind presented in conservative constitutionalism.

But don't say that, because, they don't,  you know, like the idea of government that's put forward by a black man, who is a Democrat, that has less rhetoric in it.  This they find objectionable and intolerable, use it to promote themselves as against government excess. Because, you know, social programs are, like, dictatorial, but rancid mob rule in the name of patriotism is as American as you can get.

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