Fascism has not suddenly burst onto the scene in the US with the election of a single president.
In the late 1970’s, my father co-owned a strip mine in northern Alabama. There was a labor dispute, I never knew the exact details, but the local KKK was supporting the union. The dispute wore on quite awhile until, as my father told it, a few clansmen took him into a shed on the property, held a gun to his head, and told him to get his yankee ass out of the state. Not long afterward, we moved back to Detroit.
Here’s the other side of the story. “Uncle Daddy”, a central figure in the human subject trafficking network to which my parents sold me, was an actual Nazi, brought into the country like the 1500 or so other German scientists in the wake of WWII via operations like Paperclip, their SS histories expunged from public records. Everyone seems to love NASA, yet everyone conveniently forgets that a Paperclip Nazi founded our space program. Even a shill who published a morally ambiguous limited hangout of Paperclip, admitted that many of the scientists involved in human experimentation in the camps were employed here in as yet unknown capacities.
Most of the kids in Uncle Daddy’s trafficking network were white girls, some were white boys, brown and black children of both sexes were brought in for anything that might be terminal. Even in the torture labs there is a hierarchy. In the North, the local affiliated sex trafficking network was linked through fraternal organizations, in the South, it was linked through the KKK. My father’s coal mine was close to Huntsville and Chattanooga, home to NASA, and two of the labs I was taken to regularly between the ages of 6 and 14. From this perspective, I think my father’s shed tale is a tall one.
That was 40 years ago. Uncle Daddy the Nazi, the sociopathic architect of much of the torture based behavioral programs, is long dead, but one of the government officials who oversaw his work in the 1970’s, is not. Uncle Daddy’s former boss, who was present in the audience in 1971 when I was demonstrated as a successful lab rat, is still alive and well, and as powerful and influential as ever. He has met with Trump. He is close friends with the Clintons.
Fascism has not suddenly burst onto the scene in the US with the election of a single president. The destruction of our civil liberties and institutions has been set at a long, slow boil over decades, chipping away, bit by bit under the guiding influence of hidden sociopaths and supremacists at the top and woven throughout our power structures. To them, the growing anxiety of the populace is just another piece on the board, to be managed, to be exploited. They have a huge and expanding, partially privatized intel bureaucracy with a decades long history of media corruption in place to aid them.
In the labs, Uncle Daddy and the other perpetrators knew that for every incident of abuse or torture I’d respond with a set of predictable emotional reactions, terror, pain, and rage. They trained me to store up those reactions, keep them compartmentalized, often dissociated from source incidents. Then they presented themselves as my saviors by allowing me to release the feelings, but only in proscribed ways. They gave me a target for my rage when they needed me to be violent. They tapped into my pain when they wanted to disable me. They carefully associated terrifying memories with thoughts and behaviors they did not want.
I recognize the same types of emotional manipulation at work today on a grand scale. The masses are stuck in a media saturated laboratory, bandied about from one spectacle crisis to the next, all reactions seemingly pre-scripted. Among the accusations, screaming and yelling, there is talk of resistance, but little sufficiently informed analysis of exactly what or whom needs to be resisted and how. What’s missing is the acknowledgement that the first step towards resistance is to back out of fear and emotion based reaction, and re-engage critical thought. Here are some questions that may be helpful to ask oneself. Against what targets are you being guided to unleash your rage, the great orange puppet, your neighbors, your family? What is acceptable for you to fear and what isn’t? What thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have you been surprised to witness yourself expressing? Do you find yourself perceiving of others who do not share your views as less and less human?
The last question is a doozy. This is how support for authoritarian systems can take root and spread through a populace, regardless of where one sits on the political spectrum.
The work of resistance lies in building the emotional resilience necessary to confront the realities of our history and our present. It will grow by rekindling connection, face to face, working together in the community. It will require building networks to discover and disseminate what’s really happening now, on the ground. Resistance is tapping into the best that is within us to the point where we all understand well enough how to step out of the labs.
[Update, Sept. 5, 2017]
Recommended Resources on Nazis and fascist elements in the US
Some of these books are out of print, they are provided here for download in .PDF form.
Hunt, L. (1991). Secret agenda: The United States Government, Nazi scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945-1990. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Martin, James Stewart [former Chief of the Decartelization Branch of Military Government in Germany] (1950). All honorable men: The story of the men on both sides of the Atlantic who successfully thwarted plans to dismantle the Nazi cartel system. [PDF] Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
Manning, P. (1980). Martin Bormann: Nazi in exile. [PDF] Lyle Stewart, Inc.
Simpson, C. (1988). Blowback: The first full account of America’s recruitment of Nazis, and its disastrous effect on our domestic and foreign policy. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Bower, T. (1987). The Paperclip conspiracy: The hunt for Nazi scientists. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
Bower, T. (1982). The pledge betrayed: America and Britain and the denazification of postwar Germany. Doubleday & Company.
Higham, C. (1983). Trading with the enemy: An expose of the Nazi-American money plot, 1933-1949. Delacorte Press.
Pool, J. & Pool, S. (1978). Who financed Hitler: The secret funding of Hitler’s rise to power 1919-1933. New York: Dial Press.