The Instigator
benito_felipe
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
codemeister13
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

American is a fascist nation

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
codemeister13
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 692 times Debate No: 48069
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

benito_felipe

Pro

I'm fairly certain the United States of America is a fascist nation. This is only going by the definition of fascism, and its criteria. The US might not SEEM overtly fascist, but that doesn't mean sinister things aren't going on underneath.

I've researched the definition of fascism on Encyclopedia Brittanica, and a study by Dr. Lawrence Britt. These both list some characteristics of fascist societies. These characteristics were found by studying fascist societies of the past and the present. A lot of these qualities are similar to aspects of American government and society. In particular, the right-wing parties of the United States

A few are...
-Opposition to communism
-Hatred of men who are effeminate, homosexual, or "soft"
-Obsession with youth, beauty, and fertility
-Glorification of the military, nationalism, and patriotism
-Large corporations and industries influencing public and private life
-Imperialistic endeavors in other countries, meddling in international affairs
-Idealizing "traditional values"
-Using scapegoats, and viewing a certain people group as an enemy/threat to society

And these are just a few of them. And they ALL apply to American society, or at least a few aspects of it.
codemeister13

Con

"This is only going by the definition of fascism, and its criteria."

Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Autocracy: government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others; the government or power of an absolute monarch.

Dictator: one holding complete autocratic control

Alright. With that being our definition of fascism, let's get right into this. Seeing as you have posted opening arguments, I'm going to be under the assumption that you would like my opening arguments in the first round as well. I would like to note that I will not be refuting your opening points in this statement. I have plenty of time to do that later and I will utilize it.

Using the above definition of fascism, the United States of America is a country that is as far from fascism as it comes. In the U.S we do not have a dictatorial government nor can we have one, according to our current structure of government. We (Americans) would not stand for an autocratic government and we've put measure in place to ensure such things. To avoid a dictatorship and autocratic rulers, we have elections once every four years for our head of state. Congressional elections are held once every 2 years so that there may be potential for a fresh batch of legislators in our nation's capitol every term. In fact, to top this off, even with elections in place we've gone the extra mile to implement term limits upon our nation's leader so that they may not remain in office for the entirety of their life.

Secondly, our president is not an autocratic ruler. In the American system of government, we have a system called "checks and balances." What this does is it allows our three branches of government to "check" each other so that no one branch holds ultimate power. In the case of this, Congress has the ability to create bills and send them to the president wherein our president can then decide to sign this bill into law or "check" it and send it back to Congress. Now, to prevent the president from holding too much power with his veto, Congress can overturn his veto with a two-thirds majority vote; a significant increase from the usual majority vote. Then, so that Congress cannot pass whatever they wish to pass, our judicial branch, the Supreme Court, can declare any passed laws unconstitutional. Should a law or act by our government not uphold the very basis on which our government was founded, the Supreme Court may prevent it from occurring.

Thirdly, we do not suppress opposition in our political races. In fact, competition is something that is encouraged throughout America. Political parties compete every election to try and have their candidate voted into office.

Fourth, our government does not hold severe social or economic regimentation. The U.S is a capitalist nation and it encourage free-enterprise in its economy. While there are basic regulations to promote worker safety, taxation, and such, this is hardly what can be considered severe. Competition and ingenuity are encouraged to their fullest and businesses are free to grow and profit in whatever ways they may, so long as it falls within the basic guidelines lobbying for worker safety and fair wages. To touch upon the social regimentation, we are guaranteed rights by our government. We are guaranteed safety from our government. In fact, it is stated that we hold the right to overthrow our own government should we think it fails to operate on the basis upon which it was founded. Should America stray from the Constitution and the democracy we were born to be, we, as a people, hold the right to overthrow our own government.

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals.

Sources:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://www.usconstitution.net...
Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
benito_felipe

Pro

It's nice that you have such a rosy eyed view of American government, but things aren't really like that anymore. Take freedom of speech for example, and freedom of thought. Sure, people have freedom of speech, but any views they might have are HEAVILY influenced by the government. Look at the media! Your average news network is owned by some corporate giant. And in America, the government and corporations are VERY intertwined. The government can control and manipulate the public, but through the media. They can pit different groups of people against each other, which makes it that more easy to step in and take control. This is a lot more insidious than traditional fascism. I consider it neo-fascism. This is an indirect form of mind control! And the saddest part, most Americans are convinced that they are "free." This in particular is reminiscent of fascism (a brainwashed public).

Now, I mentioned Dr. Lawrence Britt. Well, he is a political scientist who spent a significant amount of time examining and studying fascist regimes. This includes Nazi Germany, Italy, Spain, and several others. He found that ALL of these regimes had some uniting characteristics. And from these alone, I can see the fascism poisoning America's government, and it's people. Forget the definition of fascism, it's all about the implementation (yes, I realize that I mentioned the definition. But political ideologies usually don't adhere to a strict definition, they usually have several uniting characteristics).

It's all about these things: how is it (fascism) implemented? Is it successful? Well, so far, fascism, or neo-fascism, have been quite successful in America. And I discovered this by analyzing these basic fascistic criteria, compiled by Dr. Britt during his travels. I also found a few while visiting Encylopedia Brittanica, but I'll get into those later

1. NATIONALISM. America is extremely nationalistic. We are among the most patriotic people on Earth, and we are confident that our government, and our way of life, is superior to most others. Why else would we strive to spread "democracy" worldwide? We also are proud of our freedom, which we just LOVE to brag about. And the American flag is practically worshipped. We see it everywhere: hanging in the streets, on houses, on cars. In school, students have to say the Pledge of Allegiance (which I view as brainwashing) in which we declare our loyalty to the FLAG. A similar practice would have been done in nations like Nazi Germany.

2. HUMAN RIGHTS. The public is convinced that certain human rights violations are "necessities." These violations usually occur when the nation is under attack, or threatened. Take 9/11, for example. Afterwards, the government took this as its chance to tighten its grip on the public. Think of the TSA, Internet spying, phone tapping, and other privacy violations. And the whole time, we were assured that it was "for the best." This is what the media told us...and who do they report to? The government. James Madison even said "when tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy"

3. SCAPEGOATS. Like I mentioned a few sentences ago, our government uses scapegoats to unite the people. After 9/11, we were turned against Muslims. During the Cold War, we were turned against Soviets. During WWII, it was the Japanese. Whenever the government wants to stir up more hate, they merely call up their friends down at Fox News and CNN. We'll do ANYTHING they say. Fear is a useful tool in a fascist nation.

I have plenty more criteria to get into, but I'd like to get your response to what I've said so far.
codemeister13

Con

Evidently, DDO has decided we're skipping round 2.

"Take freedom of speech for example, and freedom of thought. Sure, people have freedom of speech, but any views they might have are HEAVILY influenced by the government."

Actually, on quite the contrary, the government's views are heavily influenced by the people. A few years back, the U.S government made an attempt to limit piracy online through a couple bills called S.O.P.A and P.I.P.A. Through pure outrage and backlash against the two bills, both were failed in their respective legislative chambers. The U.S government is elected by the people meaning they represent our viewpoints. We elect them because a majority of the people feel that that specific person is a great representative of the general mindset of the country.

" Look at the media! Your average news network is owned by some corporate giant. And in America, the government and corporations are VERY intertwined. The government can control and manipulate the public, but through the media."

Again, this is simply not true. While yes, there is a huge area in which corporations and government are intertwined, the government is not the one controlling the corporations. If we really wish to look at it from the outside, it's the corporations that are controlling the government through campaign funds and Super-PACs. But that, my friend, is a debate for a different time.

" They can pit different groups of people against each other, which makes it that more easy to step in and take control. This is a lot more insidious than traditional fascism. I consider it neo-fascism. This is an indirect form of mind control! And the saddest part, most Americans are convinced that they are "free." This in particular is reminiscent of fascism (a brainwashed public)."

This is potentially the most baseless assertion, considering my previous arguments. If we step back and look from the view that I presented above, there is no mind control or brainwashing going on. Corporations control the government and the government represents our views. They aren't controlling our minds nor washing our brains if they are us. We are one. We are all. Our government represents us and we represent our government. It is a mutual representation.

1.) NATIONALISM. Yes, we are incredibly nationalistic and we love to brag about our freedom here in America. Of course our national flag would be hung around the country. This is no different than any other country with a sense of nationalism. Granted, I can't speak for other schools as I do not attend them, but in my school, saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a very optional thing. In fact, many students choose not to stand for "The Pledge" at the beginning of the day.

2.) HUMAN RIGHTS. To touch upon your examples of privacy violations through NSA spying and other such things, I must make a note the note that, upon being revealed to the general public, the government put itself back in line and listened to us once again as we told them to knock it off.

3.) SCAPEGOATS. I will gladly concede to this and point to history to show that scapegoating has forever existed. Look to one of the most famous historical conflicts between Great Britain and France. Over hundreds of years, these two countries consistently fought and one country always scapegoated the other. Nazi Germany scapegoated Jewish people as the root of their problems. The people of the Soviet Union originally scapegoated their government before the Communist Revolution took its foothold. Heck, hundreds of children scapegoat their dog for eating their homework. The fact of the matter is, scapegoating does not automatically mean you are a fascist.

I look forward to the rest of your "criteria."
Debate Round No. 3
benito_felipe

Pro

Once again, it's naive to think that the government is "friends" with the people. The US government is the most powerful and influential government in the world. Do you REALLY think their interest will be to LIMIT their power, and hand it over to the people? This simply is never the case. These superpower governments often become power hungry, and this is when the people's rights are treaded on. Think about Ancient Rome. They were consumed by political corruption and militarism. And there's that word again: militarism. A key characteristic of fascism.

And YES brainwashing exists in America. From the day you were born, you had to raise yourself up and say the pledge, with your hand rested proudly on your heart. You were taught that America is superior. Not just taught, but indoctrinated. The government wants you to think they're on your side. To glorify the military, and support America's interests abroad. Is this NOT brainwashing?

Take the political parties, for example. There are MANY different political parties in the US, and many diverse views. But the media has narrowed it down to only two. People who once considered themselves moderate are being pressured to take sides. Democrat or Republican. Black or White. Why? Because a divided people are easier to control. We have Fox News feeding us one thing, and MSNBC feeding us another. They hardly give any attention to the other candidates. That's because they want us divided into two, simple groups. We'll be so distracted fighting each other, that the government can do some REAL damage.

And now for the remaining criteria...

4. MILITARY. This is a big one. America has the largest military on Earth. It's military expenditure is ASTRONOMICAL. In fact, it's larger than that of all other countries COMBINED. And why? To maintain our global dominance, and fund our imperialistic "crusades." The military is VERY glorified by the public. Once again, this is reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Italy. To be a soldier means to "defend freedom, and your country." It is seen as an honorable thing, and people are pressured to "support the troops." America is always getting itself into wars, because that's one of our main sources of money. We have been in an almost perpetual state of war for hundreds of years. And we depend on public support for these things, which is where propaganda comes in handy. Words like "freedom" "honor" and "glory" are tossed around quite a bit. Soldiers and the military are almost glamorized.

5. MASCULINITY. This goes hand in hand with militarism. The glorifying of fighting, violence, and aggression in the name of "freedom." Fascists tend to disdain men who are seen as feminine, homosexual or "soft." This cultural is still apparent in the US. There is an image of an "American man" as there was an image of a "German man" during the Nazi regime. These traditional images are important in garnering support for fascism. There is often an obsession with traditional values. In America, it's considered good to be aggressive, and competitive. These things are even rewarded! Those who play dirty often get to the top of the heap.

6. MEDIA. The media is often heavily controlled, and caters to only one or two different viewpoints (Democrat and Republican). Nobody knows much about our numerous covert missions during the Cold War. Nobody REALLY knows the truth about the JFK assassination, or 9/11. The government keeps us in the dark about a lot of things. There are COUNTLESS stories out there. Banking giants controlling Congress. Secret wars in Africa. Manufacturing of toxic products without testing. Lobbyists and corporations paying the government BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars to have their interests protected. Supplying right wing terror groups with weaponry. Demolishing homes in Haiti. It's all out there, but the government provides us with such "comfy" lives that nobody wants to get up and do anything. And of course, there's entertainment. Endless movies, music, tv shows....all designed to keep us distracted from the REAL problems. Just like they did back in Ancient Rome during its decline. And this has been replicated in fascist regimes as well.

7. NATIONAL SECURITY. We have an obsession with national security, as has every other fascist country. Fear is useful to the government, since it keeps us compliant. There is always an "other." But in reality, nobody has a chance against America. We could easily take over the whole world if we wanted to. And it looks like we're doing a good job of that so far. Fascist countries have an obsession with expansion and conquest, spreading their ideas.

8. CORPORATIONS. I don't think I even need to explain this one. Corporations control our lives. We're puppets to them. Look around. You'll see Nike shoes, an Apple computer. Whirlpool appliances. Samsung televisions. We're essentially slaves to the corporations, since our entire lives revolve around them. And they have a HUGE influence on the government. In fascism, the lines between corporation and state become blurred. And corporations don't even have a moral obligation to anyone. Their sole motive is profit, and nothing else.

All right, there's more, but I think you get the idea now. America is heavily fascist, even though it might not seem like it at first glance.
codemeister13

Con

"Once again, it's naive to think that the government is "friends" with the people. The US government is the most powerful and influential government in the world. Do you REALLY think their interest will be to LIMIT their power, and hand it over to the people?"

I'm not saying that the government is friends with the people. In fact, the government is doing exactly what a government should do. It is protecting the rights of its citizens and protecting the citizens that it so dearly serves. It is naive to say that the government does not listen to us for one must realize that without citizens to watch over, there could not be a government. This is a fact that many bodies of government have forgotten quite easily and they have seen the error of their ways as they were overthrown by those very citizens.

Yes, in fact, I do believe that our government limits its power. As I stated before, we have incurred the checks and balances system so that our government is limited in the power it can possess. We have the separation of powers between our three branches so that we don't face an autocracy.

"Think about Ancient Rome. They were consumed by political corruption and militarism. And there's that word again: militarism. A key characteristic of fascism."

A form of argument that you keep using is that because one characteristic is similar, we automatically must be the same. Romans did not get to choose who ran their government. There was no election. There was no equal representation. Every country has its own military and every country looks to improve their military to defend their country in the event of an attack. Even Switzerland, a country that has been declared neutral by every nation on the planet, has its own military just in case. As for political corruption, that's a whole other can of worms that we may open in another debate some time. To put it bluntly, I'll just state that every government faces some sort of corruption somewhere and move on.

"You were taught that America is superior. Not just taught, but indoctrinated. The government wants you to think they're on your side. To glorify the military, and support America's interests abroad. Is this NOT brainwashing?"

If I may, not everyone in the U.S thinks that we are superior to everyone else. Of course, the government would love to see us support our country and approve of how we're doing. The fact of the matter is, not every citizen does. On quite the contrary, in the most recent polls, our president's approval rating is currently at 48% approving of what Obama is currently doing. [1] To even go further with that point, just 6% of Americans think we have the best tax system in the world. We aren't satisfied with everything happening and the political parties involved in our government are working to try and fix it as they see us unhappy with the current state. [2]

"There are MANY different political parties in the US, and many diverse views. But the media has narrowed it down to only two. People who once considered themselves moderate are being pressured to take sides. Democrat or Republican. Black or White. Why? Because a divided people are easier to control. We have Fox News feeding us one thing, and MSNBC feeding us another. They hardly give any attention to the other candidates. That's because they want us divided into two, simple groups. We'll be so distracted fighting each other, that the government can do some REAL damage."

Every news source has its own bias that must be acknowledged. This is something that is clearly evident in a place such as Fox News. Many people tend to take most things Fox News says with a grain of salt because of this. The common citizen has access to an infinitesimal amount of information about anything to do with elections via the internet. A citizen of the U.S faces nearly unrestricted access to websites across the internet and through these sites, they may find any bit of information about any one thing that they may wish to learn about. The media perpetuates what can be shown as big news. Since Democrats and Republicans are the largest parties and they have the most money, they tend to be covered the most. However, that doesn't mean they are the only ones covered. Just yesterday, CNN had the top story in their "Politics" section of the U.S edition showing that the Tea Party was celebrating it's fifth birthday as a political party.

4.) MILITARY. I've covered this one in my above arguments but just to touch upon a few more of the points you brought with this:
- The military is glorified by the public, yes. Again, one similarity does not mean we are the same. The military is glorified by the people of Israel, as well. In fact, every citizen of Israel must serve some time in the military. Something tells me they won't be ending up like Nazi Germany though.
- America has not always been in a state of war with European and other nations. The United States had a very strong policy of isolationism until World War I came about and we decided that we simply could not sit idle.
- While I will concede that times of war are, indeed, a time of economic prosperity, in recent years, our expenditures on military have far outgrown our income and the people are realizing this. Our government is now turning on its heels and cutting spending left and right so that we may bring down our deficit and so that we don't expend as much on military. Heck, our government has listened to the people and are talking about lowering the spending on military so much, our army will be at pre-World War II levels. [3]

5. MASCULINITY. Aha, this is where you falter greatly in your arguments. You're saying that fascists disdain men who are seen as feminine, homosexual, or "soft" yet America is growing to tolerate these tendencies. In 17 states and the District of Columbia [4], there has been a full legalization of gay marriage thus showing a greater tolerance for this. The times have begun to change and America is changing with it. Our government leader, Barack Obama, has praised states for their passage of legislature on gay marriage. [5]

6.) MEDIA. Honestly, because I'm running low on characters to be able to refute your points, I'm going to just let this one go because I'm not here to debate conspiracy theories on the JFK assassination, 9/11, secret wars, who controls Congress, etc. This debate is about whether or not America is fascist and I would like to keep that there. Your entire argument here is irrelevant to the debate at hand.

7.) NATIONAL SECURITY. To be quite frank about it, no country in this modern day and age wants to get bombed countless times. The citizens sit in fear hoping their government protects them, as that is what the government is there to do. John Locke's social contract is an agreement between the citizens of a nation and the governmental body of a nation that states that citizens will agree to follow a nation's rules so long as they are protected and respected by the government.

To say we could take over the world is a foolish statement, to be blunt. If we suddenly began a conquest in today's world with the technology that exists, we would be dead within minutes. As soon as we became increasingly aggressive, countries would not hesitate to begin launching nuclear devices at us, especially if we took to launching ours at them. All that would accomplish is a mass destruction of the population. There would be no war won for America in that one.

8.) CORPORATIONS. Ah, but this is capitalism, not fascism. What you're implying is that, through this blur between corporate America and our government, the corporations are controlling the government. With fascism, the government is supposed to control corporations. This is fascism. This is just economic corruption and yes, I do agree that that is wrong but seeing the corporations corrupt the system is not fascism.

Sources:
[1]http://www.rasmussenreports.com...
[2]http://landing.newsinc.com...
[3]http://www.reuters.com...
[4]http://www.freedomtomarry.org...
[5]http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 4
benito_felipe

Pro

benito_felipe forfeited this round.
codemeister13

Con

Seeing as my opponent has forfeited in the final round, it would appear that my points have gone uncontested in closing remarks. To wrap it all up, I feel as if, once again, I should state the definition of what fascism really is.

Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot say it enough. The United States of America is not an autocratic nation headed by a dictatorship. Our government has put measures in place during its early years to ensure that this does not occur. Our economy and the way we speak are not limited by our government. We have not been given "false rights" as my opponent has boldly claimed. Finally, there is no forcible suppression of opposition in country. We are all entitled to our opinion, whatever it may be and our very economic structure encourages competition and opposition.

In conclusion, my opponent has failed to account for all of the differences that America holds with fascism and it has been clearly stated by myself that America is, indeed, not a fascist nation.

I urge you all to vote Con in this debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by blaze8 3 years ago
blaze8
Which type of Fascism? If you speak of Italian Fascism under Mussolini, the biggest chink in your armor is your understanding of the Italian government's role in the economy. Fascism does not promote the private sector or corporations. In a Fascist state, the State takes complete control over the economy, dictating prices, capital investments, labor agreements, and even going so far as to control the leaders of the business sector and the labor unions. No private control is permitted under Mussolini's brand of Fascism. He set up the Corporazionis, and then gave himself the power to control them completely, then controlled prices by sending out weekly flyers telling businesses what prices to charge for bread, clothing, everything.
Posted by benito_felipe 3 years ago
benito_felipe
@bubbatheclown Yes, a lot of these things apply to the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union was not fascist. I'm talking about the United States. Most, or all, of these criteria can be applied to the US.

And really, I didn't once say anything about conservatives. You're just acting paranoid.
Posted by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
bubbatheclown
-Opposition to communism
Not necessarily fascist
-Hatred of men who are effeminate, homosexual, or "soft"
So did the Soviet Union
-Obsession with youth, beauty, and fertility
Human nature
-Glorification of the military, nationalism, and patriotism
So did the Soviet Union
-Large corporations and industries influencing public and private life
Won't argue with that
-Imperialistic endeavors in other countries, meddling in international affairs
If it were about empire building, we'd keep our forces in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
-Idealizing "traditional values"
So now you're comparing Conservatives to Fascists? But in any case, this aspect of America is giving way to the ideas and values of the Mad Libs.
-Using scapegoats, and viewing a certain people group as an enemy/threat to society
So did the Soviet Union
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
benito_felipecodemeister13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF when Pro was already in desperate need of a rebutal, or atleast a hyperlink.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
benito_felipecodemeister13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF