The Instigator
mcc1789
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Cody_Franklin
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

Fascism is on the Rise in the United States

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
Cody_Franklin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,682 times Debate No: 9931
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (61)
Votes (9)

 

mcc1789

Pro

I do not mean the Democrats social welfare reforms by fascism. This is an example of projection from the right, which has at its most extreme core a proto-fascism which is rising and poses real danger to liberty in the United States, and from there quite possibly our entire world. Fascism is defined by one scholar as "palingenetic ultra-nationalist populism." Palingenesis is the concept of rebirth, a synonym for Christian baptism. This is revivalist, which fits with Christian fundamentalism in the United States. To a large extent much of the American Christian right fits this description. Specifically, the movement known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism, with ideas that are channeled to many other people in the overall conservative, Christian, fundamentalist, evangelical movements, while for many are unaware of their full scope, only the underlying agreement they share.
Historically fascist movements have been extremely militaristic, racist, violent authoritarians. This appears to be where it is going. In 1995 Italian writer Umberto Eco defined fascism more specifically with the following 14 points.
The cult of tradition: Incessant appeals for our traditional values and Christian past are thrown around. Free-market capitalism may also be appealed to, wedded in Christian fundamentalism with prosperity and dominion theology, regardless of Jesus' clear disdain for wealth along those holding it.
The rejection of modernism: The modern is viewed as depraved, corrupt, godless and destructive. Feminism, secularism, multiculturalism, social liberalism and what they deem socialism are incessant. Literally apocalyptic faith that we are near the end of this world is held.
Irrationalis: The irrational has become a core of right-wing thought. From the illogical rants against what they oppose to whole schools of thought like creationism or "Intelligent Design."
Action for action's sake: The extreme gun culture exhibits this, along with right-wing foreign policy, in a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. Dominionism calls on believers to seize power by force and impose their views on all others.
Disagreement is treason: Clearly seen too numerous times, with a xenophobic, jingoistic patriotism that will bear no objection. Also of course with Christian fundamentalism, in which there is no denial of "the truth."
Fear of difference: Ubiquitous on the right, whether Muslims, immigrants, homosexuals, feminists, atheists, etc. Fear of change generally is obvious. In Dominionism all difference is by definition sin and thus of course to be not simply feared but destroyed.
Appeal to a frustrated middle class: There is a clear belief of the American Dream being lost for "good Christian people" in red states especially. A wedding of this populism to big business makes it very ironic.
Obsession with a plot: Numerous plots abound, mainly against their leftist opponents. The destruction of moral values, suppression of Christianity, Islamic terrorism and in some circles the age-old international Jew. With the election of Barack Obama, an openly racist fringe has emerged from hiding, trumpeting wild-eyed conspiracy theories of forcible euthanasia, his "illegal" presidency, secret Islamic belief and militant black nationalism.
Humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies: Hollywood may be a good example, along with the supposed "liberal media." Red state poverty contrasting to blue state prosperity is evident.
Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy: Blatant and traditional right-wing view. For dominionists pacifism would be defying the will of God, whom they feel calls on believers to make war in His name and take absolute power.
Life is eternal warfare: The war on terrorism, a struggle for souls, even going so far as near Social Darwinist attitudes in regards to poor people. The battle of good and evil, which never ceases. Dominionism encapsulates this idea.
Contempt for the weak: As mentioned above, the basic assumption that poor people "brought it upon themselves" summed up by Ronald Reagan's comment regarding the homeless: "those people like living in the street." A special hatred for welfare and its recipients, along with the current maniacal campaign against public health insurance. Dominionism follows the Calvinist belief of those wealthy on Earth were given it by God, so long as they believe in their way of course.
Against 'rotten' parliamentary governments: The crusade against big government, with emphasis on (Democratic) corruption, violations of individual rights and fear of minorities gaining power through elections. Overall, the Dominionist assertion that all government is by definition corrupt when it strays from their standard and must be taken over.
Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak: Exemplified by every talk-show host and pundit. Seen in cries of being discriminated against while discriminating openly. Viciously attacking opponents for their "attacks." Newspeak is the life breath of the modern Right. "Compassionate Conservatism" and "War on Christmas" exemplifies this. Logocide, the destruction of words' meanings, pervades all such movements. In dominionism, the words "truth, wisdom, liberty, death, life and love" have essentially the opposite meaning of what is usually given them. The "truth" of course means their idea of Christ and Scripture, regardless of any scientific, historical, moral or theological arguments on the contrary. "Wisdom" is the level of blind commitment to such dogma. "Life" and "death" mean belief or unbelief in Christ, or at least their idea of it, since those who believe live in heaven and unbelievers die forever by hellfire. "Liberty" in no way means human freedom of action, but liberation from sin and the world through believing in Christ. Overall it means liberty that comes from obeying their dogmatic Christian idea. "Love" means blind submission to Christ as king and those who claim to be his messengers, along with all the myriad rules of the faith they would enforce by the state. Dominionism has much in common with Islamism. The word Christianism has in fact been used synonymously with it. The Newspeak terms should be clear: Freedom is Slavery-they see a human freedom as slavery to sin, damnation and Satan. Conversely others would see the Dominionist idea of "freedom" as slavery too. War is Peace: Life is Eternal Warfare, remember, a struggle between Christ and Satan for souls. In making this war we are at "peace" with the will of god by submission to it. This is the same definition as the "peace" in the word Islam, which is again harmony by submission. Ignorance is Strength indeed sums it up, with a flat rejection of all knowledge and truth except that in the Bible, as dictated by the clergy. Every word is turned into a mockery of itself and subverted to serve a radical, fanatic agenda. The book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, by Chris Hedges, himself raised a liberal evangelical, fully explores this movement and its danger.
The Family is a right-wing evangelical, fundamentalist Christian group that solicits major politicians, businesspeople and world leaders, calls for a devotion which is compared to members of the SS and Maoist Red Guards, among other vicious guardians of brutal dictatorial regimes. While The Family is not officially part of the Dominionist movement, they share the same ideas. The Family is more dangerous in fact since they have the direct ear of many prominent figures around the world. As revealed in The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, by Jeff Sharlet, this group has been quietly creating a network of power for years. There may not be active conspiracy at work-the goals of The Family are stated openly from those in the Dominionist movement, but it's work goes largely unnoticed. If the Dominionist movement constitutes the strong arm of the Christian right, The Family may be the heart and
Cody_Franklin

Con

Howdy y'all! This is your resident fascist, Cody Franklin, coming at you with a most exciting debate! By the end of these 3 rounds, I hope I'll have established that, in today's America, fascism is anything but 'on the rise' - and, coming from someone like myself, who knows what fascism is really all about, you can trust me on my word. :)

Speaking of legitimate fascism, let's look at an in-depth definition, and bring in my opponent's opening arguments where appropriate. Oh, and one other thing; since all that's necessary is to disprove my opponent, I won't really bother with presenting a case on my own behalf.

I've done a bit of extra research on fascism, and I've come up with a couple of different sources.

"a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism." [http://dictionary.reference.com...]

And then, I looked at the wikipedia page that detailed general fascism. [http://en.wikipedia.org...] I'll be referencing these two definitions throughout the round, as these seem to be more applicable to historical and contemporary fascism, as opposed to "palingenetic ultra-nationalist populism", quoted from... one scholar. Alright then.

The first section in my opponent's wall o' text essentially compares fascism to Christianity, whether baptism, revivalism, reconstructionism, and overall conservatism. Three problems here:

a. Historically speaking, fascist movements, like those of Mussolini and Hitler, were based around the charisma and determination of a central messianic leader, like Italy's Il Duce, or Germany's Fuehrer. In these cases, religion was entirely thrown out the window, in favor of worship of a central political icon. In fact, if we reference the encyclopedia page, "fascism presupposed a post-Christian, post-religious, secular, and immanent frame of reference." Clearly, the religious right would hardly embrace a secular agenda, such as that promoted by fascist movements.

b. My opponent is also committing a huge logical no-no. His logic is as such:

American conservatives = right-wing

Fascists = right-wing

therefore, American conservatives = fascists

Clearly, while both political movements are on the right, he fails to account for the fact that, while conservatives are, obviously, in favor of conserving traditional values and religious ideals, fascists tend to be even farther to the right, to the point of being reactionary. So, while they may share the same side of the political spectrum, fascism is clearly harsher than American conservatism, even where religious fundamentalists are concerned.

c. All that needs to be pointed out is the recent election. Clearly, even if we equate moderate conservatism to fascism, the recent election results in both Congress and the White House reveal a clear democratic majority, showing that the political right has become less popular since the two terms of G.W. Bush. If anything, "fascism" as my opponent defines it would clearly be on the decline.

Next, my opponent discusses the characteristics of fascist movements, listing things like militarism, racism, and authoritarianism. While my opponent makes the baseless assertion that "this appears to be where it is going", there are two issues that must be addressed.

a. The United States is hardly militaristic. Our army is completely voluntary, first of all, and second of all, my opponent again makes the logical mistake of assuming that having a powerful military equates large-scale militarism.

b. Racism and authoritarianism are hardly words to describe the American way of life. With civil rights on the rise for all American citizens, and a republican government based upon a Constitution packed full of juicy freedom, we can look more to words like liberty and equality, not racism and authoritarianism. We hardly see racial slurs being casually tossed around, and as far as I know, I still retain the liberty to speak freely, express myself, petition my government, and keep tabs on my elected officials.

After this, my opponent moves on to define fascism in 14 different ways. I apologize if I don't hit everything in my opening arguments. Nothing was really numbered, and like I said... it's a wall of text.

1. Cult of Tradition

a. Another logical fallacy. Believing in traditional values doesn't equate being a fascist. Strangely enough, the term is used to bring a negative stigma to one's political opponents. For example, liberals might use it pejoratively to describe the religious right - like that radical authoritarian dictator, John McCain.

2. Rejection of Modernism

Nothing is further from the truth. [http://en.wikipedia.org...] Note that fascists tend to embrace a secular, progressive agenda - not reject it; in fact, "The leader of the Hitler Youth stated 'the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement' from the start". We can see that, in Germany for example, the Catholic Church was fiercely oppressed, as it provided competition against the state for citizens' loyalties. Also notice the freedom of religion in the United States. Separation of church and state tends to provide an agenda free from religious meddling.

3. Irrationality

a. Alright. Let's assume that all right-wingers are ignorant (an irrational assumption in itself). As far as I'm aware, ignorance doesn't equate fascism. My opponent's position thus far seems to be based on a chain of logical fallacies, from equivocation to the classic non sequitur.

4. Action for Action's Sake

a. Fascists, as I understand them, tend to take away gun rights from their citizens. The Nazis, for example, forced everyone to register and turn in their firearms, in order to ensure that, if there were any uprisings, they would be harmless ones.

b. Again, understand that both left AND right-wingers try to 'impose' their views upon the population. That's voting. As far as the country is concerned, we make decisions in a majority-rules manner, where that majority can, as John Locke would put it, "act, and conclude the rest." While a vote in favor of conservatives could be seen as imposing their views upon the population, that doesn't make them fascists any more than a vote in favor of the liberals would make them fascists. Keep in mind that Pro's position rests entirely on the equivocation fallacy - "right wing = fascism".

Alright. I've scrolled down the list, and he's basically got the same thing going. He constantly finds even the tiniest way to tie conservatism into fascism. Let me just show my opponent's logic for what it ultimately is.

1. A dog has four legs.

2. A dog has fur.

3. A dog can walk.

4. A dog has a tongue.

5. A dog has two eyes.

6. A cat has four legs.

7. A cat has fur.

8. A cat can walk.

9. A cat has a tongue.

10. A cat has two eyes.

Conclusion: Dogs = Cats?

I'm not sure what to call this. Hasty Generalization? Association Fallacy?

Even if we accept that conservatives happen to share some ground with fascists, that doesn't MAKE them fascists. I'm sure that I share similar answers on the BIG Issues with other members of DDO; however, this doesn't make our political ideology the same. In fact, I have my own 'fascist' box on the politicalcompass graph. :)

And, though proving that violent, authoritarian, single-party politics are the farthest things from present American ideology, there's one last thing.

As I've explained, even assuming that everything my opponent states is true, the right-wingers lost the last election, while winning the one prior to that. Clearly, left-wing politics are on their way in, while the reverse is true for the conservatives.

Sieg Heil, and I'll see you in round 2, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
mcc1789

Pro

Thanks for your interesting response, Cody. Sorry about that "wall of text"-won't happen again, I'm not used to debating on here yet. First of all, thanks for concentrating on the issue of whether fascism is on the rise or not, instead of it's justice. Your definitions of fascism do not seem to me specific enough, though certainly they apply to many fascist movements. I had used the definition given because it was more specific, getting at the heart of fascism. Do you disagree with the definition? I cannot think of a fascist definition in any case that would not meet it.

I have not compared all Christianity with fascism. Rather, as palingenesis means revival, a synonym of baptism, this specifically links with the revivalism of American Christian fundamentalism. It certainly does not mean all Christianity or Christian fundamentalism is fascist, but that a tradition of Christian revivalism is a well-established tradition preceding revival of the American Christian national identity to an extreme degree. To a large extent much of the American Christian right fits this description. Specifically, the movement known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism, with ideas that are channeled to many other people in the overall conservative, Christian, fundamentalist, evangelical movements, while for many are unaware of their full scope, only the underlying agreement they share. I have not said that all people in the Christian and general American Right are fascists. Rather, that an increasingly extreme world view is being propagated among them.

a. Historically speaking, fascist movements, like those of Mussolini and Hitler, were based around the charisma and determination of a central messianic leader, like Italy's Il Duce, or Germany's Fuehrer. In these cases, religion was entirely thrown out the window, in favor of worship of a central political icon. Correct, although I take issue with the assertion that religion was entirely thrown out the window which is ludicrous. Fascist differed according to country. Fascism presupposed a post-Christian, post-religious, secular, and immanent frame of reference. This was certainly more true of Mussolini's vision.
Originally, fascism was more anti-Christian, although this was certainly utilized and I should note that it seemingly did not disturb Christians who supported it. This particular fascism, like Islamism, has a more religious character, in keeping with the national character. I should assert here that nationalism encompasses religion for most cases, to greater or lesser degrees and in different ways. In a more Christian or Islamic nation, fascism is religiously inspired. While there is no leader at this point, it would not be unexpected for one to emerge. Additionally, given the religious character of it, the charisma and determination of a central messianic leader is the core of Christianity. Their particular view of Jesus Christ, however perverse and distorted, fits this perfectly. Therefore we might not have a physical leader, rather one the followers are waiting for, with his priests here giving the Word.

b. At no point has my logic gone to fascism=conservatism because they are both right-wing. I have specifically said that conservatism has been influenced by a proto-fascism, not that it is identical. I have not done what you accuse. My assertion is that much of the American right shares certain views, not all of them are the same, would use certain methods or advocate the same goals.

c. Because fascism is on the rise does not mean it constitutes an electoral majority. Obviously if it did things would already be far worse. On the rise is not the same as in power. I should point out that the Nazi Party was marginal for some time but took power relatively quickly when a crisis emerged, the same with most fascist movements. Again, I have not equated moderate conservatism with fascism. Indeed the moderate conservatives are likely the most opposed to it from the right.

I defend my assertions of militarism, racism and authoritarianism at the present time.

a. The United States is hardly militaristic. Our army is completely voluntary, first of all, and second of all, my opponent again makes the logical mistake of assuming that having a powerful military equates large-scale militarism. This is among the most ludicrous statement of my opponent so far. To say the United States has a volunteer armed forces and is thus not militaristic, one, is ridiculous and does not by definition prevent that, and two, having a large-scale armed forces does equate to militarism, or at least some of its definitions-having a strong military spirit or policy; the principle of maintaining a large military establishment. True, we have thankfully not yet embraced the other-tendency to regard military efficiency as the supreme ideal of the state and to subordinate all other interests to those of the military, although disturbing tendencies exist, I feel.

b. Racism and authoritarianism are hardly words to describe the American way of life. I would refer you to our history, and the race-baiting which has begun this year against Obama. I refer more to projection from even the "mainstream" right about Obama's "racism" and code words that mean things in more extreme contexts. The blatant racism at even supposedly mainstream right-wing protests has been shown this year too. Again, this is not to accuse the right in general, only asserting that extremism is on the rise and spreading within it. Authoritarianism is core on the extreme Christian right. If you add this to our security state apparatus, used less now but established and available for future crises. Again, the idea that undesirable citizens have little or no rights has been growing.

1.The Cult of Tradition: I do not say that believing in traditional values is fascism. However this is rising to an extreme degree in the insistence America is a "Christian nation," theological apologetics for capitalism and its sacred nature, etc.

2. Rejection of Modernism: Nothing is further from the truth? Fascists were obsessed with the glories of the past, hated modern, liberal democratic society, in the Nazis' case obsessed with a primitive "blood and soil" ideal of imperialist nationalism. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, secular, progressive values were seen as the beginning of corruption. Eminently true with the religious right. The Nazis had factions, with some more against Christianity, others understanding it had to be used and changed slowly. I should note separation of church and state are under constant attack by the right, denied even to have ever existed in law.

3. Irrationalism: You have not mentioned my examples for some reason. Irrationalism and ignorance are not the same thing. I do not assert all right-wings are ignorant, but irrationalism is enshrined.

4. Yes, fascists took gun rights away in other countries. This is a different country and has its unique characteristics. If a fascist movement actually took power, it might rethink these gun rights as well. Regardless, it certainly applied with them, and here too. As for the rest, I don't know what that has to do with anything. I was talking about action for action's sake, not imposing your views by elections. They are hardly the same thing.

Well, you believe that I'm tying all of mainstream conservatism with fascism. Again, that is not the case, but they are becoming more extreme, influenced by a dangerous core. You appear to have disregarded real, dangerous examples and then accuse my arguments of being logically fallacious. I have put forth evidence for them, but oh well. Election results do not mean everything, in particular as the vote is decided by around 5% of the electorate. Again, I note that many fascists lost elections to win them rapidly soon after. Change may come quickly, good or bad. The casual voicing of such ideas and growth among mainstream conservatives who may n
Cody_Franklin

Con

I'm trying to keep this debate as light as possible; so it will only get more interesting, I hope.

On my definitions, I'd like to point out that they're broad for a reason. We're looking at fascism on a general scale, not Umberto Eco's concept of Ur Fascism, in which Eco himself admits that "These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism."

Next, though you assert that you aren't comparing the bulk of Christians to fascists, this brings up two interesting points.

a.If the majority of Christian right-wingers aren't fascists, as you admit, clearly fascism is not ‘on the rise' in today's America. Having a small sect of extremists off to the far right does not constitute that kind of extremism being ‘on the rise'. The movement would have to be rapidly gaining popularity and followers, something clearly not happening as of the last election.
b.My opponent actually goes on later to say that "To a large extent much of the American Christian right fits this description.", and even that "Additionally, given the religious character of it, the charisma and determination of a central messianic leader is the core of Christianity. Their particular view of Jesus Christ, however perverse and distorted, fits this perfectly." We now see pro beginning to contradict himself, arguing that Christianity isn't equivalent to fascism, but that for the most part, it kind of is.

Pro even claims that, because there is some kind of underlying agreement between moderate conservatism and historical fascism, which is increased by the channeling of ideas between moderates and the small sect of extremists. However, we need to remember the association fallacy. Sharing some characteristics with another group does not MAKE them that other group. In round 1 I pointed out that, though I may share some answers on the BIG Issues with others on DDO, that doesn't make our political ideologies the same.

My opponent also has an issue with the idea of post-religious fascism. While he asserts that this was more about Mussolini's vision than anything else, refer to my previous analysis. Religion tends to compete with the state for the peoples' loyalties, resulting in a number of churches being shut down or destroyed, or a sort of ‘civil religion' being instituted, in which the so-called deity would be the head of state.

My opponent next argues that his logic did not equate conservatism with fascism, but that conservatives are simply influenced by these ideas. As I've argued before, this is merely an association fallacy; sharing ideas with fascists does not make them fascists. For example: Fascists tend to believe in capitalism – does that make everyone who supports capitalism a fascist? I think not.

Pro asserts next that being ‘on the rise' doesn't equate an electoral majority. However, this is completely false – he argues that the Nazi party was marginal for a number of years before taking power, losing many elections; from here, it can be easily argued that, while losing elections, the Nazi party was clearly not ‘on the rise', as they were obviously not ‘rising' to any position of power. And, as proven in the last election, both in Congress and the White House, right-wing politics are less than championed.

Also, special note: My opponent states that moderate conservatives are most opposed to right-wing extremists. Seeing as moderate conservatives make up the majority of the right-wingers (exemplified by the decision to put up John McCain as a candidate), fascism is clearly not rising in popularity, even with conservatives.

Next, Pro discusses American militarism. Note the appeal to ridicule when he states that "To say that the United States has a volunteer armed forces and is not militaristic… is ridiculous", and that "this is… the most ludicrous statement". He has no logical backing, barring a definition – "Predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state." My opponent equates having a powerful military with being militaristic, but fails to understand that militarism entails having a government centered on military affairs; Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, all of these leaders conscripted soldiers, embracing military tradition in every aspect of society. In America, we respect our soldiers, but we do not embrace a militaristic mindset, nor are we drafted to fight in the Middle East, despite what my opponent might "feel".

On racism, my opponent of course brings up accusations of racism towards those who do not support Obama. What Pro doesn't realize is that racial preference is also present on Obama's side, with 95% of black voters casting their ballot for Obama. Correlation doesn't imply causation, granted, but it's an interesting coincidence that, in one of the largest black voter turnouts in history, a nigh-unanimous majority backs Obama; furthermore, my opponent has yet to prove that conservatives' main issue with Obama is race, and not stimulus bills, healthcare packages, C.A.R.S., and numerous other liberal policies.

On authoritarianism and the cult of tradition, my opponent admits that believing in traditional values doesn't equate fascism. ‘Nuff said. However, Pro's argument that traditional values are being taken to an extreme is, ironically, an extreme assertion. Insisting that America is a Christian nation is nothing new, and has been occurring for decades, if not longer. It's hard to blame Christians for asserting that our nation is based on Christian values, much like they assert that our world was created by God. It's less proof of the rise of fascism, and more stating the obvious.

On the rejection of modernism, Pro continues to ignore my evidence regarding the fascists' embrace of a secular, post-religious agenda. As I've argued, the church competed with the state for the loyalties of citizens, making them targets. Fascist governments, like those in Italy, Germany, and Spain, tended to phase out, if not ban, spirituality and worship of deities. Furthermore, logical thought and applied reason are hardly seen as the breeding ground of corruption, evidenced by the advent of Christian scholars and theologians, like St. Thomas Aquinas nearly a millennium ago. While Pro argues a conservative attack on sep. of church and state, Conservapedia even states that "separation of church & state is good for the church, as it ensures religious autonomy." [http://conservapedia.com...]

On Irrationalism, I should note that I don't need to attack your ‘examples'. Proof by example is a logical fallacy, and so I found it necessary to attack the logic behind the argument/examples, instead. Also, even assuming that we were talking about right-wing irrationality, all that Pro states is that right-wingers are irrational. There is no backing, no proof, and no logic (how ironic) to support his claim, besides asserting the absurdity of creationism/ID.

On gun rights, my opponent states that our country is unique from others, and must be considered differently. On that thought, he asserts that "[a fascist movement] might rethink these gun rights as well". His argument stems from speculation and conjecture, assuming that, because other countries did it, we'll do it also, despite the fact that our country is "unique".

Furthermore, he again asserts the irrelevance of my arguments, therein failing to attack them. The most important was the imposition of views argument. He says that action and elections are different, but we can look to historical precedent here. In the two most famed examples, Hitler and Mussolini both took power via legal means. In the same way, the alleged fascist movement would take power through elections, and go from there; however, as I've explained, both left and right-wingers can use elections to forcibly impose their views on our population.
Debate Round No. 2
mcc1789

Pro

I too am looking at fascism on a general scale, which you might remember-palingenetic ultra-nationalist populism. I realize what Eco said may contradict in some cases, or feature in other systems. That is why I didn't use it alone, but they're still features which can be identified. You took issue with my citing "one scholar" before. The scholar in question is Roger Griffin, a noted expert whose book The Nature of Fascism. He and Robert Paxton, another scholar, are where I'm drawing this, in the essay "Rush, Newspeak, and Fascism: An Exegesis." It's a bit out of date, and mostly focuses on the merge of far-right groups such as the Patriot movement and transmission of ideas across into mainstream conservatism. I have not brought up this point about such far-right groups, knowing the response this would no doubt bring. The essay does have information on fascism in Christian fundamentalism (or "fascimentalism"). The point is that all of these groups share many ideas that are passed between them, while eschewing others. It discusses this far better than me-I urge anyone interested to read it. http://cursor.org...

a. As I've said, and the essay above goes into, radical ideas have been transmitted by far-right groups into mainstream conservatism. One does not need to be fascist in order to receive such ideas, without fully understanding their origins or implications. Though some extreme views have become fairly casual, this is because of many years spent getting the public used to hearing them. My point is that, while certainly not all of the right is fascist, the movement is being built, covertly but surely. Thus "on the rise."

b. The views of the American Christian right in no way reflect that of all Christians. As I said, the views they have are perverse, even heretical, to many others, and they feel the same about such opponent. I am not arguing that "for the most part" Christianity is like fascism. Like most religions, Christianity has ambiguity enough to offer myriad views of it, many directly opposed to such right-wing extremism. I have argued that fundamentalist right-wing Christianity in the US is "for the most part" like fascism, which is one particular interpretation of it.

Again, I fully realize that sharing a few ideas does not make you the same. However, we can see how those ideas are becoming more powerful. The Dominionist idea of taking dominion in the world, through legislating Biblical morality, has obviously caught on, along with reviving a supposed "Christian nation." Their ideas now reach millions, directly and through mainstream conservatives that now increasingly share that perspective.

I referred to Mussolini's close alliance with right-wing Catholicism, including the establishment of Vatican City. It's true of course that many Catholics opposed that. It's also true fascist movements of the day were more against religion, but used and allied alongside right-wing members of them. Most of this was power struggle, not outright persecution, since that would alienate too many. Again, my reference is toward it's core. Our background is different, and so any fascist movement would be. Other fascists have been more religious-for instance the Romanian League of the Archangel Michael, the Croatian Catholic Ustase, etc. The former failed; the latter had power for a time and killed around a million people, mainly Orthodox Serbs, estimates vary. "Religion tends to compete with the state for the peoples' loyalties, resulting in a number of churches being shut down or destroyed, or a sort of ‘civil religion' being instituted, in which the so-called deity would be the head of state." This assertion does not change what I'm saying, as the proto-fascism alive in the US would legislate religion and institute it civilly, while likely persecuting many sects. To say fascism is at heart anti-religious flies in the face or history and reason.

"Pro asserts next that being ‘on the rise' doesn't equate an electoral majority. However, this is completely false – he argues that the Nazi party was marginal for a number of years before taking power, losing many elections; from here, it can be easily argued that, while losing elections, the Nazi party was clearly not ‘on the rise', as they were obviously not ‘rising' to any position of power." Um, you appear to have just proved my point. The Nazis clearly were still "on the rise" while losing the elections. In fact they lost 1932, right before taking power after manufacturing a crisis. Given that American national elections are typically decided by 5% of the vote, this does not say much.

How do you define "moderate" Con? John McCain went from denouncing Jerry Falwell and Pat Roberson as "agents of intolerance" during his 2000 campaign to embracing the religious right in 2008. That doesn't mean McCain is or would ever be a fascist. Nor was Paul von Hindenburg, who allied with and put the Nazis in power.

Again, I'm not saying our militarism is fully established, just moving in that direction. Having a strong military *is* a definition of militarism, if you remember. I would also say we do center on military affairs to a large degree. In 1961 President Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex. Even George Washington warned that huge standing armies were dangerous to democracy in the long run. "We do not embrace a military mindset?" Come on. I'm not talking about everybody here anyway, on the right is what I mean.

Racial preference yes. Despite what the right would say though, black racism and militancy is not on the rise. False accusations of such are, especially against Obama. The blatant race-baiting at the town halls is despicable. I guess you would call it racism that "surprise!" most black people support Obama. Crypto-racism, and even blatant expression of racial hatred, which you apparently do not see, is more obvious than ever.

Again, fascism takes different forms. I would contest your assertion on fascism relating with religion, especially in Spain. "Logical thought and applied reason are hardly seen as the breeding ground of corruption"? Excuse me? That one seems so obvious as to be undeniable. In past days it may have been different. I should note how different it was in St. Thomas Aquinas' time. Aquinas defended burning heretics and "killing in a loving spirit." Conservapedia may officially agree on separation of church and state. They appear to be in the minority if so.

Proof by example: I know that x, which is a member of group X, has the property P. Therefore, all other elements of X have the property P. I have not used this false logic. Not all conservatives are irrational, no. Irrationalism is widespread and ID/creationism is the classic example for this.

As to gun rights *you* were asserting that fascists took guns away. I said this might happen if fascism actually took power, but it would be hard to say. So now you're admitting *you* were wrong? I said we possess some "unique characteristics" as every country does, ours being having the largest number of guns for an industrial democracy, so it might be different. What am I supposed to do but speculate? This is an unknown that you asked me about.

When have I failed to attack your arguments? Action and elections *are* different. One can seize power though actions that are not elections obviously. Yes, it's true Mussolini and Hitler both took power by legal means, at least sort of. Other fascist movements did not. *I am not arguing that both left and right-wingers can't use elections to impose their views on people!* Through our debate you appear to have been arguing with a strawman, not me.

Ok, to sum up. I really hope I'm wrong about there being a fascist movement on the rise. If I'm wrong, we lose nothing. If I'm right, well... Vote Pro and hope I'm wrong. That sums it up.
Cody_Franklin

Con

While my opponent asserts that his definition fits the bill, the only section he truly elaborates on is the palingenetic aspect; ultra-nationalism and populism are entirely absent, save one or two passing remarks. The rest of his argument essentially links us to an essay, which isn't an argument in itself, so much as his statement that all of these different groups share ideas. But, as I've stated so many times (and as my opponent has agreed), sharing ideas with a group does not equate being a member of that group. Hitler and Mussolini believed in capitalism, but that hardly makes all capitalists fascists. In the same way, Christian groups obviously believe in traditional morals, but that hardly proves that they share space with far-right extremists, or even that such extremism is ‘on the rise'.

One other thing, by the way: "One does not need to be fascist in order to receive such ideas". First of all, hearing an idea doesn't equate belief in that idea; second of all, if we're not looking at fascists, then the statement "Fascism is on the rise…" is clearly false.

Next, my opponent argues that equating fundamentalist Christianity to fascism is simply ‘one interpretation'; I'd like to point out that being able to interpret something a certain way does not MAKE that interpretation correct. I could interpret liberalism as being a stoned-out hippie movement, but that doesn't mean that it IS a stoned-out hippie movement. Ambiguity is no excuse for misinterpretation. Equivocation, good sir.

Notice another contradiction; at one point, he claims that "I am not arguing that "for the most part" Christianity is like fascism", yet he later counterclaims: "The Dominionist idea… has obviously caught on, along with reviving a supposed "Christian nation." Their ideas now reach millions, directly and through mainstream conservatives that now increasingly share that perspective." He's basically arguing that conservatives aren't fascists, except for when they reach a large audience – then fascism is on the rise.

On religion, there are only a couple of points that I need to make.

a.He again ignores the evidence that I've given, stating that fascists tend to embrace a secular, post-religious agenda.

b.For the sake of argument, I'll grant my opponent that there is a proto-fascist movement in America; however, the issue with this argument is that existence of the movement doesn't equate that movement being on the rise; if that were the case, we could say that the Green Party is on the rise, or the Constitution Party, or the American Communist Party, and so on. As evidenced by the recent election, fascism is clearly not on the rise.

One last thing – let me hand you a quote from scholar Roger Griffin:

"[Fascism is] a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative
nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity".

I feel like there's another issue that I need to clear up. "The Nazis clearly were still "on the rise" while losing the elections." Let me say this as tactfully as possible. Are you f*cking serious? This is entirely unwarranted – if the party was losing elections, then it could not have been ‘on the rise', since that phrase requires a rise in position, something the Nazis were not yet gaining. Furthermore, where is the evidence to back up this further assertion that elections are decided based on 5% of the electorate? As far as my evidence is concerned, the last election brought 56.8% of the voting-age population to the ballot box – the highest turnout in decades. [http://www.infoplease.com...] Question to the voters: How many of those 56.8% voted for the fascists? :)

Next, we look at McCain, who my opponent claims embraced the religious right, when nothing is further from the truth. McCain only had marginal support from the religious right due to his VP selection, Sarah Palin. McCain was often touted as extremely moderate in comparison to candidates like Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

On militarism, Pro's argument unravels further. While he refers to historical, rhetorically-pleasing quotes, there is little empirical substance to support his assertion that "we do center on military affairs to a large degree." When compared to fascist societies, every facet of which was wrapped around military affairs (and gaudy rallies, I might add), the U.S. is nowhere near as military-minded as Pro would have you believe. As far as I know, there aren't soldiers marching through our streets, we haven't asked for Lebensraum, and we haven't invaded Manchuria or Poland. Or Russia. Heil God, am I right?

On racism, Pro becomes slightly incoherent. He disregards the blatant racial preference in Obama's supporting demographics (with 95% of blacks coming out to cast their vote in his favor), and simply reasserts the "race-baiting" at town halls, the likes of which has yet to be explained, or even supported, for that matter, apart from the term "Crypto-racism" and another baseless appeal to ridicule concerning the "blatant expression of racial hatred, which you apparently do not see, is more obvious than ever."

On my argument that logic and reason aren't viewed as a "breeding ground" for corruption, Pro claims that "That one seems so obvious as to be undeniable." I'm not exactly sure what he means here. It sounds to me like he just agreed with my argument that conservatives don't see logic/reason as corrupt. That works for me. Oh, also note the warrantless ad hominem against Thomas Aquinas, as opposed to attacking the actual argument that religious conservatives and theologians clearly don't throw reason out the window; clearly, this line of thought is not "in the minority".

On the "proof by example" argument, Pro claims that irrationality is widespread, and uses ID and creationism as shining examples. First of all, he's simply asserting that these two concepts are entirely irrational. Let me arrange my opponent's logic into a syllogism.

1.ID/Creationism are irrational. (unproven)
2.Conservatives believe in ID/Creationism.
3.Therefore, conservatives generally hold irrational beliefs.

Hopefully, you find this logic as flawed as I do.

On gun rights, he tries to argue that I contradict myself, but he misses the argument that I am making. I argue that fascists generally take away gun rights. He claims that we haven't (taking credibility from his argument of rising fascism), further claiming that we might "rethink" such rights in the future; I then point out that, if our country is as unique as he claims, he can't base his argument off of other countries. I see no contradiction on my part.

Finally, Pro argues that action and elections are different, and that while Italy and Germany were won legally, other countries didn't experience it that way. On that argument, I'm curious as to what kind of military force the fascists are going to use to march on Washington. If our military is as glorified and super-tough as Pro claims, then there should be little trouble with a fascist revolt. :) Note that Pro even agrees that left and right-wingers can use legal means to "impose" their views upon the public at large.

Even Pro's conclusion is based in fallacy – appeal to fear, to be exact. In his last ditch effort, he implies that voting Con will lead to negative consequences, namely a fascist dictator trampling on our Constitution, taking away our civil liberties, and so on. My opponent even has the audacity to claim that I have been arguing with a straw man throughout the course of our debate. If anything, I lit the straw man on fire, cleverly catching my opponent in the burning field.

Out of this debate, only one thing is certain: Fascism is NOT on the rise in the United States.

Thank you, good night, and may (insert appropriate head of state here) bless you.
Debate Round No. 3
61 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
Of course. I'll be look over that if you post it.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I might do it later this week; I have a debate tournament on Friday, so you may understand if I haven't a great deal of free time to spare.
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
Yes, that would be an interesting topic all right. If you put it up I'll look that over.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
"Resolved: Fascism can be beneficial to struggling states" or something of that nature.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
It would be quite interesting, considering that fascism has one of the worst negative stigmas in history.
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
That might be interesting.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Part of me really wants to challenge him to a debate on the justice of fascism.
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
I'm done now. As I said it's not for him anyway, but other people who read here, so it doesn't matter if he stopped. Call it rant if you want. I resented his accusations in the debate. I felt the strong need to correct them, for others and myself. I guess if you respond then you're rude huh? Oh well.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
MCC, the debate is over... You can stop any time now...

11 posts of rant beyond the debate isn't just bad form; it's simply rude. Especially after your opponent has stopped responding to you, and has asked you to stop.
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
On occasion these are able to subvert democratic, pacifist opposition to globalization, as has been seen when they have infiltrated the "No Logo" movement with a revolutionary, violent dynamic all too easily exploited by governments to tar all protesters with the same brush. Others choose instead to pursue the path of entryism by joining mainstream reformist parties, thus ensuring that both mainstream conservative parties and neo-populist parties contain a fringe of ideologically "prepared" hard-core extremists. Moreover, while the semi-clandestine groupuscular form now adopted by hard-core activist and meta-political fascism cannot spawn the uniformed paramilitary cadres of the 1930s, it is ideally suited to breeding lone wolf terrorists and self-styled "political soldiers" in trainers and bomber-jackets dedicated to a tactic of subversion known in Italian as "spontaneism". By reading the rationalized hate that they find on their screens as a revelation they transform their brooding malaise into a sense of mission and turn the servers of their book-marked web groupuscules into their masters. One of the earliest such acts of terrorism on record harks back to halcyon pre-PC days. When Kohler Gundolf committed the Oktoberfest bombing in 1980 it was initially attributed to a "nutter" working independently of the organized right. Yet it later transpired that he had been a member of the West German groupuscule, Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann. It also emerged at the trial of the "Oklahoma bomber", Timothy McVeigh, that he had been deeply influenced by the USA's thriving groupuscular right subculture. His disaffection with the contemporary state of the nation had been politicized by his exposure to the shadowy revolutionary subculture created by the patriotic militias, rifle clubs and survivalists. In particular, his belief that he had been personally called to do something to break ZOG's (the so-called Zionist Occupation Government) stranglehold on America had crystallized into
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by The_Anarchist_Opposition 7 years ago
The_Anarchist_Opposition
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:61 
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by wonderwoman 7 years ago
wonderwoman
mcc1789Cody_FranklinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05