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In Plain Sight

by on May 15, 2017

                                                              In Plain Sight                                                                                                                                     by Marco M. Pardi 

“The art of secrecy lies in being so open about most things that the few things that matter are not even suspected to exist.” B. H. Liddell Hart (1895 – 1970) Strategy. 1954.

“When you want to hide the needle, add more hay.” Classic Intelligence Community adage.

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All comments welcome.  To those readers who have been hesitant to comment or ask questions, please be assured you may do so freely. In recent days several new people have signed on as followers, enabling them to comment freely, and it is hoped they will. All previous posts are open for comment by clicking on “uncategorized”. Reader participation keeps this site vibrant. MMP

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In these past few months I have noted what appears to be an increased tendency among people to keep their thoughts to themselves.  This is not surprising, given the presence of a demented man-child in the White House and a virtual take-over of government by the cabal which supports him.  As we’ve learned in the past few days, even being a spokesperson for this administration puts one’s credibility at risk of irreparable damage from the almost Tourette’s like tweets and pronouncements coming from the titular president.

Official secrecy has long been a tool of governments, accepted even in the same breath as transparency.  However, most concerns are raised not over secrecy itself, but about what is being kept secret.  And, as the opening quote implies,  some subjects are and remain secret simply because they have effectively been made a non-issue.  The recent Trump order to the Environmental Protection Agency to remove all mention of Climate Change from their website, Trump’s “looking into ways to change the libel laws so as to sue journalists/media” for publishing unflattering statements about him, Trump’s abrupt firing of the FBI Director heading an investigation into the election, and the Trump administration’s move to place access to the internet in the hands of a select few reminded me of a twenty six page article in the August 2008 edition of the journal Political Theory.  Dr. Alexander Wendt, then an award winning author and professor of political science at Ohio State University and Dr. Raymond Duvall, then professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota wrote, “Sovereignty and the UFO” (the term UFO, carrying non-rational baggage, has since been replaced by UAP -Unidentified Aerial Phenomena).  Surprisingly, not a single political scientist, or other reader, subsequently responded to the article in the journal Political Theory.    

No, I’m not writing about UFOs or UAPs.  For the record I, along with the governments of Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, the U.K., France, Belgium, Sweden and Russia have accepted the mountains of physical, electronic, photographic, radiologic, botanical and testimonial evidence of their existence from multiple unimpeachable witnesses but I stand fast on the Unidentified appellation since there are several equally plausible hypotheses regarding their origin and nature.  What I am doing in referencing this article is drawing a parallel with the very successful burial (only in the United States) of any discussion of UAPs in heaps of illogical but effective criticism with the equally successful burial (again, only in the U.S.) of any serious discussion of the nature of a major American political party and its true agenda. (UFO/UAP Note: In January 2017, under direction from then-President Obama, the CIA de-classified roughly 1 million UFO/UAP documents and made them available on their website).  Did you notice?  Adding more straw.

Wendt and Duvall’s article was not intended to prove or even support either side of any UFO/UAP debate; it was intended to elucidate how an authoritarian State can render a subject invisible despite the mountains of evidence for its presence. The article did so in truly remarkable fashion. 

Essentially, the paper lists a series of tactics used to discredit UAP advocates and even serious and credentialed scientists by: Portraying the subject as fringe, New Age, and incoherent while casting a shadow over the career futures of anyone should they speak approvingly of it publically; inventing “straw man” arguments based on only one of a series of plausible hypotheses and then attacking the stated hypothesis with information not scientifically valid (“space distances make travel impossible, so it has not and cannot occur” – this has long been shown to be false); and, appealing to an anthropocentric belief that humans, as children of God, enjoy primacy in Nature, including the universe.  Discovery of another life form, so advanced as to master the technology displayed through UAPs, would not be acceptable to people who, having no competence in science, must fall back on religious dogma.  This is appealing even to those who do not see themselves as particularly religious, but also have little to no understanding of science.

But more importantly,  Wendt and Duvall’s article shows us that the worst way to keep something the public already knows about secret is to call it secret. This only spawns distrust and conspiracy theories – “they know and aren’t telling us.”  The far better way, as demonstrated by the official U.S. position on UAPs, is to declare them invalid and not worthy of attention from competent people. The parallel, for me, is the treatment of the F word – Fascism.

I’ve written elsewhere of my understanding of Fascism and will not repeat myself here.  The internet is now alight with entries such as, The Defining Criteria of Fascism and similarly informative pieces. One might think this blossoming of information is new.  It’s not. Every Republican administration since Richard Nixon has been held against this list of criteria and found, in various degree, to be a match.  But institutional checks and balances have, until now, provided a firewall against a looming conflagration that otherwise would have burned democracy to the ground.  Now, our modern media have made the publication and understanding of the criteria of Fascism more accessible.  So, it’s out there in plain sight.  Several excellent lists are available on line, for those who bother to look.  But how many are willing to sort through the haystack?  How many have decided a priori it is fringe thinking, impossible here?

Also in plain sight is the historical success of the advocates of Fascism in labeling such accusations (those arising from an understanding of Fascism) as fringe, radical, Leftist, and unworthy of consideration from “normal” and “patriotic” people.  I remember a nationwide exercise in the 1970’s in which people across the country were shown a copy of the American Bill of Rights, with the title obscured.  They were simply told it was a proposal for submission to Congress and asked their opinion of it.  By an overwhelming majority the Bill of Rights was vehemently denounced as Communist, un-American, Socialist, Radical, and/or dreamed up by Hippies.  At the same time the word Fascist elicited “Jack booted” Storm Troopers, armbands, extended arm salutes, marching armies, and – horror of horrors, seizure of privately owned firearms.  No one seemed to know of Mussolini’s own words: “Fascism is corporatism”.  Now, the granting of personhood to corporations, embodied in the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling empowering corporations to fund political campaigns with no restrictions is the very backbone of Fascism.  In plain sight. Unseen by most.

So, I am not at all surprised that, today, Fascism can come into full bloom in America through the recent complete takeover of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government by the very people who have advocated Fascism all along.  I mentioned elsewhere attending a dinner about 5 weeks after the November election at which a senior staffer for a highly placed United States Senator crowed, “Now we can do anything we want!” Sadly, he is so far correct.

I accept the likelihood that some readers will dismiss what I’ve written as radical drivel.  I also accept that some drivers see State mandated seat belt laws as infringements on their personal liberty.  Darwin can be so current.  I will not accept a continuation of the “Pendulum hypothesis” of politics, the idea that we continually swing from left to right while living mostly in the middle.  James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, was interviewed yesterday and said our basic democratic institutions are under attack, from outside and from within.  Asked if, by “within”, he was referring to Trump he said “exactly”.  Pendulums can be stopped.  Do you care where it stops?

Contrary to some public opinion, Trump did not break and enter into the White House by himself, or even merely with the help of the “undereducated White males” he appealed to.  Every move since his election, every executive order and appointment has had the backing of a hitherto largely silent cabal which can be described only as Fascist.  His repeal of every environmentally and socially beneficial action of his predecessor enables corporations to freely plunder and rape the planet, economically, socially, educationally and medically disempowering the vast majority of Americans in favor of a very select few. 

We have lived for decades with the now defunct belief that inter-stellar space flight is impossible so it doesn’t happen.  We are living now with the same flawed logic telling us that Fascism can’t happen in the United States so it isn’t happening.  So long as people continue to think that Fascism is only here once we see “boots and salutes” we will miss, at our peril, the actual parade of Fascism as it marches by in plain sight.  

 

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9 Comments
  1. Gary permalink

    I accepted your invitation to review the 14 elements of fascism on the Internet. And I can easily see why you see the current regime in Washington is fascistic. I also think that it did not arrive as push/plugin app with the ascent of Donald Trump. It has been a long time in gestation in the U.S., with roots that go back to Woodrow Wilson at least. Southerners might think it started with Abraham Lincoln who ignored the Bill of Rights and fought a civil war. In short, there appears to always have been elements of this kind of thinking and acting in the U.S. government for a very long time.

    Part of the reason is a sclerotic system of checks and balances that the Founding Fathers foisted on the nation. It is a constitution hatched in revolution against a monarchy and based on fear that no new faux monarchy should be accidentally created in its place. It is all very fine to ensure that no one branch of government, especially the President, gains overweening power, but, at the same time, you actually have to be able to make decisions and get things done. Since the United States was created, no other democracy, to my knowledge, has adopted the U.S. form of government. They have all gone for the British Westminster model, sans, in the non-Commonwealth countries the acceptance of a constitutional monarch.

    Hence the “rough beast that slouches toward Bethlehem” (fascism) has crept into America to simply get “the trains to run on time.”

    One characteristic of historical fascist regimes is the elevation of the leader to nearly mythical superman adoration. While Trump may have appealed to a swath of American voters who wanted change and who took the opportunity to express their angst through the ballot box, I doubt that he will ever achieve such status. His approval numbers are dropping as I write.

  2. Thank you, Gary. This is a really significant comment on several levels and greatly appreciated. As you know, I’ve long advocated a parliamentary system but have not been able to put it into the logical presentation you’ve given us here. This is really a terrific contribution and I sincerely thank you for it. Marco

  3. I hope this is a drum you continue to beat and get this message spread as widely as possible. I’ve shared it with many. But my group is a bit singing to the choir. I will say what Trump has done for me, has made me much more accepting of who I would be o.k. being our new president. Right now, the rumor is, Trump is going to be impeached with several others being indicted and the odds are Orin Hatch is in line to take over the presidency. There was a time that would have made me terribly upset. I’m sort of fine with it, now. Thanks for your voice. We need it amplified.

    • Thank you, Mary. And thank you for sharing it with others. It is hard to avoid sending these things just to like minded people since they are the ones we are most in contact with.

      Yes, impeachment is a possibility, though not a certainty as yet. But my concern is the broad proliferation of Fascists appointed to positions including the administration of key agencies. Hopefully, a sane president could remove them before they do too much damage. One must wonder if Trump rushed to put these people in place knowing impeachment would come for him soon.

      p.s. I can correct errors in comments. I haven’t yet as I don’t want to give the appearance of having edited anyone’s comment.

      Again, thank you for disseminating this. We need to spark thought and conversation. Marco

  4. If you know a way to make edits after posting a comment, please let me know. For now, I’ll correct here. Orrin Hatch, not Orin.

  5. Ray Z Rivers permalink

    I think Gary has provided an excellent summation of the matter. There are times when I’m really glad I live in Canada – this period of political history in the USA is one of them. You have said it so well – that fascism has arrived unannounced to a neighbourhood near me. Timothy Snyder’s latest book – ‘On Tyranny’ – parallels your thoughtful analysis.

    • Thank you, Ray. I agree with your assessment of Gary’s contribution. I will look for Snyder’s book. I’m also glad for you that you live in Canada. But I think you will agree this U.S. development will have dangerous world-wide consequences.

  6. I’ve nothing intellectual to add here, just a couple of personal observations. Most of the television watched in my house is of a documentary nature, and especially programs whose subject matter is based on military history. As you may imagine, we have watched more than a few programs which examine World War II in general, and Adolf Hitler in particular. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to equate what happened then with what is happening now. Tell me that Trump believes in the occult, and the picture becomes complete.

    All the signs of Fascism are here for anyone willing to open their minds to what has been going on in this country since “45” took his oath of office. It is an oath he apparently had no intention of keeping. The DOJ just ordered an independent study of his activities, including giving confidential information to Russia. What he has done would once have been called fraternization with the enemy, and treason. To top it off, I just read that he instructed Comey (the man he fired for not ending his enquiry into Flynn, among other things) to jail journalists. Was that because of “fake news”, for being critical of him, or perhaps just for being too accurate.

    Politics is a touchy subject in my house, but I still try to get in a word or two on current events. Usually, his response is “I don’t know anything about that.” If he doesn’t, it’s because he doesn’t want to know; I’m afraid much of the country feels the same.

    • Thank you, Rose. I’m glad you are able to participate in this forum, and especially glad for your blog. It may be that this era will be one of great awakening. With luck, that awakening won’t come too late. But I fear you are correct: much of the country just doesn’t want to know.

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