a bit of Nate's coverage of the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia yesterday, and sure enough, there were a series of extraordinarily ridiculous confrontations -- violent on the part of the police --over the erection of pup tents in the park being used for assembly by what looked like a couple of thousand Occupy enthusiasts and participants.
This was proof, if any was needed, that the Occupy tent remains the most dangerous object in America. You would think, after all the violent police raids on tents and tent encampments last year and into this one, all the tens of thousands of arrests, all the police violence against dissent, all the violation of basic rights, the authorities would be a little more circumspect in Philadelphia during Independence Week. But no.
Here we go again. The sight of a tent -- even if only symbolic -- enrages the authorities still, and scrums between clearly befuddled police and Occupy National Gathering people occurred again and again, resulting in a few violent arrests (the universal tactic seems to be to throw the target to the ground, pile several officers on top of the nonresisting suspect -- who quite likely is a random member of the crowd -- wrench his or her arms, while screaming at the suspect to "stop resisting!", and truss him/her up like a roasting chicken).
This is not to say that the Occupy participants were filled with grace, or that their assembly in the park was particularly well organized or that Nate's live stream connection was adequate to the scenes before him. It was quite a mess, really. But the point -- so far as I could tell -- was that there was no harm being done by the Occupy participants, and the tents were erected as symbols of The Resistance, perhaps provocative to be sure, but hardly threats to the Republic. Maybe threats to the nascent Empire, but that's another topic altogether.
How Authority responds to such things is an indication of how seriously the Powers That Be regard the "threat" before them. The violent response in Philadelphia, against unarmed, rather disorganized, and clearly nonviolent resistance, tents, and protest tells us pretty much all we need to know. Given that there are calls for violent insurrection by armed and demonstrably dangerous rightists (some assembling at the Independence Mall under the TeaBag banner) over the ACA (and the nigra in the White House) which apparently the police pay no attention to, the confrontations in Philadelphia yesterday take on quite a sinister aspect.
Fascist in a word.
(And can someone teach the "Anticapitalista" chant, please? When I heard the pathetic rendering of it at the Philadelphia gathering, I was initially convinced it was the work of a provocateur. Oh wait. Maybe it was...)
In between all the other things I'm trying to get done while in New Mexico this trip, I'm reading "The Peril of Fascism," by A. B. Magil and Henry Stevens, International Publishers, 1938. It is horrifyingly evocative, regardless of the fact that it is straightforward AntiFa agitprop from the CPUSA. The insights of the authors are spot on, something the mainstream media at the time -- much of which was openly enamoured of fascism and even Nazi-ism -- simply couldn't accept. Fascism was on the march, it had nearly complete control of Europe, and it was coming to America. Truthfully, it was already here.
Occupy is not strictly speaking ideological, unlike CPUSA or the 'Baggers for that matter. But it is forthrightly and often quite eloquently anti-fascist. It is not necessarily anti-capitalist, despite the mangled chants. But it is very definitely anti-fascist. (At one of the Occupy meetings I attended in the spring, a debate arose over whether "fascists" should be allowed to participate; many, of course, said "NO!" but there was a large contingent who insisted that Occupy's open door accommodated everyone, even "fascists", and it was a simple enough thing to counter their ideas, so why not let them participate if they wanted to? Maybe they'd be convinced to change their evil ways. The matter was tabled for lack of consensus. But I thought it was interesting...)
Magil and Stevens argue that among all its other faults, fascism is forthrightly anti-democratic, and it is that aspect, perhaps most of all, that constituted the "peril" of which they spoke. Fascists act to silence the People's democratic voice. This has nothing to do with CPUSA practice and policy; it has to do with what the fascists do, and why they do it.
Silencing the democratic voice of the People -- or rather, making it irrelevant -- has been the priority of both Government and its witting and unwitting handmaidens in this country at least since the 2000 Judicial Coup. Sometimes it's done with finesse, by pretending that some obnoxious policy is the "real" voice of the People, but often it is done brutally and violently with the intention of frightening and intimidating open dissent against obnoxious policies.
Fascism, though, isn't exactly the correct description for the radical global reorganization, destruction and reconstruction that's been going on since the demise of the Soviet Union and the International Communist Conspiracy. The Neo-Liberal economics, the Neo-Conservative ideology, and the Neo-Colonial foreign policy all resemble classic fascism, especially in the union of Government and Corporate interests and the dismissal of the public interest. But it's something else, something in some ways worse, as if we could wrap our minds around something worse than fascism.
The fight is engaged. The Revolution is under way. But in fact, there are two Revolutions occurring simultaneously, and the Neo-Fascist Revolution is winning easily at this point (much as the fascists were rolling roughshod over Europe prior to WWII and initially after starting the War.)
There's no Communist counterweight this time. There is only the People themselves.
And their tents.