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Chris Hedges: Is a seminarian/religious.

Wrote American Fascists, comparing the emergence of the Christian fundamentalist movement to the development of the German/Italian Fascist movement. "Those who claimed to speak for God, self appointed profits who promised the king dom of god on earth, were dangerous." "The Bible was not the literal world of God" (6:30) "It was a book written by a series of ancient writers, certainly fallable, who at times, asked the right questions". "As christians we were called to fight for justice" (7:30) "Those who act without doubt, are frightening" (12:30) Go back to 13:00 (Begins to discuss totalitarianism). "Self appointed prophets who populate the airways ask us to hand over moral choice adn responsibility to them, they will tell us what is right and wrong in the eyes of God. They will tell us how to act/live..." 15:00 "America, or the christian religion, have no monopoly on goodness(.) 17:00" Religion as a root to political power (18:21) christian reconstructionism (18:32) begins to make allusion to fascisms. focuses on obsession with political power. "The only legitimate voices in this state will be christian" (20:00) "Movement built on the dispair of tens/millions of americans" (20:30) This despair crosses economic boundaries. preying on their feelings of loneliness and despair. Fraternity/egality/liberty (21:00) "Portions of the United States that now resemble the developing world (Ohio)" 22:15 Top 1% controls more than the bottom 90% combined. (22:50) "World of Magic, god had a duty to protect them (24:00) Christians to challenge dominionists, are violently thrust aside (26:45) "Moral failure of those who understand them, yet fail to confront them (27:43) Paradox of Tolerance. Despotic movements harness the power of modern communications to keep their members locked in a closed system. (29:30) "They preach civil war." (30:00) "We should claim the right to not tolerate, the intolerant" (31:00) The radical christian right have no religious legitimacy (31:30) selective biblical literalists.

Sacred authority taken from out-of context quotes. Go back to the bit about the paradox of Tolerance. Open flirtation with fascisim (40:30) Fascism as a counter-weight to the New Deal The power brokers of the christian right have moved from the fringes of society, to the government. Seized control of the republican party (43:00). Desire to build a theocratic state (44:00) Paramilitary Force. Black Water founder as that paramilitary force. Christian right is the sworn enemy of an open society (58:00) Fascists build alliances with industrialists/ Traditional conservatives. (Neo-cons are the useful idiots) "Rape of America?" Problem cannot be solved until we solve the problem of the corporate state (top 1% disparity) The real problem is the rise of an oligarchic state. Chris Hedges major concern is the way christian fundamendalists work within the establishing oligarchic society of the united states in order to promote fascist ideas. PLAN: Introduction: The book is about the rising influence of the christian fundamentalist movement in the united states, and the similarities it bears to fascism. Opens with a declaration of his own religious beliefs, however describes how they are fundamentally different from those of the fundamentalist right because he recognizes the bible as being imperfect and flawed. "Those who act without doubt are frightening". He uses this point to draw parallels between nazi germany/italy. However, they center upon religion being the primary root of power. He discusess christian reconstructionism, and how it has propagated in our society since the 70's. Uses the plight of homosexuals to illustrate comparisons between fascist states. Discusses the movement built on despair, and feelings of helplessness as opposed to religious legitimacy. Belief in magic. Mentions the 1% controlling the wealth. Brings up the 'paradox of tolerance', the danger of selective literal biblicists . Next he describes the way this has broached the government/upper echelon of society, and mentions how the fundamentalist right desires a theocratic state. He discusses how every fascist government needs a paramilitary force so called" above the law" and claims that the Blackwater mercenary company

is that new paramilitary force. In his eyes, the christian right is the sworn enemy of an open democratic society. They exist to indoctrinate/control the populace in closed systems. He mentions that the more radical right seek to ally themselves with industrialists/traditional conservatives (and the extremists think that they are the useful idiots). He fears the problem cannot be solved until the rise of the oligarchic state is halted. Overall, the argument is well presented, however it does seem a bit sensationali st. The portion about the development of the paramilitary force in particular seemed difficult to swallow. What I found the most problematic was the lack of a clear sense of leadership, something both the fascist movements in Germany/Italy had. I dont understand the relationship between theocratic and oligarchic states.