Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Give it the Ol' Prussian Try

NBC's Brian Williams to graduates in Columbus Ohio:

"...I come here today with a request for the Class of '08: We need you to fix the country -- and I'm sorry to ask this of you. And I'm deadly serious and we really do. I am 49 and on behalf of my generation, I'm so sorry, the Internet is so cool we got sidetracked. I can burn an hour on Perez Hilton like that. And I know I speak for a lot of you: WebMD, very cool, except anything I've ever punched in comes back “thyroid cancer."

This on its own is fine, well, not fine, but no more than typical liberal drivel about fixing the country that conservatives have supposedly run into the ground. However, when you combine it with what he says later, something emerges:

Dial in and pay attention, and I say that as part of a group we all have to start thinking and acting as one. There are, as of this week, 117 million blogs in the United States. One more time: 117 million blogs. And I stand here today as one of them. And what do most of us bloggers talk about? Us. And the problem is we need to start talking about us, all of us. We need to start thinking of us as the collective, the United States that we used to know. It's going to require a lot of work."

This is fascist. I'm not calling Brian Williams a racist or an anti-Semite. Most people don't realize that fascism doesn't require racism. I don't think Brian Williams is evil, I don't even think he knows he's extolling fascism, but the fascist undertones are clear. When Williams asks us all to start thinking and acting as one, he's unwittingly using a fascist talking point. Subvert the individual, emphasize the collective will. Don't worry about yourself, worry about the Nation. Combine this with what he said earlier about fixing the country, and you have an appeal to fascism. Rejecting partisanship in order to come together as one body politic, one nation, to correct whatever "wrong turn" society has made with one collective will is a call to action right out of a Mussolini speech.

People don't realize how much political discourse in this country and around the world is rooted in a fascist line of thought. I'm sure Mr. Williams was just trying to give an inspiring speech and as far as I know he's a decent human being, but I think its important to point out the totalitarian instincts that lurk below the surface in our supposedly free, liberal, western society.

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