The Americanist Gives Rise to Genocidal Fascism
-By Julie Collins
When the first film reels of the Holocaust made their way across the Atlantic and we, in the United States, first glimpsed the footage of emaciated human beings in open air prisons and concentration camps, we were incapable of registering the appropriate response. Our privileged and brainwashed outlooks were too entrenched in denial to ever think anything so horrific could ever truly be real. We were told it was propaganda and those reels of film were quickly covered up with other propaganda reels of shiny faced, raven-haired youth smiling happily in campuses, with their bright gold Jewish star emblazoned on their jumpers, waving to the camera. We forgot about the ugly, uncomfortable reels that made us squirm in our seats, choosing instead to believe the hastily made lie that would lull us back into our comatose (and selfish) American existences.
When dawn finally broke and our slow realization that it actually was real seeped its way into the cracks of our consciousness, we blamed this behavior on what we were taught: it was Hitler, the Nazi Party, the Third Reich that were at fault, that their lust for power and their racist ideology had gone unchecked and it had grown like a cancer; and the United States’ platform of indifference was to be excused because we simply didn’t know these atrocities were happening. After all, we sent some troops there, you know, to World War II, to fight the Nazis. We did our part. The war was won. What more do you want?
Years later, generations later in fact, when dawn finally broke again we realized with horror that our interest and investment in World War II and the mutilations of bodies and cold blooded murder of millions of Jews (and others in Europe’s marginalized societies) were beneficial to a very few, powerful corporations and their English and American family dynasties. We were shocked into a harsh reality that we, in fact, are the terrorists and that these for-profit wars are what make us uniquely American.
We had built the railways that shuttled the victims to be burned at the concentration camps. We had supplied the material to house those victims in their cramped quarters while they awaited their fate. We had provided the coal which burned their corpses. We had benefited from it. We had gotten very wealthy off of it. We did.
I say we because we are all Americans and although most of us at this point cannot even afford a $500.00 emergency in our lives, the fact is (as much as we hate to admit it) the one family, for example, that did benefit from the Holocaust, the Bush Family, are also Americans and so through our general connection of having been born in this country we, by extension, have to be included.
I left San Francisco because too many people were glibly and smugly living their Peter Pan complexes and existences which, in my opinion, gives rise to authoritarianism and fascism. (Plus it is where surveillance capitalism was born and when you’re living in the belly of a well paid Hell-beast that pays homage to anti-autonomous existences, and consider yourself enlightened, it’s not a good place to be.)
Smugly satisfied to look down their noses at a country that had decided to vote for a non-politician for the first time in years, San Francisco showed no sign of the things it claims to be: patient, progressive, understanding, accepting, intellectual, forgiving, empathetic, etc. I started to see friends who were simply liberal, and living their best lives, as actual fascists when their faces would contort and seethe with contempt for the middle-America that had voted for Trump. Then, their shocked, and rage-filled ire would be directed toward me when I would simply say, in my matter of factual voice, “Well, if you didn’t want Trump, you shouldn’t have voted for Obama. He’s exactly the kind of neoliberal statesman who gives rise to demagogues like Trump. Don’t you know your history?” I had to get out of there before I started burning even more bridges than I already had. When I wrote about an experience where I showed, through a personal example, of how San Francisco seemed to epitomize a fascist dictatorship, a San Francisco Superior Court judge slapped an injunction on me, and Medium (also a San Francisco surveillance institution), the platform where my articles were written, censored all my material.
This is simply to show that indoctrination into ideology pushed by the State gives rise to brainwashing, which gives rise to fascism.
Are you giving rise to fascism?
What do you experience when you see those images of emaciated Yemeni people? What goes through your mind? Outrage? Fear? Empathy? Sadness? All of the above? I experience a deep moral feeling that it is somehow my fault. Perhaps this has to do with my strict Christian upbringing and being a scapegoat where just breathing the air my golden child brothers might breathe is problematic for the family. Whatever the reason, I can’t help but also feel a sense of deja vu. Here we go again, with the reels of images of emaciated bodies hitting our feed, just like in the 1940’s. And this time the State is open about it. There’s no hidden meaning here. The transparency is galling, if not glaring. We are supplying the weapons to the people who are committing these atrocities against innocent human beings. We are again profiting off of genocide.
The Saudi goal, just like Hitler’s goal toward the Jewish population, is to wipe Yemen off the Earth. I can’t help but wonder if in a futuristic society a few surviving families of the Yemeni holocaust will have stories to tell of their harrowing escape. Perhaps they won’t have tattoos of numbers on their wrists, but scars on their legs from the gunfire.
When that happens will the United States again be the glibly indifferent Empire that got away with getting very wealthy off the sale of weapons which caused the collapse of a country and its people? Will our sins again be waved away because America, because capitalism, because propaganda, because indoctrinated ideology, because it was always someone else who actually committed the horrors?
The Palestinians live in an open air prison. Palestinians are given an allowance of how many calories they can ingest per day, how much electricity they are allowed to use and how far they are allowed to travel. The IDF treat Palestinians deplorably. They traumatize children, then murder them. Palestinians are murdered. Palestinians are seeing their future and it looks very much like Yemen to them, so they are fighting for their survival. We give Israel giant bundles of cash so that Israel can continue their slow genocide of Palestine. Just like we sell Saudi Arabia the weapons to continue their slow genocide of Yemen. Just like we sold the materials to The Nazi Party for their slow genocide of Jews and other marginalized throughout Europe. (Are you sensing a pattern yet?)
And those three are just the obvious ones. (I didn’t mean to leave you out Libya and Haiti. This piece isn’t about all the countries who have been genocided on our dime. This piece is about cultural Americanism.)
Some Americans, not enough in my opinion, are outraged by our funding and providing weapons for the success of these genocides. Some are actually asking philosophically moral questions, “Will there be a day of reckoning? A come to Jesus moment? Will there ever be a world council established where we will all stand before some higher being and answer for these genocides? What will become of our fate in light of our involvement in these genocides?”
Since our tax dollars go to fund these genocides will we, the average over-taxed taxpayer, be held accountable? When the day of judgment comes will the State hang us all out to dry, scapegoating us saying, “Hey look all they had to do was revolt against our funding of these genocides but they never did. In fact, they still obediently paid their taxes which help the success of these genocides. Every year. Without fail. Those obedient law abiding American citizens just doing their part.”
There’s a lot of yelling about the genocides. There’s a lot of people getting into the weeds of the who’s who of the genocides. There’s a lot of people taking a broader analysis of the genocides.
But no one is really asking the personal question, “What does it mean to be a citizen of the Empire that is directly involved in the success of the genocides?” More people just go about their lives unaware of the genocides.
I think the majority of the population is suffering from Americanism. I may live in an echo chamber of Anarchist and well meaning progressive or real-left Twitter accounts, and I may watch the right videos and read the right articles and books, but I actually think that Americanism has slowly crept its way into our cultural DNA, and it’s widespread. Its expanse goes beyond what we’re willing to admit.
Admittedly, we all know, on some level, about how we are funding the genocides. We know about it. Some know more about it than others. And this is the part that you probably won’t like: because of Americanism we seem to be okay with it.
Americanism is so deeply rooted that we often shrug off the most horrible, nightmarish acts of murder even committed right in front of us. We’ve been programmed to, probably since the genocide of the Natives who lived here before us. It’s more than just becoming desensitized to images that we see come across our screens from time to time, because a desensitized person can be changed to be sensitive. This is something more that I call Americanism. It’s an “ism” that none of us are willing to admit a lot of us suffer from. It’s embedded in our history and our DNA. We can afford to scream about the genocides and we can afford to remain taciturn and glibly silent about the genocides. We can afford to place the blame elsewhere.
Clearly, being an Americanist means having nothing to hide. Americanists, through the will of the Founders, genocided the Natives who lived on this land, taking something that was not rightly theirs, and nothing really bad happened to them. So, they got away with it and this gave growth to a swaggering imperviousness to accountability and a nature that felt emboldened to shackle millions of African Americans to build the country up. Americanists throughout the years have never felt the true repercussions for their own psychopathy. When the Great Recession hit in 2008 and Wall Street enslaved millions of impoverished people into subprime loans that could never be paid off, no one went to jail for the waste, fraud and abuse of a financial system that runs on capitalism, an “ism” that sucks the marrow of society.
We are not just Americans. Because the word “American” embodies more than just that stale Patriotic image now pulled out for a good eye roll meme in our laughing stock footage file. To be an American means also to somehow be accountable, to be caring, to be aware, to be intelligent, to analyze and to pay attention to history, to be brave, to be selfless, to take risks, and to antagonize the State and make it fear us.
But, at the risk of sowing division in a society already so easily divided by race and class and the propaganda agents who spin the State narrative, we also have to start calling out the fact that many Americans are being lost to us and are morphing into this other being, this being that is indifferent to cruelty and shrugs at an opportunity to do or say the right thing: the Americanist. Whether they are dying off, or being absorbed by the language of Big Tech, or willfully giving their pure souls over to Americanism, we have to speak out against the Americanist.
For, it is the Americanists that walk among us, not the few enlightened Americans that remain and are holding on by a thread, that give rise to the genocidal fascists that are killing us all.