I live in New Burnswick, a small and relatively poor province in Canada - and one dominated by a few, large corporations. Corporate leaders here are very much influenced by what they like to call "think tanks', but which are really propaganda fronts for neo-conservatives. These "think-tanks", given credibility by our thoroughly debased news media, have achieved stunning influence across the continent. Where they are leading us is well illustrated by a recent conference in New Burnswick.
Leading private businessmen held what they called an "economic summit" to advise government on economic and social policy. We did not elect the delegates. They were chosen to represent social and economic groups across the province -people such as university presidents, "think tanks", community groups and, of course, lots and lots of reps of big business. A business leader, the most prominent one in the province, recently published a column on it in the local newspaper. (His family owns all of the daily newspapers in the province.) He wrote that the economic summit had succeeded in forming a coaltion of government, business, community groups, etc. to determine the province's social and economic course.
This is coming your way. Perhaps it already has. You don't see what's serious about it?
Notice -- The "coalition" does not represent people as individuals. It represents them as interest groups. There are words for that. But democracy and individual rights and freedoms are not among them. In fact, this is the opposite of democracy and freedom. Representation by groups is called corporatism.
In Italy in the 1920s, corporatism had an emblem, an axe-head encircled with rods, and all bound together tightly.. Italians called the symbol a fasces. That was the symbol under which Mussolini came to power with his fascist party.
The greatest threat facing North America is neither terrorism nor the economic crisis. It is a threat to individual rights and freedoms. The greatest threat is a form of fascism heavily sponsored by people who call themselves neo-conservatives.
Things like this happen terribly easily. Partly it's because we don't want to recognize what is happening. Partly, it's because we have such dishonest and/or cowardly news media. It was easy in Italy. It was easy in New Brunswick. I expect it will be easy where you live, too.