Published on Al Jazeera, by Pablo Ouziel, February 29, 2008.
When Hermann Hesse warned of the rise of fascism in Germany he was rejected by a majority of the population. The truth is that most people were experiencing first hand the benefits of fascist ideology. Today we look at that part of our global history with shame, asking ourselves how something like Auschwitz could be allowed to happen. The problem is that while we identify it in our past, we are reluctant to acknowledge it happening in our present.
During the rise of the short-lived Nazi empire, criticizing Hitler and his party to the average German civilian would have undoubtedly received strong rejection. Today the same holds true to critics of the mighty democratic empire, built by the U.S. with the submissive support of its client states.
As human beings we can justify our current state of affairs by looking at the past and indulging in the illusion that things today are better than yesterday, but holding on to that thought will only guarantee, as the Spanish would say, food for today and hunger for tomorrow. Arrogance and ignorance brought down Nazism but the lesson was not learned …
… When we understand that we are living in failed states, we can objectively acknowledge the fears surrounding the eminent failure of Pakistan and reflect on those facing our own western reality. Our failed banking system which is loosing billions of dollars a day, our debt ridden countries, our lost imperial wars against people who resisted more than we assumed.
It is only within that context that we can observe the constant change of laws affecting our freedoms, such as the wiretapping of our phones or the copying of the hard-drive of our computers at airport security checks. This alone should serve to understand that the time has come for a social revolution. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough and I dread to think what will happen to our nuclear weapons and armies, when we do indeed collapse and acknowledge that we are in fact failed fascist states. (full text).
(Pablo Ouziel is a sociologist and a freelance writer based in Spain).