Sunday, January 28, 2007

How to Combat American Fascism (re Chris Hedges)

Chris Hedges, in his new book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, shows how the lack of community drives people into the fascism of the Christian Right. The question I ask, in Slow is Beautiful, is “What can we on the left do about it?”
We need to create community that will attract others. We’re often so focused on our agenda, getting our ideas across, that we ignore the person. In fact, we can make people who approach us feel even worse because we refer to people who don’t agree with us as idiots. How many times do we hear people on the left talk about the stupidity of the American people!
This kind of arrogance scares people! These are not words that make people feel welcome! Then, if anyone ventures into one of our meetings, they’re often ignored or attacked if their views aren’t “politically correct.”
And finally, our focus is almost always on doom and gloom. Where is our laughter and enjoyment of each other? One thing we know from Martin Luther King’s legacy is that music and caring are central to a movement.
So it looks to me like the best way to fight the right is to find ways of enjoying ourselves as we work for social justice and environmental issues. As people become disillusioned with the Christian Right, there will be a place for them.
Hopefully Slow is Beautiful helps with this.

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