Fighting Extremism Over There, So It Can Flourish Over Here?

by George Aleman III - Axis of Logic, Jul 7, 2007

A Surge Of Hypocrisy

The United States entered World War II in 1941 to block the extension of a utopian, extremist worldview called Nazism. Despite the fact that Imperial Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, it perceived Nazi Germany as the greater threat to world peace and waged war against the racial state. Hitler's extension of "totalitarianism, racism, militarism, and overt aggressive warfare" had to be stopped at all costs. [1] The fate of humanity was in the balance. As America entered the war against Hitler's utopian, racial fanaticism, many felt a surge of hypocrisy in the action. Why was the United States going off to fight a state that was committed to segregation supported by law and racial hierarchy when things looked almost no different at home? How could the United States claim to be fighting injustice and racism abroad when it was allowing injustice, segregation, and overall racism to flourish within its borders? This double-standard was never addressed in this time, has yet to be reconciled in America's history, and most surely never will.

An Artificial Parallel

Over sixty years after World War II has ended, the United States has once again undertaken a global endeavor. This time, to eradicate fanatical Islamic-terrorists who are bent on destroying freedom and democracy. Apparently, our new enemies embody goose-stepping fascists with a religious twist. Hence the phrase, 'Islamo-Fascists,' created and perpetuated by the media. The great purpose of this broadcasted phrase-among many others-is to imbed the idea that the United States is somehow taking on an endeavor comparable to that of World War II (The Good War). By creating an artificial parallel between the enemies of World War II and those of today, the public relations industry and those within governmental institutions, wish to mislead the American population into feeling that a foreign policy of preventive global aggression is just and right. Tactics are of no concern, as the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. What is done must be done to ensure humankind's freedom. After all, the enemy is of Second Great War proportions.

No doubt, there are religious-extremists in the world who would like to see a global utopia manifest, and who will even go as far as trying to implement it. There is no denying this. Historical and current examples are abundant. However, the propagandistic tendency of the media to portray most, if not all, Muslims as fanatics who want to create, and export, a Caliphate (the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world) that will be "as Fascist as Nazi Germany was," in a convert or die approach, as well as the overall comparison to the 20th century European fascist movements, to foster fear and xenophobia in the American population to keep them in their hermetic, insular condition is wholly misleading. [2]

First, fascism is a system based on the fusion of government and corporations. Also known as Corporatism, the two institutions work in concert to bring profit to a tiny minority and discipline to the rest of the population, which acts as the workforce. Second, it is a post-democratic occurrence. In other words, "[i]t is a phenomenon of failed democracies" [3] Third, fascist movements are limited to state territories where the people's passions are channeled "into the construction of an obligatory domestic unity around projects of internal cleansing and external expansion." [4] Hence, it is a state-centered utopian project that expands itself by way of force from the inside out. Fourth, fascists use the state of confinement's institutions (political, economic, and military), usually those of a democratic society, to seize control and implement their utopian visions. Fifth, it is a state-centered "political religion" that mobilizes "believers around sacred rites and words, excite[s] them to self-denying fervor, and preache[s] a revealed truth that admit[s] no dissidence." [5] In essence, the state is extremely insular and seen as the most important entity of all. As Robert O. Paxton describes in The Anatomy of Fascism:

The [state] community comes before humankind in fascist values, and respecting individual rights or due process gave way to serving the destiny of the volk or razza. Therefore each individual national fascist movement gives full expression to its own cultural particularism. Fascism, unlike the other "isms," is not for export[, it does not seek to convert the outside world]: each movement jealously guards its own recipe for national revival, and fascist leaders seem to feel little or no kinship with their foreign cousins. [6]

The so-called illusive, global network of Islamic terrorists who are apparently committed to destroying freedom and democracy worldwide and, most of all, America, for its having been born-of course not because of its policies in the Middle-East-have no such political, military, and/or economic institutions through which to wage combat on the scales presented to the American public. On the contrary, most of these groups are sparse, disconnected factions comprised of Third World populations in a deep political and economic crisis that most often "eclipse religion." [7] Most foreign extremists " are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern [imperial] democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that [they] view as their homeland." [8] Moreover, "[f]undamentalist Muslims offer little loyalty" to any given state, as "Islam is their nation." [9] Many Muslims also feel a kinship with those outside their religious world, especially in times of crisis. Was it an anomaly that the Muslim world rallied to denounce the attacks of 9/11 and support the United States during its time of grievance? [10] And finally, as Paxton asserts:

The principal objection to succumbing to the temptation to call Islamic fundamentalist movements like al-Qaeda and the Taliban fascist is that they are not reactions against a malfunctioning democracy. Arising in traditional hierarchical societies, their unity is, in terms of Émile Durkheim's famous distinction, more mechanical than organic. Above all, they have not "given up free institutions," since they never had any. [11]

In February of this year, a global poll of twenty-seven countries, some Muslim majority countries included, was taken by the BBC World Service. A majority agreed with the sentiment that most radical groups are sparse, disconnected factions comprised of Third World populations in a deep political and economic crisis that most often "eclipse religion." [12] A majority also believed that common ground can be found in what has been ludicrously labeled, "the clash of civilizations." [13] So, what the media portrays as 'Islamo-Fascism,' in order create an artificial parallel between the enemies of World War II and those of today to dupe the population into supporting a policy of preventive global aggression to fend off a 'global enemy' of Word War II proportions by any means necessary is not only misleading, it is also ignorant, dangerous, and "intellectually dishonest." [14] At base, it is just a "way to cut short any discussion of neo-imperialism." [15]

All this is not to say that there are not deranged, ultra-orthodox, fanatical perverts of Islam, or any other religion for that matter, who are bent on creating a utopia of their own through wanton violence and destruction. This is also not to say that some radical groups cannot conjure the ability to attack the United States. 9/11 proved that they can. It is, however, to say that the American public has been misled, for some time now, about the magnitude and true reality of happenings outside, even inside, their country. It is to say that what they have been led to believe-that there are 'fascist' Muslim killers on the prowl everywhere waiting to strike at their throats because they are free-is certainly not the case. It is also to say that a policy of "full-spectrum dominance" to achieve hegemony is surely not the path to security. [16]

A Resurgence Of Hypocrisy

What is a concrete analogy of World War II proportions, however, is the fact that once again a surge of hypocrisy is felt as America undertakes this global endeavor to eradicate religious extremist-terrorists while there are such problems of the same type flourishing at home. Accordingly, the question becomes: "Why has the United States committed itself to fighting religious extremism abroad while it is allowing such fanaticism to thrive at home?" "How can it claim to be fighting overt religious fundamentalism abroad when it is allowing overt religious fundamentalism to prosper within its borders?" This is a double-standard that needs to be addressed and reconciled in this time.

Home-Grown Extremism

There resides in America's Protestant world a powerful movement known as dominionism. Also known as reconstructionism, this movement is a profoundly influential force on evangelicals and other Christian Right sects in America. [17] According to Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America, dominionists share many traits with fundamentalists and evangelicals. For instance, they view the world through the prism of literal biblical narrative, blindly submit and cohere "to a male hierarchy," and reject and hold "disdain for rational, intellectual inquiry" into worldly occurrences. [18] According to Frederick Clarkson, who authored a four part series in The Public Eye Magazine on Christian Reconstructionism in 1994, the key commonality between dominionists and other sects of the Christian Right is the commitment to the "dominion mandate." [19] Also called the "cultural mandate," it "derives from the Book of Genesis and God's direction to 'subdue' the earth and exercise 'dominion' over it." [20] The ultimate goal, then, for dominionists is to seize the world's hyper-power and use it to wage war on all who refuse to submit to the Christian God and to cultivate a utopian domain, a worldwide Christian theocracy for the return of Christ. In order to attain the instruments necessary to implement this divine scheme, dominionists encourage mass political and social activism by the Christian Right. Hence, dominionists seek to galvanize radical Christians and "politicize faith." [21]

In a worldwide Christian theocratic domain the death penalty, according to doctrinal leaders, "would be used for a wide range of crimes," including "rape, kidnapping, murder apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, 'sodomy or homosexuality,' incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency," and pre-marital sex. [22] In addition, "women who have abortions [would] be publicly executed, 'along with those who advised them to abort their children.'" [23] According to Clarkson, "biblically approved methods of execution include burning (at the stake for example), stoning, hanging, and 'the sword'" The "[p]unishments for non-capital crimes generally [would be] whipping, restitution in the form of indentured servitude, or slavery." [24]

In addition to their wanton desire to promiscuously use lethal punishment for crimes committed against Christian Laws, dominionists also subscribe to "Christian Revisionism." [25] This is a pseudo-view of the world where science and history are understood and "written by means of retroactively discerning 'God's providence.'" [26] Accordingly, one's understandings of the world are "articles of faith Whatever does not fit neatly into this 'Biblical world view' becomes problematic, perhaps a delusion sent by Satan." [27] Facts are distorted and injected with biblical propaganda to absorb individuals into a "big lie." [28] The danger, according to Hedges, of such a pseudo-worldview is that "it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology." [29] Moreover, it extracts disciples "from the rational, reality-based world" and inserts them into another realm where they "can believe what they want to believe, where there is no possibility of reaching any conclusion not predetermined by those who interpret the official, divinely inspired text." [30] Hence, irrationality and illogic precede rationality and logic. The world is black and white, divided between sinner and crusader, Christian and non-Christian, savage and civilizer.

In their pursuit for disciples, dominionists seek both Christian and non-Christian victims to disseminate their radical, totalitarian ideology to. Though they target the weak-minded, they habitually prey upon those in a state of despair. As Hedges describes:

Isolation, the plague of the modern industrial society, has torn apart networks of extended families and communities. It has empowered this new movement of dreamers, who bombard the airwaves with an idealistic and religious utopianism that promises, through apocalyptic purification, to eradicate the old, sinful world and fill the resulting emptiness with a new world where time stops and all problems are solved. The movement promises to followers what many never had: a stable home and family, a loving community, fixed moral standards, financial and personal success and an abolition of uncertainty and doubt. It offers a religious vision that will make fragmented, lost individuals whole. It provides moral clarity. It also promises to exterminate, in one final, apocalyptic battle, the forces many of these people blame for their despair. [31]

This fanatical movement has flourished and infected many of the weak-minded by employing "jargon, methods and data that appear to be [legitimate], to make an argument for [revisionism]." [32] It has "created parallel research and scholarly institutions" to "preserve appearance" and advance acceptability. [33] It has infiltrated important sectors of American society, including the government. Moreover, it continues to:

pump out articles in self-published journals to provide 'evidence' that homosexuals can be cured, that global warming is a myth, that abortion can cause breast cancer, that something they call 'post-abortion syndrome' leads to deep depression and suicide and that abstinence-only education is an effective form of birth control. [34]

Dominionists brandish extreme intolerance and hostility towards non-believers and harbor a strong desire to transform America into a theocratic nation by hijacking the " U.S. state and religious institutions" and symbols.[35] Though these dark, radical characteristics are not shared by every camp within the Christian Right, even the Christian community as a whole, influential exertion by dominionists to dissolve these differences is mounting. While there are differences now, there may not be later. Like all totalitarian movements, Hedges says, dominionists seek:

to appropriate not only religious and patriotic language but also our stories, to deny the validity of stories other than their own, to deny that there are other acceptable ways of living and being. There becomes, in their rhetoric, only one way to be a Christian and only one way to be an American It has, like all fascist movements, a belief in magic along with leadership adoration and a strident call for moral and physical supremacy of a master race, in this case American Christians. [36]

This is alarmingly close to Paxton's conclusion of a future fascist movement that:

would undoubtedly call itself something else and draw upon fresh symbols [and] would probably prefer the mainstream patriotic dress of their own place and time [37]

Hedges continues to say that American values, Christian and non-Christian, "are being dismantled, often with stealth, by [this] radical" movement that cloaks "itself in the mantle of Christian faith and American patriotism." [38] Accordingly, dominionists are a dangerous, "huge and disastrous" mutation within the Christian world that seeks to contaminate and subvert the foundations of American democracy and anything that challenges Christian lore. [39]

This movement is a flourishing and growing one; it continues to feed on the despair and feeble-mindedness of others. It is an influential movement that is "based on emotion..." [40] It encourages mass political and social activism by all who have either been converted to their way of being or share similar attributes. It is determined to dismantle the open society by using the open society. It is bent on destroying everything non-Christian, even democracy, in the name of Christ. And, as America becomes increasingly devastated and rocked by a rising deficit, fiscally irresponsible representatives, an increasing war debt, exportation of jobs, a massive trade deficit, stagnant and decreasing wages, a swelling Third World scale poverty rate, a Malaysian level infant death rate, destruction of the middle-class, suppression of the lower class, racism, uninsured citizens, an eroding education system, homelessness, a cruel tax system, dwindling and gutted domestic relief services, it will only become stronger, more active and appealing. [41]

These ultra-orthodox, fanatical perverts of Christianity are committed to using American institutions, influence, and power at home and abroad for their own delusional, utopian benefit and lust of power. They have "embraced cultural antimodernism, war hawkishness, Armageddon prophecy, and a demand for [governance] by literal biblical interpretation." [42]

In the end, this movement has been able to gain such momentum because of compliant individuals who have benefited from it. Whether one believes in this unstable mystical movement is of no consequence as long as one is benefited by it. Arrogance of control abounds in politicians who eschew the dangers of using such a politicized religious movement that is highly toxic to democracy for their own gain.

It has also been able to gain such momentum due to the majority of open society proponents who, as Hedges points out, do not "understand the power and allure of evil or the cold reality of how the world" really works. [43] The misdiagnosis by non-confrontational individuals of the potency of this ideology on citizens searching a way out of despair is hazardous. As Kevin Phillips, author of American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, asserts:

the radical threads of American religion are being proclaimed openly and analyzed widely, even though bluntness is frequently muted by a pseudo-tolerance, the polite reluctance to criticize another's religion. However, given the wider thrust of religion's claims on public life, this hesitance falls somewhere between unfortunate and dangerous. [44]

Dominionists are not alone in their extremist conduct and view points. There are other right-wing branches of extremist sects within the United States that cloak themselves in the religion of Christianity. The most infamous, and gaining wider attention, is the repugnant Westboro Baptist Church ministry from Topeka, Kansas, led by reverend Fred Phelps, that roams the country to disrupt fallen soldier's funerals. This group claims to "adhere to the [literal] teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin ( e.g., fornication, adultery, sodomy), and insist that the doctrines of grace be taught publicly to all men."[45] They engage in "demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth," by displaying "large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments" that include:


Furthermore, they disseminate flyers that convey how America is "an evil, lawless nation" that condones homosexuality and sin, and has therefore made God its terrorist, and will soon, thankfully, meet its demise. [47]

It is interesting that a deranged group that shrouds itself in Christianity and parades around the nation disrupting the funerals of fallen soldier's by spitting hate at their families, and even giving support to how they died, is given a free pass for their endeavors. This group actively gives credence to the tactics used in killing those individuals who supposedly gave up the American Dream so that others did not have to and who are said to be so supported by our representatives. Moreover, they roam the landscape terrorizing American citizens with odious messianic language. Indeed, they are committed to using First Amendment rights to terrorize American citizens.

Divine Exhilaration

Make no mistake about it. America is a virulently religious country, whose pious roots stem from early colonial settlements by radical European theologian separatists and stretch to the nation's founding and beyond. Indeed, "[n]o other contemporary Western nation," according to Phillips, "shares this religious intensity and its concomitant proclamation" of choseness. [48] Furthermore, it is "the world's leading Bible-reading crusader state, immersed in an Old Testament of stern prophets and bloody Middle Eastern battlefields."

This does not negate the fact that there is a "large and growing secular culture in the United States." [49] However, as American democracy becomes more unresponsive and the state itself falls into greater despair, citizens will continue to vote out of fear and allow their free institutions to be dismantled for a gain in security. As this process continues, those who have cloaked themselves in the benignity of the Christian faith and "learned to moderate their language, abandon classical [totalitarian] symbolism, and appear "normal," will make their way even more into the center. [50] The most "well-known warning signals" will become even more insufficient. [51] As Paxton says, the "historical peculiarity of the original fascisms does not mean that future integrist movements could not build upon a religion in place of a nation, or as the expression of national identity." [52] Indeed, America may be headed towards the path of other democracies that gave up "free institutions" in order to transform themselves into a malignant entity of mass mobilization for the reunification, purification, and regeneration of their society. [53] In the current climate of fear and mass manipulation, the time may be coming for home-grown, radical religious-extremists to be able to channel the people's passions into the "mass enthusiasm and demonic energy of fascism, along with the mission of 'giving up free institutions' for the sake of national unity, purity, and force." [54] Fittingly, the image of America as a potential "preemptive righteousness of a biblical nation" that is a "high-technology, gospel-spreading" hyper-power is divinely exhilarating. [55] As a result, the highly radicalized, politicized dominionist wing of the Christian Right is further encouraging political and social involvement to achieve the grandiose moment of seizure.

As the environment is such, how does it make sense for America to wage war on religious extremism abroad when it cannot control, even refuses to give proper attention to, it at home?

Asserting Control

It must be understood that America's home-grown extremists do not embody the religion they purport to represent, nor the people of that faith, just as the minority of the perverts of Islam, or any other religion for that matter, do not. On the contrary, they are "a large minority" of deranged, power-hungry, archaic personalities who seek to convert others to their movement by infecting them with delusional perceptions and hate. [56] Accordingly, they prey upon the situational weak that are facing socio-economic despair and seeking a way out, as well as the frail-minded. They then present a totalitarian utopia to these vulnerable victims and more numbers are subsequently added to their cause. Hence, these individuals are not a majority of the religious population. As this is such, religion should not be detested. That sentiment must be reserved for those who choose to pervert it for their own revolting purposes.

In all this, extremism must be combated with extremism, but of correct methods. Combating power-hungry, totalitarian, fanatical parasites bent on producing a utopia on earth, infecting those with weak minds and who wallow in despair, is going to take devotion. That is, devotion to more emphasis on secular education, alleviation of socio-economic despair, negotiation, and more openness and fairness in the media to inoculate the currently infected and foster immunity in potential future victims. This is the correct arsenal, among others, for the "large and growing secular culture in the United States" to combat viral, emotion latching extremism. [57] The long standing boundary between church and state must be reinforced. Furthermore, ambitious politicians who use such influential militants to advance themselves need to come to realize the extent to which they are playing with fire of an unpredictable nature. "Historically, great powers have too often gone down in blazes of religious invocation." [58] If such endeavors cannot be provided proper devotion and attention, then dangerous extremism will only continue to flourish and assert control at home, and I fear that once it has spun out of total control, only then will the end be truly near when the button is pushed to forward Armageddon.

© Copyright 2006 by
This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite the author and Axis of Logic as the original source including a "live link" to the article. Thank you!
Also see: Manufacturing Conscription by George Aleman, III

George Aleman III is an MA student in history. He is also a writer, activist, and musician.

[1] Zinn, Howard. 1980; 2003. A People's History of the United States. p. 407. HarperCollins: New York.
[2] Thursday, May 17, 2007. "14 Reasons Why The Term "Islamofascist" fits."; Also, see a definition and history of the Islamic concept of Caliphate).

[3] Paxton, Robert O. 2004. The Anatomy of Fascism. p. 216. Vintage Books: New York.

[4] Ibid., p. 216.

[5] Ibid., p. 213.

[6] Ibid., p. 20.

[7] Regan, Tom. Tuesday, February 20, 2007. "Global poll: There is no 'clash of civilizations." The Christian Science Monitor.

[8] Scott, McConnell. Monday, July 18, 2005 Issue. "The Logic of Suicide Terrorism." The American Conservative.

[9] Paxton, Robert O. 2004. The Anatomy of Fascism. p. 204. Vintage Books: New York.

[10] "Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks" is a webpage dedicated to providing a representative sample of how the Muslim world reacted to the attacks of 9/11 and acts of terrorism in general. More information.

[11] Paxton. p. 204.

[12] Regan, Tom. Tuesday, February 20, 2007. "Global poll: There is no 'clash of civilizations." The Christian Science Monitor.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Moore, Michael Scott. October 2006. "Usage Note: Islamofascism." Radio Free Mike.

[15] Holland, Joshua. Frdiay, September 1, 2006. "The Clash of Civilizations Doesn't Exist... Yet."

[16] Bacevich, Andrew J. 2002. American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy. p. 117. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[17] Clarkson, Frederick. March/June 1994 edition. "Christian Reconstructionism: Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence, Part 2." The Public Eye Magazine.

[18] Hedges, Chris. 2006. American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. p. 13, 19. Free Press: New York.

[19] Clarkson, Frederick. March/June 1994 edition. "Christian Reconstructionism: Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence, Part 2." The Public Eye Magazine.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Hedges. p. 11.

[22] Clarkson, Frederick. March/June 1994 edition. "Christian Reconstructionism: Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence, Part 1." The Public Eye Magazine.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Hedges, Chris. Wednesday, March 28, 2007. "Creation "Science" Is the Christian Right's Trojan Horse Against Reason." AlterNet.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Hedges. p. 41.

[32] Hedges, Chris. Wednesday, March 28, 2007. "Creation "Science" Is the Christian Right's Trojan Horse Against Reason." AlterNet.

[33] Ibid.; Hedges. p. 17.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Hedges. p. 19.

[36] Ibid., p. 11.

[37] Paxton. p. 174.

[38] Hedges. p. 10.

[39] Ibid., p. 14.

[40] Ibid., p. 195; 202.

[41] Aleman III, George. Sunday, May 20, 2007. "Manufacturing Conscription." Axis of Logic.

[42] Phillips, Kevin. 2006. American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. p. 100. Viking: New York.

[43] Hedges. p. 195.

[44] Phillips. p. 100.

[45] Content can be found in the "About" section of the Westboro Baptist ministry's website, God Hates

[46] Ibid.

[47] Westboro Baptist Church Demonstration Event flier in pdf format entitled "Thank God for IED's.". A complete list of such flyers can be found in the flier section of their website.

[48] Phillips. p. 100.

[49] Ibid., p. 103.

[50] Paxton., p. 205.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid., p. 203.

[53] Ibid., p. 174.

[54] Ibid., p. 216.

[55] Phillips., p. 103.

[56] Ibid. p. 101.

[57] Ibid., p. 103.

[58] Ibid.

© Copyright 2007 by
This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite the author and Axis of Logic as the original source including a "live link" to the article. Thank you!

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