Let’s discuss the etymology of fascism. Fasces, to the Romans were a collection of sticks. The word means no more than bundle or sheaf but a particular bundle was relevant to their daily lives. The fasces were carried as a symbol of office by Roman bigwigs and when they walked through the streets or were carried on litters their bodyguards, called lictors, carried fasces to beat a path through the crowd. The city of Rome was supposedly disarmed by law so the fasces were not considered to be weapons except when the central stick in the bundle was a bronze ax. This symbolized MORE power, in effect the right to chop a lesser citizen into bits. The idea was that state power, as held in the fasces, was to be used coercively but lightly. At first. Stubborn resistors would be beaten. And beaten. And then beaten harder. Finally, reluctantly, sadly… the ax would be employed.
Benito Mussolini invented nationalistic socialism for the modern era. Like the Germans and British, Italian fascists looked back to the symbols of Rome to re-create some of its strength. The many Italian civic organizations, some socialist and some not, were known as fascia; meaning simply “group” or “association”. Every village had its fascio, perhaps several in serial competition or cooperation. Mussolini simply applied basic politics in gathering the groups into larger groups; each fascio being bound, by hook or crook, into a larger, more powerful sheaf by multiple and reinforcing bonds until he could claim that he held the trade unions, the Church, business, agriculture, media, land interests, finance and the lesser houses of government as one stick that he could wield; whapping any recalcitrant individual or combination of individuals out of the way if not back into line. This is Fascism.
All government is to some extent fascistic. Elections are a consensual method of allocating the collected power of the citizens; in other words a method of constructing the fasces and deciding who will hold them. Historically we had Constitutional restraints that acted above the transitory actions of the electorate, preventing government actions in certain spheres or in certain circumstances but these have been struck down just lately, as all have heard, so we will not consider Constitutionality. That has been brushed aside by the current fascists.
But how is their implement holding up? The fasces being used to pound out a clear path for the Obama bier consist of the Democratic electoral coalition. Is there a Republican set of fasces? Oh, you betcha, but they have allowed themselves to be written out of any consequence… SURPRISE!… along with the Constitution. Some 0f them helped with the sweeping up (McNasty, I’m lookin’ at you!). In any case the Republicans have laid their fasces aside, having taken enough lumps, for now. We will see that the Democrats’ loss is often, though not always, to the Republicans’ gain and vice versa but that is the least we will learn in our brief study of Crackology.
Crackology: The study of rifts. Cracks or other failures in cohesion are the stuff of nightmares to the Axelrods (and also the Roves) of the world. These statistical gunslingers make their loot predicting cracks, spackling cracks, explaining cracks, denying cracks and most importantly widening the cracks on the other side. Any stress that threatens to remove one twig from the fasces or, even worse, to break the bonds holding the whole lot together, is an existential threat. That is the explanation, if you needed one, for the comical vitriol employed by one, thick branch of the Dem Coalition admonishing a tiny twig sensed wriggling within the wrappings. The Komen charity is that twig. The branch is Planned Parenthood.
The events have been poorly reported and so are poorly understood. The Komen fascio did not decide as a matter of morality that they could not support abortion providers. Rather their corporate by-laws required that any organizations under investigation by law enforcement were ineligible to receive Komen donations. There is no doubt that the Komen money amounted to little more than a coffee fund for Planned Parenthood, a half-percent of their revenue. This money itself was not the point. Komen funding represented one little trickle into PP’s coffers but the entire flow of contributions is an agglomeration of lesser flows, including near half from government. If one is allowed to withdraw then the others might start getting ideas; this is the philosophy of fascism. So not only must Komen be held within PP’s embrace, they must be publicly chastised and ritually humiliated. No one disputes that Komen’s bylaws required the suspension or says such a requirement is inappropriate in concept. Rather those in PP’s fascio claim that the investigation is a political maneuver and therefor illegitimate. Implicit in this denunciation masquerading as an argument is that, yes indeed the investigation is illegitimate (though not illegal, hmm) but further that the Komen board had the right and ability to determine it so. Finally that determination is presumed not to allow… but to COMPEL Komen to violate their own charter. And all this is not some mad project but rather has been accomplished in short order, the fascia of the Choice movement having been employed along with the Media and party apparatus.
While Komen the fascio is driven back into the fold, the elements of Komen have been weakened. The only apparent downside to Komen is no downside at all. The resignation of one-time Georgia Secretary of State and well-known Lifer, Karen Handel, from the Komen board seems but little loss especially if one considers that her hiring in the first place was certainly an effort to make Komen’s claims of neutrality on abortion more plausible. Why? To hush those who might observe that Planned Parenthood does little indeed to diagnose or treat breast cancer except charge for referrals, or that Komen itself is a high-overhead boutique charity dispensing far more in lavish salaries than it does in mammograms or research monies. Or the well-known phenomenon of increased breast cancer in abortion patients. Now that fig-leaf has gone and not quietly. Good riddance, say the Choicers, and celebrate a hollow victory. Komen’s position or lack of one on abortion does not change any of these facts but the charade of neutrality changes wildly who complains about them, a far more important question. With Handel’s public defenestration a wide crack appears in the walls surrounding Komen as Komen is bridging a crack in Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood mans a bastion of the Choice fascio, which is nearly the largest in the Democrats’ fasces.
The Choice fascio at large is also showing some cracks. Overuse will do that. Most recently the tentacles of Obamacare have quietly enveloped the Catholic church and now in place, show that they are one and the same with Choice, something vehemently denied until yesterday. Indeed there were not a few Catholics both in office and in vestments who agitated for Obama and specifically for Obamacare. How they thought that universal coverage would somehow exclude the Catholic church, especially when some twenty-five percent of hospitals are Catholic charities, is mysterious. This is a notorious swing vote, leaning Dem but turning Rep opportunistically, often on matters of abortion and contraceptives. Sometimes called Ethnic Whites or Hardhats by pollsters; Polish, Italian, Irish and of course Latino Catholics broke for Obama by nine points. The Advanced Crackologist will note that they are also geographically dispersed to make the most of their influence. No, they did not go for Obama because he is a Lifer, not that his record was deeply delved. Rather they put aside those concerns as they were dealt with piecemeal, often by strategic personal co-options like Handel’s but more by flat denial. The idea of abortion/contraception mandates was dismissed as “far-fetched”, just as is the idea that anyone will be imprisoned for failing to comply with the statute. The Catholics (and other devout Lifers, like blacks) acquiesced but really it was the application of carrots, rather than sticks that brought them into the Obama bundle. They were as enthusiastic for the blessings of free healthcare, free education, free housing and free lunches as anyone. This is the Religious Left fascio which, for opposite reasons, both the Religious Right and Secular Left ignore. Ignored or not, they vote their beliefs and they went for Obama when their abortion concerns were assuaged. Now that they have been forced to examine the reality that Catholic charities and churches are NOT exempt from the mandates of Obamacare, what will they do?
Sadly for the Democrats, one thing they are most unlikely to do is forget. As the general euphoria for Obama has worn off, in specific the Catholic fervor has been BLOWN off; they would say, violently. The Secularists of all stripes may cluck their teeth and giggle at the flat-heads who think a couple ounces of gelatin deserves all the protections of legal and moral personhood; but still they do. And they will. Neither will they forget that their beliefs were considered no more than an obstacle to progress, as so many beliefs and persons are proving to be, best dealt with through bombast and deception. You will find some interesting aspects to abortion as an electoral issue. It may be unsurprising to everyone that abortion is the largest “Single Issue Voter” controversy out there but these break to the Life side significantly and nearly all the movement is from Choice to Life. This particular crack it seems can only widen and is one of few that offers Republicans a chance to pick up those escaping elements and add them to their own fasces. One player is almost genetically engineered to do exactly that.
His name is Rick Santorum.