American Fascists should be read by people willing to think. Those with closed minds should buy at least three copies, and pass it around their friends [Maybe one of them will start thinking.] The very beginning of this book is an abstract of an essay by Umberto Eco entitled ?Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt.? It is an annotated list of traits found in all forms of authoritarianism (Fascism). By itself this short essay goes a long way toward describing the so-called Christian Right in America. But this book contains much more.
Hedges calls the current tenet of Christian Rightists ?Dominionism- (their Man has dominion over everything) and equates it with fascism. One of their methods is logocide, the killing of words. That is changing the definition of words, hijacking language, and thereby strangling thought. The author argues the Bush administration is diverting funds to faith-based organizations and in effect bankrolling churches and organizations seeking to dismantle American democracy and create a theocratic state. If one takes a world view, one will notice Christian Rightists and radical Islamists share many beliefs. Among the interesting facts Hedges puts forth is: Red States have higher murder, divorce, illegitimacy, and teenage birth rates than the Blue States which have kept evangelicals at bay.
When despair is profound, the desperate seek miracles. It is easer to look for hope and comfort in the mystical hand of God. Christian Rightists abuse this emotion and target the vulnerable. They will ?love-bomb? a prospective convert then argue that doubt and questioning are sins. The only proper relationship is submission. Their hyper-masculinity crushes the independence and self-expression of women. A cult of fear is created as they cultivate a sense of persecution.
A war on truth is going on. Christian Rightists argue for creationism and that there is a divine sanction of the free market, of unhindered profit, the God-given American freedom to exploit human beings to make money. Christian Rightists have tenets for people of ?high character.? All are told to watch for social and political deviants. The idea that there is only one orthodox truth and all dissent is heresy is broadcast far and wide. This includes especially the idea that those who do not submit and do as they are told are not to be allowed to contaminate the public domain.
The late Dr. James Luther Adams of Harvard Divinity School noted that the mask of religion hides irreligion. The chief goal of totalitarianism is to tell all citizens what to believe, how to behave and how to speak. Hedges argues convincingly that the radical Christian Right calls for exclusion, cruelty and intolerance in the name of God.
This is a good book for anyone who feels that God gave Man a brain to think for himself. If you are one of those willing to let others think for you, you are probably reading this anyway.