“That will go slightly less well than using a leaf blower to resuscitate a drowning victim.”
“Amble your addled adolescent arses out of the area with Alacrity or I’ll artfully amputate your Appendages with An Artichoke!”
Conclusions; Or, Why we should care about all this.
As we’ve seen over the past few months, there was nothing remotely Democratic, Egalitarian, or Just about the American Revolution. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be done about this reality now, some 240 years later. Chronology is a reality we have to deal with.
However, there are many things we can do to make our current situation better, using this knowledge.
First, understanding the reality of the American Revolution establishes a better understanding of why many American Ideals are based entirely off of fallacies. The idea of a country where merit only is the measuring stick for a person’s worth is proven entirely wrong, as is the idea of the Founders’ Nobility and Innocence.
Ditching the Hero Worship, and insistence upon adhering to what any one of the founders would have wanted would save the US from itself. What was important 240 years ago might not be so now, though there are enduring principles long predating the Revolution enshrined in the Constitution and Founding Documents which merit respect.
However, using the Founders to support or deny a litany of actions beneficial to the populace, including Healthcare, Firearms, Public Lands, or Financial Regulation are all based in looking for the support of Fascists. This is setting aside the nonsensical nature of this peculiar form of Blackmail of the Living by the dead, and its other massive problems.
Second, looking at US History from a more critical perspective, from the founding to the present day, will give a clearer perspective to the nation on what the United States is really responsible for. This includes a litany of Genocides, War Crimes, Invasions, Slavery, Racism, Imperialism and many other unjust actions which must be redressed if we are to survive. Only by looking from the very start at our flaws will we start to see ourselves for what we really are; the first step is admitting there is a problem at all.
Third, is the idea of Reputation versus Reality. The reputation the US holds, at least internally, is nothing like the reality. However, in the long term, Reputation will change to follow reality, and this is something we need to come to terms with. Understanding it’s not acceptable to simply deny a problem, or perpetuate a longstanding injustice would be a good change for the US.
There is much left to do with this topic. Objections for offences such as not dealing with Thomas Paine, as well as various other specific characters (though they fit all the criteria more generally defined in the course of the paper) will inevitably be brought forward, and thus should be addressed. Further primary source research in the broadsides and propaganda of the time, in addition to more patterns of violence and variations over the colonies is also needed. Another fascinating study would be analyzing the internal consistency of the American Revolution, alongside Hobbes and Lockean Theory upon which it was supposedly based.
However, despite the abovementioned deficiencies in current research on this link, clear patterns are present. The American Revolution is linked clearly to Fascism as an early developing form. This correlation is strong and should be addressed by those scholars with the time and resources to dedicate to this pursuit. As a non-academic, public historian, a lack of time especially, as well as access to many critical databases and archives for such pursuits is painfully clear.
“You’re just about as lucky as a flat tortoise on the highway.”
ROOTS OF NATIONALIST/FASCIST THOUGHT AND PARALLELS TO FASCISM FROM 1920-1945
If one were to examine Benito Mussilini’s The Doctrine of Fascism, many of the themes already treated of in this paper concerning the American Revolution become the evident cornerstones of Fascism as seen in the 20th century.(1) The will of the individual being subordinate to the Will of the State, Anti-Democracy, and the embodiment of all in the State, as well as Acceptance of the Individual only in as much as the individual conforms to the State have been seen to be vitally important to both Fascism and the American Revolution.
The Will of the State, as explained by Mussolini, is specifically stated as not being the Will of the Majority of citizens. “Fascism is… opposed to that form of Democracy which equates a nation to the Majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number; but it is the purest form of democracy… from the point of view of Quality rather than Quantity…”(1) The implication thereof is that the ruling class, the few, are those who rule in a fascist state. Similar to the American Revolution, wherein the few, those whose interests were threatened by Imperial Power and Law Enforcement, took it upon themselves to form militias and mobs to impose the Will of the State they wished to create.
As seen in the lead up to and during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, Mob Violence and Political Militias were used to enforce the Will of the State.(2) Similar systems were used in Italy and Germany during each country’s Fascist Revolutions, and each of these countries also developed Secret Police Forces to enforce the “Will of the State.” This is, as seen previously, Identical to the Separatists during the American Revolution.
As can be seen by a cursory examination of German Propaganda efforts under the Nazi Regime, or the rhetoric used in the speeches of fascist leaders, there was little difference between themselves and the Separatists in the American Revolution.(3) A reliance on a State of Fear, Internal Enemies and other such devices are principal parts of the programs used in all three Fascist States to convince the populace to side with the Fascist parties. Emotional Pleas to preserve the Heritage and purity of the State and Nation were routinely used, at the least implying the existence of those who supported the downfall thereof. These persons were, by default, enemies to the State such as Communists, Socialists, Trade Unionists, and anyone else who did not tread the party line.
Further Encouragement to side with the Fascist parties was of course Political Violence. Used extensively by all States under Consideration in this paper, we have already seen the practices of the American Separatists explained in detail. The Fascist States of the 20th Century were no different. The Requetes and Falange Espanola in Spain, the Blackshirts in Italy and the SS and SA in Germany filled the same role as the Sons of Liberty and Mob Violence had during the American Revolution.(4)
Obsession with roots and heritage also defines Fascism. While Mussolini was talking about the Italians and Romans, Hitler talked of the Germans and the Teutonic Peoples. The Americans in the Revolution talked of the Ancient Rights of Englishmen, their English roots, and their continuation of English Traditions. This obsession with heritage and Identity is used to establish who is truly one of those included in the great plan, and defines those who are “Outsiders” and thus enemies to the great Fascist power.
As during the American Revolution, the Fascist States needed to maintain control of the political and ideological aspects of their populations. Both instances resulted in the same approach to this problem: Disenfranchisement, Disarmament, Expulsion and Extermination.(5) These four elements are not only common to all the situations, but they are indicative of an anti-democratic system. As stated earlier, the removal of opposition parties from the ballot is extremely effective in maintaining the power of the official party. These efforts were all aided by the other two elements mentioned above, namely Propaganda and Political Violence, which would continue and encourage the marginalization and destruction of the “Feared Others” or Enemies of the State.
Further, Development of Socialism gave Fascism the bigger cause to define itself against and use as Internal Enemies in the place of the British Empire and Loyalists. This being the case, there were little changes made due to the unique Historical Circumstances of each episode, however the greater driving forces of the two movements were essentially Identical.
With these parallels in place, it becomes more and more clear the American Revolution was the Earliest form of Fascism. With the American Revolution coming first chronologically the only answer to the question at hand is that the American Revolution and the ideas it launched with such force were to quickly gain hold across the Western World. After 150 years of rumination on the subject, and slight evolutions, these same thoughts, plans and actions were centralized, consolidated and streamlined. Due to the significant helps of Scientific advances such as the theory of evolution and its later application in Social Darwinism, applied to the Ideas of the State and the techniques developed in the American Revolution created the perfect storm of Fascism.
- Somerville, J. and Santoni, R. Social and Political Philosophy (New York, NY: Anchor Books, 1963) pp 424-440
- Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War: An illustrated Chronicle 1936-39 (New York, NY: Grove Press, 1986)
- A very good exhibit on Nazi propaganda was on display in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010-2011. The primary sources included in this exhibit were quite enlightening on the subject and reviled the techniques quite well.
- The extent and nature of Fascist use of Political Violence should need no more documentation than the mention of Kristalnacht, the March on Rome, and the Coup d’Etat which sparked the Spanish Civil War. Should anything more be needed for a particularly ignorant reader, These events should be looked up in the nearest encyclopedia, alongside the respective organizations mentioned herein.
- All 4 situations involved in this paper resulted in at least three of four of these options. While not all of the programs were entirely thorough, they were sufficient to silence the others who may have been amicable to the opposition. The German “Final Solution,” Massacres of dissenters in Spain and Italy, and the arrest and deportation of Loyalists in the American Revolution are all covered in these four elements.
“You’re More corpulent than a hippo stuck in a fast-food drive thru.”
MAINTAINING SUPPORT AND SOCIAL CONTROLS (Beware Of KGB).
In order to have a revolution succeed, support, once gained, must be maintained, and controls must be put in place to prevent the opposition from regaining any support of their own. The American Revolution was no different. Through election law, gentry support and political violence, as well as maintaining a state of fear.
Voting Requirements in the era of the revolution were actually quite exclusive. To speak in generalities, Legislation in the colonies required that those possessing the franchise be freeholders of over a certain monetary amount, for example £40 in New York.(1) To be a freeholder one had to have independent ownership of land worth £40, or a lease for life of the same value. Further, voting was by viva voca, or live voice.(1) This made voting against persons such as the Sons of Liberty very dangerous, and served to suppress dissident voting. As if anything more was needed to support the conclusion that the system was anti-democratic, elections themselves were frequently not between opposing candidates. In several colonies, it was very common for the local gentry to agree on a person to “Set Up” for election, who would run unopposed.(1) This reduces the vote to nothing more than a poorly staged political appointment, resembling Democracy or Republicanism in much the same way a Mountain resembles an Atlantic Tuna.
A State of Fear, established through propaganda, was continued through the arrest and imprisonment of Loyalists, as well as further propaganda and mob violence, as explained previously in the series. The imprisonment and arrest of loyalists was aided by Secret Political Police agencies established in order to rid the States of “all conspiracies, which may be formed… against the liberties of America.“ This committee, and those like it were empowered to “send for persons and papers; to call out such detachments of the militia or troops in the different counties, as they may from time to time deem necessary for suppressing insurrections; to apprehend, secure or remove such persons, who they shall judge dangerous to the safety of the State; to make drafts on the treasury for a sum not exceeding five hundred pounds; that they be empowered to enjoin secrecy upon their own members, and the persons employed by the Committee, whenever they shall judge the same necessary; and in general, to do every act and thing whatsoever, which may be necessary to enable them to execute the trust hereby reposed in them.”
Much like the Soviet NKVD or KGB and the German Gestapo, all other committees, public officers and Military Commanders were required to report any suspicious activity to this committee. Such action contributes significantly to the State of Fear allowing the entire revolutionary structure to continue its existence, as anyone not entirely on board will become paranoid or imprisoned. Both of these outcomes are entirely acceptable for the intents of the Separatist Party.
This Committee in New York clearly had a hand in arresting, imprisoning, and deporting those not in the Revolutionary party. This committee forced out all those who were under investigation thereby in March of 1777, with only one week allowed for protests and appeals. Property of all those deported to New York City, then under British Occupation, was confiscated and auctioned or appropriated to the use of the Separatist cause.
There were similar laws in Virginia, and similar oaths required in other States, making for a decentralized, provincial version of the KGB. Further the Virginia law specifically states that all refusing to take the oath are to be disarmed and “during the time of such neglect or refusal, be incapable of holding any office in this state, serving on juries, suing for any debts, electing or being elected, or buying lands, tenements, or hereditaments.” Also, Maryland Law stated very much the same thing for anyone who committed treason against the United States, including a statute similar to that in New York, which allowed anyone who failed to turn treason in to the authorities to be tried for treason themselves. This is very similar to the German Gestapo, SS, and other police organizations using such threats to turn the population on themselves, and ostracize those who do not conform to the party line.
In several colonies, New Jersey (Mentioned in the VA Gazette of 12 September 1777), Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and others, the property and any other assets of Loyalists were to be confiscated and sold for funding the rebellion. Such actions make for several very subtle, though important, political effects. Firstly, Those who are not already forced out of the area through political violence are moved off their property and thus forced into moving away should they avoid deportation. Secondly, This destroys the tenants’ freehold, which is required to gain the franchise as aforementioned. Therefore, any opposition is forced from the electorate, imposing a false political hegemony in support of the Separatist cause.
As with several of the laws mentioned above, Congress itself also suggested that all loyalists be disarmed, thereby removing their means of self defense.(2: 12 April 1776)
Similar methods were employed by the fascist powers of the twentieth century. Persons aligned with the opposition were disenfranchised, their property confiscated, and the subjects imprisoned, deported or exterminated, depending on the particular case at hand.
- Gerlach, Don R. Philip Schuyler and the American Revolution in New York 1733-1777. (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1964) pp. 323-331
- Virginia Gazette Archives Online, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. http://research.history.org/DigitalLibrary/VirginiaGazette