The Friendly Face of Fascism

Shutting down a large section of a city so the police can hunt for one man is the definition of a police state. However, many people seem to think the event that occurred in Boston didn’t qualify as a police state action because it happened here in America. This is the land of the free after all. In fact the tried and true way of demonstrating facts on the Internet, memes, are now being used to demonstrate the event in Boston wasn’t tyranny. Feast your eyes on the following meme:

Since the police were being nice and helping out a family in need they obviously weren’t being tyrannical, right? Let’s set aside the fact that the police officer was only alleviating a problem that he and his fellows created and look a the tactics used by two tyrannical regimes. Tyrants have a long history of providing goods and services to people in need in order to buy their loyalty.

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known as the Nazis, established an organization in 1933 called the National Socialist Peoples’ Welfare (NSV) to provide welfare to those in need. As you can guess, the purpose of the NSV was to provide financial services to poor families, daycare centers for working families, and schools for students.

Today Golden Dawn, Greece’s main fascist party, has been opening soup kitchens to feed the hungry:

Far-right Parliament party Golden Dawn started soup kitchens providing hundreds of people with food in Ilion, Athens and other areas. The first day the kitchen soups were initiated, masses marched to the area demonstrating their unemployment cards or papers certificating their having large-families.

As with any fascist organization Golden Dawn has gone the extra mile to win the admiration of the people. Not only are they opening soup kitchens but they’re doing it with state money and purchasing from Greek producers:

Each item in the food supply was bought from state money the party received in proportion to the acquired parliamentary seats (according to the legal framework for elected parties). Everything was bought from Greek firms and Greek producers exclusively. In a symbolic show, in this way, Golden Dawn MPs ‘return’ the Greek people the money they gave them with their vote.

Providing goods and services to people is nothing new for fascism, it’s actually one of the philosophy’s favorite tactics. Most people aren’t willing to accept a totalitarian regime unless there is something in it for them. Usually these regimes promise food, shelter, and protection to everybody or a subset of people in a society. At first these regimes may try to deliver on those promises but they eventually move away from such tactics once their power is cemented.

A police officer bringing milk to a family is not a demonstration that Boston wasn’t suffering under a fascist-esque regime. Quite the opposite is true. Seeing the police officer delivering milk demonstrates that the police were actively buying the obedience and loyalty of the people in the affected area. This is how and why tyranny works. It starts off nice. People receive food, shelter, and clothing from the tyrants and once everybody has rolled over the real pain begins. Don’t let little memes such as the one above trick you into thinking the event in Boston was anything other than a demonstration of the police state we live under here in the United States.