Feb 19, 2021
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The friendly fascism of Bertram Gross

The events taking place in the United States over the past year make one recall the book by American professor Bertram Gross, published more than 40 years ago, “Friendly Fascism: A New Face of Power in America.”

Bertram Gross

In the United States, at the time the book was published in 1980, it was ignored, and then received with hostility. However, as time passed, it turned out that in many ways Gross was a prophet. He predicted the appearance in America at the end of the twentieth century. a new form of fascist thought and social policy.

Gross wrote that the American power elite, in order to manipulate the consciousness of society, is inclined towards the ever-increasing use of methods of “soft” persuasion. To characterize this phenomenon, Gross introduced the concept of “friendly fascism” (friendly fascism).

Books by Bertram Gross

In his book, he stated that in 1945 fascism did not disappear, but receded into the shadows. Instead of concentration camps, open terror, he predicted, fascism would henceforth operate with “soft” methods. The model of power will be the complete merger of big capital with the state apparatus. Parties will not be banned, different ideologies will be allowed, but everything ideologically “unfriendly” will be suppressed with the help of hidden mechanisms.

And the predictions come true. The methods by which Donald Trump was removed from power showed that big business has really merged with the state apparatus and dictates the law to society. The owners of the network companies were able to completely neutralize the current US president, depriving him of the opportunity to address the people.

The multiparty system in America is not prohibited, but the question of power is decided only by two parties, or rather, the bosses of these parties. “Democratic choice” requires money and is done for money. To eliminate opponents, accusations of “harassment”, the “Antifa” group and BLM; dissenters are fired from universities and institutions. Governments and corporations, Gross wrote, needed an external threat bogeyman to increase military spending.

Gross predicted the emergence of high-tech means of controlling people, total surveillance. People, he wrote, will not be persuaded directly, but gradually, manipulating them. The consciousness of society will be paralyzed by fear, people will live with an eye on the fact that Big Brother knows everything.

Much of what the American predicted came true. Brainwashing is going on through social networks, computer gadgets are becoming means of surveillance, their accounts and credit cards are blocked by the “unreliable”. To isolate a person, he no longer needs to be thrown into dungeons.

“One of the greatest dangers – wrote Gross, – lies precisely in the slow process by which friendly fascism will manifest itself. For the majority of the population, these changes are invisible. Even those most susceptible to danger are only able to see part of the [общей] paintings until it’s too late. For most people, including historians and sociologists, the perception of fundamental changes comes only after evaluating past events. And by that time, having all the evidence on hand, it will finally become obvious that the new slavery may have already begun long ago. “

American protests are increasingly becoming armed

Photo: REUTERS / Go Nakamura

We add that fascism in the United States, and not at all “friendly”, began to spread back in the 20s. XX century. In the American “Black Legion”, for example, in the 1930s there were more than one and a half million people. The Ku Klux Klan, American Freedom League, Silver Shirts, Blue Shirts, White Ribbon and other organizations were close to the Nazis. Hitler’s anti-Semitism was largely gleaned from the American industrialist Henry Ford, who published the book “Jewish Activities in the United States” in 1920. US Ambassador to Germany W. Dodd (1933-1937) wrote to President F. Roosevelt: “A clique of American bankers and industrialists with devilish tenacity is seeking to replace our democratic regime with a fascist one and is working closely with the leaders of the German and Italian fascists … Our leading family clans are close to the Nazi regime.”

A “friendly” version of the dictatorship of monopoly capital under the slogans of “freedom” and “democracy” began to spread in the United States after World War II and the defeat of German fascism. In the 1960s and 70s. methods of suppression of black activists and national minorities, the method of “phased terror” (blocking professional growth, dismissal, intimidation, arrests on trumped-up charges) began to be widely used.

… In 2009, the columnist for Literaturnaya Gazeta, Nikolai Romanov, in his article “Rebarbora, or Controlled Degradation,” recalled Bertram Gross’s visit to Moscow in 1987 to study perestroika: “The tough old man already then predicted that, starting with the delight of perestroika, our television would end up with handcuffs for the brains. The new fascism, Gross assured me, would be “fascism with a smile” – attractive to the eye and to the ear, but this would not change its meaning. “

What did not work in the Russian Federation happened in Ukraine. Bandera’s fascism introduced by the Americans began with Victoria Nuland’s “friendly” distribution of cookies on the Maidan. Since then, Ukrainian fascism has been demonstrating its wolfish grin for seven years …

Cover photo: REUTERS / Alisha Yuchevich

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