http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/19/1545218 and here's another interesting input fyi: http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&postid=579479&highlight=hedges#post579479 but first: "Monday, February 19th, 2007 Chris Hedges on âAmerican Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On Americaâ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chris Hedges's new book examines how Christian dominionists are seeking absolute power and a Christian state. According to Hedges, the movement bears a strong resemblance to the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s. Hedges is the former New York Times Middle East bureau chief and author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning." [includes rush transcript] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A new book by Chris Hedges called âAmerican Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On Americaâ investigates the highly organized and well-funded "dominionist movement." The book investigates their agenda, examines the movement's origins and motivations and uncovers its ideological underpinnings. âAmerican Fascistsâ argues that dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state. According to Hedges, the movement bears a strong resemblance to the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s. Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times for many years where he won a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" and "Losing Moses on the Freeway." Chris has a Master's degree in theology from Harvard University and is the son of a Presbyterian minister. He is currently a senior fellow at the Nation Institute - and he is here with me now in the studio. Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times who has reported from more than 50 countries over the last 20 years. Chris is currently a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He is author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" and "Losing Moses on the Freeway." Chris has a master's degree in theology from Harvard University and is the son of a Presbyterian minister. His new book is "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RUSH TRANSCRIPT This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution. Donate - $25, $50, $100, more... AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the religious right and the rise of it in this country. A new book by Chris Hedges is called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. It investigates the highly organized and well-funded dominionist movement. The book looks at their agenda, examines the movementâs origins and motivations and uncovers its ideological underpinnings. American Fascists argues that dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state. According to Hedges, the movement bears a strong resemblance to the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and â30s. Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times for many years, where he won a Pulitzer Prize. Heâs also the author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and Losing Moses on the Freeway. Chris Hedges has a Master's degree in theology from Harvard University and is the son of a Presbyterian minister. He is currently a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and joins me in studio now. Welcome to Democracy Now! CHRIS HEDGES: Thank you. AMY GOODMAN: Itâs good to have you with us. Why did you write this book? CHRIS HEDGES: Anger. I mean, I grew up in the Church and, of course, as you mentioned, graduated from seminary, and I think these people have completely perverted and distorted and manipulated the Christian message into something that is the very antithesis of certainly what Jesus preached in the Gospels. AMY GOODMAN: Who are âthese peopleâ? CHRIS HEDGES: These are -- you know, theyâre not -- we use terms like âevangelicalâ and âfundamentalistâ to describe them, and I think that those are incorrect terms. Traditional fundamentalists always called on believers to remove themselves from the contaminants of secular society, shun involvement in politics. Evangelical leaders like Billy Graham's always warned followers to keep their distance from political power. He, of course, was burned by Richard Nixon, came to Nixonâs defense and then when it publicly came out that Nixon lied, it taught a lesson to Graham. This is a new movement, as embodied by people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, who call for the creation of a Christian state, who talk about attaining secular power. And they are more properly called dominionists or Christian reconstructionists, although itâs not a widespread term, but they're certainly not traditional fundamentalists and not traditional evangelicals. They fused the language and iconography of the Christian religion with the worst forms of American nationalism and then created this sort of radical mutation, which has built alliances with powerful rightwing interests, including corporate interests, and made tremendous inroads over the last two decades into the corridors of power. AMY GOODMAN: Why the term âdominionistâ? CHRIS HEDGES: It come out of Genesis, you know, where God gives humankind dominion over creation. Itâs articulated by ideologues, such as Rousas Rushdoony, Francis Schaeffer and others, and essentially is a new concept within the radical Christian right, and itâs used sparingly. And some dominionists donât like the term, but I think it denotes or is probably a better term for denoting those people who want to take political power. AMY GOODMAN: On the back of your book, Chris, is a quote from your professor at Harvard, Dr. James Luther Adams, who said that in a few decades we would all be fighting âChristian fascists.â Who was he, and why did he think this? CHRIS HEDGES: James Luther Adams was my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School. He had spent the years 1935 and 1936 in Germany working with Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the Confessing Church or anti-Nazi church and eventually was picked up by the Gestapo and told to leave the country. He came back -- and this was in the early 1980s, when I was in seminary -- and saw the articulation of this new political religion, this religion that talked about seizing control of mainstream denominations, as well as institutions, creating a parallel media empire through Christian radio and broadcasting, and ultimately taking control of the government itself. And he understood, in a visceral way, how when countries fall into despair -- of course, this began -- it was the time that began the assault on the American working class, which has been accelerated and essentially left tens of millions of people within our own country dispossessed -- he understood how demagogues use that despair. And I think we can say there, in many ways, has been a kind of Weimarization of the American working class. And he saw what we were doing through globalization, what we were doing to our working class and our middle class, coupled with the rise of these so-called Christian demagogues, as a frightening and toxic combination, which, if left unchecked, would destroy our democracy. AMY GOODMAN: Why do you begin with Umberto Eco? And explain who he is. CHRIS HEDGES: Umberto Eco is the great Italian writer -- I mean, he wrote that very popular book, The Name of the Rose, and he had a nice little book of essays called Five Moral Pieces, and in it he writes about the salient qualities of what he calls âUr-Fascism,â or eternal fascism. And I wanted to list those -- I thought it was probably as good a list as Iâd ever seen compiled on what the main tenets of fascism are -- to begin the book, because my argument is that this is not a religious movement. Although it certainly depends on the support of many earnest, well-meaning, decent people who are religious, I would argue that they are manipulated not only, of course, to be fleeced for their own money, but essentially to give up moral choice and surrender to the authoritarian demands of these leaders to march forward and essentially dismantle our democratic state. And I think that when we look closely at what it is that this Christian right movement espouses, it does bear many similarities to, you know, the main pillars of fascist movements: the cult of masculinity, the war against -- AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, âthe cult of masculinityâ? CHRIS HEDGES: Well, the fact that, you know, they elevate male figures within the megachurches, who cannot be questioned, who speak directly for God. Any kind of questioning or self-criticism becomes essentially battling the forces of Satan. That power structure is to be replicated in the family. Much of this movement is about the disempowerment of women. Children have to be obedient. And so, that power structure of the family with the dominant male and everyone else submissive is replicated in the megachurches, which oftentimes -- and Iâve been in many over the last two years -- revolve around cults of personality. When we look at the sort of empires that people like Pat Robertson run, you know, this man is worth hundreds of millions, some people say up to $1 billion, surrounded by bodyguards, flying around on private jets, investing in blood diamonds in Sierra Leone. He has rock star status. I mean, if youâve ever been to an event where he appears, people are weeping and want to be touched by him. There is no question. He essentially runs a despotic little fiefdom.