The humble Farmer at Bowdoin College, January 31, 2003
Below is a March 28, 2007 letter from Kevin and my comments on Mussolini that I read on the radio on August 25, 2006
i've been sitting back and observing everything that has transpired so far, doing as you requested and keeping my mouth (and typing) shut, and am glad to see that things have begun to move (on their own, perhaps?). anyway, now that it is pledge time, here is what my friends and i are all doing:
every time we hear a request for callers, we are calling the pledge line and telling them that we are either not joining or not renewing our membership until humble is able to speak freely on the air. we are doing this every day.... every time they ask us to call. we just started this today, but i am hoping that the idea will catch on, and that more people will begin to do it as well.
i hope this is not to extreme for your tastes, and if you prefer we could be convinced to stop, but if you like the idea feel free to pass it along. MPR is OUR station, and is using OUR airwaves, and we don't need to be told by anyone what is and isn't acceptable to say on the air.
if actual mainers object, they can get their own show, i am sure mr beck will oblige. listen to something else on friday night, and maybe they can run reruns of rush to give 'equal time' (which, by the way, they are under absolutely no obligation to do)
anyway, i hope you are well, and feel free to share this rant,
your friend and supporter, kevin
that's a great idea from kevin.
i also recommend doing what my wife and i just did when we got our mailed renewal notice.
we mailed it back with a note indicating we would not be renewing due to the censorship of the humble farmer show.
Thanks Kevin and Kirk.
I'm sure our MPBN friends will see the wisdom in rescinding the humble "guidelines" so you folks won't have to bother yourself doing this during the next pledge drive.
And the one after that.
And the one after that.
While reading in my Encyclopedia Britannica about Salvatore Quasimodo, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1959, I also learned that Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, extreme nationalism, anti-liberalism, militarism and authoritarianism. Unfortunately, Fascism is much like streptococcus bacilli: most of us donít even know it when we see it and even specialists in the field might quibble over a comprehensive definition.
Because I have recently not only been forced to take off my shoes before boarding a plane but have been patted down to strip me of my toothpaste and bag balm --- arguably meaningless symbolic gestures implemented to acclimate a population to mindless obedience --- I read further, hoping to learn to identify Fascism and thereby determine if it could be gaining a foothold in this land of the free and the home of the brave. This is what I read.
Around 1921 an Italian Prime Minister named Giolitti permitted the usual government influence on elections by corruption. This gave Mussolini and his fledgling fascists a slight edge and they immediately attacked Giolitti for his support of the League of Nations (a world government organization) and for his belief in the methods of parliamentary democracy. Gradually building up a nationwide party organization containing extreme undesirables, the fascists nearly always had more money than their opponents and moved with greater ruthlessness, although, at every step, Mussolini claimed to be the defender of law and order.
The industrialists were naturally in sympathy with a movement that stood for lower wages and fat, padded contracts. Although the economy had improved it was to their advantage to create the impression that without Fascism, economic breakdown was right around the corner, caused by Socialist incompetence.
The uneducated were naturally receptive to Fascist propaganda and disorderly elements on every level of society welcomed the violence and its attendant opportunity to plunder. Even then, it was not the strength of the Fascists that assured their success but the disorganization and silence of their opponents in the intellectual community. Italians discovered only much later that handing over power to people who claimed to be protecting their country with murder and openly proclaimed their contempt of parliamentary institutions would cost their country dear.
For years there was no overt establishment of dictatorship. Only gradually were old ways and old institutions changed and nothing was done abruptly that might alarm people or make them realize that a revolution had taken place. The wealthy were courted by cutting their taxes. For permission to become rich and corrupt the gerarchi supported their leaderís irresponsible decisions. The inefficiency and graft of his department heads were accepted as inevitable.
When an Italian was killed by bandits in the Balkans, Mussolini and other indignant, patriotic profit-seeking Italians had their long-hoped-for excuse to go to war. To his credit, until they strung him up by the heels, Mussoliniís self confidence never waned and he continued to have a pathetic trust in his own powers of intuition, even after plunging his country into that disastrous war for which he was obviously so unprepared.
As you know, the Encyclopedia Britannica is a fat volume, there is much more in there about the rise of Fascism in Italy, but a continuation and refining of my studies would be no more than an unproductive, academic exercise. Because --- in reading the few paragraphs above, you can see that my premise was shaky: Nothing that I have copied there could suggest a parallel between the rise of fascism in Italy in the 1920s and what is happening in our country today.
You may sleep well tonight. It simply couldnít happen here.
Please click here if you do not care for Fascism
© 2007 Robert Karl Skoglund