Priming the Pump of War
November 7, 2002 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Priming the Pump of War is what this is called. It may or may not be scary or true but it looks like it is worth keeping in mind.
posted by donfactor (13 comments total)
I don't know if the FBL is designing a "new Fascism" or if they really truly believe the stuff they spout. The problem with the analysis is that it assigns evil motives to the FBL without hesitation, comparing them to Goebbels, and it assumes that because an academic can draw similarities between Fascist propaganda and FBL propaganda that the similarity must be real. But, as with all witch-hunts, the hunter will find witches.
It's much more likely that the FBL really believe in the virtues they extol and that, like a good many conservatives, they really do feel that it's deviation from a set of previously-held social norms that has caused many of America's problems.

Fascist or not, I mistrust anyone who wants to squash dissenting voices in the name of "unity." I distrust politicians who pass bills in the name of "bipartisanship." Not because they're fascists, but because they're reneging on their duties to their constituents.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:08 AM on November 7, 2002

This article is complete and utter BS.

The author, like too many leftist blowhards, never offers any real support for describing the FBL's campaign as "fascist."

Basically, he dislikes the images of "wholesome," "traditional" American life used in the ad campaign. I personally also find these ads (I've seen one or two) cloying, sentimental and artificial. But fascist? Give me a break.

This is a head-up-his-ass leftist academic who is projecting his cultural and even classist biases on to a fairly innocuous PSA campaign. I know it's hip in the academy now to "fetishize" (his word) everything transgressive, and to denigrate anything that smacks of patriotism, business, the nuclear family, etc., etc. But that doesn't mean it has any intellectual credibility at all.

Fascism is a very specific historical phenomenon. It is not a term to be used lightly. Essentially, this guy is comparing a harmless ad campaign to the regimes that murdered millions in mid-20th-century Europe. He owes the FBL and its backers a serious apology for baselessly equating them to genocidal maniacs.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:21 AM on November 7, 2002

Oh, and did I mention he never turns up a single war-related image in the whole ad campaign? His linkage of these ads to war is flagrantly bogus.

Showing a little girl with an American flag, or firefighters raising the flag at the WTC, is NOT a pro-war image. Another example of fringe leftist cultural thinking: equating the American flag with "warmongering."

People display flags for many reasons. Were the Europeans who flew American flags after 9/11 doing so because they wanted war?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:25 AM on November 7, 2002

Philip Anschutz is the man behind these.
posted by four panels at 10:35 AM on November 7, 2002

Anschutz has his name on a few buildings at the University of Kansas. I fired one of his grandsons from a bar I used to manage in Lawrence. Boy, did I hear how powerful gramps was. I felt like Swayze in Roadhouse. Luckily, there were no monster trucks involved.
posted by sp dinsmoor at 10:56 AM on November 7, 2002

The author, like too many leftist blowhards, never offers any real support for describing the FBL's campaign as "fascist."

They're conservative. Of course they're fascists! Why should he have to prove the obvious?
posted by oissubke at 11:10 AM on November 7, 2002

While I agree the FBL critique is weak, I am fascinated by Mr. Anschutz and his tremendous holdings in so many varied fields and industries. Potentially more chilling than a schmaltzy billboard, if only because he seems to be one of the more powerful people you hear little about.
posted by jalexei at 11:19 AM on November 7, 2002

Regarding this image, I tend to find 'Unity' a moral choice, whereas 'Nationalism', which the image actually conveys, is certainly not.

A problem with articles such as these is they go too far. The images do not directly support fascism. Nationalism may lead to warmongering (we are better than the enemy) which has led to fascism. Let the reader infer these through articulate positions, rather than written speculation. Better to point out reality than to resort to rhetoric.
posted by four panels at 11:23 AM on November 7, 2002


Isn't that getting really close to oxymoron territory?
posted by 4easypayments at 11:39 AM on November 7, 2002

I'd comment here, but I've taken the pledge.
posted by languagehat at 12:14 PM on November 7, 2002

I don't know about the post-ethnic, post-racial facism claim, but this sure was interesting. Thanks for the link.
posted by evening at 12:14 PM on November 7, 2002

Sounds like I need to diversify my portfolio and invest in Anschutz Corporation.
posted by blogRot at 12:33 PM on November 7, 2002

n : a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government

The Anschutz Family sure looks like it has fascist agenda.
posted by stbalbach at 5:44 PM on November 7, 2002

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