Note: The material contained in this article is intended for purposes of education and discussion only. Neither the author nor the American Revolutionary Vanguard organization accepts responsibility for the misuse of this material. Neither advocates unlawful activity of any sort.
Perhaps no political question is more controversial than the matter of when it is acceptable to take up arms against the state under which one is a subject. The American Declaration of Independence, no doubt one of the most significant documents in the history of political philosophy and political struggles, sought to address the central questions that must be considered when armed revolt against the established political order is undertaken. The Declaration recognizes that revolutionaries, out of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”, should fully articulate and be fully forthcoming concerning their specific reasons for instigating rebellion and the specific objectives which they hope to achieve by means of their revolutionary efforts. While recognizing that “governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes” and that “mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed”, the Declaration maintains that at times “it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another”. The central question involves the matter of when political conditions have degenerated to the point where a revolutionary endeavor “becomes necessary”.
A number of perspectives exist on the question of armed rebellion against the state. Participants in current antigovernment movements in the United States come from a variety of cultural and ideological backgrounds and bring with them certain conventions and traditions. Many of those attracted to grassroots populist movements have fairly conservative social and cultural values. A central feature of traditional conservatism is an emphasis on order as an overriding value. Conservatism typically regards suffering under unjust laws and government actions to be superior to the threat of chaos that often accompanies the breakdown of political authority. A good number of American conservative-populists also think of themselves as nationalists. The U.S. Constitution is seen as being almost divinely inspired. The emotional impulse of many of these people is to regard open rebellion against the state as “unpatriotic”, “un-American” or as constituting “treason”. Much of this seems to be rooted in the culture that developed in America during the World War Two era. In those days, the social norm was to rally around the flag pole and support the government’s war effort against the evil Axis forces. The perceived justice of the Allied crusade against the Axis alliance combined with the perceived benevolence of the Rooseveltian New Deal as a means of coping with the social and economic disasters associated with the Great Depression served to inculcate in many Americans the idea of a enlightened and virtuous American regime deserving of loyalty, reverence and obedience. These attitudes are still quite common among the older generation and among the cultural groups that have been most isolated from and least impacted by the cultural revolution of the 1960s.
Strong nationalistic currents that serve to erect a certain taboo against defiance of the state are reinforced by the strong Christian traditions found among many conservative-populists. Most religions generally teach that obedience to civil authority is a good thing and some Christian clergymen will often refer to biblical passages that speak of the “powers that be” as having been ordained by God for the sake of preserving peace and order in society. So among many “traditional” cultural groups there is a stong religious as well as nationalistic impediment to resistance to the state. At the same time, however, it is also possible to stand some of these cultural norms on their head and use them to SUPPORT the idea of rebellion against political authority. After all, the American Revolution, an event that is glorified both in the educational system and in popular culture, involved armed overthrow of the existing political order. Resistance to tyrannical rulers is an idea that is deeply ingrained in American traditional culture. The revered Declaration of Independence is, in fact, a revolutionary decree. Deified figures from American history such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson led an armed revolution against the state under which they lived. The constitutional “right of the people to keep and bear arms” is considered sacred by many cultural conservatives, even those who know practically nothing about the rest of the Constitution’s contents.
Religious traditions and icons can be used in a similar manner. The Bible is full of stories of oppressed people engaging in revolt against political tyrants. Egyptian pharaohs, Babylonian kings and Roman emperors are depicted as evil, vicious, satanic oppressors. The key for contemporary revolutionaries is to liken enemy political figures to Biblical villians such as Herod or Nebuchadrezzar and to compare the current American regime to the evil empires of ancient Rome or Babylon.
In addition to grassroots conservative populists and religious traditionalists, many libertarians are also to be found among the ranks of current opponents of the government. This tradition includes a powerful axiom against the “initiation of force” to achieve political goals. A problem here is that many libertarians use this axiom as a basis for what amounts to virtual pacifism. However, libertarians typically revere the American “founding fathers” who engaged in violent revolution against the state. Libertarians are also typically younger, less religious and less nationalistic that cultural conservatives so this obstacle does not seem insurmountable.
Nonviolence is also a strong current among opposition groups on the left. This phenomena seems to be largely rooted in the influence of religious pacifists such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King on contemporary leftists. Some of it is also no doubt tracable to mere personal cowardice. A few acts of violent state repression of the Kent State/MOVE/Ruby Ridge/Waco variety against leftists would hopefully wake many of them from their love affair with pacifism. Meanwhile, some of the more committed advocates of nonviolence on the left have demonstrated their willingness to confront the police and be arrested in acts of “nonviolent civil disobedience” so the situation does not appear entirely hopeless.
If ever there was a political situation where armed revolution would be justified, it would have to be the contemporary United States. A statement of this type will understandably seem incongruous to persons reared on sophisticated propaganda about the “land of the free and home of the brave”. However much power these illusions may have over people who cling to them, some heavy doses of reality ought to prick their respective balloons.
One source of contemporary nationalistic sentiments is the tremendous and quite justifiable pride that many Americans feel concerning their nation’s revolutionary origins and traditions of liberty. However, it is essential to recognize that the classical America republic of the revolutionary era no longer exists and has long been overthrown by an amalgam of corporate, bureaucratic and military interests. While strands of the original U.S. Constitution, such as the free speech clause of the First Amendment, survive in part, the bulk of the provisions of the Bill of Rights, particularly the Fourth, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, have been de facto repealed. So by traditional constitutional standards, and certainly by the libertarian standards of the political philosophy outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the current American regime is unconstitutional, illegal, immoral and illegitimate. This regime has nothing in common with the
ederal republic outlined in the Constitution whatsoever. The current American regime is an oligarchy ruled by corporations and elite financial interests, bureaucrats, media bosses and a professionalized political class. This oligarchy maintains the outward forms and symbols of the classical republic solely for the purposes of thought control of the average citizen and creating an appearance of legitimacy. A necessary task for revolutionaries is to demonstrate to the broader public the thoroughly unconstitutional, illegitimate and essentially un-American nature of the current regime.
The present American regime is not so much a national government as a world empire. While many of those with antigovernment sentiments have correctly condemned the emerging system of global governance, the so-called “New World Order”, via institutions such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, North American Free Trade Agreement, etc., it must be recognized that the domestic American oligarchy and ruling regime are the primary instigators and beneficiaries of the developing global order. Simply put, there is no “UN” without “US”. Like the Romans of two thousand years ago and the British of two hundred years ago, the US ruling class maintains an international empire that engages in unchallenged, unrivaled and unparalleled world domination. In this respect, King George Bush II has much in common with an earlier King George from the American revolutionary era. The consequences of America’s half century of world empire for the rest of the world have been devastating. Nearly four million killed in the American sponsored Indochinese wars of the 1960s and 1970s. Six million killed in subversion, destabilization and counterinsurgency campaigns orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency and its corporate controllers.(1) Millions, including hundreds of thousands of children, dead from the genocidal sanctions imposed on Iraq. The brutal oppression of the Palestinian people by the American client state of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Central Americans killed in the CIA sponsored wars of the 1980s. The economic exploitation of the oil-producing nations of the Middle East and the subsequent destabilization of the region. The exportation of armaments to rival combatants worldwide and the resulting escalation of local wars. The economic stranglehold placed on Cuba. Hundreds of thousands of Timorese slaughtered by the US-backed, armed and financed Indonesian regime. The American support for the genocidal Khmer Rouge in the 1980s. Thousands killed in the America air assault on Serbia. The list goes on and on. (2)
The current regime’s domestic performance has been quite heinous as well, though not nearly as destructive at its international actions. The United States maintains the world’s largest prison population with millions incarcerated in federal and state penitentiaries, local jails, juvenile detention facilities, military concentration camps, psychiatric prisons and labor camps. Millions more are in the direct clutches of the state via the probation and parole system. Most of these people are victims of cultural persecution or political repression, such as those imprisoned for drug “offenses”, or poor people arrested for relatively minor economic or property crimes and unable to afford attorneys and bail bondsmen or, simply put, to buy their way out of jail. Government thugs ranging from federal agents to metropolitan police regularly kill unarmed civilians with impunity. Many more are robbed and assaulted, harassed and threatened by the state’s goon squad commonly referred to as “law enforcement”. Millions of traditional farmers have been run off their lands by state-supported agribusiness cartels. Repressive housing regulations guarantee a large homeless population that is subsequently criminalized under loitering and vagracy laws. State-subsidized prison construction, private profiteering from the drug war and corporate use of prison labor have created a new system of chattel slavery. A full-frontal assault on all traditional civil liberties is now underway by means of the “terrorism” hysteria. The average person works nearly half the year just to cover tax debts. Mounting public debts and liabilities guarantee an eventual economic meltdown. Monopolistic health care care cartels have effectively priced medical treatment out of the range of working people. The ongoing process of currency devaluation and the looting of the social security fund by improvident politicians threatens to completely destroy the retirement security of the present generation of workers. The economic base of the working class is being depleted as domestic manufacturing is being moved to “Third World” nations where nineteenth century-like wage slavery prevails and can be effectively exploited. The war on drugs, gun laws, the anti-crime hysteria and the police state have criminalized minority youth en masse. Meanwhile, efforts by the ruling class to buy the loyalties of minority elites via social engineering schemes have reduced white workers and students to second-class citizens in many areas of life. The America of the future looks to be a bankrupt police state with a Third World-like class structure, in a perpetual state of war, undergoing persistent terrorist assaults and riddled with ethnic and cultural strife. (3)
It is important to remember that the first generation of American revolutionaries engaged in armed revolt against the British Empire over far less egregious state actions. Mostly they were concerned about minor taxation without representation, unreasonable restrictions on trade and sporadic government intrusions such as the Quartering Act. The American founders would no doubt regard the present state system as a hideous monster of a tyranny. Fortunately, the regime has not yet been able to fully extinguish freedom. It is difficult for the regime to impose formal censorship as this would be in conflict with the interests of the powerful media corporations. (4) The deeply embedded American gun culture has greatly hindered efforts at civilian disarmament. Some apologists for the state use these examples of remaining freedoms as an excuse for demanding public support for the state. However, the time to take action against a tyrannical government is not after freedom has been completely abolished. By then it is too late, as the residents of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia learned the hard way.(5) The time for action is before the state is fully able to consolidate its power in a totalitarian manner. This means that, in contemporary America, the time for action is now. The United States will not be able to undergo another thirty to fifty years of current statist expansionism without succumbing to the full apparatus of totalitarianism.
Most people generally prefer that political change take place in a peaceful manner and rightfully so. Change that occurs with the least amount of violence, bloodshed and societal disruption and dislocation is obviously the kind of change that is likely to be the most beneficial to the average person. Armed actions against the state should never be undertaken solely for the purpose of gratuitious violence, the emotional satisfaction that comes with revenge or simply “to make a statement”. Indeed, revolutionary organizations should shun persons who demonstrate such motivations as dangerous security risks and possible provocateurs. Military actions against the state must be done for defensive or purely strategic purposes only. While such military actions should certainly not be pursued in a reckless or imprudent manner, it also needs to be recognized that no ruling class ever steps down without a fight. Recall the fate of the Chinese students at Tiannamen Square, the peasants of El Salvador or the Branch Davidians at Waco. At the end of the day, all of the lobbying, voting, petitioning, letter writing, ballot initiatives, demonstrations, speech-making, leafleting, class action lawsuits, jury nullifications, strikes, boycotts, construction of alternative institutions, passi
ve resistance and “non-violent civil disobedience” in the world will not be sufficient to dislodge those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The former rulers of the Soviet Union knew their system was a failed and dying dinosaur. Yet they clung to their sacred Marxist-Leninist dogma and bureaucracy to the death. The rulers of the corporate states of the West will no doubt do the same. This is particularly true of the American ruling class who have an empire to defend. If global tyranny and domestic police statism are to be successfully resisted and defeated, then the next wave of American revolutionaries must be prepared to fight and win.
The rules of war that apply to states are also binding upon anti-state revolutionaries as well. Those who undertake the task of a war of liberation against a tyrannical state must conduct themselves according to the highest standards. Every possible precaution should be taken to avoid injury or damage to the person or property of innocents. Persons taken as prisoners of war, from the highest to the lowest, should be treated as well as conditions of war permit. Military actions should be pursued only when there is a reasonable chance for success and when there is some genuine strategic or defensive purpose involved. Those who involve themselves in such actions must be prepared to face full responsibility for their actions and fully consider the very likely consequences to themselves. Execution, lengthy terms of imprisonment or death in combat are the frequent fates of those who engage in armed struggle against the state. Generally, revolutionaries are worth more to their movement alive and in civil society rather than dead or in prison. So caution is obviously of the utmost importance.
A campaign of armed struggle against the state would likely take place over a lengthy period of time and involve several distinct stages. Different types of armed struggle would be employed at each state in the fight. The earliest stages would primarily involve acts of tyrannicide or strategic bombings carried out by individuals or small groups. Larger guerrilla actions against broader targets would follow. The final stage would involve popular insurrection and militia self-defense. It must be kept in mind that any discussion of these matters is entirely theoretical. There is simply no way to predict all of the many variables that would factor into an actual revolutionary situation. There is no “operators’ manual” for the prosecution of an armed struggle campaign. Individual situations must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and individual persons must rely on their own value judgements. The purpose of this essay is not to provide instruction or give orders as to how an armed struggle effort should be carried out. Rather, the goal is to construct a theoretical model of what a hypothetical armed struggle in the United States would look like. Therefore, what follows is intended for education and discussion only and is certainly not intended to be any sort of “game plan”, “instructions”, orders” or “advice” for potential revolutionaries to follow.
Revolutions are never made by the majority. When the American war of independence from Great Britain began, only about five percent of the population of the colonies thought secession from the British Empire to be a good idea. By the time independence had been won, only about thirty percent had come over to the side of the revolutionaries. To use a more recent example, only about five percent of the U.S. population participated in the movement to oppose the U.S. war in Vietnam. The complaint of most Americans was that the government was not fighting the war even harder than they were. Yet the efforts of this minority of protestors and antiwar activists severely weakened the government’s war efforts. Those who seek to depose an established regime will always be in the minority during the initial stages of the struggle. Most people prefer security and familiarity to sweeping changes in the social order. Most people acquire their notions of right and wrong from cues taken from peers or perceived authority figures so revolutionaries are always initially perceived as criminals or troublemakers. This is particularly true of revolutionaries who take up arms against an established regime. Typically when an armed struggle commences the revolutionaries are frowned upon by the general public who regard them as extremists, terrorists and fanatics. The state will seek to engage in further repression for the sake of its own preservation and to expand its own power and the general public will acquiesce. However, the repression eventually expands to the point where “ordinary” citizens start becoming the victims of the repression thereby generating an increased loss of public confidence in the state.
An interesting example of this is the American War on Drugs. This war has been going on in various forms for nearly a century. However, the current level of intensity of this war has its roots in the Reagan administration’s police state ambitions during the 1980s and has been continued by subsequent administrations. Initially, most Americans enthusiastically supported the drug war as is common when the state targets a socially disapproved of scapegoat for persecution. However, the increased repression involved in the drug war began to spill over into other areas of society. The militarization of law enforcement traceable to the drug war led to the attacks on gun owners and religious minorities and Waco and Ruby Ridge. Assest fortfeiture laws created as a means of fighting the drug war have subsequently been used against other persons caught in the web of federal regulatory agencies. This state of affairs has generated a wider dissatisfaction with and hostility to the federal regime among many of the same population groups who were initially strong supporters of the drug war and still are in some cases. It can be plausibly argued that the creation of the militia movement, for example, is directly traceable to the drug war as it was the spillover effects of the drug war that led to the antigovernment militancy of those who formed the militia movement.
The purpose of early stage armed struggle is to wear down and weaken the regime through disruption of state activities, psychologically paralyzing state functionaries, removing individual tyrants and generating a loss of public confidence in the regime. The American regime is largely an oligarchy of transnational corporate interests, career bureaucrats and professional politicians. However, these interests would be powerless without the various layers of stooges whom they employ to carry out their directives. The symbolic assassination of a head of state is strategically useless as such characters are nothing more than easily replaceable figureheads in modern state systems. Instead, direct engagement of those involved in the day to day “nuts and bolts” operation of the machinery of statist oppression is likely to be the most fruitful course of action. Without the vast armies of police, district attorneys, judges, prison administrators, media propagandists, inspectors, regulators and tax collectors who do their dirty work the plutocrats, media bosses and politicians would be powerless. The system’s stooges are generally more easily located and eliminated than the oligarchs themselves. Wearing down the state’s oppressive machinery through a war of attrition could paralyze the ruling class politically.
Again, it must be remembered that military actions against the state should be strategic or defensive rather than symbolic if they are going to be effective. For example, not all judges are equally tyrannical. Physical elimination of the most tyrannical judges would have the dual effect of curbing the worst excesses of the abuse of state power through removing individual perpetrators and providing serious psychological incentive to other judges not to cross certain lines. If more moderate, mild-mannered judges were to observe some of their more tyrannical colleagues simply disappear Jimmy Hoffa-s
tyle, then they might certainly consider becoming less tyrannical themselves. The same is true of the police. Indiscriminate, random attacks on uniformed patrol cops would be ineffective as cops would have no means of knowing how to alter their behavior for the purpose of avoiding being the target of such an attack. Some cops are relatively honest, relatively decent people. Others are scum who engage in police brutality and the framing of suspects. If individual cops of this type were to be physically eradicated their less heinous comrades would know what types of behavior they should avoid.
Most serious, organized state repression is not carried out by ordinary uniformed patrol cops. Instead, this repression is the domain of special police units such as SWAT teams, narcotics, firearm, gang and vice units, political police (formerly called “red squads”) and federal paramilitary forces such as the FBI, DEA and BATF. In an armed struggle campaign against state tyranny, ALL police agents of these types would be legitimate military targets. Mere membership in such units indicates a willingness to disregard the rights of others. The identification, tracking and elimination of such individuals would necessarily be a primary component of the armed struggle effort. Another effective tactic might be the destruction of the facilities that headquarter tyrannical government agencies. Such objectives could even be achieved without the loss of life. The Weather Underground bombings of the late 1960s and early 1970s did not involve even a single injury. The Weathermen would plant a bomb and then give notice in time for the building in question to be evacuated. So the bombing of buildings owned by government or corporate enemies need not involve massacres of the Oklahoma City variety.
As the rebellion spread and gained more converts and recruits, larger guerrilla operations against enemy targets would become possible. Raids conducted against police stations, courthouses, the headquarters of enemy government agencies and corporate entities, prisons, media centers, legistlative buildings and, eventually, military bases would serve the purpose of disrupting the day to day operations of the system for the purpose of rendering the state machinery dysfunctional. Police stations that constantly have to been on guard in case of a guerrilla attack will have fewer personnel and resources with which to conduct investigations, arrests, stings, entrapment schemes, infiltration of political organizations, etc. Court operations that are consistently disrupted by such attacks will have less time to herd human chattel into the prison-industrial complex. Raids on prisons resulting in the freeing of prisoners, the elimination of administrative personnel and the destruction of facilities will prove quite costly to prison-industrial profiteers. Some corporate officers and government agents would no doubt be inspired to resign from their jobs in the face of guerrilla attacks. Assaults on media centers would likely throw a wrench in the propaganda machinery of the ruling class. During the Los Angeles uprising of 1992, probation and parole offices were attacked and their records destroyed. Police precincts were similarly attacked. Actions by large groups need not even involve violence to be effective. For example, in urban areas where corporations, elite civic organizations and class interests work to repress the economic activities or civil liberties of the poor a nighttime torchlight march of masked crowds of poor people and dissidents through gentrified districts or outside the homes or offices of leading class enemies would no doubt be somewhat effective at intimidating and deterring such individuals and groups.
The most important phase of the armed struggle would occur during the days when the state is on the verge of collapsing. By this time the regime will have lost credibility in the eyes of the general public and large popular revolutionary organizations will have previously been organized. The most effective revolutionary strategy would likely be the seizure of political power at the local or regional level and subsequent secession from central government. A number of past revolutionary experiences are instructive as to what kinds of scenarios might come about in a revolutionary situation. The American Revolution of 1776 came about through the radicalization of colonial governments and a declaration of independence from the British crown. Similarly, the election of hard-line separatists or revolutionaries to local town councils and regional assemblies could result in a new large scale secessionist project resembling the colonial secession from Britain or the southern secession in the days leading up to the beginning of the American Civil War. The Spanish Revolution of 1936 involved an insurrection by popular militias. The Libyan Revolution of 1969 came about through a coup instigated by radicals who had infiltrated the military. The anti-Communist revolution in Eastern Europe of 1989 occurred largely through passive resistance, popular non-compliance and a loss of state credibility.
Armed struggle against the U.S. regime would likely commence following several waves of mass demonstrations, civil disobedience, strikes, riots, formal declarations of independence by regions and localities and direct armed confrontations with the state of the Waco-variety. The armed forces of the revolutionary struggle would be drawn from a variety of sources including militias created by popular organizations ranging from labor unions to churches to gun clubs, mercenaries hired by sympathetic groups and individuals, public militias organized by sympathetic local governments, defector units within the state’s armed services, local and state militia units, sheriff’s departments and National Guard that have defected or been redirected by superiors, armed outlaw groups like street gangs, motorcycle clubs or prison gangs and troops donated by sympathetic foreigners, perhaps even foreign governments.
Three overriding principles would have to be adhered to during the course of the struggle. A primary strategy of the government would be to attempt to crush the revolution by “starving out” the opposition. This would include the shutting down of utility, transportation and communications systems within areas that served as strongholds for the revolutionary forces. It would be essential that in the days, months and years leading up to the collapse of the central government the revolutionary and popular organizations begin preparing for such a scenario. Large and readily available supplies of food, medical gear, clothing, heating and energy sources, vehicles and vehicle maintenance equipment, fuel, communications equipment, ammunition and weapons would be essential. The ideal weapons for popular militias would be those that are easily maintained, transported and resupplied with ammunition. This would include semi-automatic handguns, high-powered sniper rifles with a good scope, and ordinary shotguns sawed off as low as possible. Grenades and landmines stolen from the military or provided by foreign sources would also be quite useful. The government’s arsenal of atomic weapons would be useless in combatting a domestic insurgency but the government would likely employ the use of chemical weapons and poison gases. Any sort of equipment that could be used to counter potential attacks of this type would be important.
It would also be vital that the revolutionary forces be organized as a decentralized militia confederation. This would be necessary in order to prevent the recentralization of power following the defeat of the state, safeguard against potential treachery at the top and avoid the potential for the government to crush the revolution by “cutting off the head”. The revolutionary forces would not need to “win” a civil war against the regime. They would simply have to “not lose”. It would be futile and foolish to confront the state’s armed forces directly. The correct military strategy would be to wear down the government’s forces through a war of attri
tion of the Viet Cong/mujahideen variety. The American colonists achieved victory through a strategy of this type. The southern independence forces lost the civil war of 1861-1865 largely because of their efforts to carry out a traditional military campaign which they were not equipped or qualified to do. Let’s learn from their mistakes.
1) The figure of six million has been independently arrived at by a number of scholars including Peter Dale Scott, John Stockwell, Johan Galtung and Noam Chomsky.
2)”Killing Hope” by William Blum is probably the best introductory work to the murderous effects of U.S. foreign policy on the citizens of the Third World. The works of Noam Chomsky are a virtual cornucopia of information on these matters.
3) The writings of James Bovard document in much vivid detail acts of repression carried out by the U.S. regime domestically. Thomas Sowell has described efforts by the state to breed ethnic conflict. See also “Democracy: The God That Failed” by Hans Hermann Hoppe.
4) Contrary to conventional wisdom, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has NOT been a reliable protection for free speech. During the First World War, Eugene V. Debs was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment for criticizing the war. Two nineteen year old girls in Colorado were sentenced to five years hard labor for handing out antiwar pamphlets. The U.S. Supreme Court never applied the First Amendment with anything even remotely approaching consistency until the middle part of the twentieth century-about the same time that the mass media (publishing, television and radio) started to become a powerful interest group.
5) For a description of the identical parallels between the early days of Nazi repression and current political conditions in the U.S. see “Nazi Justiz: Law of the Holocaust” and “Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State”, both by Richard Lawrence Miller.. Another interesting general study is William L. Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. In the 1950s Shirer remarked that the U.S. would be the first nation to go fascist democratically.