Aaron Russo’s 2006 Documentary “America – Freedom to Fascism” runs for 105 minutes in this, its “expanded theatrical version”. It is good if not remarkable. The first hour is solely a challenge to the US Constitutional basis for Income Tax. Most Americans don’t know that the 1913 16th Amendment remain unratified and was not passed into Law in the individual States of the Union. Way too much attention is spent on this one fact. It is illustrative of the problems with America but is given too much prominence. I suspect this is because this film was made for their domestic audience and there is nothing more heart-warming than bashing the IRS.
What this does illustrate is the way that big government has run rough-shod over their Constitution and the “Law” is whatever the Judicial system says it is. Illuminating. This opens an interesting footnote in American history but it is par for the course for those of us who study such matters. After this first hour we get on to the meat and potatoes of the movie (I am sure most viewers outside the US would have long lost interest by this point so it might be worth hitting fast forward through the first hour) and that is the need for monetary reform. The link between the Income Tax issue and the privatisation of public money may not be clear to those of us in Europe but in the US it is a different matter. Income Tax is the mechanism by which the publically elected Government pays interest charges to the banking system for creating debt. This is also unconstitutional – but most people either haven’t noticed, don’t understand or don’t give a damn. Thus the American economy became institutionally engineered on a quasi-Soviet model towards generating wealth to be sucked up into the pockets of a minority. As was quoted during the film – if this was actually discussed in the media there would be a revolution tomorrow. After half an hour of this good stuff the last 15 minutes descends into a peculiarly North American obsession – the “new world order” and “global government”. It is funny that outside of the US the words “new world order” (to most people) would mean US hegemony. The words “world government” would be rather meaningless in the light of the fact that governments have lost their right to govern in country after country as international agreements and the policies of the IMF & WTO have rendered public mandate irrelevant. The confusion is about terminology. Most of us would agree that we are heading towards “global governance” or, indeed, “global corporate governance” but to describe it as a “government” gives it way to much credit. “Government” implies organisation and centralised controlled. North Americans talk about the evaporation of government and it replacement by private finance and transnational corporations as if it is its own “government”. This is a peculiar use of the word. Its use is probably a reflection of how US liberals agonise over the malignant effect of their own foreign policies. Since it is hard to recognise blame they transfer it to a “world government” rather than their own. Outside the US we know who to blame. Beyond these points the film drifts off into some navel-gazing upon the wrongs of ID Cards and RFID Tags. All very Orwellian but rather too conspiratorial to hold a lot of weight. It waters down the impact of the movie so it goes out on a puff rather than a bang. As a slice of modern American paranoia this is all very instructional but its lack of global perspective means it doesn’t travel well. America remains obsessed with itself as if the damage it does is entirely internal. It is not. Grow up.