In a great twist of historical irony, some defining characteristics of the defeated fascist enemy, authoritarian state power, corporate oligarchy, militarism, imperialism, racism, would find their way into the American power structure, locus of what has become the most awesome war machine in history. Massive changes that followed the unspeakable horrors of World War II gained traction with the onset of the Cold War, consolidation of the warfare state, and threat of nuclear Armageddon that increased once the Soviets developed their own atomic weaponry. Postwar America would become the setting of fearsome new enemies, demonic monsters that would require both domestic and international vigilance. The capacity to project enormous military firepower would become central to national identity. In the aftermath of World War II, the spectacle of mass death and destruction, increasingly visible in American media culture, would take on new meaning in a society where military power was closely aligned with growth, modernity and progress.