Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The 14 Defining Characterists of Fascism

From the Jeff Rense Program Website:
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed
to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.


The Inside Dope said...

I've seen this comparison made in several places, and it's absolutely chilling. Glad to see you putting it forward, as it seems to be a huge taboo to warn that we're drifting perilously close to fascism, or at least a place where it would be very possible.

There have been huge Orwellian shifts in the very nature of our democracy during the Bush regime and much of it is largely unfelt or unrealized by the vast majority of people who neither care, nor have the time to consider just how serious these threats are to their entire way of life, and the future of the planet.

Most people don't care if Wal-Mart ends up being the only store in the country, as long as they can get tube socks for cheap.

Dave Barrett said...

An amazing thing about this list is that no commentary is needed. Just present the list and apparently all Americans immediately make connections to what is currently happening in this country. I saw this list in a programmer's news group I frequent presented, as here, without comment. The reaction was amazing. Everyone, both left and right immediately saw it as a powerful statement about what is happening currently in this country.

rubber.room said...

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! You need to immediately go out and purchase more aluminum foil to cover your thick skulls because, as you know, the evil Republicans are sending "Happy Vote For Us" vibes through your TV sets (except on the PBS channels - thank God...oh, sorry, I mean unproven, mystical diety )- it helps if you shape the foil into Micky-Mouse type ears (offers protection from opinions coming from your right - trust me. I suggest you wear these protective caps to your "We Hate America...and George Bush...and, and, erm, all evil conservatives...and, of course Halliburton, um,...Go Hillary!" tofu rallies. Yep, the fascists are here and we're taking notes! ....Boooooo! Do you Democrats ever think that you're just plain, well, boring. We hear your chicken little whines, over, and over, and over...and sheeesh! WE KNOW! YOU HATE US. WE GOT IT. YOU HATE AMERICA - We're EXTREME - and Hillary will save us all from Republicania taking over the world- But just remember that innocent-looking person sitting next to you at the Bus stop... just.... might....
Hey, how is it you guys can get anywhere if all you do is go left?