Feels like home

Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote an article about fascism (“Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

The 14 characteristics are:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

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.

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.

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.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

5 thoughts on “Feels like home

  1. Actually, eleven of those attributes are shared by almost all totalitarian regimes. Eleven of them really cannot be found in the U.S.

  2. Ok.

    Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – We’re all about it. Remember changing the “menu” to list “Freedom” fries instead of “French” fries? Even though the word “menu” is also French?

    Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – We are alone in industrialized Nations in this department. We have the death penalty, despise the concept of universal health care and educate on the cheap. What was it Nelson Mandela said about measuring a countries soul by the way they treat their children? Yeah.

    Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The majority of poll respondents in this country can’t tell the difference between Iraq and Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and those that attacked us on 9/11, Shia and Sunni. If it has brown skin and reads the Koran, it’s all the same enemy. Also, see the recent immigration debate.

    Supremacy of the Military – School can’t hire new teachers and we’ve got the biggest military on the entire planet.

    Rampant Sexism – How close are we to electing a woman President? How ’bout the glass ceiling in the corporate world?

    Controlled Mass Media – Fox News is clearly a mass media outlet for the GOP. All they do is press the same talking points Tony Snow pimps in the morning. But they do it for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Obsession with National Security – If you vote for a Democrat a) we’ll get attacked again, b) your children will die, c) mushroom cloud, d) 9/11 9/11 9/11, and e) just read the fucking papers for more examples.

    Religion and Government are Intertwined – How many people voted for Bush solely because he was a “Christian” and therefore a “good man”? How many people say, all the time, this is a “Christian Nation”? How many people in positions of power (both civilian and military) have described our little war in the Middle East either as a “crusade” or “our god is stronger than their god”? And, how many rulings has Scalia come down with based on his religion?

    Corporate Power is Protected – No bid contracts for Halliburton, Transportation Secretary advocating for the automobile industry, the “clean air” act, mine safety, etc, etc.

    Labor Power is Suppressed – How many strong unions still exist?

    Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Oh, he’s an East Coast Liberal, soft on terror, can’t relate to the working man, wants to “understand” out enemy, hasn’t the guts for the fight.

    Obsession with Crime and Punishment – You’ve seen an election where people haven’t been over the top on crime? Romney wants to “double” Guantanamo. We’ve got more people, per capita, incarcerated than any other industrialized nation, save, maybe, China. And they’re really something to emulate.

    Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – This is a gimmie. I don’t even need to knock this one in the cup. Put me down for par. I’ll see you on the next tee box. If the cart girl comes by, get me another Bud Lite.

    Fraudulent Elections – You think Florida or Ohio were above board? How ’bout Schlozman’s voter fraud indictments in Missouri? Sure, there are worse elections in the world. But we’re not talking about the rest of the world; we’re talking about us, the United States.