Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Neo-Fascism?

A friend sent me an interesting article, Fascism Anyone?, written by Dr. Laurence Britt. Britt, a political scientist, analyzed various fascist regimes, which include Adolf Hitler in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy, Francisco "El Caudillo" Franco's regime in Spain, António de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal, George Papadopoulos in Greece, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and Suharto in Indonesia. During his analysis, Britt discovered that each of these regimes shared 14 different characteristics. Though some of these characteristics were more prevalent in different movements, they all provide a link to the existence of fascism. Here they are:

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. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and antigay legislation and national policy.

6. Controlled Mass Media -- Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, 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 is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

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 who 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 the assassination of) opposition candidates, the use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Sound like anyone we know?!

- ACL

11 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

ajbendaña said...

Sounds like were we are headed or maybe already are... who knows for sure.

Andre, do you buy into all the secret societies that are spoken of from time to time. Societies like the Masons, Skull and Bone, Illuminati? If so, whats your take on them. I have many friends who preach this stuff and some stuff fits some of it dont, but I tend to stay away from consipiracy theories cause of all the twist you can put on it.

I would say that the US goes 9 out of the 14, with 1,3,6,7 & 9 being the locks and 4, 8, & 13 coming to play in one way or another. Characteristis 8, 14 have show thier face in the last decade.

alex said...

Scary stuff, man.

I wonder how history will remember President Bush and this time period. Will the records call us a fascist nation?

I'm inclined to say yes.

thehc said...

Hey Andre,
Sounds like a liberal professor with an agenda fitting his reseach to a predraw conclusion to me. I once read an article concluding Ronald Wilson Reagan was the anti-christ, each of his names has 6 letters, so he is represented by 666. Wow, scary. Also written by a University Prof. We don't know anyone that would do something like that do we?

Andre said...

@ ajbendana: If this author's claims are correct, we may be paving the way for a new-aged fascist movement. I can only hope that he's off in his assessment (but, it's not looking too good...)

@ alex: I agree. It'll be interesting to see how the history books describe this time period. Since most of what we study is revisionist history (through the eyes a white men) anyway, I wonder what they'll make out of this.

@ Hipster: The Reagan/666 reference, to my knowledge, has been dismissed as some silly observation and has now turned into a running joke by progressive satirists and comedians (in fact, not too long ago, Aaron McGruder used this joke in one of his strips). But, as for the fascist ties: these claims have gone unchallenged. Unless someone can refute these arguments and dispel the striking similarities that were presented -- without manipulating facts -- I won't rule out the possibility that this guy is really on to something...

thehc said...

Hey Andre,
I agree most people now look at the reference I made as a joke. But ancient people (such as myself) remember when Reagan haters took it seriously. All I'm saying is both sides use propaganda to make people either hate or fear (in this case both) their opposition. I view all this stuff with a sceptical eye. If this truly were a regime (your side's word) headed for fascism the media wouldn't be attacking them day in and day out. When I see the media lockstep with the president and congress on every issue, I'll start to take this stuff seriously. A good thought provoking column though. Good media should question authority. A Democracy is where the government fears it's people.

Andre said...

Well, if you think about it, the media has been pretty jaded. I'm sorry, but slanted news is not limited to what you find on Faux News.

Just because every station is not out there doing exposes doesn't mean that they aren't giving the President and his administration "a pass" while he continues to f*** up.

By the way, the other guys are not 'my side'. I voted for Nader...

josh said...

Can you clarify something for me: If you're not liberal, then why do you buy into liberal propogranda? I'm just curious to know.

thehc said...

Sorry Andre,
Please change that to "the other side's word"

Andre said...

@ josh: I don't holistically support liberals because I believe they support agendas that keep Blacks as a permanent underclass; so too do conservatives.

As it relates to this "propoganda", (as I've stated before), unless these claims are successfully challenged AND refuted, you can't completely dismiss them; whether these views were a product of the left OR the right.

@ HC: No worries. I just wanted it to be known that I think that Dems and the GOP are equally as idiotic. I don't subscribe to any of their nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Where you get this guestbook? I want the same script.. Awesome content. thankyou.
»

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with your site, very nice graphics!
»