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This is from 9.5 years ago. The scary thing is it feels more threatening now than it did then.


Free Inquiry Magazine, Spring 2003

Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism which appeared in Free Inquiry magazine -- a journal of humanist thought. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

The article is titled 'Fascism Anyone?', by Lawrence Britt, and appears in Free Inquiry's Spring 2003 issue on page 20.

The 14 characteristics 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 anti-gay
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.


Did it just get chilly in here or is it just me?



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2012 07:31 am (UTC)
Actually, among my peers* the US is since a long time considered to be a quite facist country with all the military love, patriotism, corporate love, abortion laws etc. Certainly way, way more facist than, say, germany these days.

* = people my age group in higher education
Aug. 27th, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)
The USA is far more fascist in those ways than Germany, and has been for years, certainly based on these points. So, yes, I agree with your peers.

President Obama has done nothing to relieve this, and in fact has contributed to it in a way, and that does disturb me that we haven't made any significant progress away from this model.

But it feels like that door is going to slam shut if he doesn't get re-elected because my vision of the USA with Romney running it follows the 14 points every step.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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