Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sound like anybody you know?

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
by Dr. Lawrence Britt

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.

An interesting note to end this article: As of January 2004, the United States fulfills all fourteen points of fascism and all seven warning signs are present. But we're not alone. Israel also fulfills all fourteen points and all seven warning signs as well. Welcome to the new republic, redefined, revised and spun. It is not too late to reverse this in either country, but it will be soon. The first step is realizing it. The second step is getting involved. As the propaganda slogan disguising our current war goes, "Freedom isn't free." But our war for freedom isn't abroad; it's here at home.


Jesse Harris said...

I call Godwin's Law FTW.

Jeremy said...

I'll second the invocation of Godwin's law and point out that Dr. Britt's article reflects a shocking level of ignorance of the actual terrors inherent in totalitarian styles of government doing us all a severe disservice.

J-Man said...

Are you two are saying the voucher referendum is dead because Miller put up a post based on a comment by anonymous that called Joseph Bast a fascist?

Anonymous said...

Godwin can take a flying leap!

Truth in Politics said...

Invocation denied.

Now to our next order of business.

Rob said...

J-man, keep your girdle on!

Anon, we don't encouraging flying without wings.

TP, Only the CEO can deny the invocation.

Invocation denied!

Now it's official.

lillith said...

Thank you for having the courage to post this. Comparing the current administration to Hitler tends to makes folks very uncomfortable (not matter their political leanings), but if one studies the rise of the Third Reich it is remarkably similar to what has happened in the U.S. in the last 6 years. Unchecked powers allowed unwinnable wars, abuse of prisoners, and concentration camps. I could go on and on.

Richard Watson said...

One of the first steps in changing a government into fascism is described in #9, Protecting Corporations. Hilter first formed his fascist government with a handful of private companies controlling the economy and they were making policy decisions in the government. Hitler became a dictator years later after this government was in place.
What is scary today is the move to privatize everything and the scare tactics of "socialism" by ideologues as they slowly weaken our voices. We the people need to stand up and not let a handful of people run our country while they rob us blind.

Cameron said...

Count me among the folks that think it's in incredibly poor taste to compare the United States to Hitler and the Nazis.

Rob said...


Who has compared the United States to Nazi Germany?

Harry Nilsson said, "We see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear"

I put up the 14 defining Characteristics of Fascism after reading a comment by anonymous who stated that Joseph Bast "seems to be a fascist di#$ head".

With that said, I do see Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as fascists, and that is why I included their names in the labels.

Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, PCE, and The Heartland Institute are not the United States. If they are then we are in big trouble.

Thanks for dropping by all the way from Magic Valley.

With every best wish,

Rob said...

I guess i missed Lillith's post, but even there she is only saying that there are similarities between what has happened in the U.S. over the last six years and how the Third Reich took control of Germany.

By the way, I think its in poor taste that KSL run Sean Hannity on the air five days a week, but that's life.

lillith said...

Rob, thank you for qualifying my statement. I am not comparing Bush to Hitler. I am comparing the current state of affairs to how a fascist government takes hold. There is way too much time spent scapegoating others and way too little time spent on the real concerns of government.

"First They Came for the Jews..."
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
-Attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller

Craig said...

Lillith that is one of my favorite quotes. Thanks for sharing it!

Cameron said...

To say that Hannity etc are like Hitler is to demean everything that happened to millions of people in Nazi Germany and the countries they conquered.

As evil as you may deem them, the groups that have been mentioned here are not out to murder millions of people.

lillith said...

Your comment makes little sense in the context of this discussion. Hitler and the Nazi party did not start out with the goal to murder millions of people. Their major platforms were they wanted Germany to no longer have to pay war reparations for WWI, they wanted to build a strong economy, and they wanted Germans to be proud to be Germans. The murders of millions happened after misguided policies and actions to meet these goals. An excellent book on what actually happened is "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a History of Nazi Germany."

Comparing Hannity to Hitler is actually quite accurate if you look at the rhetoric he spews without any basis in fact. When folks question his facts, he demeans them and calls them unpatriotic. Hitler was also an excellent oratorian that could inflame his listeners.