Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fascism In America

The following is from a great post my comrade Mike over at 'Ascent To Dissent' has put up, & because I feel it's so important, as well as relevant to the current traits of our United States of America, I said that I would cross-post it here.
Dr.Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), & several Latin American regimes. Britt's research found 14 defining characteristics common to each. As you read down the list, see how all traits apply to the United States today.

1.) Powerful and Continued Nationalism: Fascism regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, & other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing & in public displays.

2.) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Because of fear of enemies & 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 goverment funding, & the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers & military service are glamorized.

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

6.) Controlled Mass Media: Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the goverment, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by goverment regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople & executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7.) Obsession with National Security: Fear is used as a motivational tool by the goverment over the masses.

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

9.) Corporate Power is Protected: The industrial & business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the goverment leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/goverment relationships & power elite.

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

11.) Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts : Fascist nations tend to promote & tolerate open hostility to higher education, & academia. It is not uncommon for professors & other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts & 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 & 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 & associates who appoint each other to goverment positions & use govermental power & authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources & even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by goverment leaders.

14.)Fraudulant 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, & manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.