Ming the Mechanic:
Defining characteristics of fascism

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Defining characteristics of fascism2004-11-15 02:08
picture by Flemming Funch

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. He 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.

Hm, reminds me of something. Can't quite put my finger on it.

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15 Nov 2004 @ 03:22 by ov : 14 is popular
What a coincidence that you should bring up these fourteen points Ming, I had a dozen browser windows open and two of them contained similiar lists.

{link:www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_blackshirt.html|Umberto Eco} said this about Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt, back in 1995, and he is probably a little closer to it than most being Italian and all.

More recently is this list of fourteen points with corroboratory links to US current events brought to you by POAC {link:www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm|George W. Bush and the 14 Points of Fascism}, and I've just noticed now that this is Dr Lawrence Britt's list with annotations.  

15 Nov 2004 @ 06:09 by jstarrs : Interesting to find out what contents...
...a breeding ground for fascism has?
I think one of the first is a very unstable economy & government.  

15 Nov 2004 @ 08:23 by vaxen : Reminds you...
of something? Musolini, and his mistress, hanging from the gallows? Hitler working as an old Monk in South America? Scientology? Oops...Me? The Multiverse is infinite in its multiplicity of subtle nuance. Now expanding, now contracting. Does the operating static have such problems? Or is the operating static behind all these games?  

16 Nov 2004 @ 23:27 by Jon Husband @ : Reminds You Of ...
... j US t what might that be, now, Ming ?  

2 Dec 2004 @ 22:53 by Nathan @ : Islamofascism
The greatest threat of emerging fascism is found in Saudi Arabia and the future Palestine, Syria too. Their governments are all fascist and anti-Semitic  

3 Dec 2004 @ 00:34 by ming : Fascism
Well, fascism is more like when corporatism merges with a non-democratic government, excluding certain classes from having anything to say. Don't think it is the right word there. It is not a religioius thing. {link:http://www.couplescompany.com/Features/Politics/Structure4.htm|Theocracy} might be more suitable for islamic governments.  

28 Nov 2005 @ 02:09 by Fascio @ : Hurah
So many of these points make a good governemtn...sure removign some whoould make it a...VERY GOOD GOVERNMENT!  

30 Jan 2006 @ 22:23 by Thom @ : Defining characteristics of fascism
Very good point indeed. Just look at how fanatical and brainwashed the American people are, and how hostile they've become to outside influences and free speech, such as those 14 points you've just displayed. Just look at random forums on this internet and see how stuck-up some of them are.  

26 Feb 2006 @ 07:52 by Showkat Rahi @ : Imperialism with a new face
Today, we often comment about the atrocities that previous world leaders like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Bentio Mussolini have inflicted on people. When ever their name comes to our mind we feel they were very ruthless dictators, but we hardly introspect to see that those leaders were, are, and will be always present in this world like we have now. The leaders of the superpower countries are nothing less than those merciless dictators. If Hitler killed a particular coumminity or Stalin starved people to death, today's world leaders kill people on the whole, irrespectie of caste,creed, or religion. The most amazing fact is that the present day world leaders imitate and acknowledge those ruthless rulers as their role models( they obviously will not make it public). Wealth from poor countries is drained to the already rich countries which will in the future cause major de-stablization of the world. Human rights are voilated everywhere just as they were in the bygone days of Stalin and Hitler.  

12 Aug 2008 @ 04:32 by Tom Hearndon @ : Bogus 14 characteristics of fascism
First off, it is Laurence (not Lawrence) Britt. Secondly, he does not have a doctorate and he isn't a professor or social scientist. He is a retired corporate exceutive (!) who wrote a bad novel about "fascists" taking over the USA. The guy never studied any fascist regimes in fact, Franco, Hitler and Suharto were not fascists. Finally, to those of us who HAVE studied fascism, his 14 points are bogus as hell and designed to fit his own moronic concept of fascism. This is all typical of liberals: well-educated and ill-informed.  

10 Mar 2011 @ 08:51 by j4unumber1 @ : to Tom Hearndon
You only PRETEND to know something about fascism, Mr. Hearndon. Actually, Hitler was a fascist. The USA is leaning towards fascism as well, just as the conservatives and YOU want!  

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