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The fourteen defining characteristics of Fascism

Dittohead not!

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How many can you identify in today's America?

Fourteen characteristics are as follows:


1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections
Who do you see as promoting one or more of the above characteristics? Why?
 

OscarB63

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1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - what's wrong with this?
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military - is this necessarily a bad thing?
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security - again, is this a bad thing?
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - nothing wrong with that
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - better than ignoring it
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections
 

tacomancer

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1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - what's wrong with this?
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military - is this necessarily a bad thing?
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security - again, is this a bad thing?
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - nothing wrong with that
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - better than ignoring it
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections
Oscar, I don't think the point is that these things are good and bad individually (even though some clearly are, others are more of a gray area), its the fact that when they come together strongly, they create a monster. However to answer your question specifically, I am fairly sure that when different people look at the points on this list, they bring in their own context.

For example, lets look at supremacy of the military. Are we talking about a society that honors the military or are we talking about a junta? Both are arguably within the realm of supremacy of the military, but a junta is obviously wrong while a society that honors the military is obviously not.
 
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OscarB63

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facism works...when properly applied. The trouble with facism, just as with communism and socialism, is that, due to the failings in human nature, it can never be properly applied.
 

tacomancer

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facism works...when properly applied. The trouble with facism, just as with communism and socialism, is that, due to the failings in human nature, it can never be properly applied.
No pure government really can though. All have their downsides and incompatibilities with human nature.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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What does supremacy of the military actually mean?
 

Dittohead not!

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What does supremacy of the military actually mean?
From the link in the OP:

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.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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As a Fascist myself, one might say that I have a keen interest in observing and even promoting these fourteen factors, or at least the majority of them. That said, I do not see any American organization effectively promoting a Fascist vision or program for our society, and I think the members of our political class have misused and outright abused the word so thoroughly that it is practically meaningless in normal conversation. Politicians and commentators belonging to either of our two main political parties each accuse the other of supporting "fascism" whenever they see a program that they disapprove of, and our only viable third party accuses everyone of either being "fascist" or "socialist" in more or less equal measure.

Likewise, I do not see the American government moving toward a Fascist system even incidentally. If anything, I would argue that it is generally headed in the other direction and that we are in more imminent danger of societal collapse, though if the government becomes sufficiently ineffective following the collapse we may very well see a resurgence of Fascist thought. The original Fascist governments, after all, were instituted in the aftermath of World War I, the Great Depression, and the rise of International Socialism.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
OscarB63 said:
what's wrong with this?
We have two significant political parties. We cannot even get a consensus of the members of either party to agree that American land, American jobs, and American wealth belong to American citizens. I would say the Republican Party has somewhat of an edge over the Democratic Party in this regard, but only barely considering the powerful influence of the Unions in the latter. There is a strong undercurrent of patriotism and national pride among the common people, but it is not reflected in the actions or philosophies of our nation's leaders. It has become trendy to display the flag, but how many people really consider the privilege of being an American something special and unique?

As could be expected, I consider this a positive trait in a healthy nation.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
If anything, I would say that we suffer from an overabundance of concern for human rights. We have expanded the rights of expression and assembly to support nearly any form of public indecency, we have fabricated-- with the assistance of the UN-- all manner of impossible and unreasonable human rights that violate our national sovereignty and in some cases the principles of good common sense, and nearly every political argument in America hinges on some perceived notion of rights or entitlement. The former administration said some disturbing things about the supposed "human rights" of our enemies in the War on Terror, but actual abuses were extremely limited in scale and largely the result of unprofessional individuals, which were duly investigated and prosecuted.

Relating back to the first point, we are so concerned with the "human rights" of criminal invaders and their offspring that we're not even willing to enforce our own laws and our Federal government sues State agencies that attempt to do so.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
Our enemies are too nebulous to properly identify and our leaders keep reminding us that the most likely scapegoats aren't our enemies. Our leaders are constantly urging us to tolerance.

4. Supremacy of the Military
OscarB63 said:
is this necessarily a bad thing?
The anti-war protesters are a little bit better than they were forty years ago, but military service is still a long way from being a prestigious career. The way they are misused by civilian authorities shows a profound disrespect for military professionalism and prowess, in my opinion. I agree with Oscar that this is not necessarily a bad thing, and indeed I believe that the military should be more involved in the government's decision-making processes. The mishandling of the war in Iraq by civilian officials underlies the importance of giving the military more autonomy in its own affairs and more authority in matters of national security.

5. Rampant Sexism
There are lingering issues, but overall American society is liberal in this regard. Is this really an identifying characteristic of Fascism, however? It seems to me that all of the definitive Fascist regimes were no more sexist than was to be expected for their time and place. The rise of Italian Fascism took place at the same time that the United States started seriously considering the issue of allowing women to vote.

6. Controlled Mass Media
The mass media is controlled, but certainly not by the government. It is controlled by multinational corporations that are largely not held accountable to State interests.

7. Obsession with National Security
OscarB63 said:
again, is this a bad thing?
Yeah, I would say this is an accurate description of America at present. The World Trade Center attacks really put rabbit's blood in us, far out of proportion to the lives lost or damage done. On the other hand, back to my earlier points... where the Hell is the border security? That's one of the most basic functions of the State and we've dropped the ball so hard we can't even find it anymore.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Not even close. Politicians with religious convictions use those convictions to help inform their policy stances, but that is to be expected under any governmental system. There is a worrying trend among religious fundamentalists attempting to infiltrate the military and subvert it to their own evangelical and theological ends, but at this point they do not exert any real control.

9. Corporate Power is Protected
Absolutely. It's been that way since before Lincoln.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed
The Unions have so much power that in some States there are actually laws put in place establishing that people have the right not to belong to a Union. The only piece of serious Union business currently before the government involves whether or not the Unions should be given even more power.

Personally, I do not see this as a defining characteristic of Fascism as long as the Labor Unions, like the Corporations, are required to operate under the guidance of the State.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
OscarB63 said:
nothing wrong with that
American as apple pie. Once upon a time, there was a group of Americans who called themselves the Know-Nothings as if it were something to be proud of. I would also like to draw a distinction between "disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts" and the much more sensible and practical disdain for the subversives in academia and the disgusting filth that passes itself off as much of modern art. Our entire institution of higher learning was hijacked by anti-American radicals in the Sixties and Seventies and they are still in control of it. It's also worth remembering that nearly every controversial artwork-- "art" that was nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to assault the sensibilities of the viewers-- was not only permitted and displayed, it was subsidized by the government.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
OscarB63 said:
better than ignoring it
This one is clearly present. Most Americans would find it nearly impossible to believe that the crime rate is much lower than it was fifty or sixty years ago, and any attempts at reform of the prison system in order to make it a more functional institution-- such as psychologically effective rehabilitation programs-- is dismissed as being "soft" on crime. On the other hand, this principle often rubs up against our overweening concern for human rights, and when the two principles collide, human rights almost always turns up victorious at the expense of lawful order and decent society.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
I'd say this is more a defining characteristic of government than of Fascism in specific. Also, thoroughly present in the American government.

14. Fraudulent Elections
The election process in this country is a farce. Elections have been almost wholly fraudulent since long before I was born. This is, in fact, one of the reasons that I am a Fascist-- because I have seen firsthand the evidence of the fact that democracy does not work.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Moderator's Warning:
I'm sorry, people. I think I may have accidentally closed this thread when I posted to it last time.
 

Dittohead not!

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Moderator's Warning:
I'm sorry, people. I think I may have accidentally closed this thread when I posted to it last time.
I thought you just wanted to get in the last word.

Seriously, you consider yourself a fascist? No kidding, or is that kind of tongue in cheek?

Re #7, you have made a good point. Just where is the border security? Yet, national security seems to be a priority, or at least that's what the government says.

Re #4: Just even suggest cutting back the military, even intimate that perhaps we could do with fewer troops in, say, Germany, or that we really don't have to spend nearly half the world's military budget to be safe from attack, and watch the sharks start to circle. Cutting the military is one of several "third rails" of politics.

Re #12: We currently have more people incarcerated than any other nation on Earth. Do you see that as a problem, or is it a good thing? Certainly, it is better than having criminals on the streets, but why so many? Are our citizens more crime prone, or does it have something to do with our justice system?
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Seriously, you consider yourself a fascist? No kidding, or is that kind of tongue in cheek?
My user name's brown and the symbols underneath it are fasces. My political principles align, nearly word for word, with those expressed in The Doctrine of Fascism as written by Mussolini in 1932, save that I do not consider Catholicism (nor any other form of Christianity) to be an ideal theological companion to the ethics of the Fascist State. I believe in the State's sacred duty toward the moral indoctrination of the People, and that in order to fulfill this duty its influence must be felt in every aspect of public life.

Re #12: We currently have more people incarcerated than any other nation on Earth. Do you see that as a problem, or is it a good thing? Certainly, it is better than having criminals on the streets, but why so many? Are our citizens more crime prone, or does it have something to do with our justice system?
It is a bad thing. Many of the people currently in prison should be free, and many more should be dead. I believe that our problem with crime is that we are so obsessed with our notions of punishment and retribution that we have long neglected the re-educational purpose of the prison system. Not only do we fail to rehabilitate most prison inmates, we make only the merest token efforts to do so. We are also nowhere near sufficiently aggressive in our efforts to destroy and disband gangs-- either in the streets or in the prisons-- and many of our citizens and foreign residents live in fear of international criminal cartels whose power largely goes unchecked while we engage in foolish military adventurism in the Middle East. Contrary to popular opinion, our crime rate is nearly at an all-time low, but it could very well be lower still if we reformed the prison system in both its methodologies and its purpose and if we had the political will to break the backs of the criminal cartels, both domestically and internationally.
 

Dittohead not!

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My user name's brown and the symbols underneath it are fasces. My political principles align, nearly word for word, with those expressed in The Doctrine of Fascism as written by Mussolini in 1932, save that I do not consider Catholicism (nor any other form of Christianity) to be an ideal theological companion to the ethics of the Fascist State. I believe in the State's sacred duty toward the moral indoctrination of the People, and that in order to fulfill this duty its influence must be felt in every aspect of public life.



It is a bad thing. Many of the people currently in prison should be free, and many more should be dead. I believe that our problem with crime is that we are so obsessed with our notions of punishment and retribution that we have long neglected the re-educational purpose of the prison system. Not only do we fail to rehabilitate most prison inmates, we make only the merest token efforts to do so. We are also nowhere near sufficiently aggressive in our efforts to destroy and disband gangs-- either in the streets or in the prisons-- and many of our citizens and foreign residents live in fear of international criminal cartels whose power largely goes unchecked while we engage in foolish military adventurism in the Middle East. Contrary to popular opinion, our crime rate is nearly at an all-time low, but it could very well be lower still if we reformed the prison system in both its methodologies and its purpose and if we had the political will to break the backs of the criminal cartels, both domestically and internationally.
OMG! I'm pretty sure you're right about all of that. Does that make me a fascist, too?:shock:
 

justabubba

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As a Fascist myself, one might say that I have a keen interest in observing and even promoting these fourteen factors, or at least the majority of them. That said, I do not see any American organization effectively promoting a Fascist vision or program for our society, and I think the members of our political class have misused and outright abused the word so thoroughly that it is practically meaningless in normal conversation. Politicians and commentators belonging to either of our two main political parties each accuse the other of supporting "fascism" whenever they see a program that they disapprove of, and our only viable third party accuses everyone of either being "fascist" or "socialist" in more or less equal measure.

Likewise, I do not see the American government moving toward a Fascist system even incidentally. If anything, I would argue that it is generally headed in the other direction and that we are in more imminent danger of societal collapse, though if the government becomes sufficiently ineffective following the collapse we may very well see a resurgence of Fascist thought. The original Fascist governments, after all, were instituted in the aftermath of World War I, the Great Depression, and the rise of International Socialism.




We have two significant political parties. We cannot even get a consensus of the members of either party to agree that American land, American jobs, and American wealth belong to American citizens. I would say the Republican Party has somewhat of an edge over the Democratic Party in this regard, but only barely considering the powerful influence of the Unions in the latter. There is a strong undercurrent of patriotism and national pride among the common people, but it is not reflected in the actions or philosophies of our nation's leaders. It has become trendy to display the flag, but how many people really consider the privilege of being an American something special and unique?

As could be expected, I consider this a positive trait in a healthy nation.



If anything, I would say that we suffer from an overabundance of concern for human rights. We have expanded the rights of expression and assembly to support nearly any form of public indecency, we have fabricated-- with the assistance of the UN-- all manner of impossible and unreasonable human rights that violate our national sovereignty and in some cases the principles of good common sense, and nearly every political argument in America hinges on some perceived notion of rights or entitlement. The former administration said some disturbing things about the supposed "human rights" of our enemies in the War on Terror, but actual abuses were extremely limited in scale and largely the result of unprofessional individuals, which were duly investigated and prosecuted.

Relating back to the first point, we are so concerned with the "human rights" of criminal invaders and their offspring that we're not even willing to enforce our own laws and our Federal government sues State agencies that attempt to do so.



Our enemies are too nebulous to properly identify and our leaders keep reminding us that the most likely scapegoats aren't our enemies. Our leaders are constantly urging us to tolerance.




The anti-war protesters are a little bit better than they were forty years ago, but military service is still a long way from being a prestigious career. The way they are misused by civilian authorities shows a profound disrespect for military professionalism and prowess, in my opinion. I agree with Oscar that this is not necessarily a bad thing, and indeed I believe that the military should be more involved in the government's decision-making processes. The mishandling of the war in Iraq by civilian officials underlies the importance of giving the military more autonomy in its own affairs and more authority in matters of national security.



There are lingering issues, but overall American society is liberal in this regard. Is this really an identifying characteristic of Fascism, however? It seems to me that all of the definitive Fascist regimes were no more sexist than was to be expected for their time and place. The rise of Italian Fascism took place at the same time that the United States started seriously considering the issue of allowing women to vote.



The mass media is controlled, but certainly not by the government. It is controlled by multinational corporations that are largely not held accountable to State interests.




Yeah, I would say this is an accurate description of America at present. The World Trade Center attacks really put rabbit's blood in us, far out of proportion to the lives lost or damage done. On the other hand, back to my earlier points... where the Hell is the border security? That's one of the most basic functions of the State and we've dropped the ball so hard we can't even find it anymore.



Not even close. Politicians with religious convictions use those convictions to help inform their policy stances, but that is to be expected under any governmental system. There is a worrying trend among religious fundamentalists attempting to infiltrate the military and subvert it to their own evangelical and theological ends, but at this point they do not exert any real control.



Absolutely. It's been that way since before Lincoln.



The Unions have so much power that in some States there are actually laws put in place establishing that people have the right not to belong to a Union. The only piece of serious Union business currently before the government involves whether or not the Unions should be given even more power.

Personally, I do not see this as a defining characteristic of Fascism as long as the Labor Unions, like the Corporations, are required to operate under the guidance of the State.




American as apple pie. Once upon a time, there was a group of Americans who called themselves the Know-Nothings as if it were something to be proud of. I would also like to draw a distinction between "disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts" and the much more sensible and practical disdain for the subversives in academia and the disgusting filth that passes itself off as much of modern art. Our entire institution of higher learning was hijacked by anti-American radicals in the Sixties and Seventies and they are still in control of it. It's also worth remembering that nearly every controversial artwork-- "art" that was nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to assault the sensibilities of the viewers-- was not only permitted and displayed, it was subsidized by the government.




This one is clearly present. Most Americans would find it nearly impossible to believe that the crime rate is much lower than it was fifty or sixty years ago, and any attempts at reform of the prison system in order to make it a more functional institution-- such as psychologically effective rehabilitation programs-- is dismissed as being "soft" on crime. On the other hand, this principle often rubs up against our overweening concern for human rights, and when the two principles collide, human rights almost always turns up victorious at the expense of lawful order and decent society.



I'd say this is more a defining characteristic of government than of Fascism in specific. Also, thoroughly present in the American government.



The election process in this country is a farce. Elections have been almost wholly fraudulent since long before I was born. This is, in fact, one of the reasons that I am a Fascist-- because I have seen firsthand the evidence of the fact that democracy does not work.
came across this prescient interview with Frank Zappa, followed by a much more recent one of Ron Paul
i believe both were astute observers of American trends, which causes me to disagree with the point highlighted above. take a look and judge for yourself:
 

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I agree with Representative Paul about the encroaching power of the corporation in American society, but I think he is missing a point that is essential to the Fascist character-- nationalism. The corporations that are assuming more and more direct control over American government are multinational, international, globalist capitalist concerns; we are sacrificing American interests for globalist interests.
 

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1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Nationalism is fine as long as it doesn't promote a sense of arrogance or belief that one is inherently better than another because of their nationality.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
I think we're doing pretty good on the Human Rights front. It that sense we are pretty liberal compared ot the rest of the world.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
Only examples I can think of are illegals and Islam.

4. Supremacy of the Military
What does this mean? Our military has a proud tradition of the military being under civilian control. Certainly our military usually isn't in the business of creating policy.

5. Rampant Sexism
Again we're pretty liberal when it comes to this. I don't see this as a huge problem in America.

6. Controlled Mass Media
Controlled by whom? Mass media for the most part have always been in the hands of private interests.

7. Obsession with National Security
This I think is a problem. Our national security apparatus is bloated beyond all reason, is bureaucratically inefficient, and arguably our national security strategy doesn't make us all that much safer in the very long term.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Nope, don't see it.

9. Corporate Power is Protected
When is corporate power not protected?

10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Don't know if "suppressed" is the right word. Labor Unions have both their positive and negative aspects.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
hmm. not sure.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
crimes should be punished.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Compared to the rest of the world we're doing pretty well on this front.

14. Fraudulent Elections
No.
 

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Here' in the old country we have the feeling of encroaching fascism. Anyone see any parallels?

 
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