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The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism.


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#1 timothy

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 03:22 PM

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism


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.

Note

1. Defined as a "political movement or regime tending toward or imitating Fascism"--Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.

References

Andrews, Kevin. Greece in the Dark. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1980.

Chabod, Frederico. A History of Italian Fascism. London: Weidenfeld, 1963.

Cooper, Marc. Pinochet and Me. New York: Verso, 2001.

Cornwell, John. Hitler as Pope. New York: Viking, 1999.

de Figuerio, Antonio. Portugal--Fifty Years of Dictatorship. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1976.

Eatwell, Roger. Fascism, A History. New York: Penguin, 1995.

Fest, Joachim C. The Face of the Third Reich. New York: Pantheon, 1970.

Gallo, Max. Mussolini's Italy. New York: MacMillan, 1973.

Kershaw, Ian. Hitler (two volumes). New York: Norton, 1999.

Laqueur, Walter. Fascism, Past, Present, and Future. New York: Oxford, 1996.

Papandreau, Andreas. Democracy at Gunpoint. New York: Penguin Books, 1971.

Phillips, Peter. Censored 2001: 25 Years of Censored News. New York: Seven Stories. 2001.

Sharp, M.E. Indonesia Beyond Suharto. Armonk, 1999.

Verdugo, Patricia. Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death. Coral Gables, Florida: North-South Center Press, 2001.

Yglesias, Jose. The Franco Years. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1977.



An excellent overview of this can be found here.

The 14 Defining point's of Fascism.

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:59 AM

Here one must distinguish, it seems to be, between two definitions of fascism. The first is strictly historical, and applies to distinct governments and a period in history. There is a second use of the term, mostly pejorative, in which fascism is applied to a state of affairs instead of the more objective, less emotional, designation of totalitarianism.
The 14 defining points of Fascism, could be applied with equal relevance, for example, to Stalinist Russia or Maoist China.
To substitute the word fascisism for totalitarianism is to include a emotional subtext that can lead to obfuscation of discussion, and certainly a blurring of historical distinctions. Such a redefinition of Fascism is, I suggest, an example of the subtle ways politicians and demogogues attempt to hold language and (consequently) thought in their manipulative safekeeping. There is a difference between defining and redefining terms.
Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 14 June 2005 - 09:48 AM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.




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