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Fascism: A Closer Look

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I've recently come across a list of 14 identifiable characteristics of a fascist government. The list was compiled by Lawrence Britt in the Spring of 2003 for Free Inquiry magazine. I found an excerpt of his article on the internet at Veterans for Peace that I will reference for this post. They have an excellent introduction for the excerpt on their page, so I'll reproduce it here for you:
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.
I'm planning on going through the list to add links to various articles and web sites where applicable in the text. For example, let's say that he lists 'villianization of whistleblowers who expose government's illegal activities', I would add to it a hyperlink to a relevant piece by William Fisher titled At Spy Agencies, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished that goes into greater detail about that cited topic. Unfortunately for me, time has run short and I must be off. Look for the completed post tomorrow (time permitting). For now, I'll leave you with the fourteen main characteristics of fascism...
  • Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
  • Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
  • Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
  • Supremacy of the Military
  • Rampant Sexism
  • Controlled Mass Media
  • Obsession with National Security
  • Religion and Government are Intertwined
  • Corporate Power is Protected
  • Labor Power is Suppressed
  • Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
  • Obsession with Crime and Punishment
  • Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
  • Fraudulent Elections
On a side note, there's also an excellent flash post at that I found on this topic, too. Click here to watch it.


Blogger Difranco said...

Most of those characteristics are so off base:

Directly from the Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle, published in "The People of Italy", June 6, 1919

Italians! Here is the program of a genuinely Italian movement. It is revolutionary because it is anti-dogmatic, strongly innovative and against prejudice.

For the political problem: We demand:

a) Universal suffrage polled on a regional basis, with proportional representation and voting and electoral office eligibility for women.

b) A minimum age for the voting electorate of 18 years; that for the office holders at 25 years.

c) The abolition of the Senate.

d) The convocation of a National Assembly for a three-years duration, for which its primary responsibility will be to form a constitution of the State.

e) The formation of a National Council of experts for labor, for industy, for transportation, for the public health, for communications, etc. Selections to be made from the collective professionals or of tradesmen with legislative powers, and elected directly to a General Commission with ministerial powers.

For the social problems: We demand:

a) The quick enactment of a law of the State that sanctions an eight-hour workday for all workers.

b) A minimum wage.

c) The participation of workers' representatives in the functions of industry commissions.

d) To show the same confidence in the labor unions (that prove to be technically and morally worthy) as is given to industry executives or public servants.

e) The rapid and complete systemization of the railways and of all the transport industries.

f) A necessary modification of the insurance laws to invalidate the minimum retirement age; we propose to lower it from 65 to 55 years of age.

For the military problem: We demand:

a) The institution of a national militia with a short period of service for training and exclusively defensive responsibilities.

b) The nationalization of all the arms and explosives factories.

c) A national policy intended to peacefully further the Italian national culture in the world.

For the financial problem: We demand:

a) A strong progressive tax on capital that will truly expropriate a portion of all wealth.

b) The seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations and the abolition of all the bishoprics, which constitute an enormous liability on the Nation and on the privileges of the poor.

c) The revision of all military contracts and the seizure of 85 percent of the profits therein.

2:03 PM  

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