12 Nov 2009

Identifying a Fascist state

This morning I was sent an interesting link by a friend. Entitled “Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism”, Dr. Lawrence Britt identified some of the characteristics by examining several fascist regimes.

It is interesting that I identified the following points I consider to be applicable to the PNM and Pa-trick's governance. Keep in mind that these are only what I consider, and to get the rest of the list you need to click the link above.

  • 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. (I wonder if the cost of the flag, example $2 million, has anything to do with it? Isaac Gary Hunt did speak of nationalism, did he not?)
  • 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. (I know, you are saying that there is not so much of this at the moment but there are certain clues that point to this coming).
  • 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. (Again, this is the sort of grey area).
  • 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. (Uh huh, we are seeing definite signs of this).
  • 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. (We can see the increasing religiosity in our great great leader).
  • 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. (Anyone see Andre Montiel, Salybia & Boynes, etc).
  • 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. (One word – Imbert-cile).
  • 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. (Do I really need to comment here?).
  • 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. (Don't forget, using strong-arm tactics by community leaders, promising land to community leaders, giving lucrative contracts to community leaders... my head hurts, you fill in the rest).
So out of 14 identifiable characteristics of Fascism, I have clearly identified 9. I suppose other readers may identify some of the other 5.