Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:41

Warning Signs of Fascism

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Early Warning Signs of Fascism

In 2003, Political Scientist Lawrence Britt published a paper indentifying the 14 warning signs of fascism.  Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet, and Suharto and found that they had these 14 defining characteristics in commion. 

These warning signs can also be found on display at the Holocaust Museum, as a reminder.


14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism

By Dr. Lawrence Britt

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 are 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.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 15:02

How to Really Make America Great Again

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Here's how we make America great again:

Raise the Minimum Wage - People with money in their pockets tend to spend it more freely, which is what drives the economy and generates tax revenue.  By making sure that workers get a more fair "piece of the action", we ensure that people have a surplus of cash instead of a deficit.  We must understand that without the work of labor there would be no corporate profit.

Strengthen Labor Unions - Strong unions bring benefits to all workers, as businesses must compete against union shops in order to draw the best workers.  When unions are strong, the middle class is strong.

Punish Tax-dodging Businesses - When megacorporations and the rich stash their money off-shore, or go through accounting gymnastics in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, that tax burden is shifted onto the American tax payer.  The businesses keep all the profits but unload their liabilities on the backs of the tax-payer, who receives no benefit in exchange.

End Corporate Welfare - Conservatives like to complain about the $35 a year the average person pays towards their own welfare insurance, meanwhile ignoring the $6000 they pay to subsidize Wal-Mart's payroll shortcomings.

Bring Manufacturing Jobs Home - As we transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, we will need skilled workers to manufacture solar and wind generator components and facilities.  These could be good paying manufacturing jobs; we just need to change how we think about "manufacturing".  Instead of working on an assembly line, think about manufacturing infrastructure instead.

Get Big money Out of Politics - Citizens United was the worst supreme court decision in history.  Corporations are NOT people and money is not speech.  Only people are people and only speech is speech.  Wealthy individuals and special interests should not be able to purchase politicians or elections.

End "Right to Work" Laws - These laws are meant for busting unions and allowing people to work for less.

These are just a few things we can do to get started towards making America great again!