Sunday, October 12, 2008

take a memo to ourselves

after watching the tone of presidential politics this week past, i thought it might be wise to offer this important reminder of the signs of fascism:

caveat: this is not in any way a political statement or endorsement. i don't do that. (for an exellent history of fascism go here)

anyway, while surfing with google recently, i came across an important reminder from freelance writer, matthew lyons, who took the time to describe fascism. he writes that it is "a form of extreme...ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties."

he goes on to elaborate these additional ideas:
  • it emphasizes a myth of national or racial rebirth after a period of decline...
  • [it] calls for a "spiritual revolution" against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism...
  • [it] seeks to purge "alien" forces and groups that threaten the organic community...
  • [it] tends to celebrate masculinity, youth, mystical unity, and the regenerative power of violence...
  • [it] often, but not always...promotes racial superiority doctrines, ethnic persecution, imperialist expansion, and genocide...
  • [it] usually fascism espouses open male supremacy, though sometimes it may also promote female solidarity and new opportunities for women of the privileged nation or race...
  • it seeks to forcibly subordinate all spheres of society to its ideological vision of organic community, usually through a totalitarian state...
  • both as a movement and a regime, fascism uses mass organizations as a system of integration and control, and uses organized violence to suppress opposition, although the scale of violence varies widely...
  • [it] is hostile to Marxism, liberalism, and conservatism, yet it borrows concepts and practices from all three...
especially important for lyons is the idea that fascism is bred within a populist approach to politics. he writes: "fascism's approach to politics is both populist--in that it seeks to activate "the people" as a whole against perceived oppressors or enemies--and elitist--in that it treats the people's will as embodied in a select group."

elsewhere, i also found on the net the following as early warning signs:
  • Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
  • Disdain For Human Rights
  • Identification of Enemies As a unifying cause
  • Supremacy of the military
  • Rampant Sexism
  • Controlled Mass Media
  • Obsession With National Security
  • Religion and Government Intertwined
  • Corporate Power Protected
  • Labor Power Suppressed
  • Disdain For Intellectuals & and the Arts
  • Obsession With Crime & Punishment
  • Rampant Cronyism & Corruption
  • Fraudulent Elections