Saturday, December 6, 2008

Interactive project on the fourteen steps to fascism, eh? Updated with new links

In 2003, political scientist Lawrence Britt identified fourteen characteristics of fascism. The Old American Century website put together a compendium of ways in which the Bush regime matched these points. I thought it would be interesting to see how well Steven HarProrogue (TM) is doing.

The characteristics are listed below. I will add in a few links that I think demonstrate his adherence to the fascism two step. Feel free to add yours in the comments and I will update this post with them periodically. Sassy provides a Harper specific one: Megalomainia

  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. Coalition has no flags,
  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. Afghan torture

  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. Separatists in Coalition
    -This is part of an upcoming "separate" post - CV Get it? separate;)
  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. Military budget increases, Arctic sovereignty initative (h/t ruby)
  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. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy. Pay equity cuts

  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. (So many CTV references, so little time) Media control (h/t Beijing York & MoS)

  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. God bless Canada, Harper and the Theo-cons (h/t Beijing York)

  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. Protection of the oil sands over the environment (h/t ruby) ,

  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 . PSAC right to strike
    (h/t Paladiea)
  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 is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts. Harper's arts cuts in campaign

  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. Law and order agenda

  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. Asset sell off

  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. Not a Leader (site is gone), In and out
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Paladiea said...

A good example of "Labour Power is Suppressed" is the Conservatives proposing to axe the right to strike for unions.

ruby said...

How about the Arctic sovereignty trips for Obsession with National Security

ruby said...

Oil companies ahead of environment for Corporate Power is Protected

The Mound of Sound said...

I was really shaken at how complacent the Canadian public was when Harper gagged both the environment minister and defence department, requiring all communications by them with the public and our media to go through censorship screening and message filtering by commissars in the PMO. He turned them both into castrati for his partisan political advantage and, while the media whined momentarily, it was all business as usual within days.

As we've seen so often, Harper regards democracy as an obstacle to the advancement of his political ambitions.

Constant Vigilance said...

Thanks everyone.

Do you want to send any links to favourite articles?

Beijing York said...

Most fascist leaders have also had borderline personality disorders, such as narcissism and/or sociopathy.

Check this article out:

The Mound of Sound said...

Beijing is absolutely right on that. There generally is a powerful personality disorder on those driven to fascist leadership. That has an interesting connection to the article in today's TorStar about Harper's decidely odd personality traits

sassy said...

On the point of controlling mass media, the Star had an excellent 6 part series last May How Harper controls the spin (the sidebar on the Star article links to the rest of the series).

sassy said...

Megalomania (Harper specific)

"Never, ever, has someone who displayed these traits been a leader with the intention of doing something good. Never, ever, has a megalomaniac in power changed the world for the better."

(could link with any one of the points - your choice)

Beijing York said...

As for religion and government intertwined, one of the best articles on this was featured in The Walrus, Harper and the Theocons by Marci MacDonald.

Socially Active said...

Harper's gift is HATE.

And through hate and fear Harper hopes to be our great all powerfull leader. Harper is a radical conservative and helplessly cannot resist fascism and the unlimited power it would give him.