The Fascist propaganda is getting thick out there...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 01/24/2015 - 00:46

This is my first entry onto Fascism Watch....

I am the Fascist Hunter, a nickname given to me by a friend of mine. 

I have become more concerned than usual...the reason for that is that the Republican (Fascists) and Libertarian (Fascism-suborning) Parties have ratcheted up the Fascist propaganda. Too many people are not recognizing it. 

Let's begin with the listing of the 15 defining characteristics of Fascism. The first 14 are from the excellent article written by Laurence Britt for the Spring 2003 edition of Free Inquiry magazine. The last one was added by me on 21 September, 2014: 

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being... targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to... divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

8. Religion and government intertwined. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

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.

15. The leader/leaders of the regime were/are insaneInvariably, Fascist regimes were headed by dangerous psychopaths and supported by nearly as dangerous sociopaths. The ideological zealotry displayed by the leader/leaders of the regime were steeped in psychopathology, indicating their descent into insanity. 

Spoiler alert: the Republican Party in the USA has adhered to at least 11 of these since Ronald Reagan was President and adhered to ALL of them starting on 26 October, 2001, when George W. Bush signed the GOP-written and passed USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 into law. At least one of these defining characteristics (usually more) are behind everything they do and say. The reason Libertarians are only "Fascism-suborning" is that, while they're not straight Fascists, if a Libertarian form of government were established, it would eventually lead to a Fascist regime. The Libertarians have a concept known as "spontaneous order", where they claim that, when a Libertarian form of government is established, people will form groups (true) and will leave each other alone (pathetically and hilariously false). 

Remember these 15 defining characteristics of Fascism and keep them at the forefront of your mind when you read about or speak to Republicans and Libertarians. On a comment thread on another platform recently, someone began bad-mouthing unions, claiming that they're corrupt. It's an obvious sign of Fascist philosophy. In addition, this person also claimed that small businesses in the USA are being "killed by government regulation", which is also pathetically false. The defining characteristics of Fascism involved with that statement are Corporate Power Protected and Rampant Cronyism & Corruption. What really kills small businesses are big businesses, especially when big businesses get too big and are not regulated at all or regulated lightly.

Let's be careful out there....the Fascist propaganda is getting thick. 

 

Progressive Advances in the Past 100 Years

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Sun, 04/29/2018 - 19:07

This table is adapted from American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard. Any additional interpretation is mine and mine alone.

American Nations demonstrates how the United States is deeply divided along cultural boundaries, with Yankee Culture (New England, New York, The Midlands, and the Pacific Northwest) generally favoring progressive programs and the Dixie Culture (Deep South, Appalachia, and the Far west) adamantly opposed to all of these programs. Other pages on this site will go into more detail about how this cultural divide manifests in the US today and the results of this perpetual conflict between cultural alliances. A map illustrating the regional cultures can be found here.

 Issue

Right Wing/Dixie Culture Left Wing/Yankee Culture
 Abortion Rights/Reproductive Rights  Opposed Favor
 Accurate History  Opposed  Favor
 Anti-War  Opposed  Favor
 Atheism  Opposed  Allow
 Banning religion in schools  Opposed  Favor
 Biblical Criticism  Opposed  Favor
 Bill of Rights  Opposed  Favor
 Checks on Corporate Power  Opposed  Favor
 Child Abuse Prevention Opposed  Favor
 Child Labor Laws  Opposed  Favor
 Choice  Opposed  Favor
 Civil Rights  Opposed  Favor
 Critical Thinking  Opposed  Favor
 Democracy for All  Opposed  Favor
 Education (state-run, universal)  Opposed  Favor
 Energy Regulation  Opposed  Favor
 Environmental Protection  Opposed  Favor
 Equal Opportunity for All  Opposed  Favor
 Evolution  Opposed  Favor
 Fair Tax Structure  Opposed  Favor
 Feminism  Opposed  Favor
 Financial Regulation  Opposed  Favor
 Freedom from Oppression  Opposed  Favor
 Freethinking  Opposed  Favor
 Gay Marriage  Opposed  Favor
 Gay Rights  Opposed  Favor
 Green Movement  Opposed  Favor
 Intellectualism  Opposed  Favor
 Interracial Dating and Marriage  Opposed  Favor
 Justice for All  Opposed  Favor
 Labor Protection/Unions  Opposed  Favor
 Liberal Theology  Opposed  Favor
 Melting Pot  Opposed  Favor
 Milk for Children  Opposed  Favor
 Minimum Wage  Opposed  Favor
 Modern Art  Opposed  Favor
 Modernism  Opposed  Favor
 Multiculturalism  Opposed  Favor
 Playgrounds and Parks  Opposed  Favor
 Racial Equality  Opposed  Favor
 Science  Opposed  Favor
 Secular Humanism  Opposed  Favor
 Secularism  Opposed  Favor
 Separation of Church and State  Opposed  Favor
 Sexual Freedom  Opposed  Favor
 Social Justice  Opposed  Favor
 Social Safety Net  Opposed  Favor
 Temperance and Prohibition  Opposed  Favored 
 Universal Health Care  Opposed  Favor
 Urban Planning  Opposed  Favor
 Voting Rights  Opposed  Favor
 War on Poverty  Opposed  Favor
 Women's Rights  Opposed  Favor
 Women's Suffrage  Opposed  Favor
 Workplace Safety  Opposed  Favor

Nut Country: Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Sat, 01/21/2017 - 10:59
"On the morning of November 22, 1963, President Kennedy told Jackie as they started for Dallas, “We’re heading into nut country today.” That day’s events ultimately obscured and revealed just how right he was: Oswald was a lone gunman, but the city that surrounded him was full of people who hated Kennedy and everything he stood for, led by a powerful group of ultraconservatives who would eventually remake the Republican party in their own image.
 

No Depression in Heaven: The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Transformation of Religion in the Delta

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Fri, 01/20/2017 - 22:18

"In No Depression in Heaven, Alison Collis Greene demonstrates how the Great Depression and New Deal transformed the relationship between church and state. Grounded in Memphis and the Delta, this book traces the collapse of voluntarism, the link between southern religion and the New Deal, and the gradual alienation of conservative Christianity from the state.

The New Mind of the South

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Fri, 01/20/2017 - 22:07

"here are those who say the South has disappeared. But in her groundbreaking, thought-provoking exploration of the region, Tracy Thompson, a Georgia native and Pulitzer Prize finalist, asserts that it has merely drawn on its oldest tradition: an ability to adapt and transform itself.

Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Fri, 01/20/2017 - 20:24

"Giroux exposes the corporate forces at play and charts a clear-minded and inspired course of action out of the shadows of market-driven education policy. Championing the youth around the globe who have dared to resist the bartering of their future, he calls upon public intellectuals—as well as all people concer ned about the future of democracy—to speak out and defend the university as a site of critical learning and democratic promise."