If the shoe fits…

If the shoe fits…

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

A professor, Dr. Lawrence Britt, made a detailed study of the fascist regimes of Hitler, in Germany, Mussolini, in Italy, Franco in Spain, and Suharto in Indonesia.

Dr. Britt discovered there are 14 characteristics common to each of these regimes.

Here is what he found:

1. These regimes make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs and other paraphernalia. Flags are everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothes and in public displays.

2. Disdain for human rights—Because they are fearful of enemies and concerned about security, fascists believe human rights can be ignored in certain instances because of need.

3. Enemies or scapegoats are identified as a unifying cause—People are whipped into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived threat: racial, ethnic, liberals, Jews, Muslims, terrorists and so on.

4. Supremacy of the military—Even if there are proliferating domestic problems, a very disproportionate share of government finances go to the military while the domestic agenda is neglected. The military is glamorized.

5. Sexism—Fascist regimes tend to be nearly exclusively male. Under such governments, gender roles are more rigid and the state suppresses divorce, abortion and homosexuality.

6. Controlled media. Sometimes the media are directly controlled by the government, while in other cases, they are manipulated by government regulations or by sympathetic owners and executives. Censorship is common.

7. Obsession with national security—The government uses fear as a tool to control the masses. Terror alerts are an example.

8. Religion and government are entwined. Fascist governments tend to use the nation’s most dominant religion as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Government leaders use religious terms and rhetoric even when government policy is completely opposed to the religion’s dogmas.

9. Corporate power is protected—In fascist countries the corporations are the ones who put the leaders into power, thus creating a symbiotic relationship and a power elite.

10. Labor power suppressed—Unions are a major threat to fascists, so they are either eliminated or severely restricted.

11. Arts and intellectuals are scorned—Fascists promote open hostility to higher education and scholarship. Professors and other academics often are arrested. Free expression is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with punishment—Fascist regimes give police nearly limitless enforcement powers. There may be a national police force. People often are willing to overlook police abuses and even give up their civil liberties in the name of patriotism.

13. Rampant corruption—Fascist regimes nearly always are governed by groups of cronies who appoint each other to government positions and use their power to protect their friends from accountability. National treasures and resources may be stolen by these officials.

14. Fraudulent elections—Voting in fascist nations may be a complete sham. In other instances, elections are manipulated through smear campaigns or outright murder of opposing candidates or the use of legislation to control boundaries of political districts and manipulation of the media in reporting the outcome. Fascist regimes also use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Anything here seem familiar? The handwriting is on the wall.

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