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The 14 Characteristics of Fascism 
Dr. Laurence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and others.  Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

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.

Bush, Hitler, Fascism

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 ruling elite tied together. 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. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Encyclopedia Britannica definition of Fascism:
"Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority, and harsh suppression of dissent."

· 6/2/08 - Army to deploy in the U.S. (Posse Comitatus gone) (read).

· 6/3/08 - 34 Anti-Torture Activists Convicted for Protesting Gitmo Outside Supreme Court (read).

6/2/08 - Students Protesting Pesticide Use Tasered (read).

4/21/08 - Pentagon Propaganda Program Exposed
The New York Times has revealed new details on how the Pentagon recruited more than seventy-five retired military officers to appear on TV outlets as so-called military analysts ahead of the Iraq war to portray Iraq as an urgent threat. The Times reports the Pentagon continues to use the analysts in a propaganda campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.

· 4/3/08 - Bush administration suspended Fourth Amendment rights following 9/11 (read).

3/30/08 - 80 year old church Deacon arrested for wearing anti-war tshirt in a mall (read).

2/7/08 - More than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does (read).

1/8/08 - Eighty people were arrested at the Supreme Court in a protest calling for the shutdown of Guantanamo; they were charged with violating an ordinance that prohibits demonstrations of any kind on Supreme Court grounds (read).

· 1/8/08 - Rhode Island to test a tracking system by putting computer chips on grade-schoolers' backpacks (read).

12/27/07 - Tasers, Pepper Spray, and Arrests in the Struggle for Affordable Housing in New Orleans (read). (Watch video)

12/27/07 - FBI Effort Will Build Biggest Biometric Database (read)

· 12/14/07 - Man Who Flies Flag Upside Down Gets a Brick Through His Truck Window and a Rock Through His Daughter's Bedroom Window. (read)

12/6/07 - Anti-Bush protesters arrested for holding "Impeach Bush and Cheney" sign. (read)

· 12/6/07 - Anti-Torture Protesters in Arizona Jailed Without Bail.  A Catholic priest and a retired Catholic lay leader have been jailed without bail for taking part in a non-violent protest against U.S. torture practices. (read)

12/2/07 - Peace Group Barred from Florida Schools (but military recruiters are allowed). (read)

12/2/07 - US says it has right to kidnap British citizens. (read)

· 11/27/07 - FBI Improperly Using Patriot Act Surveillance Powers, ACLU Charges. (read)

11/23/07 - Firefighters taking new roles as "anti-terrorist" eyes of the US government. (read)

· 11/17/07 -  Boston police to search homes without warrants - Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search for guns in their children's bedrooms(read)

· 11/10/07 -  18 Veterans Arrested in Antiwar Protest (on Veterans Day). (read)
18 Veterans Arrested on Veterans Day

10/25/07 - More Than 755,000 on US Terrorist Watch List. (watch)

10/10/07 - Ron Paul signs not allowed at Florida man's house. (watch)

Gov't Trying to Silence DC Sept. Antiwar Protests

· Rev. Lennox Yearwood, organizer of upcoming DC protest, arrested and hospitalized at Petraeus hearing (watch video). Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin and 8 others also arrested at hearing (read)

Gov't trying to silence DC Sept. Antiwar protests. Iraq war vet arrested for putting up postersThree anti-war activists were arrested in front of the White House for putting up anti-war posters promoting the September 15 March and Die-In in Washington DC.  Those arrested include an Iraq war vet and the mother of an Iraq war vet [VIDEO]

· Government Fines ANSWER Coalition Another $10,350
One week after it filed a free speech lawsuit, the ANSWER Coalition received a second round of fines for $10,350 for posters promoting the September 15 March on Washington to End the War on Iraq. Previously, the ANSWER Coalition was hit with $10,000 fines for postering for their Sept. 15 march.

· The Troops Out Now Coalition has been informed that they will not be allowed to erect tents for their antiwar rally because suddenly, it has been decided that all of the areas on the Mall in DC where tents could be erected would be fenced off and would under go “re-sodding”.

· 9/21/07 -  Metro newspaper in NYC refused to run an ad headlined “Who is the Real Nuclear Threat” from the World Can’t Wait. (read)

· 9/20/07 -  The Senate voted to condemn an advertisement by the liberal anti-war group MoveOn.org that accused the top military commander in Iraq of betrayal. (read)

9/18/07 -  "Don't tase me bro": Univ. of Florida student arrested and tasered for asking questions at John Kerry speech. (watch)

9/5/07 -  CBS Early Show Removes Anti-War Protesters from View in Kansas City. (read)

· 8/23/07 -  White House Office of Administration says it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. (read)

8/17/07 - Man arrested for holding IMPEACH sign. (read)

8/14/07 - In an unprecedented action, the ANSWER Coalition received citations fining the organization $10,000 for the placement of posters announcing the September 15 March on Washington DC. The fines come after a campaign led by FOX news calling for the DC government to take action against those putting up posters for the September 15 demonstration. (read)

· 8/3/07 - Bush’s Executive Order on Lebanon Even Worse than the One on Iraq. Anyone who engages in any act—violent or nonviolent—against the government of Lebanon can now have his or her property frozen. And it also gives the U.S. Treasury Secretary the authority to freeze the assets of “a spouse or dependent child” of any person whose property is frozen. (read)

8/1/07 - Bush Invokes Executive Privilege for Rove in Attorney Firings (read)

· 7/31/07 -  Couple Terrorized, Assaulted and Arrested For Flying an Upside Down U.S. Flag (read)

7/29/07 - Bush’s Critics Say Threat of Martial Law in The United States is ‘Real’ (read)

· 7/25/07 - FBI Proposes Building Network of U.S. Informants (read)

Isn't this what dictators do?
Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

On at least four occasions while Bush has been president, Congress has passed laws forbidding US troops from engaging in combat in Colombia...

After signing each bill, Bush declared in his signing statement that he did not have to obey any of the Colombia restrictions because he is commander in chief.

''There is no question that this administration has been involved in a very carefully thought-out, systematic process of expanding presidential power at the expense of the other branches of government. This is really big, very expansive, and very significant." 

The Progressive Magazine - McCarthyism Watch

- Here Come the Thought Police. House passes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” House passed this 404-22 (see how they voted)
which may criminalize US citizens for their beliefs (read 1, 2, 3)

Today's Fascism in America

We Are All Prisoners Now
Paul Craig Roberts
Dec. 2007
We Are All Prisoners Now - Paul Craig Roberts

Naomi Wolf - "The End of America" - the U.S. is in a slow descent into fascism (listen to Democracy Now interview)

An Executive Order signed by Bush on July 17, 2007 titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" may provide the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.

· Former Reagan Lawyer: New Executive Order So Broad Even Senator Clinton’s Property Could Be Seized Over Iraq Policy Questions (8/3, listen).
· Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU said "This Executive Order reaches far beyond criminal activity to activity that may be entirely innocent. A person may find herself inadvertently in violation of this order and there is no provision for judicial review." (7/27, read).

· 7/25, listen to Libertarian Jacob Hornberger discusses the order (about the 40 minute mark)

· Washington Post article by Walter Pincus: "Be careful what you say and whom you help -- especially when it comes to the Iraq war and the Iraqi government" (7/23, read).

· Center for Research on Globalization: Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement (7/20, read)

· 7/19, listen to Thom Hartmann's interview with Paul Craig Roberts, an old-line conservative and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan].

Related: Bush’s Executive Order on Lebanon Even Worse than the One on Iraq
(8/3/07, read)

12/23/07 - A newly declassified document from 1950 shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty. (read)

7/25/07 - Univ. of Colorado professor Ward Churchill fired after 9/11 remarks (read)

· 7/14/07 - The White House Has a Manual for Silencing Protesters and Demonstrations.  "As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site." (read)

7/12/07 - "I don't think Congress ought to be running the war. I think they ought to be funding the troops." (read)

7/11/07 - Surgeon general was 'gagged by White House'. (read)

· 7/11/07 - President Bush ordered his former White House counsel, Harriet Miers, to defy a congressional subpoena and refuse to testify before a House panel investigating U.S. attorney firings. (read)

· 7/2/07 - Bush disregards judiciary process -- erases Scooter Libby's jail sentence. (read)

· 7/1/07 - Special Operations Prepared for Domestic Missions. (read)

· 6/26/07 - 'You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression' by Matthew Rothschild. (read)

5/22/07 - George Bush's Power Grab... Is Martial Law Coming? (YouTube)

· 7/1/07 - Anti-war Iraq vets arrested at military base after being told they could not wear 'political' tshirts. (read)

· 6/29/07 - ACLU Seeks to End Ban on Sale of Shirt Listing Iraq War Dead. (read)

· 6/22/07 - Is Vice President's Office Above The Law? (read)

· 5/26/07 - Protesters Barred From Cheney’s West Point Speech (read)

· 5/25/07 - George Bush's Power Grab - Is Martial Law Coming (Watch CSPAN video)

5/22/07 - Florida protester arrested for holding signs (read)

· 5/14/07 - 'Honk for Peace' Case Tests Limits on Free Speech (read)

5/13/07 - No more YouTube, MySpace for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (read)

5/2/07 - Protestors, media beaten by police in LA (read)

· 5/2/07 - The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer (read)

4/24/07 - Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps
From Hitler to Pinochet and Beyond, History Shows There Are Certain Steps That Any Would-Be Dictator Must Take To Destroy Constitutional Freedoms. And George Bush and His Administration Seem To Be Taking Them All

3/25/07 - NYPD spied on convention protest planners (read)

3/14/07 - ‘Loyalty’ to Bush and Alberto Gonzales Was Factor in Prosecutors’ Firings (read)

3/9/07 - FBI misused Patriot Act to obtain information on citizens (read)

2/19/07 - Making Martial Law Easier (read)

2/15/07 - Neo-Nazi rally in Orlando was organized by FBI informant (read)

1/25/07 - U.S. Military Spied on Hundreds of Antiwar Demos (read)

· 1/24/07 - Executive Order Expands Presidential Power Over Agencies - president given power to oversee and interfere with federal regulations on everything from warning labels on medicines to safety standards for construction worksites. (read)

· 1/18/07 - Pentagon: Hearsay enough to put suspected terrorists to death (read)

12/1/06 - The US plans this month to launch the nation's first airport screening system that takes potentially revealing X-ray photos of travelers (read)

· 12/1/06 - U.S. government quietly rates millions of travellers for terrorism potential (read)

· 11/21/06 - Six Muslim imams removed from U.S. airliner (read)

· 11/14/06 - Enterprise Terrorist Act which makes it a felony for animal rights activists to engage in non-violent protests that result in businesses losing money (read - scroll down)

· 11/13/06 - Bush: Immigrants may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism (read)

· 11/13/06 - Administration: Gitmo Detainees Have No Rights (read)

· 11/1/06 - US near the bottom of privacy study - determined to be an "extensive surveillance society,” (read)

· 10/24/06 - US Rank of Press Freedom Slides Lower (53rd) (read)

· 10/20/06U.S. admits (and defends) propaganda tactic in Iraq. (read)

· 10/12/06Pentagon Documents Uncovered by ACLU Shed New Light on Surveillance of Florida Peace Activists - Defense Department Tracked Quakers, Student Groups Nationwide. Report cites acts of civil disobedience and vandalism as cause to label anti-war protests as “radical” and potential terrorist threats. (read)

· 10/5/06 - Bush signings called effort to expand power - President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is an integral part of his "comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power."  Bush has used signing statements to challenge more than 800 laws that place limits or requirements on the executive branch, saying they intrude on his constitutional powers. By contrast, all previous presidents challenged a combined total of about 600 laws. (read) -- day after this report, Bush does it again (read)

10/4/06The U.S. government can continue to eavesdrop on Americans' overseas phone calls and e-mails until its appeal of a judge's ruling outlawing the surveillance is decided (read)

10/3/06Software Being Developed to Monitor Opinions of U.S. - the software would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas (read)

· 10/3/06A Denver-area man filed a lawsuit today after being arrested for criticizing Dick Cheney (read)

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 allows for torture and denies citizens their right to habeas corpus, which protects people from unlawful imprisonment. Almost anyone who actively opposes the President or the government could be locked up indefinitely.

A New York Times editorial described the law as tyrannical... its passage marks a low point in American democracy and that it is our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts (read); Senator Patrick Leahy said: "it’s Kafka", comparable to McCarthyism

How Senators voted, "Junking Habeas Corpus", "Rounding Up U.S. Citizens - A Constitutional Shredding"

· 9/29/06 - House OKs Expanded Wiretap Program (read)

· 9/29/06 - Hundreds Arrested in Week of Antiwar Actions (read)

· 9/29/06 - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales cautions judges against second-guessing the president in wartime (read)

· 9/26/06 - The Bush administration has blocked release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes (read)
Newsweek Oct 2 2006 Losing Afghanistan cover different in the U.S.
9/25/06 - Newsweek (left) removed its October 2,2006 cover story titled "Losing Afghanistan: The Rise of Jihadistan" from the American edition and replaced it with a story on photographer Annie Leibovitz. The Afghanistan cover story was maintained for European, Asian, and Latin American audiences (read)

· 9/19/06 - Atty Gen. Gonzales: Internet service providers must keep records on users (read)

· 9/18/06 - Congress Considering Strip Searching Students (read)

· 9/16/06 - IRS goes after church for anti-war sermon (read)

· 9/12/06 - Military Wants to Use Microwave Weapons on American Citizens (read)

· 9/9/06 - Ten South Florida journalists, including three with The Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper, received thousands of dollars from the federal government for their work on radio and TV programming aimed at undermining Castro (read)  [Publisher resigns over revelations]  [Report: U.S. paid many other journalists]

9/8/06 - Miami airport to train all 35,000 workers to spot suspicious people - even Starbucks coffee servers may be trained to watch travelers for suspicious movements (read)

· 9/8/06 - War's Critics Abetting Terrorists, Cheney Says (read)

· 9/8/06 - BYU professor put on leave over 9/11 claim (read)

Ironically, Bush & Rumsfeld Playing the Fascism Card

Bush Ties War on Terror to 'Fight Against Islamic Fascism' (8/30/06)

Rumsfeld likens Iraq war opponents to those who appeased Hitler (8/29/06)

14 Characteristics of Fascism


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