Is the US Becoming Fascist?

some early warning signs
Update: Old American Century had the same idea, and they have a much better, more complete article which pretty much obsoletes this one.
Laurence W. Britt wrote about the common signs of fascism in April, 2003, after researching seven fascist regimes (Adolph Hitler's Nazi Germany; Benito Mussolini's Italy; Francisco Franco's Spain; Antonio de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal; George Papadopoulos's Greece; Augusto Pinochet's Chile; Mohamed Suharto's Indonesia). These signs resonate with the political and economic direction of the United States under Bush/Cheney:
  1. Powerful and continuing nationalism
  2. Disdain for human rights
  3. Identification of enemies / scapegoats as a unifying cause
  4. Supremacy of the military
  5. Rampant sexism
  6. Controlled mass media
  7. Obsession with national security
  8. Religion and governmment intertwined
  9. Corporate power protected
  10. Labor power suppressed
  11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
  12. Obsession with crime and punishment
  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
  14. Fraudulent elections
Add some observations from insomnia's livejournal:
"Fascism: 1. A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism." - The American Heritage Dictionary

"A dictatorship would be a lot easier." - G.W. Bush, Governing Magazine, 7/98.

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." - G.W. Bush,, December 18, 2000

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." - G.W. Bush, Business Week, July 30, 2001

Events / Examples

I hope to collect examples demonstrating the above concepts happening within the US in recent years. I know I've seen most of the things in this list happen at least a few times since Bush entered office, but I forgot what many of them were. Feel free to send me links and ideas, though. :)

Powerful and continuing nationalism

Dropping out of the United Nations was a nice touch, when they tried to actually be, um, ethical.

Disdain for human rights

One thing which comes to mind... the thousands of people in California who were put into concentration camps right after 9/11. Not only does it violate several basic human rights, but it's a tactic straight from Hitler. No dogs or Palestinians allowed?

Don't forget that Bush made a new record for executions when he was governor of Texas.

Identification of enemies / scapegoats as a unifying cause

This should be obvious, but apparently many people still don't know that there was no connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. So, tell me again why it was that the US forcefully invaded Iraq, and still continues to fight for control over it?

Supremacy of the military

Rampant sexism

Controlled mass media

Oi, there are a lot of examples here, if only I can find them again. They are, by their nature, not well-publicized.

Obsession with national security

This one should be obvious. I mean, have you seen the amount of "terror alerts" in the past few years, or paid any attention to military spending?

Religion and governmment intertwined

Bush appeals primarily to two groups of people: the rich, and the religious right. Now, there's nothing innately wrong with that, but a lot of people don't understand separation of church and state, and Bush uses that to his advantage by encouraging national political decisions based on religion rather than reason.

Whatever happened to the proposed laws banning gay marriage? And why should a religious belief be anywhere near the government? For that matter, I'd rather that marriage was handled strictly at religious or personal levels, leaving the government to deal only with civil unions.

Corporate power protected

Remember how, right after Bush entered office, the DoJ antitrust case against Microsoft was suddenly dropped?

Labor power suppressed

Unemployment sure reduces the power of the people, and Bush reigned over the biggest recession since the 1930's Depression. Just an observation.

Disdain for intellectuals and the arts

Obsession with crime and punishment

One thing which comes to mind is the thousands of people in California who were put into concentration camps right after 9/11.

Rampant cronyism and corruption

Enron is a good place to start. You can bet Bush would have done the same thing if he was in Ken Lay's place, and clever enough to think of it.

The events involving Cheney, Halliburton, and the oil fields smell sharply of corruption too. No, strike that -- it's downright obvious: Halliburton's former CEO, who still receives a hefty Halliburton salary, invaded a country, seized control of extremely valuable resources, and handed them over to his former company (along with a huge bonus check). Was he acting in the best interest of the US (and the world), or was he just pulling a massive greedy heist?

Fraudulent elections

To start with, there's the obvious example: Bush lost the election in 2000, yet got into office anyway.

So, what does this all prove? Nothing, really. Remember that the plural of anecdote is not data. However, it should also be noted that leaders should use their power wisely, not widely. Hopefully the contents of this page will be sufficient to help a few people question authority and raise a few eyebrows about what's been going on lately.
Last modified: July 22, 2006 @ 12:39 MDT
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