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The Caution Curves
Chuck Bettis
The Cutest Puppy in the World

Learn About the 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascist Regimes

" Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes
of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco
(Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin
American regimes. Britt found 14 defining
characteristics common to each:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality
are suppressed and the state is represented as the
ultimate guardian of the family institution.

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.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is
used as a motivational tool by the government over the

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.

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

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.

(Source: The Fourteen Defining Characteristics
of Fascism, Dr. Lawrence Britt, Spring 2003, Free
Inquiry) "

Added by bena_dc on March 28, 2007

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