Thursday, December 16, 2004

64.2857 Percent Fascist

Interesting series of three posts at Democrappy (via Jo Miller), in which the author considers how closely the current U.S. administration matches to a checklist of basic characteristics of fascist regimes. These posts are on the long side, but worth reading in their entirety. Here's a summary of his scores (0, ½, or 1).

Part One
  1. [½] Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
  2. [1] Disdain for the importance of human rights
  3. [½] Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
  4. [1] The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
  5. [½] Rampant sexism

Part Two
  1. [0] A controlled mass media
  2. [1] Obsession with national security
  3. [1] Religion and ruling elite tied together
  4. [½] Power of corporations protected
  5. [0] Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

Part Three
  1. [½]Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
  2. [1] Obsession with crime and punishment
  3. [1] Rampant cronyism and corruption
  4. [½] Fraudulent elections

He goes on to conclude,
a grand total of 9 out of 14. Which I suppose means the U.S. is 64.2857 percent fascist...

the U.S. is the strongest, most advanced (and arguably most culturally diverse) liberal-capitalist society in history. Fascism has often (if not always) taken root in capitalist societies, but it is arguable none of them ever was as liberal (in the classical sense of the term) as the U.S.

So what I think this means is that the liberal character of U.S. politics and culture may be one of the strongest bulwarks against the development of full-blown fascism.


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