Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

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Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby Hunter » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:51 pm

I would like to have a real, honest RI discussion about fascism, what it is and how you can recognize it. A lot of people like to throw that term around and even suggest America is or is becoming a fascist state. How do we know that to be true, what do you see in America today or coming in the future that makes you believe it is headed towards fascism and how does the average person, in simple layman's terms recognize it, what can we or will we see, in our everyday lives, if this is or is becoming a fascist state? How does fascism differ from communism?

Discuss and please provide simple easy to understand examples so that a 5 year old would be able to understand exactly what fascism is, once that is established we can move on to the more difficult aspects of it.


I will start with the common wiki definition of what fascism is and we can build on that:

From wiki:

Fascism ( /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2] Fascists seek elevation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity. They are united by suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical training, and eugenics.[3][4] Fascism seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture.[5]



This definition, while a good one, is complex and vague so lets dumb it down and make it more digestible and talk about real world actual experiences that one can expect in a fascist state.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby 2012 Countdown » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:09 pm

Fascism- Privatize profits for selected/connected co's, socialize losses/citizen pays?

Just an operational general characteristic though.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby justdrew » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:18 pm

fascism is just a subtype of Authoritarianism, a particular implementation of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism
Fascism promotes political violence and war as forms of direct action that promote national rejuvenation, spirit and vitality. Fascists commonly utilize paramilitary organizations to commit or threaten violence against their opponents.

The fascist party is a vanguard party designed to initiate a revolution from above and to organize the nation upon fascist principles.


What enables people to go along with it is Authoritarianism.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

What is Authoritarianism?
Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want--which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I=m going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.
We know an awful lot about authoritarian followers. In one way or another, hundreds of social scientists have studied them since World War II. We have a pretty good idea of who they are, where they come from, and what makes them tick. By comparison, we know little about authoritarian leaders because we only recently started studying them. That may seem strange, but how hard is it to figure out why someone would like to have massive amounts of power? The psychological mystery has always been, why would someone prefer a dictatorship to freedom? So social scientists have focused on the followers, who are seen as the main, underlying problem.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby Hunter » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:23 pm

I think privatization of things the state is usually responsible for is a very important characteristic of fascism. Benito M always said fascism was a merging of state and corporate power and we see a lot of that today in America, they are privatizing the military, the police, the prisons, they want to privatize social security and schools etc, so this is one sure way to recognize it and make an argument that the US is headed in that direction.


And what is the purpose of privatizing things like that? IMO it is simple, when these things are in the hands of corporations instead of the state/elected officials, you take away accountability and oversight. If they have police and military being run by private corporations they can get away with more corruption than they could with those things in the hands of the state and therefore subject to oversight by elected officials/the people.
Last edited by Hunter on Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby barracuda » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:23 pm

- cult of extreme nationalism

- totalitarian ambition

- expansionist imperialism

- fetishised masculinism

- blurred demarcation between the state and corporation
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby justdrew » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:26 pm

don't forget the constant claims of victimization, always looking for the latest 'stab in the back'
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby 82_28 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:27 pm

Capriciousness in law and how it is meted out. A general lack of concern, amidst the subjects for one another. Fear. A contradiction in simultaneously being for your nation but do everything you can to destroy it as corporations hollow it all out.

A government with a lack of empathy. A government with built in rules of empathy, but they remain rules, they don't emerge from the human heart, all the while remaining capricious enough to be incomprehensible yet set in stone.

Money and religion.

War.

Distrust.

Surveillance.

The State is more important than its many communities.

Total control over how the children are raised.

Rigidness and totally careless for those who do not have the means.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby Luther Blissett » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:32 pm

For a five-year old? I would say that one of the easiest ways to identify it would be to watch for ideas that run counter to humanism.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby Hunter » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:43 pm

All good stuff, keep it coming. I would also like to make a clear distinction of the differences between fascism and communism. A lot of people seem to use the two interchangeably and they really are not the same or are they, are the differences subtle enough that it really doesnt matter much?
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby barracuda » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:49 pm

Communism and fascism aren't alike at all.

Communism is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby brainpanhandler » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:50 pm

Alchemy wrote: Benito M always said fascism was a merging of state and corporate power


Actually, not only did he not always say that, he never said it, although you will find 1000s of cites to that effect. It's a misattribution. There is no original text wherein BM says fascism is the merging of corporate and state power.

I do agree however that fascism as it exists today seems to have the characteristic of a "blurred demarcation between the state and corporation" as Barracuda says.

I think it is safe to say that fascism is in some sense unfettered corporatism/capitalism. A fascist state only takes an interest in controlling corporations when there are direct interests to state power, while still propagandizing the virtue of liberty and freedom from regulation.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby Hunter » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:52 pm

That is good to know then, I have read that quote attributed to him in countless text books and on the net. Goes to show you cant trust much of what you read anymore. But the quote is pretty accurate in any case.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby brainpanhandler » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:56 pm

Alchemy wrote:That is good to know then, I have read that quote attributed to him in countless text books and on the net. Goes to show you cant trust much of what you read anymore. But the quote is pretty accurate in any case.


Another famous (and accurate) quote with questionable origins:

"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross." - ?

http://technoccult.net/archives/2010/03 ... g-a-cross/
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby DrEvil » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:11 pm

brainpanhandler wrote:
Alchemy wrote:That is good to know then, I have read that quote attributed to him in countless text books and on the net. Goes to show you cant trust much of what you read anymore. But the quote is pretty accurate in any case.


Another famous (and accurate) quote with questionable origins:

"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross." - ?

http://technoccult.net/archives/2010/03 ... g-a-cross/


Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "When fascism came to America, it came wrapped in the flag and waving a cross." ?
The US is not a fascist state yet, but many of the building blocks are in place. Corporations and Government becoming pretty much one and the same, the creeping police state, the war on whistle-blowers and wikileaks, the borderline religious worship of the military, the full-blown religious hatred of muslims, the financial crisis and future shock making more and more people look to strong, decisive leaders, the war on minorities drugs, etc.
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Re: Fascism: What exactly is it and how do you recognize it?

Postby Luther Blissett » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:18 pm

When one meets a self-appointed communist, they are almost assuredly nothing like an anything-appointed fascist. Historical communist regimes throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries strayed variably from communist ethos and ideology as put down on paper or discussed in university clubs. Communism is more like an optimistic expression of human evolution.
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