We are seeing the rise of fascism all over the world. What is it? What is its appeal to ordinary people?
Are they just duped by the propaganda?
Do they like the simple black and white principles?
Do they see it as strong decisive leadership?
Do they want to be part of something they see as powerful?
Do they support it out of fear?
I was watching Mike Malloys 14 characteristics of Fascism. That was scary.
One can clearly see the way that Putin and Xi clearly operate fascist states. What is more worrying is the way that countries like the USA, UK and France are heading down the same road. Democracy is clearly being manipulated and usurped.
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
- Nationalism – nationalistic slogans, flags, symbols and emblems are splattered everywhere.
- Human Rights – human rights are ignored. Fear is ratcheted up and enemies are identified and dehumanised so that it is OK to deploy incarceration, violence and even torture.
- Identification of Enemies – these scapegoats may be immigrants, refugees, ethnic minorities, racial groups, liberals, communists or cultural minorities. They are portrayed as a threat and built up to induce fear and hate. They are portrayed as terrorists, rapists, criminals, morally corrupt drug dealers or simply people, who breed like rabbits, and are intent on usurping the national culture.
- Supremacy of the Military – the army, secret police and goons are deployed to suppress opposition and control all expressions of dissent. The goons are funded even when domestic needs are neglected.
- Sexism – the rights of women and minority sexual groups are severely repressed. Abortion is banned. There is suppression of gay and trans rights.
- Control Of The Mass Media – either directly or indirectly. The bringing in of censorship and pumping out of propaganda.
- National Security Obsession – The state is under threat from spurious political/social/religious/cultural groups. Fear is ramped up. Hate is ramped up. These groups must be opposed and eradicated. They are the enemy within.
- Crime and Punishment Obsession – the police need added powers in order to control the threats from within and establish law and order.
- Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – state funds are appropriated and misused. They are dolled out to friends and supporters. Supporters are rewarded royally. Stolen money is used to support actions that bolster the state (media, business etc.).
- Fraudulent Elections – elections are rigged with voter suppression in opposition areas, smear campaigns, false claims, control of actual voting, making it extremely difficult for the opposition to vote and easy for supporters, alterations in regional boundaries and manipulation of the media. Votes cast can be ignored or manipulated.
- Religion is Deployed – even when the tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the violence, abuse, suppression, inequality and moral corruption of the regime. Religion is used as a basis to motivate and becomes intertwined with government.
- Corporate Power – corporations are protected and rewarded for the mutual benefit of the elite. The power and wealth are streamed to this elite.
- Labour Power is Suppressed – the people are the only force that can effectively undermine the regime hence their power is reduced. Corporations deunionise, laws are passed to make unions ineffective, propaganda is deployed to manipulate workers and make them docile.
- Disdain for Intellectuals, Music and Art – intellectuals and artists can be a focus for opposition and arouse the people to oppose the regime. There is open hostility and undermining of all experts, encouragement of conspiracy and superstition, attack on freedom of expression and defunding of art and academia. All rebellion is sidelined.
I would add this fifteenth and sixteenth to Mike Malloy’s list:
15. Dumbing Down and Distraction – There is a distinct dumbing down in literature, art, TV and education. Trivial distraction is used to prevent people from engaging with what is really going down. Alcohol and drugs are encouraged. Programmes that expose or investigate in any depth are discouraged, banned, defunded, sidelined or debunked.
16. Education – The history books are rewritten, the curriculum reduced, the syllabi restricted and education turned into career fodder. Creativity and thinking are discouraged. Propaganda is deployed. Students are brainwashed.
We see this with Xi and Putin, Le Pen, Bolsonaro, Johnson, Trump, Erdogan, Modi, Oban and numerous others.
We fought a world war against the fascism of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco. Now it is coming in through the backdoor.
How far down this road are we in the UK and USA?? If Trump had been elected again would we have said goodbye to democracy in the USA? I think so. With Johnson spouting nationalistic nonsense of global Britain and Brexit, taking over the media, loading the BBC, taking over Channel 4, controlling the newspapers (Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Times, Telegraph), suppressing protest, pumping out propaganda, using corruption and sleaze to reward supporters, creating a new elite, scapegoating refugees, Muslims and ‘woke’, and vilifying the opposition – are we heading for a one-party fascist state? I think so.
Looking at the world – these are worrying times!!