On this July 4, when we pretend to celebrate American freedom and independence, it is worth taking another look at the 14 points of fascism and see if any of them ring a bell.
Lawrence Britt, writing for The Secular Humanist and its Free Inquiry magazine, outlined in scholarly fashion a few years back what he considered to be the 14 signal -- cardinal -- elements of fascism, based on his study of the regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet.
Here are the 14 points identified by Britt:
- Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
- Disdain for the importance of human rights.
- Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
- The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
- Rampant sexism.
- A controlled mass media.
- Obsession with national security.
- Religion and ruling elite tied together.
- Power of corporations protected.
- Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
- Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
- Obsession with crime and punishment.
- Rampant cronyism and corruption.
- Fraudulent elections.
See the complete text of Britt's article here, and follow up with a collection of news articles dating from the start of the Bush presidency, divided into topics relating to each of those 14 points, put together by the Project for the Old American Century.
And have a happy Fourth.