Free Inquiry readers may pause to read the “Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles” on the inside cover of the magazine. To a secular humanist, these principles seem so logical, so right, so crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.In his analysis Britt finds 14 characteristic points of fascism. They are thus:
We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.
Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.
- 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.