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1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Looking carefully at that list, you can see at least one example of each item occurring on a pretty regular basis. Flags on car antennae. Reporters being fired for speaking out. Dissenting voices being ridiculed. Bechtel and Halliburton. Questionable election results and new technology that makes it easier fo fix elections. All of these things are happening right now, but you couldn't get most Americans to believe it. For us, the river caught fire a long time ago, and it represents a threat to our very lives. We see it as a destructive fire, our opponents see it as the fire that lights the way to victory, and the masses either don't see it or don't understand what it means, or don't even care. If we fail to motivate them to care, does that reflect on our beliefs or on our abilities?

Rome stopped being a Republic and became an Empire in part because the people of Rome no longer wished the burden of self-government, and the same thing is happening here. People are too busy with their own lives to worry about what the government is doing, and so by default they cede power to people who have a vision of their own, and these people have both the skill and the power to make that vision a reality. Many of us, including myself, would have preferred not to have gotten involved, but having seen what we have seen, we just cannot ignore what's happening. There is still a flickering hope that we can take back what is ours, but that window of opportunity is closing fast. We must unite, and we must act. And we must remember what Lincoln said:

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disentrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.We can not escape history. We will be remembered, in spite of ourselves. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor, to the last generation. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose our last best hope of Earth."

By Lawrence Britt, Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, p. 20

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