Here is my twist to Lawrence Britt’s fourteen common threads of national behavior and abuse of power that enable fascist or protofascist single-party systems and how they obtain, expand and maintain power.
This was originally put together when I started this blog and was imbedded as a description for the related blog categories.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
Are national symbols around every corner on the street and all over the media? Is our national flag and or its representation becoming more visible in our daily lives? Are laws being passed to protect national symbols? Do these laws violate the Constitution? What other national symbols have you seen lately and is their appearance more frequent? When will we be required to carry a national ID? When will we be required to wear a national symbol or carry a bible to show our allegiance? How far is too far?
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
Are human rights ingored in ‘special cases’? In the ‘war on terror’, have we given up some rights via the Patriot Act in hopes of increasing our protection from those bent on doing us harm? When will habeas corpus be taken from us all? If we are attacked again and fear short circuits our minds, are we willing to give up more rights for the cause? Are we becoming more willing to look the other way when what used to be illegal is used against an ‘enemy’? Are citizens more willing to identify the enemy based on less and less accurate information? Will one family member turn in another as the enemy out of spite, for monetary gain, or to earn a notch on the sleeve of their national uniform? How far is too far?
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
Is ‘the enemy’ used to unify and manipulate? Are terrorists the only enemy? Who is supporting them? Is the enemy list growing? Have the monsters been set loose on Maple Street, USA? Is assumption of trustworthiness in most encounters being replaced by suspicion of everyone? Is the potential for mob rule more likely? Does the enemy include your neighbor who doesn’t agree with you? When will the enemy be tattooed with a scarlet letter? When will guilty until proven innocent become the law? When will mass graves guide our choices? How far is too far?
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
Is the military industrial complex getting a larger portion of the national budget? Is funding for social and welfare programs shrinking? Is the military being funded incrementally to hide the total cost? Are there more reports in the media about military issues and less on social issues? When will military start patrolling the streets in our neighborhoods? When will citizens start disappearing in the night? How far is too far?
5. Rampant sexism
Are there any female leaders left? Are women leaders being replaced with male leaders? Has the group of ‘enemies’ been expanded to include gays and women ‘libers’ ? Are threats against abortion and gay activities increasing? Are these activities getting more violent as fears increase? When will the destruction of enemy holdings begin? When will righteous bombings start to out number terrorist bombings? How far is too far?
6. A controlled mass media
Is the media controlled by the government or ‘friends’ of the government? Are ‘talking points’ being passed down from ‘on high’? Can you only find conservative AM radio talk shows? Are the media worried that they might be ‘cut-off’ if they ask the wrong questions? Are steps being taken against the ‘liberal’ media to make them more ‘balanced’? Are media personnel being jailed for refusing to identify their sources? Is media access to the government increasingly being restricted as time passes? When will media have their licenses revoked? When will the power to their tools be shut off? When will they all be jailed with the rest of the enemies? How far is too far?
7. Obsession with national security
Is fear being used as a tool by government representatives to motivate the public to support its plan to take care of our enemies? Are the weapons of the enemy being identified as more lethal, massive in impact, and available? Are weapons being claimed as a threat when none really exist? When will our military be used to emulate the enemy? When will our own weapons be used under the guise of the enemy? How far is too far?
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together (church and state)
Is the separation being bridged? Are those that don’t agree being told to sit down and shut up? Is religion being used to manipulate public opinion? Are religious tenets replacing government policies? Are government leaders wearing their religion on their sleeve and daring others to challenge them? When will first evangelist be appointed to the Cabinet of the president? When will the Cabinet be expanded to include the Department of Theology? Will the Cabinet be replaced by a political diocese? When will the requirements for the national judiciary require a degree in theology? How far is too far?
9. Power of corporations protected
Is corporate power being protected? Are political campaign funds coming mostly from large corporations and very rich benefactors? Is the government awarding contracts to those corporations that helped during the campaign without using normal government contracting guidelines? Are most of the lobbyists at the seat of the government funded by the corporations and rich benefactors? Are the ears of government leaders going to the highest bidder? When will the Cabinet been expanded to include the Department of Business? Will the requirements for the Cabinet be expanded to include a masters in Business Administration? How far is too far?
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
Is the power of labor not only falling but being suppressed? Are court rulings favoring corporations over unions? Are new court appointees more likely to be pro business? Have unions been added to the enemy list? Is union busting being sanctioned by government action or inaction? Are employees afraid that if they unionize, the store may be closed? Are national unions splitting apart? When will laws that protect workers trying to unionize be repealed? When will the Department of Labor be abolished? When will unions be subsumed through government mandated guilds for both employers and employees heavily weighted in favor of the corporations and their owners? When will unions be outlawed? How far is too far?
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
Is there open hostility to higher education and the arts? Is funding for the arts by the government being reduced? Are talk show radio hosts shouting more ‘talking points’ on the evil running rampant on campus, in Hollywood, in Museums, and on Broadway? Is censorship on the increase? Does internet access need to be controlled to hobble the enemy? When will liberal educators have their tenure canceled? When will only G rated movies be available for viewing? When will ‘objectionable’ art, movie reels, and books start fueling bonfires? When will Broadway be boarded up? When will the Las Vegas be burned to the ground? How far is too far?
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
Is there a police state? Has law enforcement been granted new powers that used to require court approved justification? Can they shoot first and ask questions later? Can they arrest suspects without just cause? Can they hold the ‘enemy’ incommunicado? Is it easier to overlook abuse of rights as long as the enemy is the victim? Are patriotism and fear becoming the basis of foregoing civil liberties? When will the enemy be executed in the public square? When will enemies be pitted against one another in sports arenas? When will trees in city parks be used to hang the enemies? When will mass executions be broadcast on government controlled mass media? How far is too far?
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
Are cronies in charge? Are their friends getting richer? Are poor performers given awards and promotions in spite of their failures? Are leaders averse to admitting failure? Do leaders fine tune their responses to redefine what a failure is? Are potential problems denied initially and redefined as more detail comes to light? Are non-campaign funds being laundered into campaign coffers or private accounts of supporters of the war against the enemies? Are government ethics committees being restructured and the rules modified to protect the guilty? Are corporations making false claims about profit and destroying employee futures? When will the laws be changed to protect corporations from any law suits? When will the Executive branch become the only branch of government with power? When will Washington, D.C. become The Corporate Headquarters of the United States? How fare is too far?
14. Fraudulent elections
Are elections a complete sham? Is the judicial system being used more often to decide election results? Do those election decisions result in a judicial system more favorable to the elected officials and their views? Are political campaigns getting nastier than ever? Are voting district boundaries being changed to keep current officials in power? Are voting machines preprogrammed? When will the voting booth be replaced with a web site with the government as the system admin? How far is too far
To this, add one other element. Extensive studies have shown that the above “threads” require a certain personality to weave them into whole cloth. This personality has its leaders and followers. The personality is authoritarian.