Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Josh Jones — Yale Professor Jason Stanley Identifies Three Essential Features of Fascism: Invoking a Mythic Past, Sowing Division & Attacking Truth

Short book review, with some useful links. 

"Fascism" is claimed to be a rising phenomenon. The question is, what is it anyway? 

Does "fascism" denote a well-bounded set, or is fascism like pornography, hard to define but easy to identify when encountered, to paraphrase US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart?

Open Culture
Yale Professor Jason Stanley Identifies Three Essential Features of Fascism: Invoking a Mythic Past, Sowing Division & Attacking Truth
Josh Jones


Konrad said...

The term “fascism” is useful for diverting public attention away from neoliberalism. The more the peasants condemn each other as “fascists,” the more they are enslaved by oligarchs.

For example, political correctness has infected most universities like a hideous plague. While students spend all their time attacking white males as “privileged,” and all males as “rapists,” and “homophobes” and “fascists,” the bankers saddle all students with massive debt loads.

On a different note, everything this article says about fascism can be equally applied to today’s peasants and the oligarchs that own them.

Example: “Fascists conjure a mythic past that has supposedly been destroyed (by liberals, feminists, and immigrants).”

Just as fascists imagine a past “golden age,” social justice warriors imagine a past “hellish age” in which all women were victims of an eternal “rape culture.” This article itself claims that all fascists are male.

Example: “Fascist leaders sow division. They succeed by turning groups against each other. Fascists may not invent the hate, but they cynically instrumentalize it: demonizing outgroups, normalizing and naturalizing bigotry, stoking violence to justify repressive ‘law and order’ policies, the curtailing of civil rights and due process, and the mass imprisonment and killing of manufactured enemies.”

Oligarchs likewise sow division by using the corporate media outlets to promote political correctness, in order to keep the peasants divided and helpless. Meanwhile among the peasants, leftists are at least as bigoted as right-wingers, and are vastly more hateful and intolerant. Leftists favor censorship. They want to eliminate due process and the civil rights of anyone they don’t like.

Example: “Fascists attack the truth with propaganda, in particular a kind of anti-intellectualism that creates a petri dish for conspiracy theories.”

Likewise among the peasants, anti-intellectualism manifests as being permanently “offended” and “victimized.” The leftist definition of reasoned discourse is mindless screeching.

“Fascism” has become a clichéd term used by all sides. Anyone who uses it should be dismissed.

GLH said...

The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
To find out about how white Harvard and other schools are read that article.

Noah Way said...

The 14 defining characteristics of fascism are:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Lawrence Britt

GLH said...

"The 14 defining characteristics of fascism" Sounds like we are almost there.