Sunday, March 06, 2005

Pattern recognition

Mon: minor edits, added a URL

From this sermon:
It is both accurate and helpful for us to understand fundamentalism as religious fascism, and fascism as political fundamentalism. They both come from very primitive parts of us that have always been the default setting of our species: amity toward our in-group, enmity toward out-groups, hierarchical deference to alpha male figures, a powerful identification with our territory, and so forth. It is that brutal default setting that all civilizations have tried to raise us above, but it is always a fragile thing, civilization, and has to be achieved over and over and over again.
(See also a relevant and highly recommended piece - the monkeysphere.)

Signs of fascism:
  • 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.
Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils... ( * )
"Illustrated" with supporting links here.
"I just wake up in the morning and tell myself, 'There's been a military coup'. And then it all makes sense," a State Department official said...( * )

From (FDR's) Vice President Henry A. Wallace in 1944:
... The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ...
( * )

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