--Robert O. Paxton--
...Another result of the close "collaboration" between business and government in Italy was a continual interchange of personnel between the. . . civil service and private business.' Because of this "revolving door" between business and government, Mussolini had created a state within the state to serve private interests which are not always in harmony with the general interests of the nation. Mussolini's "revolving door" swung far and wide...
--Thomas J. DiLorenzo--
Decide for yourself, here are the Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism as stated by Dr. Lawrence Britt.
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. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
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 and letters is openly attacked.
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.
Dr Britt goes on to say, "The above fourteen point definition of fascism clearly describes the current state of the United States of America, particularly under the second Bush Administration - a regime awash in corruption, secrecy, theocracy, militarism and election fraud. Never before in the history of this country have the people as a whole been rendered so powerless by a ruling, corporate, elite and gang of "New World Order--Project For a New Century" imperialists.
As for the fourteen points, the only point which is no longer quite so applicable and defining today is that of economic Nationalism. While the flags may still wave, the country is being economically dismantled by a forced trade regime - i.e., an undemocratic, GATT-NAFTA, scheme written by and for globalizing mega-corporate interests. Forced interdependence, reward of the greater slave, giving away our industrial base to undemocratic powers, a war to divert our attention from the destruction of freedom, privacy and democracy at home is the order of the day. Added to this is the deliberate ruin of our currency to achieve a semblance of trade balance... an impossible feat once you no longer domestically manufacture goods to export and your service sector is also being decimated by outsourcing.
In short, preemptive wars and imperialism aside, the fascism we see today is not one aimed at strengthening the country but, rather, in reducing it to second and third-world status via a process of "harmonization" the people no longer control, and via interest-bearing debt ruin. It is only our remaining freedom, independence, wealth, Constitution and Internet democracy which stand in the way of a completed "Trilateralism" - i.e., a well-known, decades-old, ruling elite, scheme to reduce nation states to pawns in a corporate, controlled, global, fascist state and secure the neo-enclosures of the 21st century."
What we have here is a failure of the American voter to recognize where the real threat to our American democratic republic lies. Not in the republicans conjured boogeyman of liberal socialism as the Republicans would have you believe but, in fascism which they actively promote, by the use of deliberate misdirection. The Republicans are on the verge of making a political comeback unless you, the American voter wake up and stop them. They are the true enemy within.