"I have held off using the f-word for three and a half years, but there is no longer any honest alternative. Trump is a fascist, and he is promoting fascism in America." - economics professor and former labor secretary Robert Reich
One of the imperatives today is to assess the danger of fascism existing as a governing feature in the U.S. This applies no matter who is elected, but will be most obvious if Trump wins the election for president. Sooner or later we will need to discover more about what Peter Dale Scott has called, "The Deep State."
There are too many Americans who think that tyranny could never happen here. Yet if we fail to educate ourselves to the first stages of tyranny and the traits of a person who becomes a tyrant, how will recognize it when it arrives?
This fits with James Baldwin's assertion that "one hasn't got to have an enormous military machine in order to be un-free when it's simpler to be asleep, when it's simpler to be apathetic, when it's simpler, in fact, not to want to be free."
The Open Culture website offers the following www.openculture.com/2016/11:
Philosopher, semiotician and university professor Umbert Eco said: "the fascist game can be played in many forms, and the name of the game does not change." Eco summarizes the qualities of what he calls 'Ur-Fascism', or 'Eternal Fascism' as typified by 14 features:
1. The cult of tradition. "One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements."
2. The rejection of modernism. "The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism."
3. The cult of action for action's sake. "Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation."
4. Disagreement is treason. "The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge."
5. Fear of difference. "The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition."
6. Appeal to social frustration. "One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups."
7. The obsession with a plot. "The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia."
8. The enemy is both strong and weak. "By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak."
9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. "For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle."
10. Contempt for the weak. "Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology."
11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. "In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death."
12. Machismo and weaponry. "Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality."
13. Selective populism. "There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People."
14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. "All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning."