Understand and identify fascist traits in government.
What is fascism?
fascism = authoritarianism + nationalism + populism.
In The Anatomy of Fascism, Robert Paxton defines fascism as
[a] form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants,
working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints [...].
This interpretation exists beside countless other attempts to clearly define fascism. There is no simple checklist nor threshold which allows us to classify one group as fascist and another not. In many ways, our folk definition
of fascism amounts to little more than "I know it when I see it,” where the sum of the parts amounts to something more sinister than its individual components.
With this impreciseness in mind, you will find the qualities listed in the left-most column above comprise only a small sample of what fascism can be. This list is by no means authoritative or comprehensive and serves only
as a (flawed) lens through which we may critically examine the power structures within which we endure.
Why should I care?
Fascism poses a great risk to your personal liberties and physical well-being.
Identifying fascist characteristics of power structures within which we exist empowers individuals with an increased awareness of potential risks to personal liberty and physical well-being. Fascist moments have led to incredible
loss of human life, the suppression of free speech, and severe limitation of freedom.
This report examines the ruling party and its associated elements, ignoring any non-mainstream fascist movements (which exist in every society).
Additionally, this report does not aim to say if a given society or leader is fascist; it simply states if a given power possesses a fascist trait. A power structure can possess fascist traits without being fascist; a leader’s style can mirror that of Hitler or Mussolini, but that leader’s ideology may differ vastly from fascism. Such categorizations (both distinct from and compatible with fascism) may include religious fanaticism, reactionary anarchism, self-indulgent demagoguery, among others.
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