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View Diary: Bush Authoritarianism: Blackwater+Amway=GOP, Pt. 2 (295 comments)

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  •  You Guys are Daft. bushism = fascism (10+ / 0-)
    1. How do you have Authoritarianism without the state? Authoritarism IS a mega state substituting for the rule of law and overwhelming lall of a nations resources into militarism.
    1. How do you merge the state and corporations without a state?

    The cult of republicanism, of which bush is a great purveyor IS fascism. Not only does it take public wealth and distribute it to private enterprise (the very definition of merging the state and corporations), but:

    1. the state also controls the media - a key point of fascism you conveniently ignore and which in the US has been the key enabler of the cult of republicanism destruction of US constitutional governance and;
    1. fascism invests in a leader as a personality cult IN LIEU OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Bush as big daddy knows best Dear Leader has been the defining characteristic of bushism.
    •  And You Think the State Controls Our Media??????? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger

      Yeah, that's why the major corporate media did such of good job of reporting during the Clinton administration...

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 07:55:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dr. Laurence Britt's 14 points (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inky, nancelot, james risser, Neon Vincent

      Read them and I'm sure you and I would find every point realized in some way by this administration.

      1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

      2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

      3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite "spontaneous" acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and "terrorists." Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

      4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

      5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

      6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

      7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting "national security," and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

      8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the "godless." A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

      9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of "have-not" citizens.

      10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

      11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

      12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. "Normal" and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or "traitors" was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

      13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

      14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

      As for DHinMI's point about media: think only about who now owns the media as compared to media ownership during Watergate and Vietnam.  Media has been consolidated very tightly in the last decade and a half so that a mere 10 companies own most of it, and those owners have a vested interest in the success of one political party.  Think again about the success of Fux News, its reliance on talking points issued by the ruling party in the White House, the chase by the remaining cable companies in emulating Fux for the last 7+ years.  This is a controlled media; it's just not state-owned, it's party-controlled.

      •  Forgot this: "pseudo-fascism" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inky, nancelot, Neon Vincent

        Dave Neiwert and I had an exchange about this term after his 6-part series on fascism in America.  He referred to the Bush Administration as pseudo-fascist at the time, when I felt it was clearly fascist.

        But that was several years ago, at a time when he felt that the nature of our government was just shy of fascism, not quite fascist in actuality.

        I haven't bothered to go back and ask him if he's changed his mind.  I know mine hasn't.

      •  Does "Lawrence Britt" Even Exist? (0+ / 0-)

        I looked that person up a twice (under multiple spellings), and found no such person listed anywhere.  I wonder if there even is such a person.  

        I'd like to see who he is, what he's a doctor of, where he got his doctorate, if he has any academic credentials or affiliations, etc.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 09:50:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For Instance, What Authors Don't Have... (0+ / 0-)

          ...a wikipedia entry?  Don't show up on Amazon?  Don't show up on a university website?  Have no links to known publications?  Don't appear to have ever been interviewed?  

          I wonder if "Dr Lawrence Britt" once woke up in a bathtub of ice missing a kidney.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 09:55:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Where do you get this stuff? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Busted Flat in Baton Rouge

          Of course Laurence (with a U) Britt exists. If you want, you can read an interview that contains a short biography here. You can even check out his novel on amazon.com.

          He's not very hard to Google. I'm surprised at you--that's one talent I always thought you had down pat.

          I'm sure you'll try to figure out some way to discredit him. I can hardly wait to see what it is.

          •  Ok, I googled. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DHinMI, vivacia

            There are a lot of hits on that name, but none that confirm his authority as a source. Basically, they all use the same couple of descriptions of him, which is sort of a classic sign of something that's circulated the internet rapidly without having been followed up on very much if at all.

            A few sites state definitively that he is neither a "doctor" nor a political scientist, but without any more evidence than the ones that say he is a doctor and a political science. Lacking real evidence in either direction I'll restrict myself to noting that while the article you link identifies him as having studied business at Northwestern, it nowhere says he got a PhD or studied political science. Nor have I found him in searches of 3 major academic article databases - if he was a political science who'd published in academic journals, I would probably have found him in one of them.

            So at this point, I have no reason to believe he's anything other than some dude who wrote a thing that a lot of people like. It could well be really smart - I mean, that's the great thing about the blogosphere, right, that ideas are supposed to prevail over credentials? - but the fact that his supposed credentials are so frequently highlighted as validating the article means that those credentials are fair game.

            Anyway, this description seems about right to me:

            The Britt article started with what is happening in the U.S. and then crafted a description of fascism that only highlights those points that will support the thesis. This is a logical fallacy (the false notion that things that are similar in some aspects are identical in all aspects).

            •  Some Dude Who Wrote a Thing... (0+ / 0-)

              ...a lot of people like.

              That about sums it up.  He's self-published some novels that don't appear to be sold anywhere, and he wrote a list that got on to the internet.  That's it.  I'm not at all impressed.  Frankly, there are a lot of people whose comments on Daily Kos are far more insightful and historically informed than what I see in that list by some dude who wrote a thing a lot of people like.

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:36:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'll hunt him down -- in the mean time (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inky, nancelot

          ...why don't you look at Dave Neiwert's 6-piece series on "pseudo-fascism" and see if you can agree with that?

          I expect you'll know how to find him, yes?  He might even have a Wikipedia entry, which as we all know is entirely accurate all the time.

          (The piece I quoted was published by Secular Humanism; I'll check with them to see if Britt left any contact info.)

        •  Did you time me? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inky, nancelot

          RadioFreeMaine offers a tape of a program with Laurence Britt dd. May 18,2003, part of a program called "Rethinking 9/11, Part 1 of 2" with Kyle Hence
          http://www.radiofreemaine.com/...

          June 2004 was published in 1998 by Laurence W. Britt as a political thriller, and is available through Amazon
          http://www.amazon.com/...

          Britt was interviewed and profiled by the Rochester city Newspaper in December of 2004; they have a number of other articles by him in their archives.
          http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.co...

          Why don't you call him yourself next time?  He lives in Fairport NY.

          You might also want to ask yourself why anybody would want to bury his work.

          •  Look... (0+ / 0-)

            ...here.  He's just "some dude who wrote a thing that a lot of people like."  I could come up with my own list, and it's no less authoritative based on my status than is his, because he appears to have no academic or scholarly standing.  He's just "some dude" who self-publishes novels.  He's not, in my mind, even as credible a source as bloggers.

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:56:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You could say the same thing about Marcy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Inky

              Just some person who doesn't have academic or scholarly standing in political science, who's published by some tiny, squeaky new publisher.

              Just some chick.

              Since you don't think much of Britt, how about Charles M. Evans, who refers with appreciation to both Umberto Eco AND Laurence Britt?

              •  But Marcy's Written Probably Millions... (0+ / 0-)

                ...of words on the subject, published a book on the subject, had her stuff published in newspapers, interviewed principals in the things she was covering, reported live from events, etc.  She also interacts with people via blogs.

                This guy published a list of 1,080 words.  Period.  

                No contest.

                [BTW, Marcy's dissertation topic was actually quite relevant to some of what's she's written about, and absolutely relevant to the writing of politics, especially in venues such as blogs.]  

                The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                by Dana Houle on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 09:43:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And if I was asked who Marcy is, (0+ / 0-)

                  I could find out a lot by googling her - I could find out where she went to grad school, in what discipline, what her dissertation topic was on, how she got involved in political blogging, what other political stuff she's done. I can't find any of that stuff on Britt. All I can find is, repeated ad infinitum, that he's a doctor and a political scientist, with no evidence offered that he is either.

                  With Marcy, I can find places where she's engaged with criticism, entered into long discussions with people with different views than her, explained points that were unclear, gone into the background of the issues she was covering. Not so with Britt.

                  So by both regular-world credentialing standards and blog-world standards of explaining yourself and being accountable to your readers, she's far, far more reliable as a source.

                  •  Did you notice his age? (0+ / 0-)

                    Probably not.

                    He's not a blogosphere member, so he's not going to be  out here in forums.  He's likely not to be, given his age.

                    And he has been involved in exchanges regarding his written content.  I take it you didn't bother to check any of the material to which I linked.

                    And what do either you or DHinMI know about me, for that matter?  ever bother to check into why I would set store by Britt?  I'm just somebody you can shoot down with your own set of biases as you like, right?  Never mind that Fortune 50 companies have paid me to do research for them; because I'm just a nobody from your frame of reference, you can claim any opinion or position I take is without any basis.

                    •  I googled him four ways to sunday. (0+ / 0-)

                      I found the same information again and again, without verification of any kind.

                      My point about Britt's credentials was that the blogosphere is supposed to be and should be a forum in which formal credentials don't matter, that our ideas should be assessed on their quality and not on whether the person who they belong to is a doctor or a political scientist. As I judge you by what you write, and as I expect to be judged by what I write and not by my academic degrees.

                      So I don't give a damn if Fortune 50 companies have paid you to do research for them, not because I'm writing you off as a nobody but because I'm judging you on your writing and ideas at Daily Kos. I would rather have a conversation here with someone who didn't graduate from high school but was looking to have an honest exchange of ideas and was willing to question their preconceptions than with someone who was a world-renowned political scientist but wasn't open to other people's ideas.

                      But the constant identification of Laurence Britt as a doctor and a political scientist, especially in the absence of evidence that he is either, is a claim that authority on the subject of fascism, a claim that functionally seeks to evade questions about his writing. That is, his 14 points are presented as fact, verified by his supposed credentials. That's a problem, and it's what I was addressing.

                      You don't need my permission or approval to agree with Britt. But if you're going to introduce his points as fact, you have to be prepared to defend them against, say, charges that they involve a lot of cherry-picking and ignore a lot of counter-examples. And if you're going to point to him as an authority, you have to be prepared to defend that claim.

                      My view is, if we're going to play the "is the Bush administration fascist" game, I demand we start with a definition of fascism that predates the Bush administration, not one that was written explicitly to prove them fascist.

                      •  No (0+ / 0-)

                        I was just at a diary that said 51 comments and yet there are only 17 comments visible.

                        So when you say

                        blogosphere is supposed to be and should be a forum in which formal credentials don't matter, that our ideas should be assessed on their quality and not on whether the person who they belong to is a doctor or a political scientist

                        you are disingenuous. People have censored my ability to assess what was written. So there is a slanted forum on the internet -- even here.

                        •  Those comments are available (0+ / 0-)

                          to any trusted user of this site, which is a status that comes from other members of the community.  In that case, they decided that some of the comments were offensive or off topic or otherwise inappropriate and they hid them.

                          •  So your statement about the blogosphere . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            is incorrect. Kind of weird that the trusted users create their own reality. It's like they are sending words to Gitmo.

                            Honestly, I lurk a lot and at one point I had time to be a trusted user. FWIW, I've observed that TR is used more for revenge and conformity than anything else. I have watched as many people have piled on a user over rather beneign statements only to have the real reason for the pile on to emerge later in thread. Then I have watched the whole thread disappear. I've also watched as very offensive statements and off topic threads get no TR at all. Often the TR seemed to relate to "gangs" and "power" more than a statement.

                            Hell, after watching this behavior, I have to wonder about the integrity of a site that is so censored and controlled. Really have to wonder what is going on at a site that has 2/3 of a diary hidden. After observing all of this, I can only chuckle when I see people talk about reality and facts.

                            I'm sure you can handle the criticism having grown the thick skin that I always see people talk about.

                          •  I don't see a contradiction. (0+ / 0-)

                            I said that formal credentials shouldn't matter, that ideas should be assessed in themselves.  That doesn't mean that a bad idea will be given equal credence to a good one, just that it will have an equal chance coming from a janitor or a teacher.

                          •  That is a single point you made (0+ / 0-)

                            but you have opted to ignore the point I have made.

                            Let's look at the reality and facts that your "trusted users" have allowed me to have access to. That diary I cited before now has 3/4 of the diary hidden. But, this is part of the hidden discussion.

                            Of course others have observed this same abuse here, here and here. It's not the first time I have seen this going on. So your telling me that I'm suppose to find comfort that these "trusted users" are making decisions about what I can see is very disturbing. I'm an intellegent person and I really don't need others, who have too much time on their hands, to decide what I can evaluate on my own. They may be right but I will never be able to assess the situation because they have control over my reality. The one thing I did check (it is now hidden) she was right and the posse was wrong.

                          •  I refuted your willful misrepresentation (0+ / 0-)

                            of what I initially said.  That was my primary concern.  

                            As it happens, I did implicitly address your completely off-topic other point: all ideas won't be given equal credence, but ideas from all people will be (at least until such time as they've proven themselves unreliable).

                            I get that you're upset about hidden comments, but they're part of how this site functions without being overrun by trolls.  But when you get to the point of complaining that trusted users "have control over my reality," you might think about whether you really want to be defining a website as your reality.

                •  But you can ignore an academic now, right? (0+ / 0-)

                  Like Evans, who clearly appreciates both Eco and Britt.

                  •  What Evidence Do You Have That Evans... (0+ / 0-)

                    ..even knows who Britt is?

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 12:52:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  BTW, I Assume You Mean RICHARD Evans (0+ / 0-)

                    Evans is a legit historian, actually quite eminent.  I think he had an essay in a collection I read, but I haven't read The Third Reich In Power: 1933-1939.  But one of the great things about Amazon is that sometimes you can search sections of a book or look at the index.  And a search of the index shows that on page 905, the subjects go from British Petroleum to Brown Shirts Book of Terror; thus, RICHARD Evans has no entry for Britt.

                    Maybe you meant another Evans, but I can't think of any Evans working in the field of 20th century German or European history who would be put forth as much of an expert on the subject.  

                    I think Laura nailed it: this Britt character is just some dude who wrote something people liked.  Whether anyone who likes it is in a position to judge Britt's content or his qualifications for being proffered as an authority, that's another story.  

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 08:51:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, The First Volume of Evans' Trilogy... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...The Coming of the Third Reich, on page 588, the index entries go from Britain to Brock, Werner; thus, again, no entry for Britt.

                    Now, one could argue that I'm not looking at the footnotes/endnotes, and that's a legitimate point.  But I will point out that on page 588, there are index entries for both Martin Broszat and Karl Dietrich Bracher, two very important historians of the Third Riech.  Bracher has also written much about fascism in general, such as his essay The Role of Hitler: Perspectives of Interpretation in Fascism: A Reader's Guide edited by Walter Laqueur, which I have read.  Obviously Evans must discuss Bracher and Broszat in his text, but apparently not Britt, at least not enough to warrant an index entry.  '

                    So, I think it's highly dubious that Evans ever mentions or discusses Britt, or views him as an important authority.

                    But all of this raises an interesting question:  have you read anything by Evans?  If not, why bring him in to the discussion, if, in fact, you're not able to discuss him?  Is he just a name that someone mentioned to you?  Or do you actually recall Evans discussing Britt, or advancing ideas that for you were mirrored in Britt's list?  

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 09:08:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And FWIW (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm definitely in the functionalist-structuralist camp with Broszat, NOT in the intentionalist camp.  As this plays out with the specialists on the Holocaust, it's Raul Hilberg in the functionalist camp, and Lucy Dawidowicz in the intentionalist camp, such as it is.  By this point, the functionalists pretty much prevail, with few holdouts in the intentionalist camp, and those that have gotten a lot of attention--like Daniel Jonah Goldhagen--are pretty much disdained by serious historians as masters of schlock.  

                      Why is this relevant other than me appearing pedantic?  Well, there's a direct line from Max Weber through Franz Neumann--who's Behemoth I discussed in the opening essay--straight to Hilberg.  I generally take a much more functionalist approach to problems of this sort, and I suspect you'll see a more functionalist approach to how I discuss Bush and his cadre than a more intentionalist approach that you often see implied in comments at DKos...including many comments on this very thread.

                      So, Rayne, where do you fall on the functionalist v intentionalists debate?  

                      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                      by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 09:24:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, Wait, THIS Guy? (0+ / 0-)

                    Let me guess, you did a Google search of Eco, Evans and Britt, and you found this.

                    You do realize that's the website for the Muslim Brotherhood, right?  

                    I tend not to get my scholarly insights from works extolled by the followers of Sayyid Qutb.  

                    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                    by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 16, 2007 at 09:37:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Who's Charles M. Evans? (0+ / 0-)

                I just searched the catalogs of two Ivy League universities and one large state university, and the only Charles M. Evans I found wrote a book on ballooning during the Civil War. How does that specially qualify him to talk about fascism? Or are you citing a Charles M. Evans who hasn't published anything that's made it to those libraries?

            •  At least Britt's essay, (0+ / 0-)

              "Fascism, Anyone," was published in Free Inquiry Magazine. It was therefore reviewed and edited, making it suitable for discussion in a scholarly (or at least semi-scholarly) debate.

              Where, pray tell, aside from dKos's front page, have your essays on fascism, or the lack thereof, ever been published?

      •  This is a very popular checklist... (0+ / 0-)

        ...of Fascist traits, but it's not the one I prefer to use.  Instead, I cite the list of diagnostic features of Fascism formulated by Stanley Payne, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in his 1980 book "Fascism: Comparison and Definition":

        A. The Fascist Negations

         1. Antiliberalism (By "liberalism", this means free-market capitalism
            and representative democracy).

          2. Anticommunism.

          3. Anticonservatism (By "Conservatism" that means resistance to
             social change and allegience to traditional sources of
             authority, such as the church and, in Europe, the crown.
             Fascism considers itself a modernizing, revolutionary
             movement that will produce new sources of authority.
             See Ideology and Goals).

        B. Ideology and Goals

          1. Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state based
             not merely on traditional principles or models.

          2. Organization of some new kind of regulated, multiclass,
             integrated national economic structure (national
             corporatist, national socialist, or national syndicalist).

          3. The goal of empire or a radical change in the nation's
             relationship with other powers.

          4. Specific espousal of an idealist, voluntarist creed,
             normally involving the attempt to realize a new form
             of modern, self-determined, secular culture.

        C. Style and Organization

          1. Emphasis on esthetic structure of meetings, symbols,
             and political choreography, stressing romantic and mystical
             aspects.

          2. Attempted mass mobilization with militarization of political
             relationships and style with the goal of a mass party militia.

          3. Positive evaluation of and willingness to use violence.

          4. Extreme stress on the masculine principle and male dominance,
             while espousing the organic view of society.

         5. Exaltation of youth above other phases of life, emphasizing the
            conflict of generations, at least in effecting the initial
            political transformation.

          6. Specific tendency toward an authoritarian, charismatic, personal
             style of command.

        I've applied these criteria to W's administration before and found that, while a case can be made for it meeting A1, A2, B1, B3, C1, and C6 (and, with Blackwater, the possibility that it is now starting to fulfill criteria C2 and C3), it fails all the other criteria, in particular those (A1, B2, B4, and C5) that are "anti-conservative" in nature. Therefore, I still would not call the current government Fascist according to Payne's diagnostic criteria. (In response to a previous analysis, the most alarmist poster on the site agreed with me, and snarkily remarked that W was more of a monarchist than anything else.)

        That said, the trend is that W's administration has been meeting more of Payne's criteria over time.  I find that to be cause for alarm.

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