How to identify fascism

In 2003 historian Laurence W. Britt suggested that there were 14 characteristics to fascist regimes. They were:

Powerful and continuing nationalism
Disdain for human rights
Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
Supremacy of the military
Rampant sexism
Controlled mass media
Obsession with national security
Religion and government intertwined
Corporate power protected
Labour power suppressed
Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
Obsession with crime & punishment
Rampant cronyism & corruption
Fraudulent elections

So he Soviet Union was fascist then. And we could shoehorn the SNP into most of those too…..

29 thoughts on “How to identify fascism”

  1. If that is the case then thirteen out of the now thirteen relevant criteria are met by the current UK government.

    I wonder if they care?

    I wonder for how long I might say this?

    First, they came for the retired accountants from Wandsworth…

  2. Of course in Spudland the real definition of fascism is disagreeing with the cubic potato or even worse being a Tory. It’s as if his politics haven’t moved on from being a student – his knowledge certainly hasn’t increased over time.

  3. Steve

    Sadly Murphy doesn’t hail from Texas – a shame because he doesn’t look much like a steer…

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    That was 2003. The Internet in general and Twatter in particular has since simplified it to anyone who disagrees with someone on the left.

  5. Sounds like Britain during both world wars.

    Ackshully, the only place on the planet you’ll find governments that don’t meet most of those requirements is in the Anglosphere….

    Game, Set and Match to Perfidious Albion.

  6. I am pretty sure than under Hitler
    “Corporate power protected”
    was not true – companies toed his line or else.

  7. Dennis, One of Joe's Neanderthals

    Add China, North Korea, half of Africa and about a third of South America.

    That shit’s everywhere…

  8. Spud has posted 71 times so far in March and there are still 11 days to go. He must be really swamped with work.

  9. Dennis, Satan's Editor-In-Chief

    I am pretty sure than under Hitler
    “Corporate power protected”
    was not true – companies toed his line or else.

    Germany’s industrial titans happily worked with the Nazis. Look up the meeting of Feb. 20, 1933 for one of the most obvious examples. Hitler understood that all he had to do was guarantee them profits and reign in the power of labor unions and they’d do whatever he told them to. It was much the same with Mussolini in Italy.

    It’s no accident that Fascism flourished in heavily industrialized countries and Communism flourished in less industrialized countries. Had Lenin been aiming at Germany rather than Russia, he’d have come to an accommodation with Krupp, Thyssen, Opel, etc. just as Hitler did. Russia, like China, didn’t have industrialists who were worth the trouble.

  10. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    Spud has posted 71 times so far in March and there are still 11 days to go. He must be really swamped with work.

    That, and the fact that he’s spending a lot of time banging on about COVID suggests that times are a bit lean… even if he isn’t.

  11. I suppose that isn’t the same gobshite I heard on the radio last week. He carefully put it in terms of indicative features rather than a firm definition. As usual it ended up as ‘anybody I don’t like is a fascist.’ No mentions of Mussolini’s three principles which can be used as an actual definition, but then why bother what the founder of the movement thinks? Or what the symbol the fasces represents, unity is strength. Something all socialists agree with.

  12. Indeed. You’re splitting hairs in trying to differentiate the USSR under Stalin and Germany under Hitler if you’re looking at things from the perspective of the average person.

    Except Germany, even under Hitler, was sexier than the USSR. I think I’d have rather been an SS Tank Commander trying to pick up girls in a Berlin bierkeller than some NKVD officer staring at some soviet munter at a “Social Gathering To Rejoice At The Success Of The Latest Glorious Achievement Of Exceeding The 5 Year Tractor Production Targets”.

  13. @ Dennis

    “Germany’s industrial titans happily worked with the Nazis.”

    Look what happened when they didn’t

    “When the Nazis came into power in 1933 they requested Hugo Junkers and his businesses aid in the German re-armament. When Junkers declined, the Nazis responded by demanding ownership of all patents and market shares from his remaining companies, under threat of imprisonment on the grounds of High Treason. In 1934 Junkers was placed under house arrest, and died* at home in 1935 during negotiations to give up the remaining stock and interests in Junkers.”

    *falling down a flight of stairs 17 times (probably)

  14. Rhoda, it has to be indicative features rather than a firm definition or else Hitler wouldn’t be a fascist. He’d just be a socialist like Stalin.

    Though Stalin had to be an international socialist. That way all the nationalities in the Russian Empire could join together in a cosy union under one socialist government.

  15. Religion and government intertwined

    What?

    Rampant sexism

    What?

    Disdain for intellectuals & the arts

    Disdain for ‘intellectuals’ is perfectly healthy. It would be hard to display more disdain for the arts than the current art establishment does.

    Labour power suppressed

    Via mass immigration, for example.

    I reckon half of that list form the basis of modern Progressivism.

  16. @ Andrew C:

    You’re splitting hairs in trying to differentiate the USSR under Stalin and Germany under Hitler if you’re looking at things from the perspective of the average person.

    Nazi Germany was much less terrifying for the average punter than the Soviet Union under our heroic ally Uncle Joe. In Germany you didn’t get rounded up and sent to a camp simply because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you had to be named on a list somewhere.
    Stalin and his minions simply issued quotas to the NKVD of the numbers of people to be arrested and sent to camps or ‘liquidated’ (murdered out of hand) and they’d literally just go out from their barracks and round up random people off the streets to fulfil the quota.

  17. “Russia, like China, didn’t have industrialists who were worth the trouble”: Russia was far more industrialised in 1914 than socialists like to admit. It was the reason Germany wanted to attack her; delay the attack for a few years and she’ll be too industrialised to defeat.

  18. @Andrew C

    I would much rather have lived in Hitler’s Germany than Stalin’s Russia. For one simple reason – it was possible to emigrate.

    Suggest that to anyone on the left and they will go ballistic!

  19. A fascist state would close down universities which add no value, would ensure that professors had appropriate research and teaching qualifications, and would withdraw charitable status from organisations that fund far left activists.

    In fact any sensible government would do those things. Although the present one doesn’t seem up to it.

  20. Better considered as about ten questions to identify a totalitarian state, then a few more to determine the flavour.

  21. @Chris
    My point being that the definition would include China and it would make China the largest fascist state the world has ever seen. Which was the point I made. If I wanted to make another point, I’d have made it.

    Also, I’m not Stewart, nor have I ever been Stewart. Though, for an evening in Spain, I was Sven.

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