Skip to main content

Challenging the Looming Threat of Fascism

In the alternative press there are many thoughtful articles and essays on the current state of this planet. Mostly, they target specific issues: democracy, health care, justice, poverty, homelessness, crime and the environment.

It's as though these issues stem from different sources, but when you read them day after day, you can't help but feel they are connected, leading to a vague feeling of dread. A disturbing sense that something much deeper and bigger is going horribly wrong, and that shadow, perhaps, belongs to the looming threat of fascism.

So what if we took on the big picture - the supposed cause, instead of the symptoms? 

Using a commonly posted list of fourteen defining signs of fascism (listed in black text), attributed to a Dr. Lawrence Britt, (whose bio is hard to locate and who may even be a fictitious character) I  suggest corresponding actions we can take to challenge them (in blue text). 

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism: <creation and documentation of national forums that enable citizens to be heard as they express their concerns in a respectful, safe, environment.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: <vigilant defense of human rights for all.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause: <determined and sustained defence of diversity, and equality.

4. Supremacy of the Military: <balance between military and civic powers in training and law.

5. Rampant Sexism: <reverence for the feminine and masculine natures within all.

6. Controlled Mass Media: <public and financial support for alternative, small media outlets, and transparent regulations that keep all media bound by laws of ethics.

7. Obsession with National Security: <democratic world government that sustains human rights by challenging abuses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined: <study of comparative religion as part of public education while upholding freedom of religion and separation of religion and state.

9. Corporate Power is Protected: <regulated corporate power for the protection of consumer and indigenous peoples rights.

10. Labour Power is Suppressed: <protected labour through labour laws, livable minimum wages and safe working places.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts: <support and promotion of the arts and intellectual development.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment: <focus on prevention through early intervention, support for those at risk, and rehabilitation for those who are in the criminal system.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption: <transparency in all systems of appointment.

14. Fraudulent Elections: <citizen based checks on media election coverage, polls and ballots.

Certainly any action has to be followed by a large portion of our population in order to be effective, but all of these actions are being tackled through various non-governmental agencies; they are viewed as different problems rather than symptoms of a larger threat to our future.

What would happen if, somehow, the majority of those who believe they are living in free democratic societies were able to see these movements as defending the freedom of all rather than a collection of special interest groups? And what if, those who are already in the trenches fighting poverty and discrimination, could see their work as having a larger, more profound impact?


Popular posts from this blog

About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…

Creating Chaos

A very important article in The Guardian analyses the rise of hyper-masculinity and the phenomenon of Angry White Men.  "Sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. - His recent research has looked at topics including spree killers (who are overwhelmingly male and white), as well as the relationship between masculinity and political extremism."

In the article there is a report on a study on testosterone where 5 monkeys are observed. The one who rises to the top beats up number 2 and number 2 beats up number 3 - and so it goes down to number 5. 

"So the experiment is: he takes monkey three out of the cage and he shoots him up with testosterone, off the scale, and puts him back in. What do you think happens? When I tell this story my students always guess that he immediately becomes number-one monkey. But that’s not true. What happens is that when he goes back in the cage he still avoids monkeys number one and two – but he beats the …

Albert Camus: Our task