Dictionary meaning of Fascism describes it as a political regime having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on a relationship between business and the centralized government; business and govt. control of the marketplace, repression of criticism and opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights. It was originally only applied to Benito Mussolini’s Italy.
According to Wikipedia, Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader and Fascism rejects the assertion that violence is automatically negative in nature and in fact, views political violence, war and imperialism as means of national rejuvenation! Strangely enough, most fascists don’t like to be called as such because the term has gained notoriety historically…Particularly after Hitler’s genocide of Jews.
Dr. Lawrence Britt has written an essay in the Free Inquiry magazine, Spring 2003 issue listing and entitled “Fourteen characteristics of Fascism.” This he did after studying the regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and Pinochet (Chile). These regimes have been, almost unanimously, acknowledged as being fascist and have 14 elements in common. Fascist regimes tend to have:
i. Powerful and continuing nationalism.
ii. Disdain for the recognition of Human Rights
iii. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as unifying
iv. Supremacy of the military
v. Rampant Sexism
vi. Controlled mass media.
vii. Obsession with national security
viii. Religion and government are intertwined
ix. Corporate power is protected
x. Labor power is suppressed
xi. Disdain for the in intellectuals and arts
xii. Obsession with crime and punishment
xiii. Rampant cronyism and corruption
xiv. Fraudulent Elections
Unfortunately, most of the countries tend to come under this obnoxious tag…even the world’s most powerful and populous democracies. Masses are willing to be swayed by parochial nationalistic aspirations and space and willingness for dissent is shrinking by the day! Democratic values are at the risk of being abandoned for more populist appeals. The humanity today stands at the crossroads! God be with the liberals!