A few weeks ago I wrote a post about fascism, debunking a liberal's phony article about the "14 attributes of fascism." The liberal's article was really a disguised attempt to link conservative traits to fascism; in other words, it was propaganda, not an honest discussion.
I have been studying fascism and have become convinced that Obama's administration shows some real traits of this form of government. However, there are some differences as well.
There is no precise definition of fascism. Neither Mussolini nor Franco sat down and made a list for what fascism must include. (Hitler, by the way, was more than a fascist, he was a genocidal meglomaniac, and not the best example of fascism.)
From my readings, here is a loose list of fascist traits:
1. Fascism is a near-worship of the State, a kind of secular religion where God is replaced by the State.
2. Every aspect of life is within the purview of the State and nothing is outside of it. Fascism is totalitarian.
3. The State knows best and can regulate all aspects of the lives of its citizens, relying on committees of experts for policy decisions rather than democratic elections. The State is not limited by a Constitution or Bill of Rights. Individualism is suppressed, and all personal ambition and individual interests are subordinated to the State. The purpose of the individual is to serve the State, and anything that he does or accomplishes must be judged by this one criterion.
4. The citizenry are kept in a constant state of mobilization and militarization, similar to wartime conditions. The State's goals are best carried out by a motivated citizenry who strongly believe in State goals and have a sense of urgency in their achievement. Fascist leaders (and their progeny) are constantly looking for a new crisis to keep this motivation going, to find what has been called "the moral equivalent of war." This motivating force may be from either an internal or external threat, real or imagined.
5. Fascist states are socialist, but this does not imply that all socialist states are fascist. Fascist states generally direct the economy through both force and economic incentives, forcing government, corporations and labor unions to work together under terms dictated by the State. Labor unions cannot strike.
6. Fascist states are nationalistic rather than internationalist, and this is a key difference between fascism and Soviet communism. (This is also, in my opinion, a point of departure for the Obama Administration, which tends to be internationalist or globalist.)
7. Fascist states seek to change human nature so it is more amenable to the dictates of the State. This is accomplished through indoctrination, particularly of children and young people through education early on, and by weakening the bonds of the nuclear family so that old beliefs will not be passed to new generations through the parent. Indoctrination is also widely achieved by mass media that are loyal to the State. Competing views are suppressed or prohibited altogether.
8. Citizens who refuse to cooperate in the goals and programs of the State are ostracized and punished, and this punishment may be extreme. This ostracism and punishment are carried out by agencies of the State, not limited to police and military agencies (e.g. during the fascistic Wilson Administration, the Post Office would refuse to deliver newsletters and magazines that opposed Administration policies). Obama's recent flap, with the IRS denying equal service to citizens based on their political support or opposition, was entirely fascist in nature.
9. Fascist states tend to oppose religion because religious beliefs often contradict state policies and offer a competing view of reality, morals and behavior, all of which may weaken loyalty to the State and to State dogmas. Religion is hated simply because it is a form of competition for the loyalties of the citizenry.
Note: Fascism does not require ethnic hatreds like those of the Nazis. Hitler's antisemitism was peculiar to German fascism and not followed by either Mussolini or Franco. However, in the search for the "moral equivalent of war," ethnic hatred may be a useful tool for motivating the masses, and therefore always a possible tactic in the Fascist lexicon.
Fascist states may or may not be expansionist. Both the German and Japanese governments of the 1930's and 1940's were motivated by conquest, i.e. the desire to obtain additional territory and resources by force, which included using conquered peoples as slaves. Sometimes the greatest "moral equivalent of war" is war itself -- Mussolini invaded Ethiopia as a tactic to strengthen his political power when Italians began to tire of fascism.