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These 14 early signs of fascism sound eerily similar to what's happening in present-day America

As alarmist as it sounds, a closer look at the events of the past few years does seem to indicate that fascism has found roots in global politics once again.

These 14 early signs of fascism sound eerily similar to what's happening in present-day America
Cover Image Source: Twitter/Felonious Munk

At this point in time, even the most socially disconnected person would have a vague notion of how messed up things are in some of the most powerful countries of the world. Even before the pandemic brought life as we know it to a halt and sent the economy into a nosedive, the far-right leaders in power today had led their nations into dark and uncertain times. One might even say fascism has found roots in global politics once again. As alarmist as it sounds, a closer look at everything that's been happening in the world these past few years does seem to point towards this startling possibility.

Take a look at this poster that lists the 14 early signs of fascism, for example:


This particular list has gone viral quite a few times in the past couple of years after the poster was sold in the gift shop of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Based off of an op-ed by Laurence W. Britt for Free Inquiry, the list sounds particularly familiar at this point in American politics. The signs — which comedian Felonious Munk warns are already here — are as follows:

1. Powerful and continuing nationalism

2. Disdain for human rights

3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause

4. Supremacy of the military

5. Rampant sexism

6. Controlled mass media

7. Obsession with national security

8. Religion and government intertwined

9. Corporate power protected

10. Labor power suppressed

11. Disdain for intellectuals & the arts

12. Obsession with crime & punishment

13. Rampant cronyism & corruption

14. Fraudulent elections

In his op-ep, Britt goes in-depth into each of these points after researching seven fascist regimes including Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, Benito Mussolini's Italy, Francisco Franco's Spain, António de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal, George Papadopoulos's Greece, August Pinochet's Chile, and Mohamed Suharto's Indonesia. "I spent about 200 hours researching the fascism article building on a lifetime interest in the subject," he told Snopes.


"Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power," Britt wrote. "These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity." Explaining the first warning sign in the list, "powerful and continuing nationalism," he wrote: "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."


As for the common disdain for human rights displayed by the seven fascist regimes, Britt noted that they "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." The author warned that "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."


Other common traits of these fascist regimes included: "[viewing] women as second-class citizens," "a national security apparatus under direct control of the ruling elite," "[attaching] themselves to the predominant religion of the country and [choosing] to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion," "members of the economic elite [being] pampered by the political elite," "unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent [being] strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed," glorification of the police which "had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse," corruption, and elections being "perverted by the power elite to get the desired result." Ring any bells?


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