A have a friend who calls frequently to argue politics. He never states a position, he just says something inflammatory and then *plays devil's advocate.* It's usually fun until he says something outrageous like, "maybe some people shouldn't vote." This particular call came while I was watching the Election Fraud debates on C-Span live as they happened.
So, at the close of that obnoxious call, he beseeches me to take this test:
It's called "The World's Smallest Political Self-Quiz." If you've been alive for the last 15 years, you've probably already seen it and taken it a few times. Libertarians and Gun Nuts love The World's Smallest Political Quiz because it's so simple even they can understand it. I came out Liberal (70/social 30/economic) -- no surprise there. The numbers show that I lean further to the left on social issues (sex) than I do on economic issues (taxes). It's like reading your political horoscope -- so vague, it's meaningless.
I think he wanted me to take the test because he figured if only I KNEW what being liberal means, I would repent my silly ways.
You'd have to be John Ashcroft not to score liberal on the social questions on this test, but what really chaps my thighs about this quiz is it totally disregards the fact that we participate in a civilized world. That's right folks. All government isn't ALL bad. It's pulled my ass out a sling a couple of times. I really appreciate the fact that it's there to pull other people's ass out of their slings. I would rather that my taxes support WIC and food stamps, health care, and education. I don't trust business or christians to do this. I certainly don't want my children to be taught by them. Forget what would Jesus do. What would Horatio Alger do? It's not only anti-Chrisitan, it's anti-American. And it sucks that language so coarse is required to even talk about this. Anti-American -- what is this? the 50s?
And this doesn't even touch my anger at this quiz.
Maybe we could wring some kind of meaning out such a lame metric during times of peace and prosperity, aka the Clinton Years. But "we live in a post-September 11 world, folks." Everything is different now.
Hitler didn't take over Germany by force. The Reichstag Fire changed everything.
Below are the 14 Characteristics of Fascism according to Dr. Lawrence Britt writing about the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), in Free Inquiry Magazine. Britt found 14 common elements.
He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. You're welcome.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.