Sinclair Lewis on Sarah Palin
July 7, 2009
I think some of you already know where I’m going with this.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carry a cross.”
For those of you who miss the point:
- Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
- Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
- Supremacy of the Military
- Rampant Sexism
- Controlled Mass Media
- Obsession with National Security
- Religion and Government are Intertwined
- Corporate Power is Protected
- Labor Power is Suppressed
- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
- Obsession with Crime and Punishment
- Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
- Fraudulent Elections
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. (Yup, I made this one red for a reason.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 .
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(This list is found in many places; I give credit to http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html)
- And if you still don’t get it, may I suggest moseying over to your local bookstore or library and getting The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. And reading it. Not the movie, the book. If this is truly the society you want to live in, just keep voting for those Christofascists over at the GOP. “Country First”? Fuck that. It’s the exact opposite of what the Founding Fathers fought and died for.