Saturday, April 16, 2005

The fascism 14 step program

This week I was traveling extensively on business, as readers could gather from the low post count. As it happens after such long breaks, it is difficult to get back on the saddle as so many events took place and I was so far removed from the daily grind of politics (a nice break in way, though). But when one is too lazy to do the backtracking of a week rich in "barbaridades" there is always something in the mail box from some faithful reader to allow creative juices to flow again.

A political scientist, named Lawrence Britt, wrote in Free Inquiry (the Secular Humanism vehicle) an article titled "Fascism anyone?" Unremarkably this article has been taken over by quite a few liberal leaning sites which either copied the basics or commented extensively on it. For example the Double Standards site added a significant amount of foot notes to the core of Britt article (that site, by Cliff Jackson, is dedicated to educate on the claimed reality of the post September 11). Another site that commented extensively is Couples Company a web site providing advice to modern couples from sex to politics (I suppose for too often neglected pillow talk). In there Laura Dawn Lewis writes, considering the nature of the site, a rather odd and fascinating article, "What is fascism?".

Thus one can see that these sites, who supposedly know a fascist when they see one, should start looking down here at our budding El Supremo. I propose to help them as a collective effort of the readers of this blog. For this let's go back to Lawrence Britt premise. He identifies in the original article 14 common characteristics to fascist regimes, from Hitler to Pinochet going through Sukarno. He observes only deposed regimes as indeed they allow a more complete examination to the characteristics of a proto fascist regime, but whish is also a good excuse not to discuss inconvenient leftist regimes that do show strangely some fascist characteristics such as the ones subjugating Cuba or Libya. The 14 characteristics:

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.

5. Rampant sexism.

6. A controlled mass media.

7. Obsession with national security.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.

9. Power of corporations protected.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.

14. Fraudulent elections.

The original article contains the detailed descriptions, a must read if you want to participate in the next step.

What I propose is that those who feel like it pick up one of these characteristics and write a short assay documenting with adequate links and information each one of these characteristics as they already apply to Venezuela or seem to be on the way of an application in some not so distant future. I will do the ones that are not picked up (or all if necessary) over the next couple of weeks. At the end I will write a round up article putting all the adequate links, to obtain a single complete study that we will be able to pass all around, to enlighten whomever needs it.

The participation rules are as follow:

1)let me know which topic you chose and I will announce it (without your name, in case you have second thoughts later) on my blog so as to reserve it for you. Write me to reserve at danielinyaracuy at gmail dot com

2)you have one to two weeks to write a preferably no more than 2 pages article. I will publish it under your internet chosen name WITH an internet address so that people can write to you instead of me (open your discrete yahoo mail if needed).

3)if you have your own blog it will be fantastic to publish one of more detailed assays if you wish. I would like it to be a collective effort.

4)whether they are published in this blog or elsewhere, please coordinate with me so we publish only one article per day, and it can be duly announced in this blog.

5)and of course, all articles that will be published here or announced in here from other sites, must follow the rules of reasonable language, research and data. This is not Aporrea!

Note added this evening: Jose Mora had already posted Umberto Eco on this matter, from where seems to come the Britt list, without reference to Eco. I remember now having seen something in C.C. but I had forgotten about it and I am glad that we are reminded, so that we can give proper credit to Eco. Thus of course making it more urgent to expose chavismo under the very words of Britt. I recommend to read the Eco version according to Mora and compare to Britt, in particular if you want to pick one of the topics to write on. By the way, 1 and 13 are gone already. Do not delay!

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