• Authoritarianism can be anything from a King to a dictator. It describes the severity of rule. Fascism is a type of government promoting a superiority ideal, and that because of superiority, everything belongs to them by right. That is my understanding of fascism. I have not yet found a clear definition of the government itself.
  • Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism By Dr. Lawrence Britt Source Free 5-28-3 Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each: 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. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. 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 and letters is openly attacked. 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. From Liberty Forum Theodore M. Vestal of Oklahoma State University has written that authoritarianism is characterized by: * "Highly concentrated and centralized power structures," in which political power is generated and maintained by a "repressive system that excludes potential challengers" and uses political parties and mass organizations to "mobilize people around the goals of the government";[1] * The following principles: "1) rule of men, not rule of law; 2) rigged elections; 3) all important political decisions made by unelected officials behind closed doors; 4) a bureaucracy operated quite independently of rules, the supervision of elected officials, or concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve; 5) the informal and unregulated exercise of political power";[1] * Leadership that is "self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens' free choice among competitors" 6). Modern Democracy * No guarantee of civil liberties or tolerance for meaningful opposition;[1] * Weakening of civil society: "No freedom to create a broad range of groups, organizations, and political parties to compete for power or question the decisions of rulers," with instead an "attempt to impose controls on virtually all elements of society";[1] and * Political stability maintained by "control over and support of the military to provide security to the system and control of society; 2) a pervasive bureaucracy staffed by the regime; 3) control of internal opposition and dissent; 4) creation of allegiance through various means of socialization." Authoritarian political systems may be weakened through "inadequate performance to demands of the people."[1] Vestal writes that the tendency to respond to challenges to authoritarianism through tighter control instead of adaptation is a significant weakness, and that this overly rigid approach fails to "adapt to changes or to accommodate growing demands on the part of the populace or even groups within the system."[1] Because the legitimacy of the state is dependent on performance, authoritarian states that fail to adapt may collapse.[1] Authoritarianism is marked by "indefinite political tenure" of the ruler or ruling party (often in a single-party state) or other authority.[1] The transition from an authoritarian system to a democratic one is referred to as democratization.[1] John Duckitt of the University of the Witwatersrand has suggests a link between authoritarianism and collectivism, asseritng that both are in opposition to individualism.[2] Duckitt writes that both authoritarianism and collectivism submerge individual rights and goals to group goals, expectations and conformities.[3] Others argue that collectivism, properly defined, is based on consensus decision-making, the opposite of authoritarianism.
  • 7-26-2017 The most obvious thing about fascism is that it's hard to find two people who agree on what it is, except that it always involves military force to squelch objections to the official viewpoint. Mussolini, the guy who invented it, never bothered to explain it clearly. Authoritarianism means somebody gives orders and everybody else takes them.

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