… just what will get a debate going, so I am interested that my last post, about one of the biggest, if not the biggest, culture shocks of my life, is being widely read.
I lived in Franco’s Spain for a couple of years in the early seventies, and I lived here in Indonesia for Suharto’s last ten years. Outside those periods of necessary conformity, I stretched boundaries with an open mind. I marched with the Anti-Nazi League and Rocked Against Racism.
Yet I was still highly agitated upon seeing that display of racist ranting at the Indonesian Book Fair. Tedious though others say it might be, allowing Indonesian folk to be bored by Mein Kampf is not an option I approve of. As I say in the comments, the war against fascism, which started in Franco’s Spain three years before Hitler invaded Poland, is deeply ingrained in my personal history, if only because I was conceived the night that the war in European was won.
My father often said that he fought the war for the likes of me, and for that I’m grateful. However, I’ve been a lifelong pacifist, but like many others in my position, I do wonder how I would have reacted if I had been born as part of my father’s generation. Volunteered for a non-combatant’s position? ( My extreme myopia may well have disbarred me from actual combat duty, but who knows?) The war against fascism was, I feel, a righteous war ~ and still is.
In 2004, Laurence W. Britt published his The Fourteen Identifying Characteristics of Fascism in the Free Inquiry magazine.
We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics.
For the purpose of this perspective, I (considered) the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia.
As this is a copyrighted article (shame) I am just appending the list. For the clarifications, either fill them in yourselves, or go to the link.
01. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
02. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
03. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
04. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
05. Rampant sexism.
06. A controlled mass media.
07. Obsession with national security.
08. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
09. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.