In spite of my Lenten news fast, word has seeped through that some on-air personality has announced that the Obama administration is leading the country to fascism. Tonight I overheard a Newt Gingrich claim that the current administration is engineering the biggest power grab in American history that could lead us toward a dictatorship. Apparently he doesn’t like the idea of regulatory standards for non-bank financial companies. Refraining from any kind of rant, I thought I would simply offer a portion of one definition of fascism from Wikipedia. I’m sure there is room to argue with it, but it’s close enough. Take a look and then ask yourself whether any of it sounds familiar to you, any echo of recent political leadership perhaps?
Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race. Fascist movements promote violence between nations, political factions, and races as part of a social Darwinist and militarist stance that views violence between these groups as a natural and positive part of evolution. In the view of these groups being in perpetual conflict, fascists believe only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and have an aggressive warrior mentality by conquering, dominating, and eventually eliminating people deemed weak and degenerate.
Fascist governments permanently forbid and suppress all criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement. Fascist movements oppose any ideology or political system that gives direct political power to people as individuals through elected representatives rather than as a collective nation or race (individualism, liberalism, representative democracy); that is deemed detrimental to national identity and unity (communism, laissez-faire capitalism, non-nationalist and class conflict oriented labour movements); that protects and empowers people deemed weak and degenerate (egalitarianism) and that undermine the military strength and military ambitions of the nation (pacifism). They also oppose traditionalists and conservatives who may seek to preserve any of the privileges, institutions and cultural values that fascism seeks to overthrow.