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The characteristics of Fascism and how we might note its presence today

Is fascism creeping into Australia?

There are clearly no Fascist regimes in Australia, or any regime with even the slightest of Fascist agendas. We’re a luckier country than that.

Broadly speaking, Fascism is:

A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

This clearly does not exist in Australia.

But as this guest post by Paul Cannon disturbingly points out, the ‘rhetoric and behaviour’ of the current federal government (and state governments) could easily have us believe otherwise.


Does it matter if democracy shifts to the right? That depends on where you stand politically. But if the shift is extreme then I think it is of grave concern. And what concerns me even more is the tendency to ignore the shift.

If you don’t look closely you never really notice it or generally laugh it off.

The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism by the author Lawrence Britt, originally published in Free Inquiry Magazine Vol. 23, No. 2, Spring, 2003 are worth noting in regard to current politics in the west These fourteen points are similar but not the same as those published by the author Umberto Eco in 1995, which are also worth reading.

Image from sodahead.com

Image from sodahead.com

Of course, immediately some of you have retreated, because every time the issue of Fascism comes up it is considered passé or too sensational (you can’t say that!) or irrelevant (don’t be ridiculous that was then) and therefore such a comparison to today should not be used. But I believe we hide our heads in the sand when we ignore the trend, even when it is a niche or even isolated elements showing up. Fascism wasn’t closed off in 1945, indeed it continued in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, and periodically in Italy long after the war. It shows up in mass movements across Europe like the British Defence Force, the National Front, and recently UKIP, to use England as just one example. In defining fascism one should avoid Hollywood movies as signifiers of what Fascism actually is and what it looks like. For Fascism to exist today, it cannot be as it was, we have to look for the essence in what is happening now and to ask – what clothes is it wearing?

I am not looking to review Fascism historically, or to dwell on the symptoms of historical Fascism but rather to look at the structure of Fascism and what might be happening now.

Fascism is not by definition totalitarian, it can use that form of governing, but it can be present in democracy. So let’s not be fooled by trying to say its nothing like 1920, or 1933 that is merely a smokescreen.

Fascism developed in Italy. The term Fascism derives from ‘fasces’ the Roman symbol of collectivism and power (a tied bundle of rods with a protruding axe). The Italians also had a description for the concept of Fascism, Benito Mussolini stated that Fascism was ‘estato corporativo’ which means the corporate state (a view also promoted by Othmar Spann in Austria). Fascism is a pretence or veneer of “socialism” or collectivism controlled by capitalism which is in partnership with government (much the same as National Socialism in Germany).

Lawrence Britt studied the National Socialist regime of Germany (Hitler), the Kingdom of Italy (Mussolini), Nationalist or Francoist Spain (Franco), the Military Government Junta of Chile (Pinochet) and other Latin American regimes (Argentina, Paraguay, El Salvador, Brazil), and New Order in Indonesia (Suharto). What Britt found was fourteen defining characteristics as follows:

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 incarcerationsof 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 is glamourised.

5. Rampant Sexism: the governments of fascist nations tend 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 the 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. Labour Power is Suppressed: because the organising power of labour is the only real threat to a fascist government, labour 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.

In relation to Australia we can immediately rule out 1 (although even here there is the false mantra that refugees are illegal) 11, 13, and 14. And with 4, 6, and 8 there are identifiable elements but not the whole.

But the rest 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 12, half, are certainly present in the current federal government rhetoric and behaviour. And if you add elements of 4, 6 and 8, there is a strong shift to the right with a sense of an essence of fascism pervading.

In the current federal government there is:
– a complete disdain for human rights (treatment of indigenous communities, gay people, people who need welfare support payments, disability pensioners, refugees);
– they have manipulated the population by identifying an enemy and scapegoats (“terrorists”, Muslims, refugees);
– the military is not supreme but it is being utilised for civilian purposes, therefore it has been elevated (customs and border control, the indigenous intervention); there is sexism (as demonstrated by Abbott, Pyne and Bernadi among others), and to add – Umberto Eco writes that fascism thrives on creating fear over difference;
– there is a sense of control by cronyism with media, and there is censorship in regard to the refugees coming by boat;
– there is an obsession (pathological) with national security;
– religion is not intertwined but members of the government use their religious affiliation as a bargaining point and they use religious rhetoric to push agendas (Bernadi on the traditional family – whatever that was or is);
– corporate power is definitely protected, even exclusively with environmental considerations, workers rights, and community needs overlooked;
– the corollary is that labour power is suppressed by legislative means;
– there is an unmitigated obsession with crime and punishment (this would be more true of State rather than Federal government but it is present in both).

Umberto Eco makes the point that the very first appeal of a fascist movement is the appeal against the intruders (find a scapegoat and you control a large portion of the voting public).

So is Australia Fascist, well no, not in the historical sense of 1920 or 1933, but there is an alarming trend towards fascist methodology (whether overtly or otherwise) and there is a trend towards corporate control, which is a move away from the rights of groups and individuals, and there is a disregard for our international treaty obligations. The government clearly uses manipulation of the population as to be judged by the government rhetoric that is parroted back on talk back radio by the public often couched in fear ( the refugees would be the clear issue here). There is a disdain for the environment too. And in the proposed education review there is a desire by the education minister to go back in time in terms of how we present contemporary history, labour history, indigenous history, international history (it was Herman Goerring who liked the phrase “when I hear the word culture I reach for my gun”).

The fourteen points demonstrate that what is at stake is freedom, language, history, culture, national identity, and human rights. Fascism is an attitude, albeit a political one, but one that pervades the way governments think and behave.

With seven of the fourteen points by Britt recognisable in current government action and rhetoric there should be more concern in the community about our identity as a nation and therefore our future as a nation. Umberto Eco puts it well when he says “Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plain clothes.”

Bibliography:
Giorgio Agamben. ‘Homo Sacer Sovereign Power and Bare Life’ California, Stanford, 1998
Giorgio Agamben. ‘State of Exception’ Chicago, Chicago Press, 2005
Hanna Arendt ‘The Origins Of Totalitarianism’ Florida, Harcourt, 1968
Umberto Eco. ‘Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt’ New York Review of Books, 1995, pp. 12 – 15.
Roger Griffin. ‘The Nature of Fascism’ Oxon, Routledge, 1993

This article was first published on Paul’s blog Parallax and reproduced with permission.

46 comments

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  1. hooha

    People I have talked to have laughed off the label of “Fascist-like” I have constantly applied to the current regime. This gives my argument solid grounds to maintain the inference. Thank you

  2. Kaye Makovec

    You are not the only one who fears this. Some of us have been pointing out for 4 months that roughly half can be ticked off already and half of the remainder on the way.

  3. Rob

    You don’t get to a fascist state over night, you have to knock over most of the 14 points. To have gotten this far in 6 months is deeply, deeply worrying.

    120,000 march in the streets across the nation and its hardly reported? It’s fascism but not as we know it.

  4. john921fraser

    <

    Anyone seen Margie ?

    No sign of her on this overseas trip with Sir Pository Abbott.

  5. Don Winther

    Legalized “Bigotry, mockery and humiliation” by Senator Brandis and the Victorian Police have changed to a Black uniform that are made in China. The Black Shirts!!!

  6. halsaul

    Reading “Death of the Liberal Class” by Chris Hedges. Quote – Without any impediments, the corporate state is dismantling the last vestiges of protection for ordinary citizens. Press, Unions, liberal religion, politics are collapsed as effective counter-weights to the Corporate State. Abbott is too fond of uniforms & power, without the wisdom required to be a Prime Minister with a good vision for the country. I fear for the “have-nots and even the middle-class ” People seem to be sleep-walking into a very different Australia with this Government.

  7. Stephen Tardrew

    I have noted before that we can see economic fascism as a separate and more insidious form of fascism in that there are no prisons, armies or police state dictatorships nevertheless if you control the money supply and the distribution of wealth while disempowering the middle class, poor and vulnerable this is fascism by stealth. And if these means of control reach out into the global community through corptocracy, financial institutions and rigged trade agreements then individual representation is further diminishes. Power of money in politics is not democratic.

    Unreasonable constraints upon the media can help to entrench capitalist neoconservatism that has strayed so far from the essential attributes of democracy that it has strong economic fascist tendencies.

    How far must it go before it is too far? Right now I feel we have our heads fully pressed up against the window.

    This we must discuss.

    We live in a social democracy which should emphasize and pursue social justice and equity. However individual responsibility, free will and fallacious free speech has been used to undermined the original objectives of democracy. Magical mythical thinking and irrational judgement, blame and retribution are turned against those who suffer through no fault of their own. And these metaphors have deeply entrenched religious origins. Victim blame is a very effective escape route for conservatives.

    We are undoubtedly worried and I think the use of the term economic fascism can be qualified to counter the socialist left carping so often used by the right. I cannot think of another term that would have the required weight to pull people out of their complacency.

    This is simply a suggestion and I am interested to see what others think.

  8. David Stephens

    Good stuff. I have a speech in the works on behalf of honesthistory.net.au suggesting we are developing a state ideology, Anzacism, which has parallels with other state ideologies. My only slight concern with the above article is that the 14 characteristics are present to a degree in most Western advanced societies.

  9. Diana

    I disagree with only one aspect of the above well-presented piece. I think the only one of the fourteen points not currently operating in Australia is point 1, the flag-waving one. Items 2-14 are either already established or very imminent. David Stephens makes a good point about the 14 characteristics being present ‘to a degree’ in most Western societies, but the key words are ‘to a degree’. It is the extent of the negative transformation that has occurred in Australia in only seven months that plainly demonstrates the extent of the damage that has already been done.

  10. Brian

    Abbott is like a child attempting to fix a broken washing machine. Not only does he not understand what makes it go round, he’s completely ignorant of what happens when you cross the wrong wires. This dope, just like Reagan in the U.S. is the front man for the corporates, nothing more, nothing less. He does not represent the people who elected him but those with the money and influence to keep him in power. He will undermine decades of hard won victories for social equality just so he can park his arse at the top table and play the big man. Mussolini would be impressed I’m sure. Another ‘Big Note’ but bloody dangerous all the same.

  11. Leon

    I’m not surprised by this, I’ve made this argument, not in so many points, but pretty much the same. I’m worried it’s only been seven months. If only we could throw this lot out.

  12. xiaoecho

    People rightly point out that number 1 isn’t currently a concern. Anzacism will start in earnest when the commemorations for the first world war get under way. I fear militarism will become a cult in Australia. Already it is deemed ‘unpatriotic’ by government and their propagandists in the press to criticise the military, even when justified. I agree with Diana, all the charactaristics 2-14 are present to degree in our society and I echo others concern that Aussies are sleepwalking into tyranny. We need to talk about this and demystify fascism.
    At the moment any comparison of the exact same actions of Hitler and Newman (outlawing certain minorities from practicing their trades and professions) will bring howls of outrage from the majority. People need to become aware that dictators start small.

  13. Truth Seeker

    If you want to note its presence today, just look for the full suite of pointers (Minus the flag waving) in QLD. 😯 and Abbott is only six + months in and not that far behind!

    Be afraid people… be very afraid.

    WA the country is depending on you, to make sure it’s not open slather for these dickhead fascists!

    Put the fascists (The LNP) LAST! 👿

    Cheers 😉

  14. billabonglime

    Reblogged this on Nuclear Ideas and commented:
    So frightening to see these steps or ideological views creeping onto the politics of our country, more frightening to see them creeping into our society via the overly monopolised media content we watch,read and listen to.
    Many points here are actual now in our country and society. The treatment of asylum seekers and the ignoring of their plight, conditions and even murder. The imprisonment of children, pregnant women. A
    Almost hate promotion via some media against some groups, the turning of every day Australians against the views of other Australians in an aggressive and diversional way as to create massive divide in society.
    Now we see also with this latest government a media and political campaign against unionism, the poor, the weak and frail. Increased spending on military and watering down of laws that protect racial groups and individuals of minorities from persecution.
    We are witnessing a government further into the bed of big business than the last ignoring educational needs of our young and increasing the military like ability of police agencies to take punitive measures against those less educated and those who peacefully protest what they see as injustice against our society as a whole.
    We see a media that can brush off or ignore with jest a protest of over 120,000 people, (March in March 2014) state and federal governments willing to destroy our environment, our food sources, our water table and environmental treasures for the sake of large mining and fossil fuel companies that give absolutely nothing back to the people who own these resources. Companies that may or may not hold the promise of more power for government or lean meat jobs for thee politicians upon retirement from politics along withe massive donations to their particular parties.
    Australia we need to wake up and educate those that are blinded by the mass media campaigns designed to numb society into easy rapid mindset change for the benefit of those that wish to rule instead of govern and coordinate our country’s destiny and health.
    All the signs mentioned in this article are there slowly but surly being drip fed into our social fabric and we need to nip it in the bud fast so as to stop the rotting decay it brings.

  15. mars08

    “As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air — however slight — lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”

    ~US Supreme Court Judge, William O Douglas (1898 – 1980)

  16. 'FairGo Australia'

    “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.”

    Makes one wonder about the lost senate election papers in W.A. … Were they accidently lost or worse still, deliberately lost to achieve an advantage in the upper house …
    And Murdoch’s MSM debacle of being biased against LABOR before and during the 2013 election campaign; it clearly was purely and simply a media manipulation and could be considered as a ‘means to an end’ that clearly favoured the LNP Coalition …. This appears to make the current government’s leaning towards a fascist regime a little more likely … That only leaves them six or less points before it can be deemed as a totally fascist regime … And it appears that this is more likely to happen than not …

  17. greg toland

    A Well written article, Highlighting the Direction this country is Heading This Man Abbott Is either Being very underhand or doe’snt understand that he is being Used, Its Very very scary because Most People in the General population would not Be aware Of what is actually Happening The Likes of Franco, Mussolini used to perform at the Head of the Vanguard Not our Illustrious (B)leader He pushes others forward to espouse some radical idea and then he see s which way the wind is Blowing having learnt that from Honest John Howard, Remember when he first became Opposition Leader He would say something Stupid (Again ) and a couple of days later would rescind it saying he was mis quoted , I am Hoping People will see through Him and its starting to Happen Via the March in March forum, In this day and age They ( Government ) cannot control the Facebooks, Twitters etc sadly the Media has been tainted already It would seem Can Do is further down this track

  18. kevin Arnold

    I commented on this subject in an article on thursday. Greg O referred me to an article by Daniel Hannan of the Telegraph( London version). I took my time to read it and respond. To my great relief the subject of the creeping tide of fascism has been explained above far better than I could. My view of the link between conservatism and fascism is more simplistic. The Abbott brand of conservatism and the Hitler brand of fascism would have no trouble co-habiting with each other. There is no need to call yourself anything in particular. In fact, Abbott as a liberal and Hitler as a socialist is a perversion even if they do put a capital letter at the front. Just a two word slogan for the Nazis and we know what Abbott and co.
    can do with the three word variety.
    To Greg O, after reading the article by Daniel Hannan, I see no reason to believe he explained why I am wrong to be critical of the conservatives of the thirties. The Nazis were just as evil before 1939 as they were after. Industry leaders and at least one member of the British royal family were lining up to to meet and be photographed with Herr Hitler, even while he was practising his heinous acts. All admired his control over the population and his innate anti-communism. A case of ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. He quotes people like Josef Goebbels and Adolf Hitler to prove that they were really socialist of (in their own minds at least) a purer kind than the Soviets. Given that Herr Goebbels was the author of that great philosophy “the bigger the lie and and the more you repeat it the more likely people are to believe it” it is a bit dangerous to believe anything that he might have to say. Now the link between Mr Abbott and Herr Hitler has been very expertly put in the above article and needs no expansion on my part.By the way, the Hannah article makes great use of the term “of the left” to try to put every critic in the same mould. I have beliefs that you would call left but am not “of the left” as that would put me in a position to be manipulated. That was the theme of my comment of thursday, if you can get people to hate then they can be told what to hate.

  19. Paolo Soprani

    All very true, all very scary, particularly the MSM ignoring the March in March.

  20. mars08

    The vast majority of Australians will tell you that the political pendulum in this country swings naturally to the right and the left. They think that, over time, it spends most of it’s time in the “safe” middle ground.

    I believe they are kidding themselves… Seems to me that, for the last three decades, the PIVOT of that political pendulum has been moving steadily to the right. A casual observer might still be seeing a swing, without noticing that the centre has moved significantly. Good grief, even that solid conservative Malcolm Fraser, it a bleeding-heart leftie by today’s standards!

  21. diannaart

    Excellent article.

    Some have questioned point 1, regarding “flag waving” – failed attempts to change the Australian flag don’t count?

  22. mars08

    Maybe… perhaps… sort of a similar question to that asked by diannaart… What about southern cross tatts?

  23. fryaduck

    Godwin’s Law invoked at the start, thread over

  24. Bacchus

    Godwin’s law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one’s opponent) with Nazis – often referred to as “playing the Hitler card”. The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics, or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies, if that was the explicit topic of conversation, since a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate, in effect committing the fallacist’s fallacy.

    Ergo, in the context of discussing Fascism, you’re FOS and a roasted duck 😀

  25. mars08

    Godwin’s Law is an easy out from another era… Even Mike Godwin thinks it DOES NOT apply to discussions about the Abbott government.

  26. Nuovo Novalis in Terra Australis

    An excellent article.

    However, fascism is difficult to define simply and there were differences between them depending on social context e.g. the Australian New Guard vs Spanish fascism vs Italian fascism vs Croatian fascism vs Austrian fascism vs German fascism. One aspect that has been deliberately downplayed, for fear of sounding like a defense, is the rise of fascism as an anti-Bolshevik movement, one that promoted itself as a protective bulwark against the tide of Leninist revolution sweeping Europe. In this way of thinking, anything, however belligerent and violent it might be, was justified to contain the threat of the Red Spectre of which Marx and Engels spoke in their Communist Party Manifesto. In that sense, it is an aggressive anti-leftist political programme that sees shadows of the Red Spectre everywhere and finds fit to seek and exterminate it. Even the National Socialist persecution of the Jews was part of this because many leading union leaders and left-wing political leaders such as Rosa Luxemburg were Jewish. Marxism was seen as a “Jewish conspiracy” and exterminating Jews and left-wingers became one and the same thing: both were murdered in concentration camps. Hence the term “Judeo-Bolshevism” used by the National Socialists.

    The sheer aggressiveness of the rising neoliberal far-right today has more than a little of such attitudes underlying it. Today they find shadows of the Red Spectre in feminism, gay rights, the separation of state and religion, and even in climate change science. They see terrifying shadows of a crypto-Bolshevik threat in need of urgent exorcism in all such things.

    My thoughts on the subject:

    The Resurgence of a Mainstream Far Right

  27. Stephen Tardrew

    I still think this is a new type of economic fascism that does not necessarily fufil the extremes of political fascism however it is more insidious because it is hidden behind a veil of news speak and obvious lies. In this sense Goodwin’s Law is not applicable.

    Who needs police and weapons when you control the whole of the financial sector. The corporate and financial sectors are only temporarily interested in national politics which is a side dish to the main course geared towards global financial control of governance. National governments will simply play on the periphery juggling limited local concerns. Try the EU.

    Just look at the recent Supreme court decision in the US continually increasing the power of dark money. Wall Street, the City of London and the EU are all complicit in this winding back of wages and conditions through austerity. If it wasn’t for Obama’s limited stimulus the Republicans would have placed the US in a much worse position.

    There is no limit to the greed of Reinhardt the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and their protégés. Abbott is a bit player wanting to play a part in the main game. Remember we are minor players on a larger chess board. We need to stop looking in the wrong place. Abbott an Co are playing to a lager audience and Australians are simply the means to an end. TPP trade agreement and all other ongoing negotiations reinforce this point.

    There is a process of power and control that is hiding behind fluctuating political imperatives swinging LNP and unfortunately Labor further toward the right and oligarchic corptocracy. The fascist metaphors of old will not wash. What we need a new is a new perspective based in economic fascism to disclose this insidious process of unfettered Global control.

    These guys want to be at the heart of Global power and control.

  28. Pingback: The characteristics of Fascism and how we might...

  29. Egalitarian

    By the time many of you over educated boffins decide what is and what isn’t Fascism it will all be over bar the minimal shouting.Really! you must stop talking to yourselves.John Howard won over many of the ignorant working class years ago.And you never allowed Pauline Hanson’s discussion to take place.Many in the Liberal party are just mad dangerous fanatics. They mean business.But you need to start talking to the ignorant to explain an alternative view. Because they’re not getting it.We have become an American style Multinational owned Privatized / Capitalist’s society. 80% of it is in place.Now they are just setting it up for their Final Solution.My only analogy here is that we are Ted Hopkins in the 1970 Grand Final. Though we have just come the ground for the first time in the last quarter.Can we win ?

  30. Stephen Tardrew

    Egalitarian we live in a democracy and it is only the voters who can change governments. I personally am involved with many political and technical groups willing to put effort in to changing the status quo. We must work together and stop this internal conflict. I don’t care who you are if you believe in justice and equity you are my friend.

  31. Bill Morris

    The piece is far too long to actually get read by those who need to read and understand it. The introduction itself appears to answer the question and that is where many will stop reading.

    I suggest under the heading “What is Fascism” list the 14 points, then a briefer summing up ending with the question “So is Australia becoming Fascist” and leave the readers to answer the question for themselves.

    Then put it on Facebook.

  32. Tony Grant

    Will we be able to vote these people out? Palmer/Reinhart and their Billions? Murdoch telling the story?
    7/14 plus change…rhetoric in 7 months?
    If we have a vote we can choose…never liked brown uniforms!

  33. mars08

    That whole freedom of speech thingy is sooo annoying….

    PUBLIC servants will be urged to ­dob in colleagues posting political criticism of the Abbott government on social media, even if the comments are anonymous, under new Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet guidelines.

    The sweeping new rules will even cover ­public servants posting political comments anonymously, including mummy bloggers on parenting websites, if a colleague knew their online identity.

    The new policy clearly states it covers the use of social media in an official and unofficial ­capacity, whether for professional or personal use. If public servants are found to have ­breached the ­Australian Public Service Code of Conduct they could be sacked. Colleagues will also be encouraged to dob in each other.

    “If an employee becomes aware of another employee who is engaging in conduct that may breach this policy, there is an expectation that the employee will report the conduct to the ­department,’’ the policy states.“

    “This means that if you receive or become aware of a social media communication by another PM & C employee that is not consistent with this policy, you should advise that person accordingly and inform your supervisor.”

    Story here- http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/colleagues-told-dob-in-political-web-posts/story-fnii5s3y-1226875635588

    It’s not fascism… but on certain days you can just see it out on the horizon!!!

  34. Roy

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” ― Benito Mussolini

  35. diannaart

    @Egalitarian

    Since when does 21st century fascism have to be identical to 1920-30’s version?

    What we consider democracy today does is no more identical to the Greeks’ of 2400 years ago.

    Comparison is how we learn to understand.

    Pretending nothing is wrong because it does not exactly match something that proved to be very wrong is risky and that’s an understatement.

  36. Möbius Ecko

    Indeed post WWII fascism or neo-fascisim has elements of the old fascism but is in many ways distinct from it.

  37. qraal

    Wait for the Armies of the Unemployed being deployed to collective housing (“barracks”) and marching up and down the streets sweeping for one meal a day, as the Final Solution to excess labour, thanks to the great Corporate Sell-out of Australian Workers. And formation of “People’s Militias” to put a stop to those evil Unionists dominating the Construction Industry and Public Services… Fascism was always big on “Discipline” as the great panacea for social ills.

  38. lawrencewinder

    I’m surprised no-one has nominated “The Coots-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe (IPA) for a guernsey.

  39. Maree Elizabeth

    I do dislike being a bearer of bad news folks.. but … fascism is here .. there is no mistake about it… and its not going to be stopped by any earthly opposition. whether you realize it or not, politicians of all flavors are doing what they are told all around the world.. or cant you see it ? its called one world order. now don’t forget to thank the Vatican and the EU the worlds masters ..

  40. Maree Elizabeth

    The problem we the peasants(not super rich) of today have… is we do not know history well enough… not our fault.. the fascists don’t want us to know… stuff like who owns the British crown… who owns the world banks and biggest corporations that owns every other corporation of significance …. who owns the armed forces around the world…

  41. 'FairGo Australia'

    Too right about the NWO … There aim is to create a totalitarian hierarchy that will exploit all us peasants to no end … We must resist the power of the Elitist few and become empowered ourselves to stem their flow of complete domination over us … We are born as equals and we must stick to this ideology if we want to retain our freedom …

  42. Andreas Bimba

    For some unknown reason the English speaking countries have had their democracies most effectively seized by external power centres most notably the fossil fuel industry and the finance industry. Both sectors are so obsessed with pursuing their narrow self interests that nothing else matters to them. The destructive zeal of these two economic sectors is totalitarian in its recklessness and cruelty.

    The finance sector continually creates destructive economic bubbles that eventually collapse leaving ordinary people to suffer and even manipulates governments (taxpayers) to compensate them for their losses. The finance sector now gains far more wealth through forcibly extracting wealth by manipulating the law and the political process than by providing a useful service in a competitive market to consumers, for example our compulsory superannuation laws. The fund managers receive huge fees and deliver returns that are worse than the average growth of the share market indices.

    Worst of all is the fossil fuel industries funded propaganda and corruption of our governments to enable the unconstrained emission of green house gases. Even the IPCC’s reckless compromise of setting a 2 deg C global warming limit (twice what has been recommended by Dr James Hansen) will result after some centuries in a sea level rise of ~ 4.6m. The world is currently on target to exceed 4 deg C warming if fossil fuels are phased out relatively slowly giving a sea level rise of ~9.2m. Most cities, agriculture and most of the human population lives along the coasts. The average height above sea level of Tokyo for example is only 5m, Shanghai is 4m, Miami only 1.8m. The energy involved in storms and storm surges will increase enormously as global warming increases and coastal erosion will extend far inland. Many eco systems will be destroyed. Burning all current reserves of oil, coal and gas which is what the fossil fuel industry currently plans to do will most likely lead to release of much of the Arctic’s methane hydrates, the complete melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and eventual sea level rise of over 60m as well as risking possible extinction of most life on earth.

    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/03/26/long-term-sea-level-rise-will-be-much-higher-but-barely-studied-ipcc/

    http://assets.climatecentral.org/pdfs/Strauss-PNAS-2013-v2.pdf

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/climate-change/climate-scientists-ipcc-is-wrong-we-need-a-1-degree-limit-on-warming-16228387

  43. flrpwll

    Interesting, given the last couple of days.

    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 is glamourised.

  44. mars08

    For some unknown reason the English speaking countries have had their democracies most effectively seized by external power centres…

    Oh good grief. It’s no mystery. You answered your own question. We share the same language and cultural roots.

    Back around 2001 I started spending waaay too much time on a progressive American site… smirkingchimp.com. That was when the American neocons were coming into full bloom. Washington DC was their playground. The bullshit and deceptions they were spreading in the US press is being bounced around by OUR right-wing pundits these days. Our clowns are too lazy to conjure up their own material. They just borrow the American wingnut crap and change it (very slightly) to suit a local audience. The vapid, mindless crap I used to see from American wingnuts over a decade ago is almost identical to the rubbish not being spewed on Australian sites. Our right-wing trolls and tossers have an almost inexhaustible source our bullshit at their disposal. It’s so easy for them.

    We get their news stories and talk shows without any translation of editing. Whenever American interests are attacked around the world, we get THEIR story… unfiltered. We hear THEIR politician banging on about freedom and justice… without any context. Someone’s children get killed by a drone in Pakistan… you just see a screeching brown-person waving their hands around. You don’t hear THEIR story in THEIR words.

    And what about the TV shows??? Good lord!!! How many TV shows, week after week, do their best to strike fear into the hearts of their English speaking-audience. The world is full of threats and only the determination Washington DC can protect us! English-speaking people are the victims in these shows. And the heroes speak English. Anyone else is just part of the scenery. The fear and hate in these shows speaks to the Australian audience.

    Is it any wonder that we are so convinced that our salvation depends on English-speaking leaders? Are was surprised that the anglosphere looks to the US for solutions…? Even when the US is part of the problem? Why would we question how easy it is for the interests of multinational corporations to become interwoven with the interests of our general public.

  45. Joe De Lede

    Abbot is, quite likely – in psychological terms – the most dangerous politician, ever to have held high office in Australia.

    He is the ultimate ‘Hollow-Man’ – nothing more than a prism-hologram into which is projected – & thereby perverted – elements of the various strong personalities who he idolizes & attempts to emulate – esp. Santamaria, Ronald Conway & Emmet Costello.

    Intellectually, he is a debauched, bargain-basement Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre – in pygmy-dwarf form-factor.

    Australians will come to rue the day

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