Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism

Creative Commons image by Rob Bogaerts, via the National Archives in Holland

One of the key questions facing both journalists and loyal oppositions these days is how do we stay honest as euphemisms and trivializations take over the discourse? Can we use words like “fascism,” for example, with fidelity to the meaning of that word in world history? The term, after all, devolved decades after World War II into the trite expression fascist pig, writes Umberto Eco in his 1995 essay “Ur-Fascism,” “used by American radicals thirty years later to refer to a cop who did not approve of their smoking habits.” In the forties, on the other hand, the fight against fascism was a “moral duty for every good American.” (And every good Englishman and French partisan, he might have added.)

Eco grew up under Mussolini’s fascist regime, which “was certainly a dictatorship, but it was not totally totalitarian, not because of its mildness but rather because of the philosophical weakness of its ideology. Contrary to common opinion, fascism in Italy had no special philosophy.” It did, however, have style, “a way of dressing—far more influential, with its black shirts, than Armani, Benetton, or Versace would ever be.” The dark humor of the comment indicates a critical consensus about fascism. As a form of extreme nationalism, it ultimately takes on the contours of whatever national culture produces it.

It may seem to tax one word to make it account for so many different cultural manifestations of authoritarianism, across Europe and even South America. Italy may have been “the first right-wing dictatorship that took over a European country,” and got to name  the political system. But Eco is perplexed “why the word fascism became a synecdoche, that is, a word that could be used for different totalitarian movements.” For one thing, he writes, fascism was a fuzzy totalitarianism, a collage of different philosophical and political ideas, a beehive of contradictions.”

While Eco is firm in claiming “There was only one Nazism,” he says, “the fascist game can be played in many forms, and the name of the game does not change.” Eco reduces the qualities of what he calls “Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism” down to 14 “typical” features. “These features,” writes the novelist and semiotician, “cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.”

  1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”
  2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”
  3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
  4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”
  5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”
  6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”
  7. The obsession with a plot. “Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged.”
  8. The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”
  9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”
  10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”
  11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”
  12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”
  13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”
  14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”

This abridged list (available in full at The New York Review of Books) comes to us from Kottke, by way of blogger Paul Bausch, who writes “we have a strong history of opposing authoritarianism. I’d like to believe that opposition is like an immune system response that kicks in.”

One detail of Eco’s essay that often goes unremarked is his characterization of the Italian opposition movement’s unlikely coalitions. The Resistance included Communists who “exploited the Resistance as if it were their personal property,” and leaders like Eco’s childhood hero Franchi, “so strongly anti-Communist that after the war he joined very right-wing groups.” This itself may be a specific feature of an Italian resistance, one not observable across the number of nations that have resisted totalitarian governments. As for the seeming total lack of common interest between these parties, Eco simply says, “Who cares?… Liberation was a common deed for people of different colors.”

Read Eco’s essay at The New York Review of Books. There he elaborates on each element of fascism at greater length. And support NYRB by becoming a subscriber.

via Kottke

Related Content:

The Story of Fascism: Rick Steves’ Documentary Helps Us Learn from the Hard Lessons of the 20th Century

Yale Professor Jason Stanley Identifies Three Essential Features of Fascism: Invoking a Mythic Past, Sowing Division & Attacking Truth

20,000 Americans Hold a Pro-Nazi Rally in Madison Square Garden in 1939: Chilling Video Re-Captures a Lost Chapter in US History

Rare 1940 Audio: Thomas Mann Explains the Nazis’ Ulterior Motive for Spreading Anti-Semitism

George Orwell Reviews Mein Kampf: “He Envisages a Horrible Brainless Empire” (1940)

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Comments (98)
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  • Dennis says:

    Sounds awfully much like the SJWs of the left

  • Randy says:

    With the exception of item 1, I agree.

    While I find Trump to be … horrifying… I also found the Clinton campaign policy to be equally horrifying.

  • Glynn Kilara says:

    DRumpf is a classical Fascist by Eco”s definitions. Fascism has finally arrived here. I suspect though it will be uniquely an American hybrid.

  • Malinda says:

    It sounds exactly like black South Africa today.

  • Laszlo Toth says:

    Dennis, two questions:

    One, how exactly does #12, “machismo and weaponry,” sound “awfully much like the SJWs of the left?”

    Two, you wouldn’t happen to own a bar in Philadelphia, would you?

  • joe says:

    cult of tradition?
    rejection of modernism?
    fear of difference?
    machismo and weaponry?
    sorry, whatever else you may say about the left, i don’t see these as hallmarks.

  • Emerald says:

    Trump is definitely authoritarian but the real danger is that the party that supports him is #2 – ”The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”

    The extremist, regressive and obsessive position with religious belief, their refusal to believe in science. While the rest of the world moves progressively forward, Americans as a people continue to live in the past, adhering to rigid morals and values hundreds of years old. There are SOME progressives but not enough to move the country forward in a positive way.

  • Woody says:

    Half of these features characterize the right and the other half the left. It seems to me that both parties have managed to create a level of division that brings to mind mid 19th century America, and the media is a big part of the problem. Journalism is dead. Now the media is a servant to the left and right respectively. Maybe a two party system isn’t the way to go, and maybe the media needs to stop pushing propaganda. Ideology is a fickle beast. If a fellow American doesn’t have the same beliefs as you, that’s OK. There is no need for a safe space, or to resort to violence, we live in a democracy! Change can be made through the system. That’s a fact Jack! Sorry for the knitted sweater that is my comment. Also, I love you all.

  • TheWorm says:

    Hahaha, I live the second one :)

  • chris Pike says:

    There we go right wingers in first trying to neuter the debate.

  • chris Pike says:

    The media is a servant of the right to serve the rich in their continuing exploitation of the poor working class and the middle classes. Trump will make life even worse for the the majority of Americans (he stared this yesterday with his taxation policy couched in caring right wing rhetoric.

  • Brooke Byrne says:

    I would add:

    1) restriction of higher education except of those inculcated into ideology during youth. No thinking for yourself!
    2) formation of youth groups to indoctrinate ideology into future generations.
    3) using artistic ventures as propaganda tools and punishing independent artists for speaking against the regime. Totalitarians always seem to understand the power of the arts.

    All of Eco’s points can be used by “left” or “right” (Germany, Italy, China, Soviet Union) the moral is to recognize the tendencies and resist!

  • Benny H. says:

    No! With a few eceptions, one or two of these items are not enough to be present to allow fascism to coagulate around them. This is a serious reservation I have…
    Any accounting of a list without discussion is an oversimplification. An oversimplification is always narrowing the reader’s choices, especially of those that mostly need a liberal education.
    To give an example: To stand against tradition is not necssecarilly antifascistic. Neither to be a fanatic of Enlightment.

  • Mary Hawkins says:

    Demonizing opposing views is a tactic employed by the left and the right. But the overarching theme of fear of change and regression is antithetical to progressive ideologies. We all need to check ourselves when we enter into any absolutist, emotionally-charged rhetoric. The election of Trump and liberal backlash thereof is an awakening by millions who have been complacent observers of their government. I see that as a positive thing because it means we will all become less lazy in our thinking. More critical thinking, less reactionism. We can only hope.

  • Dolores J. Nurss says:

    I would modify #1 to a cult of dead tradition. Living tradition, like any living creature, adapts and grows. For instance, over time most Christians came to a realization that persecution was not evangelism, and violence against other religions, once considered a service to Christ, was in fact a betrayal of His teachings. A dead tradition does not grow.

  • Devin says:

    How does this apply to the left? I believe the essay made is perfectly clear that in order to qualify as a traditional facist movement it must jave at least one of the items listed.

  • Readloudnation says:

    Demonizing opposing views is a tactic employed by the left and the right. But the overarching theme of fear of change and regression is antithetical to progressive ideologies. We all need to check ourselves when we enter into any absolutist, emotionally-charged rhetoric. The election of Trump and liberal backlash thereof is an awakening by millions who have been complacent observers of their government. I see that as a positive thing because it means we will all become less lazy in our thinking. More critical thinking, less reactionism. We can only hope.

    By Donald Trump Muslim ban will keep Oscar-nominated director Asghar Farhadi from 2017 ceremony

  • Patricia Cremer says:

    I want to sign up to this terrific sight and don’t see a sign up as in name and email which is all I have, no social media what so ever, just a computer, no iPhone.

    Also: King of them all Umberto, endless what he is all about, First, British, both sides at the same time- up side down and backwards knowing he is funny, he is his words, that is who he is, beyond brilliant, never able to capture him in words. and what I see in comments, he reveals in Name of The Rose, every single one of them

  • Patricia Cremer says:

    How to sign up for all your offerings as shown. Not anything but computer,Mac, no iPhone no social media, just computer email

  • Michael Brandow says:

    “The rejection of modernism … an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.” That covers pretty much all of academia.

  • Kung T'ze says:

    Professor Eco qualifies for ten of the 14. Is this the ironic autobiography of an unconscious Fascist, or do all European philosophies look so depressingly bland and similar?

  • yvonne lunde-andreassen says:

    Ditto UK; I seem to recall Orwell linked this to laguage;

  • bob says:

    Uh no. All media except fox news serves the left, thats why its called the liberal media. 90% of the richest people in america are democrat left wingers. Most of the middle class is right wing. You are wrong on all your points. Lookup the parties of the richest Americans, the political spectrum of all the media and the voting statistics of the middle class and you will see how wrong you are.

    Fascism is left wing and always has been.
    Left wing = big government/more government. Fascism/communism/monarchy/dictatorship are all on the left giving more power to the government.

    Right wing = small government/less government. The further right you go the less government you get until eventually you have anarchy.

  • Marsha says:

    1.The left want open borders because we are traditionally a nation of immigrants.
    2.Their ‘modernism’ is not philosophical, it is ideological; huge difference. Philosophical modernism is tolerance of all points of view, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of the citizens. People can believe in Sharia law (talk about machismo and rejection of modernism!), or communism (no right to personal property and redistribution of it by a government), or Nazism (deadly extreme Darwinism: destroy the ‘unfit’ as defined by a them), or fascism (government controls industry, such as quotas, etc., no free market), but they must not enact it upon other citizens. (possibly, arguably, not even on their own children; like FGM, or not allowing girls to learn to read or write.)
    3.The ‘left’ claim that multicultural means all the different races and religions must be represented equally throughout society (equity of outcome is a supremely dangerous ideology). The right claim that equity of opportunity is ideal for citizens, which includes all the different points of view – the content of their character, not the color of their skin, and really has little or nothing to do with the race or ethnicity. Fear of difference is not about skin color! In much of today’s establishments and institutions, conservatism is branded as fascism, and conservatives dare not speak their minds. This is NOT multicultural, it is fascist.
    4.The current state of the so-called women’s movement is merely women being MACHO and hateful toward white men and western society in general, which is, of course stupid, since it’s only in western societies that we have even these rights, and white men who ended slavery, which had been going on since humans have had tribes, and has historically included any and all ethnicities, by the way. Also, one more word on machismo and weapons: Antifa. There is a strong imbalance of hatred and violence coming from the left, because, in their nasty ideology, only people who state the politically correct opinions should be allowed to speak, and the vast bulk of their argument are straw man arguments, where they are fighting against the various horrid labels that they put onto anyone who disagrees with them. They actually insist they have the moral high ground, and all others be damned! The right generally just want to be left alone.

  • Marsha Fields says:

    To Joe’s question/comment from Nov. 2016: 1.The left want open borders because we are traditionally a nation of immigrants. It’s all about traditionalism.
    2.Their ‘modernism’ is not philosophical, it is ideological; huge difference. Philosophical modernism is tolerance of all points of view, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of the citizens; your right to swing your arm ends where the other guy’s nose begins. People can believe in Sharia law (talk about machismo and rejection of modernism!), or communism (no right to personal property and redistribution of it by a government), or Nazism (deadly extreme Darwinism: destroy the ‘unfit’ as defined by a them), or fascism (government controls industry, such as quotas, etc., no free market), but they must not enact it upon other citizens. (possibly, arguably, not even on their own children; like FGM, or not allowing girls to learn to read or write.)
    3.The ‘left’ claim that multicultural means all the different races and religions must be represented equally throughout society’s institutions (equal opportunity is great, but the equity of outcome is a supremely dangerous ideology). Equal opportunity is the best goal, because it includes all the different points of view – based on the content of our character, not the color of our skin; it has little or nothing to do with the race. The leftist fear of difference is not about skin color, but about difference of opinion. In much of today’s establishments and institutions, conservatism is branded as fascism, and conservatives dare not speak their minds. This is NOT multicultural, it is totalitarian and fascist: agree to open borders and hatred of Trump (the intruder), or lose your job. 4.The current state of the so-called women’s movement is merely women being MACHO and hateful toward white men and western society in general, which is, of course stupid, since it’s only in western societies that we have even these rights, and white men who ended slavery, which had been going on since humans have had tribes, and has historically included any and all ethnicities, by the way. Also, one more word on machismo and weapons: Antifa. There is a strong imbalance of hatred and violence coming from the left, because, in their nasty ideology of Identity by Group, only people who state the politically correct opinions should be allowed to speak, and the vast bulk of their arguments are straw man arguments, where they are fighting against the various horrid labels that they put onto anyone who disagrees with them. They actually insist they have the moral high ground, and all others be damned! The right generally just want to be left alone.

  • Daddy says:

    To sum up all the comments, I’d go with Orwell’s remark :”the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless.”. It’s become a pejorative to smear an opponent.

  • Chris says:

    It is misguided to refer to progressives, liberals and the more extreme variants as a unified political group called “the left”.
    First, conservatives consider anyone disagreeing with their views as “a liberal” or “the left”. That would put Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as leftists btw. I agree completely that a true liberty minded egalitarian who believes in strict adherence to the constitution as it relates to civil liberties would fight for the right of Nazis to express themselves.
    What is challenging our democracy currently is that at no other time has the federal government and the office of the President appeared to support those very extremist views.
    Normally the majority of Americans would feel comfortable that “common sense” (which is Pollyannish regardless of your political viewpoint) will always win out.
    What “liberals” have never appreciated is how the Obama years destabilized the right. By ushering I’m so much change to the order of the world while it simultaneously being used as a dog whistle to activate the sub conscious fear of death we all harbor (see Becker)

  • Tony Ridler says:

    Its nice, to be taken seriously, when touched! One can’t be too nice, to the touched, seriously-#PoliceThePolice

  • Attila the Hun says:

    Almost two years down the track now, Mary. As an observer of US & A from a safe distance, I have seen no increase in critical thinking or reduction in reactionary thought. If anything, your country has become even more polarised. I’d get out while you can.

  • lendl says:

    1 Never believe anything any Khazar says.
    2 All Khazars help each other to get to the positions from which they can dicated what is
    proper and what is not.
    3 No matter where they live Khazars will always work for their own good and not the good
    of the country which they live in.
    4 Umberto Eco is Khazar.
    5 Never believe anything Khazar says.
    6 Tradidion is the biggest enemy of Khazars and they always work on destruction of any tradition and culture except for their own traditions.
    7 “Modernism” is a largely Khazarian invention and it’s basically replacement of good, trusted values that have been ok for thousands of years with Khazarian garbage values which are implement to destroy any real values.
    8 Khazars hate action because they dont act. They only think how to infiltrate,
    subjugate, defeat and exploit. They are parasites.
    9 Khazars infiltrate all other societies and that’s why they always propagate “inclusivity”. They know they are foreign bodies/parasites.
    10 Khazars hate leaders who find out what is that they do and call masses to fight back.
    11 You cant talk about Khazars because their parasitism is protected by laws.
    12 Only lives of Khazars matter all other lives of all other nationalities are worthless.
    13 Khazars are chosen people. Thats what it says in their Book.
    14 Khazars only believe in one thing, money.
    15 Khazars dont have 1 political system they support. They will use Communism, Capitalism, Feudalism, Slavery, Democracy,Anarchism etc..anything is good as long as it works for them in a given moment……etc..etc…etc..

  • pbrower2a says:

    Classic antisemitism, if modified to identify certain Jews as Khazars.

    If anything, Jews are hostile to fascism because of its cruelty, its rejection of the decencies that make Jewish freedom possible, its rejection of rational thought, and its menace to anything that can seem different. Judaism is hostile to racist ideologies that deny the shared humanity of us all and that usually turn against Jews.

    Rationality requires individual integrity, something that fascists consider disposable. Judaism is a religion of morality, and Jews are capable of faulting other Jews for ethical shortcomings. Jews have often been strangers in strange places,and hence vulnerable.

    Jews are not any more greedy and materialistic than us gentiles. Success is not the result of greed and materialism; it is the reward for doing well at something useful that the society desires well enough to pay well for doing.

  • Rich says:

    How on earth does any of that soudn remotely like SJWs? Or the Left. You say words withouth meaning.

  • Bill W. says:

    SJW’s are the ones banning/boycotting ANYTHING they disagree with. They are the ones blocking traffic and attacking white drivers who ‘disobey’ their commands. They distroy businesses and property like the Nazis did in the 30’s, and to Progressives, anyone to the right of Stalin is a ‘Nazi.’ Mindless violence is the Leftist way, they are what they claim to hate!

  • Sasha says:

    Fascism is a scapegoat for the rich/poor problem nowadays. Lets talk about fascists instead of rich who misuse their wealth to further drain the working class. Contribution of rich is 0, meritocracy is dead. It is shame that Ecco participates in giving rich a free ride.

  • jlockley says:

    That is because you do not know and thus understand the use of the mythical past in Fascist regimes.Hitler built the German followers on the Valhalla myth, a mythical past in which there was neither greed nor crime, which was then attributed to the Jews, Gypsies and others who were supposedly not only corrupting German blood buy threating the entire civilization. Germany is the template but not the only country to incorporate the idyll concept into its propaganda. As a matter of fact it is common to all populist philosophies. Here and now it is the myth of pervious American greatness. Previously it was manifest destiny.

  • says:

    I had forgotten this. Thank you for sharing it cogently and directly without emotion.
    I simply wish that more of your readers were able to understand it.

  • jlockley says:

    Thank you for trying, but reading the comments you must realize that their createers either do not want to grasp the proposed connecxtions, or, more likely, simply are unable to do so.
    A fractured saying: In the land of the blind the one eyed man should probably keep silent. It is worth considering.

  • HEJC says:

    Awww, lookit all the “Must be the SJWs/Leftists!” posts. Me thinks the poor widdle racists doth protest to much. Or, as elementary school students say when someone farts…”Fox knows his own hole first.”

  • Catherine Morrisey says:

    I agree that the rejection of modernism is the real danger. Rational thought is essential for progress and social stability. I enjoy antiques, but they are romantic ciphers from a past time that was fraught with rigid values tied to toppling power structures. Huge wars resulted as empires died. Do we have to do this again? If we teach the value of rational thought, can we promote a better future for all, including the bitterly disenfranchised?

  • Mikey Boy says:

    Wow, are you ever dumb. Machismo is anti-feminism. Machismo is calling someone a soy boy. In your mind, Adolph Hitler was a big progressive who loved multiculturalism, immigrant rights, feminism, and he just couldn’t stand ‘white privilege’. I’m not even an antifa supporter. Antifa hates tradition and hierarchy, which are the corner stones of ur-fascism.

  • Mikey Boy says:

    Women can’t be macho silly.

  • Mikey Boy says:

    Wouldn’t be hard to get you to shoot some people up.

  • James Williams says:

    As a faithful, believing Catholic, I thoroughly and solemnly reject the so-called ‘enlightenment’, and the ‘Age of Reason’, which are without a doubt the beginning of our modern depravity. If that makes me a ‘fascist’ and ‘religious extremist’, then so be it.

  • jane says:

    oh this is spot on for neo fascist in central europe !

  • jon says:

    Your response is an example of #14.

  • David van Wyk says:

    Eco completely ignores the alliance between fascism and big business and the arrangements of the corporatist state to promote the interests of big business.

  • Matthew Wingett says:

    Now let me think. Nazi Germany had a massive state apparatus. So did Fascist Italy. When the USSR took over East Germany and set up the Stasi, they used the structures already in place left behind by the Nazis. Augusto Pinochet had a massive army under his control and a huge secret service that tortured its enemies on an industrial scale. President Erdogan is a classic right wing near-dictator. Again, a massive intelligence service detaining and torturing political enemies. Right wing behaviour is only “small government” under a certain form of economic liberalism. But even then, many of the apparatus of suppression and control are privatised. So, try again.

  • odiaw says:

    you’ve entirely missed the point

  • discordio says:

    I see a lot of commentary that isolated the left/ right paradigm to the American political stage. This insular view of the spectrum negates the veary real fact that there is no left represented in american politics. To call the democratic party left is to redeploy the the cumpass to ignore true north. The neo-librals are hosts of the neo-con mantel at least since Clinton’s welfair reform and law and order administration that helped surge the prison pop. Past 2.3 mil. But let us not forget that add her ww2 we helped destroy the partisan movements that help disloge Hitler and his boys from power and put some of those motherfuckers right back into dicision making roles to further American buisness interests abroad. And are actions in south america from both parties helped to topple democracy where ever they found it. Because the simple fact is totalitarianism is just plain good buisness.

  • Per Johnsen says:

    I find that several of the features are more or less common in many countries, cultures, and national, regional or local groups, though necessarily not more than within a certain basic. In my opinion nationalism, uniformaty, fear of difference, and resistance of disagreement or critic as the most dangerous and normal features. When one or more of these become fanatical within groups and the general public, it’s a cause for alarm.

  • Per Johnsen says:

    It’s indeed hard to describe the US as left and right politically, but there has recently been a clear tendency of division and polarization, much due to nationalism and so called patriotism developed since 2001 and with the last Bush administration, but which has also been amplified with the retorical style and political methods of the current president. Moreover, Fascism, and even Nazism, is nothing new in the US. There was a strong movement during the time between WW1 and WW2, with large Nazi gatherings and strong leadership. Then, there is the type of fascism much represented by the racial conflict with organisations as KKK and others. Still, the public political situation in the US is complex also because of the multi etnical population. Nevertheless, particularly nationalism and military idealism stands strongly.

  • Per Johnsen says:

    Finally? Glynn, it seem like you have some crucial American history reasearch to do.

  • Per Johnsen says:

    Contrary to Zionism.

  • Seeker 7 says:

    Did you read any of what you commented on? If so, can you cite a factual example that supports your statement?

  • Seeker 7 says:

    EXACTLY!!! Thank you for this.

  • Richard Galli says:

    I use Eco’s list in my class when we study
    the ‘despotic utopias’ of marxism & fascism
    [between the world wars]
    it did not take much time to find the same
    to compile a list about marxism/communism
    but where is it in our world
    fascim hates the modern arts,
    marxism uses it to promote their agenda
    just as full of enemies
    tradition versus nihilism is another one

    if you are saying ‘not my marxism’
    i’ll ask you to look up the murdered victims of both
    and we only know about fascism because they lost the war

    now in the good old usa, & the impeachment farce
    i can use beria’s quote to stalin
    ‘you show me the man & i’ll find you the crime’
    usually treason, how many times has the left
    condemned the trumpsterfire for this?

  • Thought says:

    You are merely repeating the utterly ahistorical propaganda of the 21st century American right in your definitions of left/right wing. Do some proper reading and think for yourself. Arguing that fascism is left wing might get you far on message boards, but it’s just nonsense and has no relationship to reality.

  • Kalit says:

    While I would agree that there are overlaps between fascist and authoritarian powers, there is a significant difference that Eco give several bullet points to: fascism is based in the domination of an underclass. In authoritarian states, atrocities happen, yes, but the goal isn’t domination in itself. The goal is a productive and powerful nation, as defined by the few that are able to have a say (selective populism, a similarity to fascism). With authoritarian regimes, the ever shifting goal of renown for the nation and its leaders can lead to impressive things, such as the first person in space. However, there is of course the possibility of awful acts of violence and oppression, but that is a guarantee under Fascism.

  • Apollo says:

    It isn’t merely about the domination of an underclass. It is about the callous portrayal of another, simultaneously portraying them as both weak and strong, whenever the need arises. This is mostly true for the hard right when they spout anti-Semitism. Sadly, this is also true for those on the left, who are wont to criticize Israel, and rightly so, but are just as likely to invite Aryan-loving folks in their fold just because of their ethnic-cultural grouping. This has happened in some form. There’s a reason why BDS was a good thing, and then it wasn’t.

  • Mike says:

    It’s funny reading through all the comments on here declaring SJW’s and the left as fascists. The left isn’t a singular unified entity. It’s a collection of people with an essentially infinite combination of beliefs and ideologies. Some leftists may line up with some of these 14 points, while others may not line up with any. It’s also a bunch of nonsense to declare American conservatives as fascists for the same reason. In 2020 some American conservatives are indeed fascists, but most aren’t. Which gets back to the point… the term can’t be used to define a collective group such as “liberals”, “the left”, “conservatives” or “the right”. It can only be used to label individual movements within those broader groups. Trump is very unique American “conservative”, but whether or not he is conservative isn’t the point. There is no point in slinging the word fascist around without seeking deeper purpose. I believe the sole purpose of using the word is that it allows us to predict when a movement has become “fascist” and is therefore a growing threat to those who value social equality.

    Also, to the person who declared anarchy is right wing because it is small government… you clearly don’t understand how the traditional left-right spectrum works. It has nothing to do with big or small government, and everything to do with social equality versus social hierarchy. Do some reading 🤦‍♂️

  • Kgbebop says:

    Accuse the enemy of that which you are guilty.

  • Lilah says:

    Fascism is a movement not a form of government. It doesn’t matter if the movement has political power it still exists. Those people don’t lose hatred for people not in their “in group” when they don’t hold power. I think we could honestly label maga a fascist movement. Not every conservative is a maga supporter of course. Trump preached the same thing during his last election with maga at the forefront promising some weird manifest destiny ideals. That if you believe in JESUS, nothing else, you can have a good life where we will help you. If not … who knows whats going to happen. We won’t look your way unless we feel threatened then no amount of actual lives matter in our anger. Trump coining fake news is sadly genius.

  • David says:

    I wish people who write these articles would write in simple language not words that requires a dictionary to find out the meaning.

  • Dave P says:

    “One detail of Eco’s essay that often goes unremarked is his characterization of the Italian opposition movement’s unlikely coalitions…. This itself may be a specific feature of an Italian resistance, one not observable across the number of nations that have resisted totalitarian governments.”

    In fact this was a very general phenomenon, with party politics persisting from France and the Low Countries to the Balkans: we too often think of “the Resistance” when everywhere rival groups sometimes co-operated, sometimes competed and sometimes in the east fell into internecine warfare, especially as liberation approached.

    For all their strains, the Resistance coalitions broadly survived in the west until the advent of the Cold War in 1947, with co-operation between Christian Democrats and Social Democrats persisting into the 50s and beyond and contributing to the development of the postwar European project.

    That’s actually good news: we don’t have to abandon our principles to work together, but we’re all the more effective if we recognise that some things are above party politics. We can put the politicking on hold and come back to it later, as we inevitably will (such being human nature), but hopefully the wiser for the experience of joining in a wider cause.

  • Erin says:

    Bob, you’re an idiot. Please stop talking forever.

  • Sandra says:

    Keep on talking and never stop.

  • Idiota says:

    Progressives always have to drag the conservatives into the modern area, kicking and screaming. A bunch of uneducated morons that have no critical thinking ability have platforms now to spew disinformation and stupidity to an audience filled with their peers. They perceive “tHe LeFt” as… what exactly? Actual progressives and anti-fascists aren’t going to put up with your racist, idiotic bullshit. Why should they? The rural parts of the United States have an unequal say in government. The fact is that majority should rule and the majority of people live in cities and other dense areas that are more progressive than regressive. If rural backwater trash don’t like this they should leave America. If pearl clutching suburban house wives whose sole value is the ability to lay on their back don’t like it they should leave America. If “good” Christians don’t like they should part the sea and head to Russia.

    1. War on Christmas is a perfect example (though wholly childish and stupid at it’s core).

    2. Anti-vaxxers. Nuff said. They are NOT progressives. Saying stupid things that makes no sense doesn’t change reality. Conservatives don’t understand that words actually have meaning.

    3. Stochastic terrorism is running rampant. If their “leader” tells them something, they accept and act on it unquestioningly.

    4. If you disagree with their leaders you’re part of the plot! Deep state! You’re not a true racist, bigoted, dumb… sorry, you’re not a true maga!

    5. Anything that isn’t cishet is seen as scary and wrong. Those poor, “straight”, white people… how can they live in a world where their fragile values are constantly being attacked!? Wait… their fragile values aren’t being attacked, they just don’t like something and want to impose their values on everyone else. Go jump in a fire, please and thanks.

    6. Painting “coastal elites” as the reason why the middle class is shrinking and why you don’t have as much money (along with, paradoxically, illegal immigrants “taking all the good jobs”… how stupid and bad at your job do you have to be to have someone who doesn’t speak english nor have advanced knowledge of a job take your position?). It’s stupid but stupid people eat it up! Let’s just ignore that fact that reagan and reagan conservatives deregulated corporations allowing them to b*** f*** the middle class and everyone else, stagnating wages for nearly 40-50 years now. But yeah, no, it’s illegal immigrants taking money from “hard working” suburban moms without jobs. Keep shooting out kids, Karen. Sandra. Whoever. I’m sure someday your husband will respect you… ROFL.

    7. Deep state. Need I say more?

    8. Snowflakes. Thugs. Which is it? Can you kick my ass or not? Answer: Not. Your beer belly fat f***ing a** would get dropped in seconds. Pathetic. Do some pushups you disgusting clowns.

    9. Right-wingers are obsessed with work, thinking that it’s the only value a person has. That work is struggle so therefore life must be a struggle. How droll.

    10. Snowflakes are weak. Also, the people who support racist, cheating, pedophiles who attack the disabled are seen as morally superior. What a joke you people are! It’s a shame you aren’t capable of self-reflection.

    11. Jan. 6, 2021. Except, you know, they’re traitors and many are going to jail. Enjoy prison “hero”.

    12. If right-wingers could have sex with their guns they would. Not only to prove how manly they are, but also because they are IN LOVE with their guns. It’s fetishistic. Plus, you have really stupid white women who think that they are respected while men spit on them and pump and dump ’em. Totally respectable from a christian viewpoint! Way to go, Karen! Hopefully you can get pregnant and trap him! Otherwise, yikes… it’s not looking good for you. Also, did you know boebert, the idiot, failed her ged exam twice before paying someone to take it a third time so she’d pass and could join the house of reps? This country is a s***show. And you right-wingers smear feces on the walls while decrying you “owned the libs”.

    13. Right-wing “personalities”. You already know of at least a dozen of them you can name off the top of your head because of how utterly moronic the crap they spew is. People believe them because they don’t have the ability to think and instead respond emotionally to everything.

    14. Big werds are fer thems college edumacated libtards. Also, conservatives don’t seem to understand that words have actual meaning. So when you use a word, it doesn’t mean whatever you want it to mean. It means what it actually means. It’s a hard concept to grasp, for sure.

    The very people the conservatives champion are the same people who have put them in the situation they are in now. Their “leaders” have failed them, on purpose, for their own gain. Too dumb to realize they are being weaponized and taken advantage of, they turn against their own fellow citizen, one who has done no harm to them and does not wish to cause them any inconvenience, and attack them verbally, mentally, and physically.

    Facism, nazism, and, at this point, Republican conservatism must not be tolerated. While I would prefer to end it peacefully, those who wish me dead or enslaved are my enemy. This is me defending my right to exist. The conservatives have already attacked and progressives are only defending themselves.

    If every conservative ceased to exist at once the world would be a much brighter, much happier, much more peaceful place. Have a blessed day.

  • Tad says:

    Fascism IS National SoZIalism godless Hitler, IS godless Mousolini, was on the wrong side of WWII, Italy wrongfully enabling Germany’s oppression of Judeo Christians in East EU, killing 6M of each, corrupting elections, tampering with food supply, and censoring free speech and silencing dissent as your big tech liberal fascist social media does. Let’s review:

    1. “Tradition” of shacked up vegan art broker Hitler or the “cult” of Sanger’s Planned Parenthood?
    2. Conservative bastions way more modern. Tents and shit on the street is not “modernism”
    3. “Emasculation” – come on, you had more sons and inventoried way less art than Hitler.
    4. “Disagreement is treason” and you need ID for COVID but not to vote and you censor experts that disagree with mandatory vaccines instead of debating.
    5. “Fear of difference” more like fear of debate. Heck the tech fascists even put token serf liberals in FB jail to appear fair.
    6. “Appeal to social frustration” – yeah, attack cops, they are found not guilty 85% of the time, and YOUR murder skyrockets while Trump bastions are safest.
    7. “Obsession with a plot” Russia Russia Russia?
    8. “The enemy is both strong and week” you mean marxist fascist stooges crying about Trump being too conservative and retreating when schooled that he is aligned with centrist JFK?
    9. “Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy” You mean trafficking $1B from CCP to Biden family and the corrupt left’s unethical silence, or your party’s trafficking illegals that brought some COVID into the US along with gangsters jacking your murder rates and rents?
    10. “Contempt for the weak” flyover states? They hunted and survived a depression and don’t ask to invade your wallet.
    11. “Everyone is educated to become a hero” Educated or concluded that our act of liberating 200M in East EU from your beloved vote and food blocking communism was THE greatest act of humanity of the 20th century, even if the frauds at Nobel did not award Reagan and Pope for winning a war without a weapon fired. Are haters livid that East EU is free, or can they congratulate Reagan?
    12. “Machismo and weaponry” you mean like bragging about one’s junk while having disdain for a traditional ladies room at LAX and insistance that 50-80 year old ladies change instead of pushing for more neutral bathrooms?
    13. “Selective populism” you mean soccer fields and world class camps for illegals, or credit cards and Catholic charity rides to sanctuary cities, jacking up rents, while our poor are homeless pooping your streets?
    14. “impoverished vocabulary”, stooges of liberalism that make less than conservatives retreating in debate to display their “Grammar Privelage” cards from mommy’s basement?

  • Edgar says:

    Like the article says, and you can think I’m reaching when I say this: aside from the climate, I think Feminism(the more inclusive versions), BLM, LGBTQ, etc are the immune system concept at work… you mess people up, things turn to riots and inflammation.

  • Mark says:

    Seems like democrats hold 12 of the 14 values of facisist. If you changed nationalism to globalism democrats have 13 of 14 traits of facisist. Nazis couldn’t afford not to take over the world they already robbed the country. The only thing they don’t hate is gay people that vote Democrat. Otherwise they also hate gay people that vote republican. So 13.5 of 14 traits for the pro facisist democrats.

  • Mark says:

    Thats neo marxists facisist. Marxists you need to be able to control something that is uncontrollable in science like climate change. Climate science is only controllable if you pay enough people to have a consensus to do that purpose. Science never has a consensus they have theories. One famous cartoon that is fact now is 97% of scientists believe in global warming. The only thing true about that statement was it was made by a cartoonists in the cartoon section of the newspaper but now its a democrat talking point, a fact.

  • Ingmar says:

    Tad, Mark, Inclusion of the non inclusive is discrimination?
    Hitler is godless? And he’s evil because he’s godless or because of what he did? How is him marxist? There’s not correlation with being atheist and the evilness, it depends on how you interpret the scriptures. See as you risk flippant thinking?
    And Pinochet?

  • NAYMAR says:

    MDD DISEASE Mass Delusional Disorder near 1 million deaths from covid in USA soon.

  • Quash says:

    I’m just here to see butthurt conservative cultists desperately grasp at straws and use olympic gold level mental gymnastics to prove that if you squint really hard, twist your brain into a pretzel, and ignore absolutely everything about the republican party since the Reagan administration, the left are the REAL fascists!

    Lol, whatever you failed insurrectionists gotta tell yourselves to sleep at night! I just hope you don’t think you’re actually fool anyone, we all know yall are just virtue signalling to other whitehoods with cheeto dust on their lips so you can break your arms jerking eachother off.

  • Cam says:

    So please explain? 1/6 2021 were the people who attacked our Capitol fighting for our democracy?
    It has been 1 year, are the people who attacked our Capitol still fighting for our Democracy? (As they call it a republic).
    Is it fair to say, the ones who go against our government lost their critical thinking skills? To turn over a legit election and the TFG not conceding. With fabricated lies, that it was the democrats who rigged the election. Then to blame it Antifa, BLM, Pelosi and FBI who were the ones on 1/6 who attacked the Capitol. (I’m proud to be called “Antifa”). What do they not understand that this is not an organization? BLM is not a Terrorist organization. But the ones who tried to overthrow our government and the party who agrees with them and instigated it, are definitely homegrown Terrorist.
    We have Proud Boys, 1%ers in our right wing political parties. Q, the biggest conspiracy theory’s with a million followers believing it. White nationalist evangelist that has become a cult.
    The Republican Party has gone batshit crazy.
    But, anyhow I just wanted some answers. The 1/2 who hasn’t gone crazy, we love you too! 🇺🇸

  • Wrong-Dennis says:

    Not really, but what you are doing is listed right up there as fascist.

  • WronDennis says:

    Not really, but what you are doing is listed right up there as fascist.

  • DennisWrong says:

    Not really, but what you are doing is listed right up there as fascist.

  • Socialist says:

    You would say that Dennis (Prager?) but I’m afraid it’s a bit hard to be fighting for equality and racist at the same time. Wasn’t one of the elements of fascism anti intellectualism? lol

    Didn’t Tucker Carlson say the left had made the military weak by having women and flight suits that fit pregnant women while at the same time saying they’re ‘great replacement’ing you poor white males?

    Doesn’t Jordan Peterson complain about post modernists (while blatantly not having a clue what postmodernism IS)?

    Isn’t the Republican party occult in the sense of having religion at the core of their ideology despite the constitution you keep using to justify your hate say there has to be a separation of church and state?

    Isn’t disagreement being treason the right seeing as senators and activists from the right are openly talking about purging the left from everywhere?

    Didn’t the right actively ignore and ridicule the scientific community during covid, and show distrust by refusing vaccines and social distancing?

    Aren’t you obsessed with a plot? From the great replacement to antifa infiltrated the jan 6th riot, to election fraud, to witch hunts etc etc

    Isn’t one of those plots about how you’re all going to be replaced by immigrants and therefore have your class status taken and end up in lower social groups?

    Aren’t the left both strong and weak seeing as we made the military weak with our flight suits and trans people but are also terrifyingly strong enough that you need riots and guns to stop us?

    Don’t you show contempt for the weak? There is no systemic racism all blacks should just work harder, women shouldn’t get bodily autonomy, the trans should be banned, the LGBTQ+ community shouldn’t be visible, immigrants should stay away?

    Aren’t you all macho fools with weaponry? Dressed in tactical gear to ‘protest’? Found with weapons going through the mags on Jan 6th? Proud boys and oath keepers caught with stashed guns and explosives in Washington at both their hotel and in a truck near by. Even if we believe it wasn’t planned and just got out of hand you STILL fit the fascist description here.

    Don’t your right wing media present 4-5 tweets as being what the people feel or what the left believe? You can find most articles on the daily wire for example are made like this.

    And last but not least, didn’t you guys just ban a ton of books in Florida that had nothing to do with race, they were math books, but were removed under the guise of CRT?

    Congratulations, you look stupid on the internet because your ideology fits every single point on here. Now you try and go through and match each to the left, and not because you found a tweet that said something, lets keep it mass movement like I did.

  • old white guy says:

    Spot On Socialist -That sums it up

  • Junker Georg says:

    I think everyone has most of the negative “isms” on an inherent, primal level, whether it be fascism, racism, etc. The imperfect solution is to recognize it, admit it, and try to fight against it in one’s self. It is not a “Right-Wing” thing or a “Left-Wing” thing. It’s a humanity thing. And history, including recent history, proves it. Depending on which definition/s of fascism you go with, the very things One political party espoused and rejected can be flipped very quickly to the opposite. I mean, for example, despite warnings of what it could become, many if not most Republicans welcomed the creation of the Surveillance State under the Bushies (The Patriot Act) with a fascist fervor. 20 years later and now they decry it. Or take the Democrats–they used to be against Corporatism (Big Govt in league with Big Corp, e.g., Big Pharma, Big Tech), were for free-speech no exceptions, anti-war, and now today under Biden, they flipped and cheer on all these things with a fascist fervor.

    Point is, anyone calling the opposite party of their own. “the fascists” misses the point that all parties are prone to it and guilty of it. This is because all humanity is capable of it and even prone to it, especially if that fact isn’t recognized. So stop the finger-pointing at another person or group unless you have first pointed the finger at one’s self, admit it, and strive to keep it in check. If each human individual did this, the world would be a better place–not perfect, but much better.

  • Kyle says:

    Cause you don’t understand, probably because you left education young or never went to higher education… dipshit.

  • Johnson says:

    You’ll be pleased to know that Clinton and Trump are both in the Authoritarian right part of the political compass.

    Hillary said that she will always be a Goldwater girl. She is just a Democrat In Name Only (DINO).

  • Richard Leclercq says:

    Actually, intolerance of “the normal” is a good definition.

    Being pro life is not fascist. Being pro “eliminating the mongeral races” with abortion is.

    Read Margaret Sanger.

  • Anto says:

    Quite common deflection.

  • Anto says:

    Tad august 10 2021
    Is that satire? Because “muh Hitler was actually socialist, checkmate” is textbook miscomprehension, but I don’t want to be snob of course.

  • Anto says:

    @Richar Leclerq Which intolerance of the normal? Heterophobia too?
    It’s a buzzword and manufacturoversy, don’t fall for it, like the “normal” is experiencing the same persecution the “non normal” used to. Sorry it makes it sound like some white cishets are afraid, for no reason, that we are gonna experience what the “others” had to experience. Sorry but feeling persecuted is really textbook privilege here, and I’m a person who agrees it’s sometimes overused by the loud minority strawman liberal “Sjw” as well, you know in any movement there are extremist who probably already thought that extreme “anti man”, “anti white” and “anti straight” idiocy as misaddressed reaction to a more complex situation, forgetting that privilege is layered, especially men and women, complex, multifactorial and intersectional, not black and white.
    But sorry the whole war on normal, is too often the whole zero sum argument against, say gay marriage as an attack to straight marriage, but the subtext is gay marriage shalt not exist lest straight marriage is underattack.
    Being pro life, well being pro abortion is not pro death, it is being pro choice, people against are often proud to exibit less empathy for fully form

  • Anto says:

    You know, thought, I can give that as soon as liberalism as well as christianity, instead of focusing on creating equality, freedom, inclusion, community, showing with facts what they are about and letting results speak, defend them from actualy threat, they start looking for heretics to persecute, they ceasing being about freedom and equality and become or risk becoming similar to those they are fighting about, the prejudice, persecuting someone on the base of their label, identifying as christian or not, with us against us, feminist or not, etc, which is or should be what christianity and liberalism fight against, aka being disrespected and having people assume the worst about you because of being poor, gay, female, or assuming you’re gay for not conforming to arbitrary gender norms like men not wearing nail polish or makeup, which is what counts, the moment you turn into witch hunt mode into purity tests is what caused the dialectic traps and reactionary dogwhistles to yield so efficiently.

  • Anto says:

    Junker Georg says:
    September 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm
    I agree about this, the potential has to be recognized which helps fighting against it recognizing its negatives. Too bad a part, not just one but mostly, wants to make a thing about embracing it because it’s “human nature” and like give up to it and is particularly invested on narrating the status quo as a result of non descript nature, inherent and unmodifiable.
    Also, and this goes for the liberal part as well, nature and nurture are not so clear cut and a part of us progressives can make it appear as if the environment in the form “culture” forms every single cell :D, while it’s a very complex feedback loop where both aspects influence each other, and are part of each other, but of course not in the formation of the brain, just in the way it developes after.

  • Nita Nicholson says:

    Fascism in Italy under Mussolini was not mild – not enough is said about atrocities Italy committed in Eastern Libya (concentrations camps for Bedouin where thousands died, and also a concentration camp for Jews in the Nafusa Moutains in Western Libya) and Eritrea /Abyssinia and later cooperation with Nazi Germany over persecution of Jews and transporting Jews to the concentrations camp. It was not ‘mild’.

  • Brian Macker says:

    This list complete ahistorical baloney because the vast majority criteria can be used to misclassify other groups as fascists. Many of the supposed traits are inoccuous, such as being a traditionalist. The Jain religion is traditionalist and pacifist, as are the Amish. To classifiy either as “fascist” is ludicrous.

    The original fascists were ethnic nationalist syndicalist socialists. Yes, socialists. Mussolini himself was a lifelong socialist (and his father a socialist). Mussolini was a respected leader in the Italian Socialist party and editor of their paper Avanti. When the socialists split over involvement in WWI many memebers of the socialist party joined Mussolini, and his rise to power.

    Mussolini based his Italian fascist party on National Syndicalist Socialism. This is sourced on the same socialist ideological thinkers, intelelctuals, and scholars that other ethnically national socialist movements used. The German National Socialist (nazis) being another example.

    Here are the criteria that are absolutely vital for identifying groups and individuals as fascists: 1) They must be sourcing their ideas from National Syndicalist thinkers. 2) They must be ethic nationalists. 3) They must be syndicalist socialists and thus for governmental control over all aspects of economic production. 4) They must be for governmental social control having priority over the individual (ie. no individual rjghts.) 4) They must be for abolishment of private free market labor unions and their syndicalization under governmental control.

    Of course, not all socialists are fascists. For example the Scientific Socialists (Marxists aka communists) are not basing their ideology on National Syndicalism, nor syndicalist socialism. The root Marxian socialism is internationalist even if in spexific cases like Baathism or North Korean Kimism it became racist and based on ethnicity.

    Clearly after all the Italian National Socialists separated themselves from the Italian Socialist Party it was both internationalist in spirit (even though labelled Italian), and non-syndicalist. Therefore clearly not fascist.

    Calling any fascist movement fully traditionalist is hard to justify given the fact they wanted revolutionary changes to the economic structure in order to impose syndicalism (a brand new non-traditional system). It is however due to the internal contradiction in these national syndicalist movements since they do call for non-traditional socialist reorganizations of society along socialist lines in supposed support of tradition.

    BTW, the natural rights movement and the republican party are the complete opposite of fascist. 1) They are for natural individual right that precide and override any governmental powers. 2) They are egalitarian non-rascist in viewing “all men created equal”. 3) The are for free markets which includes free labor. Thus are aboloshionist. It was the natural rights movement and republicans who ended slavery in the US and abroad. They did so a great personal sacrifice. 4) Natural rights based nationalism is not based on ethnicity, but instesd individual rights based constitutionalism.

    Which is why it is just plain stupid to confuse US constitutional individually “all men created equal” nationalism, with German ethic collectvist “Aryan superiority” nationalism. Anyone for free markets cannot be fascist.

  • Janus Daniels says:

    More here…
    My interest in fascism began during the invasion of Iraq. My government openly set torture as national policy. I thought that would end the administration. Yes, I was that naive. They were re-elected, granted by hook and by crook, but they should have lost by a landslide.
    That led me to start studying the history of fascism. After decades of reading many descriptions, Eco’s still stands out as the best. I defy anyone to find any fascist movement that doesn’t check his boxes, or the inverse of that.
    Despite the impudence, I feel dissatisfied with his 14 points. I want 15: Fascists need to idolize glorious beloved leader. Fascists can exist without a leader, but fascism requires, not only a leader, but a specific type of leader.
    Our most powerful political party is one energetic charismatic competent leader away from full Fascism.

  • Sam says:

    Wow, someone got triggered because the Ur-Fascism checklist must’ve hit a nerve. Nice try flipping this around on the left, but fascism is far right by nature and won’t fit anywhere else on the political spectrum.

  • Ian Tinny says:

    How to Spot a Socialist (aka Fascist): Umberto Eco wrote the essay “Ur-Fascism” (Eternal Fascism) and he also wrote “How to Spot a Fascist.” In his essay, Eco purports to list 14 typical elements of fascism. Eco’s work was smashed by a critic in a book entitled “How to spot a socialist” (or the essay “Ur-Socialism”). It contains a list of 14 common features of Eco and every socialist:
    1. He talks and writes a lot about “Fascism.” (e.g. “Ur-Fascism” and “How to Spot a Fascist”).
    2. He doesn’t point out similarities between Socialism and Fascism, despite ubiquitous opportunities presented in his descriptions of “Fascism.”
    3. In his “Fascism” comments, he never admits nor states that he is a Socialist.
    4. He never admits anywhere that he is a Socialist.
    5. He just goes on and on about how bad “Fascists” are.
    6. When he writes about Mussolini, he seems ignorant that Mussolini was a long-time Socialist leader. Or is he just being intellectually dishonest?
    7. He appears to be ignorant in his writings that Fascism was created by a Socialist (Mussolini).
    8. He mentions “Nazis” an awful lot.
    9. He seems ignorant that “Nazis” didn’t call themselves “Nazis.”
    10. He seems ignorant that “Nazis” self-identified as “Socialists.” He mentions Mein Kampf and appears ignorant that “Nazi” is not within it; that “Fascist” is not within it as a self-identifier by Hitler; that “Socialism” and “Socialist” ARE in it throughout as self-identifiers; Eco has nothing to say.
    11. He needs his readers to be ignorant about “Nazis” so that they will continue to pay money for his benighted comments on “Fascism.” Eco relies on his echo chamber of ignoramuses.
    12. He seems embarrassed that he self-identifies the same as Hitler: SOCIALIST. So, he never says anything about that.
    13. His ignorant tunnel vision prevented him from discovering that Hitler used the swastika to represent “S”-letter shapes for “Socialism” (the discovery by the libertarian historian Dr. Rex Curry).
    14. Now that he knows about Dr. Curry’s discovery concerning the swastika, he will never mention it (nor any of the above) to his fans anywhere. He will never inform his readers. Ever. He will gladly go to his grave without ever saying anything about it. He prays every day that the widespread ignorance will never end.
    Bonus common feature: Eco is hopelessly brainwashed by the absurd Left-Right political spectrum that is taught in government schools (socialist schools). He assumes that everyone else is brainwashed in the same way too. Curb Ur Socialism.

  • Tony says:

    I really enjoyed your comment. I do think one party is orders of magnitude worse than the other, leaving rational people one real choice. But thanks and I’ll end my sweater in similar fashion: I love you all.

  • Tony says:

    These are just elements that typically are seen in fascist authoritarian regimes. The author never claims that the presence of one or any of the elements indicates fascism, just that these traits tend to exist.

  • Tony says:

    Ian, you can’t possibly be so dumb as to believe a Nazi would self-identity as such. The whole point is Nazi ideology is not popular innately, but there are ways to insidiously get people on board.

    If you honestly think Nazi Germany calling themselves Socialists proves that modern-day Socialists/Democratic-Socialists are fascists who want to put you in camps, I implore you to educate yourself using any other source than you are currently.

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