“Fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.” — Winston Churchill
Umberto Eco compiled a list of 14 signs of fascism. Draw your own conclusions again.
1. Cult of tradition
Praising the wisdom and traditions of the ancestors to the level of a folk cult, consolidates traditional views, orders and foundations as undeniably righteous. Accordingly, any development of knowledge and beliefs, any evolution of the mentality and value system, are a priori considered as erroneous and harmful phenomena.
2. Denial of modernity
Traditionalists, as a rule, perceive new technologies and trends with hostility, seeing them as a challenge to traditional and spiritual values. And although both the Italian fascists and the German Nazis were proud of their industrial achievements, their entire ideology was based on the denial of the modern world as the product of Western capitalist plutocracy and moral decay.
3. Action for the sake of action
The fascists of the 1930s treated intellectuals with contempt, because intellectual thinking questions the “why” and “why” of any action. Fascists stubbornly refuse to find justification for their actions, because they see beauty in the action itself, even if there is no rational explanation for it.
4. Disagreement = betrayal
Fascism does not allow pluralism of opinions. Since the truth is one for traditionalists, everyone who tries to question it is enemies and traitors.
5. Xenophobia (“ours” and “not ours”)
The division into “us” and “them”, hostility to everything alien, foreign, incomprehensible, unusual, abnormal – is a fertile ground for the emergence of fascism. All manifestations of intolerance – racism, anti-Semitism, antigypsyism, homophobia, contempt for the mentally retarded and underdeveloped, as well as hostility to foreign influence
6. Irritability of the masses
It is no coincidence that fascist movements have always gained particular popularity during the experience of difficult times, cataclysms, economic stagnation, and national humiliation by wide sections of society. Resentment and anger among the masses makes them susceptible to aggressive appeals.
7. Nationalism and conspiracy ideas
The idea of patriotism works effectively only in the presence of external enemies, without which patriotism loses all meaning. Therefore, at the heart of fascism lies the obsession with the idea of a conspiracy. People must feel that they are in an enemy ring.
8. Contradictory image of the enemy
The enemy must look strong and weak at the same time. He can be richer, more developed, well-armed, but at the same time stupid and cowardly.
9. The cult of war
Pacifism is tantamount to fraternization with the enemy. Militarism was observed in all spheres of life of the fascist regimes – festive military parades were held, monuments to heroic soldiers were built, the military industry flourished
10. The cult of strength and power
The idea of popular elitism – belonging to the greatest people in the world – itself implies the superiority of some over others, the best over the worst, the strong over the weak.
11. Cult of heroism and death
In a fascist society, heroism is the norm. Each person must be a hero, perform feats and, if necessary, give his life for his homeland.
12. Cult of masculinity (machismo)
The images used by the Nazis are dominated by stereotypically masculine features: strength, muscles, weapons, phallic forms and lexical constructions.
13. Selective populism
A person must believe that the will of the people always stands behind the actions of the fascist government, and if he himself doubts, then he is the only one. Taking on the role of the voice of the people, the Nazis are trying to discredit any opponents as traitors and anti-people mercenaries of external enemies.
14. Newspeak and substitution of concepts
For example, one can say that the threat to state stability has been neutralized, or one can say that the leaders of the civil protest were shot. You can say a warning strike, or you can say a military invasion. So the parliamentary opposition is the fifth column, and the more often people hear these expressions, the easier it is for them to believe in fascist myths about traitors and enemies, about an external threat and its priority over everyday problems.