The 14 characteristics of Fascism
- 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.
- 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 incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
- 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.
- 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 are glamorized.
- Rampant Sexism The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
- Controlled Mass Media Sometimes to 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.
- Obsession with National Security Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
- 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.
- 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.
- Labor Power is Suppressed Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
- 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 is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism (“Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine’s policy.
Today I wrote two letters to the government
One thanking the local NDP MP for voting yes to science, and one condemning my Conservative MP back home for voting no.
I did not, however, get much actual work done.
Harper Government wants to e-snoop; if you're against that, you are a child pornographer.
A new article in The Globe and Mail looks at how the Tories have found a new tactic when it comes to the Internet: “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”, but with a twist!
“Stand with us, or with the child pornographers” - Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
According to the article, many provincial privacy commissioners are strongly opposed to this new rule, some go so far as to say that it is “surveillance by design”.
The Conservatives have called it a progression into the 21st century, saying that:
“As technology evolves, many criminal activities, such as the distribution of child pornography, become much easier,… We are proposing to bring measures to bring our laws into the 21st century and to provide police with the lawful tools that they need”.
It’s a short article, but I suggest all Canadians that follow me take a look.
And a few more articles from across Canada about the subject:
CBC article - Online surveillance critics accused of supporting child porn
Halifax’s The Chronical Herald - Opposing bill like supporting child pornographers, Tories say
Winnipeg Free Press - Tories’ access bill ‘warrantless’
Vancouver Sun - Tories stand firm on spying bill
Ottawa to allow slaughterhouses to process already dead animals
OTTAWA—The federal government wants to allow the carcasses of already dead animals to be processed in slaughterhouses for human consumption, a move that is raising concerns about the safety of Canada’s food system.
The Conservative government is pitching the change as a way to cut red tape and provide greater flexibility to slaughterhouse operators.
But the New Democrats are raising a red flag saying the move invites possible “contamination” of the food supply.
“Under the present regulations … it has to come in alive, be slaughtered on site,” said NDP MP Malcolm Allen (Welland), the party’s agriculture critic.
“Now you can bring in dead stock. It’s okay to bring in that animal into a slaughterhouse, have it cut, wrapped … for human consumption.
“The real fear is how did it die, (and) under what circumstances did it die.”
The proposed changes to Meat Inspection Regulations, outlined in the Canada Gazette, would allow “greater flexibility” to the activities that can be carried out in federally regulated slaughterhouses.
Current federal regulations do not allow meat to be processed from animals slaughtered outside of a registered slaughterhouse.
Now the government is proposing to make exemptions to that rule for animals that cannot be transported to a slaughterhouse alive because they are too aggressive to move or because they are injured.
“It is proposed to amend the (meat inspection regulations) to allow into registered establishments carcasses from food animals slaughtered elsewhere … following a detailed ante-mortem examination by a private veterinary practitioner,” the proposed rules state.
“Such an amendment would be extremely useful for industry in a number of situations, such as when injured animals cannot be transported alive for welfare reasons; or when animals are dangerous, aggressive or difficult to handle and cannot be transported.”
A vet would have to inspect an animal prior to slaughter to confirm it could not be safely transported, as well as determine if the animal is fit to serve as food. The vet will also certify the date of the slaughter and method.
Allen said that rule change risks allowing the food supply to be contaminated by “dead stock.”
“You wouldn’t know by looking at it and nor would the label tell you it’s dead stock because I’ll guarantee you if the label said dead stock, you would never buy it,” Allen said.
“All the regulations before about dead stock not being consumed by humans is for a reason and that was to protect our health,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency cited the example of an animal suffering from a broken leg.
“The cow could be slaughtered on the farm and after inspection at a federally registered establishment can be processed. This meat would be eligible for retail,” Guy Gravelle said.
“As for concerns that this amendment may allow unfit animal into the food supply system, this would not be the case.”
“CFIA inspectors, including veterinarians, are present daily during operations at federally registered establishments to verify that food safety requirements are met. All carcasses are individually inspected to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” he said in an email.
That was echoed by Meagan Murdoch, a spokesperson for Agriculture Minster Gerry Ritz, who called the rule change “common sense.”
“This does not affect food safety,” she said.
- Bruce Campion-Smith, The Toronto Star
Okay, I’m pretty sure I was born a human being and not a crow or buzzard. I don’t want to eat carrion that some guy just brought in and had made into steaks to be sold at Sobeys or Superstore.
I’m a meat-eater, but this is steering me towards vegetarianism big time. If I can’t change my diet, though, I’ll definitely stick to locally-raised meat instead of buying it at any major food store chain or restaurant. :P