Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Fascist Are You?

Today “fascism” is a catchall form of political insult. The word has lost nearly all its meaning since World War Two—simply a term the political left flings at the political right, and, more recently, vice versa.

However, the word once meant and, for many, still does mean something specific—a nationalistic confidence in the rightness of purity and power, a disdain for the impure and weak, and a raging sense that the way things are now is a personal affront—and, more broadly, an affront to one’s whole identity group, whatever it is—often “true” or “real” Americans (or whatever nationality we’re talking about)

Still, the term has acquired enough ambiguity that the label is now iffy at best. But I’m reasonably certain that an answer of “yes” to ALL the following questions pretty much means you really are a fascist. Sorry.

What a high percentage of “yes” responses means, I’m not as certain—but the more yeses, I suspect, the more likely you are inching your way towards a fascist mindset.

1. Are continuous growth and expansion key aspects of your concept of success?
2. Are unity and team loyalty more important than self-criticism and open debate?
3. Are you inspired by slogans that reiterate and reinforce your worldview?
4. Can violence and revenge serve the interests of true justice?
5. Does the most effective political course lie somewhere outside the traditional political divisions of “left” and “right”?
6. Does war strengthen a society?
7. Has the idea of freedom and liberty for all been carried too far?
8. Has whatever identity group you belong to suffered irreparable insult and injury?
9. Have communities and the idea of “community” become hopelessly corrupted by foreign and otherwise unsavory influences?
10. Is passionate nationalism better than international cooperation?
11. Is it better to have one strong leader than a strong representative body of legislators?
12. Is it inappropriate to criticize those who have authority over you?
13. Is it more important to take quick, decisive action than to conduct thorough research and follow jointly agreed-upon procedures?
14. Should strong and moral nations overpower weak or flawed nations for their own good?
15. Is pacifism a threat to the strength of a nation and its people?
16. Is patriotism a spiritual quality?
17. Is purity more important than diversity?
18. Is the truest form of national identity based on common ancestry and traditions?
19. Should citizens arm themselves in preparation to fight the encroachment of foreign and otherwise unsavory influences?
20. Should leaders be more charismatic and inspirational than rational and pragmatic?


  1. I had a cool poli-sci professor in college. She had been a political advisor to Franco and somehow seemed to work him into every class.

    Anyway, someone made a remark in class one day about someone being a communist (and like that was REALLY a bad thing) and she told him he wouldn't know one if one steped on his foot.

    Next class she told us she had come up with a new model for government and started describing it. I can't remember the point she made but I remember most people in the class responding very positively to what she was saying, including the guy who made the communist remark.

    Finally, she asked commy guy if he'd like to see such a government installed in the US and he was like "hell yes". She replied, "that's really interesting because the form of government I just described is communism".

  2. I suspect that a LOT of Americans would buy into socialism, even communism, with a name change and a good marketing campaign.



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