Derivation - from the Latin fasces, which means a bundle of rods with a projecting axe. Fasces – the symbol of authority in ancient Rome.
First known use of the term: 1919 by an Italian anti-socialist militia, Fascio di Combattrimento. Benito Mussolini adopted the term for his movement after his rise to power in 1922.
A fascist system founds its success on:
- a strong bellicose leader
- a nostalgic vision of the past
- an authoritarian control apparatus
- managed and directed discontent rooted in prejudice against a selected marginal group or groups
- emotive slogans
- comprehensive control of the flow of information i.e. secrecy, secrecy, secrecy.
"So," you ask, "what put that bee in your bonnet? Have you been reading up on World War II?"
No, actually, it was the serendipitous (isn't that a great word!) confluence of three eventualities.
First, the book I recently completed: Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean. On February 1, in the course of reading the book, I emailed a blogworld friend whom I have never met face to face that:
Authoritarianism, obsession with secrecy, and a near rabid resistance to standard accountability measures once considered a matter of course are a great and growing pestilence not only in convention institutional structures but in our government and nation. I could relate stories of instances in our state convention operations that echo the existence of a dark side to the work taking place. The problem seems to be more and more pervasive.
I’m having a terribly difficult time differentiating the motives and methods of the "Pattersons" of the convention (national and state) and the "Cheneys" of the government. The parallels are deeply disturbing.
Second, a post from February 7 on Wade Burleson's blog entitled Grace and Truth to You: The Silent Majority.
Third, a post from February 8 on Alternet.org entitled The Rise of Christian Fascism and Its Threat to American Democracy.
I'll end with this quote: Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country (or denomination) to danger. It works the same in any country. Hermann Goering