We are seeing a lot of trends recently that are raising concerns about the future of our democracy. These trends include ultra-conservatism, more authoritarian behavior of the Executive, nationalism, political polarization and gamesmanship to name a few. These signs are not new. They have occurred before in other countries. Specifically we need to review our history of Fascism.
Wikipedia defines Fascism as follows:
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
Reading this definition one can not help but reflect on recent trends in our country. Are we experiencing a precursor to a major shift in our political situation? This deserves serious consideration. If this bothers you, as it does me, then what should be done? The answer is the same as in previous blog discussions. The electorate must be energized. We must identify candidate representatives that are a part of our local communities, share local values and priorities, and are able to put national priorities ahead of politics. Following this we all must work to get these candidates elected – formidable but doable.
Photo by michaelkmak