Jason Kottke reviewed an article by the philosopher Umberto Eco and summarized it as 14 features of eternal fascism.
“These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.” —Umberto Eco
These 14 points can be used as a way to ensure that each one of us does not tend toward fascism. As a core part of my work is the democratization of work, fascism is the opposite of what I am trying to achieve.
“Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism … Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond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.” —Wikipedia
Only one of Eco’s 14 points on what constitutes fascism needs to be present, so here are links on ways to co-opt these tendencies.
- Cult of Tradition — be open to new experiences & meet new people from different backgrounds: variety & diversity, video: Charles Handy on Democracy & Capitalism
- Rejection of Modernism — use a science-based approach to create new hypotheses and test them out to let the data inform you, not your gut: buck the established way
- Cult of Action for Action’s Sake — include reflection in your regular practice: reflecting on reflection
- Disagreement is Treason — learn to criticize: sense-making tools
- Fear of Difference — build tolerance for ambiguity
- Appeal to Social Frustration — get involved: we are the media
- Obsession with a Plot — build a diverse network to understand ‘the other’: engineering our own serendipity
- Humiliation of Enemies — develop empathy: humanity in beta
- Anti-pacifism — military terms are not human: tactics, strategy & humanity
- Contempt for the Weak — seek out those who are different: real learning is not abstract
- Everyone is a Hero — organizations don’t need heroes
- Machismo and Weaponry — the social imperative is to cooperate
- Selective Populism — counter the tendencies of a post-truth (lying) society with critical thinking
- NewSpeak — beware of reductive thought and become a story skeptic
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