I’ve wondered about the similarities between some of the more angry elements in America today. Perhaps it is no surprise that these elements tend to overlap, though by no means do they have to.
What is it that they have in common? So far, I’ve come up with 17 points. I’ve deliberately left them vague, so that each statement could be used to describe a nationalist, a fascist or a religious fundamentalist in any nation or of any faith in the world.
1. They are strongly attached to tradition and want to return to better times of the past.
2. Yet, they are resistant to change.
3. The are willing to unquestionably submit to authority, though they are openly critical of the authority they have yet to supplant.
4.They express a general disenchantment with present times and circumstances and the firm belief that better times (Utopia) will be ushered in through apocalyptic and cleansing violence.
5. There is a professed need for unity among the ranks exemplified by oaths and pledges and physical gestures.
6. Popular dissent is suppressed and those who disagree with their established authority and doctrine are readily condemned.
7. They are suspicious of ‘intellectual’s and their institutions (who are most likely to dissent) and dismiss any evidence that might conflict with their doctrines.
8. They fear the unknown as what lies there may challenge their existing convictions. So unauthorized books, periodicals, broadcasts etc are off-limits.
9. They are paranoid, they believe they are besieged by hostile forces and that anyone who is not with them is against them.
10. A fear and dislike for the alien (the nonconformist) from outside or within their midst is common (hostile forces are often personified by the alien). These aliens become convenient scapegoats for most of society’s problems.
11. Their rhetoric largely consists of an insider language peppered with head-nodding jargon ( like Orwell’s “Newspeak”)
12. There is a professed obsession with morality and purity, of both the body and the mind, that can only be accomplished through strict discipline and devotion to authority and doctrine
13. An affection for the language of empire, implying the supremacy of their place over any other, helps them to essentially squash any idea of egalitarianism
14. They tend to use the violent language of sacrifice, conquest and triumph.
15. They exalt the martial elements of society.
16. They profess a firm belief in their destiny and their natural (chosen) place at the head of other people and nations of the world.
17. They celebrate an officially sanctioned mythology that blends truth with fiction and creates heroic stories used to promote doctrine.
Did I miss any?