Fascism? No One? A Response to “Dr.” Laurence Britt

14 Warning Signs of Nothing in Particular

FascismIn 2003, an article appeared in the Secular Humanist magazine Free Inquiry titled “Fascism Anyone?” (editor’s note: this link requires a paid subscription to Free Inquiry, the full text can be found for free here) This article, which has since been attributed to a “Dr. Laurence Britt, political scientist/scholar,” detailed the “14 Warning Signs of Fascism” in an attempt to reduce Fascism to a set of commonly shared characteristics by which the determination could be made whether or not a given individual, movement, or government in our modern world was indeed Fascist, or on its way towards Fascism. And this article has proven largely successful, with Dr Laurence Britt being cited repeatedly across the internet in a variety of mediums along with his article in order to reveal the Fascism lurking in the wind, threatening to corrupt our very way of life and lead us all into ruin. But the question is, should this article about the so-called Warning Signs of Fascism really be given so much stock in its validity? This is the question I will be discussing here today, digging into the truth behind the man, the article and the “Warning Signs of Fascism.”

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An Apostate On Libertarians

3t5jw8Let me begin by stating that I believe everyone reading this article will at least share my desire for a more orderly and prosperous society than what currently exists in the West today. With that said, my criticisms and considerations are mainly directed at libertarians.

I should preface that I myself have been a libertarian since 2007 or so. I supported Ron Paul in 2008 and would have liked to have seen him get the GOP nomination at least in 2012. Besides that I have read, watched and studied libertarian ideology since then, so don’t believe a return criticism that can be leveled at me is, “he just doesn’t understand libertarianism!” In fact, it is my understanding of the subject that informs these criticisms.

Libertarians desire a society that has more personal liberty, economic freedom and less “nanny state” molestation of the individual. These are indeed admirable goals, but their ways of achieving these are mistaken. Many think this can be done through either nonviolence and the non-aggression principle, or a sort of Fabian philosophical drift.

Seeing nothing new under the sun, I’ve come to think, as The Joker put it, “that is the one rule you’ll have to break to know the truth.” To paraphrase him, the only sensible way to live in this world and achieve your goals is not through the absence of rules(ers), but by not allowing everyone to decide on the rules.

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