Fascism is a kind of authoritarian leadership characterized by a dictatorial approach, control of various economic facets and suppression of opposition by all means possible. This form of political approach rose to prominence during the early 20th century in Europe. The most popular fascist leaders at that time included Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy, and Francisco Franco of Spain. If you look at all these three dictators’ style of leadership, they are several common characteristics. Some of these characteristics include:
Disregard for Human Rights
Fascist leaders tend to undermine human rights, especially when they deem it a threat to their authority. They may resort to acts, such as assassination, torture, or incarceration of their political enemies. All these violations of human rights even gain the approval of the people in the name of having protection against ‘enemies.’ Of course, they would follow this line of thought upon persuasion from the fascist leader.
The military in fascist regimes receives disproportionate resources from the government. The excessive funding comes even in the wake of other more urgent domestic agenda. As a result, a nation crumbles in many different sectors due to a shortage of resources. In these regimes, the military service and everything associated with it usually has a special allure to people.
A Condescending Attitude Towards Intellectuals
Fascist regimes are notorious for promoting hostility towards academics and higher education. Learned individuals, such as professors and scholars, are subject to censorship and in more severe cases end up arrested or dead. The free expression exhibited in the arts discipline also comes under fire in fascist regimes and governments never fund this sector.
Leaders in fascist regimes in most cases only appoint relatives and friends to influential positions in government. In cases of misappropriation of funds and abuse of power, the leaders will protect their people from accountability. It is a common occurrence for money and other public resources to go missing at the hands of government leaders in these regimes.
Elections in fascist regimes are never fair. Fascist leaders usually engage in rigging, and in some cases, assassinate opposition leaders to keep the competition out of their way. They also use smear campaigns against opponents and manipulate the election through their judiciaries and media.
Powerful Continuous Nationalism
Fascist governments usually invest in items like mottos, symbols, patriotic songs and slogans among other nationalist items. Flags are always in every corner. The flags also appear as symbols on regular fabric and public displays more commonly than usual.
Control Over Mass Media
The media in fascist regimes works under scrutiny by the government, or the latter has total control over it. In cases where the government does not directly control the media, you will find government sympathizers working for and running the press. Censorship is a common occurrence at times of war or demonstrations.
Suppression of Labor Power
The only real threat to any fascist regime is the labor sector. Labor unions are normally in the best position to fight corrupt regime policies given their organizing power. With this in mind, fascist regimes always ensure that they suppress or eliminate all labor unions.