Fascism is violent, oppressive, regressive, militaristic ultranationalism, promising power to one group while dehumanizing and purging the "other". Many of you shared in the cherished pastime of picking ideology from the Marketplace of Ideas, and decided fascism wasn't for you. Yet that's not how it sells itself, and political identification doesn't dictate what guides our behavior and actions. We must strive beyond labels and beliefs to escape fascism. Are we to believe people actually seek it out of clinical interest in the merits of its economics? No, it's far from a coherent political system than it is a dark psychology fixated on pride, fear, division, and conflict, drawing people for irrational, emotional reasons. Despite your smarts and schooling, you're vulnerable to its influence, as it engages by captivating your psyche, rather than through logical discourse. Yes, you, liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist.
Follow this advice to avoid falling into fascism:
Values aren't enough. Principles keep us mutually receptive and out of a state of conflict. Without them, any act can be justified by or against you, and you won't be trusted. Keep a code of honor: don't hurt, steal, or lie. This means not cherry-picking who is worthy nor applying principles only when it suits you.
When we disagree, it’s over differing opinion, not who said it. If you can't prove or refute ideas, resorting to personal attacks, you lose credibility. Dismissing someone as a fundie, neolib, or SJW cowardly avoids defending a position against criticism. Attacks on others distract from a flimsy position.
The far-right will promote unthinkable topics or surveys to provoke you. Your conscience begs you to come to the defense of reason! But by engaging, you're imparting voice and legitimacy to a bad-faith debate they can't lose. The argument is not the point: they win with attention, good or bad.
If you're among peers who gripe how distant strangers ruin their lives, and go harass and sabotage as the answer, look inward. Scapegoating others only deflects personal responsibility from your problems and doesn't make them go away. Seek a constructive solution that directly affects your life. Fascists try to manipulate you into weaponizing your victimhood, which pushes others away from you.
It's cool to like popular people. Yet, it crosses a line to love them so much that they can do no wrong. "Stanning" over them encourages uncritical groupthink and enables overlooking bad takes, predatory opportunism, or criminal acts. Don't meet misgivings with policing and toxic pile-ons. No public figure is big enough to detract from the voices or efforts of others.
Without realizing it, we constantly look for patterns. It's our evolutionary way of making sense of the world. If someone hurts us, we take note of how they look for next time. Our species also survived out of selfless care. Remember that each of us come from different backgrounds, we all hurt sometimes, and we all have potential for change. And mercy.
If you've never been someplace, nor met certain groups, don't take anyone's word for it. Making judgments about people you haven't met is ignorant. Lots of misinformation and gossip floats around. If you're interested, check out a book on the subject or consider visiting them.
"Secrets they don't want you to know" is the catchphrase hinting someone's about to sell you on BS! How's it that this guy knows the secret, but authorities on the subject are "in on the plot"? Spurning credible sources can lead down rabbit holes into regressive solipsism. Strangers on the internet can claim anything, so they're unreliable as primary sources. Not to bash beliefs, but fascist circles intersect with esotericism and occultism.
Watch out for evocative appeals to your values which avoid logical methods. Distrust statements reliant on negative labels and framed questions that lead with assumptions. Anecdotes can illustrate events' effects, yet distort events' proportions. Statistics reflect many instances over time and area.
An insidious way that the far-right reach people is by taking advantage of news cycles. As a new story breaks, there's a time window where details are fuzzy, lacking, and fill out gradually. Far-right actors seize on these unknowns and insert their own plausible stories, priming viewers to believe false narratives and turn them off to further conflicting developments from reliable outlets.
It's valid to claim a source is unreliable because of a track record of errors, lies, and corruption. It's biased to do a blanket rejection of many news outlets because they're liberal, mainstream, or owned by Joe Schmoe. Don't cut corners by blacklisting sources without objective, supported reasons. You won't change any minds and will only deny yourself the ability to understand issues.
Reacting to any story in a way the presenter intends us to is easy, but have you considered whether they’re all the facts and if the details are correct? Verify with questions before jumping to conclusions. Delay snap judgments, consume information critically, and investigate sources.
When our society thrives, it's easy to believe in karmic justice. Sometimes good or bad things occur for no reason. That's hard for most to take, so to keep believing we live in a just society, we direct blame at the victims of fate. Habitually thinking this way can lead to a dehumanizing mindset.