The definition of fascism is complex and it seems that we have over simplified the meaning so as to insult or decry our political opponents. We know Hitler and his ilk were fascist of the worst kind and during the Bush era simply putting a Hitler mustache on George W. would rile the liberals in a frenzy of hatred and anger, and yet BO is getting his fair share of being called a fascist. So it seems that we need to educate ourselves on history once again and the terms and meanings behind it all. You can do that here if you like. This article is not about teaching you about fascism, but analyzing the test made over 50 years ago and how it relates to the Christian mind. You can take it yourself if you’d like.
Previously, I wrote about another kind of survey that determined how Conservative or Liberal you are, and how completely stupid it was in its conclusions. This one, however is a bit more accurate and a slightly bit disturbing in its assumptions. As a Christian, I see where these questions are leading and can’t but help to see its bent toward getting ignorant people to answer in such a way as to find out they are fascists. On the opposite side of fascist, in this test, is liberal, which I find offensive in itself because both political systems can get to a fascist ideal. One of the main ideas of fascism I see is the shutting down of the voice of your political opponent, be it through media, prisons, or violence. I see today that it is only the liberals in America that don’t want to allow the conservative, whether it be religious or political, to have their voice be heard.
The answers to all the questions are as follows: 1 Disagree Strongly, 2 Disagree Mostly, 3 Disagree Somewhat, 4 Agree Somewhat, 5 Agree Mostly, 6 Agree Strongly. So, we’ll look at these questions individually and see where they fall short.
There is also a “Variable” part of the test that will be revealed within each question:
- Conventionalism: Rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values.
- Authoritarian Submission: Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the ingroup.
- Authoritarian Aggression: Tendency to be on the lookout for, and to condemn, reject, and punish people who violate conventional values.
- Anti-intraception: Opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded.
- Superstition and Stereotypy: The belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories.
- Power and “Toughness”: Preoccupation with the dominance-submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures; overemphasis upon the conventionalized attributes of the ego; exaggerated assertion of strength and toughness.
- Destructiveness and Cynicism: Generalized hostility, vilification of the human.
- Projectivity: The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outwards of unconscious emotional impulses.
- Sex: Exaggerated concern with sexual “goings-on.”
Onto the survey:
1. Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn.
Although obedience and respect for authority are important, I could think of some more important virtues: curiosity, morality, expression to some extent, determination, cooperation. I chose Disagree Somewhat. This has a variable of 1 and 2
2. A person who has bad manners, habits, and breeding can hardly expect to get along with decent people.
For me this question comes down to the opinionated term of “decent people”. Who is determining what is decent? I suppose if you are in the upper to mid class person, you look down your nose at “indecent” people, but being a Christian I would hope that you see the value in all persons and that hope is more valuable than decency. I Disagreed Mostly. Variables: 1 and 3
3. If people would talk less and work more, everybody would be better off.
In many instances talking allows people to work better. Communication is a very valuable commodity in the workplace. But, I see where this is leading and Somewhat Agree because talk could be work and work adds purpose and value to society. Variable: 1, 3 and 4
4. The business man and the manufacturer are much more important to society than the artist and the professor.
Now we start to get in to seeing the difference in a society and its culture. After watching Monuments Men, I am confirmed of the value art has in a culture. (Great show by the way.) Creativity, whether in business or the arts, should be a fine marriage of cultural value. Fascists see no value in art, in the beauty of itself, but only in the way it can propagate its agenda. Although government funding of either is a very fine balance. People can definitely see the goodness of a manufacturing plant bettering society, even though they disagree fundamentally, (look at today’s protester: hating the business but loving the results and benefits). Art holds more opinion in its value. Can a picture of Mary the mother of Jesus made out of excrement, be called art? Should the government fund this? Difficult questions, but I Disagreed Mostly. Variable: 1 and 4
5. Science has its place, but there are many important things that can never be understood by the human mind.
Variable: 2 and 5. So this question has to do with authority? I suppose if a scientist says it, it is to be held as a permanent, unmoving truth? I’m not exactly sure where the fascist would stand here, but I’m thinking getting away from any type of faith. That the only value is observable? I Agree Mostly only because I see the value of science in society, but the supernatural holds great purpose in life, in morality, in love and sacrifice.
6. Every person should have complete faith in some supernatural power whose decisions he obeys without question.
Variable: 2 and 5 again. Does this point out your fascism in submission? Or your bent away from fascism in its value of only what can be seen or felt. I think perhaps “without question” is the crux of the question. Agreeing with this is fascist. I Disagreed Somewhat exactly because of not questioning. I am raising my children to question what they believe, but we should have some faith that this is not all there is to life; there is greater meaning and purpose than eating, sleeping, laughing and dying.
7. Young people sometimes get rebellious ideas, but as they grow up they ought to get over them and settle down.
It is only through rebellious ideas that things change as they sometimes must do, not always for the better, but we must realize that rebellion is good for a society that has no diversity. Sameness is detrimental to society, and to be honest, just plain boring. It is true that most rebellion or revolution starts with the young seeing an injustice, and it may be traditional for those in power to try to sway them by assimilating them to society by marriage, family, job, and it is determinant for them to hold to their rebellion or not, whether it is still as valuable or worthy of their young rebellion in the first place. If the rebellion is truly necessary, we must never grow out of it. I Disagree Mostly. Variable: 2.
8. What this country needs most, more than laws and political programs, is a few courageous, tireless, devoted leaders in whom the people can put their faith.
Okay, this question comes down to “put their faith”. I completely agree that we need leaders who are completely devoted to their ideals and will not be swayed by personal gain, BUT we must never allow a cult of personality to take the place of faith. That is to completely believe in them no matter what their character may reveal, which in any human, will fail you. Agree Somewhat. Variable: 2 and 6.
9. No sane, normal, decent person could ever think of hurting a close friend or relative.
What does “hurting” mean? Like risk hurting their feelings for the betterment of themselves? Or turn them in for adverse thought to the authorities? Dark. Disagree Somewhat. Variable: 2
10. Nobody ever learned anything really important except through suffering.
Hmm… This question too, has a dark, hidden meaning. Do we make people suffer so that they will, or must learn? We are told this in a roundabout way in the Bible, that suffering or trials help us to grow, and I completely agree. But, this is not what this means, perhaps? Agree Somewhat. Variable: 2.
11. What the youth needs most is strict discipline, rugged determination, and the will to work and fight for family and country.
Eliminate “strict,” and change “family and country” to “the betterment of society and culture.” But then who decides what is the “betterment” so again, this is difficult, as all political opinions should be. Disagree Mostly. Variable 3 and 6.
12. An insult to our honor should always be punished.
“Always”? “Always”? Really? And for just and insult? No. Strongly Disagree. Variable: 3 and 6.
13. Sex crimes, such as rape and attacks on children, deserve more than mere imprisonment; such criminals ought to be publicly whipped, or worse.
Yes, I agree that these crimes stir up my blood more than most, even now my teeth are grinding at such an affront to goodness and purity that should be held up in society and held dearly. I think and re-think my answer on this and Mostly Agree, with reservations because of the fact that where does it stop. It is deviant behavior, but who decides what is deviant but a strong moral authority, and within the theocracy God established, there was public punishment, not necessarily beatings, but everyone knew of the punishment. So, thinking that humans within the government decides these things? No, I will Agree Somewhat. Variable: 3 and 9.
14. There is hardly anything lower than a person who does not feel a great love, gratitude, and respect for his parents.
Nope! There are things way worse than someone who does not feel these things. Strongly Disagree. Variable: 3
15. Most of our social problems would be solved if we could somehow get rid of the immoral, crooked, and feebleminded people.
Erm… “feebleminded”? Yes, society would be better if everyone believed the same and we were all mostly equal, but there has to be some who decides that there are some who are more equal than others. And that is what disturbs me. Disagree Mostly. Variable: 3
16, Homosexuals are hardly better than criminals and ought to be severely punished.
Again, Nope! There is so much wrong with this statement, but it was thought of in a different culture, 50 years ago. But, I am afraid that many people who call themselves Christians would agree with this. They do sin, as I do sin, and accepting Christ gives us freedom, even if that freedom is living in a manner against the Word, it should eventually turn us, but we should never be forcefully compelled and/or treated as criminals. Strongly Disagree. It is with love that the world is changed. Ugh, too much more to say, but this is a summary. Variable: 3 and 9.
17. When a person has a problem or worry, it is best for him not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things.
Replace “with more cheerful things” with “working” and I would strongly agree. Hopefully staying busy helps us to get over our worry. Does this statement imply a blind following? Yes, I believe it does. Somewhat Agree though. Variable: 4.
18. Nowadays more and more people are prying into matters that should remain personal and private.
This is a statement that should change with the times. “Prying” should be “involving.” This is true and false at the same time because of the Facebook culture we have created. Kind of lame question, but I feel compelled to Agree Somewhat because no one is really involving themselves in other peoples lives as they should sometimes. Variable: 4 and 8.
19. Some people are born with an urge to jump from high places.
What? It seems that the questions to this point leads to a fascist belief if you agree. So how does this tie with that? Are we to just allow those TO jump if they are just born with it? I think that is the implication here. So, I suppose I Disagree Somewhat if that is the case. Variable: 5
20. People can be divided into two distinct classes: the weak and the strong.
Okay, this sounds like the saying that has come about, with sometimes comedic effect, “There are two kinds of people in this world…” This is followed up with something like, Trekkers and non-Trekkers or those who like Thin Mints and those who like Samoas. Duh, there is weak people and there is strong, but in many different categories and characteristics. So I think this is wanting to make us place labels on those who are weak, so that they can be pointed out to those in authority. But, I Agree Somewhat anyway. Variable: 5 and 6.
21. Some day it will probably be shown that astrology can explain a lot of things.
Oh for crying in the mud. Disagree Strongly. Variable: 5 and 6
22. Wars and social troubles may someday be ended by an earthquake or flood that will destroy the whole world.
Wow, that escalated quickly! Um, sure… but what does that have to do with fascism? Is it more of a metaphorical destruction? Is it an implication of faith? I’m not sure of anything with this question… Agree Somewhat? Variable: 5 and 8
23. No weakness or difficulty can hold us back if we have enough will power.
Strongly Agree… but then again. Dark, hidden meanings. Variable: 6
24. It is best to use some prewar authorities in Germany to keep order and prevent chaos. [You’ll have to pretend it is 1946 when you answer this one.]
I can’t pretend this. Okay, I’ll try. Sure, I’ll Agree Somewhat. Variable: 6
25. Most people don’t realize how much our lives are controlled by plots hatched in secret places.
Now were getting down to the meat of darkness and hidden meanings. I would agree with this in my conspiratorial mind. But, God is ultimately in control, so… Disagree Somewhat? Yeah, that sounds right. 6 and 8.
26. Human nature being what it is, there will always be war and conflict.
Okay, yes this is biblical. Completely Agree. The thing we need though is to understand each other better and on an individual level, if you are open, we can minimize conflict. But on a global basis, totally. So, Agree Mostly. Variable: 6
27. Familiarity breeds contempt.
Living in Utah for 40 years I would have said, yes. But, I would change this to “breeds a lack of challenge and therefore growth.” But, I still Agree Mostly. Variable: 6
28. Nowadays when so many different kinds of people move around and mix together so much, a person has to protect himself especially carefully against catching an infection or disease from them.
Oof! That was a sock to the gut… I can hardly breathe from the force of this blow… Ouch, really? I guess for the most part, people might believe in the truth of this statement. Look at historically the diseases natives received from colonists. Sometimes it makes us stronger, sometimes it makes us weaker. But the sentiment behind the question is kind of distasteful. Disagree Mostly. Variable: 7
29. The wild sex life of the old Greeks and Romans was tame compared to some of the goings-on in this country, even in places where people might least expect it.
There is nothing new under the sun. People will sink down to the lowest of their society for their pure enjoyment and not look back or care about it at all. N/A is not an option so I guess I will Agree Somewhat with the advent of YouTube. Variable: 8 and 9
30. The true American way of life is disappearing so fast that force may be necessary to preserve it.
Dark and Hidden meanings. The American way of life is an incredible moment in history, but that is not my God nor is it my faith. We have a responsibility in this world, but if things are to change… they must, and God saw it through the whole way. Disagree Somewhat. Variable: 6.
I must admit, I took this test before and got a 2.93333, which was labeled a “Liberal Airhead”. This time as I looked at every question, I have a 3.2, and it tells me, “You are disciplined but tolerant; a true American.” I don’t know if these labels were used 50+ years ago, but Liberal Airhead might seem a bit insulting, not to mention incorrect in this time and age.
As for the variables, look at the ones you scored as Agree Mostly or Strongly. I didn’t agree with a lot of this survey, but some of the Mostly or Strongly led to the variables of 2, 5 and three times, 6. I have a slight bent toward Authoritarian Submission: Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealized moral authorities of the ingroup, and Superstition and Stereotypy: The belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate; the disposition to think in rigid categories. I most strongly relate to this variable: Destructiveness and Cynicism: Generalized hostility, vilification of the human, which is correct I believe.
In general this survey is more complex than the other one I analyzed yet slightly dated. It seems that in the questions, they believe that fascist people might be more from the upper class, and disdains mixing of cultures and desire a violent silence of any opposition/rebellion. Hmm… something to think about as we see our government at work today.
Facebook. Yes. I said it. The word that has sickeningly bullied its way into our culture and language, and it makes me cringe every time I have to use it in a discussion. I’m sick of it. It just feeds my narcissistic side. But, I do like to see what’s going on, be available and share who I am. It’s just that, that one site is the worst way to do this for me. That’s why I blog now. Who cares if millions of people haven’t read or commented. But if I share my heart, to my 90+ “friends” of that one site, and get silence, it drives me crazy… well maybe some. I have funny little stories about how a friend posted this such and such a thing, got a million likes and a century’s worth of comments to go through, while my brilliant self, posts thoughtful garbage only to be silently dissed. But, I’m not going to. It’s been done so much it’s cliché now. Making a mockery of that one site whilst diddling your keyboard pleasurably about how long it’s been since you started putting up with your mate who is right next to you drooling over his new phone has become an all time favorite cultural pastime. For crying in the mud, I get it! You’d rather see me post other people’s creativity or funny snippets, or how much beer I’m going to drink or just that right now I need some real generic prayer, instead of the true me, the honest me. Sure, I did have my faithful supporters; kudos on them. They know me. And those others, maybe they know me but, that one site just doesn’t convey our whole neediness and the fulfillment therein. Really, it’s not that I needed that feedback, it’s just… they were/are the people in my life and if they just breeze on by what’s important to me, then is it really effective in connecting us all?
There is one behavior I like to share with people who really want to get to know me: When I was in college I had to walk this same route everyday and every other person who lived in the dorms I lived in walked this route too. The path was so beaten down you could have put a running hose on it and the water would not have been absorbed and traveled the whole path of the consistent walkers. However, I walked about three feet to the side of it and sway back and forth so that my way wouldn’t become a path well worn. If a bush came into my way I would to take a long way around it, just so I wouldn’t be in the path that so many others trod before me. I didn’t think myself philisophical or that I had some symbolic rebellion going on, it’s just that I didn’t want to travel the way everyone else did. It bugged me, made me gag.
I’m not an anarchist or this behavior doesn’t carry into all the aspects of my life. But this, truly this, is what I am… or at least try to be. I stand at a gathering and everyone’s head is down checking their status. Really? You can’t be in the moment? Just be, conntected to who you’re around… now? Yeah, I don’t have a cell phone. I did for a while. But, it just didn’t fit. I wasn’t always looking at it, nor did I share photos or ringtones or texts or statuses. Watching people do these things in a group bugs me, makes me gag.
That one site is a good idea. It really is. But like most human ideas, we turn it to poop. That’s what we did with that one site: turned it to poop. Sorry my Christian brothers and sisters for having to use such harsh and immature language. But how else can you describe an idea formed in the mind of an insecure, unsocial, genius, (if the movie is to be belived), to connect beer guzzling college kids, that eventually was released to more “mature” folks so that our voice could be heard through the “likes” of our fully sleeved wrists, and digital thumbs turned up so that some bratty kid can get his puppy? Really? This is our multi-million idea idol? Smarmy, curly headed, Mona Lisa smiling digital god? I scroll down the news feed of my life with glimpses of half-inspired quotes on sunsets or kitties, demands for comments and reposts, notices that that one guy has changed his profile picture again, and suggestions of products I should “like”. Don’t I like them already if I purchased them from the outlet of my choice? Sometimes scrolling down the news feed of my life bugs me, makes me gag.