On Monday Sarah Rose tweeted this image of a poster she’d seen on sale at a notable location, accompanied by these words: “In the US Holocaust Museum. I’m shook.”
Since then, as of this writing, it’s been retweeted 190,823 times and attracted a flurry of online interest, and for reasons needing no explanation.
We traced it’s origins to a Spring 2003 op-ed in Free Inquiry — a magazine we once subscribed to — written by Laurence W. Britt, a former executive for Allied Chemical, Mobil, and Xerox Corp., based on his study of common characteristics of the authoritarian regimes of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Gen. Francisco Franco’s Spain, Portugal under António de Oliveira Salazar, Greece under the military junta headed by Col. Georgios Papadopoulos, Chile under the military regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, and Indonesia under Maj. Gen. Suharto.
In his article, Britt writes:
German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist1 regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.
Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.