14 signs that fascism is coming... in what order to present these in a story?

The 14 signs that fascism is coming…

  • Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
  • Supremacy of the military
  • Rampant sexism
  • Controlled mass media
  • Obsession with national security
  • Religion and government intertwined
  • Corporate power protected
  • Labor power suppressed
  • Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
  • Obsession with crime & punishment
  • Rampant cronyism & corruption
  • Fraudulent elections

For a story that is isolated to merely a school… in what CHRONOLOGICAL order do you think these would happen?

Thanks beforehand!

Source for the signs: What are the early signs of fascism? | indy100


Rampant sexism and unifying enemy. This is a slow-build sort of issue, and rampant sexism might not even be surprising for where the school is.


I found the article a bit fear-mongering, but most discussions of facism are, mostly because they never provide solutions. If I was a paranoiac, I would say that there is a conspiracy to dissolve the trust we have in our governments to usher in a new age of anarchy but it was all part of the plan by the evil banana to send monkeys to the desert to starve to death.


Well, in real life, most all those won’t actually lead to any issues as they are the regular swings of a society, back and forth. That’s the issue with panicking over the early signs.

That’s the goal of every war, every scapegoating event, whether it is a blip in the status quo or swings towards fascism. Since not every war leads to it, it’s not the best indicator on the list.

The empires that rule over others for hundreds of years (now US, was Brittain before, Spain before that, probably still Rome before that, with the Huns sprinkled in) do this without going to outright fascist behaviors because Empires are going to Empire. It’s more clearly an issue when “supremacy of the underdog” is being pushed because the military building is coming from instability instead of the regular flow of a dominant nation.

Status quo, again

Lol, the media in the US has been a monopoly owned by a handful of people all my life, where they are more interested in selling news than reporting news, so it’s had an element of control literally all my life because only a handful of things make it to the national level. That means 40 years isn’t the start of this one.

Like the funniest one from my childhood was how a blurb on the same wartime event bounced back and forth between newspapers for well over two years because it was “international filler” between the various papers: dates on the event were never recorded, just the date of print, same bombing over and over. It was one of the big educational pieces we covered, which is why I remember it this well.

This is another one that makes me laugh and goes back to media control. Border walls was the obsession in the US, right? People can pinpoint it to a certain brash president the US had, right?

Nope. It predates him. Some of the border finances were secured by that president’s opposition when she was a Senator damn near a decade before that. That the media didn’t post the parallels immediately was “media control” in concert with trying to paint the march towards fascism on one party instead of it being the whole political machine no matter what, without guarantees of actually building towards such issues.

Yeah, it’s as often the opposite or at least not quite this. Religion and government intertwined predates any nation’s existence. This is why it was common for Empires to take other nation’s religions an promote them as theirs (really noticeable by Greek and Rome but the Babylonians did it, as did the Egyptians). The God-King was a common trait of nation-building. What’s far more telling is when it’s a removal of pre-existing religions for ANY ideology as a national emblem. It’s not just a religion, but any thought that is used to crush what exists beforehand that leads towards that behavior. That’s why it is very hard to pinpoint a specific religious view of exampled and established fascists: there’s a use of some ideology, but it’s controlled by a “greater narrative”.

Again, all my life and beyond, selectively.

That’s a fun one. Unions started in the US to overthrow labor power suppression, and became a tool of suppression itself, arguably.

Again a fun one: Dadaism is art movement that stems from disdain for intellectualism in arts. Many changes come from a disdain for the older ways.

All my life, again: war on drugs, militarization of police forces, the riots of the last decade are no different from the Rodney King incident of my youth.

Predates lobbyists in the US.

Arrests and jail time and fines again, all my life. Documentable. The argument has always been for statistically too low to make a difference, not non-existent.

So, what I see is that the whole list can be done for a third a century, a century, since the dawn of man, and not result in an overtly fascist state.

So, easy to see why people are complacent, right? There’s a huge level of “how is this new?!” the older you get. If you were writing a thesis paper, it would be better to show elements of fascism since the dawn of man since the political congealing of that thought is not even a couple hundred years old and the elements that can lead to it are older than recorded history in some cases.

But if you’re writing it for a conventional story, it may be better to go with whatever most sites claim is the traditional order of this mounting national distress.


I’d put them in the order of which would be least noticed first and the most obvious listed last. You know your plot better than we do and what would be least noticed by your characters. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯


It sounds you and I have written/are writing very similar books. I can tell you that some of these are a lot harder to work plausibly into a school setting. It’s pretty easily to have scapegoated enemies, perhaps mass media if you’re writing about a school newspaper (I didn’t include this specifically), national security, crime and punishment, corruption, and most definitely fraudulent student elections. The others are a lot harder.

It’s not as if you can’t have a fascist state if one of these doesn’t occur—why are you looking to incorporate all fourteen? I can talk more about how I addressed these topics in my book if you’re interested, since I’ve been told I did it pretty well.


Because of the ending, the fourteen of them must appear. In the ending when it’s revealed it was all a test, the Principal starts reciting these

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Well, we certainly can’t just write your plot for you—and if you don’t have an ironclad means of executing your vision, your story will suffer. There’s a documentary about The Third Wave you can find on YouTube that might be of some interest to you.



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Fascist Tendencies (bridgew.edu)

This article is a bit more articulated in labeling each ascension into fascism.

I think the explanations and re-wording of each point lend a better perspective which may help you.

I also highly suggest you look at corrupt boarding schools which instill a sense of fascist society into their teachings. Most of the time, they label themselves as schools for troubled youth. Most of the time, they’re religious organizations. This is because troubled youth, who are probably suffering from trauma and mental health issues, are in a very vulnerable place. Perhaps they’ve acted out in the past, and their parents are ‘at an end’. They’re desperate for a ‘cure all’, which the school offers. This makes it easier for the school to explain away any harsher methods involving discipline and teaching.

Some good examples I’ve run across in the past (TW: Sexual Abuse–absolutely rampant in schools like this).

  • Circle of Hope – Girl’s Ranch
  • Florida School for Boys
  • The Oprah school in Africa also had some cases of severe abuse come out, but they’re all swept under the rug. There’s no concrete evidence, other than the accounts that have come out, but it’s worth listening to victim’s stories.
  • Archbishop Keough High School
  • The Elan School
  • (Westernized) Native American school systems in general, more during the time when indigenous children were taken from their tribes and forcibly integrated into western society via boarding schools. The racism, murder, sexual abuse, and death that occurred to them is sickening. However, it may be hard to research this as (why documented) much of this happened a long time ago. There’re still testimonies, but the full scale of the corruption wasn’t acknowledged (nor, to an extent, discovered) until more recently.

Overall, you’re going to have a difficult time implementing all of the fascist government into a school system, unless you’re working in a dystopian society in which the society is fascist and therefore has fascist techniques applied to the school. Which isn’t to say it’s not possible, just that you’re going to have to do some editing in order to make it realistic for a school system instead of a society of people.

The point of fascism is the breakdown of humanity and freedom, but unless you give some ‘reasons’ behind the school moving in a fascist direction, it’s going to come off as brittle (especially if you wish to execute the decent into a fascist school system instead of having your characters introduced in a school system already implementing these techniques).

Also, helpful tip: Try to act like this is a school project and get your resources and information from credible people. Documentaries, and testimonies from survivors, are good and well but understanding the psychology and depth of a fascist society will aid you greatly in reflecting that in a school system. Google Scholar (a search engine on googles) will bring up peer-reviewed articles and information, making it so that the information you’re getting is accurate.


Sorry for all the editing. I’ve been researching into corrupt school systems for some time, partly because it interests me, but mostly because it’s absolutely foul that this shit was allowed to happen and is still happening. Especially after watching “Children of the Snow” (honestly would not recommend if you’re in a bad place, it changed my view of the world for the negative for a long time after watching). Sickening.


The society is progressive af, but the school is an experiment to see

  1. Who are more likely to be the opressors in case of a Fascist Third Wave
  2. Who are more likely to be resistance

Every single citizen goes through it but nobody talks about it about the spoiler

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That doesn’t sound like a progrssive society. I also doubt the bulk of society would never talk about it.

Experimentation on that level won’t give results as well as you may think. As, in facist societies, most people are brainwashed and their humanity stolen. Not to mention, the corrupt idealogies taught in that school would forever traumatize the people who endure it.

Most people are caught in the middle. They want to survive. Which means they won’t join the rebels, but they also don’t like the horrible weight the government oppressed them under. They’re too afraid to do anything. Most of them would become traumatized to the point that their roles in society would become corrupt. Many would probably need therapy, and hospitalization, for many years after attending such a horrendous school in which their human rights were smashed down.

Not to mention, as soon as finding out its an experimentation, their trust in society (and people) would be diminished to the point of no return. They will change permanently.

Experiments are meant to compare. There’s an experiment group and control group. Without the control group, the information you’re reciving cannot properly be scientifically feasable as there’s much bias behind their process. Meaning they’re learning nothing new, only how a general society can be broken down and minipulated.

Would highly suggest you research facist societies, corrupt schools, and generally the process for experimentation, otherwise the logic your story functions under will not come across as realistic.


If I followed what you say what is realistic, there would be literally no plot

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Building up on how fubar experiments go, really quickly, research the Stanford Prison Experiment. That was done by college students under their professor and it went bad so quickly that we tend to avoid repeating it. It’s very Lord of the Flies.


I’m not sure how that could be :woman_shrugging:. Lots of ideas change over the course of the writing the story, especially as we ingest new information about the topics we’re writing about.


Not to mention, those experiments all led to severe distress after being enacted. I mean, in the Stanford Prison Experiment, the ethical guidelines breeched and the severe reaction from both prisoners and police was absolutely brutal. The psychological damage done to those people, some of which never game fully informed consent, is near incomprehensible.


Reading through this thread again, I still think you might find it interesting to see how I approached these sorts of ideas in my book—I’ll definitely be curious to see your finished product and how you went about it. This is the sort of premise where you really need to think through your premise or none of the ideas will come through—or worse, it will feel preachy and unsubtle.


It’s what makes the reality of experiments on kids very frightening. That was young adults, very young adults who thought they were adult enough to handle what came up out of themselves.

But I think it’s a better model for how much things go awry: the rules and controls put in place aren’t designed to handle extreme experimentation without a lot of outside scrutiny. The less open a system is the more room there is for insanity to happen.


This is true, but there’s also general flaws for extreme experimentation as there’s a line between “unethical experimentation” and straight-up torture. There’s also the scientific process to follow. Without those guidelines, there’s no real way to verify the findings done in the experiments. Especially if said experiments are unethical and have outstanding bias.

In a closed society, extreme experimentation would/could be more rampant, but does that mean that the scientific results produced from those experiments are unbiased/unflawed? There’re so many questions to experimentation, especially social experimentation as there’s outstanding behavioral/cultural factors to take into account, as well as general experience.