Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fascio-Fascism

I kind of shake my head at calling Jonah Goldberg "the doughy pantsload", but I've already had the privilege of taking shots at his previous pronouncement on his fascism.

Well, I think he just robbed a bakery, because this takes the cake.

Mussolini got labelled a fascist because he supported WWI.

Just one problem: Mussolini WAS the original Fascist. He founded the party that gave the 20th century a name for totalitarian, brutal governments.

The real problem here is that some people identify fascism with any political cause that steps on their toes by preventing them from indulging whatever impulse they want, or does something they can't keep them from doing. Hence, Jonah's previous equation of Ivy-League educated school teachers with Nazi brownshirts.

At the end of the day, what Jonah can't tolerate, is somebody teaching or advocating what he disagrees with, in a way where he or others can come back in and reverse the "damage". He wants control, and fears the Left's influence on all levels.

And this is how, Ironically enough, they justify indulging in the paranoia and political acts that get them defined as fascists. Fascism, more than anything else, is defined by the impulse towards authoritarian control of society. Now, bureaucracy and government intrusion can be part of this, when not balanced by civil liberties, but what truly defines fascism is the vicious will to employ violence and other abuses of power to maintain power over the society, and the impulse to use violence to untie the Gordian knot of problems both internal and external.

Are the Republicans Fascists? No. But the party's become the closer of our two to that. The Democrats once strayed in that direction, and paid the price for it.

If we wish to stay clear of this problematic kind of politics, we must realize one thing: at the end of the day, we may have adversaries in politics, but we have very few true enemies.

1 comment:

ohrealy said...

I agree thagt Mussolini was the first fascist, but it was part of a historical development usually dated from 1848, when all the isms came to the fore, and we got a large number of immigrants on the losing side, who never stopped telling us how wonderful they were for our country.