Monday, June 15, 2009

What Fascism Looks Like

Most Americans are pretty sheltered (S.W. incl.). They don't particularly know what fascism looks like so they say, "Republicans are fascists," "Democrats are fascists."

Images escaping Iran show what fascism looks like. Please don't make that mistake again. The regime has shut down cellular phones, opposition newspapers, facebook, and a myriad of other possible communication sources so, out of necessity, this revolution is happening in 140 character chunks via Twitter. I may not make fun of it (Twitter) again.

Sorry for this, but CNN and the like can't be bothered:


Jennifer said...

I agree that the word "Fascism" gets thrown around too much by people who don't have a good understanding of what it actually means. Most often, they see the results of Fascism and assume that this is was it is. It's usually used in a situation when a government is acting in a heavy-handed manner towards its citizens.

But it is simply an politico-economic system, and a good way to understand what it actually is is to compare and contrast it to other politico-economic systems. Neal Boortz most succinctly defines 3 major such systems:

"Free enterprise (capitalism) is private ownership and control of the means of production. Socialism is government ownership and control of the means of production. Fascism is private ownership of the means of production, with government control."

Whether oppression and violence is an inevitable result of Fascism is debatable, but it certainly has this as its track record.

The Really Sarcastic Weasel said...

The word "Fascism" does have the political/economic definition that you describe but it also describes a radical, authoritarian, and nationalistic government (or the philosophy that supports it). Anecdotal evidence suggests a cause-and-effect relationship between the two definitions, hence a legitimate conflation (legitimate, in my opinion, I suppose others are entitled to their own opinions).

Using the term to describe Hillary Clinton for wanting to nationalize health care or Dick Cheney for his support of waterboarding degrades the power of the term and its usefulness. Those nefarious "others" who are always disagreeing with me may, again, have other opinions on one or the other of those examples based on one or the other definitions of "fascism". I might be inclined to give those arguments some credence were it not for the compelling counter-example provided by the dictators of Iran.