Apropos of a conversation I was part of earlier today

21 July 2013

Fascism is:

a reaction-ideology created by the collision of Communist ideas with the traditionalist political and social currents of early 20th Century Europe, which proposes chauvinistic nationalism, war, and militarism in the service of the state as virtues, and which generally deifies a single figure as a “father” or, in some rare cases, “mother“. Benito Mussolini is credited with saying that Fascism could be observed in the seamless merger of state and corporate power. Some people have seen the state dominance of the economy in Fascism as a “third way” between capitalism and socialism, but the Italian Fascists described themselves as a rightist party suited to the ‘century of authority’. Fascist movements are associated with repulsive notions of race and with racist attacks, most particularly – though far from uniquely – with the systematic attempt to exterminate the Jews under the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler.

Fascism is not:

thinking John Inverdale should be sacked, or

distrusting the government’s changes to the NHS, or

thinking Jeremy Hunt should have resigned over NewsCorp’s BSkyB bid.

Unless you wish to change the definition of “Fascism” to “any idea with which I do not agree”.

I kinda feel I should do Socialism next week.


One Comment to “Apropos of a conversation I was part of earlier today”

  • Mark Meynell said on July 23rd, 2013:

    Absolutely spot on… picks up where Orwell left off in Politics and the English language…

    “Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.” The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality….”

    looking forward to your take on socialism… esp as it is abused in the US…

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