Republican fascists?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Gore 2004 : One Thread
: Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 23:01:58 EST Subject: Republican fascists? To: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am frequently puzzled, if not amused, by the ability of the left-leaning literati to morph the definition of political words and phrases to simultaneously alter perceptions of the past and reframe the current political debate in their favor. I must applaud this ability of the left to alter the preceptions of the masses while honestly admonishing the right for allowing such deception to continue unchallenged. When I came across your webpage my attention was netted by your comparison of Republicans to fascists. Now, the Republicans, for all their faults, are not fascists, but by your artistry you seem eager to equate them with the Nazis. Were the Nazis fascists? Of course. But why were they fascists? Why do we call them fascists? A better question would be: why do we continue to assocciate Nazis with the right when the Nazis were leftists. Now, I am not equating Nazis with Democrats any more than I am equating Democrats to communists. The Democrats are as distant from Nazis and Communists on the political spectrum as Republicans are from anarchists. The term "Nazi" is a shortened form of National Socialists. "Socialists." The Nazis were Socialists. Hitler and his evil cronies, when they were elected the heads of German government, began transfering all private industry into public hands. The Nazi goverment took control of all economic matters. This is a far cry from conservative Republicans who want government out of the private sector. Now, why are the Nazis titled "fascists"? Fascism is defined as "a centralized government regime with extremely nationalistic tendencies with an economic system based on state-controlled capitalism." Again, we have "state-controlled capitalism." Fascism is a form of socialism. Why then has the left continued to equate fascism with the right? Is it because of the "nationalism"? The Soviet Union was nationalisitic in trying to dominate the slavic world; they weren't right wingers. Perhaps its the "capitalism" aspect? But leftwing socialism is defined by its insistnce upon state-controlled capitalism. Yes, the Nazis were Socialists and, therefore leftwing, but, of course, this is no reason to then call Democrats Nazis and fascists by extention. The left has attempted to distance themselves from Nazis and Communists, and they should, but your unfortunate and unnecessary and feelings of guilt about being on the same side of the spectrum as Nazis and Communists should not invite attmepts to label the right as leftwing fascists. If you want to truly mock the right equate them with anarchist; those who do not want any government. By this you are at least on the right track, so to speak. In fact, compare the Republicans to Sacco and Vanzetti. Personally, I am apolitical. I just enjoy seeing the two sides duke it out for history.
-- Nicolas Gold (Anleifr@aol.com), December 14, 2001
Dear Nicolas Gold:
Your remarks are academically correct.
The answer to your puzzlement and amusement lies in your observation about the "morphing" of words, a phenomenon affecting all words, not just political labels with the unfolding of history. Today the word "fascist" has been applied to the Taliban, to Milosevich, and to a number of totalitarian militaristic movements, such as those in various banana republics.
You probably know that Mussolini adopted the ancient Roman fascium (sticks bound together to represent the strength of union) so his movement was called "Fascismo." The fascium was in fact adopted by the United States along with the Latin motto: "E Pluribus Unum" (From Many One). No one calls the USA fascist just because it adopted the "fascium" as one of its symbols even before Mussolini did.
Today the word fascism is a synonym for oppressor, tyrant; even Communists have been called red-fascists.
The transformation of certain expressions comes from the filtering power of events. Communism, Nazism, Italian Fascism all had the common face of tyranny, and while Italians used Catholic and Roman symbols to captivate the masses, the Nazis used the "divide and conquer" power of hatred by demonizing minorities as evil and inferior. To bind their fascium, the Communists used a similar approach by demonizing democratic capitalism and using fear and police power to keep the masses obedient and ignorant.
Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism can all claim some potential good for mankind, but the problem of tyranny arises always when a small percentage of the population coalesces into an elite and grabs the lion's share of wealth and power. Republicans have been moving that way for a long time, and now -- just as the communists did by forming a card carrying party elite of 1% of the population in control of all economic and police powers -- so also do the Republicans seek absolute despotic control of this Nation and through it mega-corporate control of the world's economy and military force. These Republicans represent that segment of the ruling class (about 1% of the U.S. population) that effectively controls most of our economy and is rapidly taking control of our electoral process through campaign financing or better through bribery; it has now grown drunker with arrogance, seeking to destroy our civil liberties by using 9/11, just as Hitler used the Reichstag fire as an internal security excuse. Those who now oppose the Republican Mullahs (another morphism) are accused of aiding and abetting a mythical terrorist hiding in caves in Afghanistan. This is an old trick: gaining power by pretending to have been attacked by surprise when all along the elite knew what was afoot. The ancient casus belli (9/11) that followed the coup d'etat (December 12, 2000).
Bush, therefore, came to power with similar actions as those who brought Mussolini to absolute power. Mussolini used a weak king. Bush used a corrupt Supreme Court majority.
So, no matter how morph-ed a word may be, it clearly conveys the impending repetition of Nazi-Fascist-Bolshevic holocausts and still acquires legitimacy through its effectiveness in generating urgent alarm in people having had any memory of the obscene cruelty and injustice of past tyrannies. The word may be academically or technically not quite exact, if dictionaries have not yet included its new usage. Just as, for example, when calling Falwell and Robertson Christianoids, we employ a newly coined word that renders the idea and may best convey to the Christian multitude that these phonies are far from any alleged Christian charity; calling modern Muslim Islamoids conveys the same idea. The same morphism can be applied to each ethnic and religionistic madness, for we human are all fools.
You say you are apolitical...that too can be morphed to "shielding one's own rear end from fanatics," i.e., CYA. However, no matter how apolitical you may be, the fortunes of politics have been known to carry many apolitical intellectuals into concentration camps and death chambers.
-- Moderator (email@example.com), December 14, 2001.