finding fascism

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Glenn Greenwald’s post on the Right’s incessant—and inaccurate—cries of “fascism" on the Left makes an important observation:

One of the rules of political discourse that we had until quite recently -- enforced most vigorously by groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and The Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others -- was that nobody was allowed to invoke Hitler and Nazis as a political insult. To do so, we heard constantly, was to trivialize Nazisim and the Holocaust and exploit that imagery for cheap political gain.

[…]

Just in the past few months alone, there is virtually no prominent anti-war or liberal group that has not been branded as Hitler and Nazis by the most influential factions on the Right. If one's goal were to trivialize Hitler and Nazism and the Holocaust, one would do exactly what the Right is doing -- brand every political opponent as Hitler and Nazis on a virtually daily basis. Yet the groups that have anointed themselves proprietors of those terms, and which have in the past expressed such righteous outrage when those terms were used against the Right, sit by meekly and silently.

Sara writes at Orcinus about the current “proto-fascist” administration:

The bald historical truth is that fascism always comes out of the right wing. Its proponents are, on one hand, economic royalists working their will by merging their corporations with the government; and on the other, rural True Believers willing to commit violence to perpetuate their own serfdom. […]

While leftists can certainly be totalitarians (as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao amply demonstrated), they're not fascist. The right wing is often confused on this point; but we should not be. The 20th-century communist experiments threw the corporations overboard, and relied on bureaucracy and urban-based secret police rather than rural thugs to keep people in line. It's the same authoritarian impulse -- and thus no less ugly in the end -- but it's not correct to call it fascist.

As with Rush Limbaugh’s “phony soldiers” slur, the Right generally gets a free pass to do things for which the Left is widely condemned for doing; that’s our (so-called) “liberal media” in action.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on October 5, 2007 8:55 PM.

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