The “L” word and the “F” word

The “L” word is being thrown around so much right now that I can’t help but wonder if the ghost of Joe McCarthy is being channeled by Karl Rove. I personally don’t believe that John Kerry is that liberal. But I would like to bring up another loaded term. Yup, the “F” word.

No, not that word. Though it could just as easily be used to label the Republican candidates. I’m talking about Fascism. I know most people think primarily of the Nazis, but the jackboot, genocidal warmongering image is a little excessive…

Well, I suppose you could argue that requiring a loyalty oath to attend political gatherings, massive campaigns of misinformation and propaganda, ignoring the genocide in Sudan, and labeling people based on their religion a very Gobbles thing to do, but that’s not the Fascism I’m talking about.

Fascism proper is characterized by the following traits which I’ve borrowed from Wikepedia:

  • Exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual
  • Uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition
  • Engages in severe economic and social regimentation, and
  • Espouses nationalism and sometimes racism (ethnic nationalism)

I know how dramatic this sounds. I generally get annoyed by the zeal with which people throw hyperbolic labels around, but really, how much further do we need to go? We’re well beyond traditional conservatism now.

2 thoughts on “The “L” word and the “F” word”

  1. I totally agree. The only difference being that your able to post such a comment and not have to worry about men in black suits at your back door……

  2. And just how much longer before we *do* have to start worrying about men in black suits with FISA warrants claiming violation of the Patriot Act?

    Secret courts, secret warrants, secret searches, detainment without trial – these things have all become commonplace in the past three years. In some ways it’s more sinister than guys in jackboots and brown shirts kicking in doors and burning books, since at least in the 1930’s they did it in public with only a token effort to cloak it in some sort of legal legitimacy. The world saw what was going on and, sadly, did not stop it soon enough. Today, however, it’s so buried under layers of secrecy and staggeringly-voluminous misinformation that it’s impossible to tell where justifiable legal activity begins to turn into totalitarianism.

    At what point *should* we start worrying? Or have we already passed it and just have been kept ignorant of what was really going on?

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