Fascism: A Rant

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Praetorian, Nov 10, 2006.

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  1. I feel the need to have a rant.

    As someone who has studied fascism, i'm getting particularly * off with how the word is being bandied around nowadays. Some examples:

    Islamic Radicals calling the Uk Fascist: Last time I checked, we didn't have a One Party State with an emphasis on national self-determination, coupled with a strong patriotic element.

    Jon Snow: "Poppy Fascism", what does that mean? No really, what does that phrase actually mean? Academically it makes no sense whatsoever.

    The first thing that people are taught when studying political science or anything that involves politics are that concepts such as Anarchism, Communism and Fascism are not what people pejoratively believe them to be. They are valid concepts in their own right just as much as democracy is.

    As a disclaimer, I'm not a Fascist, Racist, Communist etc, but as an Academic sort of person I get really pissed off when these words are bandied about by Guardian reading * who don't have a clue what they're on about.


    P
     
  2. It is used as a means of silencing opposition as is Islamophobia.
     
  3. So you're a Fascism Fascist? :)
     
  4. I remember when I studied A Level Politics my lecturer saying that calling some one a 'fascist' was usually about the equivalent of calling them a 'filthy commie barsteward'. The term has become so debased in common usage as to be almost meaningless.

    However it's not even clear that in more academic usage calling anyone fascist actually means very much as in the whole debate about whether there is a generic fascism or not e.g. the 'New Consensus', Ernst Nolte, modernisation interpretations...see what I mean?
     
  5. Fascism is, like you correctly stated, a form of ruling and government.

    Islam is religion, I cannot remember religion and politics being one and the same especially not communism or fascism which ban religion or tried to.....

    You are right, it doesn't make sense.
     
  6. Reference banning religion, take a look at Franco and Salazar: commonly accepted as fascist yet they tried to use Catholocism as a form of 'social glue'.

    Trust me, fascism is way complicated (...and I deal with this stuff for a living!).
     
  7. Well, fascism has to be looked at from the linguistic approach as well.

    Words and the use of changes from year to year.

    Fifty years ago the term 'gay' would have described a jolly person - now it is used as a descriptive word for a homosexual.

    Could it not be, that the word 'fascist' is now being used for someone or even a group who are radical?! I think you will find that this is the way things have evolved.

    My forte is languages and social sciences and in the soc sci world fascist is the new 'in' word.
     
  8. History's my bag and historians find it difficult to use the term to cover Hitler, Peron, Franco etc.

    Griffin and Payne (if memory serves) support a New Consensus that basically says if you use the term you have to use it very broadly.

    It seems 'authoritarian' might actaully be a better term in much common usage - something which, in political terms, differs from fascism by being 'top down' prescriptive rather than trying to get popular 'bottom up' political mobilisation. I used to suggest students thought of one as pressing 'pause', the other as 'fast forward'. I'm not sure that always helped...
     
  9. It just really annoys me, thats all. Calling someone a fascist seems the easy way out in debates or arguments nowadays.
     
  10. Agreed Preatorian, little more than a term of abuse much of the time.
     
  11. sheldrake

    sheldrake RIP

    I heartily recommend "The Greater Britain" by Oswald Mosley to the readers of this forum.

    THAT is fascism. Do not confuse that with anti-semitic National Socialism either.
     
  12. Well this is exactly the point I was trying to make: it is no wonder that even sincere attempts to use fascism in modern parlance as more than a term of abuse so often fail when there is so much historical confusion about what the term means. Basically, Ernst Nolte (a big historical daddy on this) would 'confuse' fascism with anti-Semitic National Socialism: to him, Nazism was 'radical fascism'.
     
  13. sheldrake

    sheldrake RIP

    Fascism derives its name from the Fasces (Lit - Bundle). In addition to the explanations offered here, the fasces was the symbol of power and unity in a Roman military unit and was carried by the Lictors. When a unit was marked for decimation it was these rods - the symbol of power and unity - that were used to beat each tenth man to death.

    Fascism is a subject I have studied at some length and I am not aware of the Fasces being used in any Nazi iconography - whereas it was used heavily by the BUF, Mussolini and Franco.
     
  14. I would tend to lean towards that theory though........
     
  15. Fascism can also be seen as a state of mind based on fear of the 'other' cultivated by the authorities who whilst encouraging a certain level of manageable fear offer themselves at the same time as the palliative of the same.
    It is a kind of 'cling to nurse, for fear of something worse.'

    Good leaders inspire confidence in people. Where there is confidence democracy and all manner of good things can develop.
    Bad leaders can inspire fear because it is the quickest and most effective manner to get peoples attention and enforce subservience.

    Those type of societies either atrophy or follow paths that lead to war and
    disaster.

    A fine example of inspiring confidence is Roosevelt telling the people 'We have nothing to fear except fear itself.' He then lead his people into a war for Democracy and later died a much loved man.

    But you take Bush, constantly on at people to be afraid which has now led America to the dreadful impasse it is at today.

    Now I am one of those people who question the official accounts of the twin towers but leaving that aside look at just one feature of it.

    The towers collapsed and everyone around the world was completely shocked and instantly insecure because the collapse itself appeared like a metaphor for some impending end to our own very ways of life.
    We became fearful.

    What if the jets had crashed, few fires burnt and went out but the buildings had remained standing.
    What a wonderful inspiring image of greatness and strength that would have looked as the sun rose over Manhattan the next morning.
    It would have shown that no matter what the terrorists could throw at America, the American Nation would remain standing.
    It would have inspired pride and confidence in people.

    Someone didn't want that, they wanted fear instead. Which is why to me that question remains open.