Monday, June 18, 2012
[Repost from forum]
Because the ignorant unwashed masses seem to think fascism=Hitler.
Fascism is, loosely speaking, a socially and economically authoritarian hierarchical government. In modern terms it is a blend of Democratic and Republican policies - the drug war is an instance of a traditionally Republican facet of fascism (the hippies are right in that regard) and indeed is a facet of fascist thought from the early twentieth century, when Roosevelt, the primary driver of fascism in the United States, began it. Most modern governments are functionally fascist in nature. The Progressive Movement in the United States was the US fascist movement.
Fascism is NOT a desire to gas, burn, or otherwise kill Jewish people. Hitler's crimes do not reflect on fascism as a policy, nor does Mussolini's drive towards censorship. The most that can be said about the relationship is that the centralization of power that fascism requires lends itself to abuses, and abuses have occurred - but abuses of power exist in every form of government and it is the prevalence of these that should be examined, not the mere existence. Both Fransisco Franco and Juan Peron, contemporaries of Hitler and Mussolini, instituted fascism in a purer form without massacring millions of people or engaging in massive abuses of power; they had their controversies, but so does every political figure.
Fascism has had a long and very successful political history. It is now generally referred to in its less extreme form as socialism.
In modern terms it is neither left nor right - it agrees with the left on economic regulation and control, and the right on societal regulation and control. The position in strongest opposition to fascism is that of the libertarian; the positions in the weakest opposition are the statist of any flavor. Critical elements of fascism are centralization and federalization (hierarchy), universal health care, gun control, highly developed economic regulation, a progressive tax system, a welfare system, prohibition (alcohol, tobacco, and drugs generally, save where approved by the state), and state regulation or ownership of media channels (which the US has only in a very limited state in the form of campaign laws).
Obama -is- a fascist, in the original sense of the word, or at least shares most of their policies. So was Bush, so was Clinton, so was Bush before him, shit, so was Reagan. Barry Goldwater was probably the closest we've come to having a non-fascist president in the past fifty years.
Every first-world nation in the world institutes a form of fascism - indeed, it could be considered a characteristic of a developed nation. The United Kingdom in its current state is probably the closest to a purely fascist state, satisfying every element I'm aware of.
I find it very amusing when people diss a political system which they are operating in and even supporting because some asshat used the movement that brought that political system into existence nearly a hundred years ago to do some horrible shit. But really, ignorance is only entertaining for so long - we should take some time to understand what it is we are insulting, and understand that the Republicans are no more fascist than the Democrats - or rather, just as fascist, and no more.