Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
That definition was cut and pasted from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website, and I believe it is instructive.
For years there has been a disconnect, cognitive dissonance if you will, as it relates to labels. Make no mistake, labels have value. They are absolutely necessary to serve as a filtering system, and categorize meta data into digestible paradigms. We are the result of thousands of years of natural bioengineering and this compartmentalization feature in our psyches has served us well. It is our first step, our initial impression, our prejudicial feature.
We have been taught that prejudice is morally inappropriate in an enlightened, egalitarian society. This is not only fundamentally wrong, it is biologically impossible. Relying on our prejudice for a final determination is a fatally flawed investigative system, but pretending it is not part of who we are is a puritanical denial of self.
We have beliefs, through culture, experience, and history, and we impose those beliefs on the data presented before us. We use our prejudice, our collective experience, to categorize the chaos and render it understandable. For some, this is where the analysis ends. This is where the whole moral bankruptcy thing comes into play.
What we should do is then test the hypothesis of our belief against the empirical data being provided. If it does not fit the paradigm, then one of two things must occur: we acknowledge it as an anomaly, or we begin to readjust the paradigm.
Humor is fundamentally rooted in this. Comedy requires prejudicial understanding. When a comedian makes a joke about a general concept, she requires the audience to have a general acceptance of the underlying paradigm. If the subject matter she is poking fun at falls outside the prejudicial norm, the joke falls flat, and the audience is left confused. “Italians are always sitting in silence at a dinner table.” That statement makes no sense to the prejudicial experiences of the audience, and the joke has no meaning unless offered for sarcasm.
Then there is the really dirty word: Fascist.
The Left has used this against Conservatives for pretty much as long as I can remember, and it has always been somewhat of a puzzle to me. I have assumed, perhaps for too long, that the rationale behind this was similar to the prejudicial construct articulated above. There may be more to it though.
To be sure, there is definitely a similarity between the two main political parties; more than most people are willing or wanting to admit. The ship of state is directed by one or two groups fighting for the wheel, but the direction of the ship, and the fact we are on a ship in the first place, goes largely unnoticed by the masses. We cheer on our “team” and pay little attention to what our “team” is actually articulating. (Or worse, we act as apologists for them.)
But Fascist? Why? Why does the Left use this word with such dangerous abandonment? Fascism, as articulated above in the Webster dictionary, may or may not have a racial component attached to it, but it is not a prerequisite. There is a belief that the government has an authoritarian mandate, is controlled by an authoritarian elite, and coalesced around a dictatorial leader. This is where we need to be careful. Fascism does not require a dictatorial leader, but one definitely comes in handy. It can flourish just as well with a small cabal of leaders who demand, to a greater or lesser degree, unity of thought. What is more important, though, is how the leadership treats the opposition. With Fascism, they seek to destroy the opposition. Contrary thought represents an existential threat to the regime and it must be destroyed, not merely argued against… destroyed.
In Fascism, The People are vassals of the government, not the other way around. The government controls all the power and deems what privileges they seek to grant The People. The People exist for the benefit of the government, and they are disposable.
Deregulation of an economy is antagonistic towards Fascist ideals. After all, with no contrary thought allowed, why not control virtually all aspects of the economy? One thing a Fascist regime absolutely, positively needs is an enemy, though. This is where the racial / anti-Semitic / homophobic, etc. agenda usually comes into play, at least that is what is highlighted by Hollywood movies of WWII. But the foil of a racial, religious, or sexual group is by no means an exhaustive list. Minorities of thought are also completely acceptable as a target for the Fascist.
Our Constitution was designed to protect minority rights. It is actually one of the greatest documents, specifically because it protects minority rights. By doing this, it also codified the Hegelian Dialectic as our structural method for growth. One articulates a thesis, her nemesis puts forth an antithesis, and by the struggle between the two, we arrive at a synthesis. It is a brilliant concept, but only if the provider of the antithesis is not terrified that she will be executed for opening her mouth. The protection of minority rights allows for this reasonable belief of personal safety and self-expression.
That is why it is so interesting that President Biden took the stage the other night resplendent in Fascist imagery and told us not to be Fascists. More importantly, he singled out the Republican Party as essentially a party of Fascists. (We can debate the extent of the Republican Party he was referring to, but, in the end, he was indicting the operational support system of the party in its entirety.)
This demonization was necessary to protect the “soul of the nation”. He claimed the Republicans have no adherence to the Constitution. They are essentially “the enemy”.
Let’s unpack this…
Here is a man who is the putative leader of a party in charge of the levers of control over the government, an administration that has repeatedly ignored the third branch of government, the judiciary, and has engaged in extra-Constitutional conduct. They have imprisoned individuals for thought, and have weaponized the legal system to maintain a hold on power.
During the election we had a Kristallnacht. Yes… make no mistake, the rioters in Portland, Kenosha, New York, and Dallas, as well as many other cities across the nation, were cut from the same vile cloth as the Brown Shirts in 1930’s Germany.
What they sought, and continue to seek, is equally vile: the supremacy of the State, and the destruction of dissenting speech. The Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and Intellectuals may not be the specifically targeted groups this time around, unless they have the temerity to question the regime. For the regime is holy. It is the necessary singularity. All thought contrary to its official edicts must be targeted and destroyed, if necessary, by the apparatchiks of the State, but, ideally, through its agency of useful idiots. Let the commentators, professors, and activists waive the banner of utopia and serve up to the public and the State the names of the dissenters. Let these wrongful thinkers kneel before the altar of government and receive redemption, or suffer the terrible consequences of extermination.
The Collectivists have abandoned all pretense. They are now authoritarians… no… THEY are the Fascists.