January 18, 2008

Define Yourself

Main Entry: fas·cism Listen to the pronunciation of fascism
Pronunciation: \ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces
Date: 1921
1often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (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
2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

Oxford English:


noun 1 an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government. 2 extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

— DERIVATIVES fascist noun & adjective fascistic adjective.

— ORIGIN Italian fascismo, from fascio ‘bundle, political group’, from Latin fascis ‘bundle’.

Cambridge Dictionary Online:

noun [U]
a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control and extreme pride in country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed.

Jonah Goldberg:

It’s one word we give for a totalitarian, religious impulse, where everything has to go together, where the state has to govern every aspect of society or at least direct every aspect of society towards some Utopian end. Something like that. It’s a hard thing to (define) which is why it’s important to define it better on paper, which I do in the book.

Okay, then.

He also says:

One of the central points of fascism is the cult of unity. This idea that — and this is what I was getting at in the beginning with my definition of fascism — that if everybody gets together, if everybody holds hands and agrees to the national program, to the progressive cause, to what the movement dictates is right and good, then we will be able to be delivered from history, we will be delivered to a promised land, a Thousand Year Reich, a Communist world, a perfect society, a utopia, the kingdom of heaven on earth — that notion still runs straight through the heart of contemporary liberalism today.

Got it.

Then oddly on this show (but this episode), he states:

The military is not fascist. West Point is not fascist. Fascism is this totalitarian mindset that we all have to be in it together.

Effectively either contradicting himself, or not knowing what exactly happens in an army.

So who's right? Who can say, really? Because when words mean whatever you want them to, it becomes pointless to argue.

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posted by Thursday at 4:54 pm


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