Saturday, April 03, 2010


From Merriam Webster, who defines things:
1 often 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.
That would be your dictionary definition of fascism. I confess that it has been some years since I actively studied such things, so I thought before I got all bent out of shape, I should check my sources. All of this talk about how what is happening under President Obama's regime is, in some people's view, "fascist." Exalting nation and race? That sounds a lot like what the folks who are shouting "fascist" do, but maybe I'm missing something. The centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader? Maybe that's where it's coming from. Except this guy was democratically elected by a majority of voters. Maybe it's the severe economic and social regimentation. That might be a tough sell too.
My own mind keeps swirling back to seventh grade, when my social studies teacher handed us a slip of paper with the title "Isms Defined." One of them read: "Fascism - If you have two cows, you keep the cows but give the milk to the government, who then sells you the milk at a high price." To some, that may sound like public health care, but I am not sure I could make that association. Maybe they meant Communism: "Communism - If you have two cows, you give them to the government; and the government gives you some milk." Most of this works best if you understand the conversion rate between cows, milk, taxes and relative levels of oppression.
The thing is, I've learned a lot since seventh grade, and since I don't own a cow, I'm glad to have a government that will work to help all the people, and cows, that it can. I suppose that makes me a fascist. Or just a really bad farmer.


Anonymous said...

It's the "forcible suppression of opposition" part. The way that Fox News and the teabaggers are kept from criticizing the governmen... oh, wait. Never mind.

Robin K. said...

Not that I would agree either way, but sometimes I wonder whether our thoughtful and well-educated right-side populace has somehow confused fascism with socialism. If only William F. Buckley's ghost could inhabit somebody over there, so we could at least have a reasonable conversation! Pretty ballsy in any event for the Bush-babies to call fascism on anybody....

Mrs. Id said...

Thank you for clearing that up. We need to work on education next, OBVIOUSLY.

I think the way they are feeling is that Obama is acting unilaterally. (Which he's not, of course.)

But yeah, WHAT YOU SAID, Robin!

p.s. my word verification is "tardo." HA HA!