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Monday, December 12, 2016

Fascism: redefining the word

woody.typepad via Steven Crowder/Twitter
If you managed to wade through Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, you already know that the term “fascism” has been misappropriated by Communists, Progressives, and other left-of-center isms to mean the opposite of its original far left definition. Several online dictionaries today reflect the switch in meaning, and even the Wikipedia entry shows the difficulty of navigating the origins of the term and its current usage by the political Left as a pejorative.

Today Bookworm (of the Bookworm Room blog) has a piece at American Thinker that summarizes the origin of the left/right nomenclature and the sleight-of-hand in redefining “fascism” – all in the context of a short history lesson. The entire article is here. Below are a couple of extracts:

For months now, the Democrat-Progressive fever swamps have been using the word “fascist” in connection with Donald Trump and those who voted for him. It took Michael Kinsley to elevate this shoddy claim onto pages of the Washington Post: Trump, he asserts, is a fascist.
. . .
Given that conservatives Republicans, including the majority of Trump supporters, are on the liberty side of the spectrum, far from the world’s most brutal tyrants, what gave rise to the glaringly false syllogism that “Republicans are right-wing fascists and Hitler was a right-win fascist, so all Republicans are Hitler”? 

You can blame it on a nasty little historic and linguistic trick American communists pulled, which was to make “fascism” synonymous with the political “right.” Once having done that, they could claim that American conservatives, being “right wing,” are therefore fascist. This is pure disinformation.
. . .
“Fascism,” another historic term, is one that American statists embraced until Hitler tainted it. It first gained political traction in Italy in the 1920s. Mussolini defined it to mean “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” In other words, fascism is purely on the statist side of the continuum.

Savvy readers will have noticed that fascism sounds remarkably like communism: It’s all about concentrating all power in the state, leaving the individual entirely subordinate to the state. The primary difference between the two ideologies is that in communism the government nationalizes private property, whereas in fascism the government does not nationalize it but nevertheless completely controls — as is the case, for example, with Obamacare, which saw the government establish the rules for the private insurance market and mandate that Americans buy the product.
. . .
One more thing: Obama said that the biggest disappointment of his presidency was his failure to grab more guns from American hands.  Statists always grab guns because their regimes are fundamentally hostile to the citizens they control, making it impossible for those citizens to defend themselves against tyrannical government. Trump’s promise to protect the Second Amendment is the antithesis of a statist, especially a “fascist,” regime.

Read the rest here
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