Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The word "fascism" is used a lot, but it's meaning is obscure to most people.  It derives from the Latin, or Roman word for a bundle of sticks tied together with an ax, and it was meant to symbolize strength through unity.  A single stick could be easily broken, but together they could not.  Our own dime has had a fasces on the back, did you know?

A definition of the political term is not universally agreed upon, but this is the best that I have seen:

  • A single party dictatorship, headed by a charismatic leader.
  • A politics of enthusiasm, involving the masses in ritual public celebration, and direct exchanges between the leader and his followers en masse.
  • Hypernationalism, or, in the Nazi case, racism, based on the claim that the nation or race is unique, superior, and entitled to play a major role in world affairs.
  • The aforementioned "€œcorporate state"€ in which private property is legitimate, but the state dictates its proper use.
I would add that in the modern sense, the definition should include a hostility to neighboring states, and an expansionist philosophy.  

Good to know, when someone accuses you of being a Nazi, or fascist.  Do they know what they are talking about, or is such an accusation simply a way of shouting that you are bad and should shut up.  If you hear such, keep in mind the fallacy of logic known as an ad hominem, and recognize that if you hear it, you have won the argument. 

Godwin's law, an irresistible force on the internet, is a corollary. 

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