Mailvox: 2+10|=4

DL takes a post-modern approach to ideological terminology:

While the term Islamo-fascism may not represent “pure” fascism in the way Mussolini envisioned it, the current bunch of zealots and thugs attacking the West and holding power in Iran do fit a loose description of the term. Firstly, the Islamic zealots are extremely nationalistic if one considers them Islamic nationals. The Shiites in Iran are very nationalistic in both religion and race. They and many of their Sunni brethren believe in a pan-Islamic world much like Hitler wanted “Lebensraum” for his “master race.” They have no qualms in killing anyone who does not agree with their ideology and believe they are doing Allah and mankind a service by exterminating Jews and Infidels. They also tend to elevate certain leaders to cult status and carry out orders with blind devotion — much like the fascists of Germany and Italy in the 1930’s and 40’s.

The point of my column is that it doesn’t represent fascism at all! To claim that it does is stretching concepts beyond any potential utility, or even meaning. It is as accurate to say that Bush is Hitler and we all know how reasonable that comparison is regarded on the right. To claim that one need merely consider Islam as being a nation in order to make the definition fit is like saying that one need merely consider “10” to be “2” in order to define 4 as being 2+10. Islam is not a nation, it is a religion, which is precisely what makes this conflict such a difficult challenge for its Western foes.

Furthermore, the religious dreams of the jihadists far exceed those nationalist aspirations of the National Socialists, who were perfectly willing to accomodate Great Britain, the United States, Japan and numerous other countries so long as they were willing to accept Germany’s domination of Europe. In any event, this is a meaningless point, as the National Socialists were not Fascists and the Fascists were not National Socialists. The historically illiterate may confuse the two, but it was only a quirk of chance and British diplomatic incompetence that the Italians were aligned with the Axis and not the Allies as they had been in World War I.

As for the blind devotion to their leaders, this has been largely true of every military expansionist force. It is not useful in defining either an enemy or an ideology.

Your article focuses on the “intellectual” meaning of fascism. The common meaning in the minds of most people is “Nazi-like.” I could expound on why modern “liberalism” has nothing to do with Liberal philosophies. Meanings change over time. The Muslim Brotherhood was allied with the Nazis in World War II and later assassinated Anwar Sadat for brokering a peace with Israel. They are a forerunner of the current bunch of Islamic extremists and have been called Islamo-fascists. In a more modern example of true fascism look at “Communist” China. There one sees a political dictatorship which exercises full control over its citizens in all affairs but does allow the semblance of private property rights and capitalism. Mussolini would be proud.

My column focus on the “actual” meaning of fascism. The fact that most people have an IQ of 100, watch television instead of reading books and couldn’t name a single fascist except Benito Mussolini if offered a million dollars to do so indicates that one would have to either be dishonest or a fool to accept the common understanding of this or nearly anything else. Meanings don’t change over time, they merely broaden, often thanks to the intellectual dishonesty of those with a direct interest in confusing people. This is why the neocons attempt to sell “islamo-fascism” and it is why I am openly rejecting their disingenuous intellectual revisionism.

I don’t disagree with DL’s statement about the PRC. Unfortunately, it is also far too descriptive of the modern United States.

If one tries to intellectualize catch-words and phrases used by politicians and the media, one soon either gives up in frustration or is regarded as a malcontent.

I think the latter has been sufficiently well established by this time. I find it amusing that as my column readership has steadily continued to increase, to a point where it is as much as 6X more than that of some better known commentators, I actually get less email, receive fewer book offers and am referred to less frequently by the mainstream conservative commentariat than ever before. C’est le système.