Tuesday, January 04, 2005

On "Red State Fascism"

Via Yglesias, MaxSpeak quotes libertarian Lew Rockwell who is a bit over-the-top at times, but his main argument is reasonable:
The American right today has managed to be solidly anti-leftist while adopting an ideology – even without knowing it or being entirely conscious of the change – that is also frighteningly anti-liberty. This reality turns out to be very difficult for libertarians to understand or accept. For a long time, we've tended to see the primary threat to liberty as coming from the left, from the socialists who sought to control the economy from the center. But we must also remember that the sweep of history shows that there are two main dangers to liberty, one that comes from the left and the other that comes from the right. Europe and Latin America have long faced the latter threat, but its reality is only now hitting us fully.
MaxSpeak commenter "moni" provides this useful "working definition" of Fascism:
It is the ideological call to arms to support the government unconditionally against enemy x. Militarism coupled with demand for acritical approval and denigration of opponents as traitors. Of course it's a stretch to say America is fascist in a literal sense, but metaphorically, that element is there, more in the 'idolatry', indeed, of those worshipping the government than in the actions of the government itself.
I hope people keep pushing this line of argument. Yes, it's extreme and premature. America is not a fascist state, for one thing it still holds reasonably free elections and Bush was in real danger of losing in 2004. But some of the leading voices on the right -- Bush's key supporters who clearly has his blessings -- are making their arguments with a militancy and intolerance of dissenting views that is scarily reminiscent of early-stage fascist states.

No comments: