I recently described compulsory voting as “fascist” to a friend the other day, which got me thinking about the term and wondering just how well I understand it. I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that Mussolini used it to describe putting the state ahead of the individual to such a degree that any needs the individual had that didn’t get met by meeting the state’s needs… that was just too bad. But there’s some debate over what “fascism” means, and it was this paragraph that got me:
Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
What part of that isn’t a description of the years in the US since 9-11? Breaking it down bit by bit:
Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline,
Family values going to hell, weirdos runnin’ around expecting to have rights just like normal people – check.
Bin Laden got us with out pants down! Oh, noes! Yeah, loss of life and property damage and stuff – yeah, really sucks! But mostly people think our national penis is small! Argh!
Well, we are victims! In fact, we’re the biggest victims ever, and anybody who says we can’t torture people and stuff is just an unfeeling bastard!
and by compensatory cults of unity,
Hey, you’re either with Bush or you are against every decent worthwhile thing in human experience. It’s your choice.
energy, and purity,
And in these awful days where terrorists run amok, one of our biggest concerns is female virginity! There’s nothing at all creepy or objectifying about purity balls. They help remind fathers that hymens are their property, and it’s their duty to protect those fragile membranes from, you know, terrorists and foreigners and, um, that boy that works at 7-11.
in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants,
What would you call a group of people to whom it makes complete sense to go after Hussein because he might have WOMD when we had almost cornered Bin Laden who, you know, actually committed mass destruction?
working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites,
That would be Bush, Cheney, and most of the cabinet. And then some.
abandons democratic liberties
Hey, we’re at war here! In order for us to protect your liberated American way of life from terrorists who want to destroy it, we’re going to have to… well, destroy your liberated American way of life. I’m sorry, but that’s just how it works.
and pursues with redemptive violence
Action Item: kill Hussein. Check! Now we’re even for Bin Laden. Um, just trust us on this.
and without ethical or legal restraints
We prefer the term “Patriot Act.”
goals of internal cleansing
But it really was the gays and the feminists that made God abandon us! We have to punish the weirdos so God will protect us again.
and external expansion.
Welcome to the United States Territory of Iraq. Be sure to visit Halliburtonville (formerly Baghdad) and observe as we violently force freedom on people whether they want it or not.