Fascism in its inception was a distinctly localised phenomenon, growing out of the specific concerns and obsessions of Italians in the immediate post-WWI period. For example, one of the main drivers in the formation of the movement that is little commented on today was the Dalmatian question. During WWI, Italy had been promised Dalmatia --... Read More
A Review of FASCISM: A WARNING
It is always gratifying when one’s intuition is confirmed. I had the impression, picking up Madeleine Albright’s book Fascism: A Warning, that I would be treated to an exercise of “Fascism is bad. And everything I don’t like is Fascism!” The former secretary of State, a Jewish liberal originally hailing from Czechoslovakia, did not disappoint.... Read More
Dystopian, yes. Unimaginable, no. In fact, a version of our present moment was imagined more than eight decades ago by novelist Sinclair Lewis who wrote a still readable (if now fictionally clunky) novel,
Can We Stop Feeling Quite So Helpless and Hopeless in a World on the Skids?
In the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration, George Orwell’s
If by fascist, you mean “adherent of a movement determined to seize state power with the help of violence committed by a disciplined and armed auxiliary, if necessary, to reorder society to achieve extra-constitutional, self-defined racial or ethnic objectives embodied by a charismatic leader”, that is. Narendra Modi and his BJP party, in my reading,... Read More
If neoconservatives and progressives truly understood fascism, they would stop using the word as a smear term. That is because both groups, along with most political figures and commentators, embrace fascist ideas and policies.Fascism’s distinguishing characteristic is a “mixed economy.” Unlike socialists and communists who seek to abolish private business, fascists are content to let... Read More
Let me begin with this disclaimer. This essay is not intended as an endorsement of Donald Trump for president. There are many valid reasons to criticize Trump. In his presidential campaign, he has been vulgar, childish, and extremely general in most of his political positions; and when he does express something specific, he tends to... Read More
What's the Difference Between an "Unabashed Nationalist" and a "Fascist"?
The Guardian published an adulatory feature on “ The caption read: As
This week, I will turn to the third charge in the indictment against the First World War: the rise of fascism. What was fascism? The word itself is problematic. For many, especially those of a Marxist bent, it was an attempt to divert working people from the real cause of their problems. For other, it... Read More
The wildly exaggerated threat of so-called Islamic terrorism is being shamelessly used by some western governments to boost their flagging fortunes at a time of economic malaise. Marketing fear is a sure-fire political ploy, as the Bush administration showed. But if you think promotion of “terrorism” hysteria in order to curtail democratic freedoms is something... Read More
The Devil Went Down to Georgia
Sinclair Lewis once opined that if fascism ever comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. I was reminded of that comment when a good friend of mine recently wrote a
CounterPunch is very kindly featuring an article I wrote for them titled "
A broad-minded reactionary takes libertarians to task for abusing the term.
Having been at work on a book dealing with changing definitions of the “F word,” meaning in this case not the one-time obscenity but the ultimate evil in the world of political correctness, I find my
Although the adjective “fascist,” as George Orwell pointed out during and right after World War II, was a slur applied to “those we don’t like,” the indiscriminate use of the “F” word seems more common now than it was in 1945. Political correctness drives this revival, although the association of fascism with absolute evil was... Read More
William Altman’s voluminous study of German Jewish political theorist Leo Strauss (1899-1973) does not break any new ground in trying to link its subject to the far Right. The author’s theme has been amply treated in multiple monographs and in feature articles in the New Yorker, New York Times, The New Republic, Le Monde, and... Read More
Neocons misuse the f-word.
Behind Glenn Beck loomed the faces of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, and the American progressive John Dewey. The host gestured to the photos as he revealed the common link to Fox viewers: all favored state intervention in the economy and apparently did not believe in the concept of natural rights... Read More
New Zealander K.R. Bolton has sent for my benefit a self-published work, Thinkers of the Right: Challenging Materialism, which is one of the most enlightening studies of the interwar Right I’ve encountered in years. Its author, who explained to me that no New Zealand academic or commercial press would touch his “extremist” material, lives in... Read More
Having participated this weekend in an Internet discussion courtesy of Paul Craig Roberts, it seems to me that "fascist" is bandied about on the right in the same careless way as one finds on the left. Note that the anti—New Deal American Right in the thirties fell over themselves denouncing FDR and his minions as... Read More
While Jonah Goldberg, braving