I’ve maintained that the modern left does not define the word ‘fascism’ at all, so much as they use lists of ‘elements of fascism’ in order to justify using the word ‘fascist’ against people with whom they disagree. As an example, a leftist might say, “Hitler was a fascist who did X, Y, and Z. Trump does X,Y, and Z, so Trump is a fascist.”
Never mind that X,Y, and Z might be as innocuous as owning a dog – the tactic is all about connotation without denotation ever coming into play.
I believe this observation about how the left uses the word ‘fascism’ to be accurate, but incomplete, as I now think that people have some semblance of a definition in their head, even if they are not trying to do so, and I think the left is somewhat consistent in what definition they have in their heads when they call someone, like Trump, a ‘fascist.’
On the right, of course, fascism is an economic system, and/or a political system, involving central planning of the economy and totalitarian control over every manner of human existence, while still using profit as an incentive system.
The notion that such a system could rise out of the American political right is absurd. It did come from the right in Germany, but the Germany of the 1930s was a very different place than is the United States. The modern German state created by Otto Von Bismark was built on socialism. Socialism was the political right in the Germany that spawned the NAZI party.
The other form of socialism at the time was communism, which had global ambitions (Marx’ vision was global), was centered in Moscow. Hitler’s National Socialism was nothing more than socialism with a state-controlled profit incentive (aka ‘fascism’), centered in Berlin.
What is ‘conservative,’ and what is ‘liberal’ in a given country will be based on the cultural and economic norms of that given country. ‘Conservative’ and ‘liberal’ changes from country to country. The word ‘liberal,’ for example, shares the same root as ‘liberty’ and ‘libertarian,’ which were very ‘liberal’ views in the American colonies leading up to the Revolutionary War.
What was ‘conservative’ in Colonial America would have been allegiance to the King…
Once we established a new nation based on ‘liberal’ values, those values began to become ensconced into our new nation. Liberty and libertarianism became conservative views on the American political right, but I hardly think King George II would have called the fledgling United States of America a ‘conservative’ nation.
Thomas Jefferson’s notion that ‘all men are created equal’ may have been the most liberal statement ever made, at the time the Declaration of Independence was written. Thomas Jefferson is often derided as having been a life-long slave owner, so it is somewhat ironic that he would be the person to pen those words, but be that as it may, it was that statement that led to the downfall of slavery throughout the world.
Today, an American conservative would say ‘all people are created equal,’ and a conservative would truly mean ‘all people.’ The fact that the richest, most powerful nation in human history would be based on this statement is a living testament to the value of the classical liberal views that still define America’s political right.
The left also claims to believe that ‘all people are created equal,’ but whereas on the right we believe that all people are created equal by God (or some semblance of a ‘Creator’ even if that ‘Creator’ is blind happenstance), the left believes all people are created equal by the state. This is a critical difference in view. The right believes in equal treatment under the law, along with steps to expand opportunity in areas where very little opportunity exists.
The left is a mixed bag when it comes to ‘equality.’ On the one hand, they believe in equality of outcome, which is to say that they believe in taking from those who earn to give to those who do not. In terms of opportunity, the left claims to be for it, but the political left has consistently been against any expansion of opportunity within America’s inner cities.
The American political right is still based on liberty and libertarianism. Not everyone on the right follows those values 100%, but that is the heart of the American conservative movement, and the notion that fascism could emerge as an extreme of personal liberty is absurd.
And yet the American left takes it as an article of faith that fascism is on the political right, so how do they define that word?
Put on your waders. I’ve written about what I call The War on Words before, and we’re about to go back into the murky waters of leftist definitions…
The left does not view the word ‘fascism’ as an economic or political system, so much as they view it as a personal belief system. In other words, they do not look at a country as ‘fascist’ so much as they look at individuals as ‘fascist,’ and individuals are ‘fascist’ if they hold beliefs the left views as ‘fascist,’ quite independently from whether or not someone supports the creation of a fascist state.
What personal beliefs constitute ‘fascism,’ as defined by the political left? Basically, if you discriminate against groups the political left supports, you are then ‘fascist.’
Also note that the left uses the word ‘discriminate’ very differently than does the political right.
The dictionary definition of ‘discriminate’ (from the American Heritage Dictionary) is ‘to differentiate.’ In other words, if you differentiate between, say, black people, Hispanic people, and white people, you are discriminating, as per the dictionary.
The entire platform of the political left is BASED ON differentiating between different groups of people, revolving around race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, and other things. In other words, the entire platform of the left is BASED ON the dictionary definition of ‘discrimination.’
Not to be dissuaded by definitions, the left ignores the dictionary and defines ‘discrimination’ as being against the groups the left differentiates. In terms of what the dictionary says, the left defines ‘discrimination’ as quite literally the absence of discrimination.
If you are against policies that discriminate, the left holds you as being against the people those policies supposedly support.
This brings up ANOTHER differentiation between the political left and right (in America). On the left, given policies are viewed as being ‘for’ or ‘against’ certain groups quite independently of what those policies actually do for or against different groups.
As just one example of how a given policy could be ‘for’ a group that it actually destroys, look at the left’s support for Planned Parenthood. The left supports Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood provides low cost abortions in low-income areas. This is by design. Margaret Sanger created Planned Parenthood with the stated goal of exterminating the African American people. In terms of percentages, African Americans make up 13% of our population, and almost 40% of all abortions, meaning that Planned Parenthood kills more than three times the percentage of black babies as it kills as a percent of the rest of the country.
As crazy as it sounds, the left believes an organization created to exterminate African Americans is ‘for’ that group of people.
Defunding the police is another great example of a policy supposedly ‘for’ a given group that does great damage to that group. This movement leads to rioting and lawlessness in our inner cities, primarily in areas where a lot of minorities live. This pushes businesses out of those areas, and in the absence of economic opportunity this makes the people living in those areas more dependent upon government for their survival.
Why do so many African Americans live in our inner cities? Because they were targeted by the War on Poverty – the goal of which was to ensure that black people, who were recently made equal under the law by the Civil Rights Act, would become dependent upon government for survival. Who supported the War on Poverty? The same party that gave us the KKK and Jim Crow – the Democrats…
Is it any wonder that the party that was created to defend slavery, and that created Jim Crow after slavery was forcibly ended, would have replaced Jim Crow with the War on Poverty, in order to continue holding black people down?
The War on Poverty began to lose its effect, with even parts of Detroit starting to go into a Renaissance. How does the left respond to renewed economic opportunity where black people live? They give us Defund the Police, which has once again destroyed our inner cities and ensured that the people living there are dependent upon government for their survival.
Democrats pretend to be the ‘friends’ of the African American community, but there is an old saying about this: “with friends like these, who needs enemies?”
And they call Trump the racist…
What did Trump do? He created the lowest rates of unemployment and the highest rates of wage growth for African Americans and Hispanic Americans on record, but he did this without differentiating against anyone. Trump’s policies were geared at making America better off, and in so doing, to make the people IN America better off. But because everyone benefitted and no specific groups were targeted, the left says that Trump was a racist who discriminated against different groups.
If we use the dictionary, we would say that Trump is accused of discriminating because he refused to discriminate…
So who is the fascist? Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden openly support a fascist vision of America, and to the left that makes them the opposite of ‘fascist.’
The greatest danger to the United States today is not China, or Russia, but the way the political left uses words. We all agree that such words as ‘fascist’ and ‘racist’ denote evil, but whereas the political right is against fascism and racism, the left is only against the words themselves. If you want to find fascist and racist policies, look at the Democratic platform.
In many ways, the political left is smarter than the political right. By claiming to be the party fighting for the equality of different groups, while simultaneously ensuring that the opportunities in our inner cites never show any semblance of equality when compared to our suburbs, the left also ensures that those in the inner cities are perpetually dependent on government. If you wish to make someone support a totalitarian ideology, it makes sense to first make them dependent on government, as an expansive government can do more to supposedly take care of them. Contrast this with independence, which necessarily means helping people earn for themselves those things they currently rely on government for.
From a purely marketing perspective, the old saying, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime,” gets spun on it’s head. If you give hungry people a choice between a fish and a fishing pole, they will consistently take the fish. Dependent people have every incentive to vote for more rather than less government, making dependency and totalitarianism go hand in hand.
The irony is that to keep people dependent, you must also keep them hungry.