Saturday, August 12, 2006

Be wary of fascism

Fascism, this word is freely thrown around nowadays, especially after the wake of 9/11 in the United States and the recently foiled attempt of muslim extremists who were plotting to blow up some transatlantic fights from the United Kingdom by using liquid explosives.

So here is my effort to understand fascism and its roots.

According to the free dictionary, fascism is a totalitarian philosophy of government that glorifies the state and nation and assigns to the state control over every aspect of national life.

The name was first used by the party started by Benito Mussolini , 1883–1945, Italian dictator and leader of the Fascist movement.

"Fascism is reaction," said Mussolini. So fascism is a reactionary a movement and a system of rule, in its historical context --it is a form of counter-revolutionary politics that first arose in early twentieth-century Europe in response to rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution.

The famous British author George Orwell who wrote 'the animal farm' has asked "what is fascism?"

Orwell says the term fascism is used more wildly in coversation than in print.

"I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the rĂ©gimes called Fascist and those called democratic. Secondly, if ‘Fascist’ means ‘in sympathy with Hitler’, some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others. Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it.

By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come."

Nowadays one frequently hears from the Christian right in the United States that Islamo-fascists or Islamic fascists are fighting an asymmetrical, global war of terror.

In World War II Nazi Germany and Japanese imperialism was defeated. Not everyone in those societies can be called as fascists. Today, when we say that we are fighting against Islamic fascism, it doesn't accurately describe who the enemy is. The enemy is not the religion of Islam. The enemy is a muslim minority who has taken up violence to cause death and destruction.

The British know what terror is, they've had to face IRA and their ferocious violence, until a political settlement was reached to end hostility. They were not called catholic terrorists.
Muslims who belong to terror organizations such as alqaeda or hizbollah should be referred to by their affilated party name or group name instead lumping them all together with every muslim by calling them islamic fascists.

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