Monday, June 1, 2009

A brief interruption and a diametric opposition

Rabbit rabbit rabbit! Evil spirits begone!

We had some fairly strong thunderstorms come through Nutwood today, and our cable broadband was out for several hours in the afternoon. I tried to catch up as best I could, but I wasn't able to comment on every entry. Things seem to be working well now. Despite the rain, I had a window of opportunity between storms, and was able to get a little deck and reading time in!

Fascism Something has puzzled me lately. In reading various writings on Teh Interwebs, I've found a strange phenomenon from those who dislike our President and our current administration. They vacillate between two labels: fascism and socialism. Sometimes in the same entry.

I had to think back to what I learned in World History, and what I've read about it over the years, but I've always understood that fascism and socialism were at completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Fascism is far right and reactionary, and socialism is left, on the pathway to communism. The definition of fascism that I found is "a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." For a fascinating article about the 14 characteristics of fascism, click on the link. I really don't think the far right needs to be bringing up fascism, because when I read those 14 points, it's not President Obama that springs to mind. I'm just sayin'!

Socialism is defined as "any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy." If anything, this makes more sense than the former charge; our government (and all of us) now owns a portion of several companies. I feel this is limited, though, and temporary. Of all the businesses, companies, and corporations in this country, the number of those receiving bailout money is not a huge percentage. The vast majority continue to operate independently and without government intervention.

While I'm at it, I'll muddy the waters a bit by speaking of National Socialism, or Nationalsozialismus, i.e., Nazism. Although that particular movement contained the word and an element of socialism, those fascists were far removed from Socialism and Communism, and indeed, executed many communists. They were a totalitarian regime, exerting complete control over every aspect of citizens' lives, using censorship, propaganda, and hatred of "others," whether it was because of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Again...the Obama administration is not the first one I think about!

Am I missing something here? I honestly don't see how it's possible to be both fascist and socialist at the same time. When I read something that calls President Obama a socialist in one breath and a fascist in the next, it just makes me think "That makes no sense." Perhaps a fully coalesced argument might be more convincing, rather than cherry-picking pejorative terms designed to excite the excitable. Heck, might as well thrown in "grinch-like" while you're at it!


  1. I get your point about defending the President . But historically speaking many of the Facist nations of the early to mid 20th century *were* driven by liberal and socialist principles; its how they managed to aquire power in the first place.

    Clearly in most cases those principles were abandoned upon taking office, but I've read quotes from the American left of the era praising Mussolini [sic], among others.

    After the war there was clearly nothing left to romanticize about Facism, so it was sent packing and our definitions and understanding changed.

    But it's not a stretch, in the right context, to put 'socialist' and 'fascist' in the same sentence.

  2. Blah Blah Blah shut up Slappy. Your so close minded it's ridiculous. zzzzzzzzzzzzz Sorry Beth I have an obnoxious cold and it's put me in a less than tolerant frame of mind. I'll be nicer next comment... I promise. ;)

  3. when i think about facists, dubyah comes to mind....that's all i'm sayin'.


  4. See, this is what makes America unique ... we can take both idealologies and combine them as one!!

    The bailouts are clearly a form of Socialism. One of the reasons I fear for the UAW, is that they keep on putting some of the blame on worker compensation packages ... by lowering everyone's pay, it will act as de facto socialism. Wal-Mart understands this, as they once offered instructions on how employees qualified for food stamps and should go to DHS in their states to get assistance, as they did not earn enough to not still be qualified.

    Huh? You mean I have a job, but I still don't earn a decent enough wage that disqualifies me from receiving assistance?

    By pulling up the ladder to uppward mobility, the current economic system we live under is morphing into a socialist state. And that is leading ...

    ... because the finacial upper classes need protection of their interest, fascism. It is really a melding of the lack of possible mobility in the lower class that makes this possible. We just spent 8 years governed by an administration that blurred the lines between church and state, which has resulted in a loss of individual rights and freedoms, that we KNOW from history will never be given back. When Obama made the comment about folks reverting back to 'guns and religion', I felt that he was not far off the mark.

    BUT, his own perspective on faith and how it guides him has be artfully avoided. Just because the Dan Brown books made for turgid movies, does not mean that such intrigue does not exist, and I think it should be allowed for the possiblity. We already (all ready?) have states controlled by religion, and the kind of fanticism exhibited is not so different from the kind that roils up in the US.

    The succor provided by 'guns and faith', is easily disseminated by the great masses who need something simple to believe in, because what is going in is to them, like way complicated! Don't know if the 'Signs' are meant to be tongue in cheek, but the case for each one occurring TODAY, as in RIGHT NOW, can be made without a stretch. You can disagree with the premise that it is a sign of fascism, but you cannot be dismissive of it.

    Sometimes, if it walks like a duck ...

    That is how the two intermingle and coexist. One is for the supression of the masses, and the other is for the defence of the ruling class. That is the 'this' that is getting with the 'that'!

  5. I'm sitting this one out. I also notice the lemons have taken the followers option off their blogs and you have no way to stop following them. The rhetoric is getting lame isn't it? All the bull nads washing isn't going to change who we have for president. It was old during the election and it's becoming close to obsessive rantings about right now. I did say I was sitting this one out didn't I? (Hugs)Indigo

  6. Interesting as always. What I am finding very interesting is the statemnet from friends who have moved here from The Untied Kingdom for medical treatment. Treatment the wife would have have to wait a year for.
    She doesn't have a year.
    My friends tell me: "The Untied States is slowly becoming more like their former hameland and less like the Untied States they have long respected." This coming from people who don't have a dog in this fight.

  7. Hmmm, I do not think in any way, shape, or form we are headed down either path. If people were more objective in their thoughts and perspectives, perhaps we could all get along. This type of BS is why I now firmly think of myself as an independent.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?