Monday, February 19, 2007

Equal Parts

Let's Dialogue - Matt Yglesias

I do so love the pundits who like to trot out the fascist analogies and predictions of an on-set of neo-fascism. It shows a basic misunderstanding of what fascism is and was. If anything, one would expect to see European Muslims, not Christian Europeans, mimicking fascism. Fascism, in one sense was a virulent form of ultra-nationalism. But even in that case you wouldn't see a true fascism arise. Fascism, at its heart, was the sacralization of politics, the turning of the state into God. It's not the same as a theocracy, even if in action they look similar. But that's like saying the common cold and Eboli are the same since they are both viruses that can kill us. Fascism does not equal communism or a theocratic government. Yes, all share elements of totalitarianism but that does not make them the same thing. It's this kind of fast-and-loose punditry that worries me since it represents a lack of appreciation for some of the most dangerous ideologies of our time.