Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

The definition of Fascism

In last night’s (mostly alright) Special Comment, Keith Olbermann claimed that a classic dictionary definition of Fascism is a seamless conjunction of government and business (not his exact words, but, like Olbermann himself, I’m too lazy to look them up).

Keith Olbermann is not an idiot, so why doesn’t he actually look in a dictionary or two? A ‘classical’ definition ought to be in them. So let’s see ( Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
fas·cism [fash-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism.
3. (initial capital letter) a fascist movement, esp. the one established by Mussolini in Italy 1922–43

Hmm. No ‘classic’ definition there.

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
fas·cism (fāsh'ĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
often Fascism
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.
A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Hmm. Missing there, too.

WordNet - Cite This Source - Share This
a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)

What’s going on here?

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version) - Cite This Source - Share This
Fascism [ˈfӕʃizəm] noun
a nationalistic and anti-Communist system of government like that of Italy 1922-43, where all aspects of society are controlled by the state and all criticism or opposition is suppressed

American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition - Cite This Source - Share This
fascism [(fash-iz-uhm)]

A system of government that flourished in Europe from the 1920s to the end of World War II. Germany under Adolf Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, and Spain under Franco were all fascist states. As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation, such as the Jews in Germany. Although both communism and fascism are forms of totalitarianism, fascism does not demand state ownership of the means of production, nor is fascism committed to the achievement of economic equality. In theory, communism opposes the identification of government with a single charismatic leader (the “cult of personality”), which is the cornerstone of fascism. Whereas communists are considered left-wing, fascists are usually described as right-wing.

Hmm. Not a single one of these definitions is Olbermann’s.

This is because Keith Olbermann did not get his definitions from a dictionary, but from the crazy words of some crazy Fascist (not Mussolini himself, I believe) from a crazy era of crazy Fascism. Use crazy words and you will train yourself in craziness. Indeed, just witness it yourself, how Keith Olbermann is blythely claiming there are ‘classic’ dictionary definitions that, if one looks in a dictionary, one does not find.

Now, what do scientists do when they have a theory? They go look and see if their theory is right. What do crazy Fascists and their unwitting linguistic followers such as Keith Olbermann do? They don’t look. They just go on bursting into crazy speech of a crazy person from a bygone crazy era, driven by their poorly controlled hormones and wild brainstorms and pushing their own happy buttons.

Postscript: Perhaps spiralsongkat is familiar with some of the power of words in disease and healing, especially in relation to music therapy.

Post-postscript: One may argue that a crazy Fascist would be the best authority on the word Fascism, but actually it would be the crazy Fascist’s psychiatrist.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded