Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,
Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC)
chemoelectric

The meaning of 'fascism'

I will throw in my two cents about the meaning of 'fascism', which is a popular topic of discussion these days. When I say two cents, I mean two cents. I don't think this topic deserves much more.

First of all, people use Mussolini's 'definition' of fascism. That's like using Hitler's definition of 'Jew'. Do not use the definitions of madmen, in whom the language is affected by their illness and vice versa. If you make a habit of using insane definitions, you will lose your sanity. Get your definitions from sane folk.

Second, 'fascism' doesn't really mean much of anything. It comes from the Latin for a bundle of sticks, so basically it can stand for anything. 'Democracy' actually means something; in common practice people fail to distinguish individual democracies and types of democracy, but my point is made. 'Kingdom' means something. 'Family' means something -- though, again, commonly there is the failure to distinguish families whether as individuals or subtypes. But 'fascism' means 'nothing'. It is like the corporate name 'Altria', which means 'nothing'.

On its own 'fascism' means 'nothing', and the starting point definition people use is from a madman, so stop trying to agree on a definition of 'fascism'. Use the term if you want to disparage authoritarian tendencies by likening them to Mussolini's rule, but either leave the term informal like that or forget about it.

My two cents.
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