Thursday, December 02, 2004

Enough with "fascism," already

Today on, Paul Gottfried offers a helpful clarification on why it is wrong to use the term "fascist" for neocons, pointing out that this particular definition fits only a specific movement in a specific time context.

Current political labels are either completely meaningless, or woefully obsolete. Being "left" or "right" doesn't mean much any more, if it ever did mean anything but a dim memory of seating arrangements in the French Etates-General.

I would normally have no problem with using the term "neoconservative" (or better yet, "neocon") - which despite the whining is actually embraced by movement luminaries such as Irving Kristol - except that it creates confusion. The neocons aren't really "conservative," but rather seek to destroy old values so they can impose new, "better" ones.

The best description I've seen so far is Claes G. Ryn's term "neo-Jacobins." But it's still a reference to something from a past context.

Either way, "fascists" just doesn't work.

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