Conor Boyle’s discussion of fascism at The Conversation Room got us thinking that it might be worthwhile to discuss what is fascism. Do read all of Conor and the comments. First, Conor is right that:
Today calling someone a “fascist” is more an insulting slur than a description of one’s political ideology.
Conor’s discussion emphasizes the nationalist part of fascism. We like his insight that there can be different degrees of nationalism and that extreme forms cause problems. We are 100% on his side in the John Lennon discussion. We like his discussion and reference on modern China.
Wikipedia references the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary so it would be redundant to use both. Here is what they said for fascism:
Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy,
That sounds right to us. We think Conor would agree that they picked an excellent word in ultranationalism. We believe that Conor misses the authoritarian part and particularly the strong regimentation of the economy. We might be guilty of not emphasizing the ultranationalist part of it. Yes, the Antifa are ironically named since they work for forcible suppression of the opposition but we have a hard time categorizing them as ultra-nationalists. Capitalism might not be the opposite of fascism but it is close. As fascism has become an epithet it is a good word to avoid.