Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who’s the Fascist?

On his blog, David Horowitz attempts to define fascism:

Fascism is alternatively called (by its adherents) "national socialism," as opposed to the "international socialism" of the Communist and so-called progressive left. In the last thirty or forty years however, the Communist/progressive left has lost faith in the working class as the agent of revolutionary change. It has turned instead to national groups (e.g. Palestinians), racial, ethnic and gender groups on which to base its revolutionary hopes. A class-based revolution can be international; a revolution based on nationality and ethnic identity cannot. Although the contemporary left is hopelessly confused about these issues (the central strategic issues that shape its agendas), it is easy to see that today's left is the only serious political movement that deserves the label "fascist." And their chosen methods -- slander, violence and sabotage of democratic process (e.g., leaking state secrets) -- show it.

Not surprisingly, he can’t even manage a relatively simply definition without it turning into a propagandistic rant filled with misinformation. Not surprisingly, there’s not even a definition in this mess.

As Horowitz knows, “national socialism” and “international socialism,” though similar in sound, have absolutely nothing to do with each other, even in opposition. Furthermore, “international socialism” is not “of” the “so-called progressive left” and, in the United States, it never has been. As there is no such thing as “the Communist/progressive left” in the United States, it could never have lost faith in anything. The progressive left, which does exist, however, has never lost faith in the working class, though it never considered the working class as “the agent of revolutionary change.” As the progressive left never had “revolutionary hopes,” it cannot be accused of turning to “national groups (e.g. Palestinians), racial, ethnic, and gender groups”—though the needs of these have certainly been among the concerns of the progressive left.

If anyone is “hopelessly confused” it is Horowitz himself, who seems to be living in a fantasy concocted solely in his own head. It is Horowitz, after all, who uses phrases like “Islamo-fascism,” not the left, which generally (cough!) restrains itself from throwing about similar charges—unlike Horowitz, who takes the opportunity here to call the left “fascist” without ever even telling what a fascist is.

Want a real definition of fascism? Here’s one, from Wikipedia:
a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-rationalism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.
Sounds like… hmmm… no, I won’t stoop to calling him one.

No comments: