Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Time to rehabilitate a pejorative?

At Revealed Preferences I muse some more on the unremarkable roots of 20th century fascism compared to today's politics and whether the word is worth the effort of rehabilitation.
"While today ‘fascism’ is associated with state racism, warmongering, the dissolution of impartial courts, and the end of free elections, the fascist system didn’t intend to pursue any of these goals. Yet that’s where it led, and not only in Europe: When FDR tried to adopt near, if not outright, fascist economic policies in the U.S., he began the erosion of the independent judiciary to implement his plans in spite of the U.S. Constitution, and though the war derailed these efforts, by the time he died in his fourth term in office, he had held the position so long that some voting adults had no memory of any other president.
"That might all be ancient history, but it is very popular to have a government that can ‘get things done’, rather than being tied up in gridlock, and to direct private activities toward national goals, both on the left and the right (neither of which fascism fits neatly into, as Villari reminds us) today. The fascist system as it was developed, and before it ran into the constitutional limits on power, is really not that radical compared to contemporary politics."
You can read the whole thing here.

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