05 January 2010


Andrew Sullivan has a post up talking about the fascistic elements in the current right-wing, and the linguistic question of whether these elements should be labelled fascistic, neo-fascistic, or what. He eventually settles on "proto-fascism", to describe fascistic tendencies that still respect, in the barest minimum, the constitutional limits of the balance of powers.

I link to it because it helps to adequately express problems with the current political system. When teaching, I expressly told my students to avoid calling any American figure a fascist, because it gets thrown around too much without any historical backing. (My students did manage to stop me by throwing out Rudy Giuliani, but despite my stammering one of my students saved me.) But what else can you call a movement that explicitly calls for racial profiling, unlimited executive authority, and torture? I think proto-fascist sums it up best.

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