Stop Labeling all Conservatives as “Fascist”

After watching a weekend of horrific events in Virginia (and the media dissection of the President’s reaction ad naseum), I hope that one positive lesson learned from all of this is for people to stop casually overusing the word “fascist” to label a person with a traditionally conservative political opinion.  This particular tactic is often employed by progressives in attempt to dismiss and marginalize an opposing point of view (and has become more common in the past year).  I’ve personally been subjected to such attacks–which usually leave me speechless, because they instantly tell me the person spewing them has no understanding of the distinction between the two. Here are a few facts:

  1. As implemented by Benito Mussolini, Italian fascism was a blending of the corporation and the state.  While businesses were still held privately, the economic direction, pricing, tariffs, supply and demand dynamics were all planned by the state.  I admit we certainly have problems with corporate lobbying in our government today, but conservative principle prefers laissez faire economics free of central planning.

  2. In the Third Reich, the Nazi party held extreme totalitarian control over its people. Under Nazi rule, the entire social and economic environment was directed by the state.  The state told you what products to make, who to sell them to, and at what price.  All of these notions conflict with conservatism.  In fact, the full name of the party is “National Socialist German Workers Party”.  Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past decade, I don’t think I need to explain to you how conservatives feel about socialism!
  3. The common belief today is to place fascists on the ‘far-right’ of the political spectrum.  This mostly has to do with the era of the 1920’s—when the wave of communism in Europe was so strong that the fascist opposition to communism placed them on the ‘far-right’ by default.  Fascists opposed left-wing egalitarianism, by using extreme and horrific government tactics to create a social hierarchy based on race.  Conservatives also oppose left-wing egalitarianism, but they prefer a social hierarchy based not on race but on class, and sorted out by natural market forces instead of government violence.
  4. Wikipedia defines fascism as “anti-liberalismanti-communism and anti-conservatism.”  Case in point: immediately after the violence in Charlottesville, we saw many conservative politicians such as Cory Gardner, Orrin Hatch, and Marco Rubio condemn the white supremacists.  This shows that their ideology truly has no place on the modern day left/right political spectrum.

We saw real fascists on display last weekend.  I hope that now people understand that labeling anyone with a conservative opinion as a ‘fascist’ actually dilutes the word, and trivializes the complex issues involved in today’s politics.  So, please stop and think before placing such awful and derogatory labels at someone just because you disagree with them.

 

 

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