The New F-Word
by Onan Musoy
Legislative initiatives, administrative interpretations, and judicial decisions are wearing away the image of a democratic republic in the United States. Observers peer through the thinning veneer to fathom the form of governance which lies beneath. More and more often, the structure being revealed is accurately labeled as an oligarchy or plutocracy. However, there is a reticence to call it fascism, likely due to its historical connotations.
Both the current President and his predecessor have been depicted by members of an opposing political party as a maniacal dictator with a toothbrush mustache who came to power near the middle of the previous century. Such representations garner strong emotional reactions.
With present culture's predilection to emphasize personality over principles and form over substance, what gets lost in the reaction to the image of an historic megalomaniac is the image's value as a symbol of a political system to which he was a leading proponent.
People cannot be faulted for resorting to images as a succinct way to convey a message, but a less emotional reaction could have occurred and perhaps a rational exchange of ideas would have ensued if signs read, for instance, Democrats, or Republicans, are a fascist party.
Individuals sufficiently open-minded to grasp both sides in a debate would reach the conclusion that the entire political system is a fascist one. Most of its characteristics are currently on exhibition, regardless of which party is in power. Those attributes are: nationalism with an imperialistic foreign policy, economics of laissez-faire free markets and corporatism, authoritarianism, social Darwinism, and social interventionism through indoctrination about culture, sexuality, and birth control.
To accurately describe this current incarnation as different from its historical precedent, the time has come to let fly with the new F-word: neo-fascism. With the growing popular usage of the designations of neoconservative in foreign policy and neoliberal in economics, neo-fascism conforms rather neatly. Also, neoconservativism and neoliberalism, constituent parts of neo-fascism, can be conveniently grouped into this shorter term. Neo-fascist media may censor this new F-word as much as its carnal predecessor. Nevertheless, the political field is open upon which to drop the new F-bomb.
(first published at www.axisoflogic.com 3-17-2012)