Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Not too long after writing my previous post, I read this from Plan Colombia and Beyond. If you are on the left, then you call your political enemies “fascists.” If you are on the right, then you call your enemies “terrorists.” Since the Bush administration, and Republicans generally, hate Hugo Chávez, they now claim Venezuela is a “terrorist hub of the Western Hemisphere.” This came from a hearing of the House International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism.

The evidence showed scant support for the terrorist claim, but plenty for stupidity in both governments.

In an unrelated issue, the blog also mentions something I didn’t know—one of the members of the subcommittee, Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Illinois) is the son-in-law of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who I recently discussed.


John Weeks 1:52 AM  

That reminds me of the George Carlin bit where he said, "Did you ever notice that when you are driving, anybody who drives faster than you is a 'maniac' and anyone who drives lower than you is an 'idiot'? 'Hey what is it with this idiot?!... Whoa! Look at that maniac!'"

MSS 1:58 PM  

I would say that Chavismo has more in common with fascism than with either of the right's favorite epithets--communism and terrorism.

Feel free to add to the list, which would start with the following:

--Militarized conception of society.


--Racialist (not necessary racist).

--Charismatic "savior" figure at the top.

--Bent on upsetting an existing international order that the country in question is perceived to be a victim of.

--Building its power base through subverting and circumventing existing labor and peasant organizations built by the "left."

You see, while I agree the term is often misused--even abused--that does not mean it has no usefulness. (I've said over at F&V that I consider Humala in Peru to be somewhat fascist.)

Greg Weeks 8:02 AM  

I agree--I certainly didn't mean to suggest the term isn't useful, but it is applied incorrectly, flung around by people who are unaware of the definition components you list. Perhaps even flung around by people who have more such characteristics than their political enemies.

When I have a chance, I'll go back to see what you wrote about Humala. Is "somewhat fascist" like "somewhat pregnant"?

MSS 7:26 PM  

As far as I know "pregnant" really is a dichotomy.

But "fascist" certainly implies a series of features, may of which are themselves continua. So, I meant it with a straight face that leaders or parties can have some degree of some of the characteristics, and thus be "somewhat fascist."

Then again, I have never been pregnant--or fascist--so it is possible I have this all wrong!

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