Fascism: The American Left’s Favored Buzzword
Brad Johnson, Politics Contributor
I planned on continuing my series - “Origins of Conservatism” - this week but inescapably horrific events manifested on the grounds of an alleged bastion of liberty. So instead, I will pick that back up next week. In case you have not heard, a supposedly peaceful protest quickly morphed into a violent riot on the campus of UC Berkeley in response to a scheduled speaker. That speaker was none other than Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart clickbait golden boy and noted provocateur. This is not nearly the first time disgruntled ne’er-do-wells have engaged in unscrupulous actions in an attempt to prevent Milo from speaking. Despite the appalling nature of the Berkeley hooligan’s actions, something else caught my attention.
For a few years now, and especially within the last few months, the citation of Fascism as the premier adversary has become such a trend it’s on par with Vineyard Vines among Frat Bros and hemp sweaters among Hipsters. Almost without exception, congregations of protestors can be heard chanting in a slightly off-beat unison, “No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!” The first segment is self-explanatory. The second goes without saying and I cannot think of a single person other than David Duke who would oppose its assertion. Even the “horribly racist” Jeff Sessions would concur! The final bit is a quite curious one, however.
Regularly accompanying such accusations of Fascism tends to be a quite colorful indictment of Nazism. Throughout my time in supposed educationally-driven environments, this same fallacy was repeated over and over by teachers who may not have known their behind from a hole in the ground. Jonah Goldberg calls it the greatest lie of the 20th century; the synonymizing of Nazism and Fascism. This falsehood has been propagandized after decades of revisionist history and short-term memory. True Fascism can be properly understood as the failure that was Mussolini’s Italy and his Blackshirts. As for Nazism and its Jackboots, well, refer to the translated name; National Socialism.
The Nazis, much to the chagrin of the Left, were Socialists of the Nationalist variety. Ideologically, Hitler was one of them. This plays in stark contrast to supposed “common knowledge.” The two core ideologies, Socialism and Fascism (and even their close brethren Communism) all share a common ancestor, means to an end, and the end itself. Born the vile children of Marxist Theory and Authoritarian practices, the 20th century’s failed experiments in governing all applied oppressive strategies in their pursuits of similarly evil goals. These are not the same, but are quite similar. As we saw in the 20th century, however, the siblings who quarrel most are the ones analogous in nature, but with a slight unique twist.
One such commonality between the three most notably abhorrent ideological regimes of the 20th century, and all that have since sprouted from them, is a policing of speech and thought. All dissenters must be met with iron fist. Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini all practiced this, as have their ideological contemporaries and successors. Even today it is being practiced by the Castro Regime in Cuba, Putin in Russia, Chávez in Venezuela, and now famously the Berkeley “protesters” (although not nearly limited to one college campus). Thus begs the question, why are college students and young people across the nation partaking in the same despicable practices (minus the murdering millions of people) made famous by the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao? The answer is quite simple; they are authoritarians at heart, just like their aforementioned ideological predecessors.
Leftism has remained home to authoritarian thought ever since it surfaced in the early 1900s, and since the fall of the Soviet Union, has offered welcome refuge to a largely extinguished ideology. Initially popularized in America by Woodrow Wilson, leftist authoritarianism has succeeded in weakening the bounds of the Constitution through the ratification of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Amendments. I should point out that one good thing came out of the Wilson administration, the 19th Amendment. Although, that was spearheaded by First Wave Feminists, not by Wilson’s Progressive Agenda. But I digress.
The same progressive self-righteousness runs rampant within the mainstream Left. The illiberal practice of shutting down speech one disagrees with has ironically become a core principle of American Liberalism. Wilson himself, largely revered by the American Left until recent discovery among them of his ardent racism, and his fellow Progressives engaged in the very same suppression and criminalization of speech with the passing of the Sedition Act of 1918.
The reason many leftist responses to speech they dislike resemble the underhanded practices of 19th century dictators is because the goals are alike. Dissenters of the leftist narrative must be silenced and/or reconditioned to progressive thought. It worked in Mao’s China, Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and is succeeding quite well on progressive campuses. In other words, members of the FSM (Feelings Supremacy Movement) dominating campus discourse are at heart Fascists with an indignant or petulant twist. In their utilization of violence to shut down opinions they dislike, Berkeley rioters became that which they claim to oppose. A good, long, look in the mirror would serve them well.
In regards to our newly and legitimately elected President, the jury is still out. He certainly, and I have been saying this for a year and a half now, holds authoritarian tendencies. But Fascist? Call me when he interns a whole ethnic group and confiscates their property.
As for Milo, he represents the authoritarianism of the Alt-Right and is in no way a Conservative. His only redeeming quality is his opposition to political correctness, but has a bad habit of taking that opposition to extremes. Violent and egregious opposition always ends up in vain, as Milo feeds off of malcontented practices such as the Berkeley events a few nights ago. In fact, he profits from it. Congratulations Berkeley progressives, you just wrote the next chapter in his coming book for him.
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