Political Insults in GD

Am I allowed to call someone a fascist, a communist, an apologist for fascism, or anything along those lines in GD?

If not, where is the line drawn? To some I know, liberal is a term of virulent abuse.

Context has something to do with it, no?

Are you throwing these labels around to characterize someone or demonize them?

Name calling under the guise of debating an issue with someone is not what Great Debates is about.

Let me bring this thread to the attention of the Great Debates mods and let’s see if they can’t make this more clear to you.

You are better off not calling anyone names. If you have to point out that their position is fascist, communist, capitalist, mysticist, or whatever, then do that rather than hurling a label at a poster, (preferably including some indication as to why you are so labeling their posts in that way).
I will not say that no one has ever been permitted to assign political labels to others in debates, but that would generally be based on context with at least some indication that the person so described would self-identify with that label.

How about liberal or conservative? Depending on your viewpoint, either one of those could be intended as an insult. Or socialist, reactionary, left-winger, right-winger… Where do you draw the line without creating an ever expanding proscribed word list?

Fear Itself, it seems to me that tomndebb answered your question in the post immediately above yours – it’s okay to use those labels with regard to a position or an argument, but should be avoided to pigeonhole a person. No word list involved.

Well it strikes me as somewhat ridiculous that “your position is that of a fascist” is acceptable and “you are a fascist” is unacceptable. There is nothing about being a fascist that is any different to one who holds fascist views.

The difference is that having a single view that seems fascist doesn’t make you a fascist. It has to be your overwhelming view on all topics where such a view is possible.

Still, I’d suggest not using it much, even in the form “You’re views are fascist.” The word itself is loaded. Stick with actually pointing out what is fascist about it. Otherwise, it is often perceived that you are merely trying to get a reaction. This may not be against the rules, but it often leads to accelerating the arguments into hostile territory. And you could be the side who accidentally takes it too far and crosses the “No personal insults” rule.

In a recent thread, I seriously considered calling some people’s views bigoted. While I think it’s true, I don’t think it would have accomplished anything but make them madder at me than they already were. If only I would have laid off of “stupid,” too.

But that’s kind of my whole point. To a crazed teabagging right winger, “liberal” may be the worst insult they can imagine. But they are certainly never going to get called out for referring to someone else as liberal.