Why no scare of becoming fascist?

I didn’t want to highjack Euphonious Polemic’s “Socialist” Country Comparisons thread.

It seems there is a certain population of people in the US that fear us becoming a socialist country if we elect a liberal president. How come you never hear about a fear of the US becoming a fascist country if we elect a conservative president?

People who even think about voicing that fear are stomped into silence by jackbooted thugs who descend from black helicopters in the dead of night. :eek:

I think it’s the lingering effect of the Cold War. Generations were raised to think of communism as the enemy–indeed, the major powers that operated under this system were a clear and present danger to this country (and vice-versa, of course, but the question is regarding the U.S.). Meanwhile, Hitler was defeated and his Reich destroyed, so the country as a whole does not have the same congenital fear of fascism.

A darker explanation? Too many people in the right places looking* forward *to it.

You mean the mods are in on it? Oh, Science help us!

Fascism is the mix of corporations and the military taking over. Why would we worry about that?

It is too late.

This isn’t exactly an answer to the question, because I think it’s far-fetched that the US government could become either a communist or fascist regime.

However, one of the differences between communism and fascism is that, unlike the former, the latter does not depend on being imposed by a government. A communist is someone who advocates the establishment of a communist economic system, but until that day arrives, there is no communism.

But fascism is as much an underlying attitude as an overarching policy. It could be defined political bullying. If people are being attacked for lack of patriotism, then fascism is present. What happened to the Dixie Chicks was fascism (albeit relatively mild compared with what we know fascism to be capable of).

Fascistic policies can be implemented by a government piecemeal; a law against flag desecration would be an–again small–example of fascism for example. Socialism can be–and is-- implemented piecemeal too, but communism essentially rules out capitalism and regards the state as the primary source of employment, and that’s different.

Whether the Iraq war is fascism is debatable. If we’re sincere in wanting Iraq and the rest of the Middle East to be a better, more democratic place, then no. And self-defence is not fascism, but if we’re going around invading countries because there’s a small chance they might attack us, then yes. And if we were hopped up on a sense of militaristic vengeance in the wake of 9/11, then also yes.

In short, I think American culture is more comfortable with fascism than communism.

Then there are those of us who recognize fascism & socialism as two sides of the same authoritarian coin (also Naziism & Communism of the same totalitarian coin).

It’s because most people don’t know what socialism really means. They simply use the label as a pejorative club to bash their political opponents over the head about their diverging views of political economy, which are, in practical and policy terms, more nuanced and marginal differences over the correct approach to taxation policy, regulatory balance and government coordination over negative externalities and public goods.

The fact that the two chief claimants to political orthodoxy in Western industrialised nations today basically share a common framework committed to an order based on free markets and constitutionally limited liberal democracy is simply less effective polemic when you nail it down like that.

Liberatarians and conservatives are, I think, particularly guilty of this because they tend to misread Hayek, and grossly overstate his case for the slippery slope.

The comparative lack of currency and potency about the word fascism today, I think, reflects a completely different issue. There are no empowered fascist movements in the United States, for example, and to the extent that some pernicious fascist ideas or attitudes may be said to inhabit our political system, it is clearly both hyperbolic to use that label and devaluing to the great trauma associated with the reality of that historical movement.

Having a look at a good definition of fascism would be helpful in this context:

Paxton provides the following list of “mobilizing passions” to help identify fascist political movements:

Not to be too obvious, but Paxton’s list sure makes me think of the PNAC circle surrounding GWB. (Especially Nos. 7 and 8.)

And 9 too.

The wingnuts have been too busy speculating about Bush suspending elections due to “national emergency” to concentrate fully on a McCain fascist state.

Posts #10-11 however indicate that this mindset is merely dormant and ready to flower in the event of an Obama defeat.

Forgive us “wingnuts” for being a little cynical about the commitment to civil rights and democracy of people who spy on American citizens and engage in torture.

Because lefties screamed “Fascist!” so many times when it clearly wasn’t at all appropriate or reasonable that nobody could take it seriously any more. The lefties realized they had begun to sound foolish and stopped.

American liberals, however, are more comfortable with Stalinsm than Hitlerism.

And look how well the old “most liberal senator EVAR!!!” ploy is working the seven millionth time…

No. The Right simply accused them of not being patriotic and most of the left just caved in ( in itself a sign of how we are leaning towards fascism ). America IS well on the road to fascism. We just aren’t supposed to admit it.

Get your newspeak right. Right-wingers are wingnuts. Left-wingers are moonbats. No, I don’t understand it either.

If what happened to the Dixie Chicks is fascism, then what is happening to Joe the Plumber is Stalinism.

Because It Can’t Happen Here.