I’m generally not a big fan of using terms like “fascism” to describe modern politics (regardless of party) unless there’s really no other equally effective way to make your point. The term fascism, especially, is so overused and has so many connotations, that it causes your listener/reader’s hyperbole flag to go up and everything you say from that point on, no matter how well supported by evidence, gets ignored or chalked up to paranoia or partisanship.
Having said that…
For the sake of clarity, I think it’s very important for people to understand what fascism actually is — at least its economic philosophy. Virtually everyone is already familiar with the militarist/racist aspects of National Socialism (Nazism) – a particular brand of fascism. But if you can put that aside for a moment and simply look at the economic features of fascism – what 20th century leaders and proponents of fascism actually believed and promoted – the result is….interesting…
As I said, I wouldn’t go so far as to start calling our current politicians economic fascists (most of them anyway). There’s obviously a significant difference in degree, for one thing. But keep in mind the recent actions of our current administration with respect to GM, AIG and others, as well as the $700 billion stimulus bill that goes, in large part, to corporations that are willing to work with the current Democratic social agenda, plus numerous other bills being considered by Congress to control and manipulate private business into the mold of their own morality.
Now read this post by Jonah Goldberg.
Better yet, read his whole book.
UPDATE #1: An example of why it’s a bad idea to use the term (if you’re a conservative).
UPDATE #2: More hypocricy from Howard Dean.