Monday, November 20, 2006

The fascist ain't necessarily racist

Mary Kenny asks for precision in the use of fascist and racist. (Worthy, but bit late, I'd say. Can there be two words more abused in the political lexicon? We used to laugh at American rednecks seeing commies under the bed; why isn't the same joke made of those who throw the word fascist about in just as stupid a way?)

A Fascist may be a racist but he is not necessarily so; a racist is not always a Fascist either. The Spanish dictator Franco was a Fascist but not a racist: in the 1930s, the left-wing New Statesman disparaged Franco as a “negrophile” (he employed Moroccan troops with gusto). And Franco gave asylum to more Jewish refugees than democratic Sweden.

Fascism is the political philosophy of the authoritarian, corporate and militarised state and is historically hostile to capitalism.

The white South African regime was assuredly racist — the South African Communist Party had for its slogan “Workers of the World Unite For a White South Africa” — but the Boer tradition was not fascist. It was, as between their own group, democratic and egalitarian. And anti-monarchist, too: the Dutch Calvinists regarded monarchy as a form of “idolatry”.
(via Harry's Place)

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