When I hear the word “Islamo-fascism,” I reach for my revolver

Posted by T on October 04, 2006
I reach for my revolver

but not for the reason the purveyors of the term are thinking. No, it is to defend myself against those that use the expression.

Fascism has two basic usages today, one precise, and one nebulous.

The precise usage is in the field of Economics, which defines fascism as a command economy retaining private property. On this definition, ours is arguably more of a fascist economy than some Muslim nations.

The nebulous usage includes a smorgasbord of attributes, such as authoritarian. Usually, you can expect the N-word to crop up in the same discussion (I mean of course “Nazi”). There are two problems with the nebulous usage:

1. Each attribute by itself defines too broad a class; but in conjunction the list defines too narrow a class if not indeed the empty set. For example, someone might say, “willingness to use torture to maintain power,” but then communists were willing to do so, and they are generally regarded as anti-fascists. Likewise, examine any list of attributes in conjunction: “A and B and C and … Z” and you will often learn more about the writer than any group of people that fits the connotation.

2. To the extent that a meaningful list of attributes can be given, it applies par excellence to the very people that throw the term around! See an excellent analysis of this phenomenon here.

My $20 to your ten that anyone using the term “Islamo-fascism”

  • doesn’t know what fascism is
  • doesn’t know what Islam is
  • doesn’t know about the relation of language and logic

What they do know, is how to commit rhetorical terrorism.


13 Comments to When I hear the word “Islamo-fascism,” I reach for my revolver

  • So fascism which is associated with Nazis which is associated with evil is then added to Islamo making Islamo Fascist; an evil breed of Islamos. One would suppose that perhaps Fascism would retain some association with funny little Hitler mustaches, but then that element wouldn’t quite transfer to the Islamo account; neither would the evil German, white, blonde hair with blue eyes picture.

    The Islamo Facist vs. The Great American: and who is a great American? Well everyone and their grandma, and their grandma’s plumber who calls into the Sean Hanity program. A nice old fashion combination of rhetorical terrorism and flattery – works every time!

  • Yes we do know what the words mean and could care less if they are used correctly in a technical sence. The MSM/Democrats/Left don’t want to call the Islamo Facist Terrorist ANYTHING because they are so stuck on being PC and “oh let’s not call them a name because we might offend them and they will go on a rampage”.

    They are demented Islamic TERRORISTS! Call them what you want. To me the name fits just fine.

  • Rite Aid Bob – (1) If you know what words mean, why would you not care if they are not used correctly, even in a technical sense?

    (2) We have been told we have been attacked by demented Islamic terrorists, but consider. (a) Why must we think that all Islamic terrorists are demented? I should rather think that most are sane to a vice. That may be one of their problems – they take everything to their logical conclusions even though their premisses are faulty. (b) Why are non-Islamic terrorists not treated with the same vitriol? What about the African despots? What about the criminal regime in Israel? These terrorists are not verbally assaulted with the same rhetoric. Consistency demands that you paint with the same broad brush. (c) Where is the evidence that Islamic terrorist are responsible for domestic terrorist attacks? I’m open to the possibility, but so far there has been little forthcoming.

    (3) I think you can call us many things and have good grounds for doing so. I don’t think you can make the “PC” moniker stick, however. And if we ever do take the “PC” line on any topic, it will be for accidental not essential reasons.

  • Fascism, per Mussolini was the perfect merger of Corporate/Business/Govenrment powers to promote the interest of the Nation/State. Islam is the religion of the followers of prophet Mohammad, who taught that Allah was the one true God.

    Islamo-facism would be the merger of Corporate/Business/Government and Religious powers to promote the interest of the Nation/State. Hmmmm…. sounds like the policies of the Royal house of Saud, our so called allies in the Middle East. The Bid Laden family is quite wealthy too so I suspect they would be Islamo-fascist themselves.

    So it looks to me like the Christian-fundamentalist of America have aligned themselves with the Islamo-facist of Saudia Arabia to snuff the “out” a rival group of Islamo-facist of Bid Laden family. For the end result to jointly snuff Democracy world wide and establish the great Islamic-Christian fundamentalist-“freetrade-Big Bidness”-facist world wide government of the Corporations, By the Corporations, for the Corporations and supported by the Religious Kooks of the world.

  • For I while I’ll try to be eyes and ears for you guys. I think it’s having an effect. Andrew Sandlin wrote a short piece defending the war against Iraq. In a 400 word essay, he uses the word “fascist” no less than five times. If you scream a word loudly enough times, it doesn’t matter that it no longer means anything. What matters is getting the troops and, especially, the donors stirred up I think.

  • Rhetorical terrorism used to be the mark of the Left, but under tutelage by the neo-cons, it has come to characterize the Right as well.

    During the 2004 elections, Sandlin used to assert that Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka advocated national socialism, because Peroutka argued for financing the fed govt by tariff rather than income tax. On his chat room, I posted the request for just one citation from a published economics book that would support that definition of “national socialism.” Naturally, there was no answer. Such a citation does not exist.

    For the neo-con, it doesn’t matter if words used in political discourse have a meaning. What is important for them is not in the first place truth, but manipulation. If words get people to do their agenda, they are satisfied.

  • T, can you site a source for your denition of facism as “command economy retaining private property”? If this definiton is correct, is the only differecce between this and its arch-rival Communism that the latter is a denial (rather than a restriction) of private property?

  • Joshua — that is the definition I was taught when I took Econ 101/102 at UVa many moon ago. I don’t have the textbook any more (though will check next time I can get to a university-grade library or bookstore), but the definition seems to be ratified by this quote from Rothbard:

    “Here we might mention just a few points on the economics of socialism. One, since ownership is, de facto, the control of a resource, a Nazi, Fascist or other ‘centrally planned’ system is as much ‘socialism’ as a Communist regime that officially nationalizes property.”

    p. 830 Man, Economy and State (LA: Nash)

    Here it is conceded that the Nazi/Fascist system does not “nationalize property” yet by virtue of “central planning” and thus “control of the resources” it is, in Rothbard’s opinion, a form of socialism.

    To your second question, one could indeed say that the only difference between it and Communism is the latter’s denial (rather than mere restriction) of private property, provided one is analyzing things strictly from the standpoint of markets.

    Thus, typically libertarians project “free market” at one end of the axis, and both communism and fascism at the other end, the latter perhaps separated from each other by a vertical axis representing a second dimension.

    However, there are other perspectives from which to analyze differences. Most notably would be this: Communism professes to analyze social tensions in terms of class differences that span nations, while fascism seeks to further the interests of all classes within its own tribe/nation.

    If, for fun, you take the individual or his “voluntary associations” as the new definition of “class,” then you could almost say that libertarianism has something in common with Communism over against fascism. On the other hand, grass-roots free-marketism, with its natural affinity to family and national integrity, has some affinities with fascism over against communism. Then again, grass-roots communism ends up appealing to those same instincts as well.

    When the neo-cons call terrorists “fascists” they are not appealing to any denotation of the word at all. They are simply letting their imagination run wild from documentaries they have seen of men marching in goose step and crowds shouting acclaim while performing the Caesar salute, coupled with visions of the “Holocaust.” Thus (somehow) 19 skinny Arab boys that fly airplanes into buildings suddenly are “fascists.”

    The real irony is that the cartoon-image of fascism that they are basing their rhetoric on — mind control, demonizing enemies by propaganda, censoring contrary points of view, etc. — actually describes them, the neo-cons themselves.

  • “The simplicity of his underlying thesis is remarkable – that we, as the world’s leader, have the responsibility to see Islamic Fascism defeated, lest it live to attack another day, and take with it innumerable human lives”

    It used to be that “we, as the vicitms of 911, have the responsibility…innumerable American lives.” Now it is because we are the world’s leader that we need to protect human lives. What other enemies do we, as the world’s leader, have the duty to defeat?

    And how can DB describe the work of a Jew as non-partisan?

  • I wonder which world leader God will raise up to defeat abortofascism. Does it not take more lives than this so-called “islamofascism?” I long for a free America in which liberty and strength under God’s law would return, but I’m struggling to understand in what capacity such a neocon (whom I assume still calls himself Christian) would consider us the current world leader. Is that in iniquity? Pride? Terroristic murder of our children?

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