Anyone who pays attention to current socio-political and cultural terminology is well aware of the far-left’s use of the term ‘fascist’ to describe essentially anyone who holds a political opinion that might be considered ‘right-wing’, or at least an opinion to the right of the far-left.
But, the use of this term doesn’t stop there, its used to shut down debates and conversations, discredit academics and intellectuals alike and even justify violent acts. This is blatant hypocrisy and downright dangerous.
Anyone with even a basic understanding of fascism, or anyone with common sense, is well aware of the fact that the current President of the United States is not a fascist. Yet, certain professors, journalists and political commentators regularly describe him as such. This then automatically makes anyone who supports him, in the eyes of these misinformed ideologues, also fascists.
This bizarre and disingenuous idea is a tactic adopted by the far-left to vilify those that support the US President and even those that won’t completely condemn him. The US President is probably the most high-profile example, but there are literally thousands of others that could be used.
Real fascism is fairly complex, but there is a general consensus around its definition. It can be defined as a political ideology and movement associated with authoritarianism and hyper-nationalism that does possess a number of key characteristics.
These keys characteristics include what’s called a ‘leader-cult’, militarism and the increased use of violence within the political sphere. Others include an emphasis on youth-groups and even an obsession with a glorified past.
The fact that people across the West use such labels to describe individuals and groups who are literally not fascist, nor fascist-leaning, indicates one of two things; that these same people don’t know what they’re talking about or that they simply don’t care and only use it as a tool to further their own agendas.
For most students I believe the former is the case, as many are influenced by their professors and teachers to believe in certain definitions that are molded to suit certain ideologies and ideas.
The dangers with using such terminology so profusely can be found in a number of areas. The first is the fact that it does discredit otherwise credited people, examples of this include the likes of Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and even Ben Shapiro (a Jew).
And the labelling is often baseless and unsubstantiated, but that’s not to say disagreeing with any of the above-mentioned people is wrong, because it’s not, it should be welcomed, and a healthy debate/conversation should ensue.
The second is the fact that the term fascism will become trivialised to the point where its worthless, and some have already argued that we’ve reached that point. Fascism is a powerful word because of its association with Mussolini, Hitler and Nazism and should, in a perfect world, only be used to describe those that actually fall into the category.
The third and final area is the manifestation of violence against those given the label of a fascist. The ‘By Any Means Necessary’ and ‘Punch A Nazi’ movements in the US and even Australia are clear cut examples of this.
Violently assaulting someone because their opinion differs from yours is a tactic used by the actual fascists of the 20th century but is becoming increasingly common among far-left groups.
This isn’t to justify the hate spewed by certain groups, but their right to say those things falls within the category of free speech (as long as it doesn’t advocate violence) and should be defended.
The fact that people and groups on the far-left label others as fascist but then engage in tactics used by actual fascists is blatant hypocrisy.
Disagreeing with someone is a good thing, it encourages both parties to look at and think about their opinions and ideas more deeply which leads to self-reflection and the eventual triumph of good ideas.