Who’s a Fascist? Why Does it Matter?

“…The most politically interesting and potentially significant aspect in the current tumult is that both sides call the other “fascist.” That testifies to the sometimes perplexing success of “progressive” dogma in the Western left following the fall of the Soviet Union. You might have expected Western intellectuals to acknowledge communism’s failure, but instead “fascism” became the primary, at times seemingly the only, legitimate label for political evil. This practice started right after the Second World War, and was a major weapon in the Soviets’ campaign to bring communists to power in the West. The West European communists asserted that they alone were entitled to determine if a given person was “fascist” or “antifascist.” Post-war Italy, with Europe’s most powerful Communist party, was the classic example. This produced all manner of political blackmail, as many real fascists were recycled as “antifascists.” It all went well for them for two generations. It wasn’t until the end of the century that famous writers and scholars confessed to their dark past.”

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