Saturday, May 27, 2006

Facism. In Gray? Possibly . . .

Merriam-Webster defines fascism as "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition".

The American Heritage Dictionary instead describes it as "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

A recent definition that has attracted much favorable comment is that by Robert O. Paxton:
"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." (Anatomy of Fascism, p 218)

And today a friend described a facist government as one that insists everyone must proscribe to the same ideals, no dissention is tolerated, and anyone who questions the government is attacked.

While facism is commonly defined by Mussolini's Italian government and Hitler's Nazi movement, it is disturbing to see the same political ideals put forth by our present Town of Gray leaders.

People describing the present Town Council as facist are both strongly liberal and strongly conservative. This leads me to believe that the cries of facism are not the cries of lunatics, but the warnings of honest and concerned citizens.

We would do well to take heed!

Nathan Tsukroff