Fascism and the Weaponization of Words

Nigel Farage is a fascist. Tommy Robinson is a fascist. Donald Trump is a fascist. This term, among many others, has been shooting from lips like bullets from muskets in the front lines of an infantry. At first, such terms were supposed to fire at volleys, in regimented formation, at the command of the officers. In practice, however, as battle ensues, each soldier fires a musket at their own discretion. Which of course brings total confusion to the battlefield, soldiers being enveloped by the smoke of the discharged rounds, hindering accurate shooting. Fire at will!

Language suffers most of all in this melee because what we are left with is a smoky vagueness. Let me explain. This is the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of fascism:

“An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization”

Here’s dictionary.com’s definition:

“A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce etc, and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism”

Wikipedia:

“Fascism is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe”

There’s a great deal of debate in academia over what fascism really means, but the one thing that everyone agrees upon is that it involves authoritarianism. The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of authoritarianism:

“The enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom”

The prerequisite to qualify for this description is to either be in power or to advocate for it in a way that will subdue personal freedom.

How can Nigel Farage be a fascist when he is a leader of a minor political party, and is unlikely to be in power for at least several cycles given the fabric of the British political system? How can he be a fascist when his political position over many years has essentially been at odds with a political power which has refused to acknowledge the will of the majority of the British people?

Tommy Robinson has no power and is in fact the subject of power, Big Tech removing him from their platforms under increasingly draconian hate speech laws, which are effectively suppressing the freedom of speech under the guise of “tolerance”. He has also recently served a custodial sentence, being found guilty of contempt of court by the British justice system for exposing decades long child rape gangs, something covered up by other branches of the British justice system, for which he already served 10 weeks in jail.

As for Donald Trump, he does have the power to qualify for the term, but unlike Big Tech, he is not enforcing strict etiquette in the modern marketplace of ideas, nor monopolizes it.

These huge companies have power and they’re exhibiting striking signs of authoritarianism by curtailing personal freedom through censorship. As is the British justice system, which is swiftly prosecuting someone who has exposed endemic corruption within the system, rather than swiftly prosecuting those who were preying on children. These profiles are more befitting of the term “fascist”.

The entire political discourse is awash with insults and accusations. A fog bank of pejoratives sweeps in, blurring meaning and covering up understanding. If those engaged in political debate are using words so flippantly and without context how can anyone comprehend the debate itself?

Indeed, many political words have been so abused by dishonest and slovenly use that they’ve lost their original meaning. Terms like ‘fascism’, ‘far-right’, ‘racism’, ‘nationalism’, have become so broad and vague that they can hardly be distinguished from one another, like the polished stones on a riverbed which have been eroded by time and the torrent of water. As far as I can tell, in terms of use, they all now essentially mean the same thing: “something deeply unpleasant”. But, clearly, it’s those who are quick to use inflammatory labels who are the most unpleasant.

It’s axiomatic that in an intellectual tussle the first person who throws stones always loses. Not that those who try to control the lexicon are interested in winning debates. Their interest lies in suppressing them.

10 thoughts on “Fascism and the Weaponization of Words

  1. I probably got punched once by Tommy Robinson for telling him and his EDL fellow thugs to “go back to where they came from” far from my home town. It was before I’d heard of him so I can’t be sure it was definately him.

    Then Trump has closed America’s doors to refugees.

    Farage I admire for his zeal for Brexit, if not his stirring up of racist sentiments among his xenophobic base.

    I agree that fascism is bandied around too much. How about Corbyn as a friend of fascists at the very least- he’s called Hamas his “friends”, and they want to finish the Holocaust of Jews…

    To be honest I haven’t got much time for most politicians tbh, interesting as I find politics

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robert. Thanks for your comment. The article was about the abuse and weaponization of language, not a moral exposition on the dangers of the politics involved. I could have reformatted the crux of the argument from the perspective of the left (though this paradigm is horribly dated and confused), but IMO the so-called left has been more culpable in not only weaponizing language, but also in its attempts at controlling the parameters of permissible expression.

      I’m fairly sick of hearing the likes of “I’m no fan of Trump, but….”….”Nigel Farage is clearly a divisive figure, however…..” “She’s a very intelligent woman and has achieved a great deal in the furtherance of the women’s rights movement, but I do think….”. These politically correct qualifiers are insincere and saturated in BS. I didn’t want to get dragged into doing that. Because I have a contrarian soul, but also because I feel quite strongly that we live in a culture which is drowning in middle class power games, and which socially rewards an attempt to both virtue signal and gain power within a medium where solidarity has collapsed. This narcissistic virtue-signalling generally appears to be in proportion to the distance people are from reality – whether they be free from economic hardship or that they’re clouded by ideology.

      I don’t want to get dragged into politics now, but I suspect we would largely agree on most things. Though I will quickly say that there’s a tendency to conflate refugees with economic migrants, and legal migration with illegal migration.

      It seems to me that political discourse has become so debased that debate has been reduced to a cacophony of lies and smears. When politicians aren’t being liberal with the truth, they’re throwing mud at their opponents, hoping some of it sticks. This clearly isn’t conducive to a respectful and healthy dialogue. Indeed, I think most people look at politics at the moment and are quite appalled at how venal, cheapened and spurious it has become.

      We’re lacking a centre in politics, in what is an increasingly divided and polarised society. British opinion used to be a bell curve with the votes in the centre but now it’s a U-shape with the votes on either side and little remaining in the centre. I think this move to political extremities – on both sides – is partly the result of this infantile, Punch and Judy politics. Furthermore, it’s a damning indictment of the dominant neo liberal model, which has been the ‘centrist’ position for decades and has utterly failed most outside the metropolitan bubble. At least, it has left people with the impression that it has failed them, which, politically speaking, amounts to the same thing.

      Thanks again for your comment, Robert. I appreciate it. And I’m sorry to hear of your run in with Tommy Robinson or one of his goons. Politics really must sort itself out or we’ll be left with an obnoxious ultranationalism vs an obnoxious communism in the near to not too distant future.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, on politics we’re probably pretty similar. I don’t agree with open borders any more than I agree with closed borders on the subject of immigration. But our borders should be open to refugees- from Hong Kong for example. I have no problem with limiting economic migrants to what the UK actually needs, but as our population ages and unborn children are murdered in the womb, if we don’t have immigration we’ll all die/kill each other and there’ll be no country left to speak of!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prince Philip described the various policies that are designed to reduce the population as “voluntary family limitation”. Which, in the context of abortion, was a chilling way of putting it. Meanwhile, mass immigration plugs the gap, so much so that the UK population continues to steadily grow. So, we have a situation where one population group is declining, with the UK being below the replacement fertility level of 2.1 (I think the UK is at 1.7), but the overall population is still increasing. “Voluntary family limitation” indeed

      Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’t agree more. I only point it out because it seems that there’s a great deal of social engineering at the moment, with people not necessarily being manipulated in their best interests.

        Like

    • Robert, I’m not going to get too deep into this as I have just come home and I’m tired but I just wanted to respond with one simple thing…No, we don’t have to have open borders. Despite what the EU says or other government figures hell bent on destroying identity and sovereignty, we are NOT obliged to do anything. We should take a leaf out of Vicktor Orban’s book and what he’s doing in Hungary. Your people MUST always come first. In Britain for example, how long can the borders remain open before someone says ” Enough “. Britain is a small island and the welfare of the British is paramount over anybody else. This falicy that wanting to close your borders is racist and detrimental to others is what is contributing to the decay of the West. So again, no we don’t need to keep our borders open at all. We are NOT obliged to

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just quickly because I’m about to go to work but I’m not for open borders. I’m just not for closed borders either. Who’s propping up our NHS and care services as our aging population aborts subsequent generations? Immigrants. They’re not the bogeymen the Mail would have us believe. The West can’t blame immigrants for our decay when we’re murdering generations of our own unborn children. We’re killing ourselves. Maybe getting “taken over” is judgement for our infanticide…

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s