Anti Fascism

Why I think Hezbollah is fascist

Commenter Bob writes:

Gene, it’s often rather unclear what posters at Harry’s Place mean by ‘fascism’. Perhaps a main post explaining what definition you are working with would be useful.

Sorry, but I’m not going to try to define fascism. Entire books have been written on the subject, and I’m not sure we’re any closer to a foolproof definition. George Orwell, on the other hand, wrote:

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.”

When it comes to the meaning of fascism, I’ll have to borrow a phrase from the late US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. In a court case contesting the right to screen an allegedly obscene movie, Stewart wrote that he couldn’t define hard-core pornography, “But I know it when I see it…”

I think I know fascism when I see it. And Hezbollah is a fascist movement because, among other things:

–It glorifies war, death and martyrdom.

–It features mass rallies and regimented parades (and yes, stiff-armed salutes).

–Its leader is glorified by, among others things, ubiquitous giant photos.

–It is based largely on hatred of a feared “other.”

More to the point, western “leftists” who resist calling Hezbollah fascist would not hesitate to apply that label (correctly) to movements with the same characteristics comprising white Europeans or Americans.

Isn’t the burden on them to explain their double standard?

Update: I recommend reading Hezbollah’s founding statement in combination with Umberto Eco’s brief essay on Ur-Fascism (hat tip: Juan Golblado). It’s not a perfect match, but it’s close enough.

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