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Defining Terms

In today’s Times Mary Kenny sets out some ground rules for using the terms ‘fascist’ and ‘racist’.

A Fascist may be a racist but he is not necessarily so; a racist is not always a Fascist either. The Spanish dictator Franco was a Fascist but not a racist: in the 1930s, the left-wing New Statesman disparaged Franco as a “negrophile” (he employed Moroccan troops with gusto). And Franco gave asylum to more Jewish refugees than democratic Sweden.

Fascism is the political philosophy of the authoritarian, corporate and militarised state and is historically hostile to capitalism. Salazar, the Portuguese dictator, was a clerico-Fascist (corporate state plus clergy) but something of a liberal on race. The Portuguese were more racially multicultural than other European colonialists, and intermarried more with colonised peoples than other Europeans. Thus the ethnically mixed Brazil

The late and much lamented comedian Linda Smith told a darkly droll story about visiting her granny in Birmingham, who was obsessed with, and prejudiced against, “the blacks”. Linda was mortified that “Granny was a Fascist”. No: Granny was a racist. She had nothing at all to say about the corporate state.

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