Fascism and the conservative genius

David Neiwert is four sixths of the way through his series of pieces on fascism and the conservative movement. A longer exposition on a similar topic can be found at his “Rush, Newspeak and Fascism“.

Both are worth reading, but I am not entirely convinced. Mr Neiwert has built up a rich collection of circumstantial evidence, but the killer punch never comes.

There is no doubt that the conservative movement is right-wing, and that some of its policies are on the far right of political discourse. But for all the problems with the current Administration’s views, it is possible to make a reasonable intellectual case that the current global situation is definitively different from the situation in 2000, and that special measures are needed to combat the threat. This is certainly the position of Tony Blair’s centre-left government, as it is of the former communist President Kwasniewski in Poland. Neither are prime candidates for fascist status.

The polarisation of American political discourse has been a pull in two directions, partly due to the inability of the Democratic party to offer a thoughtful centrist alternative to the current Administration’s policies. The one side may be tending to fascistic views at the extreme, and such views should certainly be fought against, but that is just a part of the wider fight against extremism at both ends of the political spectrum, and the rebuilding of democratic discourse.