quote:Foxman's contribution to the Giuliani campaign illustrates the growing confusion over the nature of fascism, spurred in no small part by a form of historical revisionism that essentially reduces the Second World War to a matter of anti-Semitism. In some ways this revisionism is more dangerous than the claim that the Holocaust never happened, since the denials are safely on the fringe while the myth that fascism is inexorably linked to anti-Semitism is widely held.
One of the reasons we have such difficulty perceiving our current conditions is our aversion to this single word: fascism. While there is no hesitation by politicians to draw parallels with the Holocaust to justify whatever foreign adventure appeals to them, or for the media to make similar analogies at the drop of swastika on a wall, we seem only able to understand -- or even mention -- the climax of fascism rather than its genesis. Why this reluctance? Perhaps it is because we are much closer to the latter than to the former.
In any case, it is one of the most dangerous forms of political myopia in which to indulge. Italians, who invented the term fascism, also called it the estato corporativo: the corporatist state. Orwell rightly described fascism as being an extension of capitalism. It is an economy in which the government serves the interests of oligopolies, a state in which large corporations have the powers that in a democracy devolve to the citizen. Today, it is no exaggeration to call our economy corporatist, which has been described by British academics R.E. Pahl and J. T. Winkler as a system in which the government guides privately owned businesses towards order, unity, nationalism and success."