George Orwell - What is Fascism?
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- Author: George Orwell
- Even in the 40s there was considerable disagreement in popular discourse about the nature of fascism. Just as we see today, both the left and the right we're calling each other fascist.
It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
- Orwell gives up on defining the word outside of the strict boundaries of Fascism as formal type of governing, because it's impossible to craft a definition that would be agreed upon by all sides. As he says, the word is more reduced to "bully" or anyone the utterer dislikes.
All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.