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Monday, October 20, 2008

8. Why do you say that liberal fascists are "addicted" to crises?

All fascists are addicted to crises. Goldberg puts it like this:
Crisis is routinely identified as a core mechanism of fascism because it short-circuits debate and democratic deliberation. Hence all fascistic movements commit considerable energy to prolonging a heightened state of emergency. (P. 43)
Why? Because
Free societies are disorganized. People do their own thing, more or less, and that can be downright inconvenient if you're trying to plan the entire economy from a boardroom somewhere. War brings conformity and unity of purpose. The ordinary rules of behavior are mothballed. You can get things done: build roads, hospitals, houses. Domestic populations and institutions were required to "do their part." (P. 149)
Get that? The ordinary rules of behaviour can be mothballed during a crisis. Crises are useful excuses to get the government to persecute the fascist's "enemies." And if there isn't a crisis, the liberal fascist invents one. Here is an example: Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the "worldwide crisis of obesity."

Obesity is not a crisis, It is a personal choice, available to growing numbers of people worldwide because - thanks to modern methods of agriculture - they are no longer starving. But proclaiming a crisis gives liberal fascists a chance to interfere with what others eat. For example, as William Saletan writes in Slate,
The war on fat has just crossed a major red line. The Los Angeles City Council has passed an ordinance prohibiting construction of new fast-food restaurants in a 32-square-mile area inhabited by 500,000 low-income people.
He continues,
A few other cities and towns have zoned restaurants for economic, environmental, or aesthetic reasons. But L.A. appears to be the first to do it for health reasons. Last year, a public-interest law group at Johns Hopkins outlined the rationale: "Given the significance of the obesity epidemic in the United States and the scientific evidence and legal basis supporting the zoning of fast food outlets, municipalities have an effective, yet untried, tool to address obesity in their communities."

I assumed this idea would go nowhere because we Americans don't like government restrictions on what we eat. You can nag us. You can regulate what our kids eat in school. But you'll get our burgers when you pry them from our cold, dead hands.

How did the L.A. City Council get around this resistance? By spinning the moratorium as a way to create more food choices, not fewer. And by depicting poor people, like children, as less capable of free choice.
Ah yes, two things to note here: The use of the term "epidemic," for one. The fact that some people choose to be fat and don't care what thin faddists think of them could only be a crisis to a liberal fascist. Some of us would call that minding our own business and asking others to mind theirs.

Second, note how the authoritarian crackdown on hamburgers in south L.A. is spun as "choice" for the very people who are now denied the choice. Liberal fascists typically use the language of "freedom," "rights," and "choice," precisely when they are taking away a traditional civil right.

If you vote for liberal fascists, don't think you can just enjoy your own hamburger or Caesar salad in peace. You won't enjoy anything in peace if a liberal fascist can manufacture a crisis around it. And they can manufacture crises around pretty much anything.

Next: 9. What is the most totalitarian concept in politics today?

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