The abuse of a term

Dave – the editor

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As used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless.

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.”

George Orwell writing in @tribunemagazine, 1944.

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I didn’t want to have to write this brief piece but there’s only so much I can take of what is supposed to be a reasonably precise political definition being used so promiscuously, it has lost any real meaning. The problem is that as the word ‘fascism’ been used in such a scattergun way, when actual fascism really emerges, too many people won’t recognise what’s actually going on until it’s too late. This brief piece is an attempt to redress that. Given the climate we’re operating in, it will not surprise me in the least if after reading this, some people will brand me as a ‘fascist’!

I’ve been called a ‘fascist’ for taking the opposite point of view to someone who supported drag queen story reading events for kids. I can’t believe I’ve had to write this… Firstly, I can’t get my head round the concept of drag queens reading stories to kids. As a grandparent, that raises alarm bells in my head. It raises alarm bells for anyone who thinks kids should be able to have a few years of innocence before having to start to come to terms with the adult world. Yet, anyone asking why a drag queen would want to read to kids is accused of being a ‘fascist’.

Sure, where there have been drag queen story reading events, among those protesting them, there have been the likes of Patriotic Alternative present, ready to exploit people’s concerns for their own ends. As I’ve said more times than I care to remember, this is what happens when you leave a political vacuum. The one thing many elements on the left, in the anarchist movement and among Antifa are adept at doing is creating political vacuums. It’s what happens when you get so immersed in a clique or a bubble and lose touch with what ordinary people are thinking and saying.

It happened with Covid and the lockdowns when we were hectored by now former comrades to ‘follow the science’ and get the ‘jab’. People’s concerns about the adverse consequences of the lockdowns were airily dismissed. My concerns about the mental health impact of the lockdowns were brushed aside. Given all of this, can I really be blamed for starting to attend a few of the anti-lockdown/anti-vaccine mandate protests that took place in 2021? At that point, I was looking for some re-assurance that there were in fact, many people who thought the way I did. Also, I was keen to investigate at first hand, a new social and political phenomena that was taking place on the streets. Among the diverse range of people who turned up, yes there were a few members of Patriotic Alternative, seeking to exploit the concerns and fears people had about the impact of lockdown. I distinctly remember of group of Patriotic Alternative members looking more than a bit bemused as they watched an ethnically mixed crowd march past them on one of the protests.

Somehow, these protesters don’t look like fascists to me!

As already mentioned, I was on these marches to investigate new social and political currents of opposition to what was being done to us. Just for doing this, I was branded a ‘fascist’. My repost to the anarchists and Antifa types is this… If they have ever been on any of the London May Day marches in their own block, as opposed to undertaking a separate action, amid a plethora of Stalinist and Trotskyist sects, what does that make them? Using their logic, could it be argued that they’re Stalinist and Trot appeasers? I personally wouldn’t do that because I don’t want to get dragged down to that level, even though there are times when it’s tempting to do so! I accept that anarchists have attended the London May Day marches to either hand out propaganda or use them as a moving base for a breakaway action. In my defence, I can say that when I went on the anti-lockdown marches, I was investigating a new manifestation of action on the streets. It would be good if we could cut each other a bit of slack but to be honest, that probably isn’t going to happen.

For the record, I was out on the streets in the early 2010s opposing the English Defence League (EDL). There was some debate as to whether they were ‘fascist’ or just a the 21st century equivalent of the ‘Church and King’ mobs of yore. With my penchant for wanting to be accurate in describing the enemy, I went along with the description of them as a ‘Church and King mob’. Other comrades thought they were proto-fascist. Regardless of semantic differences, it didn’t stop us uniting to do what we could to oppose them on the streets. Given how much has change in anarchism and anti-fascism in the intervening decade, I feel it would be a lot harder to have an honest debate about how to define what we’re dealing with when a new political phenomena emerges on the streets.

‘Fascist’ is a term that’s so overused and misused, it’s lost any meaning. It’s used like a playground insult. It’s used by anyone who can’t handle disagreement or being told they’re wrong. It’s used to shut down debate and discussion. It’s used to police people’s behaviour and speech because they fear the consequences of being called a ‘fascist’. It’s used all too frequently in the distraction known as the culture wars. It’s not used anything like enough to describe the merging of state and corporate power.

It is also used to describe what happened during the lockdowns and what’s continuing to happen now. Obviously not by any of the usual suspects who branded those of us attending the anti-lockdown protests as ‘fascist’. No, instead it was used by those of us who broke our political tribal links and thought freely.

Here’s a definition for you…

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Britannica Dictionary definition of FASCISM


Fascism : a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government

the rise of Fascism in Europe before World War II


: very harsh control or authority

corporate fascism

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Note that this and many other definitions always mention the role of the state in fascism. Sure, there have been and are fascist movements but, fascism can only be implemented and maintained by state power. Yes, fascist movements can play a part in seizing state power to implement fascism. It’s always worth looking at those movements and how they arose. As a rule, they tend to rise at a time when capitalism is failing and the economy and society are in turmoil. Historically, corporations have seen fascism as a saviour when their backs are up against the wall. At such times, the corporations are more than happy to work hand in glove with the state to further mutual interests.

Corporations and the state working together to serve their mutual interests. That sounds familiar doesn’t it? What does that bring to mind? You only have to look at what’s happened over the last three years to see that states around the globe and corporations have been working very closely together. We are of course talking about the way the Covid ‘crisis’ was leveraged to bring about a situation where various corporations made an absolute killing, particularly those involved in pharmaceuticals and technology. We’re also talking about the way the crisis was leveraged to enable the state to exert control over how people lived their lives during the lockdowns, with the price of ‘freedom’ being the acceptance of a swiftly developed, experimental mRNA jab masquerading as a ‘vaccine’. Ultimately, we’re talking about how this was and still is being leveraged to accelerate the push towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as ‘the great reset’. Of course, merely stating this gets me branded as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ and a ‘fascist’. You couldn’t make it up, could you?

With the introduction of a Bill in the UK Parliament aimed at eventually deterring refugees from crossing the Channel in small boats, a wide range of people on the left, in anarchism and what passes for ‘anti-fascism’ these days have made the connection between a state with it’s back against the wall and the demonisation of ‘outsiders’. Whatever, I may think of the left, anarchism and ‘anti-fascism’, they are correct in making this connection. The demonisation of ‘outsiders’, be they migrants or refugees, is one of the oldest tricks in the book when a state is in difficulty and wants to divert people’s anger to a convenient target. It is arguably, a signal of a drift towards fascism. Even the current incarnation of the left, anarchism and ‘anti-fascism’ can see that’s what’s happening now. Let’s face it, with what’s going on now, the state and their corporate backers could do with a convenient target to distract people’s anger.

Now, it would be great if the aforementioned leftists, anarchists and ‘anti-fascists’ could make the connection between the state wanting to distract people’s anger and the growing levels of resentment at what was done to us during the Covid ‘crisis’. That’s before we get to the impact of the cost of living crisis… The problem is that the aforementioned leftists, anarchists and ‘anti-fascists’ were heavily invested in pushing the lockdown and vaccine narratives so we know there’s no chance of that connection ever being made. If anything, many of them are doubling down on the narrative they were pushing.

So, we are where we are, with the terms ‘fascist’ and ‘fascism’ being bandied about so widely, they’ve lost any real meaning or power. To be honest, I’m writing this simply to get a few things off my chest and to relieve some of the tension that has been building up over the last few years. I’m not expecting much in the way of a positive response from now former comrades. If anything, I’m expecting a few snarky comments and quite possibly, some abuse. So be it…

The point is that history never repeats itself. When fascism re-emerges, it won’t assume the forms it did in the past. It will assume completely different forms that will catch many people unawares. Here’s some recommended reading that will hopefully prompt people to think more deeply about what we’re facing:

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The Great RacketPaul Cudenec (2023)

Fascism rebranded: exposing the Great ResetPaul Cudenec (2021 – e-book only)

The Road to Fascism: For a Critique of the Global Biosecurity StateSimon Elmer

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Right, that’s it. If this piece gets just a few people to think about how the words ‘fascist’ and ‘fascism’ are used and abused, prompting them to think more carefully about what terms to use to describe the clusterf**k we currently face, it will have served its purpose. As ever, constructive criticism and comradely debate are welcome. Abuse is not welcome. Whatever you do, for f**k sake, don’t call me a fascist!

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