Why I Use the “F-Word”
By Mark L. Taylor
Daily Call (4/1/11)
No, no, not that F-word. Not the ancient Teutonic F-Bomb that has been tossed about by everyone from marauding Vikings to careless carpenters whacking their thumbs with hammers throughout the arc of northern European history.
I mean the other F-word: fascism.
“Daily Call” readers have seen me use the political F-word with regularity to describe what is happening in Wisconsin and other Midwest states and to name the risk of what is rapidly taking form around us and perhaps, most tragically, within us.
Given today is the one month anniversary of the beginning of “The Daily Call” I thought it appropriate to air some thoughts on the use of the politically uncomfortable F-word.
Good friends – intelligent and politically astute friends – have cautioned me to be a little more diplomatic; to not let rhetoric get in the way of the larger message. And undoubtedly, they make good points. Given the agonies and extremism of World War II European fascism it is not a word to be carelessly tossed about and it is understandable that some – perhaps many – flinch from reading an article or hearing out a position when the word pops up.
No doubt, it is a word that makes one’s hair stand on end.
So what does it mean?
Since fascism is the term given to government in service to private corporations, it has been suggested terms like “corporate takeover”, “corporate control”, “corporatism” and even “corporatocracy” would be suitable, more palatable substitutes to describe the coup d’état rapidly swallowing our government and future.
I actually like those terms; they work. I even use them in the “Daily Call” mix. But as good and accurate and entirely serviceable as they are they still pull the punch a little too much for my liking.
Recently I was talking with a counseling colleague and friend about this whole issue of the political F-word. Jack noted that in counseling until one accurately names the problem an appropriate solution cannot be forged.
For example, think of the difference between the family that talks of Dad’s “drinking problem” and the family that talks about Dad’s “alcoholism”. Which is more in touch with the severity of the family crisis? There is a definite difference in tone, understanding and, most importantly, likely outcome between the two. In the latter, all the polite varnish has been scorched away in the flame of truth.
So, yes, “corporatism” is a good and accurate term; it describes the political mechanics of what is occurring. Yet it falls short of conveying the full spiritual abyss of what is at risk on the pin point fulcrum of this present political moment.
“Corporatists” is as useful as it is accurate, and yet, it too, falls short of portraying the full mentality and morality of the people and forces now conspired against our democracy. One might be lulled into thinking it possible to negotiate, lobby and reason with a “corporatist”. Sounds like a slightly uptight burgher.
But say the word “fascist” and a realistic picture of what one is confronted with snaps into clear focus.
Are they really that bad?
History has shown there is no negotiating with fascists. A lesson Neville “Peace in Our Time” Chamberlain learned to his everlasting shame the moment Europe – and all of his agreements with Hitler - ignited in the furnace of World War II.
In the bloody decades since we have seen the same thing play out in Chile and Argentina and Columbia and Burma and Indonesia and … well, you get the idea.
History teaches us many things but the number one lesson for this moment is that things can turn quickly. The Third Reich of Hitler’s feverish fantasies literally sprang from nothing to last a thousand years. It was ashes in twelve.
But consider what happened in that miserable blink of time.
So, yes, the “corporatists” are making a hostile “corporate takeover” to pimp out our democracy as a “corporatocracy” for the private pleasure and profit of an insatiable elite.
But don’t for a moment delude yourself; this is fascism and it has moved further and faster than most of us would like to acknowledge – no matter what you call it.
For a little more background on the F-word, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc&feature=related