But looking into the reason why the word “fascism” is rarely used (no one else wants to state the obvious), I found that academics have tried to make it sound utterly confusing and way too multifaceted (it is, but today's conditions can be fine tuned). So I pieced together the following points that should clarify and update the word fascism, to describe the Republican/Tea Party agenda:
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”-Benito Mussolini
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”-Sinclair Lewis's (alleged) comment
Check out the statement below that reminded me of Paul Ryan’s rush to experiment with an untried system of government based on the free market:
“Fascist originated within a matrix of élite experimentation with novel forms of political control and populist legitimation.”-Sage Journals
With Republican governors and legislatures ignoring local control for a more top down approach to expanding their agenda, along with vilifying descent, isn't it time to call it what it is? The following article said it best for me. A little bit of Naomi Klein’s concept of “disaster capitalism” is thrown in for good measure:
Two Ways of Looking at Fascism, by Matthew N. Lyons, draft April 2007
Gregory Meyerson and Michael Joseph Roberto, in an October 2006 Monthly Review article, "It Could Happen Here," see fascism as an intrinsic structural tendency of capitalism in crisis, a form of rule that is promoted strictly from the top down. The substance of their argument seems to be that the growing crisis may persuade most representatives of capital that they need to establish a much more repressive and authoritarian state.
Lyons article continues, by focusing on the “right wing” of 2007:
By right-wing I mean a political orientation that reinforces or intensifies social oppression as part of a backlash against movements for greater equality, freedom, or inclusiveness. Populism means a form of politics that uses mass mobilization to rally "the people" around some form of anti-elitism. Right-wing populism mobilizes a mass movement around a twisted anti-elitism (often based on conspiracy theories) at the same time that it intensifies oppression. In place of leftist conceptions of class struggle, fascists often draw a phony distinction between "producers" (including "productive" capitalists, workers, and middle classes) and "parasites" (defined variously as financiers, bureaucrats, foreign corporations, Jews, immigrants, welfare mothers, etc.)A few good reads: Chris Hedges wrote American Fascism back in 2008. Another book, by David Neiwert, The Eliminationists came out in 2009. Also, Friendly Fascism, and The Anatomy of Fascism, by author and historian Robert O. Paxton, who offers up this fairly comprehensive and useful definition:
Right-wing populism appeals largely to middle groups in the social hierarchy, an important part of fascism's mass base. The fascist vision is totalitarian in that it celebrates one group -- national, ethnic, religious, or racial -- as an organic community to which all other loyalties must be subordinated, advocates coordinated top-down control over all institutions, and rejects in principle the concepts of individual rights, pluralism, equality, and democratic decision-making.
The collective rebirth aspect of the vision declares that the community must be rescued from a profound inner crisis, largely by purging "alien" ideologies and groups of people that are considered threats to the community's unity and vitality. This vision often draws on romanticized images of the past but points toward a radically new cultural and political order. Historically, fascists have colluded with capitalists and bolstered the economic power of big business.
"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."