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Who am I to pour the honey and fire ants on such an illustrious trio?

I'd settle for the three dimwits mentioned in the section "Examples of use in public discourse" namely Mike Huckabee, Clifford May and George W. Bush.

However, I really don't see how the term "fascism" can be used to describe the phenomena in question, even by a "marxist scholar". Especially by a "marxist" scholar.

It's altogther missing the "blood and soil and volk" mythos overlaid, like a Happy Face on Frankenstein's monster, on the political alliance between a militarised "lower upper middle class" and the high bourgeoisie, targeted at foreign sources of resources and the internal working class and intelligentsia. That, at least, is how I have always understood "Fascism."

I question the sincerity and political motivation of those how use the term "Islamofascist" to describe the religiously based opponents of modernity (or of western hegemony) that don't have white skin or the cross of jesus going on before.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 05:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maxime Rodinson was one of the best specialists of the history of Islam and I agree with him when he characterizes the Khomeini regime and Muslim Brotherhood as "a kind of fascism". However, the term "Islamofascism" as it is used in public discourse by some American leaders is misleading.

Especially when those who use it are close to the "Christianofascism"...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 07:51:06 PM EST
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For my part, what nanomites I know of Islam are interpolated from slight reading of the military history of central asia. However, my sense is that what some want to call "fascism" is what I would call "Abrahamaic patriarchy."

I do not see how the technical term "fascism" can be understood out of the context of the historical development of the european capitalist and imperialist powers between the Napoleonic and Second World wars.

The embrace, by certain militarist postcolonial Arab-world dictators , of a sort of postwar Stalinst economic policy may cause some confusion, but I do not think it is evidence for the claim under dispute.

I would willingly learn more, perhaps in some other lifetime when I am no mere tree.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 09:07:29 PM EST
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don't see how the term "fascism" can be used to describe the phenomena in question, even by a "marxist scholar". Especially by a "marxist" scholar.

Really.  

They should revoke his Marxism license.

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Aug 11th, 2008 at 02:42:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hereby revoke his/her license, as a former Trot.

No, but seriously, such scholarship of that sort as I once had is summarised in my comment upthread, entitled "we need some definitions." I freely confess I may be way wrong in some strict sense. But in the concrete situation, I think that to adopt the term "Islamofascist" is to give credence to a more dangerous enemy. It should not be too hard to find another less fraught term to refer to the Taliban and the Wahaabists (sp?) and such.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Mon Aug 11th, 2008 at 08:19:03 PM EST
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Perhaps we could call them "Talibans" and "Wahabists" and such.

For a somewhat broader term, we could could call them fundagelicals or "Islamic fundagelicals" when we need to distinguish them from the vanilla version.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 12th, 2008 at 11:57:24 AM EST
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Calling things by their names; usually a powerful move. I agree entirely!

Somewhere, I read an article to the effect that the term "fundamentalist" was not applicable to Islam because the history of disputatious biblical exegesis to which it refers does not exist in Islam. I have no idea if that claim makes sense.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 10:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While technically speaking that's probably correct, most of the Christian factions being called "fundamentalists" are not fundamentalist in the technical sense of the term. "Fundamentalism" refers to a specific historical sect/movement within US protestantism, centred around the periodical Fundamentals. I'm a bit hazy on the details of their particular version of theology, but I'm pretty sure that Catholics, for instance, can't be "fundamentalists" in the historical sense of the term.

However, like "evangelical" - and to an even greater extent - it has in common parlance become a catch-all derogatory term for religious wingnuts. And I don't think it's worth the bother to try to salvage the original meaning of the word (at least not outside scholarly discourse).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 14th, 2008 at 01:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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