Spanking Zapata

Unlike Zapata King, I can not only read a dictionary, but understand it:

Let me tell you the way it is, Supposed Super Intelligence. Word usage is determined by anarchy, not by The Fascism of the Vox Intelligentsia of Word Usage. If a word gets polluted over time, and its meaning goes from the specific to the general, that’s just the way it is. And though I don’t have a solid grasp on the etymology of fascist, though I’m sure if I studied what you’ve written I could make some progress in that direction, I can read a dictionary.

fas·cism
n.

1. often Fascism
1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Okay, let’s see how these apply to the jihadists. They don’t have a system of government, don’t have a dictator, don’t have stringent socioeconomc controls, do suppress opposition through terror, (though not censorship), and aren’t belligerent or racist except for their Judenhassen. So (1.1) is out. So, obviously, is (1.2).

And so is (2), since the jihad neither possesses nor seeks dictatorial control. Terrorism is neither oppression nor control, indeed, it is generally considered a violent reaction to both, the weapon of those who lack the power for either. Furthermore, the jihadist terrorists seek religious dominance in the form of a Caliphate which would likely apply lighter taxation than most Western countries currently endure, impose far fewer dictatorial business regulations than we now enjoy and require strictures on personal behavior that aren’t terribly dissimilar to the societal mores of 100 years ago in the West.

True, their punishments are brutal and they’re not so big on the concept of freedom of religion, but as long as one pays one’sjizya, abides by the public etiquette and acknowledges the supremacy of Sharia, one will pretty much be left alone. I daresay OSHA and the IRS are more dictatorial and controlling, if less violent.

Ironically, Zapata King’s insistence on the nearly meaningless dictionary alternative fits the Saudi Arabian, Jordanian and Egyptian governments much better than it does their rivals in the jihad. Somehow, I doubt that’s who President Bush and his pet neocons had in mind when they were talking about the mythical “Islamo-fascist”.

There two obvious responses. The stupid one will be to state that if I like Islamic caliphates so much, why don’t I move there. The really stupid one will be to insist that the meaning of “dictatorial” and “control” don’t mean anything either. See the pattern?

Mailvox: I am

BB has a familiar complaint:

I wish that you would write it plain, easy to understand, laymans English. You may think that you are somehow getting points by showing off your ability to work with words. But what good is it if readers don’t understand what the hell you are saying? You have an interesting something about you, but it is just to difficult to be sure as to just what it is you are saying. This is annoying. Your words are as a puzzle, something that has to be figured out.

One needs to be an academic champion to keep up with the way you twist words around a pole. (Not to mean that you are twisting the truth or anything like that). Your wording is as a twisting mountain road, and all that icing on the cake is not necessary. Somehow, I do think that you are a cool person, and my overall opinion of you is that you are the good guy, chasing the evil demon by shoving the truth right in their face.

If you have something to say, why don’t you just say it in plain English? Please.

Today’s column, plain English version:

Islamo-fascism is a whack word. Neocons made it up so they could talk Americans into killing hodgies they don’t like without pissing off the hodgies who live here and the hodgies they like. The fascists weren’t hodgies and the hodgies aren’t fascists. See, some dago said so and he would know. You can’t front on that, even some Republicans who suck neocock won’t try.

Word.

Mailvox: 2+10|=4

DL takes a post-modern approach to ideological terminology:

While the term Islamo-fascism may not represent “pure” fascism in the way Mussolini envisioned it, the current bunch of zealots and thugs attacking the West and holding power in Iran do fit a loose description of the term. Firstly, the Islamic zealots are extremely nationalistic if one considers them Islamic nationals. The Shiites in Iran are very nationalistic in both religion and race. They and many of their Sunni brethren believe in a pan-Islamic world much like Hitler wanted “Lebensraum” for his “master race.” They have no qualms in killing anyone who does not agree with their ideology and believe they are doing Allah and mankind a service by exterminating Jews and Infidels. They also tend to elevate certain leaders to cult status and carry out orders with blind devotion — much like the fascists of Germany and Italy in the 1930’s and 40’s.

The point of my column is that it doesn’t represent fascism at all! To claim that it does is stretching concepts beyond any potential utility, or even meaning. It is as accurate to say that Bush is Hitler and we all know how reasonable that comparison is regarded on the right. To claim that one need merely consider Islam as being a nation in order to make the definition fit is like saying that one need merely consider “10” to be “2” in order to define 4 as being 2+10. Islam is not a nation, it is a religion, which is precisely what makes this conflict such a difficult challenge for its Western foes.

Furthermore, the religious dreams of the jihadists far exceed those nationalist aspirations of the National Socialists, who were perfectly willing to accomodate Great Britain, the United States, Japan and numerous other countries so long as they were willing to accept Germany’s domination of Europe. In any event, this is a meaningless point, as the National Socialists were not Fascists and the Fascists were not National Socialists. The historically illiterate may confuse the two, but it was only a quirk of chance and British diplomatic incompetence that the Italians were aligned with the Axis and not the Allies as they had been in World War I.

As for the blind devotion to their leaders, this has been largely true of every military expansionist force. It is not useful in defining either an enemy or an ideology.

Your article focuses on the “intellectual” meaning of fascism. The common meaning in the minds of most people is “Nazi-like.” I could expound on why modern “liberalism” has nothing to do with Liberal philosophies. Meanings change over time. The Muslim Brotherhood was allied with the Nazis in World War II and later assassinated Anwar Sadat for brokering a peace with Israel. They are a forerunner of the current bunch of Islamic extremists and have been called Islamo-fascists. In a more modern example of true fascism look at “Communist” China. There one sees a political dictatorship which exercises full control over its citizens in all affairs but does allow the semblance of private property rights and capitalism. Mussolini would be proud.

My column focus on the “actual” meaning of fascism. The fact that most people have an IQ of 100, watch television instead of reading books and couldn’t name a single fascist except Benito Mussolini if offered a million dollars to do so indicates that one would have to either be dishonest or a fool to accept the common understanding of this or nearly anything else. Meanings don’t change over time, they merely broaden, often thanks to the intellectual dishonesty of those with a direct interest in confusing people. This is why the neocons attempt to sell “islamo-fascism” and it is why I am openly rejecting their disingenuous intellectual revisionism.

I don’t disagree with DL’s statement about the PRC. Unfortunately, it is also far too descriptive of the modern United States.

If one tries to intellectualize catch-words and phrases used by politicians and the media, one soon either gives up in frustration or is regarded as a malcontent.

I think the latter has been sufficiently well established by this time. I find it amusing that as my column readership has steadily continued to increase, to a point where it is as much as 6X more than that of some better known commentators, I actually get less email, receive fewer book offers and am referred to less frequently by the mainstream conservative commentariat than ever before. C’est le système.

And now it’s seahad

The animal jihad appears to be taking a strategic approach, picking off those humans who best know their wily ways:

[Crocodile Hunter Steve] Irwin, 44, died this morning after being fatally injured while filming a nature documentary off Queensland. The news has shocked the nation and prompted a rush of tributes from politicians and the public alike….

Mr Stainton said Irwin had gone “over the top of a stingray and a stingray’s barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart”. “He possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don’t think that he … felt any pain.”

Sounds like an ambush to me. But considering how the Crocodile Hunter enjoyed amusing himself by messing around with dangerous animals, I think this unfortunate event falls into the “not exactly a big surprise” category. I’d always assumed that he’d get it from a sea snake after seeing him messing around with those incredibly venomous beasts in the water. At least I thought it was him, I suppose it could have been one of his imitators.

The problem is that Irwin never learned the lesson of the great Marlin Perkins, namely, you talk to the camera while one of your poorly paid and expendable employees goes in and wrestles the alligator. And now Mankind has lost one of its potential leaders in the Global Struggle Against Violent Animals.

Beware the squirrels.

PS – I have to note that this sounds too freakish and ironic to be true. I wouldn’t be shocked if it turned out to be some sort of publicity stunt.

PPS – The Mad Aussie says it’s true and that there’s a national day of mourning Down Under. Go figure.