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The Political Chopper

The Political Chopper Cover Image

K.A. Bachus

May 2, 2022

In Cetus Wedge, Frank warns the young Jay Turner and Steve Donovan against thinking political ideology can be depicted on a line between left and right. Using a fixed-wing vs helicopter analogy, he explains the circularity of ideas and the dangers of anybody's place, whether center or edge, or between on the fast spinning rotor of human ideas in action.

That said, in preparing for this blog post, I used dictionaries, historical articles and encyclopedias in an attempt to find a definition of fascism, because that’s what this new blog series will be about.

Not many years ago, I noticed a resemblance to fascism in modern political contexts, did a smidgeon of research and found academics scoffing at the name-calling. You can’t have fascism today, they insisted, because it is specific to Mussolini and Italy in the 1930s.

That rule has changed. Today, in my casual definition surfing I am deluged with descriptions that no longer depend on time and place. Several common traits of fascism are now widely acknowledged as indicators.

a) Definitions differ regarding the fascist attitude to economy. I have always held that economic theories and isms should be separated from reasoned discussion of fascist governance. Politics and economics are indeed intertwined, but history has given us examples of unpleasant governments using varied economic theories to justify what is essentially a system designed to limit the benefits of economic activity to only a favored few. Whether it calls itself capitalist or socialist, a government tends to be fascist to the extent it presides over a monopolist economy.

b) Writers also add racism to the list of indicators. I prefer to call it tribalism, because many people think they cannot be racist if they have friends with different skin colors. Not true. Tribalism is not simply about color or any other immutable trait in an individual; it is about hatred of people for reasons out of their control. Fascist tribalism is the propensity to hate 'the other' enough to wish them dead, deported or enslaved. The simplest definition of 'the other' is 'not us.'

A fascist government will actually kill, deport, and enslave members of the hated groups. Fascist parties seeking power make an effort to convince adherents and outsiders they wish the others well but nontheless want them out—of the country, the economy, the society.

c) Intolerance of dissent, even within the tribe, and

d) uncritical, cult-like emotional idolatry of a leader.

These complete the short list of fascist traits. Here it is again:

1. monopolist

2. tribalist

3. intolerant of criticism

4. cultish

You may wonder what in the world any of this has to do with The Charlemagne Files or with intelligence in general? I will give a longer exploration in future blog posts. The short answer here lies again in Cetus Wedge, when Steve tells Charlemagne his reason for doing his job.

"I was trained as a warrior," I said. "I belong in battle."

"The battle against what?"

"Against the slaughter of innocents."