EVERYONE A FASCIST.

EVERYONE A FASCIST. Spencer Ackerman makes the case against "Islamofascism," with a heavy emphasis on the pragmatic value of not infuriating vast swathes of Muslim opinion for no good reason. Bolstering that is the basic point that this is analytically daft -- we're talking about some bad dudes but there's nothing especially fascist about them except insofar as "fascist" means "bad." But we don't call Pol Pot or Foday Sankoh "fascists" and nobody interprets that as apologetics for the people in question.

Indeed, the fascinating thing about the "Islamofascist" fetish is that it has the longstanding left-wing trope of throwing the word "fascist" around willy-nilly as a vague and generic term of abuse. One mostly hears that in recent years from people who are fundamentally just being silly, but it has its actual origins in deliberate Soviet propaganda topics aimed at smearing any and all non-Communist political forces (see, e.g., the bizarre "social fascists" locution). I recall a time when conservatives were, properly, aggravated by this tendency. Now they seem to have embraced it as their own.

--Matthew Yglesias

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