Thursday, August 17, 2006

Adam and Eve Name Game

One has to love the Los Angeles Times. The paper's op-ed page is often a source of inspiration, most of the time positive, occasionally--especially with Boot and Goldberg--irritating. Today, August 17, 2006, is no exception.

The thought of the day is what sound-bite to assign to the enemy in the current War on Terror. Geoffrey Nunberg takes issue with Mr. Bush's Islamo-fascism. He prefers creep in one of its various forms. (Mildly interesting point: the print headline reads "Who are you calling a fascist?" and the on-line headline reads "'Islamo-Creeps' Would Be More Accurate.")

Personal preference here is for both.

Aside: In an article on the same page, Jonah Goldberg feels "fascism" is most appropriate. A "money quote:" President Bush undoubtedly didn't have any of this in mind this week when he dubbed our enemies in the war on terror "Islamic fascists." But his comments — analytically flawed as they may be — added some much-needed moral clarity to our current struggle.

And therein lies a chuckle. "much-needed moral clarity." Does one suppose Jonah wrote that with a straight face? (Is there the possibility of "moral clarity" in this situation? Is Jonah suggesting that the Bush administration so far has failed to establish "moral clarity?" Answers: Probably not; Definitely!)

Nunberg argues that use of words such as fascism are really reductive: Of course, it's the point of symbolic words such as "fascist" to ease the burden of thought — as Walter Lippmann observed, they "assemble emotions after they've been detached from their ideas." And it may be that Americans are particularly vulnerable to using "fascism" sloppily, never having experienced the real thing close up.

The phrase "ease the burden of thought" is a catchy one. And that reminds of Goldberg's "moral clarity."

Funny how language can come back to bite the posterior.

I like the forms of fascism as indicative of the enemy we face. Actually, the only problem with using them is that Nunberg relies on the state element as being necessary for fascism to be appropriate. If one remembers that the Islamic fundaments (look that one up!) are working for a world-wide domination of their religion and imposition of that religion's laws, then the state becomes religious state, and that sure allows fascism to be appropriate.

Hmmm. Theo-fascism has a nice sound bite, bumper sticker ring, doesn't ite?

Anti-theo-fascists, Unite!!! You have nothing to lose but your humanity.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment