This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
Anyone who thinks that fascism is only a thing of the right, or even just the far-right, is not familiar with the communist republics around the world today or back in the day in Eastern Europe, especially in the slavic states. There are big government fascist states on the left in Latin America such as Cuba, Venezuela, Peru, and some in Central America. Of course there are rightist fascist states in Arabia and the broader Middle East such as Syria, and Iran, as well as developing democracies such as Libya and Iraq.
Fascists deny the right of political opposition to exist. They deny the right of people to speak out against their government. We see this in the Republican Party today with the Tea Party and their less than brilliant notion that you are either with them one hundred percent or you are a RINO (Republican in Name Only). You either believe in our notion of a traditional American family or you are Un-American.
I don’t agree with Commentary’s Tom Wilson’s original title of his piece, “Liberalism Ends at Home.” He suggests that Liberals are fascists and against free speech with which they disagree and believe it should be outlawed. The whole notion of freedom of speech and thought is the core of liberalism. The founders of America were liberals rebelling against the thought and speech control policies of the British monarchy. If you support governmental activity to block free speech you are not a liberal. The idea that government, or your political faction, always knows best and cannot permit political opposition is an anti-liberal idea.
There’s nothing liberal about fascism or statism, the idea that people are generally stupid and need government to protect them, even from themselves. These far-left and far-right big government politics have nothing to do with either liberalism or conservatism, in its classical sense. The modern Republican Party has perverted the idea of conservatism. The English Conservative Party offers an enlightening contrast which current Republicans are probably too stupid to perceive.
Free speech and freedom of thought are exactly that and don’t imply agreement with any particular political position. We live in a liberal democracy with the right to speak and believe as we please, even if we offend other people. That also means having to hear speech with which we disagree.
Statists on the far-left are against free speech and hate speech with which they disagree if it offends groups that they care about. They have a major lack of consistency, as Bill Maher has said on his show (hardly a conservative by the way). They condone making fun of fundamentalist Christians, especially if they are Anglo-Saxon, southern and rural but condemn making fun of Muslims and fundamentalist Muslims.
I’m a proud liberal, always have been and always will be. I take it as a compliment when someone calls me a liberal, even if they don’t mean it as such. I have a problem when partisan rightists throw out the word, “liberal” to put people down, as if it is a bad word. It is clear that they are ignorant of the fact that the U.S.A. was founded by liberals as a liberal nation.
They are either liars or don’t have a damn clue about what the hell they are talking about. Free speech, even hate speech, is a perfect example of that. Liberals believe that all people have inalienable rights to their own opinions and expressions.