So a reader-a person who I know but would prefer to know better-commented on the anger post and I took it personally. I was rather indignant, and not in a cute way, that while I am angry (even outraged) I still enjoy life. I believe I can still engage in reasoned, rational debate, even though I am frequently outraged at what is going in the world today. I took it personally simply because I am tired of the association of “angry knee-jerk Liberal,” especially given how hard i try to be anything but that image.
I realized how debilitating that image was a few nights ago at a certain bar on the south side. I got into a political discussion with a few folks who I am aquatinted with, and I did my best to talk about things rationally and reasonably. Thankfully, I didn’t have anything to drink. Booze and politics manifests with a huge increase in the snarky, sarcastic (and, regrettably) belligerent OPB.*
Politics and beer are the rhetorical equivalent of drunk driving.
Anyway, one of my acquaintances was railing against both parties and saying how “Both are fascists and we need to get rid of both of them.”
While I argued with him, and a few others in this particular bar, I realized a few things. First and foremost, I totally saw where this dear reader was coming from. That kind of outrage has got to have a terrible impact on one’s life. I don’t think I often say, “fuck ’em all!” and typically not without reason.
The second thing I realized was how convoluted our political language has become. When my acquaintance was talking about fascism, another one said, “if you can tell me how they’re fascist or tell me what it means, I’ll start paying attention to you.” Nobody in the bar could agree to what fascism meant.** Without a commonly agreed upon language, we can’t really have a discussion. Getting the common language up and running should be a priority.
Finally, and a complete non-sequiter, I’m wondering if I should start blogging about WoW.
Technorati Tags: Outrage, politics, Anger, WoW
* Once, while drunk, my father called a priest friend a “republican asshole” and “kicked” him out of the house. Said priest responded with his own choice vulgar language, and the two laughed it off. They then had more wine.
Lots more wine.
I know from experience that I am the same way.
** I tried to give an explanation, but then we started talking about gay marriage.
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Considering I get bent out of shape when I am lumped in with you liberals, I understand it.
The problem with a lot of political discourse is that the language we use is already charged with emotional undercurrents. As a rule, many people do not discuss politics with people who do not agree with them because they do not want to shake the boat, so to speak.
Emotions run high and people take things too personally. The real issue is why we find it necessary to be in agreement with our friends all the time.
Hell, I don’t agree with my husband all the time, why is disagreeing with a friend going to make or break us?
Hmmm. Facism. This may not be perfectly accurate, since it is mostly from memory, but still. I believe the name is derived from the latin fasces, a symbol of the Roman state. (It was a bunch of rods with an axe in the middle, held together with ropes. Originally it represented the ideal of an assembly acting in unity, and the right of legal punishment or justice. Think of it as a visual e pluribus unum.) Good ol’ Benito Mussolini rejuvenated the term when he borrowed it to name the political movement he was leading that would restore the ancient glory of the roman republic. There’s a modern italian word based on fasces, but I can’t remember what it is or means, although the meaning should be similar.
Mussolini’s new movement was one based on extreme nationalism, with a promise of both renewed national stature and economic strength. The practical upshot of this was the elevation of the national interest at any cost. democratic ideals were denigrated as impractical or impediments to the renewal. Essentially, the state became an authoritarian one without limit. Anything that could be seized, eliminated or regulated was legitimized in the name of the nation.
Under Hitler, this nationalism was enhanced by a willing cooperation with industry on a corporate level. (Unions were usually suppressed, but profit taking by shareholders and directors was preserved.)
These days, fascism is more associated with Hitler than Mussolini, and is usually regarded as an extreme nationalist movement coupled with an emphasis on security, military strength, and a conservative claim of returning to a “pure” state as a form of renewal.
Anytime you see a capital F, though, it just refers to the italian political party.
Your definition seems accurate. A quick skimming of wikipedia shows that your memory is decent.
However, dear Sethie, you’re supporting my statements in the next post. More about winning, less about discourse.
I have it from good authority that Itanya is often seen wearing Che Guevara and Karl Marx t-shirts.
(Please don’t set me on fire!)
Personally, and this is probably not its true inteded meaning, nowdays I take fascist as somewhat of a synonym for a person that advocates totalitarianism.
The second thing I realized was how convoluted our political language has become.
Intentionally debased is more like it.