Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Constructive Discourse

Josh writes:

OK, look, it's good that you don't like the Electoral Finance Bill. It's good that you want to voice your opinions and protest against it. But please, for the love of God, please, stop using the word "fascist". When I hear people complaining about someone or something being "fascist" outside of the context of WWII Italy, this is all I can think of:


You do yourself no favours.

(Incidentally, it'd be nice if people stopped comparing New Zealand to Zimbabwe or Cuba or whatever, especially while protesting on the streets and conspicously not being sprayed with water cannons, beaten up, locked up, or you know, fucking machine gunned to death.)

UPDATE: One exception: I am fully in favour of the word "fascist" when combined with the word "junta", but that's just because I like the way it sounds.


RSJS said...

I think the love of comparison to struggling countries is it soothes some of the Daddy-bought-me-a-pony-when-I-was-sixteen middle-class guilt our vocal "extremists" suffer from - by suggesting our "oppression lite" (I can't believe it's not fascismo?) leaves us suffering just as hard as the countries you list, they feel happier about being trust-fund babies with designer dreadlocks. Kinda like someone telling a paraplegic they know their pain (well, numbness) as they have pins and needles in their foot from sitting funny.

Still, fascism was specifically anti-democracy and pro-unity and authority and there aren't many other political terms one can print on a placard that sum up annoyance at the electoral reform blah blah blah. I mean, "Smash fascism" is so much more media-attention-grabbing than "Stop your dumb-arsed misguided attempt at keeping the Exclusive Brethren at bay".

Blair said...

Oh nah, that's sweet as. We'll just wait and see what the Grey Lynn set call it in 2009. You might find "fascist" a mild word now that the consensus on electoral law reform is gone forever.