Double Standards?


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Nov 22, 2003
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For the right and left?

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We know that some on the left have criticized Jonah for the use of the word "fascism" in the title of his upcoming book. Certainly those same critics will also be up in arms about another new book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, by the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges. According to its promotional materials, the book argues that the Christian Right is "yearning for apocalyptic violence" and "laying the foundation for a new, frightening America." More:

American Fascists, which includes interviews and coverage of events such as pro-life rallies and weeklong classes on conversion techniques, examines the movement's origins, its driving motivations and its dark ideological underpinnings. Hedges argues that the movement currently resembles the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s, movements that often masked the full extent of their drive for totalitarianism and were willing to make concessions until they achieved unrivaled power. The Christian Right, like these early fascist movements, does not openly call for dictatorship, nor does it use physical violence to suppress opposition. In short, the movement is not yet revolutionary. But the ideological architecture of a Christian fascism is being cemented in place. The movement has roused its followers to a fever pitch of despair and fury. All it will take, Hedges writes, is one more national crisis on the order of September 11 for the Christian Right to make a concerted drive to destroy American democracy. The movement awaits a crisis. At that moment they will reveal themselves for what they truly are — the American heirs to fascism. Hedges issues a potent, impassioned warning. We face an imminent threat. His book reminds us of the dangers liberal, democratic societies face when they tolerate the intolerant.​

The book got a mostly unfavorable review in the Times today, which, while beginning, "Of course there are Christian fascists in America," nevertheless criticized Hedges for speculating about widespread "Christian fascist" violence that simply hasn't happened.

Posted at 5:32 PM

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