On the Repurposed and Misapplied F-Word: Fascism

Source: Common Dreams
by Andrew Bacevich

“According to an old chestnut, the past is a foreign country. Even so, similarities between then and now frequently interest historians more than differences. Few, it seems, can resist the temptation to press their particular piece of the past into service as a vehicle for interpreting the here-and-now, even when doing so means oversimplifying and distorting the present. … Historians of twentieth-century Europe, Snyder among them, seem particularly susceptible to this temptation. [Timothy] Snyder’s mid-May op-ed in the New York Times offers a case in point: ‘We Should Say It,’ the title advises, ‘Russia Is Fascist.’ Introducing the F-word into any conversation is intended to connote moral seriousness. Yet all too often, as with its first cousin ‘genocide,’ it serves less to enlighten than to convey a sense of repugnance combined with condemnation. Such is the case here.” [editor’s note: Repugnance … condemnation? Now where have I heard those words before? – SAT] (06/07/22)