Exchange on "fascism"

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Oct 31 11:32:47 MST 1995


This just appeared on the PEN-L list. This is the reason why our seminar 
is so timely. 
 Dear PEN-L

The need to fashion a response to the Right's attack on basic human services
is obvious and I find the discussions in this group mostly well reasoned.
However, I am concerned when terms like fascism and genocide are thrown
around without careful consideration. For example  Andrew Kliman writes:
> So what is next?  Outright fascism
> is a real possibility.  Automation, drugs, and falling wages have already 
> devastated the ghettos; the cuts in welfare--in addition to a decade or more
> of cutting--will do more damage.  So genocide is already taking place, in a
> fashion.  If the need for a scapegoat to deflect attention from capitalism
> as a system becomes greater, though, things will be even worse.>

We should not be crying wolf all the time. It does not serve any useful
purpose, except to make us feel better having yelled at the top of our lungs
for attention. IMHO that is not a fruitful way to further thinking, gain
attention or change anything. It clouds the issue to call cuts in welfare
"genocide in a fashion".

The Right has been so successful, in part, because it engages in Orwellian
talk: cutting welfare is saving children, clear cutting is renewing a
resource etc. etc. It is of course tempting to answer in kind, but then I
thought we did not want a world where even our language is used against us.

Anyway, just a thought......all the best

Carla Orcutt Ph.D.
Eugene, Oregon
carlao at

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