Monday, July 13, 2009

Spot the Fascists

It's time to talk about the 'F' word. No, the one with seven letters - "Fascism".

It's a word that carries horrific connotations, being associated with Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and countless Latin American despots. It's a word that brings to mind the horrors of the holocaust. A word, like 'genocide', that needs to be used sparingly and carefully.

And yet we see it regularly trotted out and bandied around by Voronin, the PCRM and their Russian backers. According to them, all Romanians are fascist, on the strength of the 10 years or so in the 30s and 40s when Romania fell under Antonescu's dictatorship. Moldova's liberal opposition are fascists, although in this case Voronin doesn't even appear to have specious arguments to support his claim. The judges of the European Court of Human Rights are also fascists - how else to explain the frequency with which they find against the Moldovan and Russian governments? The independent media are fascists, as are non-compliant NGOs.

In short, anybody who doesn't support the PCRM's worldview is deemed a fascist.

But hang on a moment - what does the word actually mean? Here's the definition in the Compact Oxford Dictionary:

" noun (1) an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government. (2) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice."

With the limited exception of 'nationalistic' in certain cases, none of these adjectives can be applied to the target groups. Romania's government is clearly left of centre, having policies of increasing taxes, pensions and the size of the state. Romania's government is clearly neither authortarian nor intolerant; human rights and democratic freedoms are by and large respected. Romania does defend its national interests, but no more than any other state, and not to a degree that could be cast as 'nationalist'.

Contrast this with Moldova. The 'authoritarian' tag applies - 600 peaceful protesters were locked up by the police in early April. The PCRM government is also nationalistic, demonizing all that is Romanian and accentuating race issues. It is, in fact right-wing. Social security is miserly and the economy is controlled by a cabal of corporations centered on Voronin's clan. Finally, the PCRM is intolerant; witness the inability of Teleradio Moldova to permit the expression of points of view which differ from the government.

So who are the real fascists?

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