A Delawarean's attempt at what passes for "intellectual scrutiny" among most Delawareans:
Here's what I am talking about regarding the danger of religion and religious hypocrisy. From today's headlines...DelawhereYou've heard of IslamaFascists - I think we now have Christian fascists. What is the definition of a fascist? Not only do they want to beat you, but they want to destroy you in the process... if things keep going the way things are going locally and statewide, it is going to be more and more difficult for Republicans to recruit candidates. We have elements of the party who are moral absolutists, who take the approach that if you don't take my position every step of the way, not only will I not support you, but I will destroy you.Steve Salem, Republican Chairman, Woodbury County, IA.
This is what you get when you base your moral decisions and political positions on some incoherent, error riddled manuscript from antiquity that does not even hold up to the slightest intellectual scrutiny.
All definition breaks down at some point but the most accurate and succinct definition of fascism that I've read defines it as a practical and violent resistance to transcendence. Ironically, fascism is now used as a synonym for evil by those who tend to believe in fascist philosophy because fascist arguments rely on cultural associations and propagandistic imagery and tend to reject any attempt to seek transcendent or "absolute" truths. (E.g., "Good and evil are antiquated words because we now know that morality is relative to culture and if you disagree with me then you're like a fascist or somethin', which seems pretty evil!") To a fascist the only truth that exists is cultural, biological and often more importantly political. The fascist mind tends to believe that their incorrect philosophical assumptions define science itself so it sometimes conflates its degenerate philosophy with science, especially biology. Given the original assumption of relativism if cultural or biological changes do take place then all truth has been changed or shifted because the truth is relative to the mutable things that supposedly define it at any given moment. This is why a fascist tends to be a rather pragmatic creature of politics and propaganda, as they believe that if they establish a view as politically correct then it is becoming morally correct. If morality were actually "relative to culture" then they would be correct, in so far as anyone could be correct when people are dumb enough to assume that the notion of relativity can exist without a frame of reference based in values by which relationships and relativity can be judged. I.e. Einstein's theory of relativity would break down if the speed of light did not act as a hidden absolute by which relationships could be measured with numerical values. The same applies to moral values that are written in legal codes as applies to mathematical values encoded in theories, just because we do not understand or know what the ultimate absolutes are does not mean that they do not exist or should not be sought as far as we are able.
As far as fascism, it seems that there are layers of irony that come up these days. E.g. "[Fascism] is what you get when you base your moral decisions and political positions on some incoherent, error riddled manuscript from antiquity..." Yet for some reason Nazis demanded the "immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany." cf. (The Rise and Fall of the
Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
By William Shirer :237)
The Nazis believed the Bible to be nothing more than a book written by "wandering goatherders" which contained the "fairytales of the Jews" and so on, most believed that they were merely applying science and biology to politics. Similarly, progressives tend to believe that if they are successful in incrementally "separating" religious traditions from politics then supposedly science will somehow lead to "progress" on its own. This view rests on an abject ignorance of the history of science in general and a perversion of the providential view of "progress" of the sort that the American Founders believed in. Science or some form of systematic/mathematic study of Nature does not necessarily lead to progress, in fact there is no way of judging progress if one assumes that numerical values are the only values that matter. Of course matter will matter when it is set in motion, as a matter of course, yet there are also values that can guide the course of matter and that must sit in judgment upon its course. It's a lie to pretend that we can have values without acts of judgment.
As Karl Kraus said of "progress" in proto-Nazi times, "Progress will make purses of human skin." (Half-Truths and
I'll probably write some more on this when I get back. Here's a good source on the notion of "Christian fascists":
(National Socialism and Christianity: Can They Be Reconciled?
by Wilhelm Pauck
The Journal of Religion, Vol. 20, No. 1. (Jan., 1940), pp. 15-32)