Friday, July 25, 2008

I just saw an english-subtitled version of the confrontation between Hugo Chavez and Zapatero/King Juan Carlos. I know this has been around for more than a year, but nevertheless:

At the heart of the issue, I think, is a divergence in meaning that the word "fascist" has undergone. In most of the world, the word no longer has any connection to any ideology, and none to historical fascist movements; instead, it functions as an insult people hurl at movements who are slightly more authoritarian that they'd like - examples abound. On the other hand, in countries that have actually had experience with fascism, the word retains some connection to the historical fascism, and is considerably more insulting. So Chavez and Zapatero may be using the same word, but end up speaking past each other.


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