On Øyvind Strømmen’s labeling of Fjordman as a fascist
Øyvind Strømmen has labeled his compatriot Fjordman a fascist, or — if you want to split hairs — Fjordman’s ideology as fascist. He does this on the basis of a particular definition of fascism. Now, it doesn’t take much trawling of the internet to come up with a great number of definitions of fascism, each wildly divergent from the next. Just look up “definitions of fascism” on Wikipedia to get a good taste of that dish. There you can find several definitions of this same concept by a similar number of scholars, activists and authors, and it does not take a great deal of insight to discern that many, if not most, are self-serving and designed to discredit a political target or even whitewash a different ideology.
Øyvind Strømmen picked one of these definitions, one which fits his purposes — once again to discredit an ideological opponent. He describes this definition by Roger Griffin as “widely used” but fails to mention it is “highly contested”, according to Wikipedia. Griffin’s definition, according to Strømmen, is:
[F]ascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence.
The most glaring shortcoming of said definition is its non-mention of violence and glorification of violence, which is the distinction of fascism that makes it the most terrifying and sets it apart from most other ideologies, even Marxism. Marxism approves of and promotes violence, but only as ends towards a means. Fascism revels in the use of violence. To have a definition of fascism without a mention of this striking and fundamental trait is as much good as a definition of democracy without the people’s right to choose their leaders. Indeed, as the affection for violence is such a striking trait of fascism, it must be left out of any definition that is fabricated as a tool to discredit others.
…the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else … Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathisers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.
Is the kind of transparent charlatanism that Øyvind Strømmen practices even worthy of a rebuttal? Sadly, yes.
We live in times of economic and political upheaval, and in such times charlatans become prophets.