I cannot find the intelligent article I recently read that argued this thesis, but I think it raises all sorts of interesting questions. I should say that I am not a political theorist, and I’d love it if some who are would add more depth to this discussion.
One interesting question is whether Romney and the republicans would have taken the government in the direction of fascism. Next is whether Obama is not doing that. But perhaps first is the question of what fascism is. And the trouble with this question is at least twofold. There doesn’t seem to be any agreed upon definition of fascism, and the elements that do get mentioned seem to be matters of degree.
One source gives what seems to me a fairly weak definition:
The common elements of fascism—extreme nationalism, social Darwinism, the leadership principle, elitism, anti-liberalism, anti-egalitarianism, anti-democracy, intolerance, glorification of war, the supremacy of the state and anti-intellectualism—together form a rather loose doctrine.
For one thing, “the leadership principle” is weaker than a more common “dictatorship.” “Anti-intellectualism” seems to cover anything from a continuing dislike of higher education to a forceful physical attack on people and structures. But even if we take some of these in a quite strong sense – e.g., social Darwinism – then the threat seems to be there. Or at least any segment of the country that blames those without access to adequate medical care on those very people seems to endorse a strong sense of the survival of the fittest.
I’d be really interested in hearing what you all think.