Academy's "Fascism" An Orwellian Misnomer

Mitchell Langbert

A couple of months ago Carlin Romano of the University of Pennsylvania wrote an excellent review of Stephen H. Norwood's Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses in the Chronicle of Higher EducationAt the time, I noticed that the word fascism is repeatedly used in the review to refer to Hitler's ideology.  It was rather Mussolini who was the proponent of fascism. Hitler advocated national socialism. In his book Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred John Lukacs points out that the ideologies of Hitler and Stalin were eerily close. Hitler advocated "national socialism" while Stalin advocated "socialism in one country".  The old saying that the extremes meet is inaccurate. The two were the same all along. But to cloak the obvious unity of national socialism and socialism in one country (an ideology intimately linked to Progressivism, which is why conservatives like James Burnham in his Managerial Revolution, socialists like Gunnar Myrdal, and New Deal Democrats like Joe Kennedy admired Hitler), the media used the term fascism to inaccurately denote Hitler's national socialism. In fact, it would have been more accurate to call Mussolini's fascism national socialism.  The continued use of fascism to refer to Nazism suggests that the ideology that piqued the interest in protecting Stalin, a killer of equivalent proportions to Hitler, is alive and well in universities.

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