Consider the following:
– People have the right to identify themselves as they see fit.
– Mislabeling groups of people is an effort to dehumanize them.
– Dehumanization is the first step toward legitimizing pogroms.
– Mass vilification is the second step.
– Ya know who mislabeled people in order to vilify and eliminate them? Nazis.
– Therefore, anyone who misapplies the label “Fascist” to their political enemies is a literal Nazi.
That last step is of course a logical fallacy; it’s employed here deliberately in order to illustrate that calling people fascists merely because one dislikes them is in point of fact the identical fallacy. Even if one applies it to only those with an authoritarian bent is dangerously inaccurate; Stalin and Mao were both absolute rulers, and each was about as far away from fascist as it’s possible to be and still lead a cult of personality.(more…)