Sunday, November 12, 2006

Reactionaries Playing with Themselves

I made the mistake recently of posting a comment on the blog of one of the most caustic of the local conservatives (that’s as in “Caustic Conservatism,” which is what George Bush’s inaptly named “Compassionate Conservatism” turned out to be in reality). I suggested that he and his comrades-in-barbs abandon their insulting rhetoric and engage in a civil dialogue. Naturally, the response to that was simply more childish taunts and insults, in which a Gang of Three (one named, one anonymous, one semi-anonymous) were joined by various others of their ilk. I was tempted to keep trying to move them toward something resembling reason, but was persuaded by a wiser man that it was pointless. They are not to be reasoned with, they aren’t interested in civility, they aren’t interested in trying to discover common ground--and that’s what makes these people not just conservatives (because I could tolerate and get along well with mere conservatives), but far-right reactionaries. They believe in an intolerant, theocratic, belligerent nationalism, and there's a word for that. That’s what we’re contending with, and here’s the question we have to ask ourselves: can you reason with fascists?

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