Really, really extreme

Speaking of euphemisms, I pointed out recently how Bush supporters do not stop at evasive neologisms such as “Islamism” and “Islamofascism,” but keep creating further neologisms, such as “radical” Islamism—which, since Islamism means “radical Islam,” must mean “radical radical Islam.”

Writing in the September 25 New York Post, Arthur Herman says that we are in “a war between Islamic extremist fascism and Western civilization.”

Now, if our enemy is Islamic extremist fascism, then plain old Islamic fascism must be ok. We thought that Islamic fascism was the most evil, diabolical thing in the world. But we no longer have a problem with Islamic fascism. It’s only the extreme kind of Islamic fascism that we oppose.

The inability of neoconservatives to stay consistently with their own neologisms stems from the fact that the neologisms are themselves fake constructions denoting nothing that exists in the real world. It works like this. Unlike the left, the neocons know we have an enemy and they want to oppose it. But since to identify the enemy correctly, as Islam, would mean the end of the liberal/neocon belief in a single unified humanity, the neocons create a fictional enemy for us to fight called Islamic fascism. But because they inchoately know that this term Islamic fascism is unreal, something drives them to fortify the term by adding more adjectives to it. Since they’re using fake words to begin with, there’s no inherent limit on further increases in the fakery.

And, finally, the more adjectives they add, the less numerous and significant becomes the enemy that we are fighting. After all, if Islamic fascists represent only a “tiny minority” of the Muslim population, then extremist Islamic fascists are a tiny minority of a tiny minority. It must be the first “war” in history in which the more ferociously you denounce your enemy, the more he disappears from sight.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 27, 2007 03:46 PM | Send

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