August 15, 2019

WHEN THE DEFAULT ARGUMENT IS CRYING WOLF: Douglas Murray (no relation) at The Spectator on reactions to new parties in Europe:

Terms such as ‘fascist’, ‘far right’ and ‘white supremacist’ are serious. Such sinister forces certainly exist, both in Britain and on the continent. But in recent years — especially since the Brexit and Trump votes — there has been an acceleration in claimed sightings and a blurring of the definitions. This is wrong not just because it means that perfectly decent people are maligned, but also because distinctly dangerous groups are confused with harmless ones.

The fog began to descend earlier this decade. Campaign groups which used to oppose neo-Nazis realized that there weren’t sufficient Nazis to justify their business models. They decided that, henceforth, attacking parties such as Ukip should also come under their anti-fascist remit. Soon anybody who opposed supranational institutions or sought to restrict immigration found themselves labelled as beyond the pale. It meant that the views of the majority of the public — in Britain and elsewhere — effectively became defined as far right.

In recent years this terminological mission-creep has morphed from being annoying to being disturbing. For if everybody is a fascist, then nobody is. And anyone who knows the scene across Europe will understand that we may well have need of these terms.

RTWT (registration may be required).

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