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Eric Entemann wrote:
> 
> I most likely would have died in early childhood had the nascent fascist
> pharmaceutical industry not supplied my doctor with penicillin.

We need a generic term for authoritarian regimes (other than the clumsy
"authoritarian regimes"), since many of the social features that bring
forth the cry "fascist" are  indeed obnoxious, dangerous, threaten
further loss of civil liberties, and need to be opposed, but simply bear
no more relation to fascism than a cobra does to a tiger (both are
vertebrates, both dangerous, each quite different from the other). The
label "fascist" both ignores specific differences _and_ suppresses
awareness of just how viciously repressive capitalist democracies can
be. The "Effective Death Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act" and the
"Patriot Act" are damnable -- but to call them "fascist" runs up against
the obvious fact that one _can_ condemn them without immediately being
sent off to a concentration camp -- and hence using the label interferes
with mobilizing popular resistance. And of course neither act was
necessary for carrying out the Red Hunt of the '40s and '50s or the
Palmer Raids of 1919 or the lynching of blacks in the south or the
brutality which has _always_ characterized so many police departments. 

The world is mixed -- and the  same entity can be both obnoxious and
vital, as your penicillin example illustrates. Nearly 40 years ago my
wife drove a black friend back from here (Bloomington, Illinois) to the
friend's home in South Chicago. As she prepared to return the friend's
brother, in giving her directions, added, "I hate to say this, but if
you get lost, look for a man in blue." I have no doubt that the company
that made the device of plastic and steel which replaced my hip 17 years
ago (after a fall on ice) is as bad as any of the medical supply corps.
or pharmaceuticals, but I'm glad to have the hip replacement.

Carrol