By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
Recently the ‘Sindh Writers and Thinkers Forum’ in Karachi arranged a dialogue on ‘Internationalism and nationalism’’ after a debate in Sindh in which some people equated nationalism with fascism. I was invited by friends and I expressed my views and the piece below was the basis of my talk.
A debate is going on in Sindh where some think that nationalism equates with fascism and liberalism with patriotism. Before I go any further, let us see what fascism is. Whilst talking about fascism, we need to know where the word comes from. It comes from Latin Fasci (Fa-sha-ay) meaning ‘bundle’ and fascis (Faa-shees) or fasces is its plurale tantum, meaning a bound bundle of wooden rods with an axe with its blade emerging at the top of it – which goes back to the Roman Empire – representing the forcible inclusion of different people or nations into one fold as the strength is always in numbers i.e. with the number of people, military might of professional soldiers with arms and ammunitions and armada, political and legal fraternity, sophisticated intelligentsia, resourceful mercantile class and above all international bankers to sustain the fascist entity. Although there are many polities that don’t use such symbols officially, their conduct is purely on fascist lines. Countries like Pakistan, Iran and Turkey are among them. The simple definition of fascism: a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government: a very harsh control or authority.