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Lit How can Imperials be fascists...

Discussion in 'Literature' started by NihilusLordOfHunger, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2016
    ...if fascim is not part of Star Wars?

    Now, now, to clarify. The Empire is obviously a totalitarian, militaristic dictatorship-bar-theocracy which was heavily influenced by the 20th century's fascist regimes, both in ideology and design.
    That is, out of universe.
    In-universe, however, the Empire has been described as "fascist" a couple times (enough to warrant a Wookieepedia page for it; the first time I ran across the term, as per the new Canon, was on the pages of Dr. Aphra)...despite the fact that the term and the ideology have formed in Italy and Germany, around the first half of the 20th century, and as such it is not possible for the charachters of the Star Wars galaxy to know.
    To better phrase it, how can the inhabitants of another galaxy use a term that has derived from Earth politics?
     
  2. Xander Vos

    Xander Vos Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Simple, there are plenty of terms they use that would be considered Earth in origin but instead, simply, are assumed to be derived from a world or region in Star Wars.

    /thread
     
  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Don't go down that route or you'll start wondering why Basic is English.
     
  4. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 8, 2016
    The FO is fascist-it certainly has the motifs of fascism. The Legends IR was more a traditional military dictatorship/oligarchy/junta with some superficial democracy at least in the FOTJ era. Palpatine's Dark Empire was a theocracy/magocracy with the conscious aim to get rid of the empire's secular elements. A lot of the warlord states were basically military juntas/dictatorships with touches of oligarchy. The Fel empire was a somewhat benevolent autocratic monarchic state with touches of oligarchy and some level of emperor... not worship but glorification given the ideology of the imperial knights and the emperor himself.
     
  5. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2016
    I know, but unlike other terms, this one has a specific historical connotation unique to our history...
    It's not like, say, "frog" - frogs can be everywhere, even on Korriban.
    But in this case, it is a term referring a specific political movement (as if "communist" popped up somewhere referred to the Rebel Alliance...)
    I know it was used not as an historical reference and more as a synonim with "tyrannical" (in the same way someone would say, without offending anyone's political sensibility, "Nixon was a fascist", despite his political agenda not following a fascist program), but it still makes not much sense...
     
  6. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Why aren't you similarly wondering about terms such as democracy or totalitarianism?
     
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  7. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

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    Oct 5, 2016
    Because they are broader...they are not a specific political movement, they are a definition of various political stances - stances which, of course, Star Wars possesses.
    Democracy and totalitarism can come and go for a number of reasons, under many different names (the Republic, the Empire, the First Order...); fascism is tied to a single half of a specific century on a planet that is not present in Star Wars continuity.
     
  8. Landb

    Landb Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 7, 2017
    They're not using 'fascist' in that sense though, they're using it in the (useless and redundant) colloquial sense which ranges from meaning "anything autocratic" to "anything I don't like". Which is just as broad.

    Do I like this? No, it renders the word meaningless just like any vaguely left-wing economic policy being called 'communist' renders that term meaningless, leaving it useful only as a pejorative. But it seems pretty clear that they're not referring to the specific political movement and ideology.
     
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  9. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

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    Oct 5, 2016
    I see, thank you for the clarification.
     
  10. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2014
    How is there a Galactic Empire if Rome never existed in Star Wars? Or a Republic, for that matter?

    Do we have to wait a thousand years before we can use the word "fascist" in a Star War?
     
  11. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

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    Oct 5, 2016
    Like I said before, "Empire" and "Republic" are vague enough terms to exist independently in the Star Wars galaxy. An Empire or a Republic can be born out of anything, the moment someone seizes control over others or someone else chooses to form an assembly where everyone has the right to have his/her decision weight in; without the main imput being necessarily Greek or Roman culture.
    On the other hand, "fascism" is pretty specific.

    But as Landb said, it's likely it was just the Basic rendition of "fascist" as in "totalitarian militant", not as someone who follows an explicitely fascist political agenda (as the Empire, fundamental tiranny and repressive behavior aside, has little in common with historical fascism too).
     
  12. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 30, 2016
    What’s a duck?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Ackbar's Fishsticks

    Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Eh, I would say that Legends did a good job of giving it fascist elements in that it really played up the identity politics of the Empire, with it explicitly being a human nationalist and male chauvinist movement. That still exists in the new canon, but it seems to be a cultural thing more than official state policy. (Not that non-fascist regimes can't be racist in their own ways as well, but identity politics seems like a necessity if you're going to call a regime fascist).
     
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  14. SpecForce Trooper

    SpecForce Trooper Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 19, 2016
    How seriously are we to take the various translated versions of Star Wars? Is the japanese dub canon? Probably not. I'd say english in Star Wars is simply non-diegetic. Who knows how they speak, but the notion of english so far away doesn't really make sense. You can just consider the english language a "translation" in the same way the spanish, italian or chinese dubs would be a "translation" of the canon universe's Basic language.
     
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  15. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jan 10, 2002
    Create a new term like Blarfilism or Space Fascism.

    Fixed.

    Sent from my Moto X-Wing
     
  16. SpecForce Trooper

    SpecForce Trooper Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 19, 2016
    [​IMG]
    I'm sorry, but just no. We don't need unnecessary terminology in Star Wars. 'Fascism' does the job fine. Anyone remember "younglings"? Common english is all we need.
     
  17. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Do people understand what is meant by the word, and would a fake space word impede that understanding? If yes, use a real word.

    Star Wars is fantasy that intentionally borrows from real world politics and visual language. We have stormtroopers, for goodness sakes.

    Using the word fascist is fine.
     
  18. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2000
    We got humans walking around a galaxy that's a long time ago and far away. That's way weirder than the term fascist popping up.
    A fine fowl if I say so myself.

    Sent from my SM-G386W using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Bitterest Ex-Mod star 10

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    Feb 18, 2001
    "I'll see you in hell... ha!"
     
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  20. Armchair_Admiral

    Armchair_Admiral Jedi Master star 4

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    May 31, 2005
    I must say I much prefer the good ole' pre-Disney days when "fascism" was "New Orderism", and "bathrooms" were "refreshers". I simply don't recognize this Galaxy anymore.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  21. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

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    Nov 28, 2000
    I can’t recall ever seeing “New Orderism” and refreshers are canon—and are in fact more securely canon than in the EU days because the word was used on a TV show.
     
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  22. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Not to mention that "New Order" is also an Earth term with a specific historical context, like literally every word in the language.
     
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  23. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Jan 23, 2011
    Initially 'democracy' referred to very specific ideas, yet like fascisms its meaning has broadened.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  24. Landb

    Landb Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Mar 7, 2017

    ^The source of Palpatinist ideology?!
     
  25. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 30, 2000
    The simple answer, though, is it's a translation convention.

    "Fascism doesn't exist but the concept which the word describes certainly does and the people in Star Wars have an equivalent."
     
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