By James Lewis
August 29, 2010
In his book Liberal Fascism Jonah Goldberg defines "fascism" as an economic and political system. There's nothing wrong with that, but it misses a vital truth about Mussolini, Hitler and Tojo, Saddam Hussein and Ahmadinejad: The political use of sadism to recruit millions of followers in a campaign of pleasurable punishment against a scapegoated person or group. Read about the Japanese rape of Nanking, if you can stand it, and you'll see thousands of literal rapes as well as sadistic torture and killing of Chinese people by Japanese soldiers as a matter of policy and for psychological satisfaction.
In sadistic warfare it is essential to see the conquered enemy suffer. For sadistic regimes it is not enough to win a war; it is at least as important to see the pain of the victims. If you open your eyes to this very nasty aspect of human behavior, you'll see it, not just in news headlines about sexual crimes, but in certain political and media tactics as well.