Extremely loaded and not to be said in polite company, given its grim associations and the perceived tendency to rhetorically over-use this comparison.
Unfortunately, that reaction tends to miss the problem that political messianism is a serious, virulent and recurring political epidemic.
Where also, the associated would-be political messiahs too often are tempted to act as ruthless, amoral, even nihilistic "might and manipulation make right . . . " dictatorial supermen (in the Nietzschean sense).
Such ruthless, amoral supermen project themselves as -- in the face of the "unprecedented crisis" -- needing to be above the normal restraints of law and morality; personifying allegedly superhuman wisdom and embodying the all-powerful all-dominating state that is the means of rescue for the core mass-groups that identify with their leader, his vision and movement. And, their mesmerised followers tend to blindly go along with the seizing of dictatorial powers in the cult-like expectation and hope that the state embodied in the superhuman messianistic leader can work miracles of deliverance and empowerment.
But, I have just summarised the heart of fascism.
(In short,we need to be very aware of how easy it is to slip into not only the idolatry of political messianism that puts the state and its leadership in the place of the only true Saviour, but also onward into its most virulent, destructive form. Fascism. Where, once we recognise the strongly statist focus of Fascism -- recall, Mussolini: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state " -- we can see that the "personality cult" forms of Communism were very much in the same mould as classic fascism. If you doubt me, ask the ghosts of the victims of Lenin, Stalin, Mao et al, even Fidel Castro. And yes, I refuse to accept Stalin's talking point that would shift Fascism to the "right wing." Fascism is a statist system multiplied by the personality cult of the messianistic leader, and with the street smarts to strike for-the-moment deals with existing interests based on balance of power, and it then proceeds to dominate such once absolute power is in hand. It is not for nothing that Mussolini had been a major Socialist voice in Italy before incorporating nationalism and the personality cult to form the movement he termed fascism by way of comparing it to Imperial Rome. Similarly, we should never forget that Nazi is actually an abbreviation for a fuller name: National Socialist German Workers Party. Where also in the 1930's the Comintern -- Communist International -- refused to use the term "Nazi," precisely because of its socialist reference.)
In that context, we must now recall how Hitler seized dictatorial power in Germany, seventy-nine years ago.
Just one month after Hitler came to power, on 27 February 1933, the German house of parliament, the Reichstag was set on fire [it turns out, by a half-mad Dutchman who was a fringe communist]. This was immediately eagerly seized upon by the Nazi leadership and their propagandists, as a way to wave the Red Menace flag, and to panic the elected representatives of the German people. These, then granted Hitler an Enabling Act, giving him power to rule by decree until April 1st, 1937. And, duly, this act of legitimising dictatorship was then renewed as required by what became little more than a handy rubber stamp for the Fuhrer's will.
Now, what just happened in Egypt seems quite tellingly, chillingly parallel.
As BBC recounts in a Nov 22, 2012 article:
Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has issued a declaration banning challenges to his decrees, laws and decisions.The declaration also says no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution.
President Mursi also sacked the chief prosecutor and ordered the retrial of people accused of attacking protesters when ex-President Mubarak held office . . . .
President Mursi said his decree was aimed at "cleansing state institutions" and "destroying the infrastructure of the old regime".
The declaration also gives the 100-member constituent assembly two additional months to draft a new constitution, to replace the one suspended after President Mubarak was overthrown.
The re-write of the constitution, which was meant to be finished by December, has been plagued by dozens of lawsuits questioning the make-up of the constituent assembly.
Once completed, the document should then be put to a referendum. If it is approved, legislative elections will be held two months later.
Last month, the Supreme Constitutional Court rejected a first draft released by the assembly, saying that it tried to limit the courts' powers and interfere in judicial affairs.
The re-writing process had already been slowed by a court ruling in April suspending the first constituent assembly, amid accusations that it was dominated by Islamists.
In June, political parties agreed on the make-up of a new panel, which included a range of politicians, members of the armed forces, police, judiciary and trade unions, as well as Muslim and Christian leaders.
However, liberals continued to complain about the distribution of seats and have not withdrawn their 43 legal challenges to the assembly's constitutional legitimacy.
The assembly has welcomed Mr Mursi's declaration, saying it would help put an end to the ongoing row over the panel's fate.Of course, a wave of protests has arisen, and the Nobel Peace Prize co-holding Mr Mohammed El Baradei (former head of the UN Atomic Energy agency and as such holder of the prize given to that body) has protested that "Mursi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences."
But -- also "of course" -- that is exactly what typically happens with radical revolutions: the most ruthless factions seize power and steamroller opposition. So, while protests by objectors have indeed happened, we must note that the Islamists have now been called out to the streets as well.
Where, as we look at the underlying issue, the pushing through of a new IslamiSM dominated constitution over the objections of those most threatened by it, we see how Mr Morsi is clearly setting up an IslamIST dictatorship with undue influence of the Sharia.
The same Quran- and hadith- driven Sharia that reduces non-Muslims and women to subject status, and sets up a theocratic dictatorship. One, with the main task to spread Islam by force. A framework of law, that especially targets Jews as the enemies of Islam, and where we see the infamous Gharqad tree hadith as embedded in Clause 7 of the Hamas covenant, Hamas being the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Let us not forget what it says:
The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind the stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdullah [= slave of Allah], there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.So, we must understand what is possible, even crouching at the door for the 80-million population of Egypt, especially the millions of Christian Copts.
Plainly, the widely hailed "Arab Spring" is rapidly turning into a destructive IslamIST winter. END