Whenever Michael Ledeen writes something on NRO, or anywhere I can find for that matter, I read it. Here is his latest piece on fascism. I didn’t know until recently that he is one of the foremost scholars on fascism, though he has spent his most recent years on Iran, which he argues is a fascist regime.

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, it is somewhat difficult for me to distinguish between fascism and communism. I did have one teacher who said that fascism is a political system of dictatorial control and state control of infrastructure and economy, while communism is an economic system where only the people who support that economic system are allowed in government.

I still tend to think of them as a half dozen of one and 6 of another. In any event, I recognize that as an ignorance of mine from growing up at a time when, as Ledeen says, fascism is now more of an insult than a meaningful description of anything. Both fascism and communism are thrown around so much, their respective meanings are diluted.

It’s a shame really. I think this has, to a small degree, been done intentionally so we are less sure the next time we run into either system. History can only repeat itself if we forget.