One of the sub themes of the book is how socialism gets a free pass as an evil ideology. It’s entirely understandable why fascism has become shorthand for evil. The horror of the Holocaust has pulled everything avowedly fascist into its orbit. And while I think this is inaccurate in what it says about Italian Fascism (and, some other fascisms), particularly early Italian Fascism, I’m reluctant to use the word “unfair.” Because even I think the phrase “unfair to fascists” sounds morally absurd (but I do think it’s unfair to Italians).
Nonetheless, it’s worth pointing out (more than once, I suppose) that more people were murdered in the name of socialism than in the name of fascism by orders of magnitude (and that leaves out the National Socialists of Germany). But if you call someone fascist, you’re saying they’re evil. If you call someone socialist, nothing like the same stink attaches. Of course, a “fascists for Obama” discussion board would be deplorable. But it’s really fascinating how a “socialists for Obama” discussion group can not only be hosted on the candidate’s site without much controversy, but that criticizing such a thing would be greeted by liberals as a sign of rightwing dementia.