Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Liberal Fascism

If you are searching for a great read, I have one. It is "Liberal Fascism - The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning", by Jonah Goldberg. Goldberg is columnist for the LA Times and a contributing editor to National Review. Goldberg's main thesis is that modern American Liberalism has its philosophical and intellectual roots in classical Fascism, and if you compare the philosophies side by side, their similarities are remarkable. The fascist label is typically fired from the Left towards the Right. This book proves that it has been going in the wrong direction.

An appendix to the book contains the 25 points of the Party Program of the Nazi Party, as proclaimed by Hitler. If you did not know the identity of this document, and aside from a few of the points and the style of the writing, it could be the party platform for the Democratic Party. The similarities are astounding...and chilling.

This book will drive liberals into an apoplectic state because it relies on their worst enemy, facts. The book has been meticulously and extensively researched, with over 50 pages of detailed footnotes. Goldberg's expansive and perceptive intellect is evidenced by his ability to pull in a broad range of historical figures and situations to support his thesis.

Goldberg makes it clear that today's fascism is a friendlier form than some of the fascistic movements of the past. This thought is well articulated in a quote from the dust jacket of the book: "The quintessential liberal fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade-school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore." Nonetheless, Goldberg makes it clear that the agenda of modern liberals will be every bit as detrimental to society as those of their fascist ancestors.

This book is not some rant of a wild-eyed radical, but a coolly and objectively written piece of solid scholarship. Goldberg has gifted us with a provocative thesis and a fascinating piece of political and intellectual history.

1 comment:

andy42302 said...

I'm not a huge fan of Jonah Goldberg but reluctantly and to my disappointment, I read the book. At best, this was a 400 page, poorly researched diatribe of a Coulteresque quickie. Goldberg plainly states that he's not accusing liberals of being fascists but simply wants to provide you with a book of similarities on what "might" be a fascist. On page 2, Goldberg admits that he doesn't really know how to define fascism and that "not even the professionals have figured out what exactly fascism is." Interestingly though, he proceeds with sloppy logic and iffy research as if he's writing with credibility. The more you read into the book, Goldberg's credibility unravels more with nonsense such as ""Hitler claimed to be a dedicated vegetarian" and that he would "talk for hours about the advantages of a meatless diet and the imperative to eat whole grains?" He manipulates this by equating it to liberalism. He compares liberals with Nazi homosexuals but disregards the homosexuality problems prevalent elsewhere in that day. I seriously could go on.
This is the sort of propaganda that might be bought by an adolescent or perhaps a mislead Katrina or 9/11 victim that might be easily sold on fear mongering or snake oil salesmanship. You can find this type of book at your local book store in the "liberal bashing" aisle or perhaps under "lunatic fringe".