Personally I prefer to find out if I am wrong and will always question if my judgment is off. I believe the term is called learning. Aug 23, Justin added it Shelves: From his feeble grasp of history to the rampant, naked, ugly partisanship he displays, Liberal Fascism is simply one of the worst books written by a modern American author this side of NAMBLA publications. The main purpose of Liberal Fascism, Goldberg argues, is to disprove leftist arguments that conservatives are fascists and instead demonstrate how fascism is more akin to American liberalism than conservativism.
Goldberg spends chapter after chapter cherry picking areas of similarities seen between modern American liberalism and fascism.
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One of his more ridiculous examples being that the Nazis endorsed organic food and Hitler was a vegetarian like liberals today proving that liberals are really the intellectual cousins of fascism. This sort of argument leads to the misuse of the word fascism that Goldberg himself decries so severely. Obvious this is a ludicrous claim, but it is the sort of idiocy that Goldberg happily and cheerfully embraces as a definitive argument. In order to provide this, Goldberg argues that fascist ideological foundations demonstrated strong socialist tendencies.
In this argument, Goldberg is partially correct. The Nazis, for example, advocated some socialist policies in their early years. However, the problem with this line of arguments is that Goldberg conveniently ignores the role of fascist ideological programs. The author completely ignores the ACTIONS of fascists and focuses instead on their political platforms that predated their rise to power by decades. In his rush to brand leftists and socialists as secret fascists, Goldberg conveniently ignores the anti-socialism and anti-communism of the fascist parties.
He leaves out the fact that the Communist Party was the first to be banned by the Nazis following their seizure of power and he ignores the fact that the socialists were the only party in Germany to oppose the Enabling Acts, which granted Hitler dictatorial power. Fascists banned trade unions, opposed free speech, and despised the individualism and the concept of individual civil rights that are some of the hallmarks of liberalism.
Goldberg takes old speeches and propaganda, originally written to gain working class supporters, that was never acted upon and treats it as though it is the most important aspect of fascism and fascist regimes. His motivation in writing this book was to get back at the liberals who called Bush a Nazi. However, in his mad rush to discredit liberalism and an outgrowth of fascism, Goldberg is guilty of the same crime of those liberals he hates, casually and baselessly painting a political opponent as a fascist.
In the end, the only thing Goldberg succeeded at is creating a grotesque parody of an academic work. View all 4 comments. Aug 06, Ron rated it did not like it. Goldberg is a ponderous and utterly humorless pseudo-intellectual--Tom Wolfe's blurb calls this journalist a 'historian' in the first lie on the back cover--typist he is no writer who conveniently rewrites definitions and history to assert that liberals are the true fascists in our society.
Among the gibberish in this intellectual shell game, he equates peace symbols with swastikas, tells us that McCarthy was a progressive, defends the Klan as northern and urban, claims that the New Deal was a Goldberg is a ponderous and utterly humorless pseudo-intellectual--Tom Wolfe's blurb calls this journalist a 'historian' in the first lie on the back cover--typist he is no writer who conveniently rewrites definitions and history to assert that liberals are the true fascists in our society. Among the gibberish in this intellectual shell game, he equates peace symbols with swastikas, tells us that McCarthy was a progressive, defends the Klan as northern and urban, claims that the New Deal was an arms program, and suggests that Afrocentrism is exactly the same as the Aryan purity movement.
He devotes an entire chapter to defending Charles Murray's Bell Curve and Newt Gingrich's intellectual prowess they too blurb the book , while frequently claiming not to be engaging in the name calling he has just engaged in. Subtly racist blacks primarily , pro religion, pro constitution, elitist, and viewing corporations merely as 'opportunist', Goldberg has foisted off the most specious argument in the history of American letters. While he decried presidents Wilson and FDR for being 'home-schooled', Goldberg clearly fails to recognize the propaganda inherent in the educational edifice that inculcated him into the cult of conservatism.
Goldberg is inconsistent and illogical when he isn't being maliciously specious, and he makes leaps of faith that have no place in intellectual discourse. He is a crypto-fascist and a hypocrite who calls all liberals crypto-fascists in the end again while claiming not to , and he should be placed in the dustbin of history along with such scumbags as Ayn Rand, Thomas Friedman, Samuel Huntington, Robert Kaplan and Dinesh D'Souza.
Apr 15, Ian rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the history of Fascism. Note that the listed title is wrong. It is actually "Liberal Fascism: Despite the fact that today the term "Fascist" has come to mean "anyone the Left doesn't like for any reason", historically, Fascism has actually been a product of the political Left. The "welfare state", so beloved of "Progressives", was originally an invention of Mussolini. As opposed to the explicitly atheist Communism, Fascism itself is a pseudo-religious cult of the state, where the government replaces God as the image of fulfillment.
It is through the government that peoples' lives are given meaning, and the government may do anything for the "general good". In order to continue to fuel the growth of government, fascists require a constant stream of crises. Wilson had WWI, but other fascistic leaders had to use other crises as the "moral equivalent of war", in order to mobilize people and reduce the resistance of the populace to taking commands from the government.
FDR used the Great Depression; LBJ had the misfortune of coming to power at a very good time, so he had to invent out of whole cloth the so-called "War on Poverty" to mobilize people to acquiesce to his "Great Society" programs. Modern "Progressives" pretend that everything is "for the children" to attempt to achieve the same effect. The book is heavily footnoted, providing clear proof of Goldberg's claims. It is hard to deny that the Nazis were left-wing socialists when their party platform reproduced in the book's Appendix reads like something that could mostly be printed on a Hillary or Obama campaign website.
It is also very clear that, not only did Progressives such as Woodrow Wilson and FDR admire the Fascist governments of Mussolini and Hitler, they did so openly and specifically. Letters, articles, and speeches by Progressives, Wilson, FDR, Hitler, and Mussolini openly stating their mutual admiration for each others' policies are also cited. Given the rampant historical illiteracy of today, books like this are sorely needed. It is an excellent counter to the revisionist history of the modern Left. View all 5 comments. Those who've read many of my reviews will note that this gets one of my infrequent 5 star ratings.
I highly recommend this book While there are those who will immediately feel that it's not for them I humbly suggest you at least try it. I don't think you'll be insulted or angered. I'll say a bit more below. This book was actually extant when George Bush was still president so it probably isn't as current as it might be, sadly. I've been familiar with it for some time Those who've read many of my reviews will note that this gets one of my infrequent 5 star ratings. I've been familiar with it for some time but have never moved it up the reading list for a serious and complete turn at my mind till now.
The writer as well as your reviewer is not a total fan of President Bush, I say this lest the time period put some off. It's important to note however I think that no president in the last 50 years has been called a fascist as often as President Bush. I remember all the posters and posts of the President with a Hitler mustache on his lip or a swastika behind him I've heard the word "fascism" used and slung about for years usually by those on the political left at those on the political right Most of the time the people using it really have no idea what it means.
In this book the author takes a look at the historical record and shows some "inconvenient truths" The book is well researched. It uses and gives supported facts to lay out the history of fascism, what it is and how it has descended to us today. Lest someone is getting angry let me say, the last chapter in the book goes over specifically where in the modern conservative movement facets of fascism are found.
Throughout the book we get a look at where and even how facts, I suppose I should say, "certain facts" have been "airbrushed" out of history. The book is well constructed, intelligently written, thought out supported by documented facts and not hard to read or follow. It is written in a consistently civil tone throughout.
I know that many here who look at this are on the political left however I simply suggest that you consider this. Maybe if nothing else look at it as I did when I read Saul Alinsky. Even if you continue to disagree you might want to know what the other side of the political spectrum thinks. View all 8 comments. Jun 17, Sean rated it it was amazing. Some people will be turned off by the provocative title and cover, but don't be fooled: This is a history book. Goldberg underlines his points with sound research and analysis, and digs up many surprising ideological commonalities between the modern Ameri First off, goodreads' got the subtitle wrong, it's "The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.
Goldberg underlines his points with sound research and analysis, and digs up many surprising ideological commonalities between the modern American Left, and the family of ideology that claims Fascism, Nazism, and Totalitarianism in its tree. You might be tempted to say Il Duce himself, but that came from none other than New York's junior senator Hillary Clinton. The muckrakers of the early twentieth century blew the whistle on abhorrent conditions at meatpacking plants and forced the industry to be regulated, right? The big businesses wanted government to regulate them so that they could screw the little businesses, a fact that few muckrakers acknowledged, but somewhere along the line that dropped out of the history textbooks.
All in all, it is a provocative, engaging, and eye-opening read. Anyone who is interested in politics should read it. Mar 07, Erik Angle rated it did not like it Shelves: I quit early into the second chapter. A friend of mine had me borrow this book not long after it came out probably early I put it on the shelf and neglected it all these years, and finally decided to go through it.
I'm not a fan of books by people who self-identify as "conservative" or "liberal", and who write with the intent of making "the other" into a villain. To Goldberg's credit, he goes through pains at least in the parts I read to state clearly that Revisionist and hypocritical. To Goldberg's credit, he goes through pains at least in the parts I read to state clearly that so-called liberals are not Fascists or Nazis, however the modern American Liberal ideology may borrow from those verboten strands.
And honestly, I appreciated this. Neoliberals and neoconservatives aren't all that different to me, and when I see one camp telling the other camp that they don't practice authoritarianism correctly, I lose interest. However, he is less ecumenical when it comes to the things that I have strong opinions on and care about deeply. I'll share one example of such a thing, and it will also double as an example of my claim of the author's hypocrisy. In making the point that totalitarianism and fascism were products of the early- to midth century European left, and how those ideas have informed the modern American left, the author points to health and organic foods as the products of liberals, and connects them to interest in the same by the Nazis.
So what I'm reading is that the author, a conservative, shares Mussolini's totalitarian philosophy of "everything within the State", as he is linking health choices to politics health choices which, by the way, I also choose. For me, the book worked best as a historical indictment of American neoliberalism, and floundered when it became a defense of American neoconservatism. Therefore, I decided to ignore the things that I didn't care for and just read the book for the history. After all, I couldn't give my friend his book back after four years with an "eh, didn't get around to it".
Then came the revisionism. Early in the second chapter, the author takes for granted the utter lunacy of the idea that the Bush family had any dealings with Nazi Germany in the s and '40s, despite evidence that they absolutely did. I re-read the section to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding, then referred to the glossary for any other references to the Bush family.
Sure enough, the author goes on several more times throughout the book to further state that George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush had nothing to do with the Nazis or Nazi financiers, and then went on to call anyone who claims such to be a "crank". That's when I was done. I can't really read a revisionist book "for the history", now can I? Nov 01, Carol Storm rated it it was ok Shelves: He's a Jew, but he makes his living flattering and defending wealthy Gentiles, many of whom inherited huge fortunes they did nothing to earn.
These people don't want to hear anything bad about the selfishness of the rich. They can't abide any criticism of Catholicism, or Christianity. And they certainly don't want to explore any connection between Hitler's anti-Semitism and the traditional teachings of the Catholic church. So here's Jonah, trying to come up with something cl Poor Jonah Goldberg! So here's Jonah, trying to come up with something clever, to prove liberals are un-American. This whole book is full of silly comparisons that sound clever but really mean nothing at all.
But give the state enough power to keep rivers and lakes clean and pretty soon they'll be murdering millions! For example, why couldn't he have done some research on the history of Nazi rhetoric? Something like, "when Julius Strasser said 'all Jews are dirty rats' in , he was actually quoting the 15th century Bishop of Cologne, who said, 'let us drive these filthy Jew rats from our city! He's no crusading truth teller. He doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds him. He just wants to make nice with the boys from the country club.
So maybe someday he can be just like them. Good luck with that. May 25, Winston rated it did not like it Shelves: Jonah begins his book by equating fascism with totalitarianism, of the kind warned against in Orwell's and Huxley's Brave New World. What he appears to be railing against is paternalism on a grand scale, where the government controls everything "for our own good. He decries college students who can see "nothing wrong" with th Jonah begins his book by equating fascism with totalitarianism, of the kind warned against in Orwell's and Huxley's Brave New World.
He decries college students who can see "nothing wrong" with the dystopian ideals detailed in Brave New World. Is this really such a bad thing? I would wager that most people would willingly surrender their free will if it meant an end to all suffering inflicted by human beings.
Hardly a high cost to pay, wouldn't you say? What's more important, lower crime or lower taxes? What's more important, the right to CHOOSE when where and how to die, or the "right" to force everyone to flee for Europe, or die "naturally"? What exactly is wrong with educating children and parents about healthy dietary requirements, and then allowing individuals to make their own informed decisions? I certainly can't think of anything wrong with democracies based on informed consent. The only saving grace in this book is how Jonah focuses on paternalistic tyranny from both wings of politics.
What he forgot to do is address how theocracies in the Dark Ages initiated fascism by murdering innocent "heretics" "for their own good. The actual signs of fascism, which Jonah seems to be unaware of, are the following from Dr Lawrence Britt: Powerful and Continuing Nationalism 2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights 3. Supremacy of the Military 5. Controlled Mass Media 7. Obsession with National Security 8. Religion and Government are Intertwined 9. Corporate Power is Protected Labor Power is Suppressed Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts Obsession with Crime and Punishment Rampant Cronyism and Corruption Fraudulent Elections These are far more common among conservatives, especially the religious right.
Jan 03, Marvin added it Shelves: Sorry, Gave this a try. Complete hogwash written by a alleged intellectual for the purpose of rewriting history into a form of right-wing political correctness. Most liberals are vegetarians a lie right there. Hitler was a vegetarian. Therefore Liberals are fascists. As for me I only got a third of the way through it and won't even bother to rate it. Jan 21, Vincent Pimpinella rated it did not like it. Because who doesn't love overly contrived bullshit? Apr 08, Anthony rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who EVER plans to vote, or presumes to voice an opinion on current political events.
This book is brilliant. It is a look at many aspects of U. You may be surprised. You will certainly be educated. You will find yourself underlining, cross-referencing, and annotating this book as you go. I was frequently cross-referencing other sources, both for varying perspectives, and to review people and events for which the author presumed background knowledge.
Even so, I did not find the process cumbersome or te This book is brilliant.here
Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg | viwacylu.tk
Even so, I did not find the process cumbersome or tedious. You may actually find yourself reading late into the night. The insights and revelations just keep coming. You will see correlations with historical events and current political trends and attitudes that will keep you awake at night. No one should be allowed to register to vote in any election until they have read this book.
And, at the risk of being accused of engaging in hyperbole, I have to say that Jonah Goldberg is a genius, and this is one of the most important books I have ever read. When I first read the book, I was a little impatient to get to current issues as the author was establishing historical perspective, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, in the first chapters. Please, please, please read this book. It will change your understanding of our world.
Apr 28, Jacki rated it liked it. The main thing I learned from this book: The political spectrum can not easily be divided into Christian vs. Fascism is about using government to create an ideal or evolved state, at the cost of freedom or taxes or what have you vs. Fascism isn't about racism, or Nazis or military power. So a lot of liberal action and progressive ideas fit into this, but what Goldberg fails to mention is that many Conservatives do as well. The book is unabashedly written from a conservative viewpoint. I thought the subject matter was interesting, but I thought the author's analysis of past ideologies wasn't clear enough.
Mainly his terminology was explained fully enough for me, and I'm not a politics buff, so I kept having to look up some of the political terms. If you took political science and actually liked it, this book would be a breeze. If you don't like FDR or any of the 20th century democrats, you're in heaven. Jan 10, Jake rated it it was amazing. As Jonah Goldberg says, having heard to many times how blithely Conservatives are equated to fascists, he set out to prove the philosophical, ethical, and historical continuity between the modern liberal who makes such accusations, and concrete fascism.
He makes the point that the word itself doesn't mean much except a synonym for evil with a connotation of the Holocaust. Gets better with every page you turn. View all 12 comments. Dec 23, Darla rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Thinkers, and all Americans who bother to vote. I've got my new bumper sticker- "Fascist: Hilter was NOT a conservative, nor was Mussolini. They were BOTH liberal, socialists and our current day "Progressives" owe much to their tactics, every bit of which echoes the Hitlerian machine.
It is very frustrating that conservatives are labeled as fascists in such a way that is purely fascist in its modus operandi. Those in the "masses" that believe their propaganda are likewise ignorant. America has been on a slippery and sickening slope of increasing fascist doctrine since Woodrow Wilson's day, but unlike the militaristic European expression of such doctrines, ours is a "smothered by mother" version, where the ignorant masses are too weak to govern themselves.
According to the Left, we need the State to give us direction and meaning. Individualism is to be crushed; small businesses that do not walk in lock step with "progressive" politics and policies are simply crushed. Big business isn't bad, so long as it pays off the politicians and pays homage to them through lobbying and excessive butt-kissing. Sound like all we've heard about conservatives? We'll, read the book! I just wish conservatives had the moxie to stand up and shout down Mother with some good old fashioned "Paternalistic," "I'm sorry, I know this is going to hurt for a bit, but it is for your own good" tear down of Big Government intrusion.
Not even every dime in the world could do that. Poverty and social differences are not just about money, they are about mindset. And I am sick to death of the smiley faced fascism of the Left wanting to do everything to help me feel better, and even worse, the masses that willingly give up their autonomy for Government handouts instead of working their butts off to improve their own state. We cannot help all, for not all WANT to be helped. Father knows what Mother does not. Jan 16, John Freeman rated it it was ok. My son, a far-right conservative loaned me this book and I was fascinated with it.
I'm a history buff with middle of the road views and started the book with much enthusiasm. The book's discussion of fascism, Mussolini and Hitler is written in a brilliant almost breezy style by a highly intelligent man who has clearly researched his subject thoroughly and is well read. I wondered a little at his saying Hitler is a left-winger but then it's just a matter of definitions. His history of the W My son, a far-right conservative loaned me this book and I was fascinated with it.
His history of the Wilson presidency was a revelation to me, I had not been aware of how repressive the Wilson era was. At this point I trusted Goldman. Now I don't know what to believe about Wilson.
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As I got farther into the book it began to seem to me he was critical of "liberals" and "progressives" and never mentioned conservatives. When I got to his discussion of McCarthyism he disappointed me. This is something I know a little about. To quote Goldman " But nothing that happened under the mad reign of McCarthy remotely compares with what Wilson and his fellow progressives foisted on America. McCarthy, an opportunist rabble-rouser with presidential aspirations was willing to ruin careers to advance his ambitions. Further the appropriately named House of Unamerican Activities' witch-hunts is one of the most shameful periods in American politics and a stain on the Republican party.
Many people thought communism might have answers during the dark days of the depression and to dismiss the matter as a few Hollywood writers who'd supported Stalin and then lied about it and lost their jobs is simply another injustice heaped on young men who were searching for answers during a time our economic system appeared to be collapsing. They represented little or no danger to America. The investigation into the army was, mercifully, the beginning of the end for McCarthy when Joseph Welch successfully challenged his character. I continued reading for a while but I finally gave up on him after I got to his tepid attempts to drag Roosevelt's name through the mud.
I thought Jonah Goldberg had written a scholarly, intelligent history book. He has not, he has written more of the biased and unfair conservative propaganda I so often find during my research. Besides I still don't know what fascism is. What's more what am I going to tell my son?
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He is passionate on the subject and mailed me this thick book in an attempt to open my eyes to the truth and save me from myself. He has high hopes here. This is a matter close to his heart. I wish I had never heard of Jonah Goldberg. May 18, Chris Fellows rated it it was ok. I really wanted to like this book. The first bit, comparing the dinki-di fascists of Europe with the stated aims and documented actions of Woodrow Wilson and the early 20th century Progressives that shared his ideology, makes a good case.
There are some excellent quotes of mutual admiration back and forth across the Atlantic, and Goldberg lifts the rock on a nasty squirming mass of human rights infringments and creepy propaganda from Wilson's war administration. The section dealing with FDR is le I really wanted to like this book. The section dealing with FDR is less convincing - Goldberg has a bad tendency to pile on brief quotes out of context that reminded me uncomfortably of Evangelical 'Bible Study' programs I was exposed to in high school.
For example, this quote of JBS Haldane's is introduced into a discussion of the Progressive attitude to eugenics: The brush of 'liberal fascism' is applied more and more broadly until it nearly mirrors the use of 'fascism' by the Left to mean 'anything I don't like'. This section reminded me the treatment of the same period in Allan Bloom's "Closing of the American Mind" - which is not a good thing. The missing aspects are illustrated with reference to groups that thought LBJ was the devil incarnate.
It doesn't make sense.
A problem I had at the end was that Goldberg does not seem to recognise anything as 'conservative' except a narrow 'classical liberalism' which does not have any characteristics distinguishing it from libertarianism. Not that I could see, anyhow. The idea of a social conservativism that might validly be interested in using the power of the state to provide a minimal level of support for the disadvantaged and enforce traditional social norms, in the absence of an established Church and class structure to do those things, is to him a chimera; it is 'statolatry' and just another manifestation of fascism.
This blind spot might not be his fault. He comes from a country where conservatives were expelled or driven underground in a utopian revolution to such an extent that William Marina, writing in , can say that it is a "widespread, persistent, and dangerous myth" that they ever comprised a significant part of the population! Goldberg briefly draws a distinction between a 'good, conservative' American revolution and a 'bad, radical' French revolution, but this is untenable. If you violently sever your connections with a country that is universally considered to be the most free, the most classically liberal, currently in existence, in order to make a polity that is more free and classically liberal, is that conservative?
Is it not instead utopian, an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good? If, instead of forming the political institutions of your new polity on incremental modifications in the directions of freedom and classical liberalism of the existing ones, you create de novo an experimental system modelled most closely on republican Rome, is that conservative? Is it not instead wildly radical and utopian? The American revolution let the genie out of the bottle and began all this trouble. I found the wit and sparkle of Goldberg's briefer works in National Review almost wholly absent from this book.
Which was a great pity. Finally, Goldberg doesn't like "Dead Poets Society". This tragic discovery will haunt my dreams forever. Many people will be shocked just by the thought that long discredited fascism could mutate into the spirit of another age. It's always exhilarating when someone takes on received opinion, but this is not a work of pamphleteering. Goldberg's insight, supported by a great deal of learning, happens to be right. A review in Publishers Weekly said:. In this provocative and well-researched book, Goldberg probes modern liberalism's spooky origins in early 20th-century fascist politics.
Goldberg's study of the conceptual overlap between fascism and ideas emanating from the environmental movement, Hollywood, the Democratic Party and what he calls other left-wing organs is shocking and hilarious. The book's tone suffers as it oscillates between revisionist historical analyses and the application of fascist themes to American popular culture; nonetheless, the controversial arc Goldberg draws from Mussolini to The Matrix is well-researched, seriously argued—and funny.
Larry Thornberry of the Washington Times called the book "a major contribution to understanding the history of political ideas and attitudes over the last two centuries and change. Goldberg's column and articles are warned that they will find little of his usual humor and whimsy. But it's a relentlessly analytic treatment of a large, serious and complex subject. Goldberg presents a strong and compelling case that the very idea of fascism emanated from the ranks of liberalism.
He has read widely and thoroughly, not only in the primary sources of fascism, but in the political and intellectual history written by the major historians of the subject. Some will rightfully take issue with Mr. Goldberg when he describes the administrations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton as fascist. On this, he strains and pushes his evidence too far to convince the reader that these paragons of liberalism can be called fascist in any sense of the term.
Goldberg makes a stronger case when he accuses the New Left of classic fascist behavior, when its cadre took to the streets and through action discarded its early idealism for what Mr. Goldberg correctly calls "fascist thuggery". Marvin Olasky of World Magazine wrote. Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism is a flawed but useful attempt to redraw the political map. Goldberg shows how Woodrow Wilson began and Franklin Roosevelt amplified an almost-fascist concentration of power in Washington. FDR boasted of his 'wholesome and proper' buildup of power because he was leading 'a people's government.
Those who put a high value on words may recoil at the title of Jonah Goldberg's new book, Liberal Fascism. As a result, they may refuse to read it, which will be their loss—and a major loss. Those who value substance over words, however, will find in this book a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research and brilliant analysis. This is the sort of book that challenges the fundamental assumptions of its time—and which, for that reason, is likely to be shunned rather than criticized.
It is a book for people who want to think, rather than repeat rhetoric. Philip Coupland, whose paper "H. Wells's 'Liberal Fascism ' " was used as a source for Liberal Fascism , criticized Goldberg's understanding of the term:. Wells did not label his 'entire Liberal fascism was the name which he and I gave to his theory of praxis, that is his method of achieving his utopian goal, not the goal itself.
Wells hoped for activists who would use what he considered to be 'fascist' means technocratic authoritarianism and force to achieve a liberal social end. In contrast, a 'liberal fascist' would pursue fascist ends but in a 'liberal' or at least more 'liberal' way. Bramwell wrote in The American Conservative:. Repeatedly, Goldberg fails to recognize a reductio ad absurdum.
In no case does Goldberg uncover anything more ominous than a coincidence. In elaborating liberalism's similarities to fascism, Goldberg shows a near superstitious belief in the power of taxonomy. Goldberg falsely saddles liberalism not just with relativism but with all manner of alleged errors having nothing to do with liberalism. Not only does Goldberg misunderstand liberalism, but he refuses to see it simply as liberalism Liberal Fascism completes Goldberg's transformation from chipper humorist into humorless ideologue.
One reason the Jonah Goldbergs of the world have such trouble telling their right from their left is that they expect some morphological feature of the State to answer the question for them. For anyone other than Goldberg, Stalin was on the left and Hitler was on the right. The difference is not a function of discrepancies in administrative procedure between the KZs and the Gulag.
It's a function of social networks. Stalin was a real socialist, Hitler was a fake one. Stalin was part of the international socialist movement, and Hitler wasn't. In The Nation , Eric Alterman wrote:. The book reads like a Google search gone gaga. Some Fascists were vegetarians; some liberals are vegetarians; ergo Some Fascists were gay; some liberals are gay Fascists cared about educating children; Hillary Clinton cares about educating children. Like Coulter , he's got a bunch of footnotes. And for all I know, they check out. But they are put in the service of an argument that no one with any knowledge of the topic would take seriously.
It is not just history done badly, or mere revisionism. It's a caricature of reality, like something from a comic-book alternative universe: Goldberg isn't content to simply create an oxymoron; this entire enterprise, in fact, is classic Newspeak. Along the way, he grotesquely misrepresents the state of academia regarding the study of fascism
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