28
Jan
08

A friend sends a note about Liberal Fascism.

Jonah Goldberg

Goldberg’s book is rich with little factual nuggets (pardon the pun). Seriously, though, it’s a big goal he’s after. I happen to believe semantics and casual, even unconscious, associations, are sometimes enormously important. To de-link fascism from the right, and possibly link it to the left, could be extremely consequential. Except the pessimist (or realist?) in me suspects that if he succeeds, people won’t start associating fascism w the left, they’ll just stop talking about it altogether. But then again, that would be a victory in itself.

If you haven’t check it out yet, you should do so.  You can also read Jonah’s blog on the subject of his book and reaction to it here.

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4 Responses to “A friend sends a note about Liberal Fascism.”


  1. January 28, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    In 1944, VP Henry Wallace was asked by the New York Times to define an Amercian Fascist. This is an exceprt of his answer.

    “The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.”

    That being said, the left and right are walking a fine line of hypocritical banter. Jonah Goldberg’s book, which I admittedly have not read, and do not intend to, has taken an Ann Coulter approach to pick a fight. In the information age we live in, poisoning the media is much more dangerous, much more vindictive, and much more accesible. Look no further than this distorted website. Your opinion of “de-linking fascism from the right, and possibly linking it to the left”, leaves one suspect of what exactly are you concerned about? Since the start of the War in Iraq, to two election cycles the right has been the frontrunner on “poisoning” public information. That must be why someone like Jonah Goldberg and FF see the need to re-frame the topic. Right?

  2. 2 Medicine Man
    January 28, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Usually when people in America make claims like “fascism is a right wing phenomenon” they are trying to embarrass or smear their political opposition. A truly risible assertion. American Conservatism has next to nothing to do with European Fascism, in method or intellectual pedigree. People claiming otherwise are ignorant, at best, or intellectually dishonest partisan hacks, at worst.

    All of that said, Jonah Goldberg’s efforts to tar lefties in the same way is equally without merit. A beltway version of shouting “I know you are but what am I” that should be treated with the same seriousness that shrill lefties are (should be) regarded when they leap feet first into a breach of Godwin’s Law. What exactly is the merit of trying to decouple fascism from the right wing and attach it to the left? Any substantive associations between fascism and conservatism only exists in the minds of entrenched partisans anyhow. Is Goldberg simply firing a shot across the bow of his ideological equals on the left? I guess that would at least make sense.

    Anyhow… somewhat disappointing to see you blokes cheering on this kind of tripe. Partisan hackery at its worst in my opinion. I hope that I’ll have the good sense to be nauseated if someone on the left ever gets the idea of writing a book titled “Conservative Communism: From Mao Tze Tung to the Regan Generation”.

  3. 3 Medicine Man
    January 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Pfff… And I misspelled Reagan’s name. Is that still a shooting offense on conservative blogs?

  4. 4 LLP
    January 28, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    “What exactly is the merit of trying to decouple fascism from the right wing and attach it to the left? Any substantive associations between fascism and conservatism only exists in the minds of entrenched partisans anyhow. Is Goldberg simply firing a shot across the bow of his ideological equals on the left? I guess that would at least make sense.”

    Goldberg’s motivation?

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    There is a huge audience of sheep eagerly paying for this stuff.

    Actually, as a lifelong Democrat, I hope Goldberge keeps doing what he’s doing. Every year people like him are alienating more moderates away from the Republicans.


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