Through the looking glass

So, you say you are dedicated to freedom. And you are looking for a read that will help you define what you are dedicated to and what threatens it. There is one book out that you will want to read. And it is a book that will forever change the way you look at day-to-day politics, at least at this side of the Big Pond.

The book is Jonah Goldbergs Liberal Fascism. Actually, the blurb on Amazon tells you all that you need to know:
Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism.

Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term "National socialism"). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities-where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.

Do these striking parallels mean that today-s liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots. We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States. W.E.B. Du Bois was inspired by Hitler's Germany, and Irving Berlin praised Mussolini in song. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated fascist policies in the New Deal.

Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a "friendlier," more liberal form. The modern heirs of this "friendly fascist" tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. 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.
Read the book and then reflect on recent events like the ramming through of the Turnip, the States push to ever increasing meddling in your own personal life, the forcing down our throats of ever increasing immigration in a bid to destroy national identity and the hamfisted attempts at shutting up/out/down people with contrarian views.

KV's own Ferdy did a review of the book for a Dutch public. His review also contains a considerable list of English language reviews. Another good review (in English) can be found here. Here's a fragment that shows the nature of the looking glass you will fall through reading this book:
Given that “fascist” is the most abused term in the political lexicon, Goldberg’s first task is to correct all the misconceptions about historical fascism, the most important being that it was a “conservative” political movement, one created by bourgeois capitalism to ward off a decline created by its own contradictions and the socialist alternative. In reality, fascism is a phenomenon of the left, not the right — an “inconvenient truth,” Goldberg writes, “if ever there was one.” This confusion about fascism’s origins if furthered by the misleading contrast usually made between fascism and communism. But as Goldberg shows, “they are closely related, historical competitors for the same constituents, seeking to control and dominate the same social space”.

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