Liberal Fascism

Discussion in 'Political Issues' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Has anyone read "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg?

    I'm 177 pages into it. So far it is an awesome book. I'm very excited about the discoveries it is giving me and the perspective it reveals. I don't mean that in the sense of taking it as gospel or truth, but rather that it is presenting to me some fresh views of world social political philisophical history over the past couple hundred years or so.

    Mainly it presents a new (to me) way of looking at American socialism and left liberalism (as opposed to classical or right liberalism and conservatism).

    Since many on GT are interested in preserving freedom, the themes and the perspective provided by this book may both be interesting and important.

    Not sure all readers will be comfortable with the words used. I'd describe it as a college level book. Not saying it isn't accessible to casual readers below that educational level, but it would probably help to be familiar with some of the words and concepts students typically see in intro political science, sociology, philosophy, economics, and history classes. Without that background you can still look up the occassional unfamiliar word or concept to get more of what the author is saying. Just suggesting that those kinds of intro courses are useful. Or any kind of similar familiarity, whether through college or on your own readings.

    Having said that, it is an easy read. Although I'm obviously pausing long enough to post this before I finish the book probably next week :)

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  3. Is anybody thinking about reading it?

    Author makes the argument that fascism and communism are essentially the same, or at least very similar.

    And the author draws that same comparison toward American politics of the left, such as led by Wilson and FDR. The author provides an interesting discussion of times when individual rights were stepped on and how socialism has been increased by those leaders through fascist means.

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    #2 ithaca_deerslayer, Jul 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  4. jeanderson

    jeanderson Toga!... Toga!
    Platinum Member

    Under fascism, private industry still exists, but only to do what the government directs. As far as Wilson goes, I think he's more accurately described as a progressive.
  5. Deerslayer -- I'm about 12 books deep in my "to read" list -- but if you think Liberal Fascism is that much of a paradigm-shifter, I'll add it to my list.

    Please report back when you've finished it, and let us know your overall impressions and thoughts on the book.

    Thanks much! -- J

  6. hogfish

    hogfish Señor Member

    Tagged for more info.
  7. Thanks for the recommendation Deerslayer...I just ordered it from the library. I appreciate your suggestion.
  8. barbedwiresmile

    barbedwiresmile Unreconstructed

    I've had nothing but disappointment with modern books of this kind. It even starts with the title and the common misuse of the term "liberal". But I'll read on a leap of faith if you keep the info and recommends coming.
  9. Liberals are like cancer.
    They need to be limited or cut out whenever possible.

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  10. The author makes those connections, fascism and communism and soclialism and progressivism. Claims Wilson did some very bad and undemocratic things.

    If you are familiar with recent NYS politics, Cuomo has used the word "progressive" over and over as part of his gun grab. The state of crisis as justification for the gun grab, and the mobilization of progressive people and resulting reductions in freedom, are all part of the liberal fascist playbook (I believe the author would say). Those who dare to differ, to disagree, will be attacked. How dare individuals speak of rights and freedom, when the needs of the collective, and the safety of our children from gun violence, are at stake.

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  11. It starts off strong but suffers a bit because Jonah Goldberg feels the need to operate under the standard left-right dichotomy. I think it would have been a much stronger work if instead he had gone with a less ideologically twisted pro-state / anti-state axis or ignored such labels entirely.

    Even if it's a bit sloppy it's worth reading because it:
    • Establishes the Communist-Fascist feud as a matter of Progressive Orthodoxy.
    • Links the Progressive movement as having contributed heavily to fascism, and in turn being influenced by fascism.
    • Illustrates the infatuation western intelligentsia had with proto-fascism, then Mussolini's fascist state.
    • Gives the best definition of fascism I've read.

    I really wish someone would write a similar book on Anarcho-Syndicalism.
    The title comes from the money toward the end of the book by one of the biggest proponents of fascism in the 20th century, H.G. Wells.
    #10 evlbruce, Jul 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  12. This is why I never call them liberals.

    True liberals are for more freedom and anti-fascist. These people are not liberal. They're leftists.

    Don't yield the language to your political opponents by calling them liberals. You'll yield your political argument.
  13. It is a shift for me. But everyone is different.

    It is eye opening for me, for example, to read how much in common German and Italian fascism had with the New Deal up until the war started. I had always known there were a few German sympathizers in America, but the author isn't referring to that. Instead, the comparison is much more directly to the core policies of the FDR administration and the supporting elites who were approving of fascism.

    Is the left willing to end democracy in order to get things done? The author discusses the strength of American democracy, but also points out what the icons of modern (left) liberals have done. Some of the quotes from them are down right scary.

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  14. Thanks for expanding on your thoughts further, Deerslayer!


  15. Thanks, evlbruce -- in spite of its apparent shortcomings in dealing with what might be an antiquated (or somewhat limited) dichotomy, it sounds like the book has a lot to offer.


  16. I agree, Bob. I stopped using the term "liberal" some time ago, to avoid any confusion with the true liberalism of a, say, Thomas Jefferson. I use the term "leftist" also, and often in conjunction with "statist" to more fully align the term. I will occasionally use the term "liberal," but only if it is totally understood within the context of a given conversation.

  17. Blast

    Blast 'nuff said

    Liberal left, socialist liberals, progressive liberals are the ones that give the word liberal a bad rep. They are the ones trying to force their agendas on everybody.
  18. hogfish

    hogfish Señor Member

    It's a done deal, "yielding the language".

    Actions/ideas directed at limiting liberties and freedom are called 'liberal'.

    Actions/ideas that do not include the establishment of 'religious' morals are called conservative.
  19. barbedwiresmile

    barbedwiresmile Unreconstructed

    Keep reading.

    Wait until you find out how common admiration for the Soviet Union was in FDRs early administrations and among many in the American intelligentsia at the time. Then trace back to Wilson.

    The lesson here is, for God's sake, don't send your children to government schools. It's no wonder we can't operate a democratic republic anymore.
  20. The author mentions how and when they took that term and what it means to them.

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  21. Using the term liberal facism makes it clear his book is about real facism, not some anti-American tirade referencing that ridiculous right-wing facism propaganda that the left invented and taught in schools after WWII.

    Classical liberalism is long dead, but libertarians still cling to the term instead of calling themselves conservatives because they've deprogrammed themselves from economic Marxist indoctrination but not from social Marxist indoctrination that portrays social conservatives as clueless, bigoted losers.

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