Sunday, 20 September 2009

Book Review - Liberal Fascism

I've just finished reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.

It's unfortunate that the term 'liberal' has been coopted by today's left, as a traditional liberal agenda looks nothing like the activist, high taxing, interfering agenda of the left.

Goldberg neatly dissects the fascist tendencies of a number of liberal icons - Wilson and FDR through to the Clintons - by first reminding people what fascism really is, how similar the fascist platform of the 1910s, 20s and 30s are to today's progessive and left-liberal agenda, and then providing clear examples of fascism through to the present day.

It covers the politics of meaning, race, the environment and a number of other areas all of which would be applauded by Mussolini, FDR and Wilson et al.

I came to the conclusion many years ago that unless one understands that fascism is a uniquely left wing ideology one can't understand the make up of the political spectrum and, critically, cannot understand where the political centre lies.

You may find yourself arguing with one of your lefty friends about which side of politics fascism resides on. They are guaranteed to not understand what fascism really is but they will understand that it involves a massive involvement by government in society.

Given that the underpinning philosophy of the right is liberty, self reliance and small government you should ask how fascism can be a right wing construct given that philosophical basis.

You might also want to remind them that it was Stalin who gave fascists the tag of being right wing because the national socialists/fascists were to the right of communism. The fact that they were also well to the left of the political centre is missed by those who spend their time forming opinions instead of doing any worthwhile research.

I bought a number of copies of Liberal Fascism and gave them to my friends. I suggest you do the same.

(Nothing Follows)


Kaboom said...

Jack, the "Political Compass" with Left and Right has been askew for decades, by putting Fascism on one side, and Communism on the other.

The proper compass is one which places Communism and Fascism on the far left, Socialism a little bit towards the centre, libertarianism in the dead centre, capitalism a bit to the right, and anarchy at the far right.

My placement of capitalism may not be correct, because there is simply no example today, or at any time last century, of true laissez faire capitalism, except (perhaps) in the People's Republic of China.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I've missed your writing since Sept. 8. I rely on your articles for my political education and enlightenment. Are you an American living in Australia? Are you following the current NEA situation, as to lobbying, etc.? Please don't make me wait another 13 days for your next post.