Thursday, January 10, 2008
On this day:

Fascism with a smiley face

I'm looking forward to reading Jonah Goldberg's new book, Liberal Fascism, which I picked up at Barnes and Noble today. It must be selling pretty well here in Huntsville, since mine was the last copy on the shelves.

I've often wondered how Fascism and Nazism have become so widely viewed as Rightist ideologies when on their face they seem to have had much more in common with the political philosophies of the revolutionary Left. For instance, wasn't the Nazi party the National Socialist German Worker's Party? How on God's Red Earth can socialism of any brand be rightfully labeled as conservative? And how can any intellectually honest person associate mainstream American conservatism with either Fascism or Nazism?

Those are among the questions that Goldberg addresses in his book. The following paragraph is from the introduction:
If fascism does come to America, it will indeed take the form of "smiley-face fascism" - nice fascism. In fact, in many respects fascism not only is here but has been here for nearly a century. For what we call liberalism - the refurbished edifice of American Progressivism - is in fact a descendant and manifestation of fascism. This doesn't mean it's the same thing as Nazism. Nor is it the twin of Italian Fascism. But Progressivism was a sister movement of fascism, and today's liberalism is the daughter of Progressivism. One could strain the comparison and say that today's liberalism is the well-intentioned niece of European fascism. She is hardly identical to her uglier relations, but she nonetheless carries an embarrassing family resemblance that few will admit to recognizing.
That's serious stuff, and this is a serious book. While it may serve as red meat for conservatives, it should also provide food for thought for thoughtful liberals. For more, see Jonah's new Liberal Fascism blog over at National Review Online.