I have a number of interesting books to talk about, including fiction and non, and I hope to return to regular posting now that the holidays are behind us. In preparation for my review and discussion of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, however, I wanted to offer links to other reviews and interviews.
So here they are:
“Liberal Fascism” is less an exposÃ© of left-wing hypocrisy than a chance to exact political revenge. Yet the title of his book aside, what distinguishes Goldberg from the Sean Hannitys and Michael Savages is a witty intelligence that deals in ideas as well as insults — no mean feat in the nasty world of the culture wars.
Now, from the conservative side, Jonah Goldberg — who is rightfully fed up with the left’s regularly and somewhat indiscriminately calling conservatives fascist — turns the tide by addressing the issue head on, in “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” (Doubleday, 467 pages, $27.95). Not only is it a slander to yell fascist at the right; Mr. Goldberg presents a strong and compelling case that the very idea of fascism emanated from the ranks of liberalism. As he argues, contemporary liberalism descended from the ranks of 20th-century progressivism, and “shares intellectual roots with European fascism.”
When Mr. Goldberg uses the term “liberal fascism,” he is not offering a right-wing version of the left’s smears. He knows it is a loaded term. What he is talking about is the historical idea of fascism: a corporatist and statist social structure that creates a deep reliance of its subjects on the government and engenders a sense of community and purpose. In American politics, this tendency toward statism has always been much more at home on the left than on the right.
While the Left will claim that Goldberg thinks that everyone he disagrees with–from FDR to Hillary Clinton–is a fascist, this is not true. Progressives, he notes, are not building concentration camps. Hillary Clinton wanting universal health care is not Crystal Night. But by reexamining the history of fascism and its pathologies, Goldberg shows where the fascist impulse–to smash the past, accumulate power, and create utopia–is most likely to resurface.
Blogger Vox Day has both a review:
Although the left will surely react to it with its customary hysteria, “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” is not a polemic in the style made fashionable by Ann Coulter and Al Franken. Goldberg’s restraint in avoiding cheap shots and resolutely sticking to the documented facts of his subject matter is remarkable, especially for those familiar with his political columns and Corner posts at National Review Online.
Unlike most of his maleducated peers in the media, Goldberg rejects the historically ignorant view still dominant in American pop culture that perceives Fascism and National Socialism as right-wing political phenomena. Goldberg correctly identifies both revolutionary ideologies as being inherently of the political left; more importantly, he provides substantial documentary evidence proving his case beyond any rational doubt. And in doing so, he exposes six decades of intellectual fraud committed by American academics, 60 years of university professors averting their eyes from the historical realities and teaching the literal Stalinist line to multiple generations of college students. This is a book that not only needed to be written; it is one that is long overdue.
And an interview.