Thursday, January 03, 2008

Liberal Fascism

Jonah ("Jowls" or, My Family Needs Me So I Can't
Fight in the War I Tirelessly Cheerlead For) Goldberg

In my other less secret, less spandex-clad life I sometimes review books and movies and I had thought about reviewing Jonah "Chickenhawk" Goldberg's just released work, Liberal Fascism, but that would require me to actually read it, or some of it anyway. My feelings about that prospect are aptly caught in the phrasing of the Right's leading thinker, "So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Much of course has already been written about it, and its author, and I get the general gist: big, all-powerful government is a "liberal" thing, and also well-regarded by the Nazis, Stalinists, and actual self-described Fascists. Liberals are "leftists" rather like Stalinists, therefore liberals are Fascists. Once again, QED. The Dittoheads applaud in stupefaction!

Of course Liberal Fascism is another Orwellian shift, a thing like "War is peace," "Clear Skies Inititiative" or "Arbeit macht Frei," where thesis and antithesis become one propanganda dyad, both meaningless and useful for bamboozlement. Goldberg's minister of propaganda is apparently a Friend of Alice: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

Of course, if you really want to learn something about fascism, you might read Umberto Eco's distillation of its essence. Granted, Umberto Eco is not quite the writer, thinker or man's-man that Goldbgerg is, but he did know a fair number of actual proudly self-described Fascists, so perhaps experience has taught him a thing about them. Funny thing, they sound an awful like today's Republicans on the stump in Iowa, carrying a cross and wrapped int he flag -- as they say. For instance: "Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition."

For a real look at the face of fascsim today one might also read Chris Hedges' American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America, a book written in fluent English, not Newspeak. Some may remember Hedges as the longtime war correspondent also author of War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning who was bullied off the Rockford College stage for criticizing the Iraq boondoggle/atrocity. Nothing fascistic about those pro-war Rockford kids, no sir.


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