"Fascists," "Brownshirts," "jackbooted stormtroopers"-such are the insults typically hurled at conservatives by their liberal opponents. Calling someone a fascist is the fastest way to shut them up, defining their views as beyond the political pale. But who are the real fascists in our midst?
Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism.
Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term National Socialism). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking and supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities-where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.
Do these striking parallels mean that today's liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots. We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States. W. E. B. Du Bois was inspired by Hitler's Germany, and Irving Berlin praised Mussolini in song. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated fascist policies in the New Deal.
Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a "friendlier," more liberal form. The modern heirs of this "friendly fascist" tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade-school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.
These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.
As far as a look back through history at some of the major events that swung the pendulum of political opportunity and guise this book is great.
This book has been well written - well articulated and I believe if one takes an honest look at today with a looking glass to the past and patterns for the future this book has value in many ways.
I already know that many will blast the review because of the topics and issues talked about within the pages.
With a serious - honest consideration and a willingness to set aside personal agenda and bias I believe again this book will help educate and inspire.
There has been too much time that has passed where apathy has played the center stage over an interest in politics and understanding of the Constitution and intent of that document. So many - myself included have allowed the center stage of our life and our interest in our great nation to be filled with rapid commercialism and entertainment (not necessarily an evil in their own right) but one that typically lends itself to desensitization and disbelieve when we are faced with real issues and challenges.
Not having a solid foundation to build off of in the first place will leave public office and politics lacking in substance. No discredit to many now serving I believe most are well meaning individuals.
Education is so vital and not just study of modern politics or case study law – but real study of the Founding Fathers their writings, sources and believe system.
Very important book
Every American should read this book. People who consider themselves liberal should be "opened-minded" enough to read it as well.
If only they used this in schools
Goldberg's book is a real eye-opener, with 57 pages of documentation to back up what he says. Learn about how fascism under various guises has already come to the United States, beginning with Woodrow Wilson and FDR. After detailing the genesis of fascism under Mussolini and Hitler, learn how (chapter 5) college radicals began an open assault on the values and institutions that made America the beacon of the world. You'll see how many of those same radicals are about to take over our entire government, as they have already conquered the public mind through education, entertainment, news media, unions and big industry. I recommend buying a copy and hiding it for future generations to find. Who knows, perhaps it will ignite a new fight to regain the freedoms we've squandered. Can't happen here? It already has.