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Liberal Fascism Book Review
Liberal fascism sounds an odd title because most people see fascism as right wing. Actually the term was coined by the respected British novelist and leftist icon, H.G. Wells, who in 1931 declared that his fellow progressives become liberal fascists and enlightened Nazis.
Benito Mussolini began his career as a socialist agitator, favoring left wing statism and Hitler’s National Socialists favored an all-inclusive welfare state despising the decadence of the free market. The Nazi’s, the Italian fascists and the progressives drew from the same ideological well, including the philosophies of the Jacobins of the French Revolution, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx. The left in America today are the heirs of the progressives.
The political spectrum
These facts challenge today’s assumptions in regards to the political spectrum, which places fascism as a right wing phenomenon. Applying the fascist label to political enemies began with Joseph Stalin; he successfully used the term to discredit Leon Trotsky in a power struggle in the Soviet Union. The American left, taking its cue from Stalin, adopted the tactic of applying the fascist label to those who don't agree with them, in an attempt to silence and intimidate political opponents, this is evident right up to this present day.
Goldberg notes that fascism is among the vaguest of terms and there is little consensus among the world’s leading scholars to define it, Goldberg himself see’s fascism as a type of secular religion. Despite this, liberals act as if they know exactly what it is and claim to see it everywhere, except of course when they look in the mirror, contends Goldberg.
This explains why, Al Gore has compared global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. Charlie Rangel declared the 1994 republican “Contract with America” initiative, to be more extreme than Nazism. Nancy Pelosi’s false claim that healthcare protesters were wearing swastika armbands. Senator Byrd compared the Republicans efforts to prevent the Democrats from blocking Bush’s court nominees to Hitler’s abuse of the law. Bill Clinton called to the 2000 republican platform a fascist tract.
Let’s look at fascism in Mussolini’s Italy, shortly after World War One. Individualism, private property and the free market were held in contempt, progressive taxation, wealth redistribution, minimum wage laws, strictly secular schools; controls on profits and industrial policy were all part of the Italian system.
As opposed to fascism, conservatism calls for individualism, free markets, limited government, traditional religion and morality, Fascists and liberals oppose these things.
The goal of fascism is empower the state to transform society into an organic whole. Mussolini’s advocated for "Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State." He often called for politics to be put aside to do the peoples work and that we as a people must get beyond politics and just take action. When he spoke of getting beyond politics what he was really attacking was democratic debate and calling for more government power. Goldberg notes similar beliefs in today’s liberals. Goldberg does repeatedly assert that he’s not calling all liberals Nazi’s or fascists he’s just calling attention to some embarrassing similarities.
History of American Progressivism
Goldberg chronicles the history of the American left:
Woodrow Wilson administration was characterized by a militaristic organization of society, a limitless state, loyalty oaths, sending out of 100,000 spies to spy on private citizens, racist policies and eugenics.
FDR took the blueprint from Wilson’s wartime socialism to fashion the peacetime New Deal which even fellow Democrat Al Smith held was fascist.
The Great Society of LBJ represented the greatest advance of statism (at the time) by establishing the modern welfare state.
The militant leftist youth movement of the 1960’s reflected the fascist glorification of youth and violence bearing similarities to the youth movements in fascist Italy and even Nazi Germany; some examples include The Black Panthers, The Weather Underground and The SDS.
Hillary Clintons attempt to inject the state into families, reflected by the philosophy in the book: “It takes a Village to raise a child”, the village being a synonym for the state.
Goldberg’s book contains such a wealth of history and information that you must read through it to truly appreciate his impressive knowledge of political history and his engaging writing style. No doubt his book provides a conservative with a wealth of knowledge and ammunition to defend themselves against attacks from the left. I myself would have chosen a less insulting title and softened some of my statements regarding the left as it would promote more open discussion and less arguments.