Reason, Liberty, & Culture

Exploring Jonah Goldberg's Book Liberal Fascism

by Lewis Loflin

Socialism and fascism are evil sisters. They differ on some ideological issues but are the same in rejecting individualism and liberal democracy. Liberal, as I use it, is classical liberalism, not the Democratic Party's use of the term. I'm a classical liberal.

Fascism in 2022 for tyranny or any view or action one disagrees with. But what exactly is "tyranny" has become subjective.

For example, allowing others, free speech that questions one's suppositions and political views is tyranny. Your speech is violent, but a BLM riot is social justice.

Many people today use terms such as Islamo-fascism or Islamism. Many of radical Islam's allies on the left claim the word 'fascism" has no relation to Islam but never hesitate to use the term concerning believing Christians and Jews.

Fascism as a term is thrown around by all kinds of people to attack their foes and silence open debate on many political and social issues.

In a provocative book by Jonah Goldberg titled Liberal Fascism, Goldberg rightly goes through how both Hitler and Mussolini were socialists. (Nazi means National Socialist German Workers' party, and Mussolini was a former communist.)

From Rousseau's "general will" to the paranoid (and atheist) Jacobins and their reign of terror in France, fascism, like socialism, are an entirely secular belief system. The idea in socialism and fascism alike was to rearrange (change) the social order from the top down.

Fascism, in my view, is more of an attitude than a fixed set of political, economic, or social positions. Italian Fascism under Mussolini was not Hitlerism or American Progressivism.

All forms of "fascism" tend to be anti-capitalist and collectivist - they promote a welfare state. It differs by culture - Nazis were genocidal anti-Semites, while Italian and Spanish "fascists" protected their Jews from Hitler.

Francisco Franko of Spain, in fact "signed the document abrogating the 1492 Edit of Expulsion of Jews." (Goldberg P17)

Mussolini was an ex-communist and atheist. Jews in fact until 1938 were prominent in the Italian Fascist Party.

Many American and Western Progressives at times viewed Hitler, Lenin, and Mussolini with great reverence before World War 2 or the early 1930s. Notable is the famous writer H.G. Wells, who coined the term "liberal fascists." (He was very critical of Hitler's Mein Kampf.)

To quote Wells in a speech given to the Young Liberals at Oxford in 1932, "Progressives must become liberal fascists and enlightened Nazis." Wells was a significant "Progressive influence."

We must be cautious that the term "liberal" changed its meaning during the early 20th Century when it once stressed individual freedom, free markets, and limited government.

This includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, equality under the law (the opposite of Marxist social justice), etc. The writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, and Thomas Jefferson exemplified these ideas.

This change arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in response to industrialization, the rise of nationalism, and the decline of older religious values. This trend accelerated after World War I. So what Goldberg called liberal fascism would be appropriately called today Progressivism.

In 2022 the US Department of Justice and the FBI are taking on the characteristics of the East German Stasi. See 84% of Americans Fear the Government for Good Reason.

The most significant change overall was the rise of statism over individualism. This nonsense is cancer in Western academia and the idle, wealthy elite in Europe, America, and even Israel.

Traditional conservatives and classical liberals, the children of the American Revolution, utterly rejected this nonsense. It was imported into America from Europe and spread through elite universities.

Fascism differs from outright socialism/Marxism in that private property is retained in name but is heavily taxed/controlled if not outright a public-private partnership.

In Virginia and other states, a form of this is encouraged where state functions contracted to the private sector companies to the point they become the same institutions. The State, be it Federal or local, has become the economy through both spending and regulation.

This is how an oligarchy developed, much as was seen in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy under Mussolini. Even communist states such as the Soviet Union and East Germany had their oligarchies and ruling classes.

A big difference between Progressives from outright fascism is the lack of a nationalist element. Like Marxists, Progressives think in terms of the world, not country or people. Another factor is fascists, communists, and Progressives are irreligious.

The decline of traditional faith and values left a vacuum filled by the state and its various social gospels. The state became the power to promote these new secular "gospels" and even god itself.

Yes, Progressives do retain "democracy" if we wish to call democracy when the majority imposes its will on the minority for the "common good" over individual liberty and the U.S. Constitution

But America wasn't the only place to import this poison from Europe. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, European powers divided up the Muslim Middle East. (The exception was Saudi Arabia, never really under Ottoman control.) The various European powers exported fascism and communism into the Muslim world.

It would come first by Arab Christians and later by Muslims attending European universities and the Cold War. England, France, Communist Russia, and Nazi Germany openly exported their ideas into the Muslim world.

After the failure of these secular experiments in so many parts of the Muslim world, the extremists (Baathists, Arab Nationalists, Palestinians, etc.) went to Islam,

They melded many of the military and social structures they learned from Europeans into Islam.

Be they Saudi Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, etc., all employ terror tactics and social structures from Europe. Combined with Islam as the central religion, it poisoned the faith.

Most Muslims see Islam as a nation and all Muslims within that Islamic Nation. Thus Islamic Nationalism is Islamic Fascism. Under Islam, the state is Islam. And Sharia Law regulates every facet of one's life.

So Jonah Goldberg defined "fascism" as the following:

Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good.

It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well being, and seeks uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything including the economy and religion, must be aligned with the objectives. Any rival identity is part of "the problem" and therefore defined as the enemy.

Ref. Goldberg 12-21.

Modern American "liberals" are the polar opposite of classical liberals such as Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington. They are, as H.G. Wells suggested, "liberal fascists."

But this secular pseudo-religious fascism versus religious fascism is identical in practical terms.

To secular socialists and fascists, the state is everything - the state is at your service, like it or not. It's the same as fascist' Islam, where "separation" of anything doesn't exist under Sharia Law. Sharia dictates everything, and Muslims also long for an international Islamic leader to control the world. Liberal fascism (Progressivism) is all for "democracy" on paper, but like Islam, there is no individual freedom over the collective. (Human rights override individual rights.)

Islam sees "freedom" only within collective Islam. Progressivism sees "freedom" only within collective Progressivism.

So this is why those individuals from Muslim nations trying to bring true freedom and tolerance are met by deafening silence as the American (and European) leftist' Progressives. They often ignore their pleas for help while they scream week after week about how evil Israel and America are instead.

They are silent as Arab nationalists murder the Kurds. At the same time, "Queers for Palestine" voices support for Hamas and Fatah while both murder homosexuals.

They are silent as Hong Kong was crushed by Communist China, and still silent as millions of Chinese oppose CCP brutality in 2022.

Liberal fascists, Progressives, and Islamic fascists are evil siblings borne of the same whore. They have similar goals, economic and social, but differ only in their core religious beliefs.

They are beyond reason and compromise in their goals of destroying Western culture, symbolized by Israel and America.

They are uneasy allies for now, just as the Iranian communists and Islamist Mullahs were when they overthrew the Shah with the help of another Progressive President, Jimmy Carter.

Isn't Iran a democracy? Sure it is just asked those murdered in the elections of 2009. They did vote just as the citizens of the Soviet Union had a vote. Didn't Hamas get elected in the Arab terrorist state of Gaza?

Modern Islamic fascism is anti-Semitic, just as Nazism was. But modern liberal fascists are as well. The origin of modern anti-Semitism is on the left.

So I submit that the term Islamic fascism is an appropriate term. I also propose that most of these leftist' Jews are not Jews in any absolute sense. Judaism is tied up with G-d/Torah, just as an atheist has no genuine concept of America.

It is tied to a belief in G-d, as the American Founders saw it. (This is not the Jesus as God of Christian fundamentalists.) Both atheists' Jews and Gentiles seek a substitute the state as religion. What was it God said about idols?

Updated Nov. 30, 2012.