Exploring Jonah Goldberg's Book Liberal Fascism
Many people today use terms such as Islamo-fascism or Islamism. Many of radical Islam's allies on the left claim the term 'fascism" has no relation to Islam, but never hesitate to use the term in relation to 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 a number of political and social issues.
In a provocative book by Jonah Goldberg titled Liberal Fascism, Goldberg rightly goes through how both Hitler and Mussolini were both 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 entirely secular belief systems. 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 both Hitler, Lenin, and Mussolini with great reverence prior to 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 major "Progressive influence."
We must be very careful that the term "liberal" changed 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. These ideas are exemplified in the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, and Thomas Jefferson.
This change arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in response industrialization, the rise of nationalism, and the decline of older religious values. This accelerated after World War I. So what Goldberg called liberal fascism would be properly called today Progressivism.
Let me stress this isn't so much an outright police state as much as constant low-level coercion through regulations, threats from the I.R.S., hate crime laws to silence free speech, government attack on unapproved religious expression, etc.
The biggest change overall was the rise of statism over individualism. This nonsense is embedded like a 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 though elite universities.
It 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 are contracted to private sector companies to the point they become the same institutions.
This is how an oligarchy develops 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 class by the fact special stores were set aside for party members selling goods unavailable to the masses.
A big difference with Progressives from outright fascism is lack of a nationalist element. Like Marxists, Progressives think in terms of world, not country or people. Another factor is fascists, communists, and Progressives are irreligious.
The decline of traditional faith and values left a vacuum to filled by the state and their assorted 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 simply imposes it 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, most of the Muslim Middle East was chopped up by various European powers. (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 by 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 over to Islam, melded many of the military and social structures they learned from Europeans into Islam.
Be they Saudi Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, etc. they all employ terror tactics and social structures from Europe combined with Islam as the central religion. 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 ones 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 to classical liberals such as Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington. They are as H.G. Wells suggested, "liberal fascists." While they often reject traditional Judeo-Christian faith, they are still religious either opting for syncretistic' nonsense such as New Age religion or Eastern mysticism or even the state itself. But this secular pseudo-religious fascism versus religious fascism are 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 there is no separation of anything under Sharia Law. Sharia dictates everything and Muslims also long for a Islamic international 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 right override individual rights.)
So this is why those from Muslim nations trying to bring true freedom and tolerance are met by deafening silence as the American (and European) leftist' Progressives often ignore their pleas for help while they scream week after week about how evil Israel and America really are instead. They are silent as the Kurds are murdered by Arab nationalists, while "Queers for Palestine" voices support for Hamas and Fatah while both murder homosexuals.
Liberal fascists or Progressives and Islamic fascists are evil twins borne of the same whore. They have similar goals and economic social structures, 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 help of anther 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. In fact the origin of modern anti Semitism is on the left.
So I submit that the term Islamic fascism is an appropriate term. I also submit that most of these leftist' Jews are not Jews in any real sense of the term. Judaism is tied up with G-d/Torah, just as an atheist has no real concept of America, tied into a belief in G-d as the American Founders saw it. (This is not the Jesus as God of Christian fundamentalists.) Both atheist' Jews and Gentiles alike seek a substitute religion, the state. What was it God said about idols?
Updated May 11, 2010.
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