I just added this book to my “in the mail” list.
I’ve been eyeing it for a few weeks anyway, but now it has hit the #1 spot on Amazon.com.
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 FDR 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, 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 of today’s progressives would probably be better categorized as “closet fascists” — they don’t openly praise the global Islamic fascism movement; but they certainly denounce efforts to combat it, and create moral equivalency with Islamic terrorists and Western governments.
I’m glad this must-read is on its way to me now!
UPDATE (from Dan): I was pleased to see the book prominently displayed at the Borders in the Greater Cincinnati Airport. I bought a conservative book not so prominently displayed, Laura Ingraham’s Power to the People. But, I just ordered Jonah’s book from Amazon. I look forward to reading it.