Fascism & Thuggery Cont’d


Jim Ryan chimes back in:

Hi, Jonah,

Boy, I’ve never quite so enjoyed being corrected! You and your readers’ criticisms are welcome.

My own refutation of the argument on my blog last winter went simply like this. The best analysis of fascism is that it is totalitarianism with a cult of personality (a cult of the “general will”). This analysis doesn’t entail brutality or violence. Therefore the criticism is refuted.

You and your readers bring up so many interesting points. This is surprising, given that we had merely been disagreeing over the prima facie plausibility of an argument we all took to be unsound! I believe your blog is refusing to be retired at the moment because LF is such fertile ground.

Update: A reader responds:

“Fascism is totalitarianism (a religion of the state) with a cult of personality.” Sounds like a certain presidential candidate that I know…
I agree with Jim. Don’t retire the blog. I check it often. I like the mix of intellectual history and pop culture analysis. Perhaps you could even take a page out of Geraghty’s playbook and rename it the LF-Spot. LF-Spotting is one of my favorite aspects of the blog and the ones that I like to send around to friends and family. As Glenn Reynolds would say, “More please.”


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