The Corner

In LF News

Falkenblog mentions LF in a discussion of Nazi economic productivity.

And a reader sends me this:


Your book gets a mention in Kenneth Minogue’s The Servile Mind.  In quickly going through the problems of the left/right categorization he points to the successful “brand differentiation” of communism, describes Mussolini as a “the sometime socialist” and says of Communists, Nazis, and fascists that they all “appealed to socialist slogans.”

In the page notes:

This doctrine is, I’m afraid, deeply offensive to anyone on the left, but it is certainly the standard view of anyone who knows anything about Italian fascism.  For a restatement of the general doctrine, see Jonah Goldberg. Liberal Fascism.

And I’m a bit late with this, but in Michael Tomasky’s post-election whine, he suggested, among other amusing things, that I’ve wildly undersold my book, given its impact. He writes:

The Republicans moved to the right during the Bush years. But more important, conservative rhetoric became increasingly intolerant, strident, extreme and unhinged; a 2008 book that un-ironically promoted Adolf Hitler as a “man of the left” vaulted up the bestseller charts, its lessons now taken as gospel by millions of conservatives. Long-ago Democratic president Woodrow Wilson, meanwhile, known to most of us as a modestly progressive idealist, is in the right-wing canon America’s first fascist ruler.

I do love this. First of all, only a certain kind of self-infatuated partisan could look back on the Bush years and see it as a time when the Republican Party moved to the right (No Child Left Behind, compassionate conservatism, Medicare Part D, etc.), while conservative rhetoric became increasingly intolerant. It’s as if ANSWER, Michael Moore, MoveOn, the lefty blogs, and Howard Dean never happened. As for Wilson, Tomasky’s argument, for want of a better word, is that the right’s view of Wilson is wrong because the conventional wisdom among “most of us” says it is. That’s even worse than his last try.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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