Liberal Fascism

LF & Weigel

From a reader:

Hi Jonah,

I appreciate your thoughtful analysis in National Review as well as your excellent book, Liberal Fascism.  As a high school history teacher, I have learned a lot from your writing and analysis.  I must be subconsciously on a natural law/anti-moral relativism kick because I am reading LF, Crime and Punishment along with George Weigel’s collection of essays, Against the Grain, and Richard Pipes’ Communism

Anywho, more to the point, I recognize that you are not religious, but have an immense respect for religion ‘properly’ understood.  Weigel’s book has a thought-provoking essay entitled: Two Ideas of Freedom that you should check out.  It uses Isaiah Berlin’s ideas about positive and negative liberty and teases out the theories to demonstrate how some in the West sought redemption through utopian ideals of political and economic systems, while others recognized that heaven will never be brought about on earth, and we must struggle to do the best we can.  Anyway, as I read LF and Against the Grain, the political theory and events-on-the-ground found an intersection, and I thought of you. 

An excerpt:

The first wake-up call came in the aftermath of the dramatic advances in genetics, including the decryption of the human genome, and the biotechnologies this new knowledge rapidly spawned.  Suddenly, Francis Fukuyama’s image of the “end of history” seemed overrun by Aldous Huxley’s “brave new world”.  Human beings, it became clear would soon have the capacity to remanufacture the human condition-precisely by manufacturing or remanufacturing human beings.  The new tyranny on the horizon was not the jackbooted totalitarian state of Orwell’s 1984; that was the tyranny that had haunted our dreams during what Jeane Kirkpatrick once aptly described as the “Fifty-Five Years’ Emergency”-the civilizational crisis that ran from Hitler’s military re-occupation of the Rhineland in 1936 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  Rather, the new and ominous possibility on the near-term horizon was something quite different: the mindlessly pleasurable, thoroughly dehumanized, and massively coercive dystopia of Huxley’s brilliant imagination”.  (169)

Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work,

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