Liberal Fascism

Michael Moynihan

Ahhh this is more like it. Michael Moynihan has an interesting response to some “history lesson” for me written by John Scalzi. Moynihan’s response shows that unlike Scalzi — and Andrew Sullivan — he’s actually read a good deal about fascism. 

I haven’t read the Scalzi piece itself yet, though it doesn’t sound like I need to rush. But I have a question or two for Moynihan. He writes:

Indeed, the document linked by Scalzi was ghostwritten by fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile, a neo-Hegelian intellectual schooled in Marxism and, according to Gregor, who wrote a biography of Gentile, a man whose writings “won the admiration of Lenin himself.” This is hardly surprising, as Italian fascism’s roots are a mishmash of left-wing ideology (socialism and Marxism) and right-wing nationalism (Futurism).

I’m curious more than anything else what Moynihan means when he says that the Futurists were associated with right-wing nationalism. I’m open to the suggestion. And, as he notes, the word “right” was flung about quite often (Mussolini of course used it in the way Marxists used the term right, more on that in the next post).  But what was it about the Futurists that was rightwing in Moynihan’s mind? 

I also liked this quote from the British Fascist Oswald Mosley: “Indeed, Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, argued that real ‘economic freedom’ could only be produced under a fascist government, and that ‘real freedom means good wages, short hours, security in employment, good houses, opportunity for leisure and recreation with family and friends.’” 

This, it should be noted is exactly the argument (minus the phrase “fascist government”) that both Dewey and FDR made about freedom. See, for example FDR’s “second bill of rights.”


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