Liberal Fascism

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C.E.H. Wiedel at Kicking over My Traces is about two-thirds through and writes, in part:

Disclosure: I haven’t read Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg cover to cover yet. I’ve read about two-thirds through, plus the last chapter.

That’s enough to form an opinion: if you’re conservative, it will have you pumping your fist and saying, “Yessss!”

If you’re progressive or liberal, you may not get past the Hitler-moustachioed smiley face on the book’s cover — which would leave you in ignorance of a big chunk of progressive and liberal political history.

You as a progressive or liberal may be okay with forgetting your history. You’re all about experimenting, moving on, being pragmatic, applying reason and science to areas formerly the province of custom, tradition and faith. Progressivism shakes loose from the chains of custom, tradition and faith into the freedom of rationalism and the scientific method.

But history is a social science, and Mr. Goldberg is applying it. His book is serious history, not a reductio ad Hitlerum against modern liberalism. Liberals and progressives would improve their arguments in support of their own position if they were informed about their own history, with responses prepared for objections raised by that history.

A more substantive review can be found at South Dakota Politics. I need to read the whole thing more carefully, but the upshot is: Front half history stuff thumbs up, second half contemporary stuff, thumbs down or sideways.  More on that soon as I think lots of people who think I’m over-reaching in the later chapters — i.e. the Hillary and culture stuff — may be guilt at least in part of over-reading.


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