Liberal Fascism

Nationalism, McArdle, Cont’d

From a reader:

Jonah,

Just got my copy of LF over Amazon a few days ago. (Incidentally, Amazon had the book in stock when I ordered and shipped it promptly; this was during the supposed “3-6 week shortage.” Maybe I just got lucky). I’m enjoying it so far; excellent work.

I’ve followed your responses to your critics on the LF blog and two things strike me:

(1) By defining nationalism as right-wing, your critics acknowledge what the right has been saying for some time — that the left today is made up of people who, well, don’t really care about their country.

(2) The quibbling over whether or not militarism is a right-wing phenomenon and/or a defining characteristic of fascism is silly. To me, fascism is the reorganization of the state along rigidly militaristic lines, whereas your critics seem to use “militarism” as a stand-in for “a high level of military readiness and mobilization in a time of war,” which is not only not particularly right-wing but not even peculiar to fascism or totalitarianism generally. Mobilization is the natural state of any society which is embroiled in a war it hopes to survive. My own use of the word militarism squares reasonably well with the historical facts, since it is clear that the Progressives wanted Wilson’s “war socialism” to outlast the war on which it was based; they wanted it, in fact, to be a permanent reorganization of American society, much as European fascists had sought to do with their own societies.

Of course, the main reason I’m thankful for your book is that it exposes the slutty opportunism of the historical American left; throughout the 20th century, they have consistently taken the wrong side, and your book coughs up mountains of evidence to prove it. Even if your arguments regarding fascism were completely worthless, this alone makes the book worth buying.

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