Liberal Fascism

Obama at the 9/11 Forum Thing

When the transcript is up, I’ll publish the excerpt. But readers of my book — who are actually watching this — should have immediately recognized the moral equivalent of war argument in Obama’s opening remarks. In short, he wants to recreate the spirit after 9/11 — just without 9/11. He wants Americans to act like they did when we felt we were under attack and at war, but just without war. 

Two points: 

1) This is the century old American progressive project, pure and simple. Create a climate where everyone joins in a collective, state-run or directed, effort without the external threat of actual war. This Jamesian vision was the galvanizing principle behind progressivism and fascism alike, and they endure today — and we call them noble.

2) It can’t be done. You cannot sustain a civil society war footing without a war (or natural disaster) for long before people (rightly) return to their own lives. 

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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