Liberal Fascism

Something Like That

A reader in response to Ledeen:

Hi, Jonah,

Yes, he has his political scientist hat on, while your book is political philosophy or intellectual history. You’re a guy looking at two fish saying, “They’re the same thing: fish.” He’s the specialist in ichthyology saying, “Nice try, but please. But this is a carp and the other is a haddock. The differences may be enumerated thusly….”

So, you’re not a leftist if you don’t let non-veterans into your movement? Wilson wasn’t a fascist because he wasn’t a dictator of a single-party state?

And you’re not a leftist if your nationalism leads you to oppose international communism? He’s so inside his inside baseball that he doesn’t see that it’s all baseball.

Cool article, though!

Update: Here’s another:

Jonah:   I read Michael Leeden’s review.  He made some very interesting points and one that I think was a bit unfair.  He criticized you for importing European concepts of right and left and imposed them on a discussion of U.S. politics.  I think that several times in your book you said that such importations did not translate well to U.S. politics.  You certainly made that clear in your discussion of your book at the DC Borders.    On interpretation of your book  and sort of how I approached it was, “OK for the past 60 years you (liberals) have insisted on taking European labels and concepts of right and left and applying it American political scene. We (conservatives, classical liberals, libertarians) have insisted that it does not apply but you have ignored that entirely reasonable point.  Let’s see how American conservatism and liberalism fares if we try to do a serious comparison to European political ideologies.”   I don’t know if you will ever sell the idea that American liberalism is some form of soft fascism (I believe it is) to the broader political culture but if you simply make American liberals hesitant to callously throw around the fascist or Nazi insult, your book has done some good.   [Name Withheld],    Your “never responds to his email guy”

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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