Dale's Reviews > Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg
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Mar 06, 12

Read in May, 2008

An Impressive Amount of Research

The traditional left-right concept of political beliefs is incorrect. Understanding this is key to understanding Goldberg's thesis that modern liberalism is the intellectual heir to Rousseau's ideas, the French Revolution and is, at the very least, the intellectual cousin to both fascism (especially Italian Fascism) and Soviet Communism.

To fully understand this you have to understand that measuring political philosophy with a one-dimensional left-right line lack the depth to measure both social and economic political philosophies. A quadrant map used to measure political beliefs will more accurately show depth of support for government involvement in economic issues, political rights and social issues. Anarchists lie at the edge of one quadrant, Libertarians a little more toward the center of that same quadrant but totalitarians lie in the opposite corner. Search the web to discover more about the grid concept for yourself.

Knowing this and actually knowing the stated goals of the fascist states (not including the racial discrimination of the Nazis), one can easily see that those goals are more in line with those of modern liberals and not with those of the Right, despite the popular belief that Fascists are nothing more than extreme Conservatives.

On the political grid, one can see that Fascists and Communists are really nearly the same thing, or at the very least political cousins of one another. They are both Totalitarians. Totalitarianism it the opposite of the Enlightenment philosophies that America was founded upon (see John Locke) and they are the opposite of the views of Classical Liberals.

Goldberg's thesis in Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning is that modern liberals are not Adolph Hitler death camp fascists. Rather, they are akin to Mussolini's pre-World War II vision of fascism.

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