Sunday, December 30, 2007


The mainstream press is tending to eulogize the tragically assassinated Benazir Bhutto but lots of conservative blogs are pointing out the reservations that should be borne in mind about her. She was the socialist heir to a socialist dynasty and would almost certainly have done more harm than good if she had regained power in Pakistan. Ralph Peters is, as usual, the most acerbic in his comments.


Some good holiday reading

For those who still have some holiday time left, Jonah Goldberg's recent book ("Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning") sounds well worth a read. Sadly, I am betting that you won't pick it up at your local bookstore, however. Below is the Amazon synopsis of the book:

"Fascists," "Brownshirts," "jackbooted stormtroopers"-such are the insults typically hurled at conservatives by their liberal opponents. Calling someone a fascist is the fastest way to shut them up, defining their views as beyond the political pale. But who are the real fascists in our midst?

Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism.

Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term "National socialism"). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities-where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.

Do these striking parallels mean that today's liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots. We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States. W.E.B. Du Bois was inspired by Hitler's Germany, and Irving Berlin praised Mussolini in song. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated fascist policies in the New Deal.

Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a "friendlier," more liberal form. The modern heirs of this "friendly fascist" tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.

These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.



Smearing Ron Paul: "I couldn't help but be struck by the vicious smear of Ron Paul by a Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times. ... Sure, politics is a nasty business but I just couldn't help but wonder why the New York Times would publish garbage like this. Here's the thrust of Heffernan's attack: that Ron Paul has received donations from neo-Nazi extremist groups and has spoken at events attended by right-wing extremist individuals. ... Is this ludicrous or what? What are Heffernan and the New York Times suggesting -- that Ron Paul, one of the most committed libertarians around, has instead been a closet Nazi the whole time he has been in Congress? Or maybe they're suggesting that this committed libertarian has, all of a sudden, decided to convert to Nazism. Or maybe they're saying that libertarians don't really advocate individual freedom, free markets, and limited government but instead advocate statism and government control over economic activity."

You can be too clever: "The nineteenth century English philosopher John Stuart Mill bequeathed to modern conservatism a lasting inferiority complex when he dismissed the conservatives of his day as "the stupid party." ... Yet the sting of Mill's insult remains today, and it explains, in part, the conspicuous braininess of contemporary conservatism. Conservative think-tanks abound in PhD's and experts in every field imaginable, whose intelligence, as measured by IQ tests and academic credentials, is certainly a match for those of their ideological opponents. But has the emergence of a conservative intelligentsia proven to be an unmixed blessing? Or is the very phrase "conservative intelligentsia" an oxymoron? Let's begin by noting that the eagerness to appear intelligent to others is a fairly recent development among conservatives. By and large, the English Tories whom Mill dubbed as the original stupid party did not share this desire in the least... Their stupidity, as many of them no doubt hazily realized, was their best defense against the inroads of clever madmen intent on turning their world upside down-men like John Stuart Mill, for example, to whom tradition meant nothing, and who was willing to throw out the solid heritage of the past in the pursuit of the latest fad, dubbed by him "experiments in living."

The Chicken or the Egg (on His Face)?: "Which came first: the Chicken or the Egg? I ask because Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, brought it up. You see, Hoyer has supported earmarks totaling $96 million, including a $450,000 grant to the California-based InTune Foundation Group, to supposedly provide music education. InTune officials say they aren't sure what they are going to do with the money. The group's director offered that, "It might be music camps. It might be lessons. It might be how to be a DJ. It might be how to create a television show." Last year, InTune got $500,000 and failed to report what they did with the money. Asked why he went to bat for this earmark, Hoyer replied, "I thought it was a program that would be a positive program." Some testimonial. Of course, it couldn't be the more than $30,000 that Hoyer's political action committee has received from folks connected to InTune."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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