Skip to comments.Liberals Are Leading America Into Fascism
Posted on 04/03/2009 8:47:49 AM PDT by Michael Eden
More and more, we are seeing our country moved not just toward European socialism, but toward fascism (which, of course, is also European). As this longtime trend now dramatically picks up speed, we should first realize a couple of critical points: First of all, socialism, communism and fascism are kissing cousins, intimately related to one another. "U.S.S.R." was an acronym for "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." "N.A.Z.I." was an acronym for "National Socialist German Workers' Party."
Second, both communism and fascism are products of the left. Ask yourself this: if we had a "National Socialist American Workers' Party," does it sound to you like something that would be more in line with conservatives and Republicans or with liberals and Democrats?
I personally began to understand the link between modern American liberalism and fascism by way of my own study of postmodernism. This connection began with my readings of Gene Edward Veith's books, Postmodern Times and Modern Fascism. As a result of my readings I wrote an article, "How Postmodernism Leads to Fascism" - consisting of three parts (part 2; part 3) - exploring the relationship of the ideas underlying postmodern thought and fascistic thought. I subsequently came to discover that others had had similar understandings (e.g. see George Crowder's review of Richard Wolin's book, The Seduction of Unreason: the Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism entitled, "Are post modernists fascist?"
I must here hasten to add that neither Gene Edward Veith nor the aforementioned writers directly attempted in their projects to connect fascism with liberalism or with the Democratic Party. But in my readings I could not help but repeatedly hear striking similarities between the positions I was seeing inherent in postmodernism and fascism with the ideas coming out of the mouths of prominent Democrats.
My point is that when you study the presuppositions, the worldview, underlying postmodernism, and do the same thing with fascism, you begin to see far too many similarities to simply dismiss. It is fair to say that "postmodernism" is a philosophical perspective, and that "fascism" is the resulting political expression of postmodern thought. And the Democratic Party, in buying into postmodern thought, are increasingly buying into fascism.
If I had truly had an original idea in seeing a connection between modern American liberalism and fascism, Jonah Goldberg beat me to its examination in his thought-provoking work, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini tot he Politics of Meaning. While my studies had focused primarily upon philosophy and underlying worldviews, Goldberg's book is a solid study of brute history.
Goldberg doesn't merely assign pejorative labels to people and groups he doesn't like. Rather, he painstakingly explores - through original sources and through the works of influential historians - the thoughts and policies of fascists such as Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, and then demonstrates the clear connection of their thoughts and policies with the thoughts and policies of American progressives and liberals such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and others. Even George W. Bush - with his "compassionate conservatism" and his "No child left behind," is discovered to be connected with certain fascist tendencies (see page 23).
Nor does Goldberg set out to use his terms such as "fascist" and "totalitarian" as a harsh, negative, politically-charged charged accusation. For instance, of "totalitarianism" he says:
"But what do we mean when we say something is "totalitarian"? The word itself has certainly taken on an understandably sinister connotation in the last half century. Thanks to work by Hannah Arendt, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and others, it's become a catchall for brutal, soul-killing, Orwellian regimes. But that's not how the word was originally used or intended. Mussolini himself coined the term to describe a society where everybody belonged, where everyone was taken care of, where everything was inside the state and nothing was outside; where truly no child was left behind" (p. 14).And he then leaves it up to the reader to decide whether "totalitarianism" - now properly understood in its historical context - is actually more compatible with the philosophy of conservatism or liberalism. And in the same way Goldberg does not set out to attack liberals by comparing them to Hitler, but rather to contrast the fascism of Hitler from the fascism of American liberals:
"This American fascism seems - and is - very different from its European variants because it was moderated by many special factors - geographical size, ethnic diversity, Jeffersonian individualism, a strong classical liberal tradition, and so on. As a result, American fascism is milder, more friendly, more "maternal" than its foreign counterparts - "smiley-face fascism." Nice fascism. The best term to describe it is "liberal fascism." And this liberal fascism was, and remains, fundamentally left wing" (p. 8).But he demonstrates in the body of his book that the shoe - in this case the label "fascism" - clearly fits the modern American left - and NOT the right.
One of the reasons leftists have been able to charge the right with being "fascists" is the tendency of conservatives to place a high value on a powerful military - making them "militaristic" and thus fascistic in the minds of leftists. But this charge is simply unfair for two reasons: 1) because most conservatives want a powerful military in order to maintain a deterrent against attack from totalitarian regimes, not to defeat and despoil peaceful countries; and 2) because "militarism" is a mindset that has far larger overtones than merely creating military armies.
Of this second point, Goldberg writes:
"Consider militarism, which will come up again and again in the course of this book. Militarism was indisputably central to fascism (and communism) in countless countries. But it has a much more nuanced relationship with fascism than one might suppose... But for far more people, militarism was a pragmatic expedient: the highest, best means for organizing society in productive ways. Inspired by ideas like those in William James' famous essay "The Moral Equivalent of War," militarism seemed to provide a workable and sensible model for achieving desirable ends. Mussolini, who openly admired and invoked James, used this logic for his famous "Battle of the Grains" and other sweeping social initiatives. Such ideas had an immense following in the United States, with many leading progressives championing the use of "industrial armies" to create the ideal workers' democracy. Later, Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps - as militaristic a social program as one can imagine - borrowed from these ideas, as did JFK's Peace Corps.It's one thing to believe that we need a strong national defense; and quite another to seek to militarize an entire society toward goals chosen by autocrats. The former is simply prudent in a dangerous world; the second is fascist.
This trope has hardly been purged from contemporary liberalism. Every day we hear about the "war on cancer," the "war on drugs," the "War on poverty," and exhortations to make this or that social challenge the "moral equivalent of war." From health care to gun control to global warming, liberals insist that we need to "get beyond politics" and "put ideological differences behind us" in order to "do the people's business." The experts and scientists know what to do, we are told; therefore the time for debate is over. This, albeit in a nicer and more benign form, is the logic of fascism - and it was on ample display in the administrations of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and yes, even John F. Kennedy" (pp. 5-6).
Having stated the fact that "fascism" is a species within the umbrella category of "socialism," there are yet distinguishing features that would make a particular "socialist" system "fascist." Sheldon Richman (of the Foundation for Economic Education) provides the distinction in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics in his entry on "Fascism":
Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society's economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the "national interest"--that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.Appearing on the Glenn Beck television program on April 1, 2009, Richman said:
"Under socialism there was no facade of free markets or capitalism, whatever you want to call it. Everything was just nationalized, and the economy was just a government operation. Under fascism - under Mussolini in Italy and then under Hitler in the 30s with the Nazis - they left intact what looked like private businesses; the government just dictated all the terms. But in both cases - in fascism and socalism - the market was effectively abolished. There was no marketplace. There was no bidding, there was no haggling, there was no market.Sheldon Richman acknowledges that we aren't fascist quite yet, but he also says:
And that should give us an important disctinction of what is going on today in the United States. The market has not been abolished in the United States. It is very heavily burdened by government, but that is not the same as abolishing it."
"We've been on that road [moving away from our republic and toward a system of fascism] for a very long time. We've been on that road for ages, even into the 19th century. We sometimes take two steps forward, and then one back, sometimes we take one step forward, and two steps back. The GM and the AIG situations are more like fascism than socialism."Jonah Goldberg likewise argues that the left has - to various degrees - embraced fascism since at least the early 20th century. And - in the light of the last few months - it is vital that we note that we have lurched not one or two steps toward fascism, but dozens of steps in what now frankly appears to a headlong rush.
I point out in a recent article that the last president who fired the CEO of a private company was Vladimir Putin. And the Obama administration has not only fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner, but it will not rule out firing other CEOs of private companies, as well. The Obama administration has already spent more and added more debt than every president from George Washington to George Bush - combined. We are looking at unsustainable levels of federal spending under Obama, which the Congressional Budget Office says will result in "an ever-expanding national debt that would exceed 82% of the overall economy by 2019."
We are watching a frightening takeover of the economy by the federal government in an incredibly short period of time from an administration whose chief of staff and whose Secretary of State have already essentially said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste... it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before."
Obama has appointed a global warming czar, Carol Browner, who had been one of the leaders of a socialist group whose position on global governance includes the view that the United States should abdicate its international leadership to international organizations, and that the international community should be the ultimate arbiter of climate change policy.
Obama nominated Harold Koh as the State Department's legal adviser, a man who:
"once wrote that the U.S. was part of an 'axis of disobedience' with North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Koh also has long held that the U.S. should accept international law when deliberating cases at home.... Koh also advocates a 'transnational legal process' and has criticized the U.S. for its failure to 'obey global norms.'"And now we have Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner literally saying he is open to replacing the US dollar with a new global currency:
Geithner, at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the U.S. is "open" to a headline-grabbing proposal by the governor of the China's central bank, which was widely reported as being a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar, but which Geithner described as more modest and "evolutionary."While Geithner flip-flopped on his "open" positon less than 24 hours after expressing it, all three high level Obama officials reveal a shocking openness - if not an outright call - for a new internationalist order in which we unpeg ourselves from our Constitution and move into international law as the source of our authority.
"I havent read the governors proposal. Hes a very thoughtful, very careful distinguished central banker. I generally find him sensible on every issue," Geithner said, saying that however his interpretation of the proposal was to increase the use of International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights -- shares in the body held by its members -- not creating a new currency in the literal sense.
"Were actually quite open to that suggestion you should see it as rather evolutionary rather building on the current architecture rather than moving us to global monetary union," he said.
"The only thing concrete I saw was expanding the use of the [special drawing rights]," Geithner said. "Anything hes thinking about deserves some consideration."
Which is more quintessentially fascist than anything this nation has ever seen, as former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton explained on the April 1, 2009 Glenn Beck program:
"There are a lot of people, some of whom are now in the Obama administration, who believe that the United States should move into a process of 'international norming,' where we conform our domestic laws to the international consensus - whether it's on death penalty or climate change, or gun control, a whole range of issues - for almost every domestic issue, there's a kind of international counterpart. I think this is fundamentally dangerous because I think ultimately it takes decision-making away from the people and our constitutional system and puts it into the international arena."We have little enough sway over our own elected officials. Imagine how little influence we would have over unelected global autocrats imposing their "global consciousness" upon us.
And again, this is a trend that is now dramatically increasing in velocity. Liberal Supreme Court Justices have been looking to international law as a source for legitimization of the rulings they have wanted to impose on the American people for years.
Fascism has been coming into our country for decades. It is flooding into our country right now. And it is - and has been - liberals urging it upon us.
More than 150 years ago Alexis de Tocqueville predicted that such a smiley-faced fascist state would mean the death of liberty in America:
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances; what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?Right now individual citizens as well as major banks and corporations such as AIG and General Moters are trading their freedom for security. But Benjamin Franklin addressed the tradeoff that we are seeing being made more and more often:
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
Will 0bama supporters/libs accept poverty and opression without question?
I’m not sure what it is. All I know is that real fascists—and real communists for that matter—wouldn’t tolerate this same-sex marriage nonsense like what just happened in Iowa. Maybe we are sinking into something worse.
Wow. That is all I can say. Not that it surprises me, but wow.
bookmark for later
FASCISM is becoming the topic du jours
It is what has been occurring before us as first Bush43 then stooge obama choose (or have chosen on their behalf) unelected reps like Paulsen and Geithner as front men
then the frontmen intimidate the US congress into giving them massive an unaccountable funds to use to force scared private businesses into ostensibly benevolent “partnerships” (remember reports Paulson threatened to surround the uS Capitol with force to prevent Congress leaving unless Congress signed the TARP?)
then the frontmen (aka “the govt”) take over running the private businesses’ operations
thanks to president zero
american businesses will be regulated from
Neither do Islamists.
Homosexual activists will be truly surprised when they realize what disposable tools they've been.
I said it before and I’ll keep saying it: “One small step for man, one giant goosestep for America!”
His comments on Goldberg’s book are completely accurate. That was one of the things I liked about it - Goldberg simply gave you the meanings and definitions as explained by those who came up with the ideologies and lived by them and then lets the reader see how obvious it really is...
Hitler and some of his minions were big animal rights people and had a lot of idiosyncratic beliefs that are in sync with much of what our “left” spouts. It was very eye-opening.
Hitler had no problem using homosexuals to achieve his goals.
That's ridiculous. Islamic extremists kill homosexuals...we just rebuke them and watch them parade around in SFS is silly get-ups.
Will they feel anything when 0bama’s boot is up their rear ends?
Im not sure what it is. All I know is that real fascistsand real communists for that matterwouldnt tolerate this same-sex marriage nonsense like what just happened in Iowa. Maybe we are sinking into something worse.
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That’s an interesting point.
Both the NAZIs and the communists went after homosexuals because they were emobodiements of decadence. The NAZIs had “Mercy wagons” that hauled off children with birth defects, chronic bed wetters, etc. etc. and euthanized them along with homosexuals and gypsies who were similarly determined to be “defectives.” They had a slogan to describe their program: Lebensunwertes Leben (Life Unworthy of Life).
The History Channel had a program documenting that the SA that Hitler used to rise to power was practically a homosexual organization. And MANY homosexuals have been pro-communist. But they were disposable (Hitler annhiliated them in the Night of the Long Knives). They were the embodiement of the term “useful idiots.”
Jonah Goldberg discussed fascism as a phenomena that - while sharing commonalities - took on a different face in every culture that embraced it. He contrasted Italian fascism from German fascism, for example, and discussed how American fascism would be a different species from either.
Fascism IS fundamentally intolerant, and WILL be intolerant in the US just as it was in NAZI Germany. The only question becomes, “Who will American fascism be intolerant of?”
Not to belie the Authors underlying point too badly, but this quote:
“First of all, socialism, communism and fascism are kissing cousins, intimately related to one another. “
Is painful to read as a history scholar and not even remotely accurate as 31 Million Dead on the WWII European Eastern Front will attest.
Let’s keep our argument to the facts please, they’re on our side. Now is not the time for our side to be producing sound-bytes which can be used to incorrectly paint the entire Conservative Movement as “Ignorant of History.” This quote certainly could qualify.
—Hitler had no problem using homosexuals to achieve his goals.—
Until the Night of the Long Knives, when he purged the queer-dominated SA. After that, they were given striped pajamas with a pink triangle sewn on them and shipped off to “camp.”
liberals insist that we need to “get beyond politics” and “put ideological differences behind us” in order to “do the people’s business.” The experts and scientists know what to do, we are told; therefore the time for debate is over.
Yet, the left will pride themselves on:
1) open-mindedness( unless one disagrees then it’s hate speech)
2) celebrating diversity( capitalists and Christians not included)
3) engaging in civil debate( do as we say and not as we do)
4) possessing progressive ideas( economic equal outcomes = fairness)
5) personal privacy (unless it’s gov’t seizing of ones wealth)
6) free choices( as long as the state is providing the choices)
I will also never look at Teddy Roosevelt with the same admiration again. He was a "progressive" himself.
I also never knew how many things we think of as patriotic in the USA actually started as a means to lead us to fascism. The worship of the state over the individual.
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