Monday, January 14, 2008

Conservative Thought: A Contradiction in Terms

I've yet to hear if anyone locally has purchased Jonah Goldberg's bathroom opus, "Liberal Fascism," though I'm fairly certain that James Wigderson once wrote he had ordered it. Can't wait for his review. Really. In any case, after reading Brad Reed's review over at, I may just have to purchase the book for laughs, or at least to be able to keep up with James.

Here are a couple of funny paragraphs from Reed's review (To Esenberg: The italicized sections are not examples of prooftexting. Rather, the selections are those I thought especially humorous. Sheesh.)

For the uninitiated, Liberal Fascism is a new book by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg that contends that Hitler and Mussolini were committed left-wingers, and that today's liberals are fascism's natural intellectual heirs. While this may sound like yet another Coulteresque quickie aimed at prying some money out of Dittohead Nation, Goldberg insists that it is actually a Very Serious Work that "isn't like any Ann Coulter book" because it presents an argument that "has never been made in such detail or with such care. Goldberg also goes to great lengths from the start of the book to say that he's not really saying liberals are fascists, but hey, here are 400 pages of similarities between liberals and fascists, and if you start associating the two of them by the end of the book, then that's not his fault.

But despite Goldberg's protestations and caveats, "Liberal Fascism" is indeed a remarkably silly work that's jam-packed with the same sloppy logic and dodgy research that we've come to expect from today's conservative pundit class. On page 2, for instance, Goldberg admits that he doesn't really know how to define fascism and that "not even the professionals have figured out what exactly fascism is." But as anyone who's followed Goldberg's career can tell you, lacking knowledge on any given subject in no way impedes him from writing over 400 pages on it.
Sounds like a certain local MJS columnist.

Anyway, sounds like fun. If this is the state of conservative thought these days, it's no wonder that voters are turning away from those bozos in droves.


  1. Sadly, No! contains some of the more hilarious deconstructions. Links here.

  2. I did read that, but forgot. Thanks.

  3. I can't wait to see how much he cribbed from Leonard Peikoff's "The Ominous Parallels", a 1983 book where he predicted the Left would soon take over the USA, erase personal liberties, drain the country of resources, and lead to a Nazi-like state. Always with the Nazis. Who knew it would be the Neocons instead!?

  4. Jessica Mc Who? Even Charlie was thnking the other Jessica.

  5. Actually, the book is a serious look at the definitions and origins of liberalism and fascism. The title comes from HG Wells expressed preference for a form of "liberal fascism."

    I'd comment more, but unfortunately the book is selling so well my copy is on back order.