Liberal Fascism?

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThere are many great and wonderful books out there that I would highly recommend to my readers. This is not one of them. The book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning , by Jonah Goldberg, argues that government polices by “liberal” presidents—from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin D. Roosevelt—were little different from those of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and German dictator Adolf Hitler. Goldberg argues that in their time, the politics of Hitler and Mussolini were considered “left-wing” and therefore no different from Roosevelt’s New Deal or Wilson’s progressive agenda. Because of this their ideas were therefore “socialist” and not too different from each other. Among the reasons why Goldberg cites Hitler and Mussolini on the one hand and Roosevelt on the other was similar was talk about the government running everything and their talk about euthanizing people with handicaps. The book Liberal Fascism was at one time on the New York Times’ bestseller list.

One of my arguments, among many with this book, is that it was ever on the New York Times’ bestseller list. This book is full of inaccuracies and non-sense. Whatever talk there may have been about euthanasia in America in the 1930’s, the government never carried out mass murder of handicapped people. The Nazis did. The United States never implemented policies and laws that not only disenfranchised an entire group of people but put them into concentration camps, outright murdered them, and eventually developed a plan for mass exterminating them. True, the United States had racial laws against African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans, but as bad as these were America did not implement plans to do away with these minorities. Even the internment of Japanese Americans during America’s part in World War II cannot possibly compare to the extermination campaigns by the Nazis against whole populations in Eastern Europe. This book reminds me of some ultra-conservative loonies who in the 1980’s tried to compare Roosevelt to Hitler—trying to cite their speech and publicity styles as “proof” that they were similar.

The only thing similar between Roosevelt and Hitler is in the wild imaginations of those right-wing idiots who are writing far-out conspiracy theory books and then marketing them. This book is just one more attempt to deconstruct history and then rebuild the past as some kind of wild, far-out government conspiracy that has “made” America into the “liberal” and “leftist” state it is now. In the minds of such demented people, what they call liberalism is no better and no different than fascism. On a personal note I feel pretty insulted in how people like this throw around the label of fascism against something they do not like. I had lived under a system of government that could only be called fascist, and it bears no resemblance to what right-wing nutcase ultra-conservatives call “liberalism.” After what I experienced, I give thanks everyday that I am living in the United States—whether run by liberals or conservatives! Well, I can only say that I recommend reading Liberal Fascism if only for seeing the absurdity of the argument. I recommend going to your nearby library to check it out (for heaven’s sake, don’t spend money on this one!).

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