Books: Fascists Driving on the Far Left; Book of the Week LIBERAL FASCISM by Jonah Goldberg ****

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), March 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Books: Fascists Driving on the Far Left; Book of the Week LIBERAL FASCISM by Jonah Goldberg ****


Byline: by Lorne Jackson

IT'S no easy task attempting to pursue a serious debate with the silky-smug Lefties who dominate the political agenda.

When you mildly complain to them that the number of migrants allowed into the UK should be monitored more effectively, or even shrunk to a manageable number, you're labelled a right-wing fascist.

If you claim suicide bombing should be blamed on bile-burping radical Islamists, labelled a right wing fascist.

If you show any sympathy towards Israel, or baulk at the anti-Semitic ideology of Hamas and Hezbollah, you're labelled a right-wing fascist.

Even if you believe in lower taxes, less state control or admire the bravery of the British military, you're...

Well, you get the idea.

Anyone who is not for the Left must have fascist tendencies, which means their arguments immediately become redundant, racist and easy to ignore.

After all, it was those despicable right-wing ranters who pushed Hitler into power in the first place, and backed Mussolini to the hilt. So nothing they say or write can have any merit.

That's the standard argument, at any rate.

An argument which has been expertly debunked by American political commentator, Jonah Goldberg (pictured), in his magnificently sharp and highly readable Liberal Fascism.

Goldberg argues fascism is no right-wing phenomenon, but the poisonous offspring of the Left.

Seems ridiculous?

You won't think so after reading this book. In fact, I was left feeling rather foolish for having been duped into believing fascism was a right-wing phenomenon in the first place.

Goldberg begins his historical and philosophical argument in Italy, the birth place of Benito Mussolini.

He may have ended-up as Adolf Hitler's puppy, but it was Mussolini who fathered fascism, years before the Nazis came to power.

Yet he didn't begin his political life as a fascist.

Benito's seminal years were spent the most as one of prominent and charismatic socialist leaders and thinkers in Europe.

As a journalist, he edited the most influential left-wing newspaper on the continent.

So prominent was he, in fact, that admiring glances stretched all the way to the USSR, where Lenin admitted being a fan.

The First World War, in which Mussolini served with distinction, mutated Il Duci's political convictions, leading him to devise a new concept - fascism.

He also coined the term totalitarianism, though for him it was a positive idea, involving the State benevolently embracing the people.

Goldberg argues persuasively Mussolini may have used fresh language, but his left wing ideology never loosened its grip.

He retreated from international socialism; but his new-fangled fascism was merely old-fangled socialism, slightly curtailed by an acceptance of State borders. …

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