The blog, that is, not the trend in our current politics. Jonah Goldberg is putting a close to his blog at National Review Online, mostly from lack of time to keep it updated. Sadly, these days, it needs a lot of updating.
As always, Jonah’s post is full of useful things to think about: he recounts the progressive/corporatist/fascist tendencies and acts of the Obama administration in its first six months, providing a summary of disturbing things we may have missed or forgotten, since they’ve come so fast, one after the other: the growth of state capitalism, the marriage of union and government, and indeed the resurgence of the concept of the State as the agent of God:
Indeed, our own messianic president, who insists that we can create a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, also apparently believes that “we are God’s partners in matters of life and death” and that religious organizations that are true to their calling should rally behind a united front to expand the scope and role of government. When the head of state says such things, it is hard not to be reminded of the Progressive concept of the God State, a major theme of Liberal Fascism. The “State is the actually existing, realized moral life . . . The divine idea as it exists on earth,” Hegel declared in The Philosophy of History. The State, according to Hegel, was the “march of God on earth.” The progressives agreed. Richard Ely, the founding father of progressive economics, proclaimed “God works through the State in carrying out His purposes more universally than through any other institution.”
But Goldberg has another message that’s just as important: if we’re to recognize and fight the fascist tendencies in our own politics, we must guard against facile comparisons to Hitler and even Mussolini (something I’ve done in my more irritated moments). The danger we face isn’t from jackbooted thugs marching on Washington the way Mussolini’s Blackshirts marched on Rome, but the totalitarian nanny-state of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World:
As I make clear in Liberal Fascism, the obvious and pressing threat is not from a Hitlerite-Orwellian dictatorship but from a Huxleyan namby-pamby mommy state. That sort of system could seduce Americans into becoming chestless subjects of the State in exchange for bottomless self-gratification and liberation from the necessity of adult decision-making. Yes, there’s a danger that such a society could then be susceptible to some darker vision that lionizes the lost manhood of a half-forgotten past. But, by that point, this would be America in name only, if even that (“U.N. District 12” has a nice ring to it).
I’ll disagree with Jonah a bit to point out that we have seen flashes of the jackboot under Nanny’s skirts: the beating of a town-hall attendee by purple-shirted SEIU thugs earlier this month, and the Missouri truth squads of last year’s campaign. But, overall he’s right: the greater threat to our liberties comes from the Democrats’ desire to regulate more and more aspects of our lives and, through “social justice programs” such as the proposed health care reform bills, make us dependents and wards of the government, which the Left believes is the only impartial distributor of resources and the only guarantor of our rights – as defined by government. It’s a feminine, maternal fascism as dangerous to free society as anything Benito cooked up.
Goldberg’s blog may be ending, but he’ll still be writing articles and posting observations at The Corner. Meanwhile, though I’ve pimped and promoted Liberal Fascism so often that some readers must be sick of it, I seriously recommend you buy the book or borrow it, but read it, regardless. No intelligent discussion of modern US politics is possible otherwise.