Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Liberal fascism

I finally read Jonah Goldberg's 2007 book, Liberal Fascism, and recommend it to anyone who is curious about where ideas come from and how history can be distorted for political and philosophical reasons.

As I recall, I learned in high school that the American Progressive movement flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, then petered out. Goldberg shows that this was far from the case. The Progressives instead became an important current in the Democratic party.

Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama come from this tradition which, as Goldberg points out, has ideals, goals and techniques in common with fascist movements. No, he doesn't argue that these or other Americans were fascists - but he points out similarities and links which were in fact noted at the time.

This is a history book, not a polemic, and Goldberg has done his research.

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