Monday, February 11, 2008

From a customer review of a book titled Liberal Facism on Amazon.com:

"In some ways it is a book-length extension of the question conservatives sometimes pose to liberals: "If you leave out the parts about killing all the Jews and invading Poland, what specifically about the Nazi political platform do you disagree with?" (That platform is handily provided in the appendix.) After Goldberg's book, this question is much harder to simply shrug off."

The killing and torture of the Jews and sundry other populations is generally why the Nazi's are considered repugnant. I don't think that's why the US got into World War 2. Probably the bit about the Nazi's making war on countries we considered ourselves allied with? I am something of a history philistine, so I will accept corrections gracefully.

I don't think people react viscerally to the word fascist because Hitler was a fascist and a socialist. I think it has more to do with the fact that Hitler was a fascist and a violent sociopath. I can't believe that fussing about a modern liberal's quasi socialist tendencies does anything to clarify the divisive nature of left vs. right politics. Rather, it seems like a deliberate attempt to smear liberals by associating the gentler aspects of their platform with a regime of mass murderers.

"For example, when Mussolini said "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state", that sounded quite a bit like a hard-edged version of "It takes a village to raise a child." Both philosophies pose challenges to the classical liberal idea of the worth of an individual"

Maybe I am obtuse, but these statements don't sound anything alike to me. In fact, I suspect what Hillary was really saying was that "where the welfare of a child is concerned, everybody should pitch in." Maybe that's reading too much into it.

Now... what's the point? The guy posting this seemed relatively polite and well meaning. But underneath his mild demeanor, he was "explaining," with broad generalizations that widely miss the point, why a out and out smear was, in his own humble opinion, civilized.

That's really the technical definition of Bullshit: speaking for the effect you wish to convey rather than the information. What amazes me, I guess, is that bullshit is everywhere. In casual conversation, people tend to make like only media personages and pundits and politicians engage in bullshittery. But, no, every mook on Amazon, Comic Book Resources, and at the barbershop, is fluffing his oratory plumage for all the world to see.

Bullshit, bullshit everywhere. This guy does a good job of drawing out the Bullshit at the roots of Liberal Fascism.

2 comments:

Gail Powers-Schaub said...

And the word "fascist" is just so gutteral - it sounds like it has to be something horrible.

Lawrence said...

Hi Gail!

Actually, I think it sounds kind of whimsical, on it's own. Sort of like holiday geology: fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-Schist.