January of 2008. George W. Bush is a thoroughly despised figure. He’s seen as a cockish man-child whose stubborn stupidity has killed thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of women and children overseas. As a result, there’s little hope for any Republican in the approaching November election. Chafing from the criticism, Jonah Goldberg debuts his epic whine, Liberal Fascism.
The first appearance of modern totalitarianism in the Western world wasn’t in Italy or Germany but in the United States of America. How else would you describe a country where the world’s first modern propaganda ministry was established; political prisoners by the thousands were harassed, beaten, spied upon, and thrown in jail simply for expressing private opinions; the national leader accused foreigners or immigrants of injecting treasonous “poison into the American bloodstream;” newspapers and magazines were shut down for criticizing the government; nearly a hundred thousand government propaganda agents were sent out among the people to whip up support for the regime and its war; college professors imposed loyalty oaths on their colleagues; nearly a quarter-million goons were given legal authority to intimidate and beat “slackers” and dissenters; and leading artists and writers dedicated their crafts to proselytizing for the government?
January of 2015. Republicans have for years obstructed, slapped down and bamboozled the federal government by way of majorities in the Supreme Court and the House of Representatives. And now, unbelievably, they’ve just seized control of the Senate. Jonah Goldberg clarifies his former position:
Who’s Running the Country?
National Review | January 2, 2015
…the joke is on us. You see, no one is running the country.
I don’t mean that as a knock on President Obama. No president “runs” America because the government doesn’t run America — and the president barely runs the government. He can scarcely tell his own employees what to do…
Again. In 2008, after George Bush took a powder in Texas while a hurricane drowned New Orleans:
Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the “problem” and therefore defined as the enemy. I will argue that contemporary American liberalism embodies all of these aspects of fascism.
And today. On the eve of fag-bashing Tea Party conspiracists taking control of the government:
The notion that there’s a class or group of people secretly running things is ancient. It was old when the Roman consul Lucius Cassius famously asked, “Cui bono?” (“To whose benefit?”)
The reason is that we seem to be hardwired to assume there are no accidents, that the world is the way it is because people — hidden people — want it that way. The more extreme expressions of this cognitive reflex take many forms, whether anti-Semitic (Who benefits? The Jews!) or Marxist (Who benefits? The ruling classes!) or comedic (“Colonel Sanders with his wee beady eyes!”)…
…let’s not forget any bestselling authors who might like to gesture wildly at their mild-mannered neighbors and cry out Fascist! (Who benefits? The doughy pantloads!) Can this man recognize himself in the mirror? If someone yells ‘Jonah!’, will he lift his head?