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Does Big Government Help Women? The Liberals' Mommy Fascism

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So's Your Father!

by Christopher Chantrill
January 25, 2008 at 2:43 am

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CONSERVATIVES have long understood that socialism and fascism are two sides of the same coin. They are both reactionary movements attempting to roll back the modern era to a simpler, less corrupt age driven by something higher than money, money, money.

As Marx put it in The Communist Manifesto: “The bourgeoisie... has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment.’”

The educated middle class read their Marx and understood what had to be done. They must lead the people back from moneymaking to the spirit of true community and soften the cruel oppression of the cash nexus.

“It takes a village” to realize full human potential, they realized, a global village led by people of good will like themselves.

And anyone that disagreed with them was a fascist.

For conservatives this gets old after a while. So Jonah Goldberg decided to write a bestseller about fascism and call it Liberal Fascism.

You might call this a good idea. But they used to call it lèse-majesté in the old days of Majesty this and Majesty that. In our day it means you are not allowed to call liberals by naughty names. Some of them get quite upset. Here’s one email reported by Jonah:

You are a liar. Your book is a lie. Your life is a lie. Your magazine is a nest of liars. What you are trying to do is a crime. Get out of the closet, faggot.

And so’s your father.

How this lie connects with Touchstone’s “lie seven times removed—bear your body seeming, Audrey” in As You Like It Jonah’s correspondent does not make clear. Is Liberal Fascism the Counter-cheque Quarrelsome, the Lie Circumstantial, or the Lie Direct?

This much is certain. At the turn of the twentieth century there were two ideas competing to be the main bulwark against the bourgeoisie and its globalization program.

One was the idea of the nation state, the notion of a people united politically by a common language and culture. The other was socialism, the idea of a cooperative village economy scaled up to whatever dimension took your fancy: municipal, national, or international.

Socialism in one country: Five political geniuses of the early twentieth century figured out how to combine the two ideas. Their names, in order of rising to power, were Lenin, Mussolini, Roosevelt, Hitler, and Mao.

Unfortunately national socialism is a terrible idea. Nationalism works pretty well, provided it is mitigated by Anglo-Saxon ideas of limited government. It successfully replaces the age-old community of the kindred with the abstract idea of the community of language.

But the face-to-face economic cooperation of the village community just doesn’t scale up. Every attempt to make it work requires compulsion. Every effort to correct its inevitable failures ratchets up the level of compulsion. In economic affairs there really is no alternative to the cash nexus.

And when you combine nationalism with socialism you better get out the body bags, tens of millions of them.

We all know that now. Anyone with half a brain knew it a century ago. But most people, they tell us, only use ten percent of their brain capacity.

The Germans, inhabiting the most advanced country in the world at the beginning of the twentieth century, succeeded in implementing the most complete combination of nationalism and socialism attempted anywhere in the world. At the time, everyone was impressed.

The Americans, lacking an efficient Prussian bureaucratic tradition and inhibited by their Anglo-Saxon political culture, screwed up their attempt at a directed national economy when they tried it in the 1930s. God, it is said, takes care of children, drunks, and the good old USA.

The Germans were not so lucky. In their efficient way, they demonstrated to the world in graphic detail just how bad national socialism could be if pursued to its logical conclusion.

It was a close shave for America’s progressives. So after World War II everyone who was anyone knew at once that the New Deal had nothing to do with fascism. So they all wrote in their diaries: “Dear Diary: I have always known that fascism stinks. I have always fought against right-wing ideas like racism, nationalism, anti-Semitism, and militarism.”

But how could they prove it? They couldn’t abandon their socialistic government programs; they couldn’t abandon the “moral equivalent of war;” they couldn’t let go of the national political power they had acquired. But they could fight endlessly against racism. They could schedule endless documentaries about the Holocaust on PBS.

And they could run away from the armed forces that had defeated fascism and repeat endlessly President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex.

Today’s anti-fascist can prove it by posting angry denunciations in Amazon’s Customer Discussion on Liberal Fascism.

Surely that answers the question: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a Fascist?”

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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