Liberal Fascism: A review in brief

I try and make a habit of reading virtually anything people throw at me, so I recently ended up blowing through Jonah Goldberg’s wordy wordings about the roots of the modern progressive movement.  My thoughts boil down to this:

* As a history:  The text suffers from the same weaknesses that all history must by nature.  Fortunately it does not suffer from those specific to histories such as Howard Zinn’s, which ruin the admirable project of historical revisionism by adopting an unfalsifiable framework.

* As a semantic project: To make an issue out of the proper meaning of a word is to enter a nightmarish hellscape where no action has purpose and no salvation can be delivered.  I would advise Mr. Goldberg, along with his liberal opponents, to please stop all this business at once.  To attempt to fight fire with fire is bad enough.  To attempt to fight phlogiston with phlogiston is an endeavor so thoroughly quixotic that to look upon it is very nearly to go mad.

* As an argument against the modern progressive movement: It does not constitute a source text.  Both rhetorically and substantively unpersuasive.

Specific issues I had with the text included the extreme simplification of existential thought, which seemed to segway directly from Heideggers phenomenology to Sartre’s politics, leaving out important details like Sartre’s refutation of the supposedly motive concept of Authenticity (contained within roughly the first 100 pages of Being and Nothingness, no less).

Additionally there are certain small hypocrisies in the book ( ie, present in some capacity in virtually all political commentators).  Ultimately the text fails much of the purpose Goldberg gives for it, retaining substance primarily when it delves into the historical.  These failures can be forgiven though, since the book upset all the right people.

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~ by Kilroy del Dancefighter Estallion the First on July 23, 2009.

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