April 26, 2008
He reviews this book :
The Fascists were completely against individualism in general and especially against individualism in a free market economy. Their agenda included minimum wage laws, government restrictions on profit-making, progressive taxation of capital, and “rigidly secular” schools.
Unlike the Communists, the Fascists did not seek government ownership of the means of production. They just wanted the government to call the shots as to how businesses would be run.
They were for “industrial policy,” long before liberals coined that phrase in the United States.
Indeed, the whole Fascist economic agenda bears a remarkable resemblance to what liberals would later advocate.
If by conservatism you mean belief in free markets, limited government, and traditional morality, including religious influences, then these are all things that the Fascists opposed just as much as the left does today.
The left may say that they are not racists or anti-semites, like Hitler, but neither was Mussolini or Franco. Hitler, incidentally, got some of his racist ideology from the writings of American “progressives” in the eugenics movement.
Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” is too rich a book to be summarized in a newspaper column. Get a copy and start re-thinking the received notions about who is on “the left” and who is on “the right.” It is a book for people who want to think, rather than repeat rhetoric.
“An all-wise Creator directed and guarded us
in our infant struggle for freedom
and has constantly watched over
our surprising progress until we have become
one of the great nations of the earth.”
— President James Polk, 1847