Friday, January 25, 2008
The American Conservative reviews Jonah Goldberg's book:Here
[Goldberg] makes much of his discovery, for example, that the Nazis supported organic farming and animal rights and even goes so far as to admonish us to “grapple with the fact that we’ve seen this sort of thing before.” Readers can spare themselves the energy. That Nazism and contemporary liberalism both promote healthy living is as meaningless a finding as that bloody marys and martinis may both be made with gin. ... In no case does Goldberg uncover anything more ominous than a coincidence.
Even if an American species of fascism (i.e., progressivism) did lead to liberalism, as opposed to merely preceding it in time, this still would not mean that liberalism leads to fascism. For one thing, liberals are entitled at least once a century to change their minds. Even if some who we might call liberals once delighted in Woodrow Wilson’s suppression of dissent, fretted over the pollution of America’s genetic stock, or urged Franklin Roosevelt to assume dictatorial powers, today’s liberals may disown these ideas if they like. Associating modern liberals with the dubious judgments of their predecessors is an ad hominem argument, and not even a very beguiling one.
That last paragraph is pretty biting.
I predict it will sell enough copies for Goldberg to claim success, few people will actually read it, and no one but the most vacuous will think it of any import.
The entire review is worth reading and is very biting. The reviewer has managed to wean Jonah from reality. And Jonah had some bad words to say about Jon Stewart, who I hope as a result will release his entire interview so that we can determine who took what out of context.