Tag Archive 'fascism'

Frank Miller’s Geostrategic Theory

Frank Lovece sat down with Frank Miller for Newsday to discuss his upcoming film The Spirit. Toward the end of it Lovece asked Miller about remarks he’d made in 2007 in support of the Iraq War, and offered him an opportunity to clarify/retract. Miller was unapologetic:

Miller: When the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor, we didn’t just declare war on Japan, we declared war on Germany. It was an international fascist effort. And so when I said that the attack on Iraq made sense, it was the same way we had to attack not just Afghanistan. Instead we had to attack the center of Islamofascism.


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How Fascism Happens

All it really takes to get you to ignore the concentration camps right in front you of your eyes and turn you into a robot, is to say “hey, look at this.” That certainly wasn’t the purpose of this video, but it’s a sobering byproduct.

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Poison from Austria

If the public outpouring of mourning for the loss of fascist sympathizer Jörg Haider were not enough to injure your esteem for contemporary Austrian public affairs, here’s another such moment. Klaus Emmerich, the highly esteemed former editor of Austria’s state television broadcaster, took the occasion of the election of Barack Obama to disgrace himself and embarrass his country:

“I do not want the western world being directed by a black man. And if you say this is a racist remark, I say you are damn right it is.”

“[Barack Obama's election is] a highly disturbing development [because] blacks are not as far advanced in the civilization process nor in their political progress.”
(Daily Mail)

He also described Obama as possessing a “devil-like talent” as well as being a man “branded” by his race. I think it goes without saying that we Americans should tolerate no lessons in the making of devils or the branding of human beings from Austria.

But there’s always hope for the salvation of the national reputation of course. As the tired old joke goes, Austria did convince the world that Hitler was German and Beethoven Austrian. Given such a “devil-like talent”, we might expect to hear Angela Merkel forced to apologize for Herr Emmerich’s remarks in coming days.

(HT: Foreign Dispatches)

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Against Galt

Synova wrote a little post that gets halfway to where I would come down on this perennial parlor game of  the John Galt general strike. Sy recognized that to be successful, such a revolt would realistically be a miserable experience for a society, resulting in bloodshed and economic ruin. But she does not depart from Rand in assuming that the eventual outcome would be desirable. I’d advise the ancient wisdom that if the means are clearly evil in a political project, one should become immediately skeptical of the alleged justice of the ends.

We should also be skeptical of the social assumption for Galt, that there is a definable and rigid division among men into a minority of Platonic creative guardians, and an empowered majority of proletarian oppressors and their craven political servants — and that these factions could have accurate self-recognition of their social roles. I would contend that anyone who thinks of the majority of the people as disposable abstracted parasites, under a constitutional order that explicitly derives its governing powers from the majority consent of the governed, is never selling you anything that’s going to arrive in a happy place.


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When They Came for Kenny…

Photos of Russian kids mounting a street protest against the banning of South Park by the state. This is no small or meaningless act.

As daily experience, one of the worst aspects of living under a repressive fascist regime is how utterly boring it is. It is a horrible experience to be a teenager in a society where every radio station plays only opera, and every television show is a boring panegyric to the wisdom of the regime.

This is an intrinsic hostility to youthful enthusiasms too. In more than one way fascism can be described as a permanent war conducted by the state on the innate liberality and frivolousness of youth. Under fascism, something as light-hearted as South Park becomes “extremist propaganda” because the fascist is altogether incapable of understanding the necessary playfulness of entertainment. He feels the driving necessity to infect everything with deep political significance.

It is by such a course that the abolition of free expression induces the characteristically pervasive and perverse boredom of its societies. This does not only affect youth either, as a society robs itself of its own vitality by repressing its youth’s enthusiasm.

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Ethnostatism Fails

The movement of “ethnic studies” curricula from colleges to public schools, is something that troubles many of us who have experienced such classes in modern times. Ethnic studies programs are often called “multiculturalist,” but since they tend to be monoethnic and extremely political rather than cultural, I prefer the term “ethnostatism.”

In defense of the migration, the claim is often made that improving student self-esteem by submerging them in intensely ideological and highly sectarian programs, benefits overall student academic performance. For opponents the claim is a non sequitur, similar to excusing the political dimension of education in a fascist country, by claiming the students there had good math scores. Ideological indoctrination isn’t validated as worthwhile, even if it did help students do trigonometry somehow.


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A New Libertarianism of Paranoid Revolt

Jordan Page (who is a kind of Ronpaulist Joan Baez) reflects on the “Revolution March,” a July 12th Ron Paul protest rally in Washington DC, in part organized by Adam Kokesh (who of late believes the Washington police are involved in a clandestine conspiracy against him).

Now, I grew up in the libertarian movement such as it was. Although I no longer consider myself a libertarian out of respect for the philosophy, I think I knew it well. My libertarianism was of the rightish sort, but fundamentally a movement for liberty through reason. A movement of the great economists and political philosophers of the Austrian School and the University of Chicago. The movement of Mises and Friedman. But this paranoid, revolutionary rubbish presented by Page as libertarianism, is utterly unrecognizable to me.


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Defending the Second World War

Here’s a five part Uncommon Knowledge segment featuring a superb pairing of Christopher Hitchens and Victor Davis Hanson, to discuss the new World War II revisionism led by Pat Buchanan. While it’s an entertaining exercise for a Saturday, I’ll warn you that there’s a certain weakness to the discussion, given that both Hanson and Hitchens are in agreement. It’s left to poor Peter Robinson as host to present the revisionist case.

But, Robinson probably does as well a job as Pat Buchanan could. As Hitchens and Hanson both deftly demonstrate by different courses, Buchanan is advancing arguments which are largely indefensible and occasionally even crazy.

Part One of Five:


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George Lakoff: Neo-Syndicalist

Syndicalism Over the weekend I read with fascination William Saletan’s review of the new offering from George Lakoff, “The Political Mind,” and was struck by the remarkable similarities between it and the revolutionary syndicalism espoused during the prior fin de siècle.

In particular, Saletan summarizes Lakoff’s principal idea as the need for progressives to recapture the and reformulate the social myth that drives the political decisions of the masses:

Lakoff blames “neoliberals” and their “Old Enlightenment” mentality for the Democratic Party’s weakness. They think they can win elections by citing facts and offering programs that serve voters’ interests. When they lose, they conclude that they need to move farther to the right, where the voters are.

This is all wrong, Lakoff explains. Neuroscience shows that pure facts are a myth and that self-interest is a conservative idea. In a “New Enlightenment,” progressives will exploit these discoveries. They’ll present frames instead of raw facts. They’ll train the public to think less about self-interest and more about serving others. It’s not the platform that needs to be changed. It’s the voters.

Lakoff’s concept is not new, although his explanation as to why myth-making is important may be. (more…)

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What Else Fascism?

Keith Olbermann

There’s editorial sensationalism, and then there’s Keith Olbermann. Consider Mr. Olbermann on Bush recently: “If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You’re a fascist! Get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it! What else is this but fascism?” Plutocracy, would perhaps be a better term for what he’s after. Or to be both frank and cynical about it, he just described government of almost every kind. Fascism worthy of the name would propose the seamless mutuality of nationalism and socialism, in the service of dictatorship. Collusion between big business and the state is generally incidental. And wherever it occurs, the role for business is entirely subordinate not reciprocal, as Keith would have you believe. Power is not for sharing under fascism. For too many people unfortunately, the word has taken on a entirely personal definition, meaning “that of which I disapprove.”

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Hillary & Identity Politics

In expressing consternation that women on the Left could support Hillary Clinton solely on grounds of her gender, Bookworm notes that identity politics –the idea that a person’s innate factional qualities (race, gender, ethnicity, etc) confer immutable political values– is a pretty plainly fascist modality of thought.

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Perfunction Awakens the Mighty King of Trolls


The other day Perfunction posted David Duke’s political advice for the Ron Paul campaign. The noxious white nationalist’s recommendations being essentially that while Paul was great, he needs to be just a wee bit more, you know, anti-Semitic.

Anyway, it made enough rounds on the blogs that apparently the news reached Duke himself. He emerged from the depths of his cold and dark lair to personally troll Perfunction, lashing out at the Iraq war and “Jewish Neocons.” An excerpt from the comments thread:

From the beginning it was a war based on lies for Israel and not for the United States, and as I predicted, as anyone can check out, it has been a catastrophe for America (and the Iraqi people) on every level. The only ones who have really benefited is Israel (which is quite happy for the war) and Al Qaida.

Trillions of dollars wasted, tens of thousands of American lives lost or ruined, more hatred against America.

All because the Jewish extremists who dominate the American media could lie about “weapons of mass destruction” without hardly any fear of contradiction.
(David Duke trolling Perfunction via LGF)

The more you read comments like this, you begin to wonder why it is that the far left and far right haven’t yet settled their differences (assuming they still have any) and joined forces completely.

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Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

Echoing a wonderful discussion we had in the fall of 2006 on the nature of Fascism (see here, here and here) Jonah Goldberg writes a book which bristles at the use of the term by the contemporary left. I would really be interested in picking that discussion back up. So anybody interested, please read the previous discussions and tell me what you think. In the meantime, here is the description from Amazon:

Book Description
“Fascists,” “Brownshirts,” “jackbooted stormtroopers”—such are the insults typically hurled at conservatives by their liberal opponents. Calling someone a fascist is the fastest way to shut them up, defining their views as beyond the political pale. But who are the real fascists in our midst?

Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler’s National Socialism and Mussolini’s Fascism.

Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term “National socialism”). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities—where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.

Do these striking parallels mean that today’s liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots. We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States. W.E.B. Du Bois was inspired by Hitler’s Germany, and Irving Berlin praised Mussolini in song. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated fascist policies in the New Deal.

Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a “friendlier,” more liberal form. The modern heirs of this “friendly fascist” tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn’t an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.

These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.


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