Book Notes: Liberal Fascism

A day late and a dollar short on my installment.  I’ve resisted the temptation to read others’ posts on Liberal Fascism to be sure that this is entirely my own opinion.

I have not read Liberal Fascism before.  It has been on my list for a long time but I just haven’t gotten to it.  If I had known just how much I would enjoy reading it, I would have started sooner.  We were charged with reading the Introduction and Chapter 1.  I found the introduction much more interesting as it had a broader scope but still had some astounding facts – at least for me.

I consider myself a history buff of sorts but I tend to concentrate more on military history than political history.  In a few short pages I discovered how little I knew of the political history of fascism.  It was quite an eye-opener for me.

Contrary to what many may believe, Fascists did not rise to power in democratic governments by promising everyone war and violence.  In Germany and Italy they gained power on promises economic recovery, world peace, hope, and and free money.  Each had their boogeyman – for the Germans it was Jews.

Sound familiar?  It should.  The premise of Liberal Fascism is that there is a very good reason that fascist policies of the 1920s and 1930s are very similar to liberal/progressive policies of today.  The reason is that they come from the same roots.  The progressives of yesterday were admirers of fascism.  Most have forgotten that in the rush to hate everything fascist after the war.  But before war broke out fascists, and Mussolini especially were darlings of the left.

So how has the left gotten away with pinning fascist on conservatives?   How have they sown this idea that fascism is a movement of the right and not the left.  I think it is because of the war and because people naturally associate fascists with the military.  Most people in the US naturally associate conservatives with support for the military.  So it is easy for leftists to spread this lie among the ignorant.  It has worked well for them for a long time but I think it is wearing thin.  I am interested to see if Goldberg hits on this association later in his book.