Monday, January 14, 2008

Liberal fascism??!

The libertarian-Right blogosphere is abuzz about Jonah Goldberg's new book, Liberal Fascism. It's getting delightful one-star reviews on Amazon from lefties who haven't even bothered to read it. (Amazon has been quietly pulling most of them down.) The book's very title - the accusation it contains - sends left-liberals into conniptions.

Left-liberals don't want to admit, or to have anyone else notice, the truth about their politics:

- That they are, at heart, "about" controlling others through government coercion, i.e., through legalized physical force;

- That they share that impulse with communism, socialism, and fascism;

- That before "fascism" rightly became a bad word, left-liberal philosophers were intellectually "in bed" with fascist philosophers and vice versa.

From what I'm told, Jonah's new book demonstrates the above. I am looking forward to getting my copy!

I was thinking about the following 2x2 matrix to describe the different political philosophies. (I hope it's original with me, and not in Jonah's book.) It shows the similarity and the differences among communism, fascism, socialism and American left-liberalism, evaluating them on 2 key questions:

1) Is the philosophy openly totalitarian? Or merely a stepping-stone? (i.e., officially denying it's totalitarian, but still always favoring government power?)

2) Economically, does the philosophy advocate the abolition of private property? Or does it try to retain some notion of private property ownership?

Actually, let's make it a 3x2 matrix, to also include my philosophy, which is: true individual freedom with property rights under limited government, a.k.a. laissez-faire capitalism. Here goes:




Abolish private propertyKeep some notion of private property
Openly totalitarian (anti-liberty, anti-democracy)CommunismFascism
Covertly totalitarian
(government power, under guise of democracy)
SocialismLeft-liberalism
(and to a smaller degree, "compassionate" social conservatism)
Anti-totalitarian (truly limited government)None (contradictory)Laissez-faire capitalism

2 comments:

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:-)

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