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)
(and to a smaller degree, "compassionate" social conservatism)
Anti-totalitarian (truly limited government)None (contradictory)Laissez-faire capitalism

Monday, January 7, 2008

Thought for the day

Humankind's nature is to mold the environment to its own advantage. That's why and how humans survive.

But we are not omnipotent. "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." And, despite there being six billion of us, the environment is still much bigger and more powerful than humans. It consists of titanic oceanic and atmospheric forces powered by that enormous fusion reactor called, you know, the Sun.

The Global Warmists habitually exaggerate humanity's impact on the environment. That is, they exaggerate humanity's power to affect the environment. And, they claim, humanity should stop doing it. Blame Humanity First!

Global Warmism thus denigrates all of us - or humanity as such - for any weather that is perceived as inconvenient, or any climate-related misfortune. Simultaneously, Global Warmism asserts a comforting illusion that humanity, being all-powerful and all-important, could return to 1960s climates (perfect in hazy retrospect) if only we are sufficiently eco-virtuous.

In the end, Global Warmism functions as a convenient theodicy - the explanation of "Why Bad Things Happen to [allegedly] Good People" - for the modern-day pagan-atheist-narcissist.