Liberal Fascism Recap

Below is a recap of the Liberal Fascism series by Jonah Goldberg that appeared in the Glenn Beck email newsletter...

Feb 22: Emulating FDR: A horrible idea


Feb 21: Government Knows Best


Feb 20: What Hillary and Barack have in store


Feb 19: The facts your liberal friends need to hear


Emulating FDR: A horrible idea


By Jonah Goldberg

Liberal Fascism

"America has a dictator," Benito Mussolini proclaimed, watching FDR from abroad. He marveled at how the forces of "spiritual renewal" on display in the New Deal were destroying the outdated notion that democracy and liberalism were "immortal principles." "Roosevelt is moving, acting, giving orders independently of the decisions or wishes of the Senate or Congress. ... A sole will silences dissenting voices." That almost sounds like Harry Reid talking about Bush.

Mussolini reviewed FDR's book, Looking Forward proclaiming the author a kindred spirit. The way Roosevelt "calls his readers to battle," he wrote, "is reminiscent of the ways and means by which fascism awakened the Italian people." "Without question," he continued, the "sea change" in America "resembles that of fascism." Indeed, the comparisons were so commonplace, Mussolini's press office banned the practice. "It is not to be emphasized that Roosevelt's policy is fascist because these comments are immediately cabled to the United States and are used by his foes to attack him."

The German press adored FDR. In 1934, the Vlkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party's official newspaper, described Roosevelt as a man of "irreproachable, extremely responsible character and immovable will" and a "warm-hearted leader of the people with a profound understanding of social needs." Hitler sent FDR a letter celebrating his "heroic efforts" and "successful battle against economic distress." Hitler informed the U.S. ambassador, William Dodd, that New Dealism was also "the quintessence of the German state philosophy."

The New Dealers were not so much mimicking the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. They were attempting to recreate what they had built -up under Woodrow Wilson's war socialism. Today we have no historical memory of how brutal the Wilson Administration was, nor do we realize that many Progressives supported the war not so much because they championed its foreign policy aims, but because they yearned for the "social possibilities of war," in the words of John Dewey, the 20th century's premier political philosopher.

The war provided an opportunity to force Americans to, as journalist Frederick Lewis Allen put it, "lay by our good-natured individualism and march in step." Or as another progressive put it, "Laissez faire is dead. Long live social control."

It was this spirit which informed FDR's administration. By 1944 he made good on Wilson's conviction that the US constitution was outmoded and in need of replacing with a new "living constitution." FDR's proposed innovation was a new "economic bill of rights" which included:

>The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.

>The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.

>The right of every family to a decent home.

>The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

You read correctly, the right to 'recreation'.

With the intellectuals on their side, Wilson recruited journalist George Creel to become a propaganda minister as head of the newly formed Committee on Public Information (CPI).

Mr. Creel declared that it was his mission to inflame the American public into "one white-hot mass" under the banner of "100 percent Americanism." Fear was a vital tool, he argued, "an important element to be bred in the civilian population."

The CPI printed millions of posters, buttons, pamphlets, that did just that. A typical poster for Liberty Bonds cautioned, "I am Public Opinion. All men fear me!... [I]f you have the money to buy and do not buy, I will make this No Man's Land for you!"

Meanwhile, the CPI released a string of propaganda films with such titles as "The Kaiser," "The Beast of Berlin," and "The Prussian Cur." Remember when French fries became "freedom fries" in the run-up to the Iraq war? Thanks in part to the CPI, sauerkraut become "victory cabbage."

Under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, Wilson's administration shut down newspapers and magazines at an astounding pace. Indeed, any criticism of the government, even in your own home, could earn you a prison sentence. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn't want to buy Liberty Bonds.

The Wilson administration sanctioned what could be called an American fascist, the American Protective League. The APL - a quarter million strong at its height, with offices in 600 cities - carried government-issued badges while beating up dissidents and protesters and conducting warrantless searches and interrogations. Even after the war, Wilson refused to release the last of America's political prisoners, leaving it to subsequent Republican administrations to free the anti-war Socialist Eugene V. Debs and others.

The left claims that president Bush seeks to do something like this with the war on terror. But look at the evidence. No newspapers closed down, a sum total of three detainees water-boarded, two hard core terrorists who happen to be American citizens have had their habeus corpus rights "infringed." After 9/11 President Bush asked the American people to go shopping, not to give up capitalism.

Meanwhile, on the left, self-styled progressives keep trying to recreate the New Deal and the progressive era. New York Times columnist pines for a "new progressive era." Barack Obama gushed about how he was re-dedicating his campaign at the University of Wisconsin where the Progressive movement was born. Hillary says she's not a liberal but a "modern progressive."

Now, obviously, none of the current crop of self-described progressives are eager to replay the darkest chapters of the past. But we make a mistake when we assume that we can cherry pick only the good parts of our past to re-create.

Jonah Goldberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism.


Government Knows Best


By Jonah Goldberg

Type "New York City Council" and "ban" and "2007" into Google. Here's some of what you find:

A New York Times story: New York City Council Approves Ban on Metal Bats

A BBC News story: "Racial slur banned in New York."

A CNN story on how New York is considering banning "ultrathin" models.

A New York Sun article on how New York City is contemplating banning feeding pigeons.

A link to the Humane Society's effort to ban horse drawn carriages.

And that's on the first page alone.

These sorts of stories trickle-in almost hourly. Sometimes we hear them and are briefly distracted by them, other times we tune them out as background noise. And, most often, we simply forget them, these little human interest stories that amused us for a moment on talk radio or in back pages of a newspaper.

Sometimes we giggle about what's happening in other countries, without long pondering that places like Canada and Britain often blaze the trail we are on. For example:

In Britain, in a perfectly typical event quickly forgotten, police tracked down and nearly arrested an 11-year-old boy for calling a 10-year-old boy "gay" in an e-mail. This was considered a "very serious homophobic crime" requiring the full attention of police. In 2006, the coppers fingerprinted and threw a 14-year-old girl into jail for the crime of racism. Her underlying offense stemmed from the fact that she refused to join a class discussion with some fellow students because they were Asian and didn't speak English.

In England, traffic cameras are now trained on drivers to arrest them for eating in their cars. And in both Britain and Canada, the old Hitler Youth slogan, "Nutrition is not a private matter!" has taken on a new life. One expert this week argued that obesity must now be treated like Global Warming, requiring stern government intervention.

Health experts in Britain and Canada insist that the government has every right to meddle in the private life of its citizens since the state is picking up the tab for their healthcare (never mind that it's not the "state" but the taxpayers themselves). As Tony Harrison, a British health-care expert, explained to the Toronto Sun, "Rationing is a reality when funding is limited." So fat people and others can't get surgeries if bureaucrats or doctors don't think they're worthy of surgery. Now, of course, there's a certain logic here since the taxpayers are picking up the tab and someone has to make the hard choices about priorities. But it never occurs to these people that maybe the fact that the government is slowly being put in charge of many of the most important and personal issues in peoples' lives is in fact an argument against socialized medicine. It doesn't occur to them that refusing to unload seriously ill patients from ambulances, sometimes for hours at a time, just so emergency rooms can meet government quotas, is a sign that something is seriously wrong with the way statists handle medicine.

Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that the goal of Progressivism was to have the individual "marry his interests to the State." "Government" he wrote in book, "The State," "does now whatever experience permits or the times demand." "No doubt," he wrote elsewhere, taking dead aim at the Declaration of Independence, "a lot of nonsense has been talked about the inalienable rights of the individual, and a great deal that was mere vague sentiment and pleasing speculation has been put forward as fundamental principle."

He was hardly alone. "[W]e must demand that the individual shall be willing to lose the sense of personal achievement, and shall be content to realize his activity only in connection to the activity of the many," declared the pioneering progressive social activist Jane Addams.

The old story of the frog who doesn't jump out of the pot because the heat is turned up so slowly comes to mind.

On countless fronts, the natural pastures of daily liberty are being paved over by bureaucrats, politicians and other do-gooders. They aren't merely fixing problems as they come up. They are laying-down a path to a world where people like them are in charge of our lives, in large ways and small. And when you realize it, the funny stories we so often hear, aren't so funny anymore.

Jonah Goldberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism.


What Hillary and Barack have in store


By Jonah Goldberg

The most common left wing definition of fascism is "when business runs the government." Historically, this is basically nonsense. But that hasn't stopped liberals like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from saying it over and over again.

But if we are going to go by that definition, conservatives in the U.S. are hardly the fascists. The principled conservative position is that the free market should rule the day. Businesses are never "too big to fail" and corporate welfare is folly. In all honesty, we must admit that many Republicans fail to live up to these conservative principles. But what are liberal principles? They are simply this: corporations should be "progressive." Government should regulate corporations heavily as a means of using big business as another branch of the state. Hillary Clinton wants "public-private partnerships." She believes that businesses must collude with government in providing universal healthcare to the point where it's impossible to tell where the government begins and business ends. She has contempt for entrepreneurs and small business. When it was pointed out to her that "Hillarycare" would hit small businesses while enriching big corporations, she replied that she couldn't worry about every under-capitalized business in America. Barack Obama, meanwhile, talks incessantly about how government must police the "patriotism" of corporations. His definition of "patriotism" in this regard seems extremely elastic.

We've seen something like this before. Woodrow Wilson implemented a form of "war socialism" during WWI. Big Business and government worked seamlessly together under the auspices of the War Industry Board. Industry rigged the system for its own benefit, with the approval of government. When the war ended, the American people rejected Wilson's war socialism, but Progressive intellectuals didn't. They proclaimed "we planned in war" and, hence, felt they should be allowed to plan the economy during peacetime as well. They looked enviously at Fascist Italy and, even more so, the Soviet Union. These were the sort of grand "experiments" they wanted to conduct here at home. "Why," Stuart Chase asked in his 1932 book, A New Deal (which many credit with originating the phrase) "should the Russians have all the fun of remaking a world?"

They finally had their chance under the New Deal, where FDR - a veteran of the Wilson Administration - tried to recreate what the Progressives had wrought during the war. When Hugh Johnson -- the head of the National Recovery Administration, the centerpiece of FDR's New Deal - took office in 1932, one of the first things he did was hang a portrait of Mussolini on his wall and started handing out pro-fascist literature to FDR's cabinet.

The left has told us that the New Deal rescued the little guy, the "forgotten man." But in reality it prolonged the Great Depression and served as a boon to Big Business.

For example, Clarence Darrow was charged with studying the effects of the NRA. In "virtually all the codes we have examined," he reported, "one condition has been persistent . . . In Industry after Industry, the larger units, sometimes through the agency of . . . [a trade association], sometimes by other means, have for their own advantage written the codes, and then, in effect and for their own advantage, assumed the administration of the code they have framed." We may believe that FDR fashioned the New Deal out of concern for the "forgotten man." But as one historian put it, "The principle seemed to be: to him that hath it shall be given."

The fundamental mistake Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and company make is that they assume "clamping down" on corporations will lessen the role of big business in politics. The reality is exactly the opposite. Microsoft had nearly no lobbyists in Washington DC until Washington DC decided to go after Microsoft. Now, Microsoft has an enormous lobbying operation. Walmart is the same story. Once big business discovers that it's profit margins are determined in Washington, big business focuses on Washington.

Perhaps more importantly, really big corporations like regulations. Coca-Cola can pass its costs onto the consumer. But smaller business are not only hurt by regulations, they are also prevented from competing with the big boys because those regulations serve as a "barrier to entry."

The great "fascist bargain" with big business goes something like this: The government promises corporations market share, a lack of competition and reliable profits in exchange for compliance with its political and ideological agenda. Today big corporations hold up their end of the deal. They buy into global warming (often at a profit) they agree to all the tenets of diversity-mongering and affirmative action. They cast themselves as "Progressive" corporate citizens and in exchange we get economic policies that punish entrepreneurs and inhibit free markets.

This is as it should be according to the Progressives, the New Dealers and today's Democratic Party. And whether you want to call it fascism is up to you, but it fits what liberals have been saying about fascism to a T.

Jonah Goldberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism.


The facts your liberal friends need to hear


By Jonah Goldberg

Liberals, perhaps more than anyone, believe that we should be vigilant against the threat of fascism. Now, they also believe that fascism can only come from the Right--I think they're wrong. But, what liberals - and everyone else - very much need to understand is that whatever direction fascism comes from, it's popular. Fascism succeeds in democratic countries because it convinces people that it's the wave of the future, it's progressive, it's young, it's vital, it's exciting. Fascist promise to fix what's broken in our democracy, to heal our wounds, to deliver us to promised lands. So if you think fascism comes from the Right, fine. But at least keep in mind that it won't sell itself as dull, or uptight, or old-fashioned.

Let me take a moment to give you a concrete sense of what I mean.

Fascism appealed to youth activists. Indeed, the Nazis and Fascists were in major respects youth movements. In 1931, 60 percent of all German undergraduates supported the Nazi Student Organization. "Their goal," the historian John Toland wrote of the young idealists who fed the Nazi rise to power, "was to establish a youth culture for fighting the bourgeois trinity of school, home and church."

Meanwhile, middle and lower class Germans were attracted to the economic and cultural populism of Nazism. The Nazi party began as the German Worker's Party. The Nazis economic rhetoric was eerily similar to John Edwards "Two Americas" talk. The Nazis promised to clamp down on Big Business - particularly department stores, the Wal-Marts of their day - and end the class struggle. Theodore Abel, an impressively clever American sociologist, gives us insight into why working class Germans were attracted to Nazism. In 1934 Abel took out an ad in the Nazi Party journal asking "old fighters" to submit essays explaining why they had joined. He restricted his request to "old fighters" because so many opportunists had joined the party after Hitler's rise. The essays were combined in the fascinating book Why Hitler Came Into Power. One essayist, a coal miner, explained "Though I was interested in the betterment of the workingman's plight, I rejected [Marxism] unconditionally. I often asked myself why socialism had to be tied up with internationalism-why it could not work as well or better in conjunction with nationalism." A railroad worker concurred, "I shuddered at the thought of Germany in the grip of Bolshevism. The slogan 'Workers of the World Unite!' made no sense to me. At the same time, however, National Socialism, with its promise of a community . . . barring all class struggle, attracted me profoundly." A third worker wrote that he embraced the Nazis because of their "uncompromising will to stamp out the class struggle, snobberies of caste and party hatreds. The movement bore the true message of socialism to the German workingman."

Nazism's appeal to the professional classes was just as strong. Raymond Dominick, a historian specializing in the history of German environmentalism, found that by 1939, 59 percent of conservationist leaders had joined the Nazi party, while only 10 percent of adult males had. Forty five percent of medical doctors had joined and roughly one quarter of teachers and lawyers had. The two groups of professionals with the highest rates of participation in the Nazi Party? Veterinarians were first and foresters were a close second. Dominick found a "unique nexus between National Socialism and nature conservation."

The Nazis and Italian Fascists won-over big business, cultural elites, the youth and the lower-classes because they portrayed themselves as heroically on the side of progress, protecting the environment and the poor. Fascists preached unity, togetherness and an end to division.

Liberals need to ask themselves where do they hear this rhetoric the most?

I'm not saying that merely being for the environment, the poor or national unity makes you a fascist. But what I am saying is that if you're concerned about spotting fascism on the horizon you can't just look at people you don't like. That's like only looking for your lost car keys where the light is good. Huey Long reportedly said that if Fascism comes to America it will be called "anti-Fascism." Liberals can still make their arguments that fascism comes from the right. But until they understand that wherever fascism may come from, it never arrives save in a form that the best and the brightest are willing to accept with open arms.

And if liberals don't know their history, they won't be equipped to spot it when it comes knocking.

Jonah Goldberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism.

TRUMP: The twilight hour of socialism has arrived

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The other day, at Florida International University in Miami, facing large American and Venezuelan flags, President Trump gave a rousing speech in Miami, including this line, the "twilight hour of socialism has arrived."

Trump went on to say:

Socialism is about one thing only—power for the ruling class. They want the power to decide who wins and who loses, who's up and who's down…and even who lives and who dies.

He then repeated a phrase that helped define his State of the Union address this year:

America will never be a socialist country.

Fittingly, Fox News posted an article yesterday exposing the overlooked evils of Che dangers of socialism that all too often disappear behind a flashy design on a t-shirt.

  1. Guevara said he killed people without regard to guilt or innocence. In an interview, Guevara said, "in times of excessive tension we cannot proceed weakly. At the Sierra Maestra, we executed many people by firing squad without knowing if they were fully guilty. At times, the Revolution cannot stop to conduct much investigation; it has the obligation to triumph."
  2. Humberto Fontova, author of "Exposing the Real Che Guevara," told Fox that Guevara created system that put gay people in labor camps. "The regime that Che Guevara co-founded is the only one in modern history in the Western Hemisphere to have herded gays into forced labor camps."
  3. Guevara opposed a free press: "In 1959, leftist journalist José Pardo Llada reported that Guevara told him: 'We must eliminate all newspapers; we cannot make a revolution with free press. Newspapers are instruments of the oligarchy.'"
  4. Guevara made racist statements: Guevara went on to write: "the black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving."

These are just some of the many historical examples of the failure of socialism. President Trump is right. If the frivolities of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Saunders catch on and spread, we could have an unbelievable problem on our hands.

Poor Jussie: His narrative is falling apart completely

Tasia Wells/Getty Images for Espolòn

Here's how the media works now: Find a story that confirms their narrative, run it constantly and relentlessly. When the real story comes out, minimize exposure of the correction. Repeat.

We're seeing this pattern play out over and over again.

RELATED: John Ziegler isn't buying what Jussie Smollett's selling either

Here are some of the knee-jerk reactions that the media had to this Jessie Smollett hoax, from Insider Edition, CNN, E! News, Headline News, CNBC, TMZ, to name a few:


Montage: Watch the Media Uncritically Accept Another Outlandish 'Hate Crime' youtu.be


And those are just the reactions on TV. It was just as bad, at times worse, in print and online. I'll give you one special example, however. Because, you know the situation is bad when TMZ is connecting the dots and seeing through this guy's story:

The sources say there were red flags from the get go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera. And there's this. We're told investigators didn't believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed 'This is MAGA country' because 'Not a single Trump supporter watches 'Empire.''

Here's the man himself, in an interview just days after the alleged beating…I'm sorry, the alleged "modern day lynching." Here he is in an interview with ABC News, complaining about people making up stuff:



Strong words, spoken by a man who, allegedly, created the whole narrative to begin with.

This compromise is an abomination

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Three decades ago, "The Art of the Deal" made Donald Trump a household name. A lot has happened since then. But you can trace many of Trump's actions back to that book.

Art of the Deal:

In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.

People laughed when he announced that he was running for President. And I mean that literally. Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama roasted Trump, viciously, mocking the very idea that Trump could ever be President. Now, he's President.

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

This empire-building is a mark of Trump.

RELATED: 'Arrogant fool' Jim Acosta exposed MSM's dishonest border agenda — again.

The most recent example is the border wall. Yesterday, congress reached a compromise on funding for the border wall. Weeks of tense back-and-forth built up to that moment. At times, it seemed like neither side would budge. Trump stuck to his guns, the government shut down, Trump refused to budge, then, miraculously, the lights came back on again. The result was a compromise. Or at least that's how it appeared.

But really, Trump got what he wanted -- exactly what he wanted. He used the techniques he wrote about in The Art of the Deal:

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.

From the start, he demanded $5.7 billion for construction of a border wall. It was a months' long tug-of-war that eventually resulted in yesterday's legislation, which would dedicate $1.4 billion. It would appear that that was what he was after all along. Moments before the vote, he did some last-minute pushing. A national emergency declaration, and suddenly the number is $8 billion.

Art of the Deal:

People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate passed the legislation 83-16, and the House followed with 300-128. Today, Trump will sign the bill.

It's not even fair to call that a deal, really. A deal is what happens when you go to a car dealership, fully ready to buy a car, and the salesman says the right things. What Trump did is more like a car dealer selling an entire row of cars to someone who doesn't even have a licence. When Trump started, Democrats wouldn't even consider a wall, let alone pay for it.

Art of the Deal:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.

He started the wall on a chant, "Build the wall!" until he got what he wanted. He maneuvered like Don Draper, selling people something that they didn't even know they wanted, and convincing them that it is exactly what they've always needed.