Dreams from Obama

Liberal Fascism

By Jonah Goldberg


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by Jonah Goldberg

On February 12, 2008, the night Barack Obama won the Maryland, D.C. and Virginia Democratic primaries, he held a massive rally (does he hold any other kind) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Where better,” Obama asked, “to affirm our ideals than here in Wisconsin, where a century ago the Progressive movement was born?”

On the one hand, one has to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and assume he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. After all, the University of Wisconsin progressives were soaked to the bone racists, nativists, eugenicists and imperialists. Many of the founders of the “Wisconsin school” of progressivism would be horrified by a black president, particularly one with an African name. Indeed, if they had their druthers, Obama’s father would never have been allowed to enter the country, never mind marry his mother. And at least some of the most prominent Wisconsin progressives might have wanted her sterilized against her will.

On the other hand, one has to give Obama points for honesty. While Obama certainly harbors no affinity for the “race patriotism” of the Wisconsin progressives, he certainly agrees with them in other ways. He is, in the most fundamental sense, the most authentically progressive president since at least FDR, and perhaps Woodrow Wilson.

One problem with talking about progressivism is that the word has been shorn of its meaning. To say you’re a progressive these days is like saying you’re in favor of good things. We talk about “progressive music” as if the word simply confers a kind of spiritual blessing.  But progressivism was, and is, a real ideology with good aspects and very, very bad ones.

Obama’s progressivism stems mostly from his unshakeable conviction that he and his likeminded brain trust have an almost Jedi-like understanding of what is good and right: Constraints on their ability to pursue them are unwise, even unpatriotic. They agree with the French philosopher Condorcet that there is “a science that can foresee the progress of humankind, direct it, and accelerate it” – and they are the scientists who need to run the show.

This idea evolved until the Progressive era, when philosophers like John Dewey and the Progressives at the University of Wisconsin came to believe that individual liberties, particularly economic liberties, were an impediment to progress. If only the experts, or “planners” could be left in charge, they could make everything right. This is why Woodrow Wilson – the first U.S. president with a Ph D and a founder of the American Political Science Association -- and Dewey had such contempt for the American constitution and bill of rights. All of those messy checks-and-balances interfered with their ability to do “what works.” This is why Stuart Chase, the progressive  intellectual reputed to have coined the phrase “the New Deal” insisted that America must be put under control of an “economic dictatorship.” After all, he said, “why should the Russians have all the fun remaking the world?”

Now President Obama surely doesn’t see himself as a dictator, and he isn’t one. Indeed, this country does not tolerate tyranny well. We are a liberty loving people, with a strained, but still functioning republican constitution. Nonetheless, in much the same way Wilson and Roosevelt exploited crises, mainly war and the Great Depression, to expand the scope and size of governmental and presidential power, Obama clearly has similar ambitions. Indeed, the motto of his administration is “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

In terms of public policy, the most striking continuity between classical progressive thought and today is, again, economic policy.

People remember Teddy Roosevelt as a “trust buster” and he was one as president. But afterwards, when he became a fully committed Progressive (he was the Progressive Party presidential candidate in 1912) he abandoned trust-busting in favor of “combination,” the binding together of powerful economic forces for efficiency’s sake.  “The effort at prohibiting all combination has substantially failed,” Roosevelt explained. “The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations, but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare.”

The credit for Roosevelt’s intellectual evolution from anti-monopolist to monopolist should go to Herbert Croly, the godfather of the progressive movement, founder of The New Republic and author of the Progressive bible The Promise of American Life. “Cooperation” was Croly’s maxim.  He once said “[i]t should be the effort of all civilized societies to substitute cooperation for competitive methods.” In short, the idea was to yoke big businesses – the bigger, the better – to the state and use them as extensions of state power.  The old market system, whereby firms were kept honest and prices low through competition, needed to be replaced by the enlightened rule of experts.  Hence, in The Promise of American Life, Croly yearned for a “national reformer . . . in the guise of St. Michael” and an “imitator of Christ” who will crush laissez-faire capitalism and cruel individualism. Indeed, he wrote, an “individual has no meaning apart from the society in which his individuality has been formed.”

As we watch Obama take over the auto, banking and student-loan industries. As we watch him argue for a new nationalized healthcare system and for economic and tax policy to be guided by the notion that the wealth should be spread around and that we are all our brothers’ keepers, it’s difficult to see how he doesn’t share this core progressive conviction. And, it is not crazy to suggest that, at least for some Obama supporters, “The One” is that imitator of Christ.

In his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, then-candidate Obama explained that the “American Dream” must, in large measure, be replaced by “America’s Promise.”  The American Dream is, after all, an individualistic ideal. We all pursue our own conception of happiness, as is our right under the Constitution. America’s Promise, however, is a collective enterprise in which politics becomes the new science of human progress. That is the Progressive’s Dream – and Obama’s.

Jonah Goldberg, a syndicated columnist, is the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, now out in paperback. 

In a shocking but underreported conversation ahead of the G7 Speakers' meeting in London last week, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted that the administration knows China is committing "genocide" against the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region, but thinks working with the regime on climate change is more important.

On the radio program, an outraged Glenn Beck dissected Pelosi's speech and broke down how — along with the Biden administration's abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan, and the Democrat decision to follow measures of medical "equity" — the far left is revealing how little they really care about human life.

Glenn played a video clip of Pelosi making the following statement:

We've always felt connected to China, but with their military aggression in the South China Sea, with their continuation of genocide with the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province there, with their violation of the cultural, linguistic, religious priority of Tibet, with their suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and other parts of China, as well – they're just getting worse in terms of suppression, and freedom of speech. So, human rights, security, economically [sic].

Having said all of that ... we have to work together on climate. Climate is an overriding issue and China is the leading emitter in the world, the U.S. too and developed world too, but we must work together.

"We have Nancy Pelosi admitting the United States of America knows that they're not only committing [genocide], they're continuing to commit it. Which means, we've known for a while," Glenn noted. "And what does she say? She goes on to say, yes, they're committing genocide against the Uyghurs, but having said that, I'm quoting, 'the overriding issue,' is working together on climate change.

"Would we have worked with Hitler on climate change? Would we have worked with Hitler on developing the bomb? Would we have worked with Hitler on developing the Autobahn? Would we have worked with Hitler on his socialized medicine? Would we have worked with Hitler on any of his national, socialist ideas?" he asked.

"The answer is no. No. When you're committing genocide, no! She said 'we have to work together on climate,' because climate is the 'overriding issue.' The overriding issue? There is no way to describe this mindset. That, yes, they are killing an entire group of people because of their ethnicity or religion. They are systematically rounding them up, using them for slave labor, and killing them, using their organs and selling them on the open market. They are nothing more than cattle. For us to recognize it and do nothing about it is bad enough. But to say, 'we recognize it, but we have bigger things to talk to them about,' is a horror show."

Glenn went on to urge Americans to "stand up together in love, peace, and harmony," or risk watching our nation become the worst plague on human life yet.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

The fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 marked the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history and economic collapse was felt throughout the world. But now China's own version of Lehman Brothers, Evergrande, is teetering closer and closer to that edge, too. On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck gave the latest update and predicted how it will affect Asian markets and what it could mean for America's economy.

Glenn explained why he believes a major collapse that is happening now in China will have a cascading effect into a "controlled collapse," a managed decline that will dramatically change America's economy and the way we all live.

"You will not recognize your lifestyle. Hear me," Glenn warned. "And that's not a right-left thing. That's a right-wrong thing. We're on the wrong track. I'm telling you now, there's new information and you are not going to recognize the American lifestyle. ... It could happen tomorrow. It could happen in five years from now, but it will happen. We are headed for a very different country. One where you don't have the rights that you have. And you certainly don't have the economic privileges that Americans are used to."

"The same thing that happened in 2008 is now happening in China," Glenn continued. "This time, it's going to take everything down. When it collapses, it will take everything down."

Watch the video below to hear Glenn break down the details:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Justin Haskins, editorial director of the Heartland Institute, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to expose a shocking conversation between two Great Reset proponents — Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (Europe's equivalent to the Fed).

The way Schwab and Lagarde discuss the role central banks should play in establishing societal norms, determining your way of life, and defending against potential crisis is proof that the Great Reset is upon us, Justin explained. And the scariest part is that they're not even trying to hide it. The entire, unbelievable conversation has been published on the WEF website, which you can read here.

Glenn read an excerpt from the conversation:

Christine Lagarde: At the ECB, we have now wrapped up and concluded our strategy review, which was the first one in 17 years. And I was blessed to have an entire Governing Council unanimously agree that the fight against climate change should be one of the considerations that we take when we determine monetary policy. So at least the European Central Bank is of the view that climate change is an important component in order to decide on monetary policy. ...

Can we arrive at that trade-off between fighting climate change, preserving biodiversity and yet securing enough growth to respond to legitimate demands of the population? And my first answer, Klaus, to be firm, is that to have a way of life, we need life. And in the medium term, we do have major threats on the horizon that could cause the death of hundreds of thousands of people. So we have to think life, first. We have to think way of life, second. ...

So we have to think life, first. We have to think way of life, second. How can we come together to make sure that we secure the first priority, which is life, and also protect the way of life that people have? And make sure that the cost of it is not so high for some people, that they just cannot tolerate it. I think that the trade-off that we reach will probably require some redistribution, because it is clear that the most exposed people, the less privileged people are those that are going to need some help.

"Do you understand, America, what that means?" Glenn exclaimed. "You have elites, that you never elected, that are having these meetings ... deciding what is a legitimate need for you. And telling you that your needs are going to go away in your lifetime. You may not see a time where you get wants again. Just your needs are going to be addressed. Am I reading this wrong?"

"This is absolutely what is being said here," Justin agreed. "She's very clear that we need to make sure that way of life is second to life. We have to save all these people, hundreds of thousands of people are going to die from this supposedly existential threat of climate change. And their wants, and their desires, and their quality of living, all of that has to come second."

"This is a central bank saying this. This is not an elected official, who is accountable directly to the people. This is a central bank saying, we're going to print money. We're going to use monetary policy, to impose these ideas, to rework society in order to accomplish our goals," Justin added, addressing Lagarde's call for "some redistribution."

Will Great Reset elites — not elected by the U.S. — soon be dictating to the rest of the world? Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn and Justin break it down:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

First comes the "crisis," then comes the expansion. The federal government is seizing on the January 6 Capitol riot to take carte blanche to do whatever it wants and weaponize the event to further empower the new overlords of our country — the intelligence community.

On Glenn TV Wednesday, Glenn Beck reveals what's happening with the U.S. Capitol Police and argues they've morphed into a new arm of the intelligence apparatus, boosted by a massive increase in funding and surveillance equipment and new offices OUTSIDE the Capitol building. The Biden administration has also hidden basic details regarding January 6. Why did officials refuse to release the name of the officer who killed Ashli Babbitt? Where are the 14,000-plus hours of CCTV footage? As any intelligence organization knows, it's best to operate outside the realms of oversight.

Glenn exposes the hidden hand of government that could be used to punish and destroy innocent Americans who are only guilty of holding the "wrong" political view.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.