Book Review: 'Liberal Fascism' Exposes Hillary, Liberals
In his blockbuster new book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” (Doubleday), National Review online editor Jonah Goldberg traces the history of fascism back to its roots, and shows conclusively that it born of progressive liberalism, not, as liberals contend, of conservatism. [Editor’s Note: Get Jonah Goldberg’s book. Go here now.]
In an exclusive interview, Goldberg expanded on his theme, at one point zeroing in on liberalism’s penultimate icon, Hillary Clinton and her fascistic beliefs regarding children. She says that “it takes a village” to raise them, instead of the traditional values of a nuclear family.
Newsmax: You trace today’s liberalism back to the early 20th century progressive movement. Exactly what was it?
Goldberg: The earlier generation of progressives, the progressive party that Theodore Roosevelt was in charge of in 1912.
Newsmax: Were they the progenitors of today’s liberalism as well as Nazism and fascism?
Goldberg: They are all part of what I call a “fascist moment” where these ideas are in the bloodstream — in the water supply — and they bounce back and forth across the Atlantic in big ways, from eugenics to the role of the state, and intellectual pragmatism – all these things that allowed cross-pollenization. In many ways the progressives were a kindred movement to the Italian fascists and later to a certain extent, to the Nazis.
Newsmax: Can you explain how liberal policies echo those of the fascists and the Nazis?
Goldberg: There are two ways to talk about them, One is simply the legacy of the progressive era in the New Deal. It’s important to point out that the corporatism of the New Deal was seen by many of the New Dealers, the braintrusters themselves, Rexford Tugwell and Hugh Johnson.
They saw it as similar to and related to what was going on in Italy and Germany and they expressly said so. They thought so and they looked with admiration at Italy as sort of a confirmation of what they were doing here.
It is the left that has said that economics is the central moral issue of politics — they imbue economics with all sorts of notions of justice, with fairness good and bad — if you oppose welfare payments you are evil, you are anti-child.
They also say that fascism is definitively and metaphysically evil so it’s interesting to point out that the very welfare state that they consider to be the crux of all good things in politics, that they want to expand, has roots that go directly to thing that they believe is the most evil force in the world.
The point about Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” is that this obsession with breaking into the bunker of the nuclear family, cracking its shell and getting the state in there as early as possible is a dream that goes all the way back to the earliest progressives. It goes back to Robespierre who wanted to send kids off to boarding schools so the state could teach them.
Newsmax: Is Hillary’s obsession with children a reflection of her progressive ideas about child-rearing?
Goldberg: Hillary comes out of this tradition of the child savers — people who want to reduce the independence and sovereignty and influence of the family.
Her book is replete with this stuff about how children are born in crisis and therefore need to be aided and rescued by the helping professions of the state.
It’s worth pointing out that a classic fascist mechanism is to create crisis so that everyone drops their objections to state action. Everyone rallies around the state. This emphasis on crisis mechanism is a commonality in all fascist or just plain totalitarian regimes.
Hillary’s thing about kids, to say that they are in crisis — and she says it explicitly — is an excuse to get the state to go in there as early as possible.
She kept insisting in the later years of the Clinton administration that there was a grave child-care crisis in this country. Her solution to it wasn’t to give child-care tax credits which might help with that because that would empower families, but rather to radically inflate the role of day-care centers where kids could be taught outside the authority of the home.
She has very left-wing social engineering ideas about how to raise kids. This goes straight back to the progressive era. Woodrow Wilson, when he was president of Princeton, said the central job of an educator is to make your children as unlike you as possible.
This is an idea that goes to the early feminists, it goes straight to the 1960s and is a classic hallmark of a totalitarian mindset — this utopian desire to create new men as the Soviets used to call it, “the new Soviet man.”
Newsmax: Didn’t Hillary once say that she wasn’t interested in social reconstruction but in human reconstruction?
Goldberg: Yes. And that fits perfectly into it. The classic definition of a totalitarian social engineer is someone who believes that you can remake human nature. That you can take human beings out of their fallen status, the crooked timber of humanity, and remake them in a new form.
That has been a consistent theme throughout Hillary’s entire adult life going back to her college years. In 1996 she said what I consider the scariest quote in the book — that we as a society have to move beyond the idea that there’s any such thing as somebody else’s child.
The whole reason we have a Second Amendment is because the state doesn’t own your children.
On the flip side, just as she wants to create children’s rights and inflate the importance and significance of childhood, she wants to infantilize adults. It was very telling when she wrote that the smartest philosophers she ever met were 5-year-olds.
By inflating the maturity of children she wants to deflate the maturity of adults. On the stump she is using this line a lot where she says, ‘in my book I say that every child should have a champion.” And then she says that every American should have a champion. She’s sort of running to be our mommy.
[Editor’s Note: Get Jonah Goldberg’s book. Go here now.]
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