Video: Jonah Goldberg explains Liberal Fascism on The Daily Show

posted at 8:36 am on January 17, 2008 by Bryan

Liberal Fascism is of course the title of Jonah’s book. Explaining the nuance of that title’s meaning to Jon Stewart is the Mother of All Uphill Tasks.

Update (AP): I replaced the RedLasso version with the Comedy Central version since it includes the mea culpa from Stewart that the Corner’s buzzing about this morning.

Here’s more Goldberg from Hannity & Colmes last night, having an even more contentious time with A.C. over his jacket art.

Update: Heh. The Daily Show’s website is getting hit with call after call to post the entire interview rather than the edited version. Free Jonah!

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thuja on January 17, 2008 at 12:00 PM

he doesn’t even start to make the case you’ve described in the book.

jummy on January 17, 2008 at 12:07 PM

“You must be joking. What, precisely, are the elements of fascism by which conservatives are so plagued? You’ve clearly been brainwashed by the “fascism is right-wing, communism is left-wing” lie. ”

Nowhere did I say that “fascism is rightwing”. Did I?

Of course not.

Nor did I say that conservatism is “plagued” by fascism either.

If you read Goldberg’s book – or read his posts – you’ll see that he acknowledges that there are elements of conservatism that also use fascist tactics or who are willing to use the coercive power of the state in dangerous ways.

We can see some of this, for example, in the policies of Mike Huckabee or in the policies of those who wish to arrest adults for having private consensual sex. Or those on the right who wish to use government to ban what adults read.

Power corrupts as Acton said. It corrupts conservatives are well as liberals.

SteveMG on January 17, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Of course Colmes goes nuts, he knows its true.

Conservatives want the government to get off our backs and get out of our way, thats the opposite of liberalism and the opposite of fascism.

Liberals and fascists are both authoritarian wanting control of our lives cradle to grave, it fits.

Colmesy just doesn’t like it but oh well.

Speakup on January 17, 2008 at 12:11 PM

this tactic they are using of attacking the cover and not the content is really the same one they used with Ann Coulter and Godless. pick one little thing they can spin, and whine and bitch about it non-stop to divert from the substance of the book

jp on January 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM

nothing about the era in internet chatter following the publication of this book will be as irritating as having progressives presume to lecture us on godwin’s law violation.

i’ve got the book and goldberg is not making a godwin’s law violation.

jummy on January 17, 2008 at 12:20 PM

If you read Goldberg’s book – or read his posts – you’ll see that he acknowledges that there are elements of conservatism that also use fascist tactics or who are willing to use the coercive power of the state in dangerous ways.

We can see some of this, for example, in the policies of Mike Huckabee or in the policies of those who wish to arrest adults for having private consensual sex. Or those on the right who wish to use government to ban what adults read.

Power corrupts as Acton said. It corrupts conservatives are well as liberals.

That last sentence – true. But if you’re trying to support

conservatives

as having fascist tendencies, then you should look at conservatives, not Mike Huckabee. My argument was, and remains, no conservatives (that is, true conservatives) can be fascists, by definition.

emailnuevo on January 17, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Conservatives want the government to get off our backs and get out of our way, thats the opposite of liberalism and the opposite of fascism.

Speakup on January 17, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Actually, that’s libertarianism. But, yes, it’s the opposite of modern liberalism and fascism in most ways.

aero on January 17, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Actually, that’s libertarianism. But, yes, it’s the opposite of modern liberalism and fascism in most ways.

aero on January 17, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Conservatism is just libertarianism with a church membership.

emailnuevo on January 17, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Second look at Alan Colmes NEAR TEARS.

shooter on January 17, 2008 at 12:39 PM

thuja on January 17, 2008 at 12:00 PM

The point he was making is not that being a vegan is fascist, it is the way it is introduced. The religious fervor of PETA is a good example. PETA is a fascist rooted organization, fascism comes wrapped in something that appears to be good, but then is forced fed by the government, or “movements”. Not that being a vegetarian is fascists, but the involvement by the government (in Germany) and the radicalism (in America), moves it towards a fascist ideology.
Global warming is a good example, the ones that opposed (and oppose) it were viscously attacked fascist like.
The classic conservative approach is not to “shout” down opponents, or run them off to jail, or destroy them publicly, march through the streets burning and looting…that is a fascist way of dealing with “perceived problems”.
PETA, and their brethren, attack and destroy…all in the name of making us more healthy and “aware”…they are liberal fascists.

right2bright on January 17, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Actually, that’s libertarianism. But, yes, it’s the opposite of modern liberalism and fascism in most ways.

aero on January 17, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Conservatism is just libertarianism with a church membership.

emailnuevo on January 17, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Close, Conservatism is like Libertarianism with moral limits.

Contemporary proof? Paulnuts.

Speakup on January 17, 2008 at 12:55 PM

sinsing said: “Colmes proved, once again, that liberals are recklessly hellbent on silencing the opposition. Leftists have become confrontational, rude, arrogant and bulling fascists, because they fear that logic and truth will reveal their stupidity and true agendas. …”

I see interesting parallels here.

For years, I have been trying to understand why Liberals go out of their way to defend Islam, which is about as fascist an ideology as one can get. If Liberals really were against “fascism,” they would be first in line to support the nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they would be shoulder to shoulder with conservatives to stop Islamic infiltration and subversion of our society through immigration, financial manipulation, propaganda, and other means.

In this light, Goldberg’s book is for me a welcome analysis.

The reaction to his book so far is instructive as well. Whenever you criticize the belief system of the Liberals, they take it as an assault on their identity, and they react with bullying (fascist!) tactics, as sinsing pointed out. The exact same behavior comes from the Muslims when their belief system is criticized.

By this common fasicst behavioral predisposition, Colmes and others are instantly offended, and mindlessly go on the attack, when they see a Hilterian smiley face on the cover of Goldberg’s book, just as the Muslims rioted over the Mohammed cartoons and the Mohammed Teddy Bear.

Stendec on January 17, 2008 at 12:55 PM

I gotta give Jonah major props for this.

It takes brass ones to have the guts to jump into the lion’s den.

Kudos.

Hawkins1701 on January 17, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Stewart uses the Letterman tactic of pretending to be an idiot to disarm his guest’s argument.

Valiant on January 17, 2008 at 12:59 PM

and they react with bullying (fascist!) tactics, as sinsing pointed out. The exact same behavior comes from the Muslims when their belief system is criticized.

Stewart had Goldberg on his show gave him a forum to promote his book. He disagreed with the premise of the book. Arguing over political viewpoints seems more like a fundamental aspect of democracy than an Islamic reaction of banning material and murdering critics.

I can’t comment on the Colmes clip since I find him unbearable.

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Stewart uses the Letterman tactic of pretending to be an idiot to disarm his guest’s argument.

Yeah, he’s pretty open about Letterman’s influence. I think he overuses some of the Letterman’s style which worked better for Dave and worked better 20 years ago.

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

I thought Alan was going to wet himself. Sounds like Jonah hit a nerve.

RobCon on January 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

“no conservatives (that is, true conservatives) can be fascists, by definition.”

Sure, if you want to say that those who want to do the things I listed aren’t real conservatives, then you’re corrrect.

Obviously, since conservatism – properly understood and practiced – believes in individual liberty and limited government, it cannot in any way be likened to fascism, an ideology that is, among other things, collectivist and totalitarian.

I think the greatest difference between fascism and conservatism is that the former believes that the state has an end goal or purpose. And that everything belongs to the state in its attainment of that goal.

It’s this thought as well, it seems to me, that links fascism with current liberalism. We hear all the time liberals or progressives state, “We will not rest until every child has health care” or “We will not stop until every person has a good job and a good house” et cetera et cetera. Until we have a perfect nation, government must continue to expand and increase it’s power.

That is absolutely antithetical to conservatism.

SteveMG on January 17, 2008 at 1:24 PM

It’s this thought as well, it seems to me, that links fascism with current liberalism. We hear all the time liberals or progressives state, “We will not rest until every child has health care” or “We will not stop until every person has a good job and a good house” et cetera et cetera. Until we have a perfect nation, government must continue to expand and increase it’s power.

There are a few different flavors of “real” conservatives. I’d agree that the small government conservatives are about as far from fascism as possible. We need to watch carefully though the things done in the name of “law & order” and “national security” that give the government more power and the individual fewer rights.

When the government fears the people it is a democracy….when the people fear their government it is tyranny… — Thomas Jefferson

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 1:32 PM

“We need to watch carefully though the things done in the name of “law & order” and “national security” that give the government more power and the individual fewer rights.”

Sure; but government was constituted to protect our liberties from the predations of other individuals. “Men are not angels” as Madison pointed out.

Still, Tocqueville’s warning applies to those on both sides of the spectrum.

SteveMG on January 17, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Jon Stewart is an idiot!

Ummm… I edited the video from 18 minutes to 6 because I didn’t want to show everyone how badly Jonah slaughtered me in a debate.

HaraldHardrada on January 17, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Two great examples of two intellectually dishonest lefties having nothing of substance in the face of an interesting historical analysis.

If Stewart and Colmes want to be taken seriously at all (obviously Stewart is afraid of being taken seriously and Colmes appears to be just not very bright), they need to get their little egos in check before they make fools of themselves like they did here.

Metro on January 17, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Ouch. Poor Colmes got his butt handed to him. Goldberg’s, “Alan, if thats the depth of intellectualism you want to go to…” was excellent.

Green 6 golf on January 17, 2008 at 1:56 PM

Jon Stewart wouldn’t admit that he didn’t read Jonahs book.

Instead it was a typical liberal set-up to try and make Jonah look like an idiot, but that obviously backfired on Jon and that’s why he wouldn’t air the whole interview.

Typical, liberal COWARD!

With no information or logic they just attack.

Conservaboomer on January 17, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Stewart was honest when he told Jonah that he didn’t understand what he was saying. He is so ignorant that he doesn’t understand the difference in the terms that are necessary to discuss the issue intelligently. Having admitted his ignorance, Stewart went on to mock, ridicule, and laugh at things that he had already admitted he doesn’t understand.

Even with the editorial butchering job, they couldn’t come up with a clip that was any more favorable than that. Of course, other ignorant liberals will view that and think, “Stewart sure put him in his place,” because they are even denser than he.

And these are people who get to vote in ten short months…

windbag on January 17, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Shouldn’t the term “facism” be defined before we debate whether or not modern liberalism has facist tendencies? My apologies to Mr. Goldberg in that I haven’t yet read his book, so I do not know how he defines facism [if anyone has I would be interested in knowing his definition].

I am assuming it is similiar to Gene Edward Veith’s definition in his book “Modern Facism.” As I understand it, Veith defines facism as a worldview that is rooted in “romanticism, Darwinism and existentialism,” with spiritual implications that replaces transcendent law with nature and community, holding that individual identity is determined by culture and ethnicity and it emphasized the worship of nature and the will to power. Veith’s enumeration of twentieth century intellectuals who were facists sympathizers ‘reads like a Who’s Who list of modern culture,” says Veith. Including Martin Heidegger, Paul De Man, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, Carl Jung, Margaret Sanger, George Bernard Shaw, Wyndham Lewis, T.E. Hulme, Roy Campbell, an early T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats. Though modern disciples have naively attempted to white-wash or downplay the facist values of these scholars.

Based on Veith’s and I am assuming Goldberg’s definitions modern liberalism has a lot more in common with facism than most modern liberals realize.

Renae on January 17, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I will say, though, that when I taught world history in high school, the textbooks all clearly taught that Fascism was an extreme form of conservatism. They did teach that Communism was a leftist philosophy, so their point was that both the right and the left was “evil” if it went too extremes. As much as a high school textbook teaches that anything is “evil”. I lectured a lot, and used the book very little.

TX Mom on January 17, 2008 at 9:17 AM

That’s what all the textbooks say, but it never made sense to me. Nazism, fascism, and Communism were always kissing cousins, and variants of socialism. Communism was the most extreme of the three, in that they tried to abolish private property almost completely. If anything, Nazism was a more nationalistic and moderate version of Communism. Which explains why the Nazis were far more dangerous to the world than the Communists: their economy was more productive than Communism.

I always figured left-wing professors basically redefined their terms to push the undesirables into the opposite camp. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if one day they redefined communism as right-wing extremism. Not today, though. They’re still too fond of it.

tom on January 17, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Both the interview with Colmes (which I saw last night) and Stewart (which I viewed just now) illustrate the futility of arguing serious concepts with liberal believers. Rather than to engage, both Colmes and Stewart chose to smear Goldberg with non-sequiters.

ptolemy on January 17, 2008 at 3:33 PM

The difference between Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter is that Jonah is fundamentally dishonest. Whenever he is confronted with the actual implications of his book, he denies it. Though his book — from the title to the contents — is suggesting that modern liberals (or progressives) are kin to early progressives, i.e. fascists, he denies it. “Oh no, Jon, you’re not a fascist. I’m just saying that …”

Coulter, on the other hand will answer, “Yes, you are a fascist, a traitor, a …”

Goldberg suffers too much from just wanting to be loved. There are better voices than his. Coulter’s for one. But alas, she makes the boys at NRO uncomfortable.

Drum on January 17, 2008 at 3:38 PM

conservatism
One entry found.

conservatism

Main Entry: con·ser·va·tism
Pronunciation: \kən-ˈsər-və-ˌti-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1832
1capitalized a: the principles and policies of a Conservative party b: the Conservative party
2 a: disposition in politics to preserve what is established b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)
3: the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change

ronsfi on January 17, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Jon Stewart always seemed to me like a fairly harmless village idiot. In this segment, however, he is really carrying the water for some extremist — and yes, fascist — positions of the likes of Hillary Clinton. He’s now a dangerous idiot, all smiles and cool guy curse words. In fact, he personified the cover of Goldberg’s book. When it comes, it will be from the wise-cracking lips of an ass-hat like Stewart. Moreover, he was so intellectually inferior throughout the entire segment that he had to act like the naughty kid in the back of the room — “Teacher, how come we have to learn all this stuff?” I frankly don’t know why Goldberg would diminish his work by appearing on such a show. It isn’t as if any of the applauding, moronic robots in Stewart’s audience are going to buy his book — or any other book.

Rational Thought on January 17, 2008 at 4:44 PM

dedalus wrote: “Stewart had Goldberg on his show gave him a forum to promote his book. He disagreed with the premise of the book. Arguing over political viewpoints seems more like a fundamental aspect of democracy than an Islamic reaction of banning material and murdering critics.”

By his behavior, it looks to me that what Stewart disagreed with was that Liberals could be criticized in any fundamental way. He “discussed” only the cover of the book, not the premise, which would logically be based on its content, not on its cover (the cover of any book is meant to be eye-catching, so that it will sell). Stewart had not read the book, and he does not really care what is in it, since Liberalism (by his thinking) is self-evidently beyond criticism. The reason Stewart invited Goldberg on the show was not to give Goldberg a forum to promote the book, nor to discuss any ideas, but to mock Goldberg and discredit his book.

That same hypersensitivity to criticism, and that same arrogant supremacism based on a presumed unassailable rightness runs throughout Islamic thought. Nothing in Islam may be criticized because it is, by their definition, perfect in every way.

As I observe their common political and public behavior, both Liberals and Islamic believers are supremacist, intolerant of competing ideas, and, like Stewart, thuggish in treatment of critics.

Fascism is as fascism does.

Stendec on January 17, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Drum on January 17, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Someone hasn’t been paying attention.

jdpaz on January 17, 2008 at 5:08 PM

is suggesting that modern liberals (or progressives) are kin to early progressives, i.e. fascists, he denies it. “Oh no, Jon, you’re not a fascist. I’m just saying that …”

Goldberg says at least six times in the first twenty or so pages of the book (that I guess you haven’t read) that he is not saying nor does he believe that “liberals are fascists”.

The work traces, as he sees it, the historical roots of fascism. He argues that fascism belongs on the left side of the political spectrum, not the right. And that some of the approaches to the role of the state, the belief in collectivism, the economic regulation that fascists embraced are (generally) embraced by (generally) liberals today.

Second, the title of the book is “Liberal Fascists”. It is not “Liberals are Fascists”.

See the difference?

SteveMG on January 17, 2008 at 5:20 PM

As I observe their common political and public behavior, both Liberals and Islamic believers are supremacist, intolerant of competing ideas, and, like Stewart, thuggish in treatment of critics.

I don’t recall an Islamic comedy talk show inviting Salman Rushdie on and debating the merits of “The Satanic Verses” with a laughing audience. Instead there was a fatwa that forced Rushdie to live in hiding for years.

Stewart recently had John Bolton on for the second time in the past few months. He treated him with respect and the interview was fairly orderly. He routinely has people on with ideas that run counter to his own point of view.

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 5:41 PM

As I observe their common political and public behavior, both Liberals and Islamic believers are supremacist, intolerant of competing ideas, and, like Stewart, thuggish in treatment of critics.

Fascism is as fascism does.

Stendec on January 17, 2008

Thank you for this perfectly succinct description of the odd and chilling alliance of Islamic fundamentalism and fascist progressivism. When you seek to silence your critics through intimidation and state control (fairness doctrine, hate crime laws, etc.), you have become a fascist.

Rational Thought on January 17, 2008 at 5:48 PM

“Liberal Fascists”. It is not “Liberals are Fascists”.

That’s “Liberal Fascism” not “fascists”.

SteveMG on January 17, 2008 at 5:51 PM

If you view the political spectrum as a horseshoe, laying on its side (so, sort of like the letter C), then label one end fascism, the other end communism. The two ends represent totalitarianism, while the middle (where the bend resides) represents liberalism.

That’s how you get both fascism and communism to both be brutal regimes, yet at opposite ends of the scale.

windbag on January 17, 2008 at 6:22 PM

So, here we have John Stewart browbeating Goldberg with snarky remarks, and there we have Alan Colmes rambling at him and not letting him get a word in.

But don’t worry, folks, they’re still not fascists! They still believe in hearing out both sides, really they do! Even if they do occasionally cut, say, certain stuff out!

R. Waher on January 17, 2008 at 7:55 PM

I’ve seen Johan Goldberg speak on campus and I think that he is amazing and able to break down barriers between liberals and conservatives. He has a level head that examines both sides of the political spectrum and reaches out.

glasschariot on January 17, 2008 at 8:11 PM

Fox News needs to make the right move and kick Colmes off the show. Hannity and Malkin perhaps? I’m halfway kidding..But that would be awesome.

therightwinger on January 17, 2008 at 8:12 PM

I called my local bookstore to see if they have the book. They never carry conservative books and act a little peaved and insulted when asked about any. The clerk said she had heard it mentioned on NPR this morning. Then after leaving me on hold for a long time she said it might take a month or more for them to get it and would I like them to order it for me. Her explanation of why it would take so long made no sense. (They order from two different places and they could only get it from one of them. WHAT?) When she mentioned the NPR piece, I shouldn’t have said it must have been a hatchet job. If only I had pretended that I am a curious progressive, I could be reading Jonah G. right now. I really gave it to her. I finished the conversation with, “Amazon will sell it to me.”

snaggletoothie on January 17, 2008 at 8:32 PM

Fox News needs to make the right move and kick Colmes off the show. Hannity and Malkin perhaps? I’m halfway kidding..But that would be awesome.

Yeah, though I think Sean and Michelle agree on too many points for a debate show format. Given this thread, maybe Hannity & Stewart, if you could get the two big egos on one set.

Michelle would be great on a debate show–Malkin vs Powers. Right vs Left and easy on the eyes.

Long ago Buchanan and Kinsley were good on Crossfire, before it degraded to Novak, Tucker, Begala and Carville.

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 8:39 PM

Jon Stewart: “It seems to me that it’s (liberal fascism) an oxymoron because it seems like at its heart liberalism is the individual over the state, and fascism is the other way around……”

EH???????? (AFLAC Duck in the Yogi Berra commercial)

Has Jon Stewart been paying attention to liberalism lately?

Like Jonah says, only classical liberalism celebrates the individual’s rights versus the state.

These guys don’t even understand what their modern day movement stands for.

Hawkins1701 on January 17, 2008 at 9:23 PM

“Controversial author”

The heart of the right is not nationalism.

Right = Little Government
Left = Much Government

Extreme Right = Anarchy
Extreme Left = Totalitarianism

Tzetzes on January 17, 2008 at 9:24 PM

dadalus:

I did not see the Bolton interviews, and I do not watch Stewart regularly, but I suspect that Bolton did not criticize Liberals or progressivism. Had he done so, I expect that the “attitude” would have instantly appeared in Stewart’s demeanor.

It looks to me that the point of Stewart’s interview with Goldberg, in its mocking style and its suspicious editing, was to signal the “liberal” university students (who I understand are the main demographic watching his show) that here is another legitimate and deserving target for their ridicule and contempt, that it would be righteous to deny him an invitation to speak on this subject, or to shout him down if he tries, or to throw a pie in his face. In other words, the interview itself is a western style fatwa, issued by a Liberal imam, to authorize fascist bullying.

As I said, I don’t watch Stewart regularly, so maybe you are right about his respecting his guests. However, I am skeptical about that, especially when fundamental Liberal ideas are being challenged or criticized. Let’s see what happens now to Jonah Goldberg at his speaking engagements on campus.

Stendec on January 17, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Let’s see what happens now to Jonah Goldberg at his speaking engagements on campus.

Stendec on January 17, 2008 at 9:29 PM

That’ll be a barrel of laughs, I’m sure.

Hawkins1701 on January 17, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Let’s see what happens now to Jonah Goldberg at his speaking engagements on campus.

I don’t follow campus speaking, so maybe you are right about the way some students could behave. Still, the appearance on Stewart’s show does help raise Goldberg’s name recognition which is valuable to him as an author and commentator.

On the previous show Bolton and Stewart were discussing foreign policy. You can see the clip here. One doesn’t have to like Stewart, or agree with him, to see that he gives Bolton a chance to speak intelligently to an audience that otherwise might hold him in low regard.

I don’t know what happened with the Goldberg interview but sometimes conversations between people with opposing points of view can go completely off the rails. Stewart and Goldberg spent 18 minutes arguing about the application of big concepts like “liberal”, “conservative”, “progressive”. I’ve spent hours in conversations with a much narrower scope.

Both guys seem to have strong personalities. You could see another example of a Stewart interview going completely awry with Chris Matthews who isn’t conservative.

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 10:26 PM

That’s what all the textbooks say, but it never made sense to me. Nazism, fascism, and Communism were always kissing cousins, and variants of socialism.

Yeah, I never thought it made sense, either. I’m sure I always covered it with the kids, but I can’t remember how I explained it. It’s always tricky when you teach history because if you don’t teach them the standard lefty formulation, they will bomb standardized history tests. That’s doing your students a disservice. But, of course, not teaching them the truth is doing them a disservice as well, and you don’t really have enough time to cover all of the material twice from two different viewpoints. After all, it is the history of the entire WORLD in one year. Dude.

One of the many reasons that I now homeschool my own rugrats.

TX Mom on January 18, 2008 at 12:07 AM

I gotta get that book. I wonder if my local Barnes and Noble has it? Methinks not. AMAZON, BABY!

robblefarian on January 17, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Perfect opportunity! Go into B&N and give them crap about it. That’s what I did when I ordered the Judge Thomas autobiography. There were 50 gazillions books on display right near the front door by one liberal idiot after another–including Jimmuh Cahtuh–but conservative titles? Not a chance. So I went to the order desk and asked the snippy woman back there why there are no books about conservatives in the front of the store, particularly the Thomas memoir. She told me it had been up front but was sold out. I said, “Maybe you ought to put some more conservative books up front–who knows how well they might sell.” If looks could kill. . . Heh.

About fascism coming wrapped in a good package–how about the “Candadian Human Rights Commission?” It was created to handle complaints by people who feel they’ve been discriminated against for some reason or another–what could be wrong with that, right? But it’s morphed into the second coming of the Inquisition. http://ezralevant.com/

smellthecoffee on January 18, 2008 at 12:09 AM

Stewart uses the Letterman tactic of pretending to be an idiot to disarm his guest’s argument.

Valiant on January 17, 2008 at 12:59 PM

No, he’s pretty much and idiot all the way through. If his guests ever appear a bit rattled it might be because they are witnessing first hand how even small minded fools can achieve fame and fortune if they possess the talent of good comedic timing.

greekinfidel on January 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM

Everyone needs to read Gentile, the most legitimate philosopher of fascism, before they start using the word. That’s Fascism with a capital “F.” The generic fascism (small “f”) we see in the world is nothing more than reactive and developmental nationalism, and the criteria does not apply to advanced nations. Think China as a good example: backwards, building up technology (going to the moon) and arms, masculine protest and militarism, and the “one face, one race” ideology.

Origins and and Doctrines of Fascism

Giovanni Gentile: The Philosopher of Fascism

Fascism has its roots in neo-Hegelainism. Also, Mussolini was a Hegelian scholar and was married to a jew, which did not sit too well with Hitler. Many Italians housed and protected jews as they were driven south. Thousands of jews made it to the USA on boats via Italy in WWII.

Goldberg is not as smart as everyone thinks, and he has his job because of who his parents are. His book may be good, but this kind of nepotism needs to be called out.

petit bourgeois on January 18, 2008 at 1:41 AM

Nazi = National socialism.

Socialism is a liberal concept.

With the State (the “fasces”, or bound-together populace) as their instrument to implement this “progressive” ideology.

Nazi-ism’s only difference with Communism was that the Nazis were for their country, alone (and their specific ethnic group), while the communists were internationalists (and post-ethnic, thus more liberal)

A strong, centralized State is the ideal of the fascist mindset.

With laws that can be easily changed to “fit changing circumstances“.

That their aim has sometimes been classically “liberal” (health codes, basic education, anti-discrimination, etc.) is simply the sugar-coating on the bitter and poisonous pill at the core of Government Control.

The goal is illiberal: the State mandating its expanding will.

Instead of cautiously preserving our inherent freedoms.

The balance should always tilt toward restraining the government.

Stewart’s show is a pointless place to do anything more serious than try to wrestle a seal in apple butter.

profitsbeard on January 18, 2008 at 2:49 AM

as long as we are debating the definition, it’s worth checking out wikipedia’s thorough entry.

besides a spot-on snark from george orwell, the following commentary by Robert O. Paxton strikes me as particularly relevant (which contemporary group of maniacs does this remind you of most?):

“Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.“[11]

Paxton further defines fascism’s essence as:

…a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign `contamination.”[12]

homesickamerican on January 18, 2008 at 3:46 AM

I didn’t see the Jon Stewart interview in its entirety, but Jonah had to pwn him, because he basically knocks the snot out of him even in this heavily edited, trying-to-make-Stewart look as good as possible clip. Colmes… ugh. It’s all been said before.

Sugar Land on January 18, 2008 at 9:32 AM

The truth is refreshing. Read the book, Jonah Goldberg provides focus to the true meaning of words and shows how the political spectrum has convoluted them.

The left must put names with the words to cloud the true meaning of the words. Notice how quickly Colmes tagged the smiley face as a fascist Hitler-guilt by association?

Hitler and Hitlery are not fascist they wanted and expect dictatorial rule over the population where there is really no choice except that which they have choosen for you.

A true fascist is a pawn in a group that use fascism (a neat word) as the moniker to rationalize the groups goal to annihilate the population so they can start all over again and allow anarchy to prevail where the strongest would prevail over all.

Hitler was a dictator who used those who believed in fascism to gain control over the population. His suicide was the realization that he would be dethroned by either the Allies or the fascists, practicing fascism that helped him to gain his dictatorial control, would turn on him.

What I took away from all of the hoopla was that simply putting a scribble between the dot (representing a nose) and an upturned line (representing a smile) caused so much mental angst-it was only a scribble.

MSGTAS on January 18, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Nazi = National socialism.

Socialism is a liberal concept.

profitsbeard on January 18, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Actually, the full definition of Nazi is National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

And, yes, as others have pointed out, Fascism manifested itself on the Left-side of the political spectrum. It’s a fact that those on the Left choose to deny or are completely ignorant of.

eanax on January 18, 2008 at 11:05 AM

Its like Jonah was insulting Jon Stewart’s religion. Hmmmmmm…… maybe Hillary is the ante-christ after all????

ericire12 on January 18, 2008 at 11:13 AM

Wow. I always thought Jon Stewart was kind of smart. Guess not.

foxforce91 on January 18, 2008 at 11:58 AM

man, that’s interesting. sterwart showing the world that he’s just not that smart. He’s just a smart a_s. The WRITERS of his show make him appear to be intelligent. The proof would be how many shows he did before the writers were allowed to go back to work with his show. Plus I guess he realized that NOBODY really missed him.

Allan Colmes, boy you can tell when the truth hits close to home just by the reaction. Modern “porgressive” ideas starting
with the Nazi party. I guess their secret is out and they cannot stand it. Now they cannot compare Bush to Hitler anymore since his ideas were the same.

jdsmith0021 on January 18, 2008 at 5:33 PM

Alan Colmes, the most deliberately stupid man in America.

srhoades on January 18, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Jonah shouldh’ve gone in swinging.

You cannot expect to have a rational conversation with Colmes.

Recently a terrorism expert blew him out of the water and Colmes got so upset he actually cried, “This is my show! You are a guest!” just because the guy told him REPEATEDLY that he didn’t know what he was talking about.

Domino on January 19, 2008 at 1:27 AM

National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg argues for the rise of Liberal Fascism in the U.S.

This is the text displayed underneath the video has it plays on the Comedy Central site. Unbelievable.

Lambeaux on January 19, 2008 at 6:06 PM

National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg argues for the rise of Liberal Fascism in the U.S.

This is the text displayed underneath the video has it plays on the Comedy Central site. Unbelievable.

Lambeaux on January 19, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Well.. er.. that’s what he’s doing, isn’t it? If he didn’t believe it was happening he probably wouldn’t have written a book about it.

Anyhoo, would’ve been nice to keep the Redlasso video up, as CC’s ‘streaming’ video makes RL look a helluva lot more appealing. It won’t even precache the friggin’ thing. And youtube’s got nothing..

Reaps on January 21, 2008 at 10:02 AM

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