Posted by Brad @ 1:56 pm on April 27th 2010

Liberal Fascism Watch

With apologies to Jonah Goldberg for referencing his shitty book.

A few Illinois congressmen are requesting that the National Guard be called out to Chicago to combat gun violence.

They are being, blessedly, roundly mocked for the idea, but their paternalistic reasoning – if the National Guard can be called out for hurricanes and riots, why not a crime wave? – is one that is a dangerous undercurrent within both liberalism and conservatism. Scratch the surface with a lot of politicians, and they probably couldn’t tell you precisely what is wrong with this idea and why the thinking behind it is anathema to civil society.

2 Comments »

  1. Bill Greider’s excellent book about globalization, One World, ready or not, ended with a discussion about the rise of fascism as a result of the developments. I wasn’t as convinced by it (and mind you, Grieder doesn’t write it as a “OMFG FASHISTS!!ˇˇˇˇDOWN WITH GLOBALIZATION, he just talks about how it could happen). He wrote the book about a decade ago to boot.

    Then I saw Chris Hedges talking about Chomsky who also raised the point that we’re flirting with a perfect storm of conditions that could give rise to a fascist chapter. I know that Chomsky isn’t really appreciated by most of you all, I personally think he’s pretty reliable and worth paying attention to (but not as a disciple, of course).

    “It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

    “The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

    Comment by Jerrod — 5/1/2010 @ 11:04 pm

  2. dangit, I don’t know how to use quote tags on this board.

    Comment by Jerrod — 5/1/2010 @ 11:04 pm

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