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December 27, 2007

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I've made this same comment elsewhere, but...I'd love to see someone ask Jonah when exactly he decided fascism was a bad thing, and whether in light of that he's severed ties with the Bush family and other prominent business lineages that did business with the Nazis, with the National Review for their defense of Franco and Peron, and so on. I think fascism is a bad thing, but movement conservatism seems to me to differ from fascism mostly in intensity and consistency. And the history of right-wing defenses of fascism is very long.

Could this be one of those times where downloading a pirated copy of the audiobook could be considered a moral act? Just sayin'.

I was actually thinking the exact same thing just a few moments ago. Reading all about it all over the web is one thing, but having a nice, tangible, physical copy to crack open and have a good laugh at now and again seems mighty tempting. I guess we just have to wait for some enterprising fascist to scan the whole thing and put it online.

Just wait a few months, it will be in the remainder bin for 99 cents.

And there may be a public library where a copy can be found (and it might even improve your image in the file the DHS/FBI/etc. has on you. ;-)

OT - Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated.

You want to read this?

By Cuthulhu's Crullers, you are braver than I!!!

I have a post on my blog, where I send people to Sadly, No, and GIVE THANKS that I am not a top tier blogger that people would expect to read his excrement.

The stupidity burns.

Don't want to pay $30 for this tome? Wait a month, and pick it up off a remainder table . . .

I saw a cartoon, a long time ago. "Casey" is a policeman talking with a very curmodgenly old man. They are discussing Richard Nixon's book.

Casey: I heard some people didn't want to buy that book.

Old man: yes, they have a slogan, "don't buy books from crooks." So I didn't buy it.

Casey: Oh?

Old man: I stole it.

[next day's cartoon]

Casey: Did you really steal Nixon's book?

Old man: Yes.

Casey: Why?

Old man: they didn't have anything by Machiavelli.

I shocked, SHOCKED, at your treatment of Jonah's book. Don't you think it's "fair and balanced"?

Let's face it, the right-wingnuts have perfected the selective use and abuse of facts and semi-facts. When twisting doesn't work, they can just insert lies because the sheer volume of distortions helps hide the outright fabrications. Faux News is built upon it. Multiple right-wing media personalities have depended upon it for years.

Jonah is simply a graduate of the Ann Coulter School of Truthy Writing.

I won't be reading Goldberg's book. I have better things to do with my time, like watching Bugs Bunny cartoons on YouTube, or riding my bicycle if the weather's nice.

That said, what strikes me about the little of Goldberg's writing that I have read is that he always seems to be phoning it in. I don't think his heart's in it. To me, he seems like a guy that doesn't have a lot of initiative or direction of his own who found an easy gig in the family business.

He made his name touting the dirty laundry his mom collected during the Lewinsky scandal. That seems to have been his high point. Maybe the fact that his mom was involved gave him a meaningful personal stake in the matter. In his other stuff, I've never gotten the impression that there's really much there.

He's not a bad writer, he just seems to be an indifferent thinker. Not unintelligent, just like someone who doesn't really give a crap.

It's a living, I guess. We all have to pay the bills. Personally, I get more laughs and better information out of reading the funny papers.

Thanks -

Depending on how fast a reader you are, buy the book, read it, then return it within 30 days. You would even have a legitimate reason for a refund, namely that the book sucks.

russell, I get the same feeling. Intellectual rigor isn't his game. Watching the Simpson's or Start Trek is more his speed. Not that there's anything wrong with that, he just shouldn't be writing in a forum that demands hard work, erudition or scholarship.

Intellectual rigor isn't his game. Watching the Simpson's or Start Trek is more his speed. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Whew! I was starting to feel bad about myself when I started reading that comment.

Russell: That said, what strikes me about the little of Goldberg's writing that I have read is that he always seems to be phoning it in. I don't think his heart's in it. To me, he seems like a guy that doesn't have a lot of initiative or direction of his own who found an easy gig in the family business.

I think you are 100% spot on here. That may be the best assessment of Goldberg I ever read.

Don’t look for it to appear as a blurb on the book jacket though. ;)

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Go to your local chain bookstore, get a cup of coffee, and skim-read the thing. It's what I did with the one or two Coulter "books" that I've opened, and it was enough to convince me that giving her any more time or attention -- let alone precious $$$ -- was really dumb.

Though I expect Goldberg and Coulter are stand-outs, I gotta say that in general the "politics" shelves of the local chain bookstore are a real wasteland. Most of it isn't even worth the skim-read treatment. Are there people who actually voluntarily pay real, hard-earned money to read gassings from Gingrich or Madeline Albright?!?!

Well, they've bashed on the word "liberal" to the point where it doesn't mean anything anymore except "I don't like it".

Next up, making sure that the word "fascist" doesn't mean anything except "I don't like it".

What's the word for a a government sharing power with large corporations while preaching nationalism?

Someone somewhere commented that Goldberg's book has already been written. It was written shortly after WWII by Friedrich Hayek under the name The Road to Serfdom. Hayek noted that, unlike the Communists who had state control of the economy, the Fascists managed full-scale totalitarianism with a moderate economic program. He concluded that even moderate economic programs were inherently totalitarian and that any deviation from strict free market libertarianism (such as the social democracy being adopted in Europe after WWII) would inevitably lead down "The Road to Serfdom" and to full-scale Fascist totalitarianism.

Of course, this prediction has run into a small empirical problem -- it didn't happen. The claim that any deviation from strict libertarian economic policies inevitably leads to a full-scale fascist totalitarian police state is demonstrably false. So Goldberg has merely redefined his terms. True Fascist totalitarianism means any deviation from free market libertarianism. The police state is merely incidental or irrelevant.

Of course, if you define Fascism that broadly, maybe the true challenge to Goldberg would be to find and government that is not Fascist.

Someone somewhere commented that Goldberg's book has already been written. It was written shortly after WWII by Friedrich Hayek under the name The Road to Serfdom. Hayek noted that, unlike the Communists who had state control of the economy, the Fascists managed full-scale totalitarianism with a moderate economic program. He concluded that even moderate economic programs were inherently totalitarian and that any deviation from strict free market libertarianism (such as the social democracy being adopted in Europe after WWII) would inevitably lead down "The Road to Serfdom" and to full-scale Fascist totalitarianism.

Of course, this prediction has run into a small empirical problem -- it didn't happen. The claim that any deviation from strict libertarian economic policies inevitably leads to a full-scale fascist totalitarian police state is demonstrably false. So Goldberg has merely redefined his terms. True Fascist totalitarianism means any deviation from free market libertarianism. The police state is merely incidental or irrelevant.

Of course, if you define Fascism that broadly, maybe the true challenge to Goldberg would be to find and government that is not Fascist.

"What's the word for a a government sharing power with large corporations while preaching nationalism?"

I'm not sure... but I don't like it. ;)

Much of right-wing punditry consists of making stupid debating points. For example, the outing of Valerie Plame was intended to prove that Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger because his wife recommended him for the job. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that this is true. What does it demonstrate about the truth of his conclusions? Nothing. And if you go even one step further (Why would his wife recommend him? Oh, no good reason, maybe because he knows Africa, having been an ambassador there) the point self-destructs. But right-wing pundits intend to control the conversation enough to make the stupid debating points seem unanswerable.

Goldberg has written a book-length collection of stupid debating points, and demands it be taken seriously because no one has ever before cobbled this many stupid debating points together with this much care. I hope he gets everything he deserves.

Much of right-wing punditry consists of making stupid debating points. For example, the outing of Valerie Plame was intended to prove that Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger because his wife recommended him for the job. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that this is true. What does it demonstrate about the truth of his conclusions? Nothing. And if you go even one step further (Why would his wife recommend him? Oh, no good reason, maybe because he knows Africa, having been an ambassador there) the point self-destructs. But right-wing pundits intend to control the conversation enough to make the stupid debating points seem unanswerable.

Goldberg has written a book-length collection of stupid debating points, and demands it be taken seriously because no one has ever before cobbled this many stupid debating points together with this much care. I hope he gets everything he deserves.

"What's the word for a a government sharing power with large corporations while preaching nationalism?"

I'm not sure... but I don't like it. ;)


Why don't you like liberalism?

GACK! I'm infected! Quick! Penicillin!

Hayek noted that, unlike the Communists who had state control of the economy, the Fascists managed full-scale totalitarianism with a moderate economic program. He concluded that even moderate economic programs were inherently totalitarian

Didn't old Hayek notice the rather elementary formal logical fallacy involved in reaching such a conclusion from such premises?

John is a waiter.
John has red hair.
Ergo, all waiters have red hair, Q. E. D.

Jonah's style of logic should be familiar to anyone who's ever tried the Evil Weed: if two distinct ideas gain your attention at the same time, your brain will find a way to relate them.

Enlightened Layperson,

I would agree with you, if it was someone other than a Neocon making this argument. However, Goldberg is part of the Neocon tradition. And they are all about the "muscular and robust" state. He seems to be using libertarian rhetoric (anti-state crap) to justify right-wing ideals (right-wing state crap).

----------

Social Democrats, USA
Copyright: 1996, SD, USA

Kristol described the current Republican coalition as consisting primarily of two main strains: economic and social conservatives. The economic conservatives are anti-state and the social conservatives are anti-liberal who view liberalism "as corroding and subverting the virtues that they believe must be the bedrock of decent society." He believes that the differences between the economic conservatives and the social conservatives produce "tensions" between the two groups. Kristol's long range view is that the social conservatives represent "an authentic mass movement that gathers strength with every passing year."

from:
Splitting the Republican Coalition

-----------------------

This leads to the issue of the role of the state. Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on "the road to serfdom." Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable. Because they tend to be more interested in history than economics or sociology, they know that the 19th-century idea, so neatly propounded by Herbert Spencer in his "The Man Versus the State," was a historical eccentricity. People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government. Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk.

from:
The Neoconservative Persuasion

If only there were a place where one might borrow a book - without purchasing it - read it at their leisure, and then return it for others to peruse in a similar fashion. Some sort of... "library."

If only there were a place where one might borrow a book - without purchasing it - read it at their leisure, and then return it for others to peruse in a similar fashion. Some sort of... "library."
Last I heard, libraries don't generally carry coloring books, and I don't think there's any need to encourage any library to start spending its limited budget on such items. And, quite frankly, anyone who can read Liberal Fascism without assaulting it with crayon and marker just doesn't get the book at all.

Don't you know that public libraries are an evil liberal invention?

1. It cuts into the profits because many people can read the same single physical book instead of each one buying it.
2. People get ideas from books and the index librorum prohibitorum is simply not fast enough to keep pace and to only allow those books that give them the "right" ideas.

You know into how much trouble decent people get for purging public libraries of satanic tomes like Harry Potter, Darwin or Death of a Salesman*? [/off-topic snark]

*not a joke. There were attempts to remove copies of the Schlöndorff movie of the book (I forgot for what exact reason but it was inane). "Die Blechtrommel" suffered the same fate (I think there it was alleged sexual deviation)

Some sort of... "library."

Yeah, sure... that's where all those female grade school teachers with education degrees from Brown or Swarthmore hang out when they aren't oppressing young minds!!

"Last I heard, libraries don't generally carry coloring books, and I don't think there's any need to encourage any library to start spending its limited budget on such items. And, quite frankly, anyone who can read Liberal Fascism without assaulting it with crayon and marker just doesn't get the book at all."

This sort of thing pisses me off. Calling for desecration of books we don't like is not a good thing. It's fascist. Anyone who thinks that calling for assaulting, or destroying, or scrawling in, or doing anything bad to books we don't like, really has no idea what liberalism is. I mean, did Jonah Goldberg write this crap as a provocation? Or is someone just that stupid?

This is why God invented libraries you know.

"Last I heard, libraries don't generally carry coloring books, and I don't think there's any need to encourage any library to start spending its limited budget on such items. And, quite frankly, anyone who can read Liberal Fascism without assaulting it with crayon and marker just doesn't get the book at all."

This sort of thing pisses me off. [humorless gitdom snipped]

What? You too get pissed off by stupid people with no sense of humor who can't understand an analogy? I guess we do have something in common.

Just in case that wasn't clear enough to you: Jonah's book has all the intellectual content of a coloring book, and it should, figuratively speaking, be treated as one. Literally speaking it should probably be treated more like a doorstop, but I'd understand if that offends you as well; Doorstop solidarity!

R Johnston, I've never understood why anyone should be offended by someone writing in their own purchased copy of a book, whether with crayon, pencil, biro, or fountainpen. Defacing a library book is another matter. (Though even then, I kind of like finding small evidences that other people read and thought about the book before me.)

"You too get pissed off by stupid people with no sense of humor who can't understand an analogy?"

Sometimes, but also at people who write poorly, and don't write what they think they wrote, but who then claim they wrote something else.

"And, quite frankly, anyone who can read Liberal Fascism without assaulting it with crayon and marker just doesn't get the book at all" isn't an "analogy." There's no "analogy" there. Claiming otherwise doesn't make it so.

But I'm glad to know that that's what you meant, so that's all cleared up now. Peace reigns.

In general I agree about not defacing books not your own (I am not a great defacer of my own books either). But it can be quite enlightening to read what people wrote in the margins of old library books (but then margin scribblers had certain standards they lack these days). So, if someone would take the effort to inofficially and seriously annotate the library copy of this book, I would not be that upset about it.

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