A problem

Posted by Tory Historian Friday, April 03, 2009 , ,

Reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” – a fascinating book but sometimes repetitive – Tory Historian came across the following rather pithy summary of what classical fascism and present-day left-wing or, as Americans call it, liberal thinking is:

As we’ve seen, ideologically fascist and progressive totalitarianism was never a mere doctrine of statism. Rather, it claimed that the state was the natural brain of the organic body politic. Statism was the route to collectivism. Government was merely the place where the spiritual will of the people would be translated into action. (Marxists liked to use the word “praxis” to describe this unity of theory and action.) One consequence of this view is that institutions and individuals that stand apart from the state or the progressive tide are inherently suspect and labelled selfish, social Darwinist, conservative or, most ironically, fascist.
We all recall the row that followed Mrs Thatcher’s alleged comment about there being no society and all know that she was badly misquoted as the rest of her explanation was drowned in the media storm. It went against the rather soppy idea of the need for an organic body politic.

The trouble is that while most people have a very vague sentimental understanding of what that entails there are many people out there who do believe in collectivism and who do see the state as “the place where the spiritual will of the people would be translated into action”. By the time they are in position of power it is almost too late. Reversing developments is considerably harder than preventing them.

The real problem, though, is the one faced by some conservatives who sometimes describe themselves as true Tories. They, too, believe in the need for an organic body politic through which the spirit of the people, however defined, must manifest itself. And the most convenient part to be designated as the brain is the state. That is why we get so many supposed conservatives or people on the right, where true liberalism resides nowadays, who see nothing wrong with a powerful state that controls everybody’s life as long as the right people are in charge.

1 Responses to A problem

  1. It's good to see that the reality of fascism being a left-wing phenomenon is being more widely promulgated. The various forms of fascism are, in fact, the illegitemate children of socialism with the bigotries by which its votaries are so easily seduced.

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