Wednesday, January 23, 2008


You Don't Know The True History of Fascism. I Do.

So, see if you can follow this back and forth: Jonah Goldberg craps out a book that goes against the logic of most historians and paints fascism as a phenomenon of the left. David Neiwert, an Internet expert on fascism, authoritarianism, hate, and the occasional creep of both subjects into the current political debate, writes post, after post, after post, after post, after post, after bloody post pointing out the myriad errors contained in the book, ranging from the willingness to reattribute the meaning of "fascism", writing off the Klan as "a creepy fan group" rather than the organized body of terror (oh, and fascism) it actually was, and a general failure to get it.

So, how does Jonah respond to this sound thrashing? With his usual degree of tact:

So I finally got around to Dave Neiwert's response to my response to his review. Or at least I think I have. It's hard to make heads or tails of the mess over there. He seems to have become something of a leftwing remora attaching himself to my whale of a book. (Prediction! He calls me fascist for referring to him as a parasite!).

Here's my grand theory about this guy. He's made his career hyping the terrible threat from the Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations and American Nazi Party and so like the bureaucrats in Office Space who think TPS reports are the most important thing in the world, he can’t seem to grasp that they’re pretty trivial.

In other words, he came to his understanding of fascism by following bands of racist white losers in the Idaho woods while using some Marxist tract or other as a field guide to identify the various species he encountered. In other words, he's internalized every cliché and propagandandistic talking point I set out to demolish in my book. Moreover, his career depends on maintaining his version of the fascist peril. So, he's banging his spoon on his highchair a lot because my book undercuts his whole reason for being.

If anyone in the New England area heard a loud cracking noise, that would be me slamming my head against my desk so hard it shattered my skull.

I long to see just how Dave's going to take him to the woodshed for this one, because, as has been noted, he knows far more about this topic than I do, and obviously a thousand times more than Jonah Goldberg. But it reminds me of an incident a while back. During the Graeme Frost affair, you may remember that Michelle Malkin's "debate" tactics involved visiting the Frost house, taking photos of their furniture, and speaking with their neighbor, all to point out that they weren't that impoverished. Not long after this, Ezra Klein challenged Malkin to a debate on the matter behind the Graeme Frost affair, the S-CHIP expansion. Malkin's response was to laugh off Klein and claim that the debate would be "a perverse distraction and a laughable waste of time" during which liberals could no doubt seduce the nation with their facts and data.

This is how people like Malkin and Goldberg operate. Facts? They don't need facts; they know the truth. And anyone who says otherwise is a pitiable fool. Shame they don't realize they're the jokers.

"...during which liberals could no doubt seduce the nation with their facts and data." That's an awesome line. I saw this um, gentleman on John Stewart a bit ago. Hilarious interview. Stewart really made a mockery of his talking points.
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