11ALYCYEQxL._SL160_I’m currently reading Liberal Facism by Jonah Goldberg.  I’m about halfway through, so I can’t quite do a full review yet, but I’m really loving it.  It’s a great book on its own, but it really brings in to focus some ideas I’ve been stewing on myself for years and years and was never able to bring them together in a coherent way like he has.

An excerpt that I think is a pretty good thesis:

…the point is that the edifice of contemporary liberalism stands on a foundation of assumptions and ideas integral to the larger fascist moment.  Contemporary liberals, who may be the kindest and most racially tolerant people in the world, nonetheless choose to live in a house of distinctly fascist architecture.  Liberal ignorance of this fact renders this fascist foundation neither intangible nor irrelevant.  Rather, it underscores the success of these ideas, precisely because they go unquestioned.

The greatest asset liberalism has in arguments about racism, sexism, and the role of government generally is the implicit assumption that liberalism’s intentions are better and more high-minded than conservatism’s.  LIberals think with their hearts, conservatives with their heads, goes the cliché.  But if you take liberalism’s history into account, it’s clear this is an unfair advantage, an intellectual stolen base.  Liberals may be right or wrong about a given policy, but the assumption that they are automatically arguing from the more virtuous position is rubbish.

What is today called liberalism stands, domestically, on three legs: support for the wellfare state, abortion, and identity politics.  Obviously, this is a crude formulation…But I don’t think any fair-minded reader would dispute that these three categories nearly cover the vast bulk of the liberal agenda — or at least describe the core of liberal passions — today.

So far as I’ve read, Jonah (all bloggers are on first-name bases, as you might know) has done a magnificent job of braiding together the loose strands of political movements that I find repulsive and has given them a common theme, a family name, and a philosophical underpinning that brings modern politics and religion into much clearer focus.

P.S. – much, much more on a religious perspective of the arc of 20th-century fascist movements and modern liberalism in another post.  Reading this book from a Christian, little-r republican perspective is an entirely enlightening thing.