Monday, January 25, 2010

Historians respond to Jonah Goldberg's "liberal fascism"

Make sure you take the time to check out the essays from several historians (and one researcher with a left-wing background) that Dave Neiwert organized for the History News Network that were posted today.

Academic historians, in fact, have tended to shy away from tackling Goldberg's book, precisely because it is such an obvious work of propagandistic polemics, and his methodology so shabby, that they haven't considered the work (such as it is) contained therein to be worthy of academic consideration.

But because Goldberg's fraudulent thesis has now become conventional wisdom on the American Right -- and particularly among the Tea Party set, where signs equating liberals to fascists and Obama to Hitler have become commonplace -- many historians, especially those who have specialized in the serious study of fascism, have come to the realization that calling out Goldberg for his fraud is long overdue.

To that end, I began organizing last fall a series of essays from academic historians and political scientists critiquing Liberal Fascism. The essays are now ready, and this Monday, Jan. 25, they will be presented at History News Network.

In addition to my introductory essay, there will be essays by four widely acknowledged experts on fascism:

-- Robert O. Paxton, professor emeritus at Columbia University and the author of The Anatomy of Fascism.

-- Roger Griffin, professor of political science at Oxford Brookes and the author of The Nature of Fascism.

-- Matthew Feldman, professor of history at University of Northampton, and a co-editor of several academic texts on fascism.

-- Chip Berlet, senior researcher at Political Research Associates and the co-author (with Matthew Lyons) of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort.
I'm particularly looking forward to reading Paxton's response as he has written what is widely considered to be one of the most definitive texts on fascism.


C2H50H said...

H. G.,

A heartfelt thanks from me for this link. I learned a lot from these essays.

This link is a must-read for anyone interested in the state of current right-wing ideology.

Sheldon said...

Unfortunately, the History New Net. titled the section "Liberal Respond to Jonah Goldberg'...."

Which makes it sound like an ideological pissing match between libs and conservatives. But it seems to me that an intellectually honest perspective coming from any ideological vantage point would be able to see that "Liberal Facsism" is just BS.

Hume's Ghost said...

No problem, C2H50H.

That's a good point Sheldon. And it's not even really an appropriate description (with perhaps the exception of Chip Berlet). It's not the "liberal" response so much as the academic response of experts on the subject of fascism.

Robert Cook said...

But just as Colbert has pointed out that reality has a liberal bias, so too does the academy have a liberal bias. In fact, it's axiomatic that any argument or presentation of scholarship or facts that refutes conservative myths is tainted by liberal bias. The rightist cult sees their dogmas and received wisdom as plain reality...that which is so. Any contradictory information or interpretation can only be, therefore, liberal distortion of the Truth.

inchirieri apartamente cluj said...

I think that this "coalition" against Jonah Goldberg is only creating more advertisment for his book. Something that is controversial generates more interest in the public. I read in a review for his book that he rgues that fascist movements were and are left-wing,and that both modern liberalism and fascism descended from progressivism. I look forward to reading the essays you indicated so I can make an opinion.