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June 27, 2007

Fascist Libertarians?

Jonah Goldberg is not, in fact, taking my advice on subtitles, and naming his book Liberal Fascism: a very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care. But nor is he keeping "The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton." Instead, we've moved to Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods.

Yes, that Whole Foods. The one that's run by a libertartian.

June 27, 2007 | Permalink


Hegel's a liberal? Or is Goldberg trying to claim that liberalism leads philosophically to Communism (Hegel to Marx)?

I thought we liberals were Kantian nihilists (if that's possible), not Hegelians ...

Posted by: DAS | Jun 27, 2007 1:04:14 PM

From my understanding Goldberg hates libertarians. Thats why.

Posted by: Phil | Jun 27, 2007 1:11:15 PM

Liberals: huge fans of the Prussian monarchy.

Posted by: justin | Jun 27, 2007 1:15:08 PM

What is a "libertartian"? A slutty libertarian?

I think it's telling that he changed the title at all. Do you think he realized, unlike his colleague Ramesh Ponnuru, that it's hard to claim you have a serious argument when your title sounds like something you'd see on a mimeographed streetcorner pamphlet?

Posted by: Steve | Jun 27, 2007 1:20:39 PM

Is this book being published in the original crayon? Or were there too many jelly donuts stains.

Posted by: AJ | Jun 27, 2007 1:22:03 PM

Maybe he meant Chuck Hagel and just spelled it wrong.

Posted by: Huntly | Jun 27, 2007 1:23:47 PM

He picked "Hegel" because it rhymes with "bagel." Hmmmm ....bagel......

Posted by: The Frito Pundito | Jun 27, 2007 1:24:44 PM

I am trying to figure out how Whole Foods is a totalitarian temptation. I know they have employee "pep rallies" during meetings but I don't think they ritually burn Procter&Gamble products or stomp on bags of Cheetos to get the employees psyched up to sell high priced organic locally produced applewood smoked goat cheese and crackers.

Posted by: ellenbrenna | Jun 27, 2007 1:33:01 PM

"Oh no! Whole Foods is run by a libertarian! Can't .. change .. title ... ... alliteration .. too powerful ..."

Posted by: Trevor | Jun 27, 2007 1:41:49 PM

Oh, I think it's cute. Look at that smiling Hitler Guy. So liberal! And seeing as Hitler was all for gay marriage, universal health care, balanced budgets and getting out of unnecessary and unsupported wars, it's totally appropriate.

And and and everyone knows Hitler was a vegetarian! Even though he really wasn't! So it all makes sense.

Sadly, everyone will think it's an anti-Wal-Mart screed.

Posted by: Eric | Jun 27, 2007 1:42:43 PM

So, who's confident that Jonah Goldberg understands Hegel?

Posted by: Jason G. | Jun 27, 2007 1:53:43 PM

I don't think Goldberg really knows who Hegel was.

To follow up that question, who thinks the book will actually get finished in time for a December release?

Jonah's readers researchers are letting him down.

Posted by: Stephen | Jun 27, 2007 2:00:26 PM

Incidentally, the cover art at Amazon still has the old title juxtaposing Clinton and Mussolini. Maybe this is kind of like an ongoing game like the recent "Dick Cheney is so secretive..." but for idiot wingnuts. I can just see the entries ....

Liberal Fascism: The totalitarian impulse from Attilla the Hun to Barack H'un Obama
Liberal Fascism: The totalitarian impulse from Genghis Kahn to (insert frontrunner name here)
LIberal Fascism: The totalitarian impulse from Mao to (insert store whose clerk pissed Jonah Goldberg off most recently)

Which got me thinking about what the titles for a Jonah Goldberg biography might look like:

Jonah Goldberg: The fright-wing pseudo-conservative impulse from wing to abso-friggin-nuts.
Jonah Goldberg: The idiotic impulse from moron to imbecile
Jonah Goldberg: The nepotistic impulse from poor reasoning to terrible writing.

One thing I'm curious about-how many poor souls have preordered this book in anticipation of its release. I know wingnuts are classically detached from reality but pre-ordering this book, come-on. And, if you're foolish enough to pre-order the book, maybe you wouldn't realize that you haven't done so, and might pre-order it again, especially with clever title changes and changing release dates. There's probably a wing-nut member out there who is eagerly anticipating the multi-volume set of Liberal Fascism that's should be arriving any day now..
Seriously, isn't it time to change the title and plot summary to something closer to:

The Never-Beginning Story
The book centers on a boy, Jonah Goldberg, who meets a mysterious man who owns a publishing house, and steals a book idea called Liberal Fascism (and a lot of money for an advance) from the man's publishing house. Goldberg is initially presented as part of a frame tale in which he is merely the journalist/author of the book — an adventure story about the land of Wingnuttia[1], the realm in which all conservative wet dreams and delusions are played out. As the book progresses, however, it becomes clear that some of the inhabitants of Wingnuttia are aware of Goldberg, and that he is the key (heaven help them) to the success of the quest about which he is reading. Halfway through the book, it becomes clear that Goldberg has long been living in Wingnuttia himself, and begins to take an active role in events in the book. Thus, the work dramatizes the experience of being "caught up" in a fantasy world that exists only in the minds of the deeply disturbed and intellectually lazy. The second half of the book introduces a number of psychologically revealing themes centered around Goldberg, mainly as Goldberg comes to terms with his chronic laziness and procrastination and lack of both imagination and argument by leaving the pages of the second half of the book completely blank. Goldberg, faces his dark side and moves toward maturity in a world shaped by his wishes, leaving reality behind all together.

The overall theme of the book is the destructive power of warped imaginations, as represented by the way in which the world of Wingnuttia and the real world are presented as totally divorced from each other with the denizens of Wingnuttia constantly trying to reshape reality in the image of their own warped imaginations.

Posted by: StlInquirer | Jun 27, 2007 2:01:07 PM

I really want to see Goldberg interviewed by Steven Colbert. If he recognized himself in the "from the gut" schtick (unlikely, but hey, I can dream), is he more likely to be offended or depressed?

Posted by: Cyrus | Jun 27, 2007 2:04:13 PM

I have a better title for Goldberg's autobio.

Jonah Goldberg: Doughy Pantload

Okay, that was too easy.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience | Jun 27, 2007 2:14:24 PM

Sadly, everyone will think it's an anti-Wal-Mart screed. - Eric

Sadly, just as people figure that the people on TeeVee are all liberals so if those TeeVee news folks are wankers it must mean all liberals are wankers, people will figure that Wal-Mart is a liberal store and since Wal-Mart has, um, labor issues, it must mean liberals hate working stiffs ...

Posted by: DAS | Jun 27, 2007 2:15:40 PM

Here's an idea: if you can't adequately explain the role of the state as "geist in der welt" in Hegelian philosophy and its relation to personal autonomy, then you're forbidden from ever juxtaposing the terms "Hegel" and "fascism."

(Fun fact: Hitler's favorite philosopher was Schopenhauer, something that no doubt had that old Anglophile spinning in his grave.)

In any case, I look forward to serious, thoughtful chapters like "Half-Caf Communism: Identity formation in the master-slave dialectic and why that hot barista who won't talk to me is probably a fascist Che-loving Stalinist."

Posted by: tWB | Jun 27, 2007 2:18:11 PM


and on and on with an occasional...
"I want it for
Mine"...thrown in.

'Share?'....??%#@*^ ...Fuck, no!

Posted by: has_te | Jun 27, 2007 2:33:11 PM

Maybe a Whole Foods rant was all he got back when he blegged?

Posted by: Royko | Jun 27, 2007 2:47:03 PM

the comments here are alot better and funnier than the ones on the Reason thread.

Posted by: ron | Jun 27, 2007 3:01:55 PM

Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptations from David Ruffin to Eddie Kendricks

Posted by: Daddy Love | Jun 27, 2007 3:03:31 PM

Incidentally, the cover art at Amazon still has the old title juxtaposing Clinton and Mussolini.

No doubt the publisher won't spring for a redo of the book cover at least until Goldberg thinks of a less silly subtitle; maybe not until he hands in a friggin manuscript.

Posted by: kth | Jun 27, 2007 3:16:07 PM

the comments here are alot better and funnier than the ones on the Reason thread.

Posted by: ron | Jun 27, 2007 3:01:55 PM

True, but:

Michael Bérubé | June 27, 2007, 1:14pm | #

Y'all are letting Jonah off too easy -- neither item in that new subtitle makes any damn sense. He might as well have called it "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hume to Human League."

Posted by: Dick Cheney | Jun 27, 2007 3:21:55 PM

Idiot! Stupid-face! Dummy!

Posted by: Sanpete | Jun 27, 2007 3:22:38 PM

Idiot! Stupid-face! Dummy!


Posted by: Jason G. | Jun 27, 2007 3:32:49 PM

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