September 19, 2003


Amazingly, this doesn't bother me so much. What really bothers me is the campaign ads the Tories are running now which cite Ernie Eves' "great leadership" during last month's "terrorist" crisis in Ontario. You know, the one where 19 innocent Pakistani immigration defrauders were proclaimed as an Al Qaeda sleeper cell.

What leadership? As far as I could tell, Eves rolled along with the nativist paranoia just like everybody else. To cast himself as somehow a terror-fighter on the basis of that pathetic series of events is incredibly insulting to any Canadian Muslim... or for that matter the 25 Canadian Sept. 11 victims he's decided to nail in as planks on his pathetic fear-mongering election platform.

Posted by BruceR at 05:35 PM


Jonah Goldberg continues to find new areas to blather over he knows nothing about.

Look, I'm no expert either, but even I can see that Goldberg's "Fascism is socialism in one state" is infinitely more facile and unappreciative of the actual history than any of the definitions the scholars came up with in the thought-provoking NYT article he cites. It's bumper-sticker shorthand for the simple right-wing mind. Actually, that could be the motto for most of NRO...

Yes, Volkish policies are collectivist and statist. They pretty much have to be. But pronouncing on fascism without considering its reactionary roots doesn't rise to the level of anything you could call analysis. One key to fascism's rise was that because it was non-revolutionary by definition, and did not promise to overturn the social order the way socialist revolutions did, the established and upper classes could support it whole-heartedly, and could, as in the case of the Krupps to pick just one, be easily co-opted by it in turn. Fascism was the establishment's answer to communism in the same way the counter-Reformation was the popes' answer to Luther. It was the foul beast of Goldberg's conservatism. Of course fascists had to adopt some socialist policies to win back the support of the people. But the interests they served in doing so were those of established power.

The NYTimes piece's best bit is where it discusses whether democracy must always precede textbook-definition fascism (and so "Islamofascism" is a non-sequitur). This is a really interesting point of historical debate. The historical rule seems to be that fascism rises whenever a democratic state seems close to sliding into full-out socialism, as the established class tries to appeal to people's more primal loyalties to race, volk, nation, etc. in an attempt to fight back. But that may not be a universal.

PS: Sparkey's no better, I'm afraid.

Posted by BruceR at 04:26 PM