A little surprising, that.
Background: in the course of trying to boost what has been generally conceded to be a not-particularly-good Second Inaugural speech made by Barack Obama yesterday, Yglesias wrote:
Summing up the ideological brief, Obama even indulged in American liberalism’s favorite ideological tic—the insistence that it’s not an ideology at all, but simply a pragmatic response to changing circumstances.
Which, if you’ve read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism
, actually sounds very familiar. It is, in fact, at the core of the parallel he draws between how modern American liberalism sells itself and how fascist movements have sold themselves:
The unique threat of today’s left-wing political religions is precisely that they claim to be free from dogma. Instead, they profess to be champions of liberty and pragmatism, which in their view are self-evident goods. They eschew “ideological” concerns. Therefore they make it impossible to argue with their most basic ideas and exceedingly difficult to expose the totalitarian temptations residing in their hearts. They have a dogma, but they put it out of bounds.