Matthew Yglesias endorses key point of Liberal Fascism.

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.



RedState Review: The Tyranny of Cliches.

Jonah Goldberg has a new book out coming out tomorrow – the full title is The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas – which will be seen by many to be a sort of sequel to his previous (and very useful work Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.  I say ‘sort of sequel’ because The Tyranny of Cliches is not exactly an expansion of Liberal Fascism as it is a book that references a lot of the same events and themes as its ‘predecessor,’ only from the angle of ‘how progressives manipulate language’ as opposed to ‘how progressives manipulate history.’  Capsule review: The Tyranny of Cliches does an excellent job in puncturing several progressive delusions about their ideology, including the one about how progressives don’t really have an ideology in the first place; you want to read it.

The central message of The Tyranny of Cliches is Progressives have a consistent ideology, which they then proceed to pretend is not an ideology at all, but instead mere ‘Pragmatism.’  The reason why this is important is because ideologies can be and are rigorously questioned and challenged as a matter of course; but if one can instead get people to treat an ideological position as merely being something that ‘everybody knows,’ then it theoretically becomes easier to get people to unquestionably endorse said position.  Hence, ‘tyranny of cliche:’ cliches are of course self-contained and internally consistent thoughts* that most people in a culture understand and accept.  Having progressive ideas and concepts slip into that shared consensus would go a long way towards having those ideas and concepts adopted and used. (more…)


#rsrh The Tyranny Blog.

Not quite what you think: it’s a blog by Jonah Goldberg in support for his new book The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, which will be coming out this Tuesday.  I’ll be reviewing this book in more detail tomorrow on RedState (as well as something that I’ll save as a minor not-really-a-surprise for Tuesday), but here’s the gist: it’s good on its merits, and like Jonah’s previous book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning it will likely integrate a whole lot of data that you already knew into a new way of looking at those most unpragmatic ‘pragmatists’ that make up so much of the modern progressive Left.  Check it out.

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