Posts tagged “Jonah Goldberg

The corruption of all learning

Posted on July 10th, 2014

Jonah Goldberg argues that the 1960’s was progressivism’s “Great Awakening,” spawning the religion that has become orthodoxy in academia and the bureaucracy. The religious character of modern liberalism was never far from the surface. Indeed, the 1960s should be seen as another in a series of “great awakenings” in American history— a widespread yearning for new meaning that gave rise to a tumultuous social and political movement. The only difference was that this awakening largely left God behind. Paul Goodman, whose 1960 Growing Up Absurd helped launch the politics of hope in the first part of the decade, came to recognize in the second half how insufficient his original diagnosis had been: “I… imagined that the world-wide student protest had to do with changing…

Why did pastors start pretending to be psychologists?

Posted on July 3rd, 2014

Recently we looked at the melding of psychiatry with progressivism, seeking to label those who don’t acquiesce to progressivism as unhinged fascists (“Are Conservatives Insane?”). Goldberg demonstrates that liberal theologians were quick to join this movement, transforming Christianity into therapy: A wave of liberal theologians met the psychiatrists halfway, arguing that various neuroses were the product of social alienation and that traditional religion should reorient itself toward healing them. Psychiatry— and “relevance”— became the new standards for clergy everywhere. Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Kindle Locations 4305-4307). Even in conservative seminaries today, psychological terminology abounds. People don’t look to their pastor for absolution, but counseling. The pastor has had a smattering of…

Hobby Lobby Fascism

Posted on July 1st, 2014

Earlier today we looked at the collusion of progressivism with psychology to judge the opponents of liberalism as insane, or fascist. Similar tactics remain at work among the rank-and-file progressives. Yesterday’s Hobby Lobby decision was met with cries of fascism.   Religious fascism has now caught up with corporate fascism. #RIPDemocracy. It was fun while it lasted. #SCOTUS Supreme Court Hobby Lobby — mock_you_men_tory (@LiteisoN) June 30, 2014 @steadythere Hobby Lobby and every other privately held company can now decide what you get. Say hello to Fascism. — Keith (@NorCalKeith) June 30, 2014 The irony is that the ruling protected a private company against an oppressive state. The fact that few see this demonstrates Goldberg’s point: if you aren’t for progressivism, you must be a fascist. This is dangerous…

Are conservatives insane?

Posted on July 1st, 2014

In Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg shows how progressivism joined psychology with Marxism and declared opponents insane: A handful of immensely influential Marxist theorists, mostly Germans from the so-called Frankfurt School (transplanted to Columbia University beginning in the 1930s), married psychology and Marxism to provide a new vocabulary for liberalism. These theorists— led by Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse— tried to explain why fascism had been more popular than communism in much of Europe. Borrowing from Freud and Jung, the Frankfurt School described Nazism and Fascism as forms of mass psychosis. That was plausible enough, but their analysis also held that since Marxism was objectively superior to its alternatives, the masses, the bourgeoisie, and anyone else who disagreed with them had to…

The Religion of Government

Posted on August 23rd, 2013

Jonah Goldberg on the religion of big government: The New Deal amounted to a religious breakthrough for American liberalism. Not only had faith in the liberal ideal become thoroughly religious in nature— irrational, dogmatic, mythological— but many smart liberals recognized this fact and welcomed it. In 1934 Dewey had defined the battle for the liberal ideal as a “religious quality” in and of itself. Thurman Arnold, one of the New Deal’s most influential intellectuals, proposed that Americans be taught a new “religion of government,” which would finally liberate the public from its superstitions about individualism and free markets. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Kindle Locations 4199-4203)

I pledge allegiance?

Posted on July 19th, 2013

Sometimes I wonder if we should really be saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” at our parochial school. Jonah Goldberg writes about its socialist origins: Religion was the glue that held this American national socialism together. Bellamy believed that his brand of socialist nationalism was the true application of Jesus’ teachings. His cousin Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, was similarly devoted. A founding member of the First Nationalist Club of Boston and co-founder of the Society of Christian Socialists, Francis wrote a sermon, “Jesus, the Socialist,” that electrified parishes across the country. In an expression of his “military socialism,” the Pledge of Allegiance was accompanied by a fascist or “Roman” salute to the flag in American public schools. Indeed, some contend…

Liberal civil religion: build the kingdom of heaven on earth

Posted on July 18th, 2013

Jonah Goldberg on the leftist religion of the state: JFK’s inaugural opened the decade with the proclamation that America was the agent of God and the possessor of godlike powers: “For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.” The sociologist Robert Bellah found proof in this address that America already had a civil religion, defined by “the obligation, both collective and individual, to carry out God’s will on earth.” The New York Times’s C. L. Sulzberger wrote that the inaugural appealed to anybody who believed there was “still room on this earth for the kingdom of heaven.” Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the…

The liberal quest

Posted on May 29th, 2013

The liberal quest is for a state that will replace God. So argues Jonah Goldberg: John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson represented the continuation of the liberal quest begun by Woodrow Wilson and his fellow progressives— the quest to create an all-caring, all-powerful, all-encompassing state, a state that assumes responsibility for every desirable outcome and takes the blame for every setback on the road to utopia, a state that finally replaces God. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Kindle Locations 3778-3781)

Priests in white lab coats

Posted on April 4th, 2013

Stop and ponder the arguments our leaders use in insisting on depriving us of our constitutional freedoms—including the freedom of religion, upon which the Obama administration is waging war. Then read this from Jonah Goldberg: Therein lies a common principle: the state should be allowed to get away with anything, so long as it is for “good reasons.” This is the common principle among fascism, Nazism, Progressivism, and what we today call liberalism. It represents the triumph of Pragmatism in politics in that it recognizes no dogmatic boundaries to the scope of government power. The leader and his anointed cadres are decision makers above and beyond political or democratic imperatives. They invoke with divine reverence “science” and the laws of economics the way temple…

Politics the true progressive religion

Posted on December 26th, 2012

Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning demonstrates that the American “progressive” movement springs from the same well as fascism. Rising to ascendency under Woodrow Wilson, the progressives used Religion [as] a political tool, while politics was the true religion. The progressives viewed the traditional system of constitutional checks and balances as an outdated impediment to progress because such horse-and-buggy institutions were a barrier to their own ambitions. Dogmatic attachment to constitutions, democratic practices, and antiquated laws was the enemy of progress for fascists and progressives alike. Indeed, fascists and progressives shared the same intellectual heroes and quoted the same philosophers. Goldberg, Jonah (2008-01-08). Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From…