Posts tagged “Jonah Goldberg

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…

Fascism: spiritual union with the state

Posted on December 18th, 2012

Fascism, at its core, is the view that every nook and cranny of society should work together in spiritual union toward the same goals overseen by the state. Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

State as object of religious fervor

Posted on December 7th, 2012

That fascism is a right-wing phenomenon is an oft-repeated fallacy. One of the virtues of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is detailing the left-wing aspects of fascism in its origins, such as Mussolini’s discarding of Christianity for “statolatry,” as we saw in an earlier post. As Goldberg observes, there is nothing “right-wing” about it: Mussolini’s radical lust to make the state an object of religious fervor was born in the French Revolution, and Mussolini, an heir to the Jacobins, sought to rekindle that fire. No project could be less conservative or less right-wing. Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

Statolatry: the pagan worship of the State

Posted on December 3rd, 2012

In its 1931 encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno, the Vatican accused the Fascists of “Statolatry” and denounced their effort “to monopolize completely the young, from their tenderest years up to manhood and womanhood, for the exclusive advantage of a party and of a regime based on an ideology which clearly resolves itself into a true, a real pagan worship of the State.” Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

Mussolini and monotheism

Posted on November 9th, 2012

Here’s an interesting passage on Mussolini (the Italian fascist) and Christianity from Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: Mussolini’s Nietzschean contempt for the “slave morality” of Christianity was sufficiently passionate that he’d sought to purge Christians of all kinds from the ranks of Italian Socialism. in 1910, for example, at a socialist congress in Forlì, he introduced and carried a resolution which held that the Catholic faith—or any other mainstream monotheism—was inconsistent with socialism and that any socialists who practiced religion or even tolerated it in their children should be expelled from the party. Mussolini demanded that party members renounce religious marriage, baptism, and all other Christian rituals.