Conservatives vs. Liberal and Libertarian Fascism

Conservatives love to avoid real ideological debate by mischaracterizing the views of their opponents and grabbing the better adjectives for themselves. It took years for many to catch on that Republicans are not really the party of limited government, freedom, or even competent national security. Jonah Goldberg is a bit behind the curve as he tries to obfuscate the policies of the authoritarian right in an upcoming book. Unfortunately for Jonah, he’s having a little trouble with the title.

Originally Goldberg’s book was to be entitled Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton. As the book has a chapter on Hillary, but isn’t really about her, he was never really happy with the title. He’s now come up with a new title: Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods.

The last time I was in New York and had lunch at a Whole Foods I had a hard time finding any signs of fascism. There were just lots of people acting on their own, choosing among a wide variety of things to buy. It appeared to be a perfect example of the marketplace in action. If conservatives really had the respect for the free market which is seen in their rhetoric, you would think this would be just their type of place.

It gets worse for Goldberg. Whole Foods’ co-founder, Chairman and CEO John Mackey is a libertarian who has been published in Liberty. Reason reports that at a 2005 reason forum Mackey described himself as “a businessman and a free market libertarian.”

Goldberg claims he knew this but unless he comes up with a better explanation I’ll continue to suspect he picked on Whole Foods in the same sense that conservatives have a thing about liberals sipping wine and eating brie. It’s all empty rhetoric.

Actually, while many in the blogosphere are mocking Goldberg over this, I find that in a Bizarro World sort of way it makes sense. Considering that the truth is typically the opposite of what conservative pundits claim it is, it makes perfect sense to pit conservatives against both liberals and libertarians. Beyond that, we all know that it is the conservatives who are moving in a direction towards fascism while it is liberals and libertarians who have defended liberty.

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