Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I continue this mini-series on Jonah Goldberg’s 2007 book Liberal Fascism.* (In these Posts, Jonah Goldberg will be shortened to ‘JG’.)
Having given an overview of JG’s thoughts, in this Post I’d like to select some particular points of interest. In several subsequent Posts I’ll deal with some of the numerous and eye-opening quotations from historical figures in American and/or socialist and Progressive history, from the young Woodrow Wilson up through LBJ.
JG observes that “war socialism under Wilson was an entirely progressive project and long after the war it remained the liberal ideal”. (p.119) Indeed, as has been said, the ‘crisis’ and ‘emergency’ of that war provided the lubricating ‘justification’ for such a stunning expansion of federal power.** And with the exception of Harding and Coolidge and possibly Herbert Hoover, every President since Wilson has been committed to the Progressive Stance – which is to say: not only its good intentions but also its methods and its presumptions about the incapacity of The People to govern themselves well and the consequent necessity for giving power to the elites who do indeed know what to do and ‘get it’.
Progressivism and war, therefore, are joined at the hip; you can’t have the former without some form of the latter (whether actual shooting war or ‘cold war’ or some version of Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, multiple variants of which were unleashed upon the country during the past few decades since 1970 or so).
Indeed, JG observes that since militarization of government and citizens and the official valorization of martial values under the pretexts of nationalism and patriotism are considered marquis indicators of “classic fascism”, “it is very difficult to understand how the Progressive Era was not also the Fascist Era”.
Which is a proposition that is sure to function as a broom-stick in the bicycle spokes of conventional – and especially American – received wisdom. But this is so to a great extent because of the  1940s wartime success of the Progressive/liberals in dissociating themselves from the European variants of totalizing-government by emphasizing the Hitlerian military aggression and the Holocaust.***
After all, JG notes, Progressivism shares so many characteristics generally attributed to totalizing fascism by historians of the phenomenon: “largely a middle-class movement equally opposed to runaway capitalism above and radical-Marxism below … [by seeking] what the fascists called ‘the Third Way’, or what Richard Ely, mentor to both Wilson and [Teddy] Roosevelt, called ‘the golden mean’ between laissez-faire individualism and Marxist socialism … [with the] chief desire being to impose a unifying, totalitarian moral order that regulated the individual inside his home and out”. (p.119) [italics mine]
And surely the radical and revolutionary Marxist element was consciously and deliberately introduced in third-wave Progressive/’liberal’ political agendas after 1972 here, although spun vigorously as ‘liberation’ and nothing more.
It was much much more.
After World War 1, “the country slowly regained its sanity … but many liberals remained enamored of war socialism, believing that a peacetime militarization of society was still necessary”. (p.127) With the Progressives having discovered how The People might be turned into a herd whose brute and lumpish power might be harnessed by the government and its elites, then We have to wonder if at that point – and so very ominously – the toothpaste was out of the tube in terms of American political development. Josephus Daniels, religious evangelical and dedicated Progressive, “wondered if the country might need to ‘become a super-Prussia’” in order to effectively achieve a new world-wide moral Order. (p.127) [italics mine]
And in the Year of Grace Two Thousand and Twelve, and of the Independence of the United States the Two-Hundred-and-Thirty-Sixth, might it be asked Is that working for Us?
Consequently, the administration plumped for a peacetime draft and a new peacetime Sedition law – but was rebuffed.
But almost immediately a “Red Scare” was suddenly unleashed upon the nation, as the government ‘discovered’ the threat of Communist infiltrators and agents migrating from newly-established Soviet Russia to work lethal mischief here. (And J. Edgar Hoover was quick to avail himself of the bureaucratic and career opportunities thus afforded, taking over government efforts to root out not only Communists but ‘sympathizers’ – even among the Citizens. ‘Sympathizers’ was widely defined, to include labor organizers and many who simply didn’t want to see the country go down the militarized and aggressive route of a “super-Prussia”.)
No wonder, then, JG observes, “Harding’s campaign slogan had been ‘A Return to Normalcy’”. (p.127) The country had been, in the Progressive Wilson years, subjected to a steady drumbeat of abnormality, derangements, and deformities – and all of them imposed by the government itself.
(As a child I had always been unimpressed by Harding’s choice of campaign slogan: it seemed so bland and unimaginative. But the more you look at the record of the Progressive Wilson years, the more you realize just what the country had been put through.**** But even a half-century and more ago, when the Great War was ‘only’ a half-century back in the nation’s past, it was conventionally accepted as a glorious if secondary chapter in America’s march to Greatness, the first revelation of her power that would be so vividly deployed in the Second World War and the Cold War that was so eloquently limned by JFK in his Inaugural Address and so masterfully implemented by LBJ with his Great Society and the – at that point – impressive demonstration of the country’s abiding military prowess in Vietnam.)
When FDR came to office, he was temperamentally unsuited for deep and sustained thought, and (like JFK would do with his youthful inexperience compared to Ike and Nixon) made a virtue of necessity by insisting that the government needed not to ‘think’ but to ‘act’. And, building on that theme, he insisted that the government would ‘try’ this and that, and what worked it would keep doing and what didn’t work it would discard and try something else.
He was not committed enough to any ideology for the radical reform/revolution-minded Progressives, and he wasn’t securely anchored enough in any principles for the conservatives.
But – marvelously – he made a virtue of that too: he was ‘flexible’ and ‘open’ to ‘innovation’ and he was not chained to ‘dogmas’ and ‘old thoughts and ways’.
Terrified by their economic situation and by Herbert Hoover’s solid and somewhat staid equanimity and sober engineer’s balance in the face of so shocking an emergency, and enamored of FDR’s marvelous presence (amplified by radio and his willingness to occasionally take a new-fangled aeroplane rather than the ‘old-fashioned’ train), folks were happy to cut him some slack. Maybe at such a lethal and critical juncture, you needed a President willing to try new approaches – since the old ones clearly didn’t seem to be working. Go with the flow and try not to overthink things … that might do the trick.
But as JG puts it nicely: FDR “planted his flag atop a buoy at sea, permanently bobbing with the currents … unfortunately the currents tended to push him in only one direction: statism.” (p.129)
But contrary to those even today who point dramatically back to “the Roosevelt legacy”, JG asserts that even at the time and among his own advisers there was no Plan. He quotes Raymond Moley, a significant adviser to FDR: “To look upon these programs as the result of a unified plan was to believe that the accumulation of stuffed snakes, baseball pictures, school flags, old tennis shoes, carpenter’s tools, geometry books, and chemistry sets in a boy’s bedroom could have been put there by an interior decorator”. (pp.129-130)
A remarkably imaginative yet acutely apt way of saying that the country had slipped and slid along the Progressive path like a speeding car driven by an average driver that has suddenly hit a large and extended patch of ice.
Said another New Deal adviser in 1940, in response to a question as to “whether the basic principle of the New Deal was economically sound”: “I really do not know what the basic principle of the New Deal is”. (p.130) Of course, in 1940 things were already looking up – finally – with the approach of what would become World War Two. In typical American fashion, you could treat even the immediate past as ‘past’ and therefore as of no further relevance; there were Good Times dawning and why look back?
Why indeed.
When his own Presidency arrived, former New Dealer and FDR-protégé LBJ, referring to a piece of Great Society legislation, insisted: “Just pass the damned thing – we can always amend it later”.
Not the wisest or most prudent or sober governing policy, but as long as you have a productive and victorious war to ‘demonstrate the success’ of your plans, then who cares really?
Who indeed.
As JG points out, neither Mussolini nor Hitler really let themselves get distracted by “economic theory”. As Mussolini liked to put it: “Our program is to govern” – and beyond that, well, trust us. (p.130)
(You get the impression that Mussolini was in some ways the source of conceptual inspiration for both FDR and Hitler.)
But JG then acutely reflects that while ‘the middle way’ sounded innocuous and moderate, “un-ideological and free-thinking”, yet “philosophically the Third Way is not mere difference-splitting; it is utopian and authoritarian”, inalterably antagonistic to the quintessential political requirement for trade-offs. (p.130) You can make a very good case that there really is no such thing as a totalitarian “politics” since there is no difference between putative ‘equals’, no dissent is tolerated, and – of course – since the elites have already concluded that in Great Matters they so profoundly and totally ‘get it’ and everybody else so profoundly and totally ‘just doesn’t get it’ – then compromise would be nothing short of treason to (their version of) ‘truth’ and ‘reality’.
Worse, JG continues, such Third-Way types insist that “there are no false choices”: there is, rather, the One Way (their Way) and they will not accept that there are alternatives that need to be considered or obstructions to be respected or – oy! – any possible downsides to the consequences of their agendas and plans and visions. Rather, they can have it all: nationalism and socialism, capitalism and Marxism, individual liberty and an imposed total communal unity.
Thus, JG continues, there is a stunning similarity between totalitarian utopians and “heretical Christian movements” in that they all “assume that with just the right arrangement of policies, all contradictions can be rectified” (or ‘aligned’). (p.130)
But history is imperfect because life is imperfect because human beings are imperfect. And that imperfection manifests itself in unpredictable ways. To give individuals ‘liberty’ is to sign-on for a roller-coaster ride combined with a labyrinth trek. That, as the Framers realized – and not without some serious trepidation – goes with the territory if you are going to allow The People to be the governors of their own government.
And it is a circle that can never fully be squared in this life.
And if you are going to insist – as the Progressives and the other totalizers do – that your elites know what they’re doing and do what’s best, then you are going to get authoritarianism because those elites are going to ‘logically’ feel authorized and commissioned to use government power to impose their visions.
And thus – I would say – Progressivism, like the other total-isms, is inherently imperialistic as well. Because once you have imposed your vision of perfection on your own country, then you are going to want to and you are going to need to go out and impose that New Order on other countries and peoples as well. Wouldn’t it be treason to your vision not to? Wouldn’t it be failing in your duty to humanity not to impose your vision on everybody? Why be selfish and keep your light under the bushel-basket of abstractions like the putative ‘sovereignty’ of other nations and governments if you have the Key that will make the life of all peoples so very much better?
Why indeed.
FDR ran into objections from Progressives who felt he wasn’t being radical enough, and ‘conservatives’ who were merely Progressives who thought he was heading toward “the wrong kind of socialism”; in other words, objections from what JG calls “utopians” and “non-utopians”.
But the key similarity between what JG calls “both the German and American New Deals” was “that the state should be allowed to get away with anything, so long as it is for good reasons”. (p.131)  [italics his]
Nor should there be any “dogmatic” boundaries – or first-principles of any sort – that can be allowed to obstruct whatever the state and its Correct elites (who, of course, ‘get it’) see as necessary. And years before 9/11 this ‘political philosophy’ had been put forth as a Plan by radical-feminism here, and the Beltway had bought it all, since it neatly erased any boundaries that would interfere with their ‘flexibility’ in giving the various cadres of the various Identities of the various Revolutions and the various lobbyists of the various special-interests of finance capitalism whatever they demanded. You can’t violate principles if there are no principles. (And you can’t commit crimes if no laws apply.) Neat.
And then JG goes a bit philosophical – and not wrongly so – himself. “The leader and his [or her] 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 priests once read the entrails of goats, but because they have blinded themselves to their own leaps of faith, they cannot see that morals and values cannot be derived from science”. (p.131)
Just so.
Science can only offer the principles of the Scientific Method, which is a process for logically and rationally determining the truth of some scientific hypothesis.
But you can’t use science to get at the principles of morality because those principles don’t stem from the material realm, from Matter, but rather from some non-material realm of the human spirit (perhaps in touch with an even Higher realm of Spirit) where the laws of gravity and thermodynamics and geology don’t apply. Nor can you use the sort-of ‘sciences’ such as psychology or even advanced neurobiology, since there is some life-principle in humans that is not accessible to scientific study, no matter how carefully and honestly conducted. A human being is simultaneously both apple and orange, and ‘science’ can only work on the apple.
*Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism. Doubleday: New York, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-385-51184-1 (hard cover). It’s also out in paperback.
**I would note here too that there is a profound difference between, say, Jefferson’s Executive acquisition of the territories included in the Louisiana Purchase on the one hand, and Progressive expansions of government and Executive power on the other.
To be sure, Jefferson went beyond the law: he bought first and asked Congress later (both to ratify and to pay-for his Purchase). Further, Jefferson defended himself with an iffy analogy: he considered himself, in the matter of the Purchase, to be acting as a “guardian” for the citizens, who as his “wards” might not yet see the wisdom of his expenditure of ‘their’ money; but at some point, Jefferson was confident, he could face the public squarely and say that he had done it “for your own good” – much as a conscientious legal guardian might say to a ward who becomes old enough to now manage his own affairs.
That’s easily a candidate for the ‘slippery slope’ attitude which less than a century later would fuel the cocksure Progressive eagerness to do for the public what the public was clearly (to the Progressive eye) incapable of doing for itself.
But Jefferson merely provided huge tracts of land – which became an opportunity for States and Citizens to exercise their rights and freedoms. He did not seek to expand the ordinary-power of the government or the Executive.
This must be contrasted to the agenda of the Progressives a century later: whereas Teddy Roosevelt supported both commercial expansion (enabled by military action) and the substantial increase of government regulatory power over corporations in order to provide for the safety of the products manufactured and marketed to the Citizenry by the corporations, Wilson was the first of the Progressive Executives to take matters to a whole new level: following a host of prewar changes (the direct election of Senators, the constitutionally-questionable creation of the Federal Reserve, the even more constitutionally questionable extension of the legal authority to prosecute the entire civil criminal code to the military justice system), Wilson’s objectives during World War 1 comprised the control of the Citizenry through surveillance, criminal prosecution and expanded government investigation (J. Edgar Hoover got his start right here); the manipulation of public opinion by what had to be the planet’s first dedicated Propaganda Office/Ministry; and by numerous other initiatives the mobilization of the emotions and resources and capacities of the Citizenry in the service of the government and its elite-Progressive illuminations, excitements, schemes and purposes.
***Might it here be asked if the post-1972 Gender element of the Culture War (Kulturkampf) is not classifiable as a variant version of the Hitlerian campaign against the Jewish people, with ‘men’ and their ‘macho patriarchy’ now classified as the targeted evil presence from which the Volk and the Kultur must now be cleansed? A campaign – it might be said – to make American culture and society ‘Mannerrein’ (translated as ‘cleansed of men’)?
As “the Jews” somehow infected culture and society by their mere presence, ‘men’ constitute a similar infection through their hegemonic, dominant, sexually-violent marginalizing of the culture and the people. Which – Correctly – must be eliminated, and in the service of that objective no ‘fetishization’ of ‘abstractions’ such as law or the rule of law or the Constitution must be allowed to stand in the way as an ‘obstruction’.
****And, of course, one might consider the extent to which Wilson’s new-fangled Federal Reserve – whereby Congress yielded effective control of the national currency and money supply and financial strategies to a private congeries of bankers and other ‘experts’ – helped bring on the Great Depression through the stock-market crash of 1929, the awful social consequences of which gave Hitler the opening he needed to mount his final (and successful) push to political power in Germany.
But even if so, Progressivism proved itself a mightily resourceful weed, and in the effort to crush Hitler, it further engorged and embedded itself in America’s politics and political thought.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012



I continue this mini-series on Jonah Goldberg’s 2007 book Liberal Fascism.* (In these Posts, Jonah Goldberg will be shortened to ‘JG’.)

Having given an overview of JG’s thoughts, in this Post I’d like to select some particular points of interest. In several subsequent Posts I’ll deal with some of the numerous and eye-opening quotations from historical figures in American and/or socialist and Progressive history, from the young Woodrow Wilson up through LBJ.

Equally ominously, the Progressives (as all totalitarian variants) “saw the home as the front line in the war to transform men into compliant social organs”. (p.88) (Note that JG uses the generic “men” to refer to all Citizens.)

Consequently, “an archipelago of agencies, commissions and bureaus sprang up overnight to take the place of the … influences of the family”. (p.88) [italics mine]

Further, “the home could no longer be seen as an island, separate and sovereign from the rest of society.” (p.88)

To this end, John Dewey – the noted educational thinker and Progressive – “helped create kindergartens in America for precisely this purpose: to shape the apples before they fell from the tree – while at the other end of the educational process stood reformers like Woodrow Wilson, who summarized the progressive attitude perfectly when, as president of Princeton, he told an audience, ‘Our problem is not merely to help the students adjust themselves to world life … [but] to make them as unlike their fathers as we can’”. (p.88) [italics mine]

I invite you to give deep and thoughtful consideration to this agenda. And not only for whatever information it conveys about the now-distant very early 20th century of first-wave Progressivism, but also for the very recent and still-working third-wave Progressivism of the Identity Politics and Culture and Gender wars embraced by the Beltway after 1972. (Recalling as well Bismarck’s acutely apt phrases Kulturkampf (culture war) and Gleichschaltung (total alignment of all aspects of society and culture.)

The foundational presumption of the Progressive hostility to the Family (seen also in Lenin and Mussolini; and also in Hitler, who – however – paid deep lip-service to the volkisch Family even as he ensured that not only neighbors but even relatives and children would feel bound to report to the Gestapo about any un-Correct conversation or ideas that they overheard among parents and relatives) is that the Family represents a counter-influence to government-embraced Progressive attitudes and objectives, and a counter-influence to the Progressive Stance generally.

(And here you can see where the Catholic Church, with its abiding focus and insistence on the absolutely vital human necessity of the Family for genuine individual human development, was almost guaranteed to become the target of any Progressive (or other total-izing variant) government’s hostility.)

If thus Progressivism’s totalizing approach – so hugely antithetical to any traditional Western or American concept of Family’s role in the social ethos and to the American Framing and Founding concept of a limited Constitutional government’s role – was to succeed, the Family had to be ‘aligned’ with the Progressive agenda a) so that the government would not have to tolerate in its midst and at the very heart of culture and society any alternative and oppositional influences and so that b) the next generations could be Progressively shaped in their most impressionable (and vulnerable) years.

Progressivism contains – and has always contained – at its core some core presumptions that are stunningly antithetical to the American ethos and – I would say – to the fundamental structures of human society and the process of raising, shaping, forming, and socializing its young. And if you consider the now-established Flattening and Mono-planar Progressive/’liberal’ secularism, then it becomes clear that not only practically but metaphysically that secularism seeks to Shape the young.

Nor – I would say – can We accept blandly and blithely and without question Hillary Clinton’s assertion that “it takes a village” to raise children. This sly gambit sought simultaneously to a) justify radical-feminist efforts (embraced by the Beltway) to ‘deconstruct’ the Family in order to carve out non-maternal roles for women while b) seeming to support a more ‘tradition-friendly’ emphasis on ‘community’ and masquerading thus as a somewhat ‘conservative’ and ‘traditional’ approach which, in truth, it most certainly was not.

Indeed, it should be clear how very much third-wave Progressivism, so deeply and viscerally enmeshed with radical-feminist agendas, has slyly used ‘the children’ as a crowbar to break apart the vital and heretofore sacred space of the Family in order to further its agendas and objectives.

Domestic violence initiatives – claiming to be motivated solely by a concern to stop ‘violence’ – have resulted in draconian and totalizing legislation which itself requires twisting American and Western legal first-principles and jurisprudence into pretzels. To say this is not to ‘support violence’ but simply to point out – as should have been strongly pointed out before such initiatives were erected into law and jurispraxis – that there are monstrously lethal consequences built-into them and that those consequences were pretty much guaranteed to actualize themselves. As they have.

In the same way, the third-wave, post-1972 Progressive/’liberal’ sex-offense initiatives of the 1990s have done precisely the same thing, to the extent of creating – in the internet age – electronic ‘registries’ of Citizens (already ‘convicted’ according to the aforesaid deformed and deranged new legal practices and concepts) in precisely the same way that police-state totalitarianism (the Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB, Gestapo and Stasi – to name but the most familiar) kept card-files of this and that category of Citizen for easy tagging and reference. Long before 9/11 and the subsequent anti-constitutional ‘national security’ impositions under Bush-Cheney, these developments should have been recognized as the alarming symptoms they were.

And, on that other end of the education process, high-schools and universities are no longer in the business of educating into the knowledge and critical thinking skills essential to a competent Citizenry. Why should they? Since according to Correct Progressive/’liberal’ assessment, a) all of the ‘history’ is tainted with this and that variation on the themes of dominance, hierarchy, patriarchy, oppression, hegemony and marginalization – and thus the past is useful merely for fishing around to get this or that example of same.

And b) because all that the New Order Citizen really requires is socialization into the Correct mindsets and practices that have always been the objective of the Progressive and ‘liberal’ totalizing urge to re-make and re-create and re-form and re-shape and re-Shape everybody anyway. The last thing the New Order Citizen needs to do is to think critically: the elites and the Correct dogma has already done the thinking; and – if I may – ‘there need be no further education in the New Order for a thousand years’ (paraphrasing the hyper-confident totalizing stylings of that former head of the Third Reich).

And during this transitional phase there need only be the ability – and predisposition – to come up with historical or conceptual ‘proof-texts’ that demonstrate the pure wisdom of the New Order and the utter depravity of anything and everything that had gone before. (With a savage irony, this ‘proof-text’ mentality is so very similar to American Protestant religious fundamentalism, itself raised up by the Reagan-era political elites as an (equally-lethal) counterforce to the Progressive/’liberal’ fundamentalism of the totalizing cadres and elites of the New Left that the Democrats had embraced a decade before.)

Meanwhile, generations of children have now grown up without the stability and security and guidance of mature adults (who, now, are themselves the chronologically-grown under-developed ‘children’ of not long ago). And these generations now demonstrate all of the predictable developmental and maturational derangements that might clearly have been expected of such a toxic and treacherous gambit.

And these generations now not only lack the skills necessary to sustain an adult life, but to execute the responsibilities of competent Citizens who – in the Framing Vision – were to be the governors of their government (and its remora-like expert-elites).

What is the interior world occupied by the average youngster or young person today? I would say that it is not capacious. And that in far too many instances it does not extend back in Time into the rich and valuable traditions  of American – and perhaps even human – culture and experience and tradition. And that in far too many instances it does not extend Upward into any Beyond, although a tendency-toward such a Beyond has very demonstrably been an enduring characteristic of the human species from its beginnings.

And that when it does extend in Space it does so only shallowly, entranced and obsessed  – even if only by default because the youngster knows no better and has never been taught any better – with  the surfaces and appearances and ephemera of a culture seeking to reduce them into being merely consumers and not Citizens or even genuinely full human-beings.

And that that shallowness reflects an interior shallowness and emptiness and un-Shapedness, an unripeness induced by the dearth in their young lives of any education-into or example-of the higher reaches of the human being, of the human Self.

And that thus such persons will not develop into competent Citizens precisely because they have not been helped to develop into genuinely ripe and mature human beings.

It might be cheeribly burbled – in the accents of Antonio Gramsci – that once all these generations are sufficiently socialized into accepting the New Order and their own ‘liberations’ as ‘normal’, then the government can once again release to them the authority to have an actual functioning say in their own governance. But human history does not support such an optimistic outcome – indeed, just the opposite: the government will continue to increasingly trail-boss the increasingly helpless (though Correctly ‘liberated’) herds.

Such progress.

And the Family and the educational institutions continue to devolve into haphazard and ever-shifting foundations of sand. The Family is whatever those who – for the moment – seek some connection wish it to be. The University is now a consumer-oriented font of socializing Correctness, catering to the whims of those it is supposed to be educating (on the presumption that those who are students need to be educated) and offering as a return on its (verrrry expensive) services merely a ‘ticket’ to glorious higher-employment and all the liberation and fulfillment that goes with a well-paid job that will enable them to consume and thus to reach human fulfillment.

But at this juncture, with the Beltway and its Progressive/’liberal’ knowledge elites and pols of both Parties now having allowed the national economy (and, indubitably its solvency) to slide beyond the tipping-point, those generations are confronted with a future of shifting-sand;  because for decades and with increasing intensity, only government cash – variously infused – has been keeping those marvelous jobs and the Oz-like illusions of a vibrant robust and growing ‘economy’ administered in the service of all the Correct Progressive/’liberal’ dogmas, going.

As the cash runs out, the illusions will increasingly dissolve into thin air for all but a very very few at the very top of the (once-again) Hobbesian and Social Darwinist ladder.

And how will an infantilized and un-educated and unripe Citizenry – for so long treated as a ‘herd’ – respond? What does the herd do when the trail-bosses themselves have led it into a box-canyon in a blizzard?

Stay tuned. But be warned: this picture will not be pretty.


*Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism. Doubleday: New York, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-385-51184-1 (hard cover). It’s also out in paperback.




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Sunday, September 30, 2012



I continue this mini-series on Jonah Goldberg’s 2007 book Liberal Fascism.* (In these Posts, Jonah Goldberg will be shortened to ‘JG’.)

Having given an overview of JG’s thoughts, in this Post I’d like to select some particular points of interest. In several subsequent Posts I’ll deal with some of the numerous and eye-opening quotations from historical figures in American and/or socialist and Progressive history, from the young Woodrow Wilson up through LBJ.

The role of Christianity and religion in first-wave American Progressivism cannot be underestimated. As Baptist minister Walter Rauschenbusch, the originator of the late-19th century Social Gospel movement, put it in 1896: “Now men are free, but it is often the freedom of grains of sand that are whirled up in a cloud and then dropped in a heap, but neither cloud nor sand-heap have any coherence”. (p.87)

What you see here is the abiding Christian concern – especially acute and intense among Protestantism as it developed in Northern Europe – to make the most of this life and to have an impact on human history. This burning preoccupation was powerfully focused on proper human ‘stewardship’ of God’s creation, starting with one’s own self and soul and (with some exceptions among Protestant sects that sought a purely spiritual individual or communal existence) radiating outward into one’s community and one’s world. The goal was to avoid ‘waste’, you could say: a wasted life, a wasted opportunity for individual and communal excellence in both spiritual and material things.

This Stance bore some major differences if contrasted with the more Mediterranean Roman Catholic approach, which focused not so much on individual this-worldly dynamism as on a personal and cultural Order reflecting the rational and revealed Vision of God’s logos or Word that brought Creation (individuals with their souls and then the material realities of this-world) into existence and sustained and guided that entire Creation on its journey to the Ultimate Fulfillment in God.

Especially in American Protestantism, this cutting-loose from the other-worldly bounds of the Roman Catholic Vision created much more room and space for human involvement in the things of this world. But it also thus opened Protestantism up to the tremendous gravitational and centrifugal forces of the human spirit – never perfect – in the hurly-burly of human history. Precisely by making itself more flexible and adaptable, Protestantism opened itself to powerful historical and existential forces and pressures for which there was no centripetal Center such as there was in the Roman Catholic Vision administered by the hierarchy at that Center which operated as a keel to balance activity and action with steadying and Shaping dogmatic continuity.

 To use the imagery of a sailing ship: the Catholic Vision emphasized the necessary rigidity of the keel that ballasted and worked in dynamic tension with the motive forces created by the sails as they caught the winds. The Protestant approach de-emphasized the keel and gave itself over to the sails and the motion created as the ship faced the waves of history and the Sea of life.

Or in a biological image: the Catholic Stance emphasized the rigid and bony endo-skeleton that gave Shape to the being and sustained that Shape; the Protestant Stance emphasized the viscera – muscles, heart, blood flow and so forth – that interacted directly with the world.

Hence too, the Roman Catholic focus on Order and on the traditions that sustained that Multi-planar Order (originating in the Beyond-dimension of the divine), while the Protestant Stance focused on the Mono-plane of this world, emphasizing fluidity and adaptability.

As might easily be imagined, in America of the later 19th-century, flush with a waxing Abundance channeled through industrial and urban capitalism, the Protestant Stance and its emphases seemed far more suitable to American life and history. ‘Boundaries’, as JG notes, became ‘frontiers’ (a hallmark JFK bit but rooted deeply in the prior centuries of the American past).

So within the Protestant Stance there was an urge to dynamically develop and deploy the genuinely formed Christian self into the booming buzzing flux and flow of history in all its dynamic complexity. But as Rauschenbusch indicates in the above quotation, there remained the insistence – seen in the Puritans – on achieving and sustaining a properly formed and grounded Christian self even as one immersed oneself in the affairs of this-world and its affairs.

For such a Protestant Stance, it would not do at all for persons to simply ignore their spiritual responsibilities of self-formation and merely leap into the deep ocean of history and events as if one were taking a carefree and thoughtless leap into the old swimming hole while playing hooky from school.

In this way, American Protestantism dove-tailed with the socialist-Progressive emphasis on ‘crisis’ and ‘responsibility’ and the abiding need to ‘reform’ and ‘improve’ history (which, as JG has often pointed out, was also a hallmark of Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, and even Hitler, and all the lesser socialists of the Left).

Thus Rauschenbusch is philosophically and spiritually averse to the disorganization and lack of Shape so often evident when humans are left at liberty to do whatever they want to do: the Protestant concept of Freedom – as was true of the Catholic concept as well – is that you presume a well-formed spiritual human being who is best suited to exercise that Freedom. A so-called ‘pure’ freedom, where people can simply do whatever they want without the ‘oppression’ of any boundaries or Shape (originating in this world or the Beyond), is not at all acceptable.

It is not acceptable because the Protestant Stance shares with its parent Catholic Stance the profound presumptions about human beings being created in God’s Image. As such, human beings are like ships (or – to use an anachronistic image – aircraft): these vessels are designed according to certain basic principles and no matter how ‘free’ you are as a captain or pilot, you can’t simply ignore those Shaping boundaries and principles.

Thus a pilot – although having complete command of the aircraft – still has to obey the fundamental principles and laws of aerodynamics; a ship captain – although having complete command of the vessel – still had to obey the fundamental principles and laws of physics and of wind and wave and hydrodynamics. To do otherwise will ‘waste’ that Freedom, that liberty, by wrecking the very craft that you command.

But again, this concern for Order and Shape dovetails with the socialist and the American Progressive Stance: in that era of first-wave Progressivism and of European socialism, the desire was not to anarchically cut loose from any Shape or Order (let alone to deny the necessity or existence or possibility or legitimacy of such Shape and Order); rather, it was to impose (‘achieve’ is, alas, putting it all too mildly and gently) a better Shape and Order – a New Order – than the old Shape and Order enshrined in the ‘traditional’ cultural and political and social arrangements that had evolved organically in European history over the millennia.

As Rauschenbusch indicates, a society of totally ‘free’ individuals resembles nothing so much as a miasm of loose grains of sand blown about by history’s winds and by each individual’s personal whims. (Note the resemblance to the industrial manufacturing dynamics of that era: you can organize human beings and keep them focused on a task, and get a lot of things made and a lot of things done; this preconception also influenced European (and after 1916 American) military thinking as well. Mobilization, motivation, and organization – all incited and sustained in the service of the proper Cause or Goal – is a dynamic conceptual motif that is widely afoot in that era, in American and Europe, especially in light of the intensifying and increasingly clear downsides to urban-industrial capitalism.)

Thus, Rauschenbusch continues, “New forms of association must be created. Our disorganized competitive life must pass into an organic cooperative life … Individualism means tyranny”. (p.87)

What you may immediately sense here is that Rauschenbusch is starting to bend in the direction of communal (and you might say ‘corporate’) organization and away from the traditional Protestant emphasis on the necessity of the individual’s achieving of self-mastery, spiritual and otherwise.

In a paradoxical conclusion that should have received more critical inquiry than it did, Rauschenbusch sees ‘tyranny’ as emanating from that unguided and un-Shaped and un-Boundaried ‘freedom’ that really has proven – to the Protestant eye – to have led to a wasteful and un-Shaped or under-Shaped license (which in the Jazz Age would arguably  mutate into outright licentiousness).

That there are profound problems here with the general first-principles of genuine ‘democracy’ does not detain him. If human beings are so easily unsuited for liberty and freedom, then how can a genuine democracy be sustained? What would be the purpose of creating or keeping it in the first place?** Worse, of course: if it turns out that living according to their ‘pure’ freedom of whim and desire renders individuals unable to govern themselves or achieve anything substantial together, then … the government and its elites will have to step in and take over the job; if the herd can’t control itself, then trail-bosses and trail-hands will have to do it. Thus does ‘pure’ freedom lead so easily to tyranny.

Another writer of the era, Washington Gladden, went so far as to assert that Progressivism was merely “applied Christianity”, supporting the Social Gospel’s belief that “the state was the right arm of God and was the means by which the whole nation and world would be redeemed”. (p.87)

And in this you can see something eerily and ominously reminiscent of the ancient Eastern and Byzantine solution to the relationship between Church and State (or Throne): the Church became merely but completely the chaplaincy of the State/Throne. Whereas in the Latin West, the Roman Church had struggled persistently to maintain the independence of the Spiritual from the Temporal power.

Progressivism – which in its first-wave was deeply enmeshed with a supportive version of (Protestant) Christian religious vision and fervor – was already working toward a type of ‘totalitarian’ arrangement whereby the Temporal power would be served by the Spiritual, even though in that first-wave era, the Spiritual – by offering ‘benefit of clergy’ to Progressivism – envisioned itself as ‘baptizing’ the Temporal into the Spiritual and thus achieving a marvelous synergy that would lead to both a Temporal and a Spiritual End-Time that would fulfill history. This was ‘Progress’ in a much more complete (and ‘total’) sense than anything Roman Catholicism, with its abiding and historically ingrained wariness of the things of this world and of the Temporal power, could robustly support.***



*Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism. Doubleday: New York, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-385-51184-1 (hard cover). It’s also out in paperback.

**This also constituted one of the Roman Catholic Church’s abiding concerns about ‘democracy’. On top of the historical European reality that ‘democracy’ had so often led to civil strife, bloody disorder, and profound spiritual dis-Order – from the Peasants’ Revolt of Luther’s time through the stunning bloodiness of the French Revolution and the Terror with its enthronement of a purely this-worldly and Mono-planar Reason (as opposed to any Multi-planar Faith) and the (almost inevitable) secular imperium of Napoleon.

It took until the 1950s for American Catholic thought such as John Courtney Murray’s to impress upon the Vatican the possibilities of American Founding concepts of genuine democracy – as opposed to the French Revolutionary and Soviet versions of popular rule by, or at least in the name and service of, ‘the masses’.

But – in a stunning historical irony – America had been sliding toward the French-Revolutionary approach, rather than American Founding Vision, since Progressivism’s first febrile enchantment with Bismarck’s ‘top-down socialism’ in the later 19th century. A slide which was erected into a Plan as time went on, especially as the decade of the 1960s saw a wild efflorescence of theological urges for change and reform following the Second Vatican Council (1962-5) and the various importations of outright Leninist and totalitarian thought spun as ‘liberation’ and ‘reform’ under the aegis of radical-feminism’s embrace of such ideology in the early 1970s, and the Beltway’s embrace of all of that ideological ‘justification’ for purposes of erecting new demographic coalitions after 1972.

Within a decade of Murray’s insightful and constructive work – and Martin Luther King’s equally redemptive and unitive religious-political American visions as enunciated so eloquently in 1963 – the government’s abandonment (for all practical purposes) of the American Revolutionary Stance for the French Revolutionary Stance was in the ascendant.

***And, of course, it would be in the American era initiated in the 1960s and early 1970s that the Temporal power, now so thoroughly Progressive-ized in both political Parties, would declare itself a ‘secular’ power, demanding the complete cooperation (that German Gleichschaltung of Bismarck and Hitler; given pithy expression in Mussolini’s maxim: Nothing against the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state) of whatever Spiritual power was left or else face the on-going efforts by the State to de-legitimize the Spiritual in the public forum.




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Thursday, September 27, 2012



I continue this mini-series on Jonah Goldberg’s 2007 book Liberal Fascism.* (In these Posts, Jonah Goldberg will be shortened to ‘JG’.)

JG considers the Sorelian “vital lie of the left” to be the following excuse: “if only the right reactionaries hadn’t [fill in the blank] we would today be living in a better, more just and more open-minded country”. (p.199)

Certainly since the 1960s this sly presumption has been insinuated into public discourse by ‘liberals’ from all the organized advocacies for all of the now-embraced Identities: that if only it weren’t for the ‘backlashing’ then the liberal agenda could demonstrate its marvelousness and carry the country to fresh sunlit uplands.**

Decades ago this was the mantra used to stampede public opinion over the doubts, concerns, questions and objections that were raised by a still-robust public and political discourse: our agenda is being impeded by nothing more than backlashers and marginalizing oppressors who don’t want to give up their power … and if that’s the type of people who are resisting these great new agendas then clearly the agendas and their proponents must be Good and the objectors Evil.

Today it is used as an excuse for the non-performance and the failures and the ill-consequences of all the Beltway impositions of all the preceding decades. Once upon a time there was a Camelot of possibility in this country and if only the agendas had been fully and properly implemented then so much would have been better … but there’s still time to hope this time around!

JG characterizes the current ‘liberal’ position further: “Western civilization was saved when the barbarians were defeated in the early 1970s … we should not only be grateful for our slender victory but vigilant in securing it for posterity”. (p.199)

I would only modestly disagree. Because it was not very long into the 1970s before the totalitarian and Gramscian and more recent Eurocommunist sources of so much ‘liberal’ philosophizing (to justify the ‘reforms’) revealed themselves: ‘Western civilization’ was rotten to the core – being dominant and hegemonic and oppressive and marginalizing – and had to be done away with; its patriarchy and (the current buzzword) ‘whiteness’ has to be eradicated and replaced with “diversity” in every possible way. The post-1972 ‘liberals’ were never ever out to ‘save’ Western Civilization (hey, hey, ho, ho – it had to go!).

But I would agree that that ‘liberal’ (as nowadays defined) impetus did succeed far too well – thanks to the Beltway’s supportive and impositional embrace. Not only the shape and structures of the American culture and ethos, but also the political first-principles of a functioning constitutional democracy, were twisted out of shape, and even the very competence and seriousness of the public discourse by which the Citizenry deliberates on matters of grave import to the national common-weal … all corrupted and corroded by all the well-established totalitarian methods for manipulating public opinion in order to marginalize it, thus clearing the path for the New Order and the New Shape.

It becomes clear, then, that all of this puts into a stunning new light Harding’s exhortation following Wilson’s era that he wanted the country to experience “a return to normalcy”. Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, yet Harding was no fool; the era of Wilson’s ‘war socialism’ – with its ‘mobilizing’ and controlling the public, its surveillance and censorship and jingoistic exhortations to “100 percent Americanism” (as Wilson defined it), and its Progressive version of Bismarck’s ‘top-down revolution’ – had addled and deeply deranged the country, its ethos and its polity, for too long. Now, with the Great War over, Harding was looking to return the Great Vessel to an even-keel and steadier course.

Harding has effectively (and not completely inaccurately) been spun by Progressive/liberal thought as a doltish and small-souled seat-warmer of less than sterling morals and ethical judgment. But I would say that in his visceral awareness that somehow Wilson’s schemes and visions and machinations had created fundamental derangements that promised great ill for the country he was spot-on. In the welter of historical actualities during his Administration, that – I would say – was the ‘alpha-stream’, the core stream of insight that, in the intelligence field, has to be identified and isolated from the booming, buzzing scrum of events and interpretations that surround all historical phenomena.

But ‘normalcy’ was and is – of course – precisely what Progressive and other forms of totalitarian thought and praxis cannot allow. These approaches require ‘crisis’ and an ‘emergency’ in order to mobilize and also distract public opinion, stampeding it beyond any normal rational and prudent concerns it might have about proposed new agendas (that are about to be imposed). There is a disturbing but profound accuracy to that moment in one of the more recent Star Wars installments, where the vast assemblage of galactic representatives cheer the Sith Lord’s assumption of plenary power: says Princess (or Queen – apologies) Amidala: So this is how democracy ends … with applause. Just so.

And whether that is the loud and raucous applause of the ‘crowd’ and the ‘masses’, or the tastefully muted pat-patting ‘golf-clap’ applause of the grand ballroom … what difference, really, is that?

For the menu remains the same: the creation of crises; nationalistic and ‘patriotic’ appeals to unity; the celebration of martial virtues; suspicion of all who do not conform and go-along; the blurring of the vital lines between public and private and between the  personal and the ‘political’; the utilization of mass media (formerly known as ‘the free press’) in order to glamorize the state and its agendas; invocation of a total-unity ethos that served to unify only in the negative sense of utter conformity and the squelching of any dissent or doubt; the cult of personality of the Leader (whether 'strong' or 'sensitive', paternal or maternal);  and all of the Political Correctness administered by a “camarilla of the Keepers of the Arcana” (the elite liberal priesthood of the Correct mysteries).(p.211)

This works out to “the birth of the liberal god-state”, the state-as-religious-source. (p.215) There are ‘sacred’ personalities (FDR, JFK, LBJ, G.W. Bush as ‘the Leader’ and (with repellent inaccuracy) ‘our commander-in-chief’ – Wilson is left out partly through the passage of time and partly through the eclipse of even the appearance of adulthood initiated by JFK’s presidency and the Kennedy Mystique); there is the “cult of the state” which works out to “a religion of state worship whose sacrificial Christ was JFK and whose Pauline architect was LBJ”. (p.215)

JG recalls Edward Bellamy’s 1888 book Looking Backward (an imaginary look at America in the year 2000): workers belong to “a unified industrial army”; the economy is run by all-powerful central planners; the citizens are drafted for their occupations of mind or muscle because all of them are bound to work for the state and the nation; the Umbrella State (rather than hundreds of thousands of citizens each putting up a personal umbrella when history’s weather turns stormy, the state will put up one huge Umbrella); and – generally – “the kingdom of heaven on earth”. (p.215)

At precisely the same time back there in the 1880s, young and up-coming Woodrow Wilson is writing dismissively of “horse-and-buggy” democracy and its Constitutional machinery, that are utterly insufficient to the challenges and glorious possibilities of modernity and the rapidly-approaching 20th century.

It was this vision of Bellamy’s – says JG rightly – that “captured Progressives” with its militarized, nationalized, organized, socialist utopia. (p.215)

There was – he notes – even a ‘logical’ conclusion that the individual States themselves were rapidly becoming obsolete because in their diverse and obstreperous individuality and adherence to the ‘old’ ideas of 1787 they would only serve to obstruct the achievement of Year One. (p.215) You can’t help thinking of the post-1972 era in this country, that third-wave of Progressive/totalitarianism, where the Feds – under the aegis of an insistence that for the ‘marginalized’ (defined as such with increasing and intensifying capaciousness) the whole country was really nothing more than the States of the Jim Crow South; and the Beltway would have to man-up and step-in and take-over.

Nor did Bellamy confine himself to political and social thought. He also wrote Jesus the Socialist, which sought to corral the still-robust Christian elements of Progressivism with religious, theological, and spiritual (however defined) arguments. And there was devised a ‘salute’ – with the arm extended straight-out and up; in the late 19th century perhaps a heark-back to the Rome of the Caesars, but within a few decades adopted (from Us!??) by Mussolini and the German guy with the funny moustache.

All the marquis presumptions of Bismarck’s approach were present, JG notes: a centralized and united government (its unity imposed from above) “without the messiness of excessive democracy” that impedes the visions of Great Men of Action; an elite and executive disdain for “limited government” or classical Liberal Constitutionalism since they only created boundaries and fences that would impede executive ‘progress’ (precisely as the cattle barons of the American West opposed fences and small-holds because they interfered with the progress of trail-bossing the great herds); and even a Kulturkampf, a ‘culture war’ precisely intended to undermine popular support for what the elites now saw as ‘obstructions’ to their ‘progress’.

And Bismarck was specifically aiming this Kulturkampf at the Catholic Church, that bastion of ‘tradition’ that constituted the most politically potent center of opposition to his plans. Which has an eerie familiarity to it nowadays.***

But what was the problem? Science, after all, was not open to “democratic debate” and wasn’t Progressive governance “scientific”? (p.221) But, of course, the trickery was in how Scientific Method is actually conducted. While there are the occasional individual brilliant scientists who crystallize a particular Big Thought, the vast corpus of scientific development is conducted by a rigorous and vigorous and broad-based Conversation among many scientific researchers, each publishing discoveries and theories so that all other interested researchers can critique them or verify (or falsify) them through independent analysis and experiment.

So while the scientific ‘laws’ – so-called – are possessed of a certain indisputable validity that is not amenable to ‘democratic’ debate (or PR spin), yet the very process of Scientific Method that establishes that validity is profoundly democratic and independent indeed.

And those scientific ‘laws’ apply to the material universe; not to the vastly more complex and un-controllable productions and phenomena of human history and human activity, so profoundly enmeshed with human desires and passions and the exercise of the human will.

Thus – JG observes acutely – modern American Progressive/liberalism cannot be judged merely by its good intentions or – in the words of contemporary academic social thinker Alan Wolfe – merely by its “concern with the impact of social environments on individuals”. (p.246) [italics mine]  

‘Concern’ is all well and good. But it is the beginning, not the conclusion, of what should be a stringent and acute and free-wheeling independent analysis of proposed policies and laws that would seek to address that ‘concern’. ‘Concern’ and ‘good intentions’ are utterly insufficient as justifications that would claim to trump or obviate the vital and abiding need for serious and mature and broad analysis and deliberation and public debate.

This is one of the vital “roots” that “American Progressivism shares with European fascism” (including its communist variant). (p.246) Progressivism precisely and intentionally sidesteps such broad and ‘democratic’ public analysis. After all, why have such a democratic involvement if most of the Citizenry ‘just don’t get it’ in the first place? Best to leave it all to those who do ‘get it’ and know what will work out to be best for everybody. Do ranchers take a poll among the cows and steers of the herd before implementing some great new ideas in animal husbandry?

You can see clearly in all of this – I think – precisely why contemporary ‘liberalism’ really isn’t interested in broad and deep and independent historical analysis, or really any sort of analysis at all (except if it’s Correct ‘advocacy analysis’ that somehow jiggers the results to come out as precisely justifying what the elite cadres have decided to do).

Historical analysis would reveal some of the darker dynamics that lie at the heart of the history of Progressive/liberal thought and praxis, exposing assumptions about ‘democracy’ and the entire foundational basis of the American Experiment in popular self-governance.

Such analysis of current events would merely create ‘obstructions’ to the rapid imposition of new-Order agendas and policies and enabling legislation.

Whereas what’s really sought by Progressive/liberal governance is a Gleichschaltung, that ominous German concept of ‘conforming’ or 'bringing into alignment' every aspect of national life to the overriding (and government-controlled) Vision that will have to become the guiding standard for the country and the people (das Volk).

You will conform or – on its own authority as sole source of national morality – the government will Correctly label you as Evil or an abettor of Evil.

And then you really will ‘get it’. Or else.

Just how long any constitutional democracy – and specifically Our constitutional democracy – can survive such a philosophy of governance is the primary Question facing Us today.


*Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism. Doubleday: New York, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-385-51184-1 (hard cover). It’s also out in paperback.

**A just-published cultural history of San Francisco from 1967 to 1982 – the 15 years that spanned the Summer of Love to AIDS – by David Talbot demonstrates precisely this point of JG’s. Talbot dreams that such radicalism as there was on the Left was merely sparked and actually caused by “reactionary” opposition from the Right and/or by CIA infiltrators of what would putatively have been non-radical organizations. As if the organizations – either through the embrace of actual revolutionary violence or through the valorization of ‘creative cultural destruction’ and ‘creative transgression’ – weren’t already well-along on a violent and destructive path.

And – neatly – that while sexual activity was “readily available”, yet “predatory behavior was not allowed”. Of course. Which limns precisely the type of Boomery sexual utopia that had lured so many of them in the first place, while neatly avoiding any connection with the inevitable predatory behavior that accompanies such sexual licentiousness (it’s not just ‘repression’ that generates predation). In Talbot’s telling, they had a utopia – but then mean old nasty reactionaries came in and wrecked their sand castle on the beach by the Bay.


***And again I return to the thought that when the Vatican opposed the development of European ‘Modernism’ in the late-19th century it was concerned not simply for the Flattening of the human existential experience into the Mono-plane of a purely this-worldly vision. Rather, it was acutely aware of the fact that you couldn’t reach ‘socialism’ without running the real risk of armed revolution and bloodily disordering or dis-Ordering Western societies as well as Western Culture.

And further, that while it had to be educated by the American hierarchy that ‘democracy’ as it was conceived and developed by the Framers in 1787 was profoundly not the ‘democracy’ of the French Revolution with all its blood and Terror, yet perhaps the Vatican realized – as the American hierarchy in its ‘American’ enthusiasm did not – that with the waxing ascendancy of American Progressivism the dynamics and visions of the French Revolution (through its descendants, the totalitarian brood of communists, fascists, and the more radical socialists) had indeed managed to migrate to the New World.

And that the ‘top-down socialism’ of Bismarck had already resulted in a government-sponsored Kulturkampf against the Church in the German states, and would probably produce the same results in the New World. (Which did happen, although not until Progressivism’s third-wave after 1972.)

And thus perhaps the Vatican also saw that even if the American Framers’ approach to ‘democracy’ was far more prudent and well-grounded than the lethal French excitements of 1789, yet – if perhaps the Vatican read Wilson’s early books more closely than did his own countrymen – it had become clear that America’s commitment to its own unique political heritage was itself being eroded, mutating into precisely the statist and Mono-planar path of the Old World governments.





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