Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jonan Goldberg, Andrew Bolt, liberal fascism, Humpty Dumpy and George Orwell spinning in his grave

One of the more bizarre examples of right wing thought in America belongs to what might be called the Jonah Goldberg school of random smearing.

Goldberg first perfected the technique in his book Liberal Fascism, the title of which just about says it all when it comes to the actual intellectual meat in the work itself.

For this approach to work, first of all you have to move the goal posts of history to suit your own purposes. Thus the intense anti-liberal attitudes of Nazi Germany (which saw many Jewish and liberal artists driven out of Germany, for the greater good of American arts and the American film industry in particular) have to be ignored, or subsumed within the notion that left and right totalitarianism is one and the same. 

Which means black can be white, and white can be black, and Adolf Hitler - who called his party National Socialist - can become a man of the left. Which I guess means that Josef Stalin, if you look closely, can become a man of the right. Unless of course you think that dictators are always inherently of the left.

Whatever. The point of the argument is to traduce your opponents by any means possible. It's the smear of political discourse, the intelligent design debate of political science, the peddling of nonsense to fill the void with a babble of voices.

If you want to catch up with Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg team tagging on this one, you can catch the clip by going here.

The lads go through the motions to establish that James Von Brunn, the aged and crazed Holocaust Museum shooter, isn't that far removed from Rosie O'Donnell or Michael Moore in terms of thinking, and is definitively not from the right.

This kind of meaningless discourse revolves heavily around a kind of permanently skewed lunacy, which involves people reading history only if it can be refracted through their own intense ideologies. With intense prejudice in place, it's then easy to apply the Humpty Dumpty principle to the results:

`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

Like "liberal fascism". Which means liberals. Who are fascist. As if that's somehow a meaningful retort to a rabid leftie rabbiting on about conservative fascists.

Which is bizarrely how in America the debate about the crazed Holocaust Museum shooter is being conducted, especially on the question of whether he's either a member of the far right, the far left, or handily, a lone wolf.

And why it's no surprise that a loon like Jonah Goldberg would try to argue that the Holocaust shooter was definitively not from the right.

The argument? He hated Bush, he hated neocons, he hated the Weekly Standard and he hated Jews.

He also hated black people, Obama (controlled by the Jews), taxes, the United Nations, the federal government, etc etc. He was also a fan of Hitler, loved miscegenation laws, and was a firm believer in The Protocols of Zion. But of course if you're a fan of Hitler, or move amongst fellow Hitler admirers, by Goldberg's definition, you're a liberal fascist. Which means you're a man of the left. QED.

Which wouldn't matter that much if they just kept this woolly, fuzzy thinking in America. 

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

But sadly just as we ape American entertainments and American follies, so we have people in the colonies who love to ape the kind of argumentation beloved of hysterics in America. Here speaks Andrew Bolt:

There are, in fact, people who are rational individualists, and people who are collectivist, and therefore more prey to us-against-them mythology. Von Brunn - a Zionist-hating, Bush-loathing, O’Reilly-despising, anti-Christian 9-11 truther - is without doubt a collectivist, with views that could find a home both with the far Left and Right. To which precisely he belongs is a distinction without a difference.

Ah, you might think that's sounding quite rational. Until you pause for a moment and think WTF. Collectivist?

You know, because collectivists like to go off to the Holocaust Museum and kill a security guard, as opposed to irrational individualists. And we know what we mean by collectivism, don't we? Uh oh, brain hurt time. If you want to read up on collectivism, try this article at Wikipedia here.

Do collectivist anarchists of the Bakunin kind sit easily with authoritarian communists? Does collectivism lead to totalitarianism? Does collectivism suggest an "us against them" mythology which requires popping off a security guard to make a point? Does Andrew Bolt have any idea what he's talking about?

Rewind for a moment. The man was a nutter, and even though he hung around right wingers of the extreme kind - the white supremacist kind - it's true that he had so many bizarre beliefs that he was almost an uber right winger, who despised not just left wingers, but also main stream right wing or conservative thinking, which had failed in its mission to cleanse the world for white non-Jewish folk. 

Sound like a Hitler lover? Right, but remember Hitler was a figure of the left. He called his party National Socialist. That's socialist as in collectivist. Like the collectivism which involved tractors in the Soviet Union. Which is very similar to the fiendish communism practiced by Jews in kibbutzim. 

Proving Jews are Liberal Fascists who have very similar philosophies as Adolf Hitler, that man of the left. Got it? So the Holocaust was just an internal disagreement between lefties. Right? Clear as mud if you're thick, but someday you'll thank me for enlightening you.

Um, wait a moment. Bolt hasn't finished yet:

What would you call a man who wrote this:

Socialism, represents the future of the West.

A Right-winger or a Left-winger? I know, too easy. And let’s tick all the other boxes that tend to go with that:

Anti-Christian? Check.

Anti-Zionist? Check.

Anti-George Bush? But of course.

Anti-Murdoch and the imp Bill O’Reilly? Check again.

A sceptic of the official version of the September 11 attacks? You betcha.

So who have I described so far? Phillip Adams or John Howard? David Marr or Piers Akerman?

Answer? Go here. And that sudden sound you hear? It’s of the Left switching labels.

Well if you went there, as instructed in the "go here" bit, you'd end up back with Von Brunn. And the sound of the left switching labels?

Sigh, that's right folks, it's Andrew Bolt doing an antipodean impression of Jonah Goldberg, and the bit about the left switching labels is his way of calling a harmless rabble of socialist lefties the rough equivalent of a raving loon right wing white supremacist. Come on down Phillip Adams and David Marr, right wing ratbags. 

But how does Bolt see himself when he so labels his mortal enemies? 

Who knows, and who cares. When you start playing these kinds of word games, you move beyond the point of whether someone is either a deviant leftie, or a deviant rightie, to the point where labelling is deviantly meaningless.

Except for that magic word that covers it all: loon. In the grip of loonacy.

Without a doubt, Andrew Bolt has a lifetime free membership in the loon pond club for demented commentariat columnists. Now let's not speak of him again.

But how handy is his thinking. (Oh I just had to speak of him again).

Where once I viewed the British National Party as some kind of gaggle of right wingers, I now know they are in fact rampant left wingers, while the vile nonsense spewed by the Jew hating folks who gather at Stormfront is just the outpourings of fanatics obsessed with converting the world to Maoism, or perhaps Stalinism at a pinch.

And suddenly Hitler becomes as clear as crystal.

He was a vegetarian, who despised the strength sapping world of pornography, and who had a particular contempt for artists, especially those expressionists who made the hapless Weimar Republic such a wonderful outpouring of art. (Which in fact gave Hollywood the film noir and directors like Billy Wilder). 

Which means I'm surrounded by Nazis. And not just those vegetarians who dispute my strict meat eating regime, or lovers of pornography with their perverted tendency to liberal fascism. I'm talking about the countless homosexuals, liberals, socialists, gypsies, dissidents and ratbags rounded up by Hitler's regime, and either kicked out of the country or sent off to work in concentration camps. 

Somehow these Nazis have been re-born to stalk the streets of Newtown. Why these people even like to wear black, and not just the goths. Hitler lovers right down to their love of boots.

As always, when confronted by linguistic absurdity, I turn back to George Orwell. He was a socialist, though such a strange one that his kind of democratic socialism could only fit a party of one (and who also managed to spy for his country in ways that later struck people as a tad contradictory to his expressed beliefs). 

But when he wasn't a peculiar socialist, he was an expert cynic:

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia ...

It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning...

Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. 

What a pity Orwell's gone and we're left with the likes of Andrew Bolt and Jonah Goldberg. Poor Orwell must be revolving in his grave, liberal fascist that he was.

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