In the past few years, Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg have led the charge to popularize the notion that the governing totalitarianisms of fascism – centralizing, modernist, nationalistic, and willing to cooperate with the radical, internationalist Left, most notoriously in August 1939 – emerged from theories of progressivism and socialism. Officials were the embodiments of a transcending collective will organizing a cult of state-organized unity. However far one might agree, it is interesting to note an interview that George Viereck, father of German-American poet and conservative thinker Peter Viereck, conducted with Adolf Hitler in 1923. When asked to define socialism, Hitler replied: “Socialism is the science dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists.” It will be curious to note if some on the coalitions of the Left will persist in applying the label “fascist” to those of us on the coalitions of the Right. After all, two of the things that the fascists hated most – classical liberalism and religiously-oriented traditionalism – are foundations of the post-Buckley, fusionist, conservative movement. And so we might accurately, albeit awkwardly, argue that two strands of the (Anglo-American) Right were chief enemies of fascism, a socialist-laden, modernist, authoritarian theory of governance and political practice that ran roughshod over throne and altar and was defeated by forces for liberalism.
Monday, July 12, 2010, 3:38 PM