Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spot the Facism, Volume I

In my opinion, one of the most important political books of my generation is Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Facism. I've read it several times now, and each time I'm struck by the author's ability to highlight the facist and totalitarian themes in modern politics (both liberal and conservative). It is without a doubt a nice Facism, but it's still facism.

Case in point: Parade Magazine's profile of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. There were two quotes that really stuck out with me.

Napolitano refuses to prioritize among the threats. Job one, she insists, is to “help keep the nation in a state of readiness and help assure the American people that we are prepared and resilient.”

Facism can only thrive in a state of crisis. How exactly is a "state of readiness" different than a state of eternal crisis?

But the secretary says she is inspired by the seriousness of the challenges of her new role. “It’s a time in history that won’t come again,” she says.

Facism is, like all utopian dreams, intent on remaking the world. It's true that this time in history won't come again. That doesn't automatically mean that this needs to be an auspicious time in history, nor does it automatically mean that Janet Napolitano's dream of what can be done at this moment in history is right.

No comments:

Post a Comment