The Goldberg Anti-Fascist Front


The Origin Of Goldbergism

 Rich Lowry—A Goldberg Variation


While Jonah Goldberg, braving

Redneck America,
was steering a rented car all the
way from

Fairbanks, Alaska to Washington, D.C
., the
resourceful Rich Lowry set out to keep the ideology of Goldbergism
alive in the popular imagination.

As his recent

syndicated column

[“War on Iraq actually fills liberal goals,” LA Daily
, September 3, 2002] amply shows, Lowry is equal
to this task. In his latest commentary he attempts to
convert “owlish college professors” and “crusading
leftwing newspaper editors” to “the conservative idea”
of a Blitzkrieg against Iraq.

Never mind that the opponents of
this project whom I know are traditional conservatives;
that two nights ago paleoconservative

Terry Jeffrey
, while on Chris Matthews`s program,

Robert Taft on what are

unjustified grounds
for U.S. military intervention;
and that the war in question is not a “conservative
idea” but a neocon obsession  advocated  with the usual
hysterical charges of cowardice and anti-Semitism
against the

inevitable foot-draggers.
The war must be a
“conservative idea” – because

National Review
(now Goldberg Review)
says so.

The attack on Saddam and his army,
Lowry assures us, is an organized attempt to – get this
– “resist fascism.”

(Emphasis added.)

Lowry isn`t joking. He claims that

“Saddam`s militaristic, one-party ideology bears a
strong resemblance and has direct intellectual
connections to fascism”…”So Saddam is less Che Guevara
(a romantic, anti-colonial figure) and more

Augusto Pinochet


“the ouster of the
bloodthirsty Saddam would immediately improve Amnesty
International`s evaluation of Iraq. If you`re a `human
rights activist,` what should be more important?”

These statements are so shamefully
stupid that one has to wonder whether long-time
National Review
readers notice the magazine`s marked
deterioration. How was Pinochet, who ran an
authoritarian caretaker regime in Chile, which he
eventually gave up, connected by the same “ideology” to
Saddam Hussein?

And what, anyway, is this “fascist
ideology” that Lowry gets on his high horse to condemn?
For there are certainly many cases of one-party states,
e.g., Tito`s Yugoslavia,

Syngman Rhee`s
South Korea, or Pinochet`s Chile,
which owe nothing to Mussolini`s interwar formulation of
fascist-corporatist doctrine.

Even regimes like Franco`s

custodial rule
of Spain merely paid lip service for
a while to some

Latin fascist ideal
before abandoning it totally.

And didn`t National Review (in the
dark days before it became Goldberg Review)
actually defend
these governments?

Moreover, who cares about the
ratings of Amnesty International, which is heavily

biased toward the left
and typically gives low
grades for democracy to nationalist governments in
Eastern Europe while ignoring leftist breaches of

civil liberties
in Western Europe? And what do these
ratings have to do with the question of whether to go to
war against another sovereign state?

This sort of sloppy thinking is
pandemic among

. But Lowry`s unsubstantiated opinions do
reveal the quintessentially liberal assumptions that now
lie at the heart of the Establishment “Conservative”
movement – which Goldberg expresses daily (perhaps
hourly) in his pontifications online, in the pages of
, and on various TV talk shows.

Goldbergism does not have to reach
far to make leftist converts. Nothing substantial
separates it from the Left – except for a passion for
launching wars that usually coincide with the stated
interest of the Zionist Right,
and which understandably scare the hell out of European

Jonah Goldberg`s

reported run-in

with the state police in South Dakota provoked much
angry email from NRO readers who objected to his obvious
contempt for fly-over country. Now he has made it back
to his customary sources of inspiration and is again
whooping it up for war in a piece called “War, What is
Good For? Quite a lot, actually.” [September
4, 2002

Goldbergism apparently holds that
Americans don`t deserve protection from immigration –
but meanwhile they`re good for a few crusades.

Paul Gottfried
is Professor of Humanities at
Elizabethtown College, PA. He is the author of

After Liberalism

Carl Schmitt: Politics and Theory.

September 05, 2002