Glenn Beck has a special "documentary" he's going to show his audience today on Fox News titled "Live Free Or Die," and what's evident is that the entire show is going to be predicated on expanding on Jonah Goldberg's fraudulent thesis in his bestselling book, Liberal Fascism, namely, that fascism is "properly understood" as "a phenomenon of the left."
What's apparent is that Beck intends to leap from this fraudulent beginning to the bizarre conclusion that the progressive movement has always produced genocide -- mostly by equating fascists with communists with progressives, which is part of the underlying illogic of Goldberg's thesis. It seems he will be promoting the conclusion that President Obama is leading America on a path to genocide as well.
Indeed, anyone who's been watching Beck's show the past year is aware that his continually building thesis about Obama -- that he is secretly a black radical Marxist/fascist/socialist/whateverist intent on creating a totalitarian regime in America -- is largely built on Liberal Fascism and its thesis. Beck has
had Goldberg on numerous times to promote the fraud. And his long-running attacks on the progressive movement as the "cancer" destroying the country -- which has been the entire point of Beck's show this week, including the conclusion that progressives may try to assassinate Obama if he moves to the center -- have been nakedly drawn straight from Goldberg's Planet Bizarro version of history. (The giveaway has been Beck's running insistence that Woodrow Wilson is at the root of this evil.)
Towards the end of yesterday's segment, Beck fretted that "the academic wing" of the progressive movement was going to attack him viciously for his "documentary." Goldberg notes that he's faced the same for his book -- though in reality, academics have been largely silent on the subject of Liberal Fascism.
That, however, is about to end.
I've already explained in some depth exactly why Goldberg's thesis is so profoundly dishonest, especially when it comes to the mountain of historical facts that contradict his claims, which he simply elides. But I'm not an academic -- just a journalist who has real-life experience writing about real American fascists.
Academic historians, in fact, have tended to shy away from tackling Goldberg's book, precisely because it is such an obvious work of propagandistic polemics, and his methodology so shabby, that they haven't considered the work (such as it is) contained therein to be worthy of academic consideration.
But because Goldberg's fraudulent thesis has now become conventional wisdom on the American Right -- and particularly among the Tea Party set, where signs equating liberals to fascists and Obama to Hitler have become commonplace -- many historians, especially those who have specialized in the serious study of fascism, have come to the realization that calling out Goldberg for his fraud is long overdue.
To that end, I began organizing last fall a series of essays from academic historians and political scientists critiquing Liberal Fascism. The essays are now ready, and this Monday, Jan. 25, they will be presented at History News Network.
In addition to my introductory essay, there will be essays by four widely acknowledged experts on fascism:
-- Robert O. Paxton, professor emeritus at Columbia University and the author of The Anatomy of Fascism.
-- Roger Griffin, professor of political science at Oxford Brookes and the author of The Nature of Fascism.
-- Matthew Feldman, professor of history at University of Northampton, and a co-editor of several academic texts on fascism.
-- Chip Berlet, senior researcher at Political Research Associates and the co-author (with Matthew Lyons) of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort.
Beck will probably believe this response from academics is inspired by his show today, but only in a purely accidental sense: It's been in the works for some months now, and was more inspired by the broad absorption of Goldberg's thesis as conventional wisdom -- of which Beck's constant promotion of it is a not-insignificant part. Let's just say the timing will indeed be serendipitous.
Incidentally, Beck gave us a little preview of the "documentary" on his Tuesday show:
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