Well, Glenn Beck's special "documentary" -- at least, that's what he calls it -- "The Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free Or Die" aired Friday, and it was pretty much exactly what we predicted: A long promotion for Jonah Goldberg's fraudulent Liberal Fascism and its underlying thesis, to wit, that fascism is "properly understood" as "a phenomenon of the left."
In Beck's hands, of course, this mishmash of a theory gets mashed even more, so that fascism is indistinguishable from communism and socialism, and that all are essentially identified in the bundle of the progressive movement, which is Beck's ultimate target.
On Friday, Beck worried that "the academic bloc" of the progressive movement would be arraying its forces to attack him for this piece of work (and it is a real piece of work). Probably, most of them will dismiss it as just another piece of lunacy from the nation's fearmonger in chief.
But it's obvious that, despite the cold reality that Goldberg's thesis is profoundly dishonest and the most odious kind of historical fraud, right-wingers like Beck not only believe it but have embarked on avidly promoting it -- especially among the Tea Party set, where the signs calling Obama a fascist are almost as common as those decrying his tax increases.
As I mentioned Friday, I began some months ago organizing some of the more authoritative historical experts -- historians and political scientists -- in an effort to finally produce a serious response from academics to Goldberg's traduced version of history.
Today, at History News Network, you can read the initial essays.
In addition to my introduction, there are four essays:
-- Robert O. Paxton, professor emeritus at Columbia University and the author of The Anatomy of Fascism, leads off the essays with "The Scholarly Flaws of Liberal Fascism."
-- Roger Griffin, professor of political science at Oxford Brookes and the author of The Nature of Fascism, has a piece titled "An Academic Book - Not!"
-- Matthew Feldman, professor of history at University of Northampton, and a co-editor of several academic texts on fascism, offers his assessment on why refuting Goldberg still matters: "Poor Scholarship, Wrong Conclusions".
-- 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, has penned a history of Goldberg's arguments, "The Roots of Liberal Fascism: The Book."
For those who watched Beck's "special," the following excerpt from Paxton's piece alone may suffice:
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