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From Liberal Authoritarianism to Islamo Fascism

Reader comment on item: Fascism's Legacy: Liberalism

Submitted by Ann Farmer (United Kingdom), Jan 11, 2008 at 17:55

Re. Jonah Goldberg's book on liberal fascism, I have been researching population control and eugenics and the cross-over with race. Although population control, eugenics and racism have been characterized as 'right wing' (like all Bad Things) in fact they were right wing projects more enthusiastically taken up by the Left, including H. G. Wells, who endorsed a libertarian social agenda including sex education and divorce as well as endorsing the lethal chamber for the results of genetic slip-ups.

The interesting thing was that Wells and the other Fabians saw the welfare state as the most efficient vehicle to deliver population control, and eugenicists were there from its very inception in Britain, over time coming to dominate the big medical institutions, so that weeding out genetic defects has assumed priority status, with euthanasia looming on the horizon.

Despite this, the British welfare state, in particular the National Health Service, has proved extremely popular with the public and especially the poor - the very population that population controllers want to control. Incidentally the endorsement of 'domestic' population control has enabled such programmes to be exported to poor countries, without seeming overtly racist. Many Leftists looked with envy at the opportunities for population control offered by an all-powerful state's intrusion into the family, as in the Soviet Union. Very few, apart from Orwell and G. K. Chesterton, could see the Emperor unclothed.

The phenomenon of liberal fascism has a lot to do with social outlook. These movements were (are) characteristic of British middle class intellectuals keen to help those not so fortunate, but not to the extent of enabling them to choose for themselves the kind of life they want to live, or indeed asking their opinion on it at all. Control has a lot to do with it, which may explain why the BBC is so reluctant to tell us the news these days and instead manages it, apparently afraid of the public finding out what is going on in the world, be it crime or terrorism, in case they become 'right wing'. (I should add that I am not.)

The other interesting thing is the link between population controllers/welfare planners and the European project, a plan for closer political integration begun between the Wars, leading to the European Union we know today. They believed that an exchange of populations was essential to dilute national cultures, thus avoiding the dangers of war, as was the control of populations, especially the poor - the 'mob' that they both feared and despised - with biological controls like sterilization and abortion. I suspect they also, as social Darwinists, saw a certain inevitability in the gradual growth of the political entity from small community to kingdom to federal and then world power, so perhaps the EU is just a step along the way.

In all this, the role of unelected 'experts' has been crucial, and democracy has been hollowed out as political parties have converged ever closer on all the 'important' issues - the welfare state and population control, conducted at arm's length by governments of both Left and Right. So it is not surprising that many on the New Left (which includes many liberals) are now looking enviously at Islamo fascism, its energy, its accomplishments in smashing the fabric of capitalism, and its potential for the future. It's ironic, too, because many Marxists (some now in government) who have been pursuing the destruction of the traditional family as a way of destroying the captialist state are now wooing the socially conservative Muslim vote.

Best wishes.

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