Wednesday, May 05, 2004


I mentioned last Sunday the latest book on Fascism (The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert. O. Paxton) but was too deterred by its obvious biases to do anything more than link to my own article on Hitler so that readers could see for themselves what Paxton had "overlooked".

Marxist "superstar" Terry Eagleton has however now reviewed the book and most of what he says is surprisingly fair. He does, for instance, make clear the antipathy between conservatism and Fascism and even hints at Fascism's Leftist origins and its affinities with modern-day Leftist "post-modernism". He also concludes, as I do, that Fascism seems in the long run to have won the day and that most of the world's political systems are now at least moving towards what would once have been called Fascism.

One of my readers bridled at Eagleton's statement: "The assumption that the free market and political democracy go naturally together was always pretty dubious" but I am afraid Eagleton is right. Up until recently the world's most free market society was Hong Kong, with no democracy at all, and intensely capitalist Singapore has pretty limited democracy too. As in most of his comments, however, Eagleton is overstating his case. Although there is no necessary association between democracy and capitalism, the two do seem to have some rough association.

I should mention, however, that the opening of Eagleton's review is deceptive. He says that Mussolini (the founder of Fascism) opposed Socialism. He omits to mention that what was called Socialism in Mussolini's day was what we would now call Communism. Mussolini, like the Mensheviks, considered Communism/Bolshevism to be a deviation from true Marxist doctrine. Mussolini was a non-Communist Leftist, in other words -- something that is still all around us today. The main difference between the Communists and the Fascists was that the Fascists detested the idea of class-warfare. They wanted the people of their countries to be united in one brotherly band rather than at war with one-another. But both the Communists and the Fascists wanted (and got) an all-powerful State that would allegedly "look after" its people -- not much different in the end from what modern-day Western Leftists clamour for.

And Eagleton's description of Fascists as "uncouth bruisers" is absurd. Eagleton admits that Britain's Sir Oswald Mosley was an "exception" to that but so was Mussolini. Like many modern-day Leftists, Mussolini was an intellectual. He read poetry and philosophy voraciously, including Socrates and Plato. He spoke several foreign languages, was always interested in discussing political and philosophical ideas with almost anyone, had considerable acceptance in his early days as a leading Marxist theoretician, wrote over 40 books, and was a tree-lover and environmentalist 50 years before Greenies were thought of!

I linked to a review of Eagleton's own recent book on 29th April. That reviewer noted Eagleton's superficial cleverness. A good example of it can be found in the last sentence of his review of the Paxton book.



The hysteria about childhood obesity is rising -- as this article shows. Obesity is a great discovery for the Left. It will NEVER be cured so they will be able to go on for years making nuisances of themselves over it.

Statistical expert John Lott Jr. sets out why California's virtual ban on electonic voting is just ignorant technophobia. Australia has paper voting only so I have no personal knowledge of alternatives but his claim that electronic voting is in fact more secure than paper voting seems reasonable to me. Voting security in Australia is a joke -- leading to Al Capone's famous saying "Vote early and vote often" being regarded as good election-day advice in some Australian Leftist circles. Rather like Pakistan.

From one who knows: "I was on Mr. Kerry's boat in Vietnam. He doesn't deserve to be commander in chief."

Steve Sailer tells us what few others will about Europe's Gypsy problem.

How odd! Many of the "ex-diplomat" critics of Tony Blair are so involved in businesses in Arab countries that they are known as the "Camel Corps". But none of them declared a conflict of interest, of course.

This very amusing but serious article by David Carr on the recently enlarged EU shows all by itself why "Samizdata" is such a popular blog.

Who armed Saddam? There is a great chart here showing that 57% of Saddam's arms imports came from Russia, 13% from France and 1% from the USA.

In his post of 28th April (no permalink) Snowball sets out a whole host of criticisms of the proposed ID card for the UK. There is opposition to national ID cards on both the Right and the Left but I must say that they seem a reasonable way of limiting fraud to me. Perhaps I am not paranoid enough.

Icelandic blogger Willy Sutton has now started a separate blog for what he calls "visual economics". See here. It's a good idea to show the follies of socialism in pictorial form and he does have some good pictures.

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

All politicians seek power but conservatives bring with them a genuine concern for the welfare of their country. Leftists bring only their hate-filled Stalinist hearts and their pretend compassion

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