Neiwert the Leftist intellectual lightweight

I have had a bit of fun with David Neiwert (aka "Orcinus") in the past (See here and here, for example) so I was interested to see what his attack on Jonah Goldberg was like. I didn't think Jonah had much to fear and I was right. Jonah has fisked him pretty thoroughly by now (See here and here, for example) so I will just note that Neiwert presents a wholly typical example of Leftist argument -- abuse followed by distortions so great that they can only be called completely dishonest.

Look at how Neiwert starts out his review of Jonah's book:
It might be tempting to throw Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning into those same cloacal backwaters, but there is an essential difference that goes well beyond the likely much broader reach of Goldberg's book, which was inexplicably published by a mainstream house (Doubleday). Most revisionists are actually historians with some credentials, and their theses often hinge on nuances and the interpretation of details.

Goldberg, who has no credentials beyond the right-wing nepotism that has enabled his career as a pundit, has drawn a kind of history in absurdly broad and comically wrongheaded strokes. It is not just history done badly, or mere revisionism. It's a caricature of reality, like something from a comic-book alternative universe: Bizarro history. The title alone is enough to indicate its thoroughgoing incoherence

It's just ad hominem abuse. No discussion of the facts, no reasoned argument. And it doesn't get much better further on. And what Neiwert in various places refers to as "false assumptions" are usually points which -- as Jonah has noted -- are fully documented in the book and are, as such, no assumptions at all. But Neiwert has apparently not read the documentation concerned. Criticizing what they have not read is a form of arrogance one often gets from Leftists -- as Charles Murray found. Perhaps Neiwert hopes that he will simply bluff us by his vocabulary: "cloaca" is the Latin word for a drain or a sewer.

Neiwert fancies himself as some sort of expert on Fascism and it was on that subject that I have shown his absurdity before. But he has learnt nothing. See his article on Fascism here. Its ignorance is literally staggering to anyone who knows the first thing about American political history. At the top of his page he has pictures of Rush Limbaugh and Father Coughlin, followed by the explanation: "Right wing political propagandists then and now: Father Coughlin, left, and Rush Limbaugh".

Coughlin was Right-wing??? Coughlin was a great fan of that hero of the American Left: FDR. Neiwert does know that much but goes on to say that Coughlin fell out with FDR. But he does not say WHY Coughlin went sour on FDR: Because FDR was not Leftist enough for him! Neiwert obviously has not a blind clue what he is talking about. I suspect that he just saw the title "Father" and assumed from that that Coughlin MUST have been a conservative Catholic of some sort. In fact, of course the church disapproved greatly of Coughlin's writings and broadcasts -- so much so that his bishop eventually shut him up and told him to return to normal pastoral duties.

I don't think I need to say much more. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Neiwert just cannot face the fact that the two great tyrannies of the 20th century -- Communism and Fascism -- were both Leftist: Different flavours of Leftism but thoroughly Leftist all the same. The fact that they eventually fought one-another should surprise no-one. Have you noticed much love between Hillary and Obama?

In fact, with his constant inspirational calls for national unity, Obama is eerily reminiscent of the Fascists. If he spoke German he might well be inclined to adopt as his slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer -- as Hitler did ("One nation, one government, one leader"). After all, right to the end most Germans saw Hitler as a warm and kindly father-figure. And if the ruthless power-seeker that is Hillary reminds you of Joe Stalin, don't blame me!

Put very briefly, the Fascists were (following Hegel) the "one big happy family" Left while the Communists were the deeply embittered "class war" Left. Hitler only hated the Jews. Marx, Trotksy, Lenin and Stalin hated just about everybody -- Marx particularly so. You can readily see why the two types of Leftist despised one-another.

I wonder does Neiwert know that Karl Marx himself was a virulent antisemite? If antisemitism makes Hitler a Rightist, then the author of the Communist Manifesto was also a Rightist! LOL! I think that thought might even explode Neiwert's tiny brain.

If you can't afford Jonah's book, there are three of my heavily-documented accounts of the Leftist origins of Fascism here and here and here. I would love it if Neiwert tried to debunk any of those articles. Why should Jonah have all the fun?

But, judging from his attack on Jonah, Neiwert might be struck dumb in trying to attack me. Neiwert seemed to think he had made a great point by saying that Jonah lacked academic credentials. He would have great difficulty in saying that about me. It shows how stupid credentialism is. In the end it is only the facts that count.

Posted by John Ray

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