From Austin Bramwell's review of Goldberg's Liberal Fascism in The American Conservative:
For all his striving for theoretical sophistication, Goldberg manages to come off as something of a philistine. He treats the great philosophers less as thinkers than as figurines to be arranged on a chessboard, each capable of one or two moves. Thus Herder stands for nationalism, Hegel for the divination of the State, William James for the denial of truth, John Dewey for social engineering, Nietzsche for nihilism, and so forth. (Oddly, Goldberg reserves his most curt disdain for those theorists, such as Joseph de Maistre and Carl Schmitt, who faced the truth the most fearlessly.) These names do not lend Liberal Fascism gravitas so as much overweigh it with an importance it cannot bear.
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To be fair, Goldberg did not come up with his ideas about liberalism on his own. He is a quintessential second-generation conservative, a man who grew up in the movement and chose to make his career within it. Nearly all the authors in the movement’s recommended reading list—Richard Weaver, Eric Voegelin, Robert Nisbett, Allan Bloom—appear in Liberal Fascism’s footnotes. Not surprisingly, the silliest and most extravagant arguments in his book are also the most conventional, at least to anyone familiar with the ideology of movement conservatism.
Indeed, Liberal Fascism reads less like an extended argument than as a catalogue of conservative intellectual clichés...
Goldberg falsely saddles liberalism not just with relativism but with all manner of alleged errors having nothing to do with liberalism. At one point, he exhumes the likes of Derrida and Foucault in order to pummel them once more for introducing postmodernism, deconstruction, and other continental horrors into the world. What this tiresome routine has to do with liberalism escapes the reader. From the outset, liberals opposed these fads as fiercely as conservatives. Just ask Ronald Dworkin or Brian Leiter. Goldberg, like many movement conservatives, grossly overestimates the influence of postmodernism, doubtless because avowed nihilists make such good straw men (if not good theater, as Derrida and Foucault well knew)...
In the meantime, one can make out three reasons for calling liberals the true fascists. First, Goldberg points out that liberalism and fascism have many elements in common. Both fascists and liberals favor a minimum wage, an expansive social safety net, heavy regulation of industry, and redistributive taxation, but stop short of advocating the abolition of private property. Both scorn constitutional limits on government, indulge in economic populism, and see the working classes as their natural constituencies. Both distrust bourgeois values and traditional religion. On these points and others, Goldberg observes, not only do liberalism and fascism agree, but they reject the ideology of the American conservative movement.
That liberalism and fascism happen to overlap is not surprising. One can find just as many similarities between fascism and movement conservatism: both assail communism, exaggerate security threats, rationalize wars of aggression, and uphold nationalism (what sentimentalists call patriotism) and its symbols (flags, founding myths, worship of national heroes). Nothing in logic compels the ideas of liberalism, fascism, or movement conservatism to cohere into a system. On the contrary, creative theorists can mix sundry political ideas as freely as the ingredients of a cocktail. Given the vast range of questions to which competing ideologies purport to provide answers, the real surprise would be if any two ideologies had nothing in common at all.
Goldberg nonetheless sees ideologies as discrete wholes. He makes much of his discovery, for example, that the Nazis supported organic farming and animal rights and even goes so far as to admonish us to "grapple with the fact that we've seen this sort of thing before." Readers can spare themselves the energy. That Nazism and contemporary liberalism both promote healthy living is as meaningless a finding as that bloody marys and martinis may both be made with gin. Repeatedly, Goldberg fails to recognize a reductio ad absurdum. He tells us that Himmler bemoaned the Christian persecution of witches, just like Wiccan feminists do today, that Hitler once described his doctrine as "reality-based," just like today's progressives describe theirs, and that Mussolini was quite smart "by the standards of liberal intellectuals today." In no case does Goldberg uncover anything more ominous than a coincidence.
Too many people often divvy up the world into essentialistic groups, and if they can identify you with group A they conclude you must have all the features of group A. Typical fallacy of division: You're a Republican, therefore you must hate gays, reject science, and irrationally devote your life to an invisible man in the sky. Because if the party does these things then you must also, right?
They then expand this to the claim that any overlap between groups is an identity relationship. If you find similarities between groups, then you've shown that they are the same group, and you can then proceed to use the fallacy of division again. Therefore Hillary Clinton is a communist, George Bush is a Nazi, Richard Dawkins is a fundamentalist, and anyone who opposes the war is one of the terrorists. QED.