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Thursday, October 15, 2009
The cultural Right
Anyone else bored with Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism? It's a decent book, especially when touching on Woodrow Wilson, but it's led to an epidemic of pick-n-choose Conservatives trying to cast the Nazis as belonging to the Left. This is an embarrassment, or should be. I think even Goldberg himself has to be tired of his fans citing that book.
People should put the Nazis, and other political phenomena, in a background of culture. For instance, John Derbyshire in NRO has said this: "Barack Obama was raised in an atmosphere of cultural Marxism". This is not a controversial statement among Conservatives (or Marxists). It shouldn't be controversial to anybody.
But if there is such a thing as cultural Marxism; then one can hardly object when we posit that there is also a cultural far Right...
Say we take a snapshot in time, to Weimar Germany. The most authentic reactionary party there and then was the German Nationalists. They didn't get a lot of votes but they owned the military's ex-officer corp, the landowners, ... the aristocracy basically.
It pleased the Nationalists, in March 1933, to throw their support alongside the Nazis to get Chancellor Hitler his Parliamentary majority. With that, "first they came for the Communists" and, you know the rest. To put it another way, the right-wingers in Germany looked around and they found the most congenial major party to their Weltanschauung to be - the Nazis.
The Nazis were trolling for support among right-wingers as long ago as that Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 - alongside Ludendorff the war hero.
The cultural far Right is not a Liberal myth; it is an inevitability on any bell-curve of political thought. It is, further, susceptible to Nazi arguments. If right-wingers at the time are telling you they're cool with Nazi rule, you should pay attention... not cover your eyes and wish Jonah Goldberg would come hold your hand.
On the far Right's own terms, a Mencius Moldbug might argue the Nationalists should have ignored the Nazis, and taken over the state themselves "to restore order". The Night of the Long Knives would then have taken out Hitler alongside all his SA buddies. Instead the Nationalists decided to follow another path, maybe because they figured it was easier. This path to the Dark Side has a name: Tory democracy. In Moldbug's words, "
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