Friday, April 19, 2013

Liberal Fascism? / How could it happen...

Today, I happened to sit in an office where I took a book off the shelf.  It was titled "Liberal Fascism".  It can be found on Amazon here, where it has garnered over 600 reviews.  The average rating is 4 out of 5 stars.  On its cover it has a big yellow smiley with a Hitler mustache.  What was meant by this image was that in today's America we have in some liberalism an ideology not so far removed from fascism.   To be honest, I don't find the whole thing too far fetched in light of some of the reading we did earlier in the year. The subject matter dove-tails with what we've said about National Socialism, German philosophers  Wagner, and the New Religion of the Nazi's, in some posts earlier this year, and the subject still interests me.
Here is a quote  I wrote into my notebook:

"Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms... there are lifeless truths and vital lies... the force of an idea lies in its inspirational value.  It matters very little if it's true or false."

This is a quote found in the book from another book "Mobilizing America", 1917 by Arthur Bullard.  Well, it's not too current but it fits into this first and second world war period.  Hitler would have loved the saying, in any case.

The concept is called the Sorelian doctrines of the "vital lie."  (Who or was is Sorelian?-- I see now there lived a French philosopher George Sorel, who dealt with the "power of the myth".  Wikipedia mentions this about him:  .He did not absorb and systematize the ideas of others but analyzed and reacted to all that he read. Original in his thought, he was an intellectual eccentric and very nearly a crank.)

In another paragraph was a discussion about the reading of texts.  It does not longer matter what the text is trying to say, but only how the reader reacts to it.  This is pretty much the same message as the quote above.     If it only matters whether an idea inspires or not, it does not matter whether it is true, then content does not matter as much as how someone reacts to it.  Manipulation is king?  The myth is good for manipulation.  People will believe very big lies, Hitler said.

I have met people on the internet who think this way.  They have even hounded me to give up a literal reading of the Bible.  They have called me names and been rude.   The problem is the Bible does not become less true by someone bashing it. And your and my sin does not get whiter by mushing everything into some sort of "oneness", and grace is not "hate", against all what some want to say about radicalism and anarchy.  However, the Bible is seen fit to use as myth.

Another book intrigues me.  The Nation  Post Saturday edition featured an article "How Literature saved my life" by David Shields.  Apparently is actually about how literature did NOT save his life.  He also wrote a book "Reality Hunger" seemingly about how we have so much fiction we are looking for facts and biographical material.

The Bible is biographical and historical.

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