Science is not alone when it comes to dumbing down by popularization. For those indisposed to read the Bible for its prose, kid's television has upchucked 'Veggie Tales , in which Jonah, born again as a stalk of talking asparagus , repeats his voyage of chastisement, and Daniel the articulate turnip ( or is he the walking rutabaga?) emerges still crunchy from the Fiery Furnace.
Nor are ideologies immune. Jonah Goldberg of National Review is all over the map hawking a book with a cover logo so far in advance of its contents as to make reading it moot-- it's vexiligous enough to serve as as the national flag of the People's Republic Of Liebensraumia in some dark Alternative Universe.
Its iconic novelty betrays Liberal Fascism's failure to acknowledge its pedigree. Goldberg is a prolific columnist at the magazine Bill Buckley founded, one that has drifted as far from its moorings as The American Mercury did in the decades after the acerbic H.L.Mencken's demise, witness NR's link to this self celebration of the book by its author-- Goldberg's blog is a review of his book's bad reviews by his admirers:
“The We Already Know This Canard”
From a reader:
Mr. Goldberg: I’ve finally figured out what I find so unsatisfying about the complaints.... the standard practice when reviewing a book that is allegedly derivative or unnecessary is to recommend the acknowledged authoritative book on the subject. Funny that in all the reviews I’ve read of LF I haven’t seen a single one that suggested an alternative book to read on the subject of Progressivism and fascism..."
This whitewash does not quite wash, for though the fan letter continues :
"This is a very good point. Since I can say with pretty much total certainty that there is no other single book that comes close to collecting all of these facts in one place," you would think some honest liberal reviewers would say “Goldberg’s all wrong on his interpretation of the facts, but these things are worth knowing.”
, a commenter at Taki's Magazine points out :
" Leftism Revisited by the late Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. Doubtless young Jonah overlooked this book and its author. After all he [R. v.K-L] was just some PhD Austrian fellow employed as the European correspondent for the National Review for about thirty years! As Jonah might say, Who Knew? The book... is magisterial, well researched and footnoted with with original sources. It is in short, everything that Liberal Fascism is not. Of course, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn had the advantage of both knowing what Fascism was and having met a lot of actual Fascists. "
That's putting it mildly, since Jonah relegates to an end-note Ritter von Kunelt -Leddihn, an astonishingly erudite D. Mult. who addresed my Institute of Politics seminar at Harvard in the 70's. He awoke one unfortunate morning to find his modest Tirolean castle impaled on the proverbial Axis, commandeered by Germans overrunning the Alps to join their Italian buddies following the Anchluss.