Wednesday, 16 January 2008

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About the Previous Liberal Fascism "Post" ... Wasn't meant to be one. Was what professional bloggers call a "draft." Now that I think about it, that is what "professional" bloggers call a "post": blustery quotations, predictable sarcasm and no original thought. I'm no professional blogger. But Jonah Goldberg is! You no doubt wonder why I continue to bother with this intellectual fraud. Has something to do with finishing the dissertation, with all the crossing of t's and dotting of i's I've performed these past few months. Bothers me someone could write something so crassly opportunistic and demand it be taken seriously. Bothers me more some people will oblige. Goldberg bathes in the adulation of those who know no better. Attend to the plaudits of the proud anti-intellectual! Witness the alexipharmic email he published this evening! You're a guy looking at two fish saying, "They're the same thing: fish." [Michael Ledeen]'s the specialist in ichthyology saying, "Nice try, but please. But this is a carp and the other is a haddock. The differences may be enumerated thusly ... " That carp are freshwater fish and haddock saltwater matters not! "Both are fish," Goldberg opines, "and should be treated as such. All that is required to raise either is a saltwater tank and some fish food. What do you mean, have I raised them myself? They're both fish. All they need is fish-food and saltwater. Are you some kind of expert or something?" When informed that his interlocutor is an expert, instead of demurring, Goldberg takes comfort in the ignorance of his readers. They know carp and haddock are both fish. They know all carp and haddock (being fish) need is fish-food and saltwater. "What," they demand, "could an ichthyologist possibly add to the conversation?" To which the ichthyologist rejoins, "Fewer dead fish. Better smelling tank. Cleaner filters. Edible food." Only expertise renders his opinion suspect. Experts distinguish when they should simplify. Imagine the headlines in Goldberg's ideal republic: "Anti-Anti-Fascists Lose Teeth," New York Times, 16 February 2008 A new and grotesque method of asserting their authority [has] been adopted by the Anti-Fascisti at The Corner. Entering apartments, they force residents to utter the national cry, "All Fish Are Fish, Are Fish, Are Fish!" Those who refuse to obey have some of their sound teeth pulled out. Would that my dissertation could "rise" to Adam Bellow's "high" standards ...

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