The Modern Progressive Movement
In 2009 Jonah Goldberg wrote a seminal exploration of the liberal tendency towards totalitarianism. His book Liberal Fascism provides an excellent analysis of the historical underpinnings of the modern progressive movement. The Spectator summarizes Goldberg’s purpose for writing the book:
Goldberg’s purpose is not to argue that liberals are bad people, still less that they’re all closet fascists. But he does want them to realise that people in glass houses are scarcely in the ideal position to throw stones. ‘I’m not a big believer in guilt by association. But their lack of self-awareness about the demons in their own midst is really astounding.’
It is certainly true that not all liberals or progressives are fascists. However, there are some liberals who do push forward a totalitarian perspective. Progressive University of Toronto professor Mark Kingwell penned a column in the Globe and Mail recently to discuss the violent protests in the United States over the last two weeks:
Why don’t we acknowledge that political belief is also an aspect of human behaviour in need of external control?
Yet Kingwell starts his screed with an unsupported attack on the Trump administration:
in addition to revealing the extreme moral vacuity of the current White House.
Curbs on speech and strict rules of engagement – no interruptions, no slogans, no talking points – may be the right answer here. We already, in this country, ban hateful speech. Let’s go farther and insist on discourse rules, limits on public outrage and aggressively regulated social media. We could even ban media panel discussions.
works to ensure that any limits are reasonable and strictly necessary.
Limit indulgence in the cup of conviction; let’s have more constraint, less conversation. That’s your path to a stable future, friends – by not trying to be friends.