Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shallow and cliche-ridden

-- by Dave

This just in:
Ezra also credits David Neiwert whose review is exactly the sort of shallow, cliche ridden, attack- the-messenger stuff that I would expect Ezra to find so persuasive. More on that in a moment. But I find it hilarious that the part Ezra thought sufficiently profound to highlight was, in part, the bit where Neiwert insists that the fascist threat remains on the right and in particular that there's a threat of "totalitarianism" from "dogmatic individualists."


Neiwert, what with all of his credentials and seriousness might want to explain how a dogmatic individualist can be a totalitarian, since totalitarian in the academic literature he so esteems defines totalitarianism as anti-individualism. Totalitarianism is about trying to define the lives of others through state power. Individualists might be bad or wrong or selfish, but they aren't any of those things because, again, they're frick'n individualists! Anyway, more on Neiwert's review after I deal with some deadlines. It should be fun.

Indeed. I'm breathless with anticipation.

But just to note: I don't call the neo-Nazis and white supremacists of the American proto-fascist right "dogmatic individualists." I call them "right-wing populists," who as I explain in the review "combine attacks on socially oppressed groups with grassroots mass mobilization and distorted forms of antielitism based on scapegoating." They are distinctly authoritarian in inclination, and what their populist pose disguises is that it is always a highly selective form of populism.

I'm sure Jonah will want to clear up that he's discussing Ezra's words, not mine.

UPDATE: Goldberg has indeed posted a nice correction, which is duly appreciated. Though I doubt that he'll like my review any better the second time around.

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