Bossy Liberals and Fascism: 100 years war

This 13,000 word PDF download  BLF Essay 110617 is a four-part study in the history, ideas and current picture of the opposition between Fascism, authoritarianism and their clearest opponents, the Bossy Liberals. It is a beefier and wider account of the issues which lie behind the phenomenon of the Auto-liberal who is so important to modern politics.

The essay’s sections:

Bossy Liberals and Fascism Part 1: What Fascism was and wasn’t
Bossy Liberals and Fascism Part 2: Imagined contemporary fascisms
Bossy Liberals and Fascism Part 3: The conflicted Liberal history
Bossy Liberals and Fascism Part 4: The rise and fall of the Bossy Liberal

What the essay says
My “Big Idea” is that 21st Century Bossy Liberals wrongly identify their populist political foes as authoritarian and, worse, as Fascist.

Along the way, I propose that Bossy Liberals betray (have always betrayed) the core feature of Classical Liberalism: its attempt at empathy for everyone; and that 100 years ago, Fascism’s supporters mostly had a reasonable fear that liberal democracy would let them down.

I insist that in the 21st Century most ordinary populist opinion – that of the mythic White Van Man in the UK, or the Flyover States Redneck in the US – is not Fascist, or even “authoritarian” (though it is unsurprisingly bitter). Indeed, the WVM or FSR are often remarkably true to Classical Liberal ideals and it is the Bossy Liberals who are curiously authoritarian (as well as being infuriatingly smug).

Fascism and liberalism know themselves to be polar opposites. The evidence, however, shows that most supporters of Fascism were not half as stupid or wicked as is usually assumed and I argue that Bossy Liberals are not half as clever or virtuous as they think.

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Publication date

11 June 2017