What is an American liberal?

In recent discussions about political ideologies with a friend, we talked of labels for left-wing, progressives. He believes the proper term for what many call liberal is Marxist. I argue that few people in our contemporary culture understand the meaning of Marxist, but many recognize the term liberal—if only that somehow it’s the opposite of conservative.

The importance of these concepts, or perceptions, is that they now irrevocably separate Americans and force us toward the greatest disunion since 1861. We are not “one nation, indivisible”—this myth was promoted to justify the War Between the States brought upon us by Lincoln and his Republican Party.

Incidentally, I believe that most modern Americans who follow our political divides understand that Republican does not necessarily indicate conservative. Many claim to be, but few hold to Goldwater principles. And, of course, Republican is a political party not a philosophy. Then, there are libertarians that seem to stand on both sides of the political spectrum. But this is a topic for another time.

So, are liberals really Marxists? To help answer that, we first need to define the term Marxist. According to my American Heritage Dictionary, Marxists follow the political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx (1818-1883), a utopian German revolutionary, and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), a German socialist. Their beliefs are called Marxism. They wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848). Marx was behind the labor union movement. Engels helped popularize Marx’s ideas and financed his subversive activities.

These Germans promoted the theory that “class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.” Further, Marxism was expanded by Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), a Russian who led the Bolshevik Revolution and was the first head of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. Lenin’s idea that capitalism resulted in imperialism has been called Marxism-Leninism. People who follow this concept are Marxists-Leninists.

So what, Smith? Well, these and other destructive ideologues have spread their bad ideas around the world appealing to reactionary utopians. Some scholars believe that American progressivism started in the 1880s. Then, there is another “ism” that must be included in this discussion: fascism.

In his book Liberal Fascism Jonah Goldberg writes that fascism always has been “a phenomenon of the left.” While many scholars have not agreed upon a definition for fascism, he thinks it is a “secular religion”—why Al Gore and other radical environmentalists have labeled man-made climate warming skeptics Holocaust deniers. Goldberg connects “the refurbished edifice of American Progressivism”: liberalism, he writes, “is in fact a descendent and manifestation of fascism.”

He classifies these concepts genealogically. American “Progressivism was a sister movement of fascism, and today’s liberalism is the daughter of Progressivism,” but she’s not as ugly as her European relations.

One scholar has described the essence of fascism: “A mass movement that combines different classes but is prevalently of the middle classes (thus, the Left’s constant obsession with ‘The Middle Class’), which sees itself as having a mission of national regeneration (‘Hope and Change’), is in a state of war with its adversaries (the concocted ‘war on women’) and seeks a monopoly of power by using terror (e.g. the IRS), parliamentary tactics (federal executive action) and compromise to create a new regime, destroying democracy.”

Goldberg offers us a “working definition” of fascism: “Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including economy and religion, must be aligned to its objectives.”

Based on all this, I think so-called left-wingers, or Progressives in America would deserve the label: Liberal fascists. Much of their political actions and programs follow European models, including those initiated by Hitler, a German National Socialist; Stalin, a Russian Communist; and Mussolini, an Italian Fascist.

For more discussion on this topic, see the link below:



About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
This entry was posted in American Socialism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s