Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Truer than he knew

In the above Bloggingheads clip, Crooked Timber's Henry Farrell (paired with Daniel Drezner) explains why it's not necessary to have read Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism to criticise it, with the high point being the line that since Jonah pretended to research the book, at most one is obligated to pretend to read it.

As he says, there's a similar tendency of the Lyndon LaRouche supporters to claim that the truth is revealed if only people would read his books, yet one knows that it's only paranoid rantings in there.

Such as

The anti-democratic bureaucratic managerial overclass that liberals seek to install at home and abroad is grotesquely elitist. The divinization of a Supreme Court that is allowed to sift through foreign laws to discover new meanings in our own constitution; the arrogance of the transnational elites at Davos and the Clinton Global initiative, the constant desire to outsource our sovereignty to the UN

Except that's not LaRouche. It's Goldberg defending his book from David Neiwert, in one of the most ADHD-afflicted screeds you'll ever see. But he's a serious intellectual whose editor is Saul Bellow's son. These collapsing financial markets don't know the half of what has happened to the USA.

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