The purpose of Beck’s documentary was to link modern progressivism to the abhorrent violence the world saw under communism in the 20th century. Beck’s intention is to undercut the current administration and very idea of progressivism — or at least what he claims is progressivism — by associating them with the strong emotional rejection people have to the Holocaust and Soviet pogroms, making them radioactive, something to be feared and abhorred.
But what Maloy doesn’t accept is that Beck is right to do so. This doesn’t mean that modern progressives necessarily want to slaughter their opposition; however, they are in the same ideological camp as their more bloodthirsty communist (and fascist) cousins.
As I’ve written, in the documentary Beck sought to show his audience that too many Americans admire leftist totalitarian mass murderers and too many Americans don’t know about the horrors these merciless killers have inflicted on humanity.
This tolerance of brutal leftist monsters allows today’s progressives, whose ideas have the same intellectual pedigree as communism and fascism, to get away with murder, so to speak. In other words, this permissive environment allows left-wingers to openly flaunt their admiration of brutal mass murderers such as Che Guevara and Mao Zedong without getting called on it. People wear Che and Mao tee shirts and no one cares. (See related Nick Gillespie blog entry at Reason)
Beck believes people should care. He believes this failure to challenge the ugly misanthropic ideas represented by mass murderers like Che and Mao in a sense confers a degree of respectability on leftism in general.
Again, he’s right.
Media Matters and other leftists are also beside themselves because he makes Jonah Goldberg a centerpiece of the documentary.
Beck brought on Goldberg in an effort to undermine the myth that conservatives and libertarians are somehow ideologically related to fascism and its Hitlerian variant, Nazism.
Leftists like to think that Nazism and fascism in general are phenomena of the political right. From their perspective, it is a useful belief because it allows them to smear rightists. It allows them to denounce anything and everything even remotely connected to the right, because after all, they say the right is the home of fascism — and fascism is evil.
In his groundbreaking work Liberal Fascism, Goldberg pulverized this idea that Hitler was a man of the right. Goldberg notes that
[Hitler’s] social agenda was for expanding universal access to health care, for expanding access to education. It was for cradle to grave welfare estate. It was for attacking big business and high finance. People say, “Well, Hitler abolished labor unions, he was a right-wing then.” Well, how did labor unions do under Stalin? How are labor unions doing under Fidel Castro? Almost anything you can find on a checklist that allegedly proves Hitler was a right-winger, you can apply to almost any one of the communist dictators of the 20th century and the similarities are almost identical.
You can see why the self-described progressives at Media Matters might be upset at Beck.