Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jonah Goldberg, Almost Right, but Dead Wrong

The American Conservative's Scott Galupo debunks the neocon's latest book — Clichés of Tyranny. An excerpt:
    The big argument of The Tyranny of Clichés is that liberals’ misuse of terms like “ideology” and “pragmatism,” and their lazy reliance on empty phrases like “social justice,” “diversity,” and “community” are part of a deceptive agenda to “expand and enhance the State’s mastery over our lives.” An ideology, if you will, that refuses to speak its name.

    There’s a problem of coherence here: several of Goldberg’s examples of liberal clichés—“Power corrupts,” “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer,” “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” “Violence never solves anything”—may easily be interpreted as expressions of anti-statism. There’s also the fact that in a policy environment where a purportedly liberal U.S. president keeps his own personal terrorist “kill list,” and at a time when a scandalously high number of Americans are in jail, Goldberg’s worry over such influences is unwarranted and more than a little puzzling.

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