Saturday, December 29, 2007
No saviour for our sakes, to twist the internees of hate:

Yes, according to Jonah Goldberg, the American Legion are fascists:

It's also necessary to note that the American Legion was born under inauspicious circumstances during the hysteria of World War I in 1919. Although it is today a fine organization with a proud history, one cannot ignore the fact that it was founded as an essentially fascist organization.

But how can an "essentially fascist" organization have a "proud history"? And what does the American Legion think of such a characterization? THFTNR will find out.

--Spencer Ackerman
While "Fascist" is too strong, Jonah's actually on relatively firmer ground here. The American Legion was founded as a right-wing veteran's organization on the model of the German "freikorps" veterans groups which served as incubators for the sort of nationalist and millitarist ideology and tactics which the Nazis would later perfect. AL members fought with labor unions and even got in vigilante shoot-outs with the IWW in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, they were an essentially CONSERVATIVE group, opposed to labor unions and other progressive causes.

Of course, the group has evolved into the benign veteran's social club and chraritable organization it is today. Jonah acknowledges this, and being Jonah, doesn't realize that in doing so, he undermines his entire thesis. By acknowledging that instituions with illiberal roots can evolve into benign or positive liberal institions he undercuts his own claim that progressivism has fascist roots (it doesn't but let's play along) and that while it's substantially different today, it's still fundamentally fascist.
Blogger Unknown | 12:17 PM

Didn't World War I end in 1918?
Blogger swainscheps | 5:33 AM