Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Right-Wing Wind-Up Monkey du Jour

Luminous Monkey 01

Why, it's Jonah Goldberg, of course! Let's take a little wade in the intellectual kiddie pool:

What is fascinating here is not the sentiment, but what's missing from it. The P-word....

But what on Earth could he mean by unity other than a kind of patriotic esprit de corps for the good of his country? Indeed, patriotism is far, far preferable to mere unity. (Mafia syndicates and terrorist cells are unified, after all.) Patriotism is a species of unity that has some moral and philosophical substance to it....

One cannot credibly talk of love of country while simultaneously dodging the word and concept of patriotism. And, I would argue, one cannot sufficiently love one's country if you are afraid to say so out loud.
But while Patriotism is Good, any sense of national community is inherently fascist. And of course any substantive efforts toward national unity (other than war) are--yes, you guessed it--fascist. And when Democrats attempt to give substance to the thing called 'patriotism', those efforts are here derided by Goldberg as anti-patriotic ("a means of finding fault with...America itself").

The 'patriotism' Goldberg embraces is the familiar kind of content-free flag-waving we see all over the right; no surprise there. The entertainment comes in seeing him say "[p]atriotism is a species of unity that has some moral and philosophical substance to it" even as he explicitly rejects anything that might approach substance. It takes a special kind of wind-up monkey to do that.

(Hat tip: Steve M)