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Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of Liberal Fascism�75 The Wilsonian-Crolyite

progressive conception of�the individual's role in society would and should strike
any fairminded person of any tme liberal sensibility today as at least�disturbing
and somewhat fascistic. Wilson, Croly, and the vast bulk of�progressives would
have no principled objection to the Nazi conception of the Volksgemeinschaft #
"people's community,"�or national�community#or to the Nazi slogan about placing
"the common good�before the private good" Progressives and fascists alike were
explicitly indebted to Darwinism, Hegelianism, and Pragmatism to justify�their
worldviews. Indeed, perhaps the greatest irony is that according to most of the
criteria we use to locate people and policies on the�ideological spectmm in the
American context#social bases, demographics, economic policies, social welfare
provisions#AdolfHitler�was indisputably to Wilson's left.�This is the elephant in
the comer tnat inc Amencan left has never�been able to admit, explain, or
comprehend. Their inability and/or�refusal to deal squarely with this fact has
distorted our understanding of our politics, our history, and ourselves.
Liberals�keep saying�"it can't happen here" with a clever wink or an ironic smile
to insinuate that the right is constantly plotting fascist schemes.
Meanwhile,�hiding in plain sight is this simple fact: it did happen here, and
it�might very well happen again. To see the threat, however, you must�look over
your left shoulder, not your right.�