Was the founder of fascism a fascist?

Jonah Goldberg says no.

Do I get three guesses?

Ross Douthat thinks that people should actually ready Liberal Fascism before criticizing it. But really, once you know that Goldberg thinks that it was unfair to call Mussolini a fascist, what more do you need to know? I think I’ll save my money and buy an actual, you know, book.


Mussolini was born a socialist, he died a socialist, he never abandoned his love of socialism, he was one of the most important socialist intellectuals in Europe and was one of the most important socialist activists in Italy, and the only reason he got dubbed a fascist and therefore a right-winger is because he supported World War I.

Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars gets this one right:

Um, actually, not so much. Mussolini was dubbed a fascist because he founded the Fascist Party.

Is there absolutely no limit on how clueless and intellectually dishonest you can be while still remaining a respected “conservative” commentator, in the current, debased sense of the word “conservative”? Guess not.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com