Speaking of word thieves

Jonah Goldberg correctly nails one of his critics, whose common, but erroneous criticism depends entirely on American intellectual parochialism:

Then there’s the omnipresent canard that I must be wrong because of fascism’s “overwhelming anti-liberalism.” Neiwert is again displaying either his ignorance or his dishonesty. It is absolutely true that a great many academic definitions — Ernst Nolte’s “fascist negations” for example — cite fascism’s anti-liberalism. And it is true that Mussolini and Hitler spoke of their disdain for liberalism many times, and there are many quotes to that effect. But guess what? These two European statesmen were speaking in — wait for it! — a European context where liberalism generally means limited government: classical or “Manchester” liberalism. They were most emphatically not talking about progressivism or socialism, which are the correct label for American liberalism and/or the American left (as I demonstrate at length in my book).

This argument about fascism being “anti-liberal” has popped up in the comments here as well. It’s not actually a coherent argument so much as it’s a profession of historical ignorance. Imagine how confused educated-but-ignorant left-wingers of the future are going to be once both “conservative” comes to mean socialism as well as “liberal”.