Wednesday, December 26, 2007

To Lee Siegel: A Modest Proposal

Mr. Lee Siegel
c/o The New Republic
1331 H Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC, 20005

Dear Mr. Siegel,

No doubt you are aware of the impending publication of Jonah Goldberg's long-awaited and much-postponed monograph on the subject of liberal fascism. In fact, thoughout the book's long pre-history and frequent subtitle changes, the main title has remained Liberal Fascism, a remarkable instance of persistence for such a protean project.

While it is true that Goldberg's claim on the idea of liberalism as a form of fascism goes back several years, nevertheless you were the first to actually achieve publication of the idea in your online article "The Origins of Blogofascism", as well as accomplishing the notable feat of coining the word "blogofascism" itself. (By the way, in the course of composing this post I've discovered that "The Origins of Blogofascism" is no longer available on The New Republic's website. You may want to alert them to this dismaying technological mishap.) Of course, one might argue that the term "blogofascism" doesn't necessarily apply only to liberals. The proper response is to note that in your seminal article on the phenomenon, you cited Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, founder of the liberal blog Daily Kos, as the definitional example of a blogofascist, pointing out his "rootlessness" and his three-year hitch in the US Army as proof of the essentially fascistic nature of his personality.

Given the widespread notoriety evinced by your explication of this phenomenon, it seems to me that your own intellectual precedence on the topic of liberal fascism is beyond dispute. That being the case, I think it behooves you to speak up on this subject. You need to remind the world that Goldberg's work is nothing more than a rehash of concepts that were pioneered by yourself. At the very least, you ought to be entitled to a notice within the pages of Liberal Fascism acknowledging your own contribution to the idea's intellectual pedigree. If you're willing to kick up enough of a fuss, you could even browbeat Goldberg into offering you co-author status. Heck, if you play your cards right, you could even parlay your prior claim to this particular piece of intellectual property into a book deal with Doubleday of your own, a companion piece to Goldberg's book called Liberal Blogofascism: The Secret History of the Left Blogosphere from Mussolini to Markos Moulitsas. I picture the front cover as having a smiley emoticon with a Hitler mustache. (Yes, I know you already have a book deal with Doubleday, but a man can never have too many book deals.)

According to, Goldberg's book is (currently) due out on January 8, so you're going to have to act quickly if you want it to properly reflect your intellectual contribution.

Best of luck,
Johnny Pez

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