Remembering an Evening with Scalia: Textualism, Sandwiches, and Tomato Pie

 

A few years ago, Scalia spent an evening with our local chapter of the Federalist Society, giving a talk loosely based on his latest book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, with lively Q&A to follow.

I was in graduate school at the time – not law school – and I remember my first thought being, “Dress up. You know how lawyers are, and it’s not every day you meet a Supreme Court justice.” So wearing my best blouse and skirt, I arrived at the posh library hosting the event – and immediately proceeded to feel like a dirty hippie: Lawyers dress sharp. Conservative lawyers even more so – and even sharper for an occasion like this one. Though out of my element, and handicapped somewhat by lack of shorthand skills, I did manage to scribble down several notes and quotes, and I thought I’d share some of the more legible ones with you. As the course of the evening made clear, Scalia is an eminently quotable guy, so let’s start with his own words:

On Textualism:

“[People ask me,] ‘When did you become a textualist?’ – as if it’s a weird affliction. I don’t know how you read text without being a textualist. You should ask others, ‘When did you stop being a textualist?’”

On a DC-circuit challenge to the FDA, over hot dogs made with mechanically deboned chicken:

“I had to read a lot about hot-dog ingredients… ‘This case presents the opportunity to test both parts of Bismarck’s aphorism that no one should see how laws or sausages are made.’”

Speaking of sausage-making – on Supreme Court Nominations and Confirmation:

“They [nominees] vote the way they do because they are who they are. They are selected because they are who they are.”
“I have mixed feelings about the confirmation process: I abhor it.”
It’s “Like having a mini Constitutional convention every time you confirm a judge.”

On New Jersey Family Trees:

“Every Italian has an Uncle Vince” in Trenton, New Jersey.

Advice to Lawyers-to-Be:

“Don’t take [law courses labeled] Law and Anything,” whether it’s law and women, literature, etc… (Scalia wasn’t terribly fond of Law and Economics, either, as will probably become clear.)
“Go to a firm that will allow you to take care of your other responsibilities, such as family, church, citizenship… Don’t go to a ‘sweatshop’.”
Scalia added he prefers billing by the job rather than the hour.

On Substantive Due Process:

“Substantive due process is a contradiction in terms.”

On Grammar:

“I’ve always been a snoot – a stickler. My father was a stickler and used to correct the grammar of opinions on the DC circuit.”

On Deep-Dish Pizza:

Scalia enjoyed Chicago’s deep-dish pizza, “but it’s not pizza. It should be called ‘tomato pie’ or something.”

The first time I tried deep-dish pizza as a child, my reaction was also, “Yuck! This isn’t pizza.” Once I stopped thinking of it as pizza, though, it did taste pretty delicious. So my tastebuds agree with Scalia. The rest of me still wonders, though, whether insisting that deep-dish pizza is non-pizza fare is being a bit too much of a snoot, too much of a stickler. Which of us, after all, can expect to control the usage of the myriad souls (in Chicago alone!) who insist on calling this tomato pie “pizza”? What I didn’t know at the time is that this pizza-vs-tomato-pie distinction also reflected how Scalia felt about sandwiches, and divided opinions on sandwiches has been a matter of real legal controversy.

Though justices Posner and Scalia have often both been described as “conservative”, they differed radically on what should count as proper legal interpretation. In particular, Posner has been about as skeptical of the rectitude of textualism as Scalia was convinced of it, leading to a serious argument over whether the definition of “sandwich” should be strictly or loosely constructed:

Unsurprisingly, Posner and Scalia have differing opinions on the 2006 landmark burrito law case White City Shopping Center, LP v. PR Restaurants, LLC — more hilariously styled Panera v. Qdoba — in which a Massachusetts judge held that a burrito is not a sandwich. Panera, whose lease agreement with the White City Shopping Center prohibited the mall from renting to another sandwich vendor, could not prevent Qdoba from moving in and selling burritos.

Scalia applauds the decision; Posner is more skeptical. In particular, he doesn’t think the dictionary definition of sandwich used in the case (“two thin pieces of bread, usually buttered, with a thin layer (as of meat, cheese, or savory mixture) spread between them”) goes far enough.

“As is often the case, the court got the definition wrong,” Posner wrote,

A sandwich does not have to have two slices of bread; it can have more than two (a club sandwich) and it can have just one (an open-faced sandwich). The slices of bread do not have to be thin, and the layer between them does not have to be thin either. The slices do not have to be slices of bread: a hamburger is regarded as a sandwich, and also a hot dog—and some people regard tacos and burritos as sandwiches, and a quesadilla is even more sandwich-like. Dictionaries are mazes in which judges are soon lost. A dictionary-centered textualism is hopeless.

Another legal scholar, David Bernstein, sided with Scalia:

In my experience, “sandwich shops” like Corner Bakery don’t sell hamburgers, and I’d be very surprised if someone offered me a sandwich and then handed me a hamburger. I’d be even more surprised to be offered a hot dog. Tacos, burritos, and quesadillas seem even further removed from what I think of as a “sandwich.”

Sure, you can make lawyerly arguments as to why any or all of these constitute sandwiches, but that’s not the question. Rather, I’m wondering if contrary to my own understanding, Posner is right that hamburgers and hot dogs are “regarded” as sandwiches, and that “some people regard” tacos and burritos as sandwiches.

This seems especially pertinent because Posner is criticizing Scalia and his co-author Brian Garner for advocating reliance on dictionary definitions of words. One reason to rely on dictionary definitions is because they provide an objective baseline, as opposed to idiosyncratic judges’ notions of what words might mean, which in turn are subject to manipulation if a judge wants to rule in favor of a particular party for whatever reason. If Posner is wrong about what people “regard” as sandwiches, I think that would tend to buttress Scalia and Garner’s point that we’re better off relying on dictionary definitions than on less objective alternatives…

In turn, Scalia and Bernstein differed over whether Lochner was rightly decided. Bernstein makes the case that it was – and even wrote a book about it. When I asked Scalia about Lochner during the Q&A, he disagreed: Scalia believed Lochner was wrongly decided, so that it was right for the New Deal court to overturn it (in West Coast Hotel v Parrish, shortly after FDR had announced his court-packing scheme).

The economic rights that Lochner-era justices considered constitutionally protected were not, to Scalia’s mind, really protected by the Constitution, but instead were “novel economic rights”. If I recall correctly, the way Scalia put it is that the Constitution does not particularly favor any specific economic system, and that it’s the business of the legislature, not the courts, to decide what kind of economic system the United States should have. “Economics should have zero effect on judging laws unless you want judges to write laws,” Scalia elaborated, and he was “not in favor of seeing novel economic rights in the Constitution any more than seeing novel non-economic rights in the Constitution.” “I assume that only those rights that are explicitly protected are protected. All the rest are up to the people.”

I still have misgivings about this. I would rather we saw ourselves as citizens with unenumerated rights subject to a government of enumerated powers than as citizens with enumerated rights subject to a government of unenumerated powers, and the deference Scalia gave “the people” in the form of the legislature would seem at odds with this vision. I must admit, though, that a panoply of unenumerated rights isn’t terribly compatible with textualism, which relies on what is written down rather than what isn’t.

Of course, the Ninth Amendment explicitly says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” To this, Scalia replied that, while the Ninth Amendment was an expression of the Founders’ belief in natural law, it doesn’t mean that these unenumerated rights are ones the courts can be reasonably expected to enforce. (Again, “I assume that only those rights that are explicitly protected are protected. All the rest are up to the people.”)

On the whole, I’m inclined to agree with Dr Rahe that, textualism and all, Scalia “was, in fact, an old-fashioned New Deal Justice.” Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to have spent an evening with such a witty, warm, great-hearted man, and whatever Posnerian sentiments I might harbor toward sandwiches, I will forever think of deep-dish pizza as “tomato pie”.

There are 36 comments.

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  1. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Thanks for this Midge, great post. I love the Scalia quotes.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    An open-faced “sandwich” is no sandwich, else chipped beef on toast would be a sandwich, Adam and Eve on a raft would be a sandwich, and so would soup in a bread bowl.

    • #2
  3. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Richard Epstein’s thoughtful memorial to his friend Scalia contains a passage explaining in some detail Scalia’s passion against the Lochner decision:

    Richard Epstein:For Bork and Scalia, the watchword was judicial restraint. They believed that the Court should not embroil itself in political disputes unless there was a powerful and explicit textual warrant that supported an intervention. The most villainous Supreme Court decision of all, they believed, was Lochner v. New York (1905), which struck down a maximum hour law of ten hours per day and 60 hours per week. They saw it as representing the usurpation of power by an unwise court that had constituted itself as a “super legislature” that had the powers of both Congress and the states.

    I, meanwhile, have never thought that the Constitution explicitly mandates judicial restraint. Rather, the document contains a set of terse but broad procedural and substantive guarantees that should be given their ordinary meaning… subject to the usual rules of constitutional interpretation on such implied matters as the police power… That approach yields the same negative judgments of Goldberg and Roe that Scalia had long championed. But it requires, as David Bernstein has clearly shown, a very different view on Lochner, where New York’s effort to suppress bakery competition does not fall within the ambit of any acceptable police power justifications.

    • #3
  4. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Well done, MFR.

    • #4
  5. jpark Member
    jpark
    @jpark

    Thank you, Midge. He didn’t come to any of the Federalist Society chapters I have been with, but I have seen him at several of the Lawyers Conventions in DC. Always worth the price of admission, and a great loss. We don’t need another member of the living Constitution crowd on the Supreme Court.

    • #5
  6. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Thank you Midge. Great post and terrific quotes! And Main Feed!

    • #6
  7. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    “What I didn’t know at the time is that this pizza-vs-tomato-pie distinction also reflected how Scalia felt about sandwiches, and divided opinions on sandwiches has been a matter of real legal controversy.”

    Because grand juries can indict a ham sandwich?

    • #7
  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Percival:An open-faced “sandwich” is no sandwich, else chipped beef on toast would be a sandwich, Adam and Eve on a raft would be a sandwich, and so would soup in a bread bowl.

    The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    Still, as much as I agree with Posner that it’s perfectly reasonable for ordinary humans to regard hamburgers, sandwich wraps (possibly including burritos), and so forth as sandwiches, it doesn’t strike me as reasonable to interpret the anticompetitive lease agreement Panera had with the shopping center so broadly that any food vendor who did good trade in something that might be sandwiches should be excluded as a “sandwich vendor”.

    Qdoba styles itself as a Mexican grill, offering “bowls”, soup, and nachos in addition to more sandwichy items. (Of course, Panera offers non-sandwich items, too – including, hey, soup in a bread bowl.) Panera asked for special exemption from competition, and maybe nobody should feel bad for Panera if that exemption was interpreted more narrowly than Panera would have liked.

    • #8
  9. Penfold Member
    Penfold
    @Penfold

    Men who can give such impassioned opinions on the meaning of “sandwich” are what has made this country and its legal system the envy of the world.  (you figure out if this comment is sarcasm or not.  I can’t.)

    • #9
  10. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    “I still have misgivings about this. I would rather we saw ourselves as citizens with unenumerated rights subject to a government of enumerated powers than as citizens with enumerated rights subject to a government of unenumerated powers, and the deference Scalia gave “the people” in the form of the legislature would seem at odds with this vision. ”

    I’m with you on this, one hundred percent.  As for the compatibility of this with textualism, I believe Randy Barnett may have something to say about this in his upcoming book (assuming I’m not mis-remembering what he said in one of his recent talks).

    • #10
  11. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    For the same reason that political science is called science.

    As a long-time resident of Chicago in my youth, I thought of deep-dish as a kind of pizza. But with distance and years of life experience, I see that Justice Scalia is right: it’s yummy but it’s not pizza.

    • #11
  12. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Actually, Tomato Pie is a Trenton thing (Uncle Vince should have told him that). It’s basically pizza but the cheese is on the bottom and the sauce is on top.

    • #12
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Vance Richards:Actually, Tomato Pie is a Trenton thing (Uncle Vince should have told him that). It’s basically pizza but the cheese is on the bottom and the sauce is on top.

    Huh, a bit like deep-dish pizza, then.

    Giordano's_Deep_Dish_Pizza

    Maybe Uncle Vince did say something after all…

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    I dunno.  Why do New Yorkers put tomato sauce and cheese on a roof shingle and call that pizza?

    • #14
  15. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    That reminds me that there’s a tomato pie recipe I’ve been meaning to try…

    • #15
  16. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I still have misgivings about this. I would rather we saw ourselves as citizens with unenumerated rights subject to a government of enumerated powers than as citizens with enumerated rights subject to a government of unenumerated powers, and the deference Scalia gave “the people” in the form of the legislature would seem at odds with this vision. I must admit, though, that a panoply of unenumerated rights isn’t terribly compatible with textualism, which relies on what is written down rather than what isn’t.

    MFR, I fully agree with you larger point. However I take a different view than you on:  the deference Scalia gave “the people” in the form of the legislature would seem at odds with this vision.
    I think that the generalized term “legislature” of which Justice Scalia uses refers to the real-life collection of 50 state governments, and innumerable city and county councils, school boards etc. This is not a trivial distinction because under a Federal system legislative errors tend to self-correct over time as people look at outcomes in other states, and vote for change or in some cases leave. There is no real equivalent to these self-correction mechanisms for errors by SCOTUS.

    • #16
  17. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: To this, Scalia replied that, while the Ninth Amendment was an expression of the Founders’ belief in natural law, it doesn’t mean that these unenumerated rights are ones the courts can be reasonably expected to enforce. (Again, “I assume that only those rights that are explicitly protected are protected. All the rest are up to the people.”)

    It’s this attitude that led some to oppose a bill of rights.

    • #17
  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Limestone Cowboy:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I still have misgivings about this. I would rather we saw ourselves as citizens with unenumerated rights subject to a government of enumerated powers than as citizens with enumerated rights subject to a government of unenumerated powers, and the deference Scalia gave “the people” in the form of the legislature would seem at odds with this vision. I must admit, though, that a panoply of unenumerated rights isn’t terribly compatible with textualism, which relies on what is written down rather than what isn’t.

    MFR, I fully agree with you larger point. However I take a different view than you on: the deference Scalia gave “the people” in the form of the legislature would seem at odds with this vision.
    I think that the generalized term “legislature” of which Justice Scalia uses refers to the real-life collection of 50 state governments, and innumerable city and county councils, school boards etc. This is not a trivial distinction because under a Federal system legislative errors tend to self-correct over time as people look at outcomes in other states, and vote for change or in some cases leave. There is no real equivalent to these self-correction mechanisms for errors by SCOTUS.

    I see what you mean. But our court system – not even SCOTUS – didn’t spring ex nihilo from the Constitution alone. Our legal tradition was an inheritance from Mother England, and included a tradition of already recognizing rights not explicitly named in the Constitution. As Epstein observed, a lot of our law – even statutory law – is parasitic on the common law. Admittedly, I’m no lawyer. But I’m not sure that refusing to recognize that inheritance of rights just because not all of it was explicitly written down is such a good thing.

    • #18
  19. Reckless Endangerment Inactive
    Reckless Endangerment
    @RecklessEndangerment

    MFR, I understand your frustration with Scalia’s lack of appreciation for Lochner, lumping it in with cases like Obergefell and Roe. Scalia never distinguished between bad substantive due process and substantive due process done well. SDP “simply means judges will not sit back, ready to stamp the label of legitimacy on any measure passed with the support of the majority and trappings of legal procedure, that they will in fact act as judges by testing in a demanding way the rationale or justification for the law,” as I wrote not too long ago. Scalia’s reliance on deference to legislative majorities has an intuitive, formal appeal, especially coming from a judge, but ultimately fails to contend with the challenge of Leftist judges who argue for substantive ideals. On statutory interpretation, textualism and originalism is certainly the preference (and I think his lasting contribution). However, on constitutional matters, textualism and originalism fail to wrestle with Leftist critiques that only the natural law can reveal as justified or unjustified. The Constitution, as Nino would say, is silent on those matters.

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    It’s the same with leftwing fascism.  It’s not exactly like Mussolini fascism in any of its stages, or any of the other fascist movements of the 1930s.  But there are enough similarities that the term is informative about what you’re getting when you’re subject to leftwing fascism.

    • #20
  21. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I see what you mean. But our court system – not even SCOTUS – didn’t spring ex nihilo from the Constitution alone. Our legal tradition was an inheritance from Mother England, and included a tradition of already recognizing rights not explicitly named in the Constitution. As Epstein observed, a lot of our law – even statutory law – is parasitic on the common law. Admittedly, I’m no lawyer. But I’m not sure that refusing to recognize that inheritance of rights just because not all of it was explicitly written down is such a good thing.

    MFR, again I agree with this large point, but my smaller point is… at what governmental level should the undefined inherited rights be defined?  Take two (at some point) controversial issues, slavery and the Roe v Wade decision. The Constitution is  merely procedural on the first issue and silent on the second. Neither slavery nor abortion is explicitly sanctioned nor forbidden by common law. So, what happened?

    The democratic process of persuasion brought slavery to an end  as the world (mainly Great Britain) and later the United States acted decisively to end slavery, first through war and then through the Amendment process.

    But consider Roe v Wade, decided by SCOTUS without any grounding in either natural law or the text of the Constitution In his prescient dissent, Justice ByronWhite wrote

    “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. . . . As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”

    I have no doubt that the courts in Utah, or the voters in Montana would have reached an entirely different conclusion if not handcuffed by SCOTUS. And so, going on 45 years since that decision the nation is still roiled in controversy.

    So, again, I think you may have missed the nuance of Justice Scalia’s remarks.

    BTW, I really appreciate your crisp writing.

    • #21
  22. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Reckless Endangerment:MFR, I understand your frustration with Scalia’s lack of appreciation for Lochner, lumping it in with cases like Obergefell and Roe. Scalia never distinguished between bad substantive due process and substantive due process done well. SDP “simply means judges will not sit back, ready to stamp the label of legitimacy on any measure passed with the support of the majority and trappings of legal procedure, that they will in fact act as judges by testing in a demanding way the rationale or justification for the law,” as I wrote not too long ago. .

    Agreed!

    • #22
  23. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Limestone Cowboy:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I see what you mean. But our court system – not even SCOTUS – didn’t spring ex nihilo from the Constitution alone. Our legal tradition was an inheritance from Mother England, and included a tradition of already recognizing rights not explicitly named in the Constitution. As Epstein observed, a lot of our law – even statutory law – is parasitic on the common law. Admittedly, I’m no lawyer. But I’m not sure that refusing to recognize that inheritance of rights just because not all of it was explicitly written down is such a good thing.

    MFR, again I agree with this large point, but my smaller point is… at what governmental level should the undefined inherited rights be defined? Take two (at some point) controversial issues, slavery and the Roe v Wade decision. The Constitution is merely procedural on the first issue and silent on the second. Neither slavery nor abortion is explicitly sanctioned nor forbidden by common law…

    Well, there is at least a common-law tradition regarding abortion, even if it’s not super-definitive. The police power vested in each state has its roots in the common-law tradition. Homicide and family law fall under the jurisdiction of each state, and indeed, for a long time, abortion law (which is naturally related to questions of homicide and family regulation) was, in keeping with this tradition, a state matter.

    It seems to me that there’s a lot in our common-law inheritance telling us that abortion ought to be a matter for the states. So it seems to me that discovering this “new Constitutional right” to abortion would be made more difficult, not easier, by taking our common-law heritage into account.

    • #23
  24. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    The Reticulator:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    It’s the same with leftwing fascism. It’s not exactly like Mussolini fascism in any of its stages, or any of the other fascist movements of the 1930s. But there are enough similarities that the term is informative about what you’re getting when you’re subject to leftwing fascism.

    All Facism is left-wing.

    • #24
  25. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    Miffed White Male: All Facism is left-wing.

    Yes.

    • #25
  26. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Miffed White Male:

    The Reticulator:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    It’s the same with leftwing fascism. It’s not exactly like Mussolini fascism in any of its stages, or any of the other fascist movements of the 1930s. But there are enough similarities that the term is informative about what you’re getting when you’re subject to leftwing fascism.

    All Facism is left-wing.

    For very special definitions of leftwing, I suppose.

    • #26
  27. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    The Reticulator:

    Miffed White Male:

    The Reticulator:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    It’s the same with leftwing fascism. It’s not exactly like Mussolini fascism in any of its stages, or any of the other fascist movements of the 1930s. But there are enough similarities that the term is informative about what you’re getting when you’re subject to leftwing fascism.

    All Facism is left-wing.

    For very special definitions of leftwing, I suppose.

    Not really.  Ever read “Liberal Fascism”?

    • #27
  28. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Miffed White Male:

    The Reticulator:

    Miffed White Male:

    The Reticulator:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The funny thing about open-faced sandwiches is that their very name announces they’re a kind of sandwich. Why are they called a kind of sandwich? Shrug. Why is deep-dish pizza called pizza?

    It’s the same with leftwing fascism. It’s not exactly like Mussolini fascism in any of its stages, or any of the other fascist movements of the 1930s. But there are enough similarities that the term is informative about what you’re getting when you’re subject to leftwing fascism.

    All Facism is left-wing.

    For very special definitions of leftwing, I suppose.

    Not really. Ever read “Liberal Fascism”?

    No.  I was too irritated with Jonah Goldberg since I had been using the term leftwing fascism for years before that, and he used the term “liberal” instead of leftwing.  I think I was making making notes on instances of leftwing fascism about the time he became a teenager.  (Although back in those first few years, I, too, still used the term “liberal.”  Up until the time of the Bork hearings.)

    I’m not aware that he made the claim that all fascism is left-wing.  I would not have.

    • #28
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Reticulator: No. I was too irritated with Jonah Goldberg since I had been using the term leftwing fascism for years before that, and he used the term “liberal” instead of leftwing.

    Goldberg got the phrase from the works of H. G. Wells.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Percival:

    The Reticulator: No. I was too irritated with Jonah Goldberg since I had been using the term leftwing fascism for years before that, and he used the term “liberal” instead of leftwing.

    Goldberg got the phrase from the works of H. G. Wells.

    Now you’ve got my interest.  Do you happen to know where?

    • #30

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