September 20, 2010

"Unfortunately, most Americans know little of this progressive history. It isn't taught in most high schools."

Asserts The Nation:
You can't find it on the major television networks or even on the History Channel. Indeed, our history is under siege. In popular media, the most persistent interpreter of America's radical past is Glenn Beck, who teaches viewers a wildly inaccurate history of unions, civil rights and the American left. Beck argues, for example, that the civil rights movement "has been perverted and distorted" by people claiming that Martin Luther King Jr. supported "redistribution of wealth." In fact, King did call for a "radical redistribution of economic power." Using his famous chalkboard, Beck draws connections between various people and organizations, and defines them as radicals, Marxists, socialists, revolutionaries, leftists, progressives or social justice activists—all of which leads inexorably to Barack Obama.
A proffered remedy in the form of a list: "The 50 Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century."

197 comments:

shoutingthomas said...

God, those old Stalinists at The Nation never give up.

Some things are so stupid and useless that you wonder how they survive from generation to generation.

The Nation is at the top of the list.

HDHouse said...

Oh there you go again...Glen Beck deserves no "interpretation"

Clyde said...

I found it amusing that most of the comments at their left-wing web site were capitalist spam!

Seriously, when Howard Zinn is offered as their best primary source, their objectivity is suspect at best.

Salamandyr said...

I've always been somewhat amused how sanitized the views of Progressive heroes tend to be. I certainly wasn't taught in school what a scumbag Wilson was, but how he was heroic in a) keeping us out of the war and then b) getting us into the war, and how he was such a visionary for desiring the League of Nations. That he did everything in his power to destroy ever gain made by this country during Reconstruction, well, that part didn't get mentioned. Margeret Sanger was a champion of Choice. FDR saved us from the Depression. A lot of the really ugly Progressive rhetoric gets blamed on the time rather than on any deficiency in character of those heroes.

Meanwhile, I don't recall much said about Conservative figures at all, good or bad, except how Calvin Coolidge once said "The business of the United States is Business." (I never heard the full quote, or what it meant until I was years out of school, by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and nefarious Beck).

So really, I'm not sure I see what the Nation is crying about.

Clyde said...

And some would say that progressive history is the ONLY history taught in most schools these day, to which Glenn Beck is a welcome antidote.

GMay said...

Clyde said: "Seriously, when Howard Zinn is offered as their best primary source, their objectivity is suspect at best."

I wasn't even going to click through to the article until I saw this.

Unbelievable.

Robert Cook said...

It's true that most Americans today have no idea how we have become the nation we are, and many may just assume we were sprung fully formed from the heads of our Founding Fathers, with all our current rights and accepted practices and ideas fixed in place.

Much of what Americans take for granted today as part of "the American way of life" (e.g., five day work weeks, 8 hour work days, universal suffrage, safer workplaces, etc.) was bought dearly by people struggling and fighting to obtain them.

MayBee said...

Prohibition! A big victory for progressives.

Expat(ish) said...

Do you not think people should understand there is a difference between "redistribution of wealth." and "radical redistribution of economic power?"

Rather like the confusion that the only way to cut a deficit is to raise taxes. See also any NPR show.

-XC

PS - I had LaFollette and his ilk shoved on me plenty in school. More Chesty Puller and less Wilson, thanks.

shoutingthomas said...

It's true that most Americans today have no idea how we have become the nation we are, and many may just assume we were sprung fully formed from the heads of our Founding Fathers, with all our current rights and accepted practices and ideas fixed in place.

Jesus Christ, Cookie, now you're back to your Jesus Christ fantasies.

No, ordinary middle class Americans are not ignoramuses waiting for a savior like you to educate them.

Can you let up with the Jesus Christ fantasies. We don't need you to save us, Cookie.

MrBuddwing said...

When CNN was celebrating itself with an anniversary special some years ago, it showed a montage of guest appearances on the now-defunct "Crossfire." One of those guests was Angela Davis, who insisted that she and her fellow communists had always been ahead of the curve on such things as workers' rights, civil rights, women's rights.

Whereupon Pat Buchanan asked, could Davis name any instance in history in which communists were less repressive than the people they overthrew?

Whereupon Angela Davis looked momentarily stumped.

If she came up with an answer, the CNN clip didn't show it, but her reaction sure was striking (and maybe, I concede, out of context).

Word verification: thica.

ricpic said...

Ditto what Clyde said. Howard Zinn's poison is what schoolkids are force fed.

Paddy O said...

It's interesting to me that as much as Progressives vehemently argue "we're not socialists and you're an idiot for saying so" how many of this list were bold and avowed communists. What's worse is how many were such even after WW2, when a whole lot of people were being progressively slaughtered.

No doubt there was a lot of good being done by most of those people, but history is always told better with a mix of the good and bad, not just hagiography like we have in this list.

I am a bit surprised not to see Clarence Darrow or Dorothy Day on this list.

Paddy O said...

Those who were communists in the early 20th century probably had an interest in helping the poor and transforming really awful conditions into something better.

Those who were/are communists after the WW2 hate workers and despise the poor, and are really only interested in telling people what to do.

You can't study history without taking note of USSR, Eastern Europe, and China. If you take note of these and still say, "that's a good system!" it's very clear you don't care a slightest bit about actual people.

SteveR said...

Most Americans no little of history, progressive or otherwise. The progressives aren't being excluded.

AprilApple said...

Many on the intellectual left consider Howard Zinn a hack.

That "the nation" would praise him should tell you something.

Paul Zrimsek said...

So is Beck guilty of calling too many people socialists, or is he guilty of not calling enough people socialists?

AJ Lynch said...

Katrina Van Den Huevel, the Nation's Editor & Publisher, is way crazier left than I am crazy right.

MadisonMan said...

SteveR, thank you for the chuckle.

traditionalguy said...

A Radical Redistribution of Power is an unlawful act unless you first win the Revolution and execute the society's leaders and steal all the stuff...for the people, of course. It ain't that glamorous an idea unless you are a sociopath.

dbp said...

The Nation should be careful what they wish for. If Americans knew more about progressive history, they would never vote for liberals who call themselves progressive.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
section9 said...

Look, these progressive bastards apologized for Stalin up to the point that Solzhenitsyn made it impossible to defend his crimes. They apologized for Mao up to the point at which the enormity of his crimes during the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution were revealed, first by Moscow, then by Western sources.

They tried to defend spies like the Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, and execrable foreign murderers like Ernesto "Che" Guevara. When Joan Baez held a rally in solidarity with the suffering of the people of Cambodia under the then bloodthirsty regime of "Democratic Kampuchea", she was criticized by Hero of Progressivism, Pete Seeger, for Deviationism.

Progressives will always excuse genocide if it serves the interest of the Left.

There's a lot you don't read about if you depend on Howard Zinn.

jr565 said...

Oh brother;More than half of them are either socialists or eugenecists or both. And to this day, despite ample evidence of communism detroying millions of lives whereever it was tried, they still bitterly cling to their guns and religion (socialism).

edutcher said...

In all fairness, Cook's point about the 8 hour day is on the money, but anybody who uses Hurricane Katrina's rag as an historical source is going to get laughed at a lot.

shoutingthomas said...

God, those old Stalinists at The Nation never give up.

Some things are so stupid and useless that you wonder how they survive from generation to generation.


When you consider Pete Seeger stopped making excuses for Uncle Joe only ten years ago, you realize how many stupid and useless people there are out there.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Much of what Americans take for granted today as part of "the American way of life" (e.g., five day work weeks, 8 hour work days, universal suffrage, safer workplaces, etc.) ...

Wow. So much of that list has absolutely nothing to do with what I think of when I think of "the American way of life."

Try to learn and understand a little bit more about the way people think before you criticize it, Cook.

- Lyssa

Pogo said...

"Unfortunately, most Americans know little of this progressive history. It isn't taught in most high schools."


By "Unfortunately," The Nation means "Despite our best efforts".

Next time, hand out little red books, bring old people in front of the town for ritual humiliations, and shoot a few in the ditch every once in awhile.

Then they'll learn their progressive history.

Moose said...

Ooh! Let's talk about Margaret Sanger and eugenics! Or the Tuskegee Experiments!

Good Progressive comedies all...

virgil xenophon said...

Leon Trotsky once said of Stalin apologist (even after the show trials!) editor of "The Nation" Dwight McDonald: "All of us are entitled to our fair share of stupidity during our lifetimes, but Comrade McDonald has seriously abused his privilege." Van den Heuvel is currently carrying on in the same great McDonald tradition. I told her this once to her face at a "progressive" social event in NYC. She was not amused. With the look: "Who let this vile creature gain entrance to this event? Guards!" LOL. Much drunken chortling on my part.

jr565 said...

One hilarious thing that people should know is that for all of McCarthy's flaws there were communists in the state department. It wasn't a witch hunt as suggested by The Crucible (written by a communist) because in the case of the state department there were actual communists there.McCarthy could be guilty of over zealousness, but how is that different than say going after Karl Rove over the outing of Plame? (Still waiting on that frog march, liberals) What prosecutor isn't over zealous.
THe funny thing about it all is that prior to HUAC going after communists in the State Department HUAC was used by communists to go after Trotskyites.
HUAC was in fact established by one Samuel Dickstein to go after nazis and facists. Dickstein however, was an actual agent for the Soviets (code named "crook" by the soviets because of his exorbitant demands). And HUAC went after the Trotskyites when Stalin determined that they were enemies. HUAC used the act to convict members of the SWP (Trotskys organization). THen of course when HUAC was used to go after communists (as opposed to facists) they said that the SWP should be pardoned, and suddenly naming names was some controversial anti american thing.

I'm surprised they didn't include paul Robeson as one of their progressive heroes. Now THAT is someone that an honest filmmaker should make a movie about.

Robert Cook said...

"Wow. So much of that list has absolutely nothing to do with what I think of when I think of 'the American way of life.'"

What do you think of?

For most Americans, our lives consist of work. Working at jobs making living wages, in safe conditions, with enough time off to spend time with our families or just have a life outside of work, are definitely some of the things I think of as part of the "American way of life." These are not things that were just given to American workers through the largesse of employers, but were benefits that were hard won. Your life would be very different, and harder, if we did not enjoy such working conditions as a common standard.

Clyde said...

@ jr565

Robeson is included in their list. He's in the second slideshow.

Go ahead and start your screenplay...

Cedarford said...

section9 said...
Look, these progressive bastards apologized for Stalin up to the point that Solzhenitsyn made it impossible to defend his crimes.

======================
Not true. Solzhenitsyn was a darling of the Western right in the late 60s and the 70s.
He had little effect on progressive or Soviet apologies on Stalin.
That was effectively achieved by Krushchevs 3-hour denunciation speech of Stalin and Stalinism in 1956 after the Troika had eliminated Stalins supporters. It was a secret speech, but so remarkable in denouncing Stalin and his crowd's thought crimes, the terror, the stultifying of any legitimate debate over matters that should be debated that copies were everywhere.

Solzhenitsyn was really nothing but a populizer for Western intelligensia shifting belief. Guy wrote well, but his final act was as a rightwing nutball, deep into Orthodox Christian mysticism, and a devoted fan of Vladimir Putin.

I am a fan of Putin as well, or would be if I was a Russian. He was great for Russia, and looks like he is coming back for another spell as the official leader vs. leader behind the scenes.

William said...

The wealth of America was created by greedy bastards like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford. There would be no wealth for the progressives to redistribute without the efforts of these men. They provided reliable products at affordable prices for the working people of America. Beyond this, the foundations that they left behind provided a reliable source of sustenance for several generations of leftist intellectuals......It is interesting to note that these capitalists are studied in terms of the Haymarket Strike and their worst deeds and that progressives are studied in terms of their ideals and rhetoric. Their many venalities are ignored......I only clicked on a few names. I stopped after Henry Wallace. The United States was saved from Armageddon when Roosevelt chose Truman instead of Wallace. My God, how wilfully ignorant of history do you have to be to put him in your list of saints.

Scott M said...

Your life would be very different, and harder, if we did not enjoy such working conditions as a common standard.

All due respect, Cook, but your life is going to be much different and much harder if the current crop of leftist astride the levers of power were to achieve their entire agenda.

shoutingthomas said...

Solzhenitsyn was really nothing but a populizer for Western intelligensia shifting belief. Guy wrote well, but his final act was as a rightwing nutball, deep into Orthodox Christian mysticism, and a devoted fan of Vladimir Putin.

Jesus, you've outdone HenHouse. He used to hold the record for stupidity on this site with his "Muslims are the new Jews" asshole statement.

Congratulations!

Solzhenitsyn will continue to be regarded as one of the giants of the 20th century for as long as people read books.

Stop talking stupid while you're somewhat ahead of the game.

shoutingthomas said...

The wealth of America was created by greedy bastards like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford. There would be no wealth for the progressives to redistribute without the efforts of these men. They provided reliable products at affordable prices for the working people of America.

Yes.

The greatest day in the history of working people was the day that Henry Ford opened up his first factory for the production of the Model T and paid his workers 5 bucks a day.

Hallelujah!

Paddy O said...

It is interesting how Russia can basically be used as an example for how bad just about any political approach can be.

They had a terrible monarchy. Gave communism an inhuman face. Now their oligarchy shows what bastards industrialists can be.

That's probably what's so brilliant about our Constitution. It mixes all three of these up, giving a bit of executive power, industrial freedom, and public responsibility, and not letting any of the three get too caught up in their own particular versions of a utopian nightmare.

craig said...

Robert Cook said...

"What do you think of?" [re: the American way of life]

Offhand, I think of the old joke: A hundred years ago, an Englishman visiting Texas was attempting to find the owner of a huge cattle ranch. He rode up to one of the ranch hands, and inquired, "Pardon me, but could you perhaps tell me where I might locate your master?"

To which the cowboy replied, "That sumbitch ain't been born."

Cedarford said...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,862147,00.html

A contemporary account of the Secret Speech and it's highlights.

==================
William said...
The wealth of America was created by greedy bastards like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford. There would be no wealth for the progressives to redistribute without the efforts of these men.


Bullshit said by what must be one of the last of the CEO bootlickers.

Wealth creation depends on resources, trade competiveness, good labor, capital, entrepreneurship, and a stable system run by people who make the laws and infrastructure to tie it together.

All William does is recognize the entrepreneurship and discounts the rest.
Every other nation with those factors has made steel, pumped oil from the ground and built cars and trucks without a Rockefeller, Carnaghie, or Ford in the picture. You don't need a great entrepreneur, just an adequate one. All the "great ones" are are those that are there first with a little more adeptness than other perfectly adequate entrepreneurs when an exceptional window of opportunity opens in a market or industry by virtue of a resource discovery, mobilizing a vast and cheaper source of labor, technology..

Scott M said...

They had a terrible monarchy. Gave communism an inhuman face. Now their oligarchy shows what bastards industrialists can be.

I know quite a few Russians, both when I was in the service and now in logistics (lots of Russian-owned truck companies). They definitely have nationalism, but will readily admit that their "people could fuck up a wet dream". I've heard that from completely unrelated or uninvolved people at different times in my life so I'm assuming there's a Russian joke/translation of that phrase.

edutcher said...

Moose said...

Ooh! Let's talk about Margaret Sanger and eugenics!

You mean Himmler's pen pal?

GMay said...

The leftist rationalization in that piece is effectively mirrored by Ritmo in the Margaret Carlson thread below in his defense of "Sheets" Byrd.

The gall just sort of takes one's breath away.

jr565 said...

Robeson is included in their list. He's in the second slideshow.

Go ahead and start your screenplay...


Didn't see him listed. But it's quite remarkable that he is considered a hero of progressives. The guy was a complete apologist for Stalinism. He tried to deny the civil rights of the SWP (trotskyites) with this:
, "Would you give civil rights to the Ku Klux Klan?"
"No," chorused the delegates. "These men are the allies of fascism who want to destroy the new democracies of the world,Let's not get confused. They are the enemies of the working class" when he said they wanted to destroy the democracies of the world he meant the Soviets and not the US. He supported Stalin even after he knew that Stalin was rounding up Jewish intellectuals, including some he knew personally, and denied that any such rounding up was occuring, even though one of his friends essentially said he was going to be murdered by Stalin when Robeson went to see him.
he suggested that blacks wouldn't go to war for America with the following: "And it seemed and still seems unthinkable to me that colored or working folk anywhere would continue to rush to die for those who own most of the stocks and bonds, under the guise of false patriotism."[
Note the class warfare arguments, and lingo. Is it any different than the standard anti war dialog used by any anti war activist against the Iraq war? Same template. It's just warmed over communism. It's exactly what the Left is arguing about with their attacks on big business. The Soviet Union may have fallen but the progressives still cling to that communism. Any time you hear a dem or Obama make a class warfare argument, think of the context and remember your history. It's not new, its the same old communist rhetoric we heard in the 20's, 30's, 40's 50s through the present.
Robeson of couse HAD to be on the list, but Jackie Robinson isn't. Now there was a guy with class who should be revered on any top 20 lists. He rebuked Robeson quite forcefully with this:
"I can't speak for any 15 million people any more than any other one person can, but I know that I've got too much invested for my wife and my child and myself, in the future of this country... to throw it away because of a siren song sung in bass (Robeson had sung in bass voice)."
I am a religious man. Therefore I cherish America where I am free to worship as I please, a privilege which some countries do not give. And I suspect that 999 out of almost any 1,000 colored Americans you meet will tell you the same thing".

Robeson was even awarded a peace prize from no less than Stalin himself and on STalin's death (long after it was clear what a murderous scum bag Stalin was) wrote a eulogy to Stalin and said:

"Forever will his name be honored and beloved in all lands. In all spheres of modern life, the influence of Stalin reaches wide and deep. … his contributions to the science of our world society remains invaluable. One reverently speaks of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin -- the shapers of humanity's richest present and future. … Yes, through his [Stalin's] deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage. ... How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom."
So of course the Nation will honor him.

Clyde said...

@ jr565

Actually, both Robeson AND Robinson are on that second slideshow. The third one wasn't up yet. Since they are going up chronologically, all of the latest and lamest lefties will be in the last one. Michael Moore? Al Gore? Al Franken? Who knows?!

Bruce Hayden said...

Wealth creation depends on resources, trade competiveness, good labor, capital, entrepreneurship, and a stable system run by people who make the laws and infrastructure to tie it together.

Let's see which ones of these the progressives running this country are trying to destroy.
Resources: Check
Trade competitiveness: Check
Good Labor: not sure
Capital: double check
Entrepreneurship: double check
Stable system: double check

If I were to pick the places where progressives try the hardest to screw up the economy, admittedly a hard job, I would say that it is in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship.

One of the things that hurts in these areas a lot is their penchant for picking winners and losers. Maybe they are brilliant enough to actually do so (they aren't, not even close), but the winners are invariably picked primarily through rent seeking, and the same large state that they seek is the same one where rent seeking is the natural result. The bigger the state, the more bribery and rent seeking there will be, because, as As Willie Sutton the bank robber is reputed to have said when asked why he robbed banks, 'because that's where the money is'.

Robert Cook said...

"All due respect, Cook, but your life is going to be much different and much harder if the current crop of leftist astride the levers of power were to achieve their entire agenda."

There are no "leftists astride the levers of power" at this time, just a bunch of spineless Democrats who are as much minions of the corporate oligarchs as are the Rebublicans.

Clyde said...

Third one's up. Michael Moore is Tail-End Charlie. No Gore, no Franken, no problem. Bill Moyers is among the rogue's gallery, though.

Scott M said...

@Cook

There are no "leftists astride the levers of power" at this time, just a bunch of spineless Democrats who are as much minions of the corporate oligarchs as are the Rebublicans.

Are you really going to stand by that? Asserting that there are no leftists in the government? Let's narrow it down some just to make the point clear. I'm speaking, in particular, of the Obama administration and the leadership of both houses of Congress.

Given that context, if you still don't think there are leftists running the government, I would dearly like to hear your definition of said leftists and know where you drawn the line between leftist and moderate, as well as moderate and right winger.

shoutingthomas said...

Cookie,

Do you know what an oligarch is?

Oligarchy: a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.

You are truly even more brain dead than I thought if you think that America is a "corporate oligarchy."

The idea is completely laughable.

No society in the history of civilization has had a broader base of power distributed through its citizenry than the U.S.

I know that you think we need you for our salvation, Cookie. Do you think you might try to exercise minimal sanity if you want to be taken seriously?

Robert Cook said...

"I'm speaking, in particular, of the Obama administration and the leadership of both houses of Congress."

I know who you're speaking, as that's who I'm also speaking of.

They're not leftists.

The latter day John Birch society-types who have taken over the Republican party and who have their own news network have pushed perceptions of what is "center" or "right" so far to the right that centrists are seen by many as leftists, leftists are seen as radical commies, and the radical right is seen as the warm, comfortable, sensible middle.

If those in office are serving the interests of the wealthy--as the Obama administration is doing, as is the Congressional leadership--they are certainly not "left," but are minions of the oligarchs, whatever they may label themselves or be labeled by those trained to obediently snarl and foam at the mouth in Pavlovian response at sight of them or sound of their names.

Robert Cook said...

From Wikipedia:

"An oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία, oligarkhía[1]) is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control."

And this does not perfectly describe our present power structure...how?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Given that context, if you still don't think there are leftists running the government, I would dearly like to hear your definition of said leftists and know where you drawn the line between leftist and moderate, as well as moderate and right winger.

Lets put it this way, Cook will never be satisfied with our form of government until the country is renamed to something along the lines of" The People's Democratic Republic of the United States.

Until the State owns all means of production and apportions all wealth to each according to his needs, RC will always throw out the plutocrat/oligarch meme.

For someone who never has one kind word to say for this country, indeed, considers it to be engaging in wholesale 'mass murder', I find it astounding that he remains here. Unless of course he's just full of it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And this does not perfectly describe our present power structure...how?

Well based upon that definition, it pretty much describes any established government at any point in human history.

Unless you're an anarchist, any government, elected or not, is a power structure that consists of a small segment of society. Perhaps the difference with ours over your preferred ones (like North Korea or Cuba) is that we actually tend to replace our power structures with new ones every 2-4 years, sometimes incrementally and sometimes wholesale.

c3 said...

It would be dishonest to not acknowledge the issues leftists/progressives pushed forward in the 20th century. At the same time it would dishonest for the left to not acknowledge the excesses of that push (i.e. the rise of communist dictatorships, the excesses of labor unions, over-regulation, the financial consequences of an ever-growing welfare state)

I see progressives as unable to recognize these excesses/over-reaches/unintended consequences. Interesting when progressive criticize conservative regarding the "problems" with their policies (i.e. the safety net isn't "big enough" or "the rich are getting richer") more often than not conservatives aren't bothered by that.

Progressives can't see the problems with their policies; conservatives accept that their policies can't solve all of the problems.

Scott M said...

You just took two long sentences to say what you already had. How about the follow up question then, regarding your idea of what defines a leftist, a moderate, and a rightist. It's important, given your previous statements in this thread, to determine what characteristics your idea of a leftist must have that doesn't Venn with "those astride".

shoutingthomas said...

Cookie,

You're a full-fledge, brain dead Stalinist.

That's why the world looks like John Birchers and corporate oligarchs to you.

The world has completely passed you by.

You've failed to notice the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even Cuba is giving up.

You're the last of the dinosaurs.

Give up. You're ridiculous.

shoutingthomas said...

And this does not perfectly describe our present power structure...how?

No, it does not describe our present power structure. That you would even assert something so stupid is beyond belief.

Simply driving through the suburbs would prove you wrong if you weren't blinded by your stupid commie ideology. It's common for those "workers" you keep BSing about to own lavish homes, two cars and a boat, as well as a second home in the country.

Your assertions about the structure of America society are so fucking stupid, Cookie, that they should disqualify you from even commenting.

Your remarks are well phrased idiocy.

You're an idiot, Cookie. Do you get it? An idiot. An idiot with a good vocabulary.

And your motivations are evil. You want to see the world in these polarized terms because you dream of being the Jesus Christ/Lenin/Mao/Charlie Manson who saves us from sin.

Joe said...

Many historians, including Howard Zinn...

This article lost all credibility right there.

Beck may be an ignorant blowhard, but he's downright brilliant and educated compared to Zinn.

garage mahal said...

There are only two true liberals. Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman.

TMink said...

"And this does not perfectly describe our present power structure...how?"

The vote. We are a democratically elected republic and the people and the vote are the only rememdy for oligarchy short of a gun.

The tea party movement is crushing oligarchy. We eat old politicians for breakfast.


Makes you feel all warm and toasty don't it?

Trey

Pogo said...

I have mentioned recently that progressive history is in fact being taught, right here in my son's high school in small town southeastern MN.

And that political science teacher might just be Robert Cook in drag, much as she called Stalin and Mao right wing, and her heroes are Wilson and FDR.

So Pravda (i.e. The Nation) should not lose hope.

Alex said...

No wonder Glenn Beck scares the shit out of lefties. His famous blackboard demonstrates all the historical socialist/progressive/leftist connections for ALL to see. Scary shit indeed.

Alex said...

Let's put it this way. Progressives used to have it all their way until Rush & Fox News came along. Now they are actually challenged on a daily/nightly basis and they don't like it. Not one bit. Lefties are thrashing about like wounded wildebeest.

Robert Cook said...

"It's common for those 'workers' you keep BSing about to own lavish homes, two cars and a boat, as well as a second home in the country."

It's not "those workers," it's "WE workers."

Many of those lavish homes, two cars, boats, and second country homes are owned by the banks, not by their occupants.

And fewer of them are maintaining occupancy of "their" homes every day.

Robert Cook said...

"...(my son's)political science teacher might just be Robert Cook in drag, much as she called Stalin and Mao right wing...."

I wouldn't call either Mao or Stalin right wing, no, but I have never said there are no tyrannies of the left. (This would be like trying to claim the Nazis were "leftists," as some imbeciles have done, in order to deny what I learned in 9th grade civics, namely: if you go far enough to the left or the right you end up at the same place.)

Once a government becomes a tyranny, "left" or "right" become abtract concepts, bereft of meaning, at least for those who are the victims of the tyrants. The reality in those situations is that one or a cabal of self-aggrandizing megalomaniacs and power-mongers have hijacked the mechanisms of state and of political rhetoric to acquire unilateral power.

Scott M said...

First of all, Cook, you seem to be ignoring a simple question regarding your definitions of left (at a minimum) as well as my requests for you to identify characteristics of moderates and right.

You seem to have a very strong conviction that there are no "leftists" in the current administration. How could you possibly come to that conclusion without a very clear idea of what constitutes a "leftist". Again, at a minimum, if you have a very clear idea what a "leftist" is, you should then also be able to easily point out what a "rightist" is...or right-winger in the current vernacular, if you so wish.

Why are you ignoring the question? Are you less sure than it originally seemed?

Your 9th grade class was woefully incorrect. There are two extremes. Tyranny and anarchy. Those are the opposite ends of the spectrum. On the one side, leaning toward tyranny, there is more and more government control until tyranny is reached. On the other, less and less government until anarchy prevails. In this country, it boils down to who wants more and more central control vs those who want less and less.

In other words, you cannot have less and less government and sudden wake up with tyranny.

Alex said...

Answer me this Cookie - how do we know you are not a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac/power-monger? We should just trust you?

AllenS said...

And what do you do for a living, Mr. Cook?

Pogo said...

Progressive ideas resulted in 100 million deaths by the State in the 20th century.

The Nation wants Howard Zinn to whitewash that for them at PS 189.

garage mahal said...

Don't forget the 6 million in Europe Pogo. Definitely leftists.

jr565 said...

Cooke wrote:
I wouldn't call either Mao or Stalin right wing, no, but I have never said there are no tyrannies of the left. (This would be like trying to claim the Nazis were "leftists," as some imbeciles have done, in order to deny what I learned in 9th grade civics, namely: if you go far enough to the left or the right you end up at the same place.)


The nazis were socialists! It's part of their name. The national socialists. And the facists were offshoots of the communists. THey're all on the left. As I discussed in the discussion on Paul Robeson Huac was founded to go after enemies of the state - namely facists and nazis. And HUAC, was run by a communist spy, who initially used HUAC to go after Trotskyites. OF course, Stalin of all people called Trotskyites fascists!

Now it's very funny how if we were to name names of facists or nazis, that no one, let alone communists had problems with it. If we found nazi spies in the state department I'm sure Hollywood and co. would be on board in naming them, just as communists led the charge to take down the Trotskites, as uncle Joe had labeled them essentially heretic. It's just when we start naming names of communists that it becomes a moral issue. If Elia Kazan had simply named nazis in the state dept. he'd still be lionized by Hollywood. it's not just naming the names, but who's names are named. IN the case of communists, it obviuosly struck too close to home to a lot of people who were in fact communist, and that is why there was so much gnashing of teeth. Meanwhile, all the people lionized by the cause as being innocent of being spies largely turned out to be spies (Alger Hiss, Julius Rosenberg for example)
But at any rate, what is a facist. A facist is a socialist. As is a nazi. THere are subtle differences between the various groups, based largely on where they practiced their brand of socialism (so national socialism in germany took one face and socialism in Italy took on another face) but they are all brother movments - simliar to how shias and sunnis, despite their differences are still Muslims.
National Socialism = socialism. Why are nazis right wing? Because they hated Jews? Because they were violent? That's an awful lot of assumptions there that are not in the least bit accurate, but awfully convenient for socialists. As soon as socialists exhibit any negative behavior they are suddenly branded as "right wing".

Alex said...

jr - they were National Republicans, didn't you know that?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't forget the 6 million in Europe Pogo. Definitely leftists.

National Socialist German Worker's Party.

I don't know garage, when you throw in words like 'socialist' and 'worker's party' I don't get a real strong rightist vibe.

But I don't tingle easily so there.

jr565 said...

If Cooke wants to suggest that antisemitism was the cause of National Socialists being right wing then he's mistaken. Leaving Hitler out of it and you'll find that the founder of Marxism was as much an antisamite as Hitler (though obviously Hitler took his antisemitism and implemented policies to carry out genocide against his enemy the dirty Jew)
Here's Marx on Jews:
"Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew -- not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time.... We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development -- to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed -- has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry"


I guess Karl Marx is right wing because he too hates the jews too.

AJ Lynch said...

The most egregious example is how the textbooks and schools have demonized Christopher Columbus.

garage mahal said...

I don't know garage, when you throw in words like 'socialist' and 'worker's party' I don't get a real strong rightist vibe.

Killing and jailing socialists, and smashing trade unions, confiscating their money and banning the right to strikes doesn't give me much leftist vibes either. Hitler was openly hostile to Marxism and Communism.

"The German state is gravely attacked by Marxism."

"In the years 1913 and 1914, I… expressed the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation was the question of destroying Marxism."

"In the economic sphere Communism is analogous to democracy in the political sphere."

"The Marxists will march with democracy until they succeed in indirectly obtaining for their criminal aims the support of even the national intellectual world, destined by them for extinction."

"Marxism itself systematically plans to hand the world over to the Jews."

"The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight."

TMink said...

"You seem to have a very strong conviction that there are no "leftists" in the current administration"

Why have a conversation with anyone who is that out of touch with reality?

Trey

jr565 said...

By the way Cooke, the swastika itself is in fact a socialist symbol used by the red army. THe nazis appropriated it and inverted it 45 degrees, but it's still a socialist symbol.The swastika is in fact two S's, standing for socialism.
Hitler in describing the nazis and their flag said:
"As National socialists we see our programme in our flag. In red we see the social thoughts of the movement, in white the nationalist thoughts, in the hooked-cross the mission of fighting for the victory of Aryan man and at the same time the victory of the concept of creative work"
Socialist!
STalin CERTAINLY was a socialist!
Mussolini too was a socialist!
Mao was a socialist!
The left should own these heroes of the movement.

Matt said...

Thank Progressives!
If your workplace is safe, your children go to school rather than being forced into labor. If you are paid a living wage [with OT]. If your parents are eligible for social security and medicare. If the rivers are cleaner, your water is drinkable and wilderness protected. If everyone has a right to vote. The list goes on. Progressives started all legislation for these.

The businessmen of the right wing opposed them all.

Assholes like Glenn Beck will never understand that.

Scott M said...

So, Garage, two factions of the left go at it over who's got the better idea for utopia and somehow they're not leftists because they're trading blows and not hashing it out over latte's and bean sprouts?

More control, more left. Less control, more right. Tyranny....moderate...anarchy. What's so hard about that?

jr565 said...

Who said this:
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions" 1927


Hitler. Sounds pretty socialist to me, especially the point where he says "We are socialists", though obviously that is code for "We are right wing". Wink wink.

AJ Lynch said...

Matt said:

"Thank progressives if your parents are eligible for social security and medicare".

Let me rephrase that a bit:

When the govt requires we pay in 15% of our earnings during our working years, it is so nice of the govt to deem us eligible to get some of our money back.

Scott M said...

Get a grip, Matt. The entire point is that regardless of pros, any pros, there are huge, glaring cons that have been whitewashed for a long, long time. No single group of people can be said to be all clean and squeaky. To the extent that you're correct, you're ignoring the fact that progressives in this country also included racist thugs who were enamored of foreign strongmen (and eventual brutal dictators) to extents we've not seen in decades.

You can't claim all the roses and forget that there's a shitload of manure you're trying to sweep under the rug along with tens of millions killed.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Scott M

The closest we will ever get to a utopia is the United States of America. And if you look at most of the major legislation that has made America a strong middle class country, that is advanced on many fronts you will see a good many Progressives were at the forefront of a lot of it.

So this b.s. about the far left vs the far right leads nowhere. Nazis and Communists have nothing to do with Americas political system. America is a great country and it got there with American progressives, American moderates and American conservatives working together. We achieved a lot from FDR to Eisenhower to Reagan to Clinton.

Progressive liberals are not communists anymore than Conservative Republicans are right wing dictators. Most people with a brain know that. Including you and everyone on this blog.

virgil xenophon said...

In his youth Il Duce was a card-carrying socialist who later came to write editorials for La Stampa--Italy's largest Socialist newspaper. And Hitler is on record in a newspaper interview in 1936 when asked about the future of Communism as replying: "Oh, they will eventually end up where we already are." And of course he was right; the last days of Communism were nothing but National Socialism personified with the internationalist revolutionary aspect shrunken to almost nothingness.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Killing and jailing socialists, and smashing trade unions, confiscating their money and banning the right to strikes doesn't give me much leftist vibes either.

Oh dear garage. I mean even Stalin felt it necessary to purify the communists surrounding him too.

Then again both felt that the State should have power over the massess from everything to controlling industry to health care to education so maybe ask yourself if that's closer to your ideology or mine.

Hoosier Daddy said...

America is a great country and it got there with American progressives, American moderates and American conservatives working together. We achieved a lot from FDR to Eisenhower to Reagan to Clinton.

Well it would be nice if those liberal progressives would take a moment to admit we're a great country rather than incessantly complain how shitty it is.

garage mahal said...

Oh dear garage. I mean even Stalin felt it necessary to purify the communists surrounding him too.

And the shuttering of labor offices, sending labor leaders to concentrations camps was.......?

jr565 said...

Scott M wrote:
So, Garage, two factions of the left go at it over who's got the better idea for utopia and somehow they're not leftists because they're trading blows and not hashing it out over latte's and bean sprouts?


To put it another way, just because Trotsky got an icepick in his skull at the behest of Stalin, doesn't mean that he wasn't a man of the left.

Chef Mojo said...

And the shuttering of labor offices, sending labor leaders to concentrations camps was.......?


...like driving an icepick through Trotsky's skull in Mexico City. Internecine warfare between factions. Kind of like Mafia wars. Territorial disputes over ideology in this case.

Damn, Garage. That was too easy.

Matt said...

AJ Lynch
If I was given a choice on whether to live in the USA as it has been since WWII till now versus living in some kind of libertarian right wing utopia you think would work I would choose the former. So would most Americans. But you're free to keep pretending you have a better plan that includes no taxes.... A plan that is hilariously out of touch and frightening.


Hoosier Daddy
Obama admits he could never have achieved what he did in another country. America is great. That said, there can always be improvement. Even the right wing will admit that. And right now they complain a lot about America because they are not in charge.

virgil xenophon said...

The greatest Socialist orator in American history--probably the world's--was Eugene V. Debs who ran for President on the Socialist ticket 4 times and grew up in Terre Haute Ind. not 70 miles from my hometown in Ill. Not even he with his considerable powers of persuasion could convince the American people to sustain a truly socialist political party. Why? "The ready availability and low price of beef-steak" is the quip most oft-quoted--and probably on the mark as well as any explanation. And Capitalism was what produced the beef-steak...

Scott M said...

Please define "right-wing dictator". It's the very crux of the debate. What makes a dictator "right wing"? Use of coercion? Use of violence for the coercion? Usurping personal liberties?

AJ Lynch said...

Matt:
My point is you made it sound like the govt is being generous by deeming people "eligible" for benefits when they paid and paid and paint into it for years.

I wonder why you trust big govt so much? How have they earned your trust?

garage mahal said...

Damn, Garage. That was too easy.

Everything is pretty easy when you're a conservative. Like you just did. Make shit up.

shoutingthomas said...

garage,

You got your ass kicked.

Give up.

The Nazis were Socialists. They said so. Bluntly

You're making a fool out of yourself by claiming you know better than they did.

If you want to pursue this foolish argument, I suggest that you move on next to the Philosopher's Stone.

Can you turn lead into gold?

Maguro said...

Everything is pretty easy when you're a conservative. Like you just did. Make shit up.

Are you suggesting that Stalin's purges of Trotsky and his supporters is made up?

Or do you just need some help understanding Chief Mojo's analogy?

Chef Mojo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef Mojo said...

Everything is pretty easy when you're a conservative. Like you just did. Make shit up.

Oops. Sorry, Garage. My bad.

Leon Trotsky actually eluded his assassins in Mexico City and made his way up north to Spokane, Washington, where he ended up sharing a house with Butch Cassidy. He opened a novelty, candy and magic shop a few blocks away, where he earned a humble, but sufficient income. After being found out by a novice Washington Post reporter named Carl Bernstein, Trotsky appeared on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969 at the age of 90. On the show, he renounced communism and announced his long love for the late Butch. Trotsky passed away soon after his appearance on the Cavett show.

Man, you have absolutely no idea how stupid you look.

What about my previous post is "made up?"

Bruce Hayden said...

I wouldn't call either Mao or Stalin right wing, no, but I have never said there are no tyrannies of the left. (This would be like trying to claim the Nazis were "leftists," as some imbeciles have done, in order to deny what I learned in 9th grade civics, namely: if you go far enough to the left or the right you end up at the same place.)

Please come back after having read Road to Serfdom by Hayek and tell us that they weren't leftists. They, and the Fascists that they followed, were avowed socialists who practiced crony capitalism as their way of implementing socialism and government control over the countries' resources. Sound familiar?

The violence practiced by the Nazis against their people is not dissimilar to that practiced by communist leaders like Stalin and Mao. And, it was implemented for the same reasons - to gain and maintain control over their populations until said populations can become Utopian man.

Telling us that a political party that had socialism in its name was not leftist is what is imbecilic.

garage mahal said...


What about my previous post is "made up?"


This part:

"Kind of like Mafia wars. Territorial disputes over ideology in this case."

Hitler sent labor leaders to concentration camps, destroyed unions and collective bargaining because it was a turf war? He approved of unions and the right to strike, but just not the entrenched unions? Like the purging of Trotsky? That, to me, sounds like you just made that up. The analogy. It's an intellectually lazy analogy, one could pretty much use that for anything.

Telling us that a political party that had socialism in its name was not leftist is what is imbecilic.

East Germany called itself the German Democratic Republic. Does that mean it was a democratic government? Or was it a party of Democrats? Or for that matter, are Democrats the "Democratic" party of the two parties? It's an embarrassing and preposterous argument.

Bruce Hayden said...

If those in office are serving the interests of the wealthy--as the Obama administration is doing, as is the Congressional leadership--they are certainly not "left," but are minions of the oligarchs, whatever they may label themselves or be labeled by those trained to obediently snarl and foam at the mouth in Pavlovian response at sight of them or sound of their names.

You sure have an idealistic view of the left. Maybe what your leaders should believe. But it is grossly mistaken as to what they actually believe and practice.

I think that a lot, likely a majority, of the people in this country, at least in terms of economic and political issues, believe that the left believes in more government control and intervention, while the right believes in left. And, if you stop right there, the Obama Administration are hard, extremist, leftists.

I think though that you really don't quite understand the dynamic between the leftists in political power and the "oligarchs" that they deal with. They are all quite happy with the situation. The politicians get rich. Those buying access to them and political favors are happy because their rent seeking is more profitable than making a profit through normal capitalism. But the reason that they aren't oligarchs is that the politicians, esp. those on the left, at the top, are the ones who are in charge. We saw this play out through the health care "reform' debate. Benefits would be dangled in front of insurance companies, physicians, and other stake owners, then removed, returned, etc., all to get their support. Or, how about the Secretary of HHS' blatant blackmail attempt last week against the the insurance companies?

Needless to say, this is the same type of crony capitalism practiced by the Fascists and Nazis of the 1930s and 1940s.

dbp said...

Communists and Socialists would never persecute trade unionists. I mean, why go after people on your own side? For instance, Solidarity (the Polish trade union) was never any kind of threat to the Polish Communist Party or any kind of nuisance to them. This is why the Communists left them completely undisturbed.

former law student said...

The wealth of America was created by greedy bastards like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford.

One of these does not belong with the other two. Ford was an inventor, a producer, not just a money manipulator and monopolist. He poured his own steel to avoid dealing with the steel monopoly.

Alex said...

I should mention another prominent wealth creator - Andrew Mellon.

Maguro said...

@garage - What is intellectually lazy is your little non-sequitor "Oh, the Nazis couldn't have been left-wing, they persecuted trade unionists and such".

As demonstrated above, your logic is totally faulty here. Leftists are actually quite famous for persecuting, imprisoning and killing other leftists.

You should read Koestler's Darkness at Noon sometime, it is really the final word on leftists eating their own.

former law student said...

The nazis were socialists

A peculiar kind of socialist provides capitalists with slave labor for their factories, as Hitler did for Krupp, etc.

William said...

I think it's fair to say that there are air pockets in Christine O'D's brain. Nonetheless, even at her most souffled, the airiness of O'D is preferable to the dense, impacted bullshit that permeates every available space in the bodies of the progressive intellectuals here beatified by Nation. There's been some talk of the Buckley rule, but I would refer you to Buckley's other dictum about the first 100 names in the Boston phone book. O'D is preferable to any of the names on this list of progressives and lots of current senators.......Hitler's big mistake was arresting the Jews because they were Jews. If he had called them bourgeoise oppressors or kulaks, he would have escaped history's opprobrium....It is a matter of historical record that throughout the twenties and thirties, Germany and the Soviet Union were sub rosa allies. The German pilots who bombed Guernicia had trained in the USSR.

jr565 said...

Garage Mahal:
Killing and jailing socialists, and smashing trade unions, confiscating their money and banning the right to strikes doesn't give me much leftist vibes either. Hitler was openly hostile to Marxism and Communism.

What about all of the purges by Stalin? Were those he purged not leftists and/or Socialists?

Trooper York said...

Unions only became effective when the mafia took them over. Then they would sell out the membership but still get them enought to be satisified while the businessmen could have cost certainity. They were crooks but they were professional crooks.

That meant they stayed bought.

Trooper York said...

And don't give me that commie crapola. The socialists and uptopians like Sidney Hillman only got things done because he had a deal with Lepke.

That's why Lepke had to go to the chair (the only major gangster to do so).

They didn't want him to spill the beans on Hillman and FDR and the shennigans they pulled.

AJ Lynch said...

"Hitler was openly hostile to Marxism and Communism."

Perhaps because he viewed them as his competition in the Evil League of Totalitarians?

garage mahal said...

@garage - What is intellectually lazy is your little non-sequitor "Oh, the Nazis couldn't have been left-wing, they persecuted trade unionists and such".

Sending unionists to concentration camps isn't enough for you then? What else could Hitler have done to prove to you he was against unions? Hitler replaced unions with a corporate aristocracy of wealthy businessmen giving them complete control over workers.

Chef Mojo said...

Sending kulaks to concentration camps and starving them isn't enough for you then? What else could Lenin and Stalin have done to prove to you he was against unions? Lenin and Stalin replaced unions with a politburo of communist bosses giving them complete control over workers.

There, Garage. FIFY. Same genus, different species. Embrace it, Garage. It's what you are.

Marshal said...

"Sending unionists to concentration camps isn't enough for you then? What else could Hitler have done to prove to you he was against unions? Hitler replaced unions with a corporate aristocracy of wealthy businessmen giving them complete control over workers."

Ah, but he told the workers he was doing it for their benefit. Just like the socialists. Are we to believe that if we call those in charge government bureaucrats in lieu of capitalists the entire system should become our goal instead of a horror?

garage mahal said...

Killing unions and replacing it with crony capitalism is sooooo left wing. Who is for busting unions these days?

Trooper York said...

Hey, anybody who wears kulats should be sent to a concentration
camp!

Bruce Hayden said...

Killing and jailing socialists, and smashing trade unions, confiscating their money and banning the right to strikes doesn't give me much leftist vibes either. Hitler was openly hostile to Marxism and Communism.

Not surprising, since the Fascists and Nazis were pushing their own version of socialism in competition with the soviet type of communism. Germany, and likely Italy, faced a real internal communist threat.

Keep in mind the times - the communists had recently come to power in Russia, and the economy had crashed. It was likely worse in Germany than in many places due to a combination of Reparations and massive inflation.

So, what Mussolini, et al. came up with was a way for the government to control the means of production, esp. in the most critical industries, without giving the power to the trade workers, as was done in Russia (and would be done with the peasants in China). Note though that it (fascism) was invented as a counter to communism.

Pogo said...

You misunderstand socialists, garage.

They are for unions and Teh People and all that crap, that is until the inner circle gains power, then they go all Red Queen and start lopping off heads.
Friends, enemies, it don't matter. The goal is power.

You don't understand the central concept, so you fail to understand any of it at all. You seem to actually believe there must be some sort of utopian logic tying it all together.

The only logic is power, but the name they give the idea supposedly animating their rise don't matter a hill o' beans in the end.

Chef Mojo said...

Killing unions and replacing it with crony capitalism is sooooo left wing. Who is for busting unions these days?

Why yes, Garage. Yes it is! You're getting it!

See: Poland, Solidarnosc.

Busting and killing unions is VERY left wing. Oh, wait! You're hedging! "...these days?" Clever lad!

Garage, "these days," the unions ARE the crony capitalists! GM and Chrysler? They've got the means of production and are grinding them into the dirt. After a while, even these government unions - shades of USSR, PRC, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, ad nauseum... - will become useless and purged.

garage mahal said...

You guys are off the hook.

"Busting and killing unions is VERY left wing."

I'll have to refer to that one when I'm looking for a laugh.

former law student said...

"these days," the unions ARE the crony capitalists! GM and Chrysler? They've got the means of production...

...In Mexico. Every GM car I considered buying last year was made in Mexico.

How gracious the American trade unionist is, to allow Mexicans to assemble cars instead of himself.

Pogo said...

Why go out of the USA for evidence, garage?

Even the sainted teacher's union opposes unions:

"In a move of stunning hypocrisy, the United Federation of Teachers axed one of its longtime employees -- for trying to unionize the powerful labor organization's own workers, it was charged yesterday.

Pogo said...

"How gracious the American trade unionist is, to allow Mexicans to assemble cars instead of himself."

Actually, fls, that's an example of how unions destroy jobs.
but good try.

Chef Mojo said...

How gracious the American trade unionist is, to allow Mexicans to assemble cars instead of himself.

But wait. I thought that the UAW had a controlling interest in GM and Chrysler? And those cars are being assembled in Mexico?!? Well. Fuck me, dude, but does that mean that the union itself is a crony capitalist? A leftwing union backed by a leftwing government has a controlling interest in a corporations that are thus effectively owned by the government? Thus making the the leftwing government a de facto fascist/socialist entity?

Keep fuckin' that chicken, FLS and Garage!

Lance said...

There are only two true liberals. Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman.

And there are only two true conservatives: Arlen Specter and Bill Clinton. Right?

Trooper York said...

If the Mob was still runnng things they never would have sent those jobs overseas.

You think Jimmy Hoffa would'a let them Nafta Mexican truck drivers in!

NO FUCKIN WAY!

Turn the economy back to the Mob so we can buy American again!!!!

garage mahal said...

Hitler served TEA PARTIES in the garden of the Chancellery . Hmmmmm......

garage mahal said...

So we can unquestionably call Hitler a Tea Party Leader.

c3 said...

Trooper;
Turn the economy back to the Mob so we can buy American again!!!!

sorry, my sarcometer is broken. Were you serious?

Trooper York said...

Of course I am serious. When the mob owned the Presidency everything ran smoothly. Don't you remember the 1950's for crying out loud.

GMay said...

You guys are casting pearls here.

Trooper York said...

We could just let the President play golf and the Commission could settle everything else.

We already have the golf part taken care of now we just have to put the Mob back in charge of the unions and everything will go back to the golden days of yore.

Trooper York said...

I would much rather have Carlo Gambino and Meyer Lansky running everything insteas of Rahm and Axelrod for crying out loud dude!

Chef Mojo said...

So we can unquestionably call Hitler a Tea Party Leader.

This is lame, Garage. Really. Is this all your intellect can spew forth at this point?

Stalin and Mao drank tea, too. Doesn't that mean Stalin and Mao and Hitler are the same?

Whoa! That's so fuckin deep, Garage!

former law student said...

I thought that the UAW had a controlling interest in GM and Chrysler?

You thought wrong, then.

The UAW Health Care Trust -- en entity created to pay for retirees' health care bills, not the UAW -- owns 17.5% of GM, hardly a "controlling interest" compared to the US government's 60%.

Retirees' health care benefits have been slashed, by the way.

Maguro said...

Stalin clearly would have been a member of the Coffee Party.

"Civility" was a real pet peeve of Uncle Joe's.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

National Socialist German Worker's Party.

So, they were kind of like Republicans - the other party that only represents "hard-working" people.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Guys it's not about the tyranny and mass murder of the Guatemalan genocide. It's the fact that the perpetrators must have somehow been leftists that matters.

Augusto Pinochet. Now he was a great leftist socialist. Disappeared thousands and tortured countless others. Some people blame it on the tyranny.

I blame his leftism.

Genghis Khan. Now that was a great leftist-socialist. Hannibal. The list goes on and on.

I think in the bible "Abel" is a conservative nationalist and "Cain" is a liberal-progressive.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And we mustn't forget the church bombers and lynchers either. Leftist-socialist-progressives to a man, they were. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

The slaveowners: Leftist-socialists. They were all about progress and breaking down the barriers that maintained the established order.

Quaestor said...

Nothing infuriates a revisionist more than being revised.

wv: dedes - what happens when a cheerleader cloning experiment goes awry.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So, help me out here. Was Adolf Hitler's constant appeal to ancient German folklore a "progressive" effort?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Don't forget the leftists of the Japanese imperial army! They purged 5 million, easy.

Despite the lies of the leftists, he was no conservative Japanese nationalist! And "banzai" was a cry that could be roughly translated as "Communism forever!"

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Idi Amin: Leftist.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Slobodan Milosevic.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Abraham Lincoln - NOT a progressive.

Why did he favor railroads and urbanization? Huh? WHY?

O Abe. The progressives here will claim you as their own. Every one knows that preserving the union is a Commie cause supported by Marxists like Barack Obama and that slavery was a modern, liberal evil and not a custom practiced since the dawn of time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Neither was Theodore Roosevelt.

Maguro said...

Slobodan Milosevic.

Slobodan Milosevic the Serbian communist leader?

What about him?

dick said...

Garage,

Actually it was a turf war between the Nazis and the Communists. There is a book by a Communist leader in Germany in the period before the Nazis took over and his whole task was to do whatever he could to get rid of the Nazis and there were a bunch of Nazis whose whole task was to get rid of the Spartacists (Communists). The Nazis won primarily because they were home grown and could play on the nationalist fears of their fellow Germans. Other than that they used the same tactics against each other all during the 1920's and the early 1930's until the Nazis really got entrenched.

Paddy O said...

"The slaveowners: Leftist-socialists."

Of course, they were all Democrats. Until they split. As were the Copperheads. Not as much pro-union in contemporary terms as much as believers in importing people for jobs "Americans" won't do.

Republicans were founded on freeing the slaves, so that's not the best issue to bring to this conversation.

Methadras said...

MayBee said...

Prohibition! A big victory for progressives.


Oh sure, until they needed tax money to spend on their Marxist ideas, then magically it was repealed. Oh, will you look at what is happening to pot in California now? Shit, even the unions are in on the action. Will Karl never die?

Paddy O said...

You can argue that the most important wealth creating law ever was the Homestead Act of 1862.

It wasn't at all progressive/socialist because it let go vast swaths of Government control over land rather than seizing it. But it wasn't particularly ultra-capitalist because it didn't sell the land to the highest bidder.

It gave people the chance to work their own land, and gain wealth for their family, which then helped build towns and cities all over the country. In Alaska until the early 80s I believe.

That's the genius, most American, approach. We won't give you handouts and we won't cater to the richest or most connected. The government is there to give people space, and to get out of the way so they have a chance to work their asses off for their dreams.

GMay said...

Oh look, Ritmo with another non-argument. This is so unexpected.

Methadras said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...And "banzai" was a cry that could be roughly translated as "Communism forever!"

Ah, but for you, that is the battle-cry you use to aim for the hole in your pillow.

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
And we mustn't forget the church bombers and lynchers either. Leftist-socialist-progressives to a man, they were. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Actually, at the time when blacks were actually being lynched the lynchers were all southern democrats. But I'll grant you, probably not liberal socialist progressives. And church bombers may have been democrats too but perhaps not liberals. How many churches were bombed? Compare that to I don't know Stalin, Year Zero, Mao. Sounds like liberal progressives have everybody beat when it comes to slaughter.

Methinks you doth protest too much. What's the matter? Don't like being told that Nazis were soclalists?

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
The slaveowners: Leftist-socialists. They were all about progress and breaking down the barriers that maintained the established order.

Hmm not sure how to rank them.ONe thing we don know is that the abolitionists were god fearing christians who based their morality on their religion and fought to free slaves based on religious precepts, so they certainly were no liberals considering liberals say you can't legislate morality and that christians are just trying to force people to follow their religion and are knuckle dragging racists. So, they certainly can't be lberal heroes.

dick said...

Just found the book about the Nazis/Communists warring cells. It was called Out of the Night and it was written by Jan Valtin. It is an autobiography of Valtin who was a specialist for the Spartacists in fomenting strikes against the Weimar Regime and later against the Nazis. He goes into detail on how the two groups fought each other in Germany, South America, Britain and the US. Fascinating book to read from an insider's perspective.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Republicans were founded on freeing the slaves, so that's not the best issue to bring to this conversation.

It is for someone unafraid of distinguishing between what Republicans stood for in 1860 versus what they stand for in 2010.

It really is the height of ignorance to refuse to note any distinction between what a political party once stood for and what it stands for 150 years later, after the rise of many new issues requiring their attention.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Slaveowners and their defenders also based their arguments on religious dictates, jr.

It's amazing how you let just enough history pass to feign ignorance on what the real point was.

Fifty years hence, you'll probably forget just enough about segregation to claim that bible thumpers were only on one side of that issue, as well.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Methinks you doth protest too much. What's the matter? Don't like being told that Nazis were soclalists?

Hmmm. I have no idea what a "soclalist" is but right-wingers sure don't seem to like it pointed out to them that the Nazis were ethnic/cultural nationalists who loved large private companies as long as they could represent the strength of the state.

In other words, they were fascists not much different from today's conservative pro-big business congresscritters.

And I think the two of you also shared a similar stance on immigration.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And Abraham Lincoln favored urbanization and improved infrastructure, Paddy O. So perhaps thinking of him as a 2010 "Republican" isn't the best way of addressing his role in this conversation, either.

For God's sake. You guys have no problem distancing yourself from Theodore Roosevelt. What on earth makes you think that Michael Steele and Sarah Palin are the living incarnation of every principle held by Abraham Lincoln?

It must be the passage of time that makes these lazy comparisons possible.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Actually, at the time when blacks were actually being lynched the lynchers were all southern democrats.

Good point, jr. Southern Republicans did not really exist until Lee Atwater got their attention with the following strategy:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

Pogo said...

In which Ritmo again posts another unread bundle of over-written blather, here to evade the ugly history that is the Democratic party, that socialist state-loving organ always denying it.

The Dem party motto:
It wasn't me!"

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Well, it sure wasn't Pogo - seeing as how the Birchers never made it to national office. Except in cipher mode.

Visiting the sins of the fathers on the sons doesn't work very well, Pogo. Not when they converted to your side, at least.

jr565 said...

Ritmo:
Slaveowners and their defenders also based their arguments on religious dictates, jr.

It's amazing how you let just enough history pass to feign ignorance on what the real point was.

Fifty years hence, you'll probably forget just enough about segregation to claim that bible thumpers were only on one side of that issue, as well.

You are a total bullshit artist. You tried to pin slavery on conservatives. I simply turned around and said that based on current liberal standards those that were abolitionists could not possibly be liberal, since they based their morality on gods morality, and as we all know there is no god, and christians are America's taliban.
THe fact of the matter is I WOULD view abolitiionsists as classical liberals, as were teh founding fathers, but that liberalism is far removed from those that call themselves progressives today. Todays progressives are socialists through and through.

former law student said...

they based their morality on gods morality, and as we all know there is no god, and christians are America's taliban.

The Christians I grew up with were liberal. For example, Saul Alinsky worked with and for liberal Christians against segregation. Something about that "least of My brethren" thing.

On the other hand, slaveholders who claimed to be Christian found Biblical authorization for the practice of slavery. As a consequence, the Baptist Church kicked their churches out of their fellowship. Thus the Southern Baptist Convention was formed.

jr565 said...

Asshole wrote:
Hmmm. I have no idea what a "soclalist" is but right-wingers sure don't seem to like it pointed out to them that the Nazis were ethnic/cultural nationalists who loved large private companies as long as they could represent the strength of the state.

In other words, they were fascists not much different from today's conservative pro-big business congresscritters.

And I think the two of you also shared a similar stance on immigration.


One, they have the name socialists in their title.They are officially known as The National Socialist German Workers' Party. Only a lefty of complete ignorance would deny that those calling themselves socialists are in fact socialist. The fact that German socialism differs from Russian socialism is only beause Germany differs from Russia as separate countries.

their swastika was simply a slightly rotated symbol used by the red army. THey were allies till Hitler broke the Hitler stalin pact.
But, they are not capitalists which is the only reason people refer to them as "right wing"
Private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis. The actual the means of production resided with the government. The government determined what was produed, how much was produced, and how and to whom it would be distributed, as well as the prices that woudl be charged and wages that would be paid (Hmmm, almost sounds like Obama and the lefts view of how this country should be run. Goverment controls the means of production, govt determines what people are paid and what companies can produce etc.) Private owners were simply government pensioners, but their factories were essentially in the hands of the Gestapo. There was no free market per se.What also made the socialist was their implementation of price controls which ultimately required the state to control the means of production irrespective of profitability, which is a socializatoin of the economic system, not capitalism.
as for conservatives being nazis because they want to protect their borders, you know who else wants to protect it's borders? Mexico. In fact their immigration laws are far more onerous than ours when it comes to how THEY deal with their illegals. I guess they are nazis too.
But since we're going to make comparisons to nazis and/or Hitler who said this:
"As things stand today, the trade unions in my opinion cannot be dispensed with. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions of the nation's economic life. Their significance lies not only in the social and political field, but even more in the general field of national politics. A people whose broad masses, through a sound trade-union movement, obtain the satisfaction of their living requirements and at the same time an education, will be tremendously strengthened in its power of resistance in the struggle for existence".


Liberals of today? No it was Hitler.
Hitler also had this to say:
Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings." Sounds pretty socialist.
THe nazis also were proponents of eugenics, but got many of their ideas from progressives of the day. In fact Hitler, except for his genocidal view of the jews would for all intents nad purposes fit in really well with the left of the day.

And if the argument is that Hitler is "right wing"because of nationalism it should also be noted that Stalin became a nationalist socialist and Ho Chi Minh was also a national socialist. Are they then right wing?

jr565 said...

Or how about this manifesto, was it Stalin, Hitler or a lefty of the day or a lefty of today?

"A declaration of war against the order of things which exist, against the state of things which exist, in a word, against the structure of the world which presently exists". (totally liberal by the way)

From the manifesto:

9. All citizens of the State shall be equal as regards rights and duties.

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. The activities of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the frame of the community and be for the general good.

Therefore we demand:

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in life and property, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as a crime against the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits whether in assets or material.

13. We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been organized into cartels.

14. We demand that all the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared out.

15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle-class, the immediate communalization of department stores which will be rented cheaply to small businessmen, and that preference shall be given to small businessmen for provision of supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand a land reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.


Hitler of course. And not only is this socialism and not right wing you can almost imagine the modern left uttering a lot of this.
Finally if you want to say that the Nazis were right wing because of their hatred of Jews, again that is a leftists trait. Engles and Marx hated the Jews, Mussolini didn't hate the Jews and actually saved some of them. Hitler of course hated the Jews. But the left of the day also hated the Jews. Because they left of the day hated capitalism and Jews were emblematic of money.

Even the neo nazis of today who are deemed right wing, are in fact espousing EXACTLY what prewar leftists espoused during hitlers time. They are not conservative. They are leftists.

Facism is socialism is nazism. Facism is socialism adapted to Italy. Facism and Nazism was national socialism and Communism was international socialism. But they were still all socialistic.And progressives of the day were themselves racist eugenic facists.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Meh. Blogger's eating my posts. I'll post my response to you when it's not screwing up, jr.

Pogo said...

Don't bother, Ritmo. I'll answer for you.

1. Evasion.
2. Non sequitur.
3. Elision.
4. Historical revisionism.
5. Insult.
6. Blah blah blah.
7. Bad faith.
8. Repeat.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Everything is pretty easy when you're a conservative. Like you just did. Make shit up.

Jesus garage, you do know who Trotsky was and what happened to him don't you?

Maybe you should restrict comment contributions to your standard LOL! from now on.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

jr,

Hitler was nuts. It's impossible to know what he stated due to his own beliefs, and what he stated due to necessary compromises on a disgusting path toward absolute power. I don't know whether the socialist stuff was just a feature of the politics of the day, a feature of the politics of his obsessively ethnic supremacist nation-state (or a bargain with it - you're probably right that it had everything to do with Jews as a symbol for money and, therefore, capitalism), or something he truly wanted. Who knows? As I said, Hitler was nuts but his interest in ethnic supremacy was the most important thing. And the fact that this was not a liberal or progressive thing is my point.

You bring up eugenics. The point here that everyone forgets is that racism was the default way of looking at the world through the early 20th century. Even Lincoln thought - completely uncontroversially, I might add - that blacks, whatever rights they were owed, were still inferior to whites.

So with Gregor Mendel's study of a truly scientific genetics, eugenics was a sort of stepping stone to reconciling universal rights with empiric biology. It was a horrifying phase through which to pass. But somehow modern thinking had to reconcile the ethics of universal rights with the realization that, yes, there are biological differences between people and groups of people. They just didn't come to learn how irrelevant those differences were. Rights and biology are two different things - but this was new and problematic to generations used to having to find a transcendent explanation to justify the differences that exist between the "winners" and "losers" of society, and they sought refuge in a pseudo-scientific application of biology.

Eugenicists thought that they would level those differences; they just went about doing so in a completely horrifying, un-conservative and illiberal way.

As for socialism itself, you should know that no economy has ever been anything other than a mixed economy. Progressives saw, as a result of industrialization, how much more pronounced the extremes between laborers and owners of capital became, and were not wrong to be horrified by the injustices this allowed for. The right seems to writhe at the fact that this was a widespread, nearly universal (indeed, global) reaction, and bases their ideology almost completely on opposition to that reaction. But it still created widespread problems and injustices that pragmatists as diverse as TR and Upton Sinclair were confronted with, and had to find pragmatic, workable responses to.

The fact that Mao and Stalin and a few petty imitators responded with horrifying atrocities on a mass scale of their own, does not justify the conservatives' claim to the only proper view of how to cope with the problems of industrialism or industrial society. It's fine if they want to say that we should have ignored an expectation of 12 hour workdays, 6 days a week, just to survive long enough to die an early death rather than to get ahead, and tenements too crowded to keep out deadly disease. But they can't ignore the fact that industrialization brought about widespread upheavals in society, and that those changes could only be ignored politically for so long, and at their peril.

Franklin Roosevelt was inevitable, and the necessary alternative to an American Stalin or an American Mao. For conservatives to re-write history as if his rise and the state he built in response to his times were an abomination, rather than a necessary outlet and way to cope with the political reality of an industrial society, is simply not a serious criticism.

I'll give conservatives credit for remembering the importance of markets and incentives, just as you will give liberals credit for abolition. But we both can do a decent job of getting our history right and not letting politics warp ours and other sane minds' understanding of what really happened.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Instead, let's leave the indecently warped caricatures to the Howard Zinns, the Glenn Becks and the Pogos.

Well, just kidding. Pogo can't even come up with as much thought as those two.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

jr,

Hitler was nuts. It's impossible to know what he stated due to his own beliefs, and what he stated due to necessary compromises on a disgusting path toward absolute power. I don't know whether the socialist stuff was just a feature of the politics of the day, a feature of the politics of his obsessively ethnic supremacist nation-state (or a bargain with it - you're probably right that it had everything to do with Jews as a symbol for money and, therefore, capitalism), or something he truly wanted. Who knows? As I said, Hitler was nuts but his interest in ethnic supremacy was the most important thing. And the fact that this was not a liberal or progressive thing is my point.

You bring up eugenics. The point here that everyone forgets is that racism was the default way of looking at the world through the early 20th century. Even Lincoln thought - completely uncontroversially, I might add - that blacks, whatever rights they were owed, were still inferior to whites.

So with Gregor Mendel's study of a truly scientific genetics, eugenics was a sort of stepping stone to reconciling universal rights with empiric biology. It was a horrifying phase through which to pass. But somehow modern thinking had to reconcile the ethics of universal rights with the realization that, yes, there are biological differences between people and groups of people. They just didn't come to learn how irrelevant those differences were. Rights and biology are two different things - but this was new and problematic to generations used to having to find a transcendent explanation to justify the differences that exist between the "winners" and "losers" of society, and they sought refuge in a pseudo-scientific application of biology.

Eugenicists thought that they would level those differences; they just went about doing so in a completely horrifying, un-conservative and illiberal way.

As for socialism itself, you should know that no economy has ever been anything other than a mixed economy. Progressives saw, as a result of industrialization, how much more pronounced the extremes between laborers and owners of capital became, and were not wrong to be horrified by the injustices this allowed for. The right seems to writhe at the fact that this was a widespread, nearly universal (indeed, global) reaction, and bases their ideology almost completely on opposition to that reaction. But it still created widespread problems and injustices that pragmatists as diverse as TR and Upton Sinclair were confronted with, and had to find pragmatic, workable responses to.

The fact that Mao and Stalin and a few petty imitators responded with horrifying atrocities on a mass scale of their own, does not justify the conservatives' claim to the only proper view of how to cope with the problems of industrialism or industrial society. It's fine if they want to say that we should have ignored an expectation of 12 hour workdays, 6 days a week, just to survive long enough to die an early death rather than to get ahead, and tenements too crowded to keep out deadly disease. But they can't ignore the fact that industrialization brought about widespread upheavals in society, and that those changes could only be ignored politically for so long, and at their peril.

Franklin Roosevelt was inevitable, and the necessary alternative to an American Stalin or an American Mao. For conservatives to re-write history as if his rise and the state he built in response to his times were an abomination, rather than a necessary outlet and way to cope with the political reality of an industrial society, is simply not a serious criticism.

I'll give conservatives credit for remembering the importance of markets and incentives, just as you will give liberals credit for abolition. But we both can do a decent job of getting our history right and not letting politics warp ours and other sane minds' understanding of what really happened.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

jr,

Hitler was nuts. It's impossible to know what he stated due to his own beliefs, and what he stated due to necessary compromises on a disgusting path toward absolute power. I don't know whether the socialist stuff was just a feature of the politics of the day, a feature of the politics of his obsessively ethnic supremacist nation-state (or a bargain with it - you're probably right that it had everything to do with Jews as a symbol for money and, therefore, capitalism), or something he truly wanted. Who knows? As I said, Hitler was nuts but his interest in ethnic supremacy was the most important thing. And the fact that this was not a liberal or progressive thing is my point.

You bring up eugenics. The point here that everyone forgets is that racism was the default way of looking at the world through the early 20th century. Even Lincoln thought - completely uncontroversially, I might add - that blacks, whatever rights they were owed, were still inferior to whites.

So with Gregor Mendel's study of a truly scientific genetics, eugenics was a sort of stepping stone to reconciling universal rights with empiric biology. It was a horrifying phase through which to pass. But somehow modern thinking had to reconcile the ethics of universal rights with the realization that, yes, there are biological differences between people and groups of people. They just didn't come to learn how irrelevant those differences were. Rights and biology are two different things - but this was new and problematic to generations used to having to find a transcendent explanation to justify the differences that exist between the "winners" and "losers" of society, and they sought refuge in a pseudo-scientific application of biology.

Eugenicists thought that they would level those differences; they just went about doing so in a completely horrifying, un-conservative and illiberal way.

As for socialism itself, you should know that no economy has ever been anything other than a mixed economy. Progressives saw, as a result of industrialization, how much more pronounced the extremes between laborers and owners of capital became, and were not wrong to be horrified by the injustices this allowed for. The right seems to writhe at the fact that this was a widespread, nearly universal (indeed, global) reaction, and bases their ideology almost completely on opposition to that reaction. But it still created widespread problems and injustices that pragmatists as diverse as TR and Upton Sinclair were confronted with, and had to find pragmatic, workable responses to.

The fact that Mao and Stalin and a few petty imitators responded with horrifying atrocities on a mass scale of their own, does not justify the conservatives' claim to the only proper view of how to cope with the problems of industrialism or industrial society. It's fine if they want to say that we should have ignored an expectation of 12 hour workdays, 6 days a week, just to survive long enough to die an early death rather than to get ahead, and tenements too crowded to keep out deadly disease. But they can't ignore the fact that industrialization brought about widespread upheavals in society, and that those changes could only be ignored politically for so long, and at their peril.

Franklin Roosevelt was inevitable, and the necessary alternative to an American Stalin or an American Mao. For conservatives to re-write history as if his rise and the state he built in response to his times were an abomination, rather than a necessary outlet and way to cope with the political reality of an industrial society, is simply not a serious criticism.

I'll give conservatives credit for remembering the importance of markets and incentives, just as you will give liberals credit for abolition. But we both can do a decent job of getting our history right and not letting politics warp ours and other sane minds' understanding of what really happened.

Pogo said...

Well, I admit i cannot come up with as many words as those two.

But not all words require thought, as they both repeatedly demonstrate.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Pogo:

STFU.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

jr,

Hitler was nuts. It's impossible to know what he stated due to his own beliefs, and what he stated due to necessary compromises on a disgusting path toward absolute power. I don't know whether the socialist stuff was just a feature of the politics of the day, a feature of the politics of his obsessively ethnic supremacist nation-state (or a bargain with it - you're probably right that it had everything to do with Jews as a symbol for money and, therefore, capitalism), or something he truly wanted. Who knows? As I said, Hitler was nuts but his interest in ethnic supremacy was the most important thing. And the fact that this was not a liberal or progressive thing is my point.

You bring up eugenics. The point here that everyone forgets is that racism was the default way of looking at the world through the early 20th century. Even Lincoln thought - completely uncontroversially, I might add - that blacks, whatever rights they were owed, were still inferior to whites.

So with Gregor Mendel's study of a truly scientific genetics, eugenics was a sort of stepping stone to reconciling universal rights with empiric biology. It was a horrifying phase through which to pass. But somehow modern thinking had to reconcile the ethics of universal rights with the realization that, yes, there are biological differences between people and groups of people. They just didn't come to learn how irrelevant those differences were. Rights and biology are two different things - but this was new and problematic to generations used to having to find a transcendent explanation to justify the differences that exist between the "winners" and "losers" of society, and they sought refuge in a pseudo-scientific application of biology.

Eugenicists thought that they would level those differences; they just went about doing so in a completely horrifying, un-conservative and illiberal way.

(Cont.)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

jr,

Hitler was nuts. It's impossible to know what he stated due to his own beliefs, and what he stated due to necessary compromises on a disgusting path toward absolute power. I don't know whether the socialist stuff was just a feature of the politics of the day, a feature of the politics of his obsessively ethnic supremacist nation-state (or a bargain with it - you're probably right that it had everything to do with Jews as a symbol for money and, therefore, capitalism), or something he truly wanted. Who knows? As I said, Hitler was nuts but his interest in ethnic supremacy was the most important thing. And the fact that this was not a liberal or progressive thing is my point.

You bring up eugenics. The point here that everyone forgets is that racism was the default way of looking at the world through the early 20th century. Even Lincoln thought - completely uncontroversially, I might add - that blacks, whatever rights they were owed, were still inferior to whites.

So with Gregor Mendel's study of a truly scientific genetics, eugenics was a sort of stepping stone to reconciling universal rights with empiric biology. It was a horrifying phase through which to pass. But somehow modern thinking had to reconcile the ethics of universal rights with the realization that, yes, there are biological differences between people and groups of people. They just didn't come to learn how irrelevant those differences were. Rights and biology are two different things - but this was new and problematic to generations used to having to find a transcendent explanation to justify the differences that exist between the "winners" and "losers" of society, and they sought refuge in a pseudo-scientific application of biology.

Eugenicists thought that they would level those differences; they just went about doing so in a completely horrifying, un-conservative and illiberal way.

(Cont.)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

As for socialism itself, you should know that no economy has ever been anything other than a mixed economy. Progressives saw, as a result of industrialization, how much more pronounced the extremes between laborers and owners of capital became, and were not wrong to be horrified by the injustices this allowed for. The right seems to writhe at the fact that this was a widespread, nearly universal (indeed, global) reaction, and bases their ideology almost completely on opposition to that reaction. But it still created widespread problems and injustices that pragmatists as diverse as TR and Upton Sinclair were confronted with, and had to find pragmatic, workable responses to.

The fact that Mao and Stalin and a few petty imitators responded with horrifying atrocities on a mass scale of their own, does not justify the conservatives' claim to the only proper view of how to cope with the problems of industrialism or industrial society. It's fine if they want to say that we should have ignored an expectation of 12 hour workdays, 6 days a week, just to survive long enough to die an early death rather than to get ahead, and tenements too crowded to keep out deadly disease. But they can't ignore the fact that industrialization brought about widespread upheavals in society, and that those changes could only be ignored politically for so long, and at their peril.

Franklin Roosevelt was inevitable, and the necessary alternative to an American Stalin or an American Mao. For conservatives to re-write history as if his rise and the state he built in response to his times were an abomination, rather than a necessary outlet and way to cope with the political reality of an industrial society, is simply not a serious criticism.

I'll give conservatives credit for remembering the importance of markets and incentives, just as you will give liberals credit for abolition. But we both can do a decent job of getting our history right and not letting politics warp ours and other sane minds' understanding of what really happened.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Instead, let's leave the indecently warped caricatures to the Howard Zinns, the Glenn Becks and the Pogos.

Well, just kidding. Pogo can't even come up with as much thought as those two.

Pogo said...

"For conservatives to re-write history ..."

Hilarious, but no, we wouldn't deprive the left of the only mechanism they have to cleanse their ignominious past.

Pogo said...

Franklin Roosevelt was inevitable, and the necessary alternative to an American Stalin or an American Mao."

That is, he was a socialist during socialist times. Hardly a defense, that we could have done worse, but a novel one I haven't heard.

If FDR had been a better man, a smarter man, say, one who didn't think he could just make up the price of gold every morning at breakfast (true fact), it's possible the Great Depression wouldn't have lasted 10 years, but just 2 or 3.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But we both can do a decent job of getting our history right and not letting politics warp ours and other sane minds' understanding of what really happened.

Well this coming from Ritmo gave me my hearty laugh for the day. Now I can advance onward knowing that whatever evils should attempt to overtake me, I can confidently stand firm against the tide.

Because humor, breathtakingly belly bursting humor as Ritmo displayed here conquers all.

Hoosier Daddy said...

For conservatives to re-write history as if his rise and the state he built in response to his times were an abomination, rather than a necessary outlet and way to cope with the political reality of an industrial society, is simply not a serious criticism.

FDR can take the credit (or blame) for giving birth to the modern welfare state as we know it now although I don't think even FDR at the time would have condoned the kind of cradle to grave dependency that modern liberals today seem to want to shackle the country to.

Its a shame because there is a definite middle ground in where the government can provide the citizenry with common sense hand-ups (rather than handouts) when hard times befall. But like helicopter parents, liberal Democrats just can't bear to cut that umbilical cord because a dependent constituency is their only lifeline to a job. The conservative is the parent who is proud to have raised children that are prepared to be the next generation that can support themselves whereas the liberal is the parent that can't find any meaning in their life once junior leaves the nest.

jr565 said...

Ritmo wrote:
Instead, let's leave the indecently warped caricatures to the Howard Zinns, the Glenn Becks and the Pogos.

Well, just kidding. Pogo can't even come up with as much thought as those two.

Except that any lefty worth his stripe has always called conservatives nazis and the Nazis right wing. It's important therefore to set the record straight as to where the nazis were coming from. They were not a conserve the status quo type group. They were social facist revolutionaries out to remake the social order. Which is completely liberal. As was Mussolini, who for years wrote in socialist newspapers. He merely tweaked socialism to work for Italy. If you want to talk about right or left wing, you might say that Hitler is more right wing on a socialist scale than say Stalin, but that doesn't mean he was right wing per se. Still a socialist. And I'm not saying that because the Nazis were jew haters that therefore it was their liberalism that made them so, but isn't that what leftys imply about the Nazis when they level the charge that the nazis were right wing?
FDR himself was in many ways as facistic as Hitler. But he wasn't a genocidal killer. Was he right wing? Other than the hatred of Jews what exactly are lefties objecting to about Hitler that they can call him a conservative? They are simply trying to lump racism on the right. Which is why they are so adamant to prove taht Hitler was anything but a lefty socialist, since after all that's pretty much what the left is espousing now and always.
The world at the time hated the Jews, not just Hitler.IF you look before HItler Marx was calling for eradication of the jews, the progressives of the day were jew haters, but also hated inferior races. If you look at the progressives on the list of great progressives in the nation about half of them were eugenecists. We blame nazis for that impulse but it was the progressives that pushed that impulse (and its progressives that are still carrying that banner to this day albeit in a different form).
We keep hearing about right wing racism and how the slave owners were right wing (?). Then the left says that yes the republicans were the party that fought against slavery but todays republicans are the bigots. What about Woodrow Wilson? He resegregated the Navy and the white house (prior to that we had blacks working in the white house). Progressives again, AFTER slavery had been abolished again were as instrumental in fostering racism as the southerners that get the lions share of the blame. It's true that that's where the world was at the time, but then, don't lump it all on conservatives. If you look up progressive history you'd vomit at what was done under progressives names. I'm kind of surprised, considering, that liberals now want to go by the name progressives. Do they REALLY know what the progressives were all about?

Robert Cook said...

Oh, for pete's sake...I come back and find all this stupid hullabaloo over the Nazis being socialists/leftists?!

It's very common for entities with hidden agendas to masquerade as that which they're not. It's in the nature of propaganda. It's part of conning people...the oldest game in the book!

Bush's "Clear Skies Act" actually weakened existing anti-pollution laws, lessened enforcement, and allowed greater emission of pollutants into the environment.

His "Healthy Forest Restoration Act" eased federal logging restrictions, allowing timber companies to harvest older, large diameter,more valuable trees.

His "enhanced interrogation techniques," as it was with the Nazis, who used the same term, was torture.

The Tea Party organizations, supposedly grass roots populist organizations, are funded by billionaires, who presumably wish to create the appearance (and belief among the membership) that there is populist support for policies and candidates that will benefit the elites.

The Republicans try to present themselves as the party of the people, when they have always been the party of big business. (Sadly, the Democrats, who once upon a time were the party of working people, are now also the party of big business. They're both guilty of misrepresentation in hopes of fooling the gullible.)

There has been a term applied to this practice: "astroturfing," with its own Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing

That people can argue--or believe--the Nazis were leftists, and support this argument by pointing out that they called themselves the "National Socialist German Workers Party" is astonishing.

Maguro said...

That people can argue--or believe--the Nazis were leftists, and support this argument by pointing out that they called themselves the "National Socialist German Workers Party" is astonishing.

Well, obviously it is a lot more than just the name of their party. The Nazis were anti-Bolshevik, yes, but they also hated laissez-faire capitalism, which they felt was exploitive and degrading. The Anglo-American economic model was much reviled in Nazi Germany. Germany had a mixed economy under Hitler, characterized by private ownership of industry combined with a high degree of central planning and strong government intervention in daily workings of the economy. In keeping with their socialist origins, the Nazis also provided a social safety net for German citizens that was fairly extensive.

In short, Nazi economic philosophy was similar other that of many other northern European socialists. Economically at least, the Nazis were actually pretty left-wing.

former law student said...

One, they have the name socialists in their title.They are officially known as The National Socialist German Workers' Party. Only a lefty of complete ignorance would deny that those calling themselves socialists are in fact socialist. The fact that German socialism differs from Russian socialism is only beause Germany differs from Russia as separate countries.

let's test the persuasive power of this argument with another example:

One, they have the name Republican in their title. They are officially known as The Izquierda Republicana. Only a righty of complete ignorance would deny that those calling themselves Republicans are in fact Republican. The fact that Spanish Republicanism differs from American Republicanism is only beause Spain differs from the US as separate countries.

Compare also the countries which, based on their names, are built on Republican ideals:

People's Republic of China
People's Republic of Albania

or, if the word "People's" bothers you,

Republic of Congo
Republic of Haiti
Republic of Kenya,

all founded and run in the true Republican spirit.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That people can argue--or believe--the Nazis were leftists, and support this argument by pointing out that they called themselves the "National Socialist German Workers Party" is astonishing.

Or maybe sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

You know Cookie, the leftists in the USA were all cool with Adolf right up to June 22, 1941. Then again the national socialists were keen on private enterprise either, much like their Soviet counterparts, both idealized the collective of the State and had a real big thing for a government agency for everything.

If the similarities with national socialism with your evidently favored ideology bothers you, well, truth hurts.

I know gasrage was on earlier stamping his feet insisting that Hitler breaking up the unions was proof he was a card carrying member of the GOP. Well gasrage, look at Solidarity in Poland in the late 70s and you'll see that your heros in the Soviet Union were close to invading Poland over those upstart union thugs.

Hoosier Daddy said...

or, if the word "People's" bothers you,

Republic of Congo


Well what about the Democratic Republic of Congo FLS? Or are they just schizo in former Zaire?

I mean this is all a fun little exercise but the fact remains that both national socialism and communism both centered on the State as the end all of existance. Individuality, personal achievement, cornerstones of conservatism had no place in either society where the State was supreme. An ideology that is is more in line with big government, we're here to help you Democrats than it is with conservatives.

Like I said, truth hurts.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The conservative is the parent who is proud to have raised children that are prepared to be the next generation that can support themselves whereas the liberal is the parent that can't find any meaning in their life once junior leaves the nest.

Except, strangely enough, when it comes to the estate tax.