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The Mustache on the Left

Deep_Groove

TRIBE Member
Here is an article that I think everyone in this forum could benefit from reading:

The Mustache on the Left

By Edward Feser Published 01/08/2004

From: www.techcentralstation.com

As a Bush re-election later this year looks increasingly likely, some left-wingers worry that Howard Dean is too risky a candidate to put up against a popular President. There is, of course, the obvious comparison to McGovern and the fear that a true believer may inevitably be a sure loser. There is also the worry that Dean may not in fact be so true a believer in the first place: he did support Newt Gingrich's Medicare reforms, after all, and has been a little too cozy with gun rights advocates; might he not betray the Left in order to appeal to Middle America? Is the prospect of another Clinton the price to pay for avoiding another McGovern?

A solution for the Leftist might lie in turning one's historical eye back before either Clinton or McGovern, to find a model who was both genuinely radical and a solid electoral success. Then the task will be to find a modern politician who fits this paradigm as closely as possible. Who might serve as such a model?

One example stands out. Who was he?

He had been something of a bohemian in his youth, and always regarded young people and their idealism as the key to progress and the overcoming of outmoded prejudices. And he was widely admired by the young people of his country, many of whom belonged to organizations devoted to practicing and propagating his teachings. He had a lifelong passion for music, art, and architecture, and was even something of a painter. He rejected what he regarded as petty bourgeois moral hang-ups, and he and his girlfriend "lived together" for years. He counted a number of homosexuals as friends and collaborators, and took the view that a man's personal morals were none of his business; some scholars of his life believe that he himself may have been homosexual or bisexual. He was ahead of his time where a number of contemporary progressive causes are concerned: he disliked smoking, regarding it as a serious danger to public health, and took steps to combat it; he was a vegetarian and animal lover; he enacted tough gun control laws; and he advocated euthanasia for the incurably ill.

He championed the rights of workers, regarded capitalist society as brutal and unjust, and sought a third way between communism and the free market. In this regard, he and his associates greatly admired the strong steps taken by President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to take large-scale economic decision-making out of private hands and put it into those of government planning agencies. His aim was to institute a brand of socialism that avoided the inefficiencies that plagued the Soviet variety, and many former communists found his program highly congenial. He deplored the selfish individualism he took to be endemic to modern Western society, and wanted to replace it with an ethic of self-sacrifice: "As Christ proclaimed 'love one another'," he said, "so our call -- 'people's community,' 'public need before private greed,' 'communally-minded social consciousness' -- rings out…! This call will echo throughout the world!"

The reference to Christ notwithstanding, he was not personally a Christian, regarding the Catholicism he was baptized into as an irrational superstition. In fact he admired Islam more than Christianity, and he and his policies were highly respected by many of the Muslims of his day. He and his associates had a special distaste for the Catholic Church and, given a choice, preferred modern liberalized Protestantism, taking the view that the best form of Christianity would be one that forsook the traditional other-worldly focus on personal salvation and accommodated itself to the requirements of a program for social justice to be implemented by the state. They also considered the possibility that Christianity might eventually have to be abandoned altogether in favor of a return to paganism, a worldview many of them saw as more humane and truer to the heritage of their people. For he and his associates believed strongly that a people's ethnic and racial heritage was what mattered most. Some endorsed a kind of cultural relativism according to which what is true or false and right or wrong in some sense depends on one's ethnic worldview, and especially on what best promotes the well-being of one's ethnic group.

Who was he? He certainly sounds like the ideal presidential candidate of a Pacifica Radio Network listener or Mother Jones subscriber -- or, to make a more timely reference, a contributor to MoveOn.org. It can only add to his appeal for such people that he was a target of American and British bombing raids and had to flee to the safety of an underground hide-out. And he was none other than Time magazine's Man of the Year for 1938: Adolf Hitler.

Surprise!

OK, it was a cheap trick; but I trust I didn't get anyone's hopes up too much. That der Fuhrer's biography has as much of a resemblance as it does to that of the typical granola-munching whale-saver is a fact of no small import, however. We'll return to that resemblance presently. For now let us note that it indicates that my little trick was no more cheap than was MoveOn.org's recent ad morphing President Bush's image into that of the leader of the National Socialist German Worker's Party. The comparison of Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and right-wingers in general to Nazis and fascists is, of course, a tiresome and childish left-wing tactic. What is noteworthy is that even this desperate ploy is apparently not beneath the dignity of what purports to be a "respectable," mainstream liberal website, the financial support of which is the latest hobby of billionaire George Soros -- who has himself not been above comparing the Administration's policies to those of the Nazis and Communists who once ruled the Hungary of his youth. Once something of a Hayekian pseudo-intellectual, Soros has of late moved to the Left and become a pseudo-intellectual full stop. He is also, as this latest episode demonstrates, a flake, and a fool, and a dishonorable one at that. More than anyone else, a refugee from Nazi and Communist tyranny should be aware of the danger and dishonesty of Manichean politics.

One can, of course, reasonably disagree with the President's foreign policy. The trouble is, most of the disagreement with it has been decidedly unreasonable, if not lunatic. No accusation against Bush has been too uncharitable, and no conspiracy theory too preposterous, for the anti-war party manically to bounce it around its echo chamber until it can hear nothing else. Yet the case for the war in Iraq -- the focus (for the time being, anyway) of anti-Bush hysteria -- was, and remains, extremely straightforward and reasonable: 1. Saddam Hussein was required, as part of the treaty which ended the first Gulf War, to disarm himself of certain weapons, especially WMD, to remain so disarmed, and to agree to regular inspections intended to verify his compliance; 2. He repeatedly violated the terms of this treaty; so 3. The recommencement of hostilities was prima facie justified. (The question of the legitimacy of "pre-emptive" war is thus utterly irrelevant; the action against Iraq was no more "pre-emptive" than is the arrest of a convicted felon for violating the terms of his parole.)

Furthermore, whereas there may sometimes be good reasons for refraining from war even when it is justified, 4. The risk of Iraqi WMD someday being slipped to terrorists for use against the United States was, post-9/11, plausibly seen as significant enough that continued Iraqi non-compliance could no longer be tolerated. (The question of whether the threat was "imminent" is thus also irrelevant; and the threat was, of course, never claimed by the President to be imminent in the first place.) Also counterbalancing any possible reasons for refraining from war were: 5. The fact that modern methods of war make possible to an unprecedented degree the avoidance of civilian deaths (though of course these can never be avoided entirely); 6. The liberation of the Iraqi people from a brutal dictatorship would, in the short and long runs, save more lives than would be lost in a military campaign and produce other obvious benefits for the Iraqi people as well; 7. The elimination of the Baathist regime would put the fear of God into the hearts of other dictatorships who might think to produce or use WMD (as it in fact has in the case of Libya -- though this has not stopped some anti-war types from denying the obvious); 8. It would eliminate an important source of funding and/or training for Palestinian and other terrorist groups; and 9. It would allow the United States finally to pull its forces out of Saudi Arabia, their presence being, however justifiable, a source of resentment within the Arab world and a rationalization for terrorism on the part of the likes of Osama bin Laden.

In short, there was by virtue of Hussein's non-compliance alone a defensible justification for war; and the other considerations served to override any reservations one could raise about whether the price for going to war, even if justified, might be too high. Nor does the endless nonsense about Bush having "lied" about WMD carry any conviction. For one thing, we don't yet fully know what in fact Hussein had or thought he had. More to the point, no one, including the intelligence services of governments opposed to the war, doubted before the war that he had WMD; and only a fool would have interpreted his years-long non-compliance with the inspections regime as implying anything other than that he had something to hide. Finally, it takes a Flat Earth Society-level of credulity to believe that not only Bush, but also Blair and dozens if not hundreds of their employees, would have risked political suicide and/or criminal prosecution to cover up their alleged knowledge that Iraq had in reality absolutely no WMD to speak of.

Now my claim is, again, not that someone couldn't reasonably oppose the war despite the case I've just summarized. It is rather that the case for war is, at the very least, itself as reasonable as any case against. In particular, there is no reason whatever to appeal to sinister motives and conspiracy theories to explain the President's actions. And the point is not merely that those actions bear absolutely no resemblance to Hitler's -- that is, to put it mildly, a fact too blindingly obvious to be worth mentioning -- but rather to underline the unfathomable depth of the hysteria and disconnectedness from reality into which the anti-war Left has fallen. When you consider also that the President's policies on such matters as the Federal prescription drug benefit and immigration have been, regrettably, the sort of stuff for which liberals have agitated for over thirty years, the Left's hatred of him reveals itself to be pathological.

What accounts for this pathology? The problem is obviously psychological; the diagnosis must be psychological too. Such a diagnosis requires first that we examine the patient more closely.


The Far Left and Fascism

The argumentum ad Hitlerum has always been the first refuge of the moral and political ignoramus: "You don't approve of [welfare, sodomy, dope-smoking, Federal student loans, or whatever else a right to which the speaker considers the most precious]? You're a f***ing Nazi!" It rarely gets more sophisticated than that. The international Communist movement, however, which included a great many pseudo-intellectuals of Soros-like talents, had in its day slightly more subtle, if equally disreputable, grounds for making use of the ploy. Given that the Soviet Union had been, during World War II, one of the enemies of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Communists could pass themselves off as paradigmatic anti-fascists; and from there it was, for them, but a short step to concluding that any enemy of such paradigmatic anti-fascists must himself be a paradigmatic fascist. Of course, these inferences are utterly fallacious; but one needs, perhaps, the average Communist's three brain cells to make them, rather than the two brain cells that suffice for the campus stoner to infer that anyone who wants to take his bong from him simply must have a well-thumbed copy of Mein Kampf hidden under the mattress.

The tendency of Nation-magazine style Leftists reliably to lapse into the fascist/right-winger comparison is in part a holdover from this hoary Communist tactic, a nervous tic that an old fellow-traveler can find it hard to lose even fifteen years after the collapse of the Evil Empire. What the comparison conveniently forgets is the alliance that existed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union before Hitler decided to betray Stalin, the Leftist dictator whose example had taught him so much about concentration camps and secret police. It forgets too the actual history of the development of fascist and National Socialist ideology, which had everything to do with developments in the socialist tradition in political thought, and absolutely nothing to do with the intellectual currents that gave rise to contemporary conservatism. But then, from Lenin and Stalin onward, the Left has been very good at airbrushing over any evidence of its true history, intellectual and otherwise.

It is a scandal that one has constantly to remind people of a fact that should be common knowledge: that Mussolini was for years a prominent socialist intellectual and publicist, as much a man of the Left as Noam Chomsky. His conversion to fascism was not a renunciation of this legacy, but a modification of it: he came to see solidarity with one's Nation rather than with one's Class as the key to breaking the hold of "liberal capitalism" over the modern world. The story of the deep historical and conceptual links between communism and fascism was a theme of Hayek's famous The Road to Serfdom and has been detailed by a number of scholars, most notably A. James Gregor in The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century. (A briefer study is to be found in David Ramsay Steele's important article "The Mystery of Fascism." ) It is thus baffling that so many left-wingers still see fit to equate fascism with capitalism, of all things -- as brazen an example of the Big Lie as any other that Marxists have come up with. Hitler truly learned from these masters of the art.

The bafflement only grows when one considers that Hitler's movement was not called "National Socialism" for nothing, much as lefties like to ignore the fact. It is true that Hitler was personally far more interested in exterminating the Jews than he was in implementing any economic program; but it is also true that he and the other Nazis regarded capitalism as no less odious a manifestation of the power of "world Jewry" than, in their view, communism was. They hated capitalism for the very same reason they hated communism: its internationalism, its tendency to dilute one's allegiance to Nation and Race; Nazism was, one might say, the original anti-globalization movement. Hence the national in National Socialism: one's comradeship ought, in its conception, to be primarily with fellow members of one's Nation or Race, rather than with an international Class. But the socialism was no less important, and featured centrally in the minds of such prominent Nazis as Ernst Roehm, Gregor Strasser, and Joseph Goebbels. As Stanley G. Payne notes in his magisterial A History of Fascism 1914-1945: "Much was made by Marxist commentators, during the 1930's and for nearly half a century afterward, about the alleged capitalist domination of the German economy under National Socialism, when the truth of the matter was more nearly the opposite." The suggestion, sometimes heard from Leftists even today, that Nazism was an outgrowth of (or at least inherently sympathetic to) capitalism is thus a myth, another lie propagated from Moscow during the war years and faithfully parroted by Communists, their sympathizers, and their spiritual descendents. The truth is that Marxism on the one hand and fascism and National Socialism on the other are rival interpretations of the same basic socialist creed, their differences analogous to the differences between rival sects within the same religion. To the sectarian, such differences are all-important, and anyone who dissents from them is a heretic, worse even than a non-believer; to the outsider, they seem far less significant than what the various sects all have in common.

Contemporary Anglo-American conservatism, by contrast, has roots in three intellectual sources that have no connection to socialism, and indeed have always been hostile to it: the traditionalist "Throne and Altar" continental European conservatism of thinkers like Joseph de Maistre; the British classical liberalism or libertarianism of John Locke and Adam Smith; and the moderate British conservatism of Edmund Burke which represents something of a middle ground between the first two trends of thought. Hitler, Mussolini, and other fascists and Nazis had nothing but contempt for these intellectual traditions; and the difference between the characteristic themes of contemporary conservatism -- the free market, limited government, traditional religious belief -- are so obviously and radically different from, and opposed to, the tenets of fascism and National Socialism that it is difficult to understand how any intellectually honest person could see any similarity whatsoever.

The Leftist might, in desperation, point to the "family values" that Nazis and fascists claimed, like contemporary conservatives, to champion. But this demonstrates, not a link between fascism and conservatism, but only the extreme decadence into which Leftist thinking has sunk. For the reason Nazis and fascists claimed to champion these things was that everyone in public life in the thirties and forties championed them, whatever their position on the political spectrum; there was nothing terribly distinctive about it. It is only in an age in which the common moral sense of the West has reached the depths it has that a commitment to "family values" could be regarded as anything other than an (admittedly banal) expression of one's grasp of the morally obvious. Presumably the Nazis also spoke up for good grooming and table manners; no doubt there is a Leftist somewhere who would see this too as a telltale sign of right-wingery.

The Nazis' persecution of homosexuals does not undermine the point; for public disapproval of homosexuality was also universal at the time and not at all distinctive of Nazism per se. Moreover, in private many Nazis, including Hitler, had (as did so many other socialists of the day) a far more lenient attitude; and of course, the prevalence of homosexuals within Ernst Roehm's SA is well-known. Roehm himself was a notorious sexual libertine, and his band of thugs, committed as they were to the cult of violence and the destruction of capitalist society, are reminiscent of nothing so much as the anarchist mobs of Seattle and Davos. The hormonally-driven Rage Against the Machine fan who's seen Fight Club twenty times and sports a Che Guevara T-shirt is far closer to the spirit of the brown-shirts than is the polite and dorky teenage Bible-thumper.

The supreme irony, however, is that the one great difference between National Socialism and Marxism -- the obsession of the former with race -- has in recent decades become, more even than hostility to capitalism, the hallmark of Leftist thinking. White Leftists, of course, are committed to almost the reverse of Nazi thinking about their own ethnicity: there is no crime any Caucasian has ever been accused of to which they are not eager to plead guilty. It is as if they take self-hatred to be the only way to prove their undying loyalty, in the face of the National Socialist heresy, to the pure and undefiled internationalist Marxian faith. By contrast, non-white Leftists have adopted, and have been encouraged by their white comrades to adopt, a hyper-solidarity with members of their own ethnic groups that would have disgusted Marx, but which Hitler would have understood completely. If National Socialism is the project of combining hostility to capitalism with a belligerent racial consciousness, then it is to be found today, not in the Republican Party, but in the Congressional Black Caucus and the faculty lounges of ethnic studies' departments. If we add anti-Semitism to the mix, then its closest approximation within American political life is to be found in the career of Al Sharpton; and internationally, in the Baathist movement, a mélange of socialist economics and Arab nationalism of which Saddam Hussein was, until recently, the chief representative. Perhaps this explains the strange inability of Leftists to get as worked up over him as they do George Bush.

But of course, Leftists have always had difficulty getting too worked up over mass murder and political repression whenever the motivation for it is sufficiently "progressive." The 100 million corpses produced collectively by such prototypical twentieth-century left-wing statesmen as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Mengistu Haile Mariam, and Fidel Castro have been given no candle light vigils, no star-studded Hollywood epics, no specially-colored lapel ribbons. Their killers, far more prodigious in homicide than Hitler ever was, are much less well-known than he; and the average college student, whose liberal professors take pains to keep their charges apprised of every shortage of toilet paper in Indonesian "sweat shops," is taught next to nothing about the crimes of Communism. Castro can, to this day, make a visit to New York in the knowledge that he will face nothing more threatening than a bear-hug from Rep. Charles Rangel -- unpleasant, to be sure, but nothing like the hand-cuffs and firing squad he deserves.

The biographical portrait with which I began this essay not only describes Hitler, but would, with only slight alteration, fit Mussolini as well. But no amount of rewriting would make it a plausible description of George Bush, Ronald Reagan, or Margaret Thatcher. More significantly, it is in left-wing political thinking that fascism and National Socialism had their origins and have today their strongest echoes; and in left-wing governments that the crimes of the Nazis and fascists have the most glaringly obvious parallels. Yet for all this, it is right-wingers, we are assured, who are the real closet totalitarians -- the ones who fit the psychological profile, and whose political philosophy has dangerous implications. I ask again: what can be the source of such a pathological delusion?

The pop psychologists have a word for it: projection. The Leftist, unwilling to see his own worldview for what it is and has been historically, transfers what he knows deep down to be the truth onto his political rivals. He falsely sees in them what he ought to see in himself. He is like the child who blames his teachers, his parents, his dog -- anyone but himself -- for his poor grades; as in so many other ways, Leftism reveals itself to be a kind of arrested adolescence.

Hitler's famous mustache has its obvious analogues in those of Stalin and Saddam Hussein. But George Bush does not wear one. Still, the left-winger insists he can see it there whenever he looks at the President's picture. Perhaps he ought to consider the possibility that what he's really looking at is a mirror.

--------
Edward Feser (edwardfeser@hotmail.com) is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and author of On Nozick (Wadsworth, 2003).

----------------------------

- Deep_Groove
 
Stop Bill C-10

Neo-Marxist

TRIBE Member
This was hilarious! How can anyone take this seriously? By the way, did you know that the Bush clan openly gave financial support to the Nazis? Lemme see .... What else? Oh! Here is one! Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, the highest award given to a non-German citizen. Did I mention the mass exodus of the Left from Nazi Germany since anyone suspected of Marxist sympathies were killed? And here is another little tid-bit of information: IBM designed and provided the Nazis with the machines that would keep track of Jews fated for concentration camps. And let's not forget about the use of slave labour by companies such as Bayer and Ford during the Nazi's reign. As well, partisans fighting against the Nazis were greatly influenced by Marxist principles. Serbian partisans and the French partisans stand out in this case. Also note that the French bourgeoisie welcomed Hitler's arrival. Their famous slogan was: "Better Hitler than [the socialist] Blum." Indeed, the French Left in general opposed Fascism, as did the Left across Europe. The lesson here, folks, is to think before you post something like this.
 

Deep_Groove

TRIBE Member
I really don't know what to say.

"Neo-Marxist" - stop and think for a minute. Your alias demonstrates that you subscribe to some version of an ideology based on economic and historical principles that have not only been proven wrong in theory (neo-classical, Austrian and monetarist economics) AND in practice (capitalism inevitably increasing the gulf between proles and bourgeois, leading to inevitable revolution and withering away of the state), but whose real-world manifestations have led to the violent deaths of upwards of 100 million people.

How you can purport to say that people like G.W. Bush who subscribe to Anglo-American conservatism are the wrong and evil ones, in light of this, simply boggles my mind. These were the people who committed themselves to the defeat of BOTH Nazism AND Communist dictatorship. It takes a monumental denial of reality to accomplish such a feat. I am in awe...

- Deep_Groove
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
It's not clear to me whether at this point I should laugh, cry or arm myself with nuclear weapons.
 

Neo-Marxist

TRIBE Member
Deep Groove,

Are you that dense? Read what I have written VERY slowly: George "Cocaine" Bush's grandfather headed a financial company that gave financial aid to to the Nazis; IBM provided Nazi Germany with machines to keep track of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Marxists, and anybody else they deemed unfit; Henry Ford wrote an anti-Semitic tract AND was awarded the highest honour by Nazi Germany that could be given to a non-German citizen. EVERYTHING I HAVE WRITTEN HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED. All of these things do not suggest capitalists and conservatives were averse to Nazism, does it? Again, the French bourgeoisie's slogan was: "Better Hitler than [the socialist] Blum." Here is a question for you: If Nazi Germany was a Leftist regime, why did German academics on the far Left have to escape? Marxists were in fact at the forefront of the fight against fascism. The most significant Marxist thinker of the 20th century, Antonio Gramsci, died in Mussolini's prisons.

Another interesting bit of history was that the US did not get involved in World War II until Japan, NOT NAZI GERMANY, attacked them. Had Japan not allied itself with Nazi Germany, the US would not have declared war on Germany. In fact, here is an interesting quote by Franklin Roosevelt when war broke out in Europe that you might find interesting since it essentially makes your argument that the US was interested in fighting fascism keel over: "And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."

Another piece of history you might find interesting: the US supported Romania and Yugoslavia DURING the Cold War. So, how can you say they were intent on destroying communism? The US was even willing to support Castro as long as he did not nationalize American assets. If it is in their geo-political interests, the US will support anyone, communist or not. They could care less about their ideological predilections, e.g. China. To sum up, go read some history! You'll discover lots of interesting things.

And thanks for pointing out why the Soviet Union collapsed. Too bad you forgot to mention the East Europeans who were getting sick of the repression or the changing political winds Gorbachev brought with him. Most important, though, is that you're understanding of the collapse of state socialism is simplistic. You are trying to understand a society on capitalist principles which simply did not apply to them. By the way, I am from a communist country. I need no lectures from anyone on how the system worked.

Perhaps you should read Alec Nove and Domenico Mario Nuti, both Marxists and both arguing that state socialism was simply unfeasible and NOT representative of socialist ideals at all. Indeed, read Janos Kornai's The Political Economy of Communism. His worldview is congenial to yours and even HE doesn't suggest state socialism's economic problems were a result of the reasons you seem to be suggesting.

Lasty, monetarism has been discredited. Thatcherite Britain saw de-industrialization occur as a result of monetarist principles. This is a fact. Denying it won't change a thing. Also, look at the data for economies that maintained a commitment to social democracy and those that maintained a commitment to monetarism in the 1980s. You will find that places like Sweden and Austria outperformed Canada, Britain and -- dare I say it! -- the US in terms of economic growth, lower rates of unemployment, and significantly lower rates of poverty. This is indeed the case and I have pulled my information from publications by the IMF, World Bank, OECD, and the UNDP. The numbers prove it: monetarism failed. Besides, I am perplexed as to why you would even say monetarism was a success. Most economists cite an excessive commitment to low inflation via higher than necessary interest rates as the reason for sluggish economic growth. Someone like yourself who purports to know a thing or two about ecoomics should be aware of the fact that high interest rates, among other things, choke investment, the very thing you fetishize. Deep Groove, you are making this too easy for me!
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Neo-Marxist, we have tried time & time again. I in particular, have documented quite a bit in this forum connections between classical fascism & neo-conservatism. But the reality is, with Deep_Groove, you're dealing with an unconvinceable, borderline racist, hypocritical king of rhetoric. I mean, he's so quick to point out the biases of others without giving any creedence to the potential credibility of their sources, and in the same breath he'll post charts from an organization lead by the ex-head of Isreali secret service trying to discredit reports of palestinian fatalities -and expect you to swallow the utter tripe. I've also demostrated how he completely contorts his convictions to suit his argument. Although it's fun to see DG's lack of sensibility get pointed out once again, don't expect to get anywhere with it.
 

Neo-Marxist

TRIBE Member
Otis,

I completely agree with you and others have told me this. Unfortunately, asking me to refrain from making those on the far Right look like fools is impossible. It's just too much fun and too easy. Honestly, it's my crack-cocaine. But thanks anyway, buddy!

Signed,
Neo-Marxist
 

divell420

TRIBE Promoter
So basically the best qualities of Hitler as a leader (and despite the fact that some of the things he did were absolutely deplorable, he did have some good qualities) and associate them with the "left", and this is supposed to be a bad thing? I think when those evil "lefties" (hmmm how many times can one essay mention the left anyway...) make the association between modern conservatism and Hitler's Nazis, they're probably referring to the genocide, secret police, efficient use of propoganda to shape belief, and silencing of dissent that seem oh-so-common in modern western society.

The author keeps pointing to "classical" conservatism, and that's about as useful to the real-world as pointing to theoretical communism, or anarchist syndicalism: they all work on paper, but idiots in the real world screw them up.

All this left-vs-right bullshit is the same thing over and over. There's wackos and zealots on both sides, and "moderates" on the one side point to the wackos on the other and smugly claim ideological superiority for debunking the whole theory

In this particular article, typically hypocrisy abounds. If moderate righties are so above adolescent insults and making over-exaggerated comparisons to raise attention (common advertising tactic by capitalist media as well, because it works), then surely there won't be any in such a well-thought-out, respectable essay such as this. :rolleyes:

Originally posted by some sexually-repressed adolescent

tiresome and childish... desperate ploy....He is also, as this latest episode demonstrates, a flake, and a fool, and a dishonorable one at that.

most of the disagreement with it has been decidedly unreasonable, if not lunatic... manically.....

[break from insults for religious zeal] The elimination of the Baathist regime would put the fear of God into the hearts of other dictatorships[/religious rhetoric]

as it in fact has in the case of Libya -- though this has not stopped some anti-war types from denying the obvious [never mind it's utter failure in north korea, india and pakistan, countries which ALREADY HAVE nukes. The lesson: if you don't have em, get em, or you'll get bombed because someone thinks you might try to get them]

[the] unfathomable depth of the hysteria and disconnectedness from reality into which the anti-war Left has fallen.... reveals itself to be pathological.... but one needs, perhaps, the average Communist's three brain cells to make them, rather than the two brain cells that suffice for the campus stoner

... the extreme decadence into which Leftist thinking has sunk...hormonally-driven ... they take self-hatred to be the only way to prove their undying loyalty, in the face of the National Socialist heresy, to the pure and undefiled internationalist Marxian faith.

But of course, Leftists have always had difficulty getting too worked up over mass murder and political repression ...nothing like the hand-cuffs and firing squad he deserves. .. pathological delusion

The Leftist... is like the child who blames his teachers, his parents, his dog -- anyone but himself -- for his poor grades; as in so many other ways, Leftism reveals itself to be a kind of arrested adolescence.

Other random comments:

1. Saddam Hussein was required, as part of the treaty which ended the first Gulf War, to disarm himself of certain weapons, especially WMD, to remain so disarmed, and to agree to regular inspections intended to verify his compliance; 2. He repeatedly violated the terms of this treaty; so 3. The recommencement of hostilities was prima facie justified.
1. What gives King George the right to decide this? Or to divide up the spoils of conquest to his buddies?
2. No proof of this. King George acted too quickly, the UN was doing its job (granted it was doing it slowly), with a little patience and restraint all of this could have been avoided. Funny that NOW the new emporers are calling for patience in the search for those fabled WMDs, even though they've had 11 months of searching while UN inspectors were only given 3 or 4 months
3. That's a decision for a global body, not a single nation with more bombs than they know what to do with

"only a fool would have interpreted his years-long non-compliance with the inspections regime as implying anything other than that he had something to hide"
Funny, I guess I dreamed about Hans Blix and all those inspectors they sent into the country. Too little too late? Maybe the U.S. should have agreed to assemble a world UN inspection team, rather than an american UN inspection team, say, 8 or 9 years earlier.

"It is only in an age in which the common moral sense of the West has reached the depths it has that a commitment to "family values" could be regarded as anything other than an (admittedly banal) expression of one's grasp of the morally obvious"
monkey see, monkey do. When those in power are corrupt backstabbing pirates it's no surprise it filters down the hierarchy as well. Those obvious morals are often lost on the bigoted, racist, white-supremacist religious righties who run the states, the media corporations, and also submit essays like this

"hyper-solidarity with members of their own ethnic groups that would have disgusted Marx, but which Hitler would have understood completely"
http://www.protestwarrior.com
militantly right-wing white solidarity gun nuts
... who somehow all mostly claim to be christian. Do unto others...? Thou shalt not kill....? Love thy neighbour....?

Ahhh such a waste of time this was.
 
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Deep_Groove

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Neo-Marxist
George "Cocaine" Bush's grandfather headed a financial company that gave financial aid to to the Nazis; IBM provided Nazi Germany with machines to keep track of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Marxists, and anybody else they deemed unfit; Henry Ford wrote an anti-Semitic tract AND was awarded the highest honour by Nazi Germany that could be given to a non-German citizen. EVERYTHING I HAVE WRITTEN HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED.

OMG!!! A HANDFUL OF AMERICAN COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS WERE SYMPATHETIC TO THE NAZIS!!! (or would at least be willing to do business with them, which is all your examples prove). THE ENTIRE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF AMERICA MUST EQUAL NAZI GERMANY!

Impeccable logic there, my man.

Here is a question for you: If Nazi Germany was a Leftist regime, why did German academics on the far Left have to escape?

Because the other political-economic system that Hitler hated as much (or more than) liberal democratic capitalism was communism.

Duh.

Noting that Nazi Germany was in many ways a leftist regime does not mean that the Nazis THEMSELVES saw it that way. But they certainly WERE ideologically and practically much closer to communism than they would have liked to acknowledge. I fail to see how Hitler's blindness provides support for your arguments.

Another interesting bit of history was that the US did not get involved in World War II until Japan, NOT NAZI GERMANY, attacked them. Had Japan not allied itself with Nazi Germany, the US would not have declared war on Germany.

Here is some more accurate history for you.

Aug 14, 1941 - Roosevelt and Churchill announce the Atlantic Charter...'declaring that they were fighting the Axis powers to "ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom and to preserve the rights of man and justice.'"

Source:
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/atlantic-chart.htm

I can't even believe your insinuation that Roosevelt or the American public, in general, would be sympathetic to the Nazis. WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? LOL! And this public conference in August 1941, FOUR MONTHS BEFORE PEARL HARBOR, confirms their antipathy to them.

Here's some more:

Dec 11, 1941 - Germany declares war on the United States.

Gosh, why would they do that? We all know what good political friends Nazi Germany and the US were! The US mobilized against Germany AFTER GERMANY DECLARED WAR ON THEM! And even if the US hadn't, it STILL wouldn't prove some loving connection between them - maybe the US just would have wanted to stay out of the whole thing.

In fact, here is an interesting quote by Franklin Roosevelt when war broke out in Europe that you might find interesting since it essentially makes your argument that the US was interested in fighting fascism keel over: "And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."

The U.S. public mood was in an isolationist mindset when Roosevelt spoke those words. He was merely responding to what he believed the public wanted to hear, and what he himself probably also believed. After Pearl Harbor, he changed his mind along with most of the American people. Are you saying that people are not allowed to change their minds in light of new events?

Again, I fail to see what all this has to do with the original article I posted. Saying: "We're not enthusiastic about fighting Nazism" is not the same thing as saying: "We enthusiastically agree with and support the Nazis".

In sum, your attempt to link the US under Roosevelt with Nazi Germany is utterly ridiculous.

Another piece of history you might find interesting: the US supported Romania and Yugoslavia DURING the Cold War. So, how can you say they were intent on destroying communism? The US was even willing to support Castro as long as he did not nationalize American assets. If it is in their geo-political interests, the US will support anyone, communist or not. They could care less about their ideological predilections, e.g. China. To sum up, go read some history! You'll discover lots of interesting things.

Riiiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhhtttttt.

Are you trying to tell me that the U.S was NOT committed to desroying communism? I can think of, oh, just about EVERY historian on the planet, of all political persuasions, who MIGHT disagree with you on that score.

Hell, the leftist ones rail constantly about the actions the U.S. took that were AGAINST their long-term "geo-political interests" (whatever those are) to fight Soviet imperialism. (Supporting Islamists in Afghanistan, for example).

And thanks for pointing out why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Huh? Where did you read that?

Too bad you forgot to mention the East Europeans who were getting sick of the repression or the changing political winds Gorbachev brought with him. Most important, though, is that you're understanding of the collapse of state socialism is simplistic. You are trying to understand a society on capitalist principles which simply did not apply to them. By the way, I am from a communist country. I need no lectures from anyone on how the system worked.

You're from a communist country? Goodness, what could you be doing here in the heart of the most unjust economic system that the powers-that-be have ever devised? I think I see Castro over there, waiting with open arms ;)

Perhaps you should read Alec Nove and Domenico Mario Nuti, both Marxists and both arguing that state socialism was simply unfeasible and NOT representative of socialist ideals at all.

Heh.

OK, so if state socialism as practised by, oh, just about every nation that ever called itself "socialist" or "communist" was NOT feasible OR representative of socialism, please name one that IS or WAS "representative of socialist ideals" AND was viable over the long-term.

Indeed, read Janos Kornai's The Political Economy of Communism. His worldview is congenial to yours and even HE doesn't suggest state socialism's economic problems were a result of the reasons you seem to be suggesting.

Again, I don't recall suggesting anything about the problems of state socialism. In fact, I don't recall saying ANYTHING AT ALL about state socialsm. It seems your own wacky mind has projected your beliefs about my beliefs into a ghostly, fantasy-Deep_Groove that exists only to be wrong in your eyes.

Lasty, monetarism has been discredited. Thatcherite Britain saw de-industrialization occur as a result of monetarist principles. This is a fact.

Uh oh. We wouldn't want the workforce to shift to new knowledge-based, non-manufacturing industries, thus resulting in overall economic growth and efficiency, now would we?

Also, look at the data for economies that maintained a commitment to social democracy and those that maintained a commitment to monetarism in the 1980s. You will find that places like Sweden and Austria outperformed Canada, Britain and -- dare I say it! -- the US in terms of economic growth, lower rates of unemployment, and significantly lower rates of poverty. This is indeed the case and I have pulled my information from publications by the IMF, World Bank, OECD, and the UNDP. The numbers prove it: monetarism failed

Welcome to oversimplification theatre! LOL! Here is your argument in a nutshell:

IF Britain and US in the '80's = 100% monetarism
IF Sweden and Austria in the '80's = 100% social democracy

THEN all economic differences are attributable to either monetarism or social democracy.

I'm not even going to touch this one.

Besides, I am perplexed as to why you would even say monetarism was a success.

Actually, once again, try reading what I actually wrote. I said nothing about the PRACTICAL SUCCESS of an excessive commitment to low inflation (which can be detrimental, as you have pointed out) - I said that monetarist THEORY further helped discredit socialist economics.

I'm making this too easy for you? LOL. Maybe if you stuck to the actual arguments I made it would be a LITTLE more difficult.


TO REITERATE:

Nazi Germany and fascism in general was merely a cousin-ideology of socialism and has nothing to do with liberal democratic capitalism.

The evidence:

Hitler's concern for the "welfare of the German volk" above considerations of individual rights and property rights.

His hatred for capitalist Britain and America.

His massive interference in the German economy by way of bringing certain German corporations virtually INTO his government in order to achieve a "better" distribution of goods "for the German people"

His romantic, revolutionary temperament, as exhibited in his writings and speeches.

Virtually everything he actually DID, which matched almost exactly what the communists did:

Secret police, concentration camps, forced labor, expropriation of property, massive propaganda.

The only difference was that where the communists focused on the "bourgeois capitalists", he focused on the "racially impure".

HENCE, Hitler was a leftist by every reasonable definition of the term.

- Deep_Groove
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Deep_Groove


HENCE, Hitler was a leftist by every reasonable definition of the term.

- Deep_Groove

Actually, the National Socialist Workers Party's political position was a nudge to the right. Their lack of any real political platform or political position, and the radical nature of their organization made them hard to pinpoint on the political spectrum. Gaining dictatorial control over a country in the way Hitler did, would leave one unbound from any political constraint. Most historians would agree that after the 1934 elections the NAZI party was all over the spectrum. Although he did nationalize certain assets, mostly Jewish, create programs like 'The People's Car', his doctrine for militarism, and utter hatred for communism balanced that out.

As for his alliances, his mistrust for foreign investment was well known, so those that were operating within Nazi Germany from the US, were mostly those who were looking to continue business as usual even though decrees were issued to halt financial dealings with the country. You have to remember, allot of the reason Hitler got the support he did was because the German economy was in a freefall due to the foreign banks (mostly American) calling on their loans after the depression. There were many other reasons but to understand the state of German sentiment towards foreign money, you’d have to understand the lead up to Hitler's reign.

American & British sentiment towards Germany was mixed. On one hand the British were looking to keep Germany constrained, but were happy that his hatred for communism would send him to the east if he did unleash himself. British public sentiment was at a huge low as it was also hit by the global effect of the depression, and since British society was still recovering from the brutalities of the first world war, British sentiment was very reluctant to enter into a second. So Britain appeased Germany with Austria & Czech, but drew the political line at Poland because they lost a huge amount of face with the utter defiance of the treaty of Versailles, and they couldn’t afford to ignore the fact that France was shitting bricks ever since the militarization of Germany, and the re-occupation of the Rhineland.

Hitler only hated the British because of their part in the forging of the treaty of Versailles but figured they were cowards because of how they let them carry on. It had nothing to do with hating capitalism or any of that, -unless it was Jewish run. So knock it off your plate Deep_Groove.

As far as Hitler's writings, other than his speeches, (what speech is not romantic in tone & full of poetic analogies) he was notorious for not writing anything down, everything would be issued via decrees forged by his under staff & verbal commitments. This also brought controversy in terms of the holocaust, because no document was found with Hitler’s signature specifically calling for the killing of the Jews, although it's implicit that he did know about it, the lack of documentation has some historians wonder about who's plan the "final solution" was, or even how organized the party really was.

Deep_Groove, your obsession with vilifying anything leftist clouds your judgment. Either that or your biased historical knowledge of Nazi Germany does.

From a site that plots out political positions:

axeswithnames.gif
 

divell420

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Shallow_Indentation


TO REITERATE:

Nazi Germany and fascism in general was merely a cousin-ideology of socialism and has nothing to do with liberal democratic capitalism.


{Sure, if a third option (merger) between Socialism and Capitalism is a cousin. There's elements of both}

The evidence:

Hitler's concern for the "welfare of the German volk" above considerations of individual rights and property rights.

{in of itself, how is this a bad thing?}

His hatred for capitalist Britain and America.

{Does that make Iraq a fascist state? North Korea? Cuba? Lots of countries hate their imperial opressors}

His massive interference in the German economy by way of bringing certain German corporations virtually INTO his government in order to achieve a "better" distribution of goods "for the German people"


{Reminds me of the subsidies to certain industries that supposedly "free market" countries are exhibiting.

Contrasting the wonderful mess that is privatization as proven by California and Ontario's private energy providers. On the one hand, worse service for the same price. In our case, the same service for a drastically increased price (with the difference coming from the government and hence, our paycheques) }


His romantic, revolutionary temperament, as exhibited in his writings and speeches.

{How is this any different from Bush openly proclaiming that he wants to re-structure the entire geopolitical scene in half the world? Other than the fact that Hitler was a more eloquent speaker of course}

Virtually everything he actually DID, which matched almost exactly what the communists did:

Secret police, concentration camps, forced labor, expropriation of property, massive propaganda.

{ Taken out of context, this sentence could just as easily be talking about America in the 21st century. }

The only difference was that where the communists focused on the "bourgeois capitalists", he focused on the "racially impure".

{while Bush focuses on the "evildoer terrorists"}

HENCE, Hitler was a leftist by every reasonable definition of the term.

{maybe so, maybe not. left and right is just a bullshit way to divide and conquer the peons, but that's another topic. If Hitler was a leftist....

SO FUCKING WHAT?

The inference of Hitler = evil, Hitler = leftist, therefore leftist = evil is pretty juvenile

You don't see lefties pointing the finger at all the conservatives and trying to project all of modern neo-capitalism's evils and shortcomings onto them. Are you arguing so hard to try to convince people like ATP and myself that we're unknowingly worshiping Hitler and have some kind of repressed genocide-fetish?

I think you've earned your new nickname :) }


- Shallow_Indentation
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
The notion that Hitler hated American capitalism is preposterous. Hitler hated the eastern establishment...finance capitalism dominated by banking interests, who just so happen(ed) to be heavily influenced by eastern Jewish investment bankers.

So to did the Nationalist Right in America. They believed in the power of Manufacturing as the best form of American capitalism and they sought to expand its might through manufacturing, marketing and distribution of its products. The two elements within American capitalism have been at odds since the beginning. Hitler as well sought to structure Germany's economy around manufacturing, and took on an expansionary element with manufacturing as its main driving force (economically speaking).

Therefore, it is no coincidence that when Hitler began to make noises about Jewish Bankers, and the conspiracy against Germany, he found considerable support among the convservative-nationalists in America who also felt alienated, and insecure by the same worries.

For more information on this, see Schurmann, The Logic Of World Power.
 

Neo-Marxist

TRIBE Member
Deep Groove,

That you resort to insults in your post indicates that you lack an argument. Where shall I begin in treating you like an inmate at Oswald Penitentiary? Well, Otis already responded to British and American ambivalence towards Germany, so I needn't address you on that aspect. So, I'll address you on other fronts. First off , YOU suggested that the US wanted to combat fascism and communism. I provided ample evidence to suggest otherwise. Check my post! Indeed, nowhere did I say the US sympathized with Nazi Germany. Your reading comprehension skills are lacking. Second, you were the one who wrote monetarism has been proven correct on all fronts. Moreover, your claim that it discredited socialist economies is ludicrous! State socialist economies discredited themselves long before monetarism arrived. Witness the 1956 riots in Poznan, Poland, and workers' demands in Budapest that same year. The Prague Spring of 1968 had as part of its demands that the economy be geared to the needs of the people rather than the state. Besides, on what basis has monetarism been proven to succeed? Here is your quote: "Your alias demonstrates that you subscribe to some version of an ideology based on economic and historical principles that have not only been proven wrong in theory (neo-classical, Austrian and monetarist economics) ..." Perhaps you were unclear, but I doubt it given you back-track and twist things around when you're backed into a corner. Nonetheless, monetarism has certainly not succeeded on the empirical front! Besides, economies were shifting to a post-industrial base before monetarism became hegemonic in central banking circles. You accuse me of oversimplification? Give me a break! By the way, de-industrialization is not synonymous with a post-industrial economy. Anyway, you didn't touch my claims on social democracy versus monetarism because you couldn't address it. Indeed, any argument you couldn't counter saw you lapse into rhetoric. Please address why the US supported Romania and Yugoslavia and only turned against Cuba when Castro refused to bow to their demands that he avoid nationalizing American assets. Hate to tell you this, but countries in general don't care about ideology so long as they don't threaten them. Third, socialism has never been practiced. In no economy has production ever been democratized. Ever. Fourth, do you know anything about the history of the German Left, let alone Marxist theory in general? Do you even know why my alias is Neo-Marxist? No on both fronts? Didn't think so. Fifth, here are your words: "How you can purport to say that people like G.W. Bush who subscribe to Anglo-American conservatism are the wrong and evil ones, in light of this, simply boggles my mind. These were the people who committed themselves to the defeat of BOTH Nazism AND Communist dictatorship. It takes a monumental denial of reality to accomplish such a feat. I am in awe..." You should be in awe. Bush's grandfather supported the Nazis. The US also used former Nazi officers in order to gather data after World War II. This has been documented. Indeed, many of the philosophers neo-conservatives hold in high esteem supported Nazism, i.e. Carl Schmitt and Martin Heidegger, so don't say that neo-conservatives don't have affinities with Nazism when they lionize these individuals. Sixth -- hey! You were right about not talking about the collapse of state socialism. I misread your post. My fault! Seguing into my seventh point, I never said the US had sympathies with Nazi Germany. I said they had no interest in fighting them. And sorry dude, the US didn't get involved in the war until Pearl Harbour. They wouldn't have been involved if they weren't bombed. By the way, Pearl Harbour happened on 7 December, 1941. The US declared war on Japan on 8 December, 1941. Germany declared war on the US on 11 December, 1941. Please get your time lines right. Obviously, history isn't one of your stronger subjects. Nonetheless, it wasn't until Hitler's declaration of war on the US on 11 December (notice that interesting date again!) that the US took an interest in vanquishing the European fascists. It was only then they constituted a threat to the US. I would jump on other things, but, again, you made this too easy for me. In fact, I'm going to stop responding to your posts in this thread altogether. Why? Well Deep Groove, you're like the resident university rez slut I used to hang out with during my undergrad years: I got bored because it was just too easy.
 
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