We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, April 26. 2012
That pic of a Texas tan-line is going around
Morning Jay: 90 Percent of the Electorate Is Probably Locked In
Forty Days of Prayer…for Abortion?
Supreme Court casts doubt on Obama’s immigration law claim
Charles Murray on marriage
More Oops from Elizabeth Warren, Smartest Woman EVAHAHAHAAAA
Brilliance on Top of Brilliance… Lib Senator Wants to Save Postal Service With Windmills
George Zimmerman: Prelude to a shooting
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
As much as I enjoy O'Rourke's commentary, I intend to vigorously ignore this particular comment. I will wear what I please.
Redstate: The Second Coming of American Liberal Fascism?
Fascists have been considered a right-wing movement since American GI’s were fighting them in WWII. They directly advocate the subjugation of minority and inferior peoples. They are strongly nationalistic and racist. Fascism represents the antithesis of liberal democracy. Here’s a few scholarly references:
Nazism and the Radical Right in Austria 1918-1934, Lauridsen.
The Routledge companion to fascism and the far right, Paul Davies.
The Culture of Fascism: Visions of the Far Right in Britain, edited by Gottlieb & Linehan.
Fascism Past and Present, West and East: An International Debate on Concepts and Cases in the Comparative Study of the Extreme Right, Griffin et al.
France in The Era of Fascism: Essays on the French Authoritarian Right, edited by Jenkins.
Fascism and Neofascism: Critical Writings on the Radical Right in Europe (Studies in European Culture and History), edited by Weitz & Fenner.
In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith is not killed, but reeducated. Why not? And why is that relevant?
"Fascism represents the antithesis of liberal democracy."
...As does Obamism. I'm waiting for the little red book of "Sayings from Chairman Obamao."
Fascism ONLY became Right Wing AFTER WWII.
ANYONE scanning contemporary commentary is struck by its omission.
All of the 'scholarly' writing listed above are post-war tomes.
Moving their fellow totalitarians over into the American camp was a brilliant piece of agitprop -- straight out of Central.
The big Z is still stuck on it.
The reality is that Bonaparte, Mussolini and even Chaing Kai-Shek are all sons of the revolution -- from the LEFT side of the aisle.
Napoleon never quite re-branded himself -- yet took on the robes of emperor by 1804!
Mussolini did re-brand himself -- inventing nationalist socialism even before Adolf came up with that gambit.
As for Chiang: he used to be buddies with Mao and Zhou Enlai -- studying revolutionary politics with them! Is it any wonder that the Kuomintang Party of today is drifting Left -- and that the PRC is drifiting Right?
And who could not note that Nazis made the 'best' Communists and VICE VERSA! It was a running gag through the 1940's.
The ONLY serious difference between the two creeds was whether the center of the political world was to be in Moscow or Berlin. Other than that, their totalitarianisms match up congruently.
The Imperial Japanese -- a genuinely Right Wing outfit -- saw this at the time -- yet were never able to get the dictators to figure out the obvious: the opposite of Nazism and Communism is the same: Americanism.
Which, if you can follow logic is CENTRIST and, before Hoover, small government.
( It was Hoover, not FDR, that established the federal-knows-best template -- which carried over from his WWI heroics.
The astounding real life history of Hoover and his over-arching contribution to BIG GOVERNMENT has been faded by the MSM (D) and its complete rewrite of the 1912 through 1952 era. )
Today, everyone associates Progressives with the Democrat Party -- a complete inversion of its roots in the Republican Party.
Today, everyone associates Civil Rights with the Democrat Party -- a complete inversion of its history as the party of the South -- and of the pro-Slavery faction, body and soul.
Even the KKK, Democrat through and through, is now re-mapped into the Republican Party. That's nuts. The KKK would lynch any Republican. That's what they spent their energies on for the first half-century of existence.
So, you see, re-mapping / morphing truth has been going on for more than a century.
Z, until you get clear of the agitprop -- they'll be leading you around by the nose.
And, no, shear volume of propaganda does not make for coherence.
blert: Fascism ONLY became Right Wing AFTER WWII.
It was socialists and others on the Left who fought in Spain against the fascists.
blert: The Imperial Japanese -- a genuinely Right Wing outfit --
So the Japanese authoritarian nationalist racists were on the Right, but German authoritarian nationalist racists were on the Left.
You didn't attempt an answer: In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith is not killed, but reeducated. Why not? And why is that relevant?
The Mensheviks ( the larger faction ) lost out to the Blosheviks in a Left on Left fight... which was then repeated endlessly as long as the Reds ran Moscow.
C.f. the Purges...
Likewise, the Left vs Left proxy fight in Spain rolled on ahead.
I would term Franco a genuine Rightist -- who none the less received massive support from a VERY Left Wing political movement. There was NOTHING Conservative about Nazism.
It's leader was New Wave in the extreme: pill-popping, eugenics... aiming for the 'new Aryan man' -- a double for the 'new Soviet man.'
It's off the issue: but Winston needed to stay alive because he was the voice of the narration. 1984 is HIS story -- so he must stay on through the last page. Obvious, no?
The terms Right and Left are, of course, entirely the result of the French Revolution. They were NEVER used before that time.
To keep your swirling compass straight: the Right ALWAYS is married to the Church/ the national religion -- and is conservative if not hyper-conservative.
Thusly, Franco and the Shintoists were flaming Rightists -- right along with the Royalist faction of the French Revolution.
The Nazis, Soviets, Maoists, et. al. are ALL New Wave - blank page - anti-religionists -- determined to create a new faith in their own vision. Invariably this new faith places man above God -- in particular the Party Leader as God.
Hence, in all of the above polities the leader-worship/ leader cult.
Unlike the Rightists, Leftists ALWAYS have succession trauma.
Who could forget the pins-and-needles moments after the General Secretary passed is mortal coil?
By comparison, Rightists fall back on old-wave procedures.
In the case of Spain, Franco comes off more as Cromwell: throwing the system back to Royal structure.
It is extremely telling that Adolf couldn't stand Franco, personally. That's in stark contrast to his admiration for Stalin and his buddy relationship with Mussolini.
The Japanese looked entirely BACKWARDS towards Shintoist values that crossed the centuries.
The Nazis looked entirely FORWARDS towards a loose-leaf version of a Nazi 'bible' which Himmler and Hitler were creating on the fly.
You'll note the same unstructured politics in the French Revolution.
Lastly, the American Revolutionary War was also the American Reactionary War: Adams, et. al. wanted to GO BACK IN TIME to the system of rights and duties they'd known before the Seven Years War / French and Indian War.
That's why they spent a season campaigning BEFORE they came to their senses and realized that they'd HAVE to break their bonds with England and the King. So the Declaration was issued in 1776 while the first shots broke out in 1775.
If you reflect upon what the real ambit of a political movement is -- then you can scale it from Left to Right.
Americanism -- circa 1776 -- was neither Left nor Right. It respected religion -- but stood apart from it -- and did not attack it. In this, it was entirely unlike all of the other political movements we so commonly read of.
It also attempted to Return the Colonies Back to their Rights and Status circa 1745. Hence, it took the era of the Articles of Confederation for the nation to realize that it couldn't go back. Instead, a new Constitutional, law based, limited government half-way between a monarchy and anarchy would be required.
As established, their attempt to go back ended up creating something truly new.
In contrast, the despots sell their publics on New Politics -- and deliver Old Tyranny.
All of which means that Republicanism is improperly characterized as being on the Right.
By the standards of Revolutionary France -- Americanism/Republicanism is CENTRIST.
BTW, the Democrat Party was founded as The Democrat-Republican Party -- only to shed sail later on.
This made it, 'Republican Party', available to use circa 1856 as a political brand name to contrast with the slavery-Democrat faction of Jackson, Polk, and Buchanan.
blert: The terms Right and Left are, of course, entirely the result of the French Revolution. They were NEVER used before that time.
Yes, and since that time, the Left has referred to those who advocate for greater egalitarianism, and those on the Right for accepting or welcoming inequality as an inevitable result of natural differences. The Far Left, such as Communism, believe in absolute equality, while the Far Right, such as Fascists, believe in absolute inequality. The Nazis believed in absolute inequality, that Jews and most other non-Germans were inherently inferior.
blert: All of which means that Republicanism is improperly characterized as being on the Right. By the standards of Revolutionary France -- Americanism/Republicanism is CENTRIST.
Yes, to the Right of Revolutionary France, but the Left of King George III.
I think he should avoid a silly question about 1984, frankly. No one is avoiding the question, just dismissing it.
The history of fascism is complicated, and includes elements that were both right and left wing according to the definitions of the 20's and 30's and the somewhat different definitions now. We are all aware that the CW is that fascism is right-wing. There are reasons to challenge that, including the subsuming of the individual will into the collective will - traditionally left wing - and the remaking of the citizen into some new, improved humanity, whether the New Soviet Man or one of the many German versions of Ubermensch and will to power.
Also, Nazi Germany was emphatically not nationalistic, though it called itself that as a way to inspire. Many people within the borders were rejected - Jews, Roma, Slavs - while "Aryans" across the borders were regarded as brothers. It was tribal, not national. Nationalism was what defeated Naziism. As for the association of right-wing with keeping peoples down, that is either arguing in a circle, or perhaps not noticing that pretty much everyone in the 20th C did that.
As blert notes, contemporary sources do not describe Naziism as right-wing - though I would grant that such descriptions starting coming from the American and European communist parties in the late 30's not after WWII. But it is essentially a Cold War trope.
Assistant VIllage Idiot: I think he should avoid a silly question about 1984, frankly. No one is avoiding the question, just dismissing it.
No, it's a distinctive characterization of the Left v. Right. Jews and other minorities in Hitler's Germany weren't reformed. They were exterminated because they were considered racially inferior. In the Leftist nightmare, differences in society are based on class, not race, and Winston Smith was reeducated to be 'equal' in his love of Big Brother.
Assistant VIllage Idiot: The history of fascism is complicated, and includes elements that were both right and left wing according to the definitions of the 20's and 30's and the somewhat different definitions now.
Certainly, during its development, fascism adopted ideas and rhetoric from Left and Right.
Assistant VIllage Idiot: There are reasons to challenge that, including the subsuming of the individual will into the collective will - traditionally left wing - and the remaking of the citizen into some new, improved humanity, whether the New Soviet Man or one of the many German versions of Ubermensch and will to power.
Again, Left is, by definition, advocacy of egalitarianism. The Nazis wanted to remake humanity by remaking Germans to dominate and replace other races.
Assistant VIllage Idiot: I would grant that such descriptions starting coming from the American and European communist parties in the late 30's not after WWII. But it is essentially a Cold War trope.
Benito Mussolini (1932): ""Granted that the nineteenth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right,' a fascist century."
You forgot to include the line that follows:
Benito Mussolini (1932): "Given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority -- a century of Fascism. For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism and hence the century of the State."
The translator of your version also made the common mistake of conflating authoritarian with right.
"Ammesso che il sec. XIX sia stato il secolo del socialismo, del liberalismo, della democrazia, non è detto che anche il sec. XX debba essere il secolo del socialismo, del liberalismo, della democrazia. Le dottrine politiche passano, i popoli restano. Si può pensare che questo sia il secolo dell'autorità, un secolo di «destra», un secolo fascista; se il XIX fu il secolo dell'individuo (liberalismo significa individualismo), si può pensare che questo sia il secolo «collettivo» e quindi il secolo dello Stato."
Sinistra means left, destra means right. "un secolo di «destra», un secolo fascista" translates as "a century of the 'right', a fascist century."
At least one person of consequence was referring to fascism as a movement of the right before the late 1930's.
I don't think one can take this example as a proof-text that Mussolini defined Fascism as being of the Right of the political spectrum, when one looks at his discussion of the right side of the spectrum in his other speeches and writings.
Neither in English or Italian does Right refer solely to the political spectrum.
Douglas2: Neither in English or Italian does Right refer solely to the political spectrum.
No, but Mussolini was contrasting fascism with Socialism, Liberal Democracy, so he was clearly placing fascism on the political spectrum, the authoritarian Right.
Save us from wikipolitica...
It is MONARCHY that ranked persons above and below.
This is tied into heritage, the peerage and all the rest.
Leftism is ALWAYS about some eutopianism - with a particular emphasis on remolding Man.
BTW, the idea that Slavic Communists were anything less racist than Nazis doesn't even pass the laugh test.
Making the Soviet citizens all more equal is another gut-buster.
Stalinism, like Hitlerism, waged ethnic genocide with a fury.
Khrushchev said of Stalin that he was an anti-Semite of the first water.
In 1953, Stalin was gearing up for a completion of the Shoah. Hence, the doctor's plot.
So Beria fed him rat poison and stepped over the boss's dying body.
Z, you have to re-invent history to partition Left from Left.
Instead, you should think of these tyrannies as cross-town rivals in blood sports.
And, it does stand strange that you, in your mind's eye, elevate Communism above Nazism when it has at least twice the body-count -- and that would be excluding Mao's reign of error.
For weird: study islamism -- the fusion of islam with communism. Hoxha ( Albania ) and Arafat being exemplars of the creed.
The PLO was founded and funded by the KGB and Arafat stood up as their representative. ( Central educated him, of course. )
Their Arab clients were then induced to recognize this entity in 1964 as being from their breasts. Perfect.
Subsequent KGB defectors have divulged that Moscow was always and ever behind these anti-Western factions.
A support continued into the present for Syria, Iran and any other anti-Western polity they can corrupt.
Z, when you lie down with dogs you get fleas.
What satisfaction do you get from agitpropping up tyrannies?
Leftism always talks a high minded ethos -- while always descending down into tyranny.
For petty tyrannies one need look no further than Western universities. For them 1984 plays out as tragicomedy.
No memory holes of Big Brother could possibly compete with the revisionism so rampant there.
blert: It is MONARCHY that ranked persons above and below.
Social stratification didn't disappear with the monarchy.
blert: Leftism is ALWAYS about some eutopianism - with a particular emphasis on remolding Man.
You can always redefine words to suit yourself, but Left is normally used to refer to people who advocate for greater equality, not just utopians. Hence, desegregation, women's suffrage and universal education were considered politics of the Left.
Leftist equality = a Procrustean bed.
Z never takes the road to where it has always led: a hammer coining out clone drones.
And in absolutely no Leftist schema is the average Joe to be left to his own --- instead the Party must always and forever Mind him.
This asymptote to group rite and individualist death is the absolute heart of Z's ideal: a remade, perfected man.
Infatuated with equalities of outcome, Z never pauses to consider just how extreme the Party must be to make everyone equal -- when equality is the sine qua non of one's utopia.
For your viewing pleasure:
Do note that during the march sequences that the ranks are entirely chosen to have the same height and stride for the G step.
Within these meager celebrations we are witness to true equality -- as actually practiced in the most Leftist hive on Earth.
Every time Z waxes on about equality -- this is what it means in real world practice.
There have been zero exceptions.
blert: Infatuated with equalities of outcome, Z never pauses to consider just how extreme the Party must be to make everyone equal -- when equality is the sine qua non of one's utopia.
Indeed, we addressed it in our previous statement. The concept of egalitarianism involves many different shades of belief, including desegregation, women's suffrage, universal education, and equal opportunity. None of these imply the extreme egalitarianism you implied by your statement, yet they are all considered movements of the political Left.
Z, in principle I enjoy a comments section with a variety of viewpoints. Would it be too much to ask for you to come up with some rebuttals that weren't so stale? I know the progressive movement has better arguments than these humorless retreads.
P.J. O'Rouke tells you guys to stop wearing shorts.
I don't wear shorts either. Jeans and T-shirt for summer, flannel shirts and jeans for winter, cowboy boots year 'round except when I'm on the boat. I'm much more comfortable in boots than shoes - so I have a special pair of cowboy boots in patent leather. I also wear white socks - even with wing tips of which I have one pair.
No shorts - shorts are for boys (under the age of 12), women and those of indeterminate gender.
More Oops from Elizabeth Warren
And yet when all this is pointed out to what one might consider highly intelligent individuals (my sis-in-law and brother), it's dismissed as "that's only politics". Really? So as I say, not as I do is politics? Doesn't matter - the True Believer will look beyond that to the "bigger picture".
Lib Senator Wants to Save Postal Service With Windmills
And Al Gore invented the Internet, Bill Clinton was our first "black" president and now we're saving a fleet of ancient postal trucks with windmills.
Where does it stop?
Tom Francis: And Al Gore invented the Internet
Al Gore was recently inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for being "a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet."
Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf: "Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development."
I'm going with solar panels. Every household needs enough wattage in the closet to run a laptop in case of grid outage.
when the temperature reaches 105F for days on end and peaks at 110F or 115F, Las Vegas wears shorts.
So, exactly who was it who held guns to these students heads and made them take out loans? Who was it who talked them into it? I think the answer to the first is, no one, and to the second, is...the colleges they are attending. Methinks they protest too much, to the wrong agency/ies.
O/T by way of Clarabiden the Clown: "The President has a big stick"
@Joe, you know, what happens in the White House bedrooms should stay in the White House bedrooms.
Regarding conservatives and greater knowledge, bsking over at Bad Data, Bad! has a new one about conservative lessening of trust in scientific institutions correlating strongly with an increase in retracted scientific papers.
P.J. O'Rouke tells you guys to stop wearing shorts.
If Mr. O'Rourke will pay me $5000 per month from May1 to Nov 1 if I wear pants, I just might do it. Otherwise, no. The only time I wore pants last summer had to to with a civil trial -either in the courtroom or time for trial prep at the attorney's office. My organization - the defendant- won the case. Rich plaintiff had to pay attorney fees. It was 105 degrees when I stepped out of the courthouse. Great pants weather. NOT.
It has already hit 90 in TX. While there may be some sub 90 days in May, there will not be a lot of sub 90 days until October. No sub 90 days from June 1- October 1. Shorts are more comfortable when the temperature is above 90. There are an awful lot of 100 degree days in the summer.
If Captain Tom wants to wear jeans in 90-108 degree weather, that is his choice. Masochism is not my choice.
Though the Arab way of heavy insulation in very hot weather may have some validity. One time I was hitching through Needles CA, with temperature estimated @110. I put on a sweater. Like a swamp cooler, it was.