Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Anti-Communism & Racism II (with Digressions to the Spanish Civil War)

I don't know why I can't get more of my FaceBook friends to comment here on the blog. They have these great discussions going there on my links to the blog that I would like to share. This discussion comes out of the previous post about Anti-Communism & Racism which might serve as some background. Two out of three of the main commenters have granted permission to use their names. I'll call the third "anonymous" for now.

To start off the fun, we have Anonymous:  
this article is a liberal generated, unbalanced, and spurious hypothesis that tries to brand as racists anyone who opposes barrak hussein obama and his socialist agenda. the article is consistently typical of openly hostile and viruently anti-conservative liberal tacticians, especially manifest since the year 2000. class warfare and exploitation of the masses with a persistent disinformation campaign against rule of law and order are well documented tactics of insurgent movements and communist ideologues, who expect that the "unwashed" masses are not educated, intelligent, or remembering enough to know the difference, or to recall that it was the republicans that emancipated slaves and the democrats/dixiecrats of the deep south that ran the klan and perpetuated the racists policies and sympathies (to include anti-communism) in that region. The very same that this artical now tries to lay that at the feet of modern/reaganite conservatives. Because one in infavor rule of law over unbridled illegal immigration does not make them a racist - although this article and the left want you to believe it. the t-party is not racist as a whole (there may be individual cases - as in all movements), but rather it stands for rule of law, accountability, and fiscal integrity - which the left, in order to marginalize their opponents, identifies as racist policies.

Trying to stay out of things this time, I responded with:
 Thank you [Anonymous] for your perspective. I leave it for others to think about draw their own conclusions.
Then my buddy Phil (converted liberal):
 "it was the republicans that emancipated slaves" the historical context should have read, "it was the progressives of the time who emancipated the slaves and the conservatives who chose revolution and civil war."
The Republican Party of 1860 bears no more resemblance to its latter-day modern self than does the Democratic party. The two have switched political polarity.
The left isn't marginalizing the Tea Party [Anonymous], they've done that all on their own [winking smiley face]
 Then Anonymous, tending to establish the Hofstadter Thesis:
well, i know many have witnessed the polarity change when the dems became the advocates for big government, social welfare, higher taxes, constitutional expediency, sexual revolution/GLBTG, same gender marriage, government sponsored abortion, legalization of marijuana, politically motivated amnesty, etc., while the conservatives became the champions of the constitution, small government, lower taxes, sanctity of marriage, secure borders, controlled immigration, unborn rights, small businesses, religious freedom, 2nd amendment rights, etc. it may well explain why the majority of lds moved from being democrats in my grandfather's day to be predominately conservative in our day. whether or not the t-party has done themselves in remains to be seen. that the left has conducted an unbridled assault on the t-party movement is shameful and well recorded history. in the meantime, it's the days of saruman when all are basking in the glow sauron. enjoy the "second coming" [winking smiley face - Phil and Anonymous know each other pretty well] 
Then, my left-of-my-left-of-center good friend from Back East (DC Area) Jack:
Thank you for posting this Grant. It's a good review of the history. On the more recent material, Hofstader was wrong in seeing the far right as a marginalized movement that would fade in the manner of the 19th century extremists.
Hofstader could not have foreseen what Lyndon Johnson did, that the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act would cost the dems the south. Hofstader was right, however, that the converts to the repubs would be among the most radical and serve as exemplars for their movement.
And of course, he did not anticipate the brilliant decisions of the far right to adopt policies that would ensure permanent and invaluable support from the super-rich, leading to the adoption of wedge issues that ensured continuing support from large blocs of voters. Of course, no one anticipated that these movements would come together to take over the repub party. 
Phil, responding to Anonymous above:
"enjoy the 'second coming'"

Conservatives won't be around afterwards Anonymous?
 Jack, with a salient point:
 On the racism issue: for many years, the Communists were the only white people willing to stand up to American racism. This was for sincere reasons at the rank and file level, and cynical ones at the top. But either way, they were out there alone. Northern dems were moving toward that position, but unwilling to take on the southern white segs, and the rebups were mostly indifferent. During the Truman administration, it was an alliance of repubs and southern dems that consistently blocked Truman's annual attempts to pass civil rights legislation.
It was these conditions that led some prominent blacks, such as Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois to become communists or at least to ally themselves with communists. They had no place else to turn.
Phil responding to Anonymous:
Interesting how you proclaim the GOTP are the “champions of the constitution, religious freedom and the 2nd amendment rights” but fail to remember the conservative/Tea Party gnashing of teeth over a Mosque in New City and another in Tennessee. So, in reality you’re the party of white Christian religious freedom, all others need not apply. “Champions of the constitution”, but have either never read it or don’t understood it because you – as a political grouping - fail to comprehend – even with revelation concerning it – the clearly established protection of the separation of Church and State; “champions of religious freedom” and decriers of Shariah law but perfectly willing force your own religious “values” upon everyone else.
You also left out in your being the “champions of freedom” the entire Bill of Rights, except protecting your beloved guns, and protecting white Christianity of course; this from the party which gave us the Patriot Act, secret prisons in the former Soviet Bloc and the torture of prisoners.
“The champions of controlled immigration”, of course no racial undertones in that kind of statement, who are you trying to control [Anonymous]? Don’t bother answering I was called upon to help build your wall along our southern border.
“The champions of unborn rights” meaning as conservatives you oppose contraception and abortion under all circumstances and don’t really care what happens to the child after its born, that’s why you’ll ignore the slaughter of innocent school children while wrapping yourselves in the 2nd Amendment and telling your grand-children how brave you are in opposing gun control. Additionally, while you’ll scream about government intrusion into your own personal liberties you have no qualms with the government forcing vaginal probes on to rape victims. Of course you love those unborn babies and then cut programs which could assist them as they’re growing up, billions for defense but not a penny for the poor, all done while thumping your chests proclaiming what a good God-fearing Christian party you are. Very Christ-like indeed. “The champions of the sanctity of marriage”, at least where everyone else is concerned; “we’re the party of family values” just don’t look inside our closets please. The GOTP’s a “whited sepulcher”, brightly painted on the outside yet full of contemptible filth on the inside. The difference between the parties is Democrats protect the right to choose, or as we in the Church call it “free agency”, while the GOTP prefers to force everyone to live its way, to force everyone within its definitions of right and wrong. This all sounds very familiar to me; let’s see two plans, one allowing everyone the right to choose how they’d live and the other establishing an earthly government of force. Loved the line about Democrats “enjoying the second coming” by-the-way, very Christ-like judgment of where others will be when Christ comes to rule; however will you be able to handle all those non-LDS liberals living around you [Anoonymous]? I’ll be sure to ask for your home to be next to the President’s [Winking smiley face]
Jack, I agree that Hofstader under-anticipated that the "paranoid style" would nearly take over an entire political party. Some in that party are trying to figure a way out but have yet been unsuccessful. The President's slam on Randian philosophy yesterday hopefully will send it back to the fringe of adolescent theorists. Well see if the rest of the "fever" will break.
It reminds me of a passage from one of my favorite movies, Shadowlands, about C.S. Lewis (filmed, in part, in my ancestral lands in the Golden Valley and along the Wye!)
Joy [When asked by Lewis about her having been a Communist]: Well, I mean, back in '38 it seemed to me there was only two choices... either you were a fascist and you conquered the world... or you were a Communist and you saved it.
Jack [the name C.S. Lewis went by]: Is that so? I must have been otherwise engaged at the time. 
[With regard to the Spanish Civil War, those were about the only two choices. Thank heavens for FDR to give us a Third!]
And Phil, I think the Lord's Grace is sufficient to save even conservatives (probably a lot of communists, too!)
The biggest I have with members of any political party declaring how much more righteous they are, how much more American they are, etc., it's a hop, skip and jump away from declaring it has a "final solution for gays" or a "final solution for liberals"
The Spanish Republic was socialist, anti-church, and willing to grant considerable autonomy to the regions. When the military rebelled against those policies, it soon joined forces with the fascists and the church, an alliance that was to continue until Franco's death. The western allies, foolishly in my view, declared strict neutrality. Germany and Italy intervened on the fascist side in a brutal manner, practicing state terrorism on Spain's people with Franco's approval (see Guernica). 

Mexico and the Soviet Union came in on the Republic's side; Mexico didn't have adequate resources to make a difference, so that left the soviets, who used this as an opportunity to capture the Republic (and all its gold, by the way, which was never returned). So yes, initially there was a choice other than communism and fascism, but we refused to take it and set the stage for forty years of misery in Spain.
Something similar may happen in Syria. Western powers don't know how to react to events (I certainly don't) but it seems that the revolution is slipping into the hands of extremists and that Syria will soon become a menace to all around it.
Thanks, Jack. But our FDR was having enough trouble at the time getting the US mindset out of isolationism as he saw the world conflagration on the horizon. At least we had our Lincoln Brigades of volunteer Americans in Spain on the side of the Spanish Republic - interesting name choice, BTW "Lincoln Brigades."
The US volunteers at the time went over illegally, mostly through France. US passports issued during the civil war were stamped "not valid for travel to Spain." I've seen one, because my late father-in-law considered volunteering and got a passport with that stamp on it. So our neutrality was actually obstructionism. France and the UK were not much better. George Orwell tried to get to Spain in different ways and had trouble, eventually getting documents as a journalist although he enlisted as a fighter in a small Trotskyite group. He didn't want to be in one of the battalions of the International Brigades because they had come under Stalinist domination. He was lucky to come back alive, because the Stalinists eventually turned on the Trotskyites and killed many of them. Infighting among the various factions of radicals often made the volunteers more a hindrance to the republic than a help.
Extremism was as dangerous and self-destructive then as it is today.
Thanks, Jack. Great story!
Ya know, when you lay it out this way, it would make a good play. Not quite Shakespearean, but at least as complex and confusing as an episode of Dr. Who. (I'm expecting the Daleks to appear any second.)

And on a more serious note, Picasso's Guernica:

Basque Civilians bombed by German, Italian, and Spanish Nationalist Forces
26 April, 1937

Late entries from my passionately moderate friend Wayne:
One measure of the quality of a society is how well it treats its minorities--political, ethnic, religious, etc. As a member of a misunderstood minority religion, I have allied myself with the party that will best defend me against persecution by the majority.
I am take aback by [Anonymous]'s ability (and willingness) to summon such vitriol, such contempt. I think it is born of certainty--certainty one is right, certainty there is no truth in the other guy's view, certainty in the darkness of the other guy's motives, and certainty one is under attack. (I have never known such certainty.) It is important to note we are protected from committing real societal evil, on those occasions when we are most certain of the rightness of our views, by the nagging notion that we may be (and probably are) at least to some degree wrong.
Self-doubt saves us
My response to Wayne:
I'm coming up with a new definition of political moderation. It's when you're not quite sure you're right, but you're pretty sure the other guy isn't. The immoderate political view is that one always knows he is always right and the other guy is always wrong.

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