Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Anti-Communism & Racism

Waking up this morning I find that Mitt Romney is not President, Barack Obama still is - re-inaugurated after four whole years already - and the world has not come to an end.

I have a question for my conservative friends. It applies to my libertarian friends as well. Why does it seem that there has been a historical connection between strong anti-communist conservative views and racist views like those who opposed Integration? People get really offended when anyone suggests any link between tea-party conservatism and racism. But can you explain this in historical context without just turning it around to accuse the questioner of racism simply because I dared to suggest it?

This has been bothering me for some time. I did a quick Google search to illustrate what I am trying to say. I know there are a lot of texts, too, linking communism with the Civil Rights Movement and Desegregation. We'll save those for another time. This is the internet and visuals are powerful. Please understand that I do not endorse any of the images below, but try some of these and please help me understand:

Little Rock, Arkansas protesters 1957 (in my lifetime!)

Somewhere in the 1950s

North Carolina 1965 (definitely in my lifetime!)

1956 State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory
"Race Mixing is communism" Somewhere in the South, 1950s

In more recent times, consider these below:

I do have a suggested answer to some of this, and it's not really all that much about racism. It is a classic political-theory treatise from 1963, The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter. Anonymous D just reminded me of it a couple of days ago. I have to re-read it every once in a while.
For an interesting dialogue following from this, click here.


  1. Except you've got it backwards. The Democrats were the racists under the KKK hoods, and many Democrats were just as anti-Communist as any Republican. Now, maybe you'll just call them "conservative" Democrats, but the truth is that they were closer to National Socialists or Fascists in their opposition to communism. It wasn't because they were trying to preserve some form of laissez faire capitalism or the original economic system the founding fathers enjoyed. Mussolini was revered by the Left in this country prior to WWII, and he was praised for having "saved" capitalism by merging it with socialism. (Ironically, Mussolini was trying to save socialism by merging it with capitalism.) The fascist doctrines were competing with communism just as surely as laissez faire capitalism was competing with them both.

    How do you explain the rise of the Segregationist Party out of the Democratic Party? Or, how do you explain Lyndon Johnson's sabotage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act? Or, how do you explain that 82% of Republicans voted in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, compared to only 63% of Democrats? Or, how do you explain that of the 19 Senators that filibustered the bill, 18 were Democrats? I am quite sure that during those decades Republicans were definitely more anti-communist as a whole, and they were the anti-racists.

    Also, it is interesting to consider the way in which communism dismissed with racism. It did so by stating that individuals (and likewise, individual differences) were worthless and meaningless. The only value of the individual was in his or her contributions to society. Communism didn't raise everyone up to the same level -- it lowered everyone to be nothing more than cogs in the "great" socialist machine. Anything that stood in the way of a person becoming a functioning "cog" in the machinery of the state was dismissed, whether it was religion, personal affiliations, or ethnicity.

    Besides, you aren't even following your own narrative. If, as you and others have implied, the parties have switched places (from the Democrats being the racists to the Republicans being the racists), then it would have happened as a part of Nixon's "Southern Strategy" -- long after all of the photographs you have included were taken. Personally, I think "racist" has become just another slimy, disgusting slur to be hurled at those you hate -- the real racists are still _demonstrably_ those on the Left. The Left has only changed who they believe should benefit from the racism.

    1. I don't think I was making any distinctions based on party. I am well aware that there have been conservatives in both major parties fighting desegregation along with communism (and clearly linking the two). That's the question I would like an answer to. You're borderline on my comment standards here, so step it up a notch in respect or you'll end up in the spam category with your "slimy" comments and unfounded accusations.


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