By Tom Kando
Although I didn’t write the January 18 post “Obamacare, Fascism and Brown Rice,”, I’ll piggy-back on it. It gives the professor (me) a chance to give a short introductory lecture in political science and history.
Those who try to equate fascism and socialism, or speak of the two in one breath, show appalling ignorance of politics and history. Ever since Obama became president, some on the Right have tried to paste the “fascist” label on him and on his policies, and they have used the terms “fascist” and “socialist” interchangeably. Many in the Tea Party have done this, as have people like Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other loons, and now John Mackey. I already wrote about this preposterous distortion of reality in my March 16, 2010 post "Is America Going Fascist and Gay?"
As I wrote nearly three years ago, these folks have things upside down. Anyone who knows anything about 20th century history knows that fascism and socialism have always been each other’s worst enemies, as in the Spanish Civil War, the war between Nazi Germany and Russia, and many other conflicts. I know, I know, there was the Molotov-Ribbentrop “monster pact” of 1939, when the Nazis and the Soviets tried to collaborate. And yes, “Nazi” means “National Socialism.” But don’t be mistaken: Fascism/Nazism and Socialism are each other’s opposite: The former is on the Right, and latter on the Left. And the distinction between Right and Left remains very meaningful, today in America as much as it was in 20th century Europe.
If John Mackey took a course in Political Science 101 he would learn that:
1. Fascism is an expression of middle-class discontent.
2. Marxism and other forms of socialism are expressions of lower-class and working-class discontent.
3. Hitler was brought to power by Fascism.
4. The Russian Revolution was Marxist.
5. Fascism is nationalist: The Nazis were vehemently opposed to internationalism. They quit the League of Nations.
6. Marxism and Socialism are internationalist.
7. Fascists believed that God was on their side.
8. Marxism is atheist.
9. Fascism is militaristic.
10. Fascism is racist.
11. Fascism is homophobic. Before his onslaught on Jews, Hitler exterminated the gays.
12. Fascism is for traditional family values (Only three roles for women: Kinder, Kuche und Kirche).
13. Fascism is cosy with the conglomerates. Remember Krupp, Siemens, IG Farben and all the other corporations that supported the Nazis.
14. Fascism wants to return to the past, which it glorifies.
15. Socialism is geared to the future, sometimes a utopian future.
Granted, some forms of socialism such as Soviet Marxism have gone deeply astray, but to accuse Obama and his policies of being fascist is absurd. He is a centrist social democrat. The accusation reminds me of when Joe McCarthy called Eisenhower a communist. It is lunacy.
Also, it is the pot calling the kettle black. Obama’s Tea Party and Right-wing Republican detractors themselves have much more in common with classical European fascism than anyone since father Coughlin in the 1930s and Joe McCarthy in the 1950s: If fascism comes to America, it’ll be precisely these folks who bring it on: Look at the list above: They are on the right; they are overwhelmingly white middle-class; they are nationalists; they are deeply religious; they support military intervention; they hate the country’s first black President; they are anti-gay; they are pro-life and pro traditional family values; they support the corporations. They long to return to America's alleged past glory days. The Tea Party and the “Take-America-Back” folks remind me of the angry white middle-class which brought Hitler to power in Austria and Germany. leave comment here
Thursday, January 24, 2013
By Tom Kando