Posted by BitcoDavid at 9:58 pm
A Primer for Tea Baggers
Critical thought depends on the concept of shared common language, and on an agreed upon set of terms and definitions. If two people are engaged in the building of a table, say, and one asks for a hammer, the success of the project depends on the other handing him a hammer. In the deeply polarized climate of modern American politics, the use of certain terms has reached a frenzied pitch. These terms are thrown about with abandon, but they do have actual meanings – predefined and agreed upon definitions. In other words, when we ask certain individuals, now, for a hammer, we get a wrench.
Let’s clear some stuff up.
Socialism refers to the common ownership, operation and distribution of industrial production and resources. It is characterized by equal access to goods and services for all individuals, with a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended. It derives from the late 18th century, and is an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. Socialists were a driving force in the French Revolution. It is an economic structure, and although it tends to eschew religious belief, it does not seek to abolish religion amongst the masses.
Communism is a social structure. All classes are abolished and all property ownership is assumed by the Totalitarian State. Karl Marx, a sociologist – philosopher, and the founder of the ideology, believed that Communism would eventually replace Capitalism as the logical, scientific conclusion to society. This would be accomplished through a global, proletarian revolution. Further, he felt that this would only be possible after a three-step process. First, Capitalists would have to build the world’s infrastructure and methods of production. Then Socialists would take over, driving the industrial machine to a state of overproduction, providing a glut of goods and services. Finally, the Totalitarian State would emerge to eliminate classes and divide all goods and services amongst the masses. Marx lived from 1818 – 1883. Socialism predated him by the better part of a century. Communists are vehemently anti-religion and believe that it interferes with the requisite fealty towards the Totalitarian State.
Fascism is an Authoritarian political and military ideology that combines radical nationalism with a Capitalist oligarchic economic system. The word itself was first used in Italy as early as 1920. The Italian fascio means, “bundle.” The symbol in Italy for fascism was a bundle of wheat. The idea being, that a single straw is easy to break, but an entire bundle, at once, is near to impossible. This is a defensive and militaristic posture, not a social or economic structure. Fascism is a dangerous, nationalistic and ethnically intolerant political system. It tends to be extremely religious, but always in such a way as to maintain primacy of the Authoritarian State.
I saved this one for last, because this is my primary reason for writing tonight’s piece.
The word Nazism comes from the Anglicization of an acronym for the German Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. This was the deeply Authoritarian, Nationalist, Militarist Police-State, ideology developed by Adolf Hitler. Most political scientists and sociologists consider Nazism, to be a form of hysterical fascism. It derives from the farthest Right wing end of the political spectrum.
Suffering greatly at the loss and perceived betrayal of Germany after WWI, Hitler posited his 25-point ideology to the German public in 1920. These 25 points included a national policy of Pan-German-ism, vehement anti-Semitism, anti-immigration-ism, racism, social Darwinism, eugenics, anti-Communism, Authoritarianism and ruthless opposition to economic, and political Liberalism.
By 1932, his party held the majority of seats in the Reichstag, and by ‘33, He was Fuhrer of all Germany.
Nazi belief in religion was varied, some being devout Christians, others Nordic and Germanic pagans, and still others absolutely secularist. Similar to Fascism, Hitler saw religion as a sub-set of Nazi thought, where the people’s primary loyalty should be to the state, but where religion could serve to help bind that loyalty.
It is important to state here – to remember here, that Nazis marched across Europe in the 1940s, like the Black Plague did in the 14th century. As they did, they tortured, raped, enslaved and killed some 14 million Human beings. In pursuit of their “Lebensraum,” they crushed the bones of children, forced elderly women to stand, naked, in the snow for hours on end, and then hosed them down with ice water, to see if they would die. The Nazis performed horrific surgeries on innocent people, without even so much as anesthesia. They burned people with blowtorches, shocked them with electrodes, baked them alive, and gassed them – and all this, before arriving at their master concept, their “Final Solution,” Operation Reinhardt. During the year and a half, that program was in effect – the Nazis were murdering upwards of 20 thousand people per day, seven days a week. “Sonderbehandlung,” it was called – special treatment.
According to Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin – according to these people, I’m one. According to these people, I’m a Nazi. My political affiliation is not one of the ones I chose to define in tonight’s piece. My political affiliation is Progressive Liberal. We’ve been around since about the turn of the century, too. We believe in equal rights for all people. We believe in a fair and safe workplace, where hard work is justly compensated. We believe in the humane treatment of animals, in ethnic diversity and in fair and open immigration policies. In good stewardship of our mother-planet, and we believe in an end to war and famine, not just in the U.S.A., but also throughout the world.
It hurts me when I hear myself, or my President, referred to as a Nazi, because I know whom the Nazis were. It hurts me when I see skin-headed teenagers wearing SA uniforms and carrying swastikas, because I know whom the Nazis were. It hurts me when I hear revisionist Historians and religious zealots claim the Holocaust never happened, because I know whom the Nazis were.
I challenge Beck, Palin and the entire “tea-bagger” crowd to show me, based upon the above definitions, where Obama, actually, is any of those things. What policies of the current administration are you referring to when you call him a Socialist, a Communist or – above all, a Nazi? Moreover, for the love of God, what did I ever do to you, for you to call me one?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
A Primer For Tea Baggers - Reposted
I love it when I run across an article that speaks volumes, is timely, and begs to be reposted. This is one of those times. You can read it all HERE. Personally, I think I'll make copies and hand them out throughout the course of my day.