Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pick an "ist", any "ist"

If you listen to the angry crowds at tea parties and the recent march on D.C., President Obama is, at the same time, a Socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, a Fascist and a Nazi. If this weren't so ludicrous it would almost be funny. Several of these ideologies are in direct conflict with each other and in fact have resulted in wars. Our Democracy values debate, but when those debating have no clue about what they say, they should simply stay home.


Blogger dogimo said...

There's no reason one can't combine all of those into a seamless political philosophy. In fact, both Fascism and National Socialism were efforts to appeal to workers in the same way that Socialism then did, but to substitute a statist patriotic fervor for Socialism's internationalist anti-state stance. Communism in its (permanent) transition phase of "dictatorship on behalf of the proletariat" might as well be a nationalist, socialist fascism - certainly within the state, the state is all! Everything for the state, nothing outside the state. The only difference is that Communism pays lip service to the internationalist ideal, and claims that one glorious day, the proletariat will be ready to rule directly, and the state can be dispensed with. A belief in Sugarcandy Mountain isn't much of a realpolitik sticking point, ideology-wise.

The military conflicts that arose between these movements were not over core points of ideology so much as clashes of agendas for achieving power (many wars are not truly about ideology). Certainly these movements did inveigh against each other! But in many cases, it was because they were in direct competition - trying to appeal to the same demographic power base, e.g. Germany in the 20's.

They are very different flavors, yes. But flavors of the same thing, nonetheless. At their root: the fallacy that the rights of the individual must be sacrificed to serve the greater good of the masses. Which is a huge disservice to the masses, if only it could occur to them that the individual is every one of us.

10:13 PM  

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