Friday, March 4, 2011

What's Wrong with this picture?

Any clue? Any? It hails from a Florida Tea bagger's blog and that ought to give you clue one. NO? Can't figure it out? Okay, the last "Socialist" in the mix (Hitler, the National Socialist German Worker's Party) wasn't a true Socialist party but a FASCIST right wing party! This is hard for some to grasp so we have to go slow. (I do like dragging in the red flag dealie, as if the same color seals the political continuity between all 3!)

Historical facts are like toxins to zealots, of either political or religious stripe, but we have to dispense them on account of the vast ignorance in this country. Like lumping Soviet Stalinists together with Hitler's Nazis when Hitler actually opened a FRONT up on the east during World War II, with the express decision to DESTROY THE SOVIET COMMUNIST STATE!

Now, riddle me this: IF Hitler (or his party) were truly Socialist like the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, wouldn't he be making common cause with them, instead of invading their homeland to destroy them? (For those with foggy historical memories, or none at all, google the "Battle of Stalingrad" - one of the fiercest fought between Hitler's armies and those of Josef Stalin and the USSR)

As documented by Ian Kershaw in his magnificent account of Hitler’s rise to power (‘Hitler Nemesis’) Germany's 1930-31 Weimar Republic constituted a weak democracy which had little or no control over the most radical Rightists, especially Hitler’s NSDAP party. They would regularly beat Marxists, socialists, and any leftists on the streets while holding up signs that read: “Tot dem Marxem!” (Death to Marxists!) Now, since Marxists were the true Soviet-style socialists, why would he do this if HE was a Socialist? The fact is, as Kershaw notes, Hitler had it in for the Socialist Russians, aka commies, even before WWII began. That's why nearly 6 million of the 21 million total slaughtered by Hitler in his pogroms, invasions, and genocides were Russian Socialists! Again, why would a socialist kill a socialist? What the fuck's wrong with this picture?

Another thing the genius that composed that ridiculous cartoon might want to ask himself: If Hitler was indeed a Socialist, WHY in Hell's bells did he kowtow to the German capitalists and industrialists to finally gain the measure of support he needed to finally attain the Chancellorship? (with the unwitting help of then Chancellor Paul von Hindenburg)

Kershaw again (‘Hitler Nemesis’, p. xxxiii):

Leaders of big business, though often harboring private concerns about current difficulties and looming future problems for the economy, for their part were grateful to Hitler for the destruction of the left-wing parties and trade unions. They were again ‘masters in the house’ in their dealings with their work force let me get this straight....the leaders of Big Business were thankful to Hitler for the destruction of left wing parties and trade unions? But wait! Aren't those part and parcel of SOCIALISM? How does the arch-genius cartoonist explain that? (I can't wait to see this!)

What all this shows is there are Socialists then there are the odious "National faux Socialists". The two are as far apart politically-economically as Earth's poles geographically. Just because Hitler adopted the name "Socialist" doesn't mean his party was that, any more than the North Koreans choice of "Democratic Republic of North Korea" makes them a democratic republic! DOH!

A nation or person can employ a name but unless one is careful, he may well be conned into accepting the name at face value when it means the exact opposite!

As a member of the Democratic Socialist Party Of America this sort of persistent historical blind spot (I'd even call it historical stupidity- since simple fact-checking can reveal the inconsistencies) galls me no end. I simply see no excuse for it. But short of countering the false information with actual facts, there’s little one can do. No one has yet passed an amendment (nor will one ever be able, I suspect) making free speech contingent on actual facts and information!

Historian Ian Kershaw (‘Hitler Nemesis’, 2000, W.W. Norton & Co.) minces no words with how Hitler's National Socialists treated REAL socialists, as well as communists (p. xxxvi):

The oppositional forces on the Left, such as the Communists and Socialists were crushed, cowed and powerless

A related howler amongst the Tea Party crowd has been often referring to Obama as a "Socialist". Is Obama truly any kind of Socialist? A few checks on his legislative and other moves will show clearly this is nonsense.

First, as regards the stimulus package passed in 2009, no real Socialist would allow one-third of that $838 billion package as tax cuts! He'd veto the fucker first! In fact, that whole third of tax cuts would be replaced by food stamps, for REAL socialists!

Second. no REAL socialist would give money for any bank bailout without actually NATIONALIZING the fucking banks! Did Obama do that? NOOOOOOOOOO.....!

Third, the "Obamacare" that tea baggers are always bellyaching about would never be proposed by a true socialist. The reason is that it leaves the capitalist insurance companies in the mix and indeed, delivers to them a captive audience of customers who must cough up payments or be fined! In a true Socialist policy, we'd instead have NO private insurance option, and the GOVERNMENT would be the insurer of first and last resort, as in single payer Canada! Did Obama do that, or even embrace a public option? Hell no! What? Are people that blind, or stupid?

Fourth: No socialist of any stripe I know would ever, ever, ever...ever ...EVER countenance a tax cut package that included $140 billion for fucking millionaires! This would be like the package Obama agreed to in December last year, obviously for political advantage ....though he dug us into a deeper $1 trillion deficit hole we didn't need. (Meanwhile, in his budget, proposing a modest and optimistic 'federal spending freeze' plan that would eliminate only $400 billion of the deficit by 2020.)

Conclusion: Anyone who sees or refers to Obama as a "Socialist" has his head so far up his ass that he can't see the sun. Far less be capable of a single intelligent thought!

Obama is a Neo-liberal Centrist, free-market capitalist. Maybe he will eventually turn into a real Socialist. But I for one am not holding my breath.

This leaves the ONLY real Socialist in the U.S. government Vermont's Bernie Sanders.

Perhaps the greatest post-mortem “victory” Hitler and the Nazis achieved was getting people to continue to associate his verminous form of "socialism" (which was actually fascism) with genuine Socialism- based merely on the facile use of the name. Such trite historical revisionism makes it an even more difficult task to bring this nation closer to economic equity for all, as well as introducing humane standards for housing, health care and jobs. Tragic. Almost as tragic as referring to anyone who does something slightly different economically as a "socialist" when he's no more so than I am an evangelical, bible-thumping preacherman.

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