A good liberal

There are still some … mainly people who learned their politics many years ago, when a central value of liberalism was free speech and free inquiry.

Paul Berman is one, and he has written a very interesting historical piece on how the Hard Left – the CPUSA at the time – invented ‘cancel culture’ and suppression of dissent, even on the Left, many decades ago. It’s just been taken over by the new generation of hard Leftists (who regard the CPUSA today with contempt).

The article is here: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/liberalism-harpers-letter-dewey

He’s a very decent man, although wrong in his (mild) pro-socialism, and wrong in his belief in an interventionist foreign policy. [More on him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Berman ]

But … my God, compared to the gibbering herd of lying hysterics who now dominate the Left, he is a saint. (@CBBrown … if you don’t know about this guy, you should check him out. You’d probably get along well with him.)

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Do you think there were good Nazis? Serious question!

Maybe some poor shlub, working in a factory, can barely put a potato on the family dinner table, he joins the Nazi party so the factory will make him a manager. He just wants a few more dollars for food. He doesn’t give a crap about politics.

Maybe someone like that was actually a good guy, right?

Well: Him being good in no way lessens the evil of the party.

If I stipulate that there are good democrats out there will you will stipulate that The Party is evil, its policies are evil, and those who are fully aware of the polices and still defend them are also evil.

Yes?

These people who claim that the American Left was dramatically different in the 60’s than today and that their “movement” has been “hijacked” are not “good people” ; they are liars.

The American Left has always been pro communism, anti capitalist, anti self determination and pro violence to get their ideas codified into law.

What these people are seeing today is not a bastardization of their ideology, they are seeing the death of their ideology and they are trying to distance themselves from it because they are cowards.

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It would be nice if someone who has actually read this man’s article would comment on it.

Do read it … you’ll learn a lot from it if, like most people on the Right, you know very little about
the ideas of the Left and their history.

I think you are missing the point.

While the extreme “Left” may have been all those things for decades as you said, they did not control the Democrat party. Now they do!

THAT is the difference.

Its one thing to have nutjobs that cling to a party, its quite another to be controlled by them.

Today’s official Democrat Party policy goals and positions are unrecognizable from the party of JFK. Can anyone imagine Kennedy, or even Carter, proposing what AOC and Bernie propose today?

And more than that, Democrat governors of old would have never allowed the rioting that these filthy sick local Democrats allow, and even embrace today. They may have liked slavery and segregation, but not socialist rioters.

Heck, back in JFK’s day many Democrats were Klansmen. They HATED Communists.

Its not fair to be calling people like me liars.

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Okay, but if you could also answer my question please . . . . .

The intense dislike that communists and socialists have for the old time liberals of the ‘40s through the ‘70s was obvious when I was in undergraduate school in the late 1960s. Before my first year, the students had elected a communist as the student body president. He hated the United States, had reservations about the Soviet Union (“It’s still a good communist state”) and really admired Mao Zedong’s Communist China. During a speech to a group of students, he sneered at “a liberal” who was almost as bad as a “Republican.”

We need to remember than liberal Democrats pushed Henry Wallace off the 1944 Democrat ticket despite the complaints from Franklin Roosevelt. Wallace was about the same as Bernie Sanders. They also passed one of the strongest bills against communism in 1954 that was sponsored by Hubert Humphrey. By the late 1960s, JFK was regarded as “a cold warrior” because his words about opposing communism in his inaugural address. In 1972, labor leader, George Meany, strongly opposed the Democrat nomination of George McGovern for President. McGovern marked the beginning of the uber liberal – socialist swing of the party toward the extreme left.

Classic liberals have no place in the modern Democrat Party, and the smart ones know it. They are either keeping mum in this election or quietly supporting Trump. They know the modern Democrats are anti-Semitic socialists who are committed to a revolution that will tear this country to pieces. One of the news shows had footage of them carrying a banner that called for “Revolution.” They know enough history to realize what will result from that. It will be chaos, bloodshed and a big win for Communist China.

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I’m not sure what your question is.

Yes, the Democratic Party of today has been bitten by the Marxist vampire and has changed utterly … or rather, is in the process of changing. But the direction of motion is clear.

However, the world outside the conservative patriot movement is not monolithic, and Paul Berman is an example of this. I already knew the material he was writing about, but thought that it might be of interest to others here.

People of his viewpoint are vanishing rapidly – you can find the best of them huddled together at Quillette.com, attacked by the rest of the Left. The transformation is astonishing … even the New Republic is now ‘woke’.

The problem with some people here is that the see politics in simple static Good vs Evil terms, with themselves, of course, being pure Goodness. But the world is actually always in motion, new events challenge everything, and there are many contradictions on all sides. Smart people will try to understand how the enemy thinks, and look for contradictions there which can be exploited. (In fact, the extreme wing of AntiFa is doing a good job of discrediting and humiliating their progressive Democratic allies. Right on, lads, keep it up!)

There are BIG contradictions, rivalries, hatreds on the Far Left, for example. I won’t go into details here, unless anyone is interested, but for a quick tour: Marxists and Anarchists have traditionally killed each other in the past, and sometimes come to blows even today. (Google Nestor Mahkno, for example.)

Within the ostensibly Marxist wing of the Left, the Maoists hate the Trotskyists, and vice versa. And each Maoist group hates all the others, and each Trotskyist group hates all the other Trotskyist groups. They are all in intense competition for new members and will say anything about other groups to discredit them.

More importantly, although the Left is trying to open up the racial fracture lines in America, they themselves are very vulnerable to this same tension. Back in the late 60s, Black ultra-radicals realized that they could exploit the white guilt of white liberals and radicals, and began to demand that Leftist organizations have 50% Black leadership – with the leadership chosen, of course, on the basis who could shout the loudest, not who had some political ability. And some Leftists decided that they must put themselves ‘under Black leadership’. (Some of these Lefties found their ‘Black leadeship’ among Black ex-cons, who used the naive white Lefties to do bank robberies. Some of these people are still in prison today.)

The Black Panthers helped the Maoists destroy SDS – an organization with 100 000 members and growing rapidly when they blew it up – doing in a few weeks what the FBI tried and failed to so over several years. (A long story, no room here.)

If our side were politically sophisticated, we would be finding ways to help the Left repeat their experience of the 1960s. Why should any Leftist organization be led by whites??? Are they racists or something? Put Black ‘militants’ from the ghetto in charge now – especially of the treasury. Why aren’t we doing this?

A politically-alert Right would be able to exacerbate these contradictions among and between the different far-Left political currents, and would help the Left to realize its own racism and accept Black leadership at every level.

It’s called waging political warfare and we ought to be doing it.

Absolutely right.
We shouldn’t just be passive, smug observers here. We need to think of ways to help these people find a voice, and organize themselves. We should welcome them into projects where we can both agree – such as the defense of free thought.

Personal contact is important in this work. I can promise you that many honest liberals believe all conservatives are IQ-75 religious fundamentalists/white supremacists, in thrall to cynical exploiters of their money and votes.

We need to engage with them, and talk about America’s future … and our possible future together in a different America, where admirers of JFK and admirers of Barry Goldwater can have sharp disagreements, but can work together for the good of the nation (and, realistically, of the world).

Naturally, agents of the Left will do all they can to prevent this, and to drive any honest liberal back into the Democratic mainstream/snakepit.

I am far from pure goodness my good man.

My point is a simple one, very simple:

  1. Are not democrat party policies evil? Infanticide (late term abortion), sodomy (gay marriage), the deprivation of various God-given rights… …are these evil?
  2. And they being evil, are not those who fully support them and defend them and make them law, are they not therefore evil themselves?

That was my question.

My position is simple and clear: Democrat party policies ARE evil, such as Infanticide, sodomy, the deprivation of various God-given rights, etc. And it necessarily follows that those who fully support them and defend them and make them law are therefore evil themselves.

Many words are not needed. It is cut and dry.

Sorry TT2. There were GOOD nazis. A great number of them. Col. Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg was one. Check out the movie “Valkyrie”. Excellent movie and true to his life. (It’s the only movie Tom Cruise was good in.) And Stauffenberg wasn’t alone in his quest to assassinate Hitler. There were many more high ranking nazi party members who were part of this attempt,

Unfortunately, Hitler survived the blast and ordered the immediate executions of Stauffenberg and the others. Stauffenberg got off with a bullet to his head, the others were hung with piano wire and filmed so Hitler could watch the executions over and over. Then there was Rommel–the “Desert Fox”. He learned much later on that Hitler was going to destroy Germany. There were whole groups of high ranking nazis who fought Hitler and his horrors and many who planned an assassination, but failed. Then there’s Schindler, a committed nazi party member, who alone saved over 1,600 Jews and therefore the 6,000 Jews who came from that group. (See “Schindler’s List”.) There are loads of them. BTW, I don’t recall reading about any “poor shlub” joining the nazi party out of hopes of more money. Being a member didn’t afford that kind of help. Most were forced to join the nazi party.

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LOL. I knew about Stauffenberg decades before the movie, but thanks for the tip. :slight_smile: I like Tome Cruise.

But why did you say “Sorry TT2”? I agree with your entire post. I said that even though there were some “good” Nazis, the party itself was evil and those who fully endorsed its policies were evil. The good Colonel obviously did not fully endorse the party policies so he was not evil.

I think we are on the same page here.

I think the issue here is not, ‘Can there be “good” people in an evil system?’ Of course there can be, especially considering that everything is relative. The question is, is the phenomenon we call ‘American liberalism’ or ‘the American Left’, some sort of unchanging, abstract, metaphysical ‘Evil’, within which there are inexplicably-decent people? This view of politics is, I suppose, the best that certain boneheads can do. It makes them feel good about themselves to hold such a world-view – like the Catholic priest who excoriates evil every Sunday morning, while diddling schoolchildren during the rest of the week. (Let’s not let the Proddies off the hook here, either: here’s my favorite Protestant oh-so-virtuous anti-Communist fire-eater, Billy James Hargis, who was very successful at squeezing lots of money from poor dumboes who probably couldn’t afford it — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_James_Hargis (At least he wasn’t a ‘homophobe’ – he liked both girls AND boys!)

But if you’ve got any sort of brain at all, you want to try to analyze political movements – especially big ones with tens of million of adherents which persist over decades. You want to understand that they believe and what they think they believe. Why do ordinary decent people support them?

In the case of American liberalism, one thing they used to be consistent about, was civil liberties, at least in America. (They did have a weak spot – some of them were not so serious about civil liberties in Communist countries. Thus Roger Baldwin, the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, originally believed that the suppression of free speech and civil liberties in the Soviet Union was all right … but he wised up during the 1930s and became a consistent civil libertarian. The two flagship publications of American liberalism, the Nation and The New Republic, both endorsed the legitimacy of the 1936 Moscow Trials.)

But in America, they were consistent. The ACLU even supported the right of the American Nazi Party to march through a Jewish neighborhood. [Full story here: https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/rights-protesters/skokie-case-how-i-came-represent-free-speech-rights-nazis] I doubt that they would do the same now, by the way.

However, this has now changed. There are still some liberals around who believe in free speech, but they’re a dying breed. The new generation of left-of-center Americans does not hold this belief any more. Remnants of the old position remain, and it has not been replaced with a new, worked-out, elaborated theory of what is permissible and what is not … but the direction of motion is clear.

If you do not hold progressive views, forget about working in academia, forget about working for a major corporation, unless you hide your views. The political center of gravity on the Left now is firmly in the camp of the ‘thought police’.

And, by the way, this shift by no means includes only Marxists and other Hard Leftists … who are still a minority within the self-described Left, let alone the whole Democratic Party. It is becoming the common consensus for everyone left of center: no ‘hate speech’ allowed, and ‘hate speech’ is defined as anything that makes a snowflake ‘uncomfortable’.

Furthermore, you are also a ‘hate thinker’ unless you enthusiastically endorse the idea that the current standards of the Left must be applied, without modification or acknowledgement of historical circumstance or progress, to everyone in the past.

Nor must you acknowledge anything but totally negative aspects of the episodes where more advanced peoples – or rather, more advanced European peoples – encountered less advanced, or at least militarily weaker, peoples. Never mind that these peoples themselves were just as, or even more, brutal to those that they were able to subdue. None of this must be mentioned.

Such a regime is intolerable to anyone with any intellectual integrity. So we will see revolts against it, within the Left. We should support and encourage them.

By the way, anyone who knows the least little bit about American history knows
that the Right has never, in reality, been very enthusiastic about civil liberties.

In the past, rightwingers would happily have closed down, with violence, meetings of the Left, if they could. And they did. This new-found appreciation of basic rights for all, on the part of the Right, is still welcome, even if we may allow ourselves an ironic smile at the sight of rightists ardently proclaiming the importance of the right to free speech and assembly even of those with views we find abhorrent.

Better late than never.

In reality, the American Nazi Party had NO INTENTION of staging that march through Skokie, IL. They scheduled it in an effort to call the ACLU what everyone “knew” it to be–a communist-financed front organization. The ACLU called that bluff and offered to defend their right to march so the ANP simply cancelled their plans.

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Well, I don’t know what the Nazis were thinking internally … you may well be right. I know (according the article I linked to ) that they later ‘settled’ for having a 'rally ’ in Chicago.

In any case, the ACLU did the right thing then, and it cost them thousands of members. They’ve changed a lot since then.

And, just because this is a good place to make the point: I am, personally, not a ‘free speech’ absolutist. During normal times, yes, better to let even the most vile group exercise its free speech in the public square.

But we may be moving into abnormal times, i.e something approaching civil war. And then who should get to manifest their views publically becomes just a tactical question.

To put it plainly: under conditions of approaching civil war, there should be no principled objection to attacking and breaking up, with extreme violence if necessary, marches, rallies or public meetings of the enemies of democracy, fascists and communists. It just becomes a tactical decision.

If all the non-Nazi forces in Germany, in 1928, had combined their street fighters into united formations, and engaged the Nazis in street combat – and in particular they had engaged in a general strike followed by an armed uprising after Hitler was made Chancellor in 1933 – they may have had a chance to stop him. Non-Nazis still outnumbered Nazis by two-to-one then. But after a few months with Hitler as Chancellor … it was too late.

And note that the main obstacle to any sort of united anti-Nazi action were the Communists – the ‘Anti-Faschistische Aktion’ people glorified by the pig-ignorant Lefties of today, who know zero real history.

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These are your quotes. I guess I took them as a challenge rather than a statement.

I also think we’re on the same page about a lot of issues.

They didn’t march in Chicago. They marched in Skokie to the great consternation of the residents. Skokie had the most Jewish Holocaust survivors in the country at that time. The nazi party knew that and that’s precisely why they wanted to march through Skokie. They made a movie about it starring Danny Kaye as one of the elders of the synagogue in Skokie.

My point was that having a few good members does not make an evil organization any less evil

I got my information from the ACLU (admittedly, perhaps not a wise thing to do): here’s their account of those events : [ : https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/rights-protesters/skokie-case-how-i-came-represent-free-speech-rights-nazis]

to put it mildly