Consider this post a follow-up to the one below.
The message reproduced to the right comes from Zero Hedge
. One can, of course, find many similarly inane comments scattered throughout blogland.
This particular example of inanity stands out because the outrageous contradiction on display here illustrates a much larger problem. This fellow considers himself a "Born Patriot" yet identifies himself with an image of the Confederate flag
Ron Paul has, at times, spoken in favor of secession
. If ever he were to provide "aid and comfort" to any serious attempt to bring about secession, he should be tried and executed under Article Three, section 3 of the United States Constitution. Yet his supporters label themselves patriots
At this writing, Paul will probably win second place in the New Hampshire primary
. I don't expect much from the Republicans -- but is it really too much to ask the party of Lincoln to favor the concept of maintaining the union under any and all circumstances? Apparently so. (As we shall see, some alleged "liberals" also have no problem rationalizing Paul's treasonous instincts.)
What have we come to? What would Honest Abe think about Paul's popularity?
Modern conservatives are a contradictory bunch: They continually threaten to upend the very ideals they claim to cherish.
A few days ago, we looked at the ultra-conservative wing of the Catholic church. We noted that the people who bray loudest about their loyalty to the papacy are also the ones who, if they don't get their way, are the likeliest to join a schismatic movement. Similarly, the tea partiers proclaim their loyalty to the founding fathers even as they continually threaten to take up arms against an elected government, should that government do things unapproved by the libertarians. Sometimes the baggers make that threat in a sly and subtle fashion; sometimes (as in the case of Sharron Angle), they can be overt. But the threat remains, always there, lingering in the air.
Let's give this threat its proper name: Fascism
The Confederacy -- revered by the Paulites -- was the first attempt at a fascist government: A one-party plutocracy founded on slavery and fueled by appeals to the most irrational aspects of the human psyche. The libertarians who molded Ron Paul's thinking admired fascists like Mussolini and Pinochet. These ideologues also tend to admire Joe McCarthy, who came to prominence by defending the Nazi perpetrators of the Malmedy massacre, and whose political mentors had pre-war records as fascist sympathizers.
Yet libertarian propagandists try to convince naive youngsters that FDR
was pro-fascist...!On the left side of the aisle, the situation is almost as bad.
I loathe and decry the recent attempts by Glenn Greenwald, Matt Stoller
and others to make Ron Paul palatable to liberals. Stoller is a particularly vile revisionist historian:
As the New Deal era model sheds the last trappings of anything resembling social justice or equity for what used to be called the middle class (a process which Tom Ferguson has been relentlessly documenting since the early 1980s), the breakdown will become impossible to ignore.
My god. What an absurdity. What indefensible and ludicrous propaganda.
FDR, following in the footsteps of the preceding generation's progressive movement, created
the middle class. You can't hold the New Deal responsible for the attacks on the middle class that began only after Reaganites did everything they could to dismantle
the New Deal. That's like blaming Sharon Tate for the Manson family murders.
Stoller claims that the New Deal was based on "warmongering." Back in FDR's day, that idea would have made sense only to someone like Robert McCormack. Or to William Randolph Hearst. Or to the Bund. Or to the fascist sympathizers who later went on to found the John Birch Society. Yes, Naked Capitalism is
flirting with Birchism, and there's no point in pretending otherwise. Even as he extols the virtues of Paul, the young and ambitious Stoller (who was, of course, a fervent Obot just three short years ago) trashes the memories of Lincoln, FDR and Woodrow Wilson
in terms that would make sense only to a Glenn Beck aficionado.
Stoller blames World War II on Roosevelt and the Civil War on Lincoln. Not so long ago, one would have encountered these sentiments only in pro-fascist fringe periodicals. How much distance separates Stoller from, say, William Dudley Pelley? Or George Lincoln Rockwell? Or Eustace Mullins (who also wanted to end the Fed)? Or the folks who gave us The Thunderbolt
and Angriff Press? Stoller may not be a racist, but his penchant for fascist-friendly historical revisionism places him in evil company.
Hell, even The Spotlight
played it more coy. Perhaps I should revise my "flirting with Birchism" remark: Comparisons to the JBS are too soft to describe what Stoller is up to. I've read some back issues of American Opinion
. Absurd as they were, they weren't this
Yet this guy gets published in The Nation
It is true that one wing of the fractured libertarian movement denounced Bush's atrocious war in Iraq. That factor explains why so many lefties have come to sympathize with Paul. But even in 2004 and 2005, I warned anti-war liberals against making common cause with the libertarians. What the followers of Ludwig von Mises want to do to the U.S. (and to the rest of the world) would make Dubya's attack on Baghdad seem comparatively gentle and kind.
Too many alleged leftists claim to be "too liberal for Obama" while simultaneously attacking the New Deal or offering rationalizations for libertarianism (which is just another word for plutocracy). Just like our friend "Born Patriot," these people have twisted themselves into living contradictions.