Archive for the ‘Anti-fascists’ category

Early and contemporary progressives – a comparison

June 3, 2013

I’ve just been reading Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism. The theme of Goldberg’s book is that modern progressives are just like the progressives of the early 20 th Century. According to Goldberg, all progressives like using government power to achieve their ends, so all progressives are “liberal fascists.”

However, this shallow argument is based solely on means rather than ends. Just because early progressives liked using state power doesn’t mean they wanted to achieve the same things that modern progressives do, or that they were authoritarian in the same ways that modern progressives are. After all, if today’s progressives are just like those of the 1920s and 1930s, then why is modern society so different from what it was 80 years ago?

Here’s some important differences between early and modern progressives which Goldberg downplays and ignores:

Early progressives generally believed in promoting the interests of the majority/Modern progressives promote the interests of minorities

Early progressives wanted to get more native minorities into paid employment so they could support their families and contribute taxes/Modern progressives actively support affirmative action across a wide range of training courses, jobs and political positions, for both native and immigrant minorities.

Early progressives distrusted the financial sector and many were actively hostile towards it/Modern progressives are generally supportive of the financial sector

Early progressives tended to support farming and manufacturing/Modern progressives are apathetic about farming and manufacturing

Early progressives had mixed views about nationalism and protectionism/Most modern progressives actively promote free trade, open borders and global government

Early progressives supported energy independence and aggressively promoted large-scale infrastructure projects/Modern progressive are apathetic about energy independence and are heavily influenced by the thinking of environmentalists

Early progressives had little interest in introducing hate speech laws and saw censorship as something that conservatives did/Modern progressives strongly support hate speech laws and PC speech codes, and many believe right-wing intellectuals, jounalists and entertainers should be actively discriminated against.

Early progressives were interested in discussing human bio-diversity/Modern progressives are not interested in discussing human bio-diversity and criticise or censor those who are

Many early progressives supported eugenics or had an open mind about it /All modern progressives are strongly opposed to eugenics and arguably support dysgenics

Early progressives believed in IQ testing and meritocratic education/Modern progressives are opposed to IQ testing and strongly support egalitarian dogma in education

Early progressives tended to be cautious about immigration and many were immigration restrictionists/Almost all modern progressives are strongly critical of immigration restrictionists, oppose building border fences and off-shore detention camps, and are uncritical supporters of UN refugee quotas

Early progressives supported traditional nuclear families with government subsidies/Modern progressives are often hostile to the traditional nuclear family and give state handouts to single parents

Early progressives had mixed views about women in the workforce/Modern progressives believe in equal pay and subsidised child care so women can compete directly against men in the job market

Early progressives weren’t very concerned about gay rights/Modern progressives actively promote gay rights and homosexual parenting

Given the big differences between early and modern progressives in terms of political views, it’s a big stretch to say that modern progressives have similar agendas to their predecessors

I’d argue the reason people like Goldberg fixate on progressive means rather than ends, it that they actually support many of the ends of modern progressives and see the ends of early progressives as too fascist, elitist or conservative.

 

Madonna’s political ignorance.

June 24, 2012

In a recent concert in Israel Madonna used an image of Marine Le Pen to make a critical statement against racism and fascism (as discussed in this Taki’s Magazine article by Bruce Cochran).

Madonna’s “anti-fascist” stance is all the more amusing given her interest in the lives of Eva Peron and Wallace Simpson (she has played Peron in a musical and recently directed a movie about Simpson). Peron of course married Argentinian fascist leader Juan Peron,  while Wallace Simpson was a staunch anti-communist who was strongly opposed to racial intermarriage. Why Madonna should champion Simpson and vilify Le Pen seems kind of ironic considering Simpson was probably more socially conservative than Marine Le Pen will ever be.

Adding to the irony is that Madonna likes to emphasise her Italian heritage. Italy was the birth place of fascism and is one of the world’s most ideologically sophisticated countries. Indeed, during the Italian Civil War from 1943-45 political ignorance of the kind exhibited by Madonna could easily have got a women like her killed by a communist lynch mob.

Why anti-racist drugs probably won’t work

March 10, 2012

A research story about a drug having anti-racist effects is currently getting a lot of mileage on the Internet.  Apparently some Oxford researchers have found that the beta blocker drug propranolol reduced sub-conscious racist responses in a recent study.

Not surprisingly, this has generated a lot of semi-serious comments about the possibility of liberal-fascist authorities popping such drugs in the water supply. However, just because ethnocentric people show more fearful responses to questions about racism does not mean (for better or worse) that beta blockers are going to make them less racist.

For a start, beta blockers don’t actually reduce fear per se, they only reduce the physical symptoms of fear. In other words, if say, a white guy who doesn’t like Black people sees a Black man with a machette, he’s still going to be just as fearful.

Beta blockers are popular for performance anxiety, because  those who are concerned about showing their fear through blushing, tremors, etc, have one less thing to worry about.  But this also means that blockers could potentially make people who are sub-consciously racist better at hiding their racial discomfort, which in some cases could actually make them more, not less racist.

Beta blockers also have negative side effects like fatigue and insomnia. Whatever, liberals say about racist whites, they still need whites as cash-cow taxpayers and indiscriminate use of such drugs would undermine white productivity – which is the same reason why they don’t want to  legalise marajuana – it’s bad for capitalism, and in a modern liberal society money is the only thing holding society together.

 

 

Enforcing ideological purity in leftist Britain

January 1, 2012

Th British folk/rock band Sol Invictus is a popular group in the post-industrial ”neo-folk” scene. Like a number of bands in the genre, it attracts interest from white nationalists, but the band does not seem to identify itself with any particular political ideology.

Some of its members have previous associations with right-wing groups like the British National Party, and present and former members of the UK’s National Front. Following protests from “anti-fascist” activists, the group issued a statement at a gig in London in June where lead singer Tony Wakefield said:

“Sol Invictus would like to publicly state that as a band and as individuals we are not interested in working with anyone who seeks to promote the glorification or rehabilitation of any of the murderous totalitarian ideologies which blighted the 20th century”.

However, this hasn’t satisfied anti-fascist activists who argue that simply denouncing WN links isn’t good enough. As can be seen by the comments on anti fascist websites (see here , here and here) anti fascist activists have pretty dogmatic and intolerant opinions. A number are of the opinion that any musician who’s previously been involved in WN politics, or even makes frequent use of fascist imagery for artistic purposes, should be barred from playing in public. That is, unless they’ve shown a positive commitment to anti-fascism by joining or donating to anti-fascist organisations or appearing at anti-fascist events.

This reminds me of the re-education programs that traditional conservatives and other dissidents had to undergo in totalitarian communist societies. For a modestly successful niche band like Sol Invictus, being denied access to gigs would be equivalent to barring an author getting published and amounts to a direct violation of the free speech principles that liberals are usually keen to defend.

Perhaps anti-fascists think we should start burning Ezra Pound books and destroy Wagner CDs?

I hope that UK music venues and events organisers won’t bow to this kind of childish totalitarian bullying and will continue to allow peaceful, law a-biding bands like Sol Invictus an audience for their music.