Saturday, November 24, 2018

Willful Ignorance or Intentional Manipulation? Making Sense of All the Political "Noise" on Social Media

Have you noticed that social media seems to be exploding with posts from so-called "experts" or academic sounding groups all claiming that we are on the verge of being overrun by "socialists" or Communists" or maybe even Nazis? They all seem to say the same thing; that the Left has been taken over by covert socialists or closet Communists who've been lurking the whole time under Barack Obama's bed or Nancy Pelosi's secret closet, or in Maxine Water's belfry. As the same time, we hear about how Donald Trump has suddenly morphed into Adolf Hitler or how the Tea Party is a secret group of neo-Nazis intent on taking control of the Republican Party and world domination.

To make matters worse, I read some of the comments about how the Democratic Party is now the new Communist Party (but better dressed). But, as if to make the situation all that more absurd, are those either spewing out these pieces of nonsense or agreeing via the comment section that socialism, Communism, and Nazism are essentially interchangeable terms for the same thing like a bunch of bobble heads. Seriously, are people just that uneducated or is this just willful ignorance?

I guess, for me at least, all this would be knee slapping funny if it wasn't so dangerous as in a "don't-touch-that-it's-hot" sort of way. First off, socialism, Communism, and especially Nazism aren't the same, and secondly, we aren't headed in that direction no matter how many self-serving pseudo-intellectual sounding emails or posts we get on social media. It ain't gonna happen friends, and I'm going to tell you why. So, let's start off with understanding some terms. (I promise this won't use a economic or political science class definition and to keep it brief).

First, "socialism". Just what is it? Well, most people, especially in the US, have been taught that socialism is a bad thing. Some see it as being synonymous with Communism, or the very least, Marxist-Lite. Well, not exactly. Socialism, as defined by Merriam -Webster is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods; a system of society or group living in which there is no private property; a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state; a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between Capitalism and Communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

So, in short, there are varieties of socialism. What Scandinavia has for instance is democratic socialism and it's worked quite well thank you very much while Venezuela has a more Marxian form which has proven to be dismal at best. However, corporations are heavily regulated under democratic socialism and state controlled under Marxian socialism. There are also multiple political parties, strong unions and employee associations under the former and, as usual, state control under the latter with a single political party.

Communism, as again defined by Merriam-Webster is "a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed; a theory advocating elimination of private property. Capitalized, a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the U.S.S.R.; a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production; a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably; communist systems collectively. Pretty straight forward. State control of everything. No Capitalism. Private ownership of nothing. No independent unions. One state political party.

Now, Nazism ("Nazi" stands for National Socialist German Workers Party. As an aside, it's the second word, "Socialism", which throws people for a loop and confuses the daylights out of them). So, what does Merriam-Webster say about Nazism? They define it as "the body of political and economic doctrines held and put into effect by the Nazis in Germany from 1933 to 1945 including the totalitarian principle of government, predominance of especially Germanic groups assumed to be racially superior, and supremacy of the Fuehrer. Helpful, but not entirely clear is it? Let's try the ever popular Encyclopedia Britannica.

According to them, Nazism is "totalitarian movement led by Adolf Hitler as head of the Nazi Party in Germany. In its intense nationalism, mass appeal, and dictatorial rule, Nazism shared many elements with Italian Fascism. However, Nazism was far more extreme both in its ideas and in its practice. In almost every respect it was an anti-intellectual and a theoretical movement, emphasizing the will of the charismatic dictator as the sole source of inspiration of a people and a nation, as well as a vision of annihilation of all enemies of the Aryan Volk as the one and only goal of Nazi policy. Well, that's a little better, but it really doesn't quite answer our question.

One key reason is that Nazism was a one-off political movement; that is, it happened only once and was unique to a particular people, place and time. Our attempt to place this 70+ year old ideology on our current but antiquated Left/Right political spectrum fails to do it proper justice. Nevertheless, Nazism, which was variant of Fascism, was first and foremost a nationalistic movement more so than a typical political party. Secondly, it had a particularly unique racial component to it. It was an ideology designed for and aimed at the "Aryan" or Germanic People. Lastly, it was a totalitarian form of government (as is Communism and the Marxian form of socialism).

Under Nazism there was no infringement on private property. Unions were merged into a State run union ("DAF" or German Labor Front). Capitalism continued to independently exist, though certain industries served the State's military needs via government contracts and financial rewards. Under Nazism, there was one official political party and elections, while continuing to exist, were basically meaningless. So what about the name? Well, originally, the name was the German Workers Party, which was basically a small working class debate club which meet at a local beer hall (where the best political and sports discussions often happen).

After Hitler was elected (or, as some insist, appointed) head of the "party" in 1921, the name was changed to National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) by Hitler himself. The name was chosen with a specific intent in mind. At the time, there were numerous political parties and special interest groups across the political spectrum. The largest on the Left was the Social Democrats (SPD), who had controlled the Wiemar government since its creation in 1919, following WWI. Secondly, also on the Left, was the German Communist Party (KPD). In the middle there was the large Catholic dominated Center Party. Finally, on the Right there was the "DNVP" or German Nationalist People's Party.

There were also several smaller parties like the Peasant Party which represented farmers and tradesmen, the Middle Party which was monarchist, the National Liberal Party, and the German Democratic Party; all of which represented middle and upper middle class, mostly conservative individuals. In addition, there was the Patriot Movement which was nationalistic and tended to represent veterans. Then there was the Racist Movement (yes, an actual separate Pan-Germanic movement which was anti-Jewish, Slavic, Asian, African, Gypsy, etc. It also was nationalist) and the Peasants and Middlestand League which was focused on economic issues. The trick was how to attract people from these various groups.

The answer was to offer everyone something. "National" appealed to the various veteran and Pan-Germanic groups. "Socialist" was aimed at the unionists, but also those the Pan-Germanic groups with the idea of creating a Germanic community while "Worker" was aimed at the smaller working class parties as well as groups focused on economics. As an aside, under Marx, "socialism" was seen as international and post-national whereas Hitler saw it as strictly nationalistic and for the benefit of the Germanic Peoples. So, same word but entirely different meanings.

Now, that brings us to present day USA. While groups like Antifa and BLM among others may proclaim what they believe to be a "socialist" or even Communist message, it ain't gonna happen. Same goes with any groups on the Right who espouse a neo-Nazi position. The reason is that those funding these groups have absolutely no intention whatsoever of giving up their power, control, and most certainly their wealth. Wallstreet isn't going anywhere. Agree? America is, sadly, no longer the Constitutional Republic it was founded. America is in fact an Oligarchy; a plutocracy. What do I mean by those terms? Simply that the US and its government are controlled by a small elite group of every wealthy individuals and their corporations. Not even academic disagrees on that point.

This "partnership" is a defacto form of Fascism (sorry to throw another term at you). Modern Fascism was created by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Mussolini, who had been raised a "socialist" by his parents, conceived of the idea during and just after World War One, after what he saw as the failure of socialism, as a partnership between government and big business with government basically as the senior partner in that relationship (he later said that a better description would be "Corporatism"). It would be corporate capitalism bolstered by the power of the government for the mutual benefit of both.

Under his Fascism, little would appear to change. There would still be private property, freedom of religion and so forth. It did not, for instance, prohibit other political parties. Mussolini adopted a classical economic liberal (laisser-faire) policy along the lines of John Maynard Keyes, which later expanded into specific intervention of certain areas as he deemed necessary. During the Depression, he did engage in public works programs as did pretty every other country did including Germany and the US for instance. For awhile, it seemed like Mussolini and his Fascism could do no wrong.

Under our present day Oligarchy, America is faced with a "creeping" Fascism, which unlike its earlier incarnation, has government more of a junior partner; basically a manager or caretaker protecting the privileges of the ruling elites. It advanced here, retreats when it encounters strong resistance but always probing for weakness. The current political turmoil that America is in is not, as we're led to believe, one of "socialism" (or Communism) vs. neo-Nazism, but of a softer Left oriented version of Fascism as opposed to a stricter Right oriented form of Fascism (Fascism borrows from both the Left and Right). Both see the need to destroy unions and employee associations. Both see the need to perpetuate wars (even if it means rekindling the Cold War) or manufacture enemies because wars, after all, are profitable. The threat of military intervention is how corporations either force open markets or obtain favorable deals. Wars "bleed" off excess population, which reduce unemployment numbers and artificially stimulates the economy creating more jobs, which make politicians look good and make obscene profits for business executives.

Another aspect of "creeping" Fascism (or "Friendly Fascism" as the late great Dr. Bertram Gross called it in his book by the same name) is that it doesn't really care about borders or even national sovereignty, at least in the traditional sense. Countries are "passé". Instead, they see economic blocks with each government serving as its middleman; its manager if you will. Some are temporarily cooperate (alliances) while others are directly competing (conflicts). In lieu of nationalistic citizens there are merely consumers and workers whose values are largely determined by their credit ratings. No more. No less.

Lastly, both support opening the borders to allow more individuals in, but for slightly different reasons (be they legal or illegal). First, more individuals means more competition for jobs. That drives down wages and reduces benefits. Both sides agree on that. However, the Democrats also see it as a way to pad their registration numbers since they believe that most of these immigrants would register as Democrat (that's because of the perception that the Democrats will "give" them "free stuff"). Meanwhile, both sides support exporting of jobs, lower corporate tax, corporate welfare, and keeping the revolving door (and gravy train) between the corporate world and governments flowing.

So, while these race oriented and anarchist groups may think they're protesting for one thing, they're being maneuvered into doing another (Lenin called these type of people "useful idiots"). What needs to happen, be it for the Left or Right oriented Fascists, is total control because that allows them to establish order, and order improves profit margins. How to do that? Simply by doing what's actually counter-intuitive---create chaos. By promoting as much division, instability, violence, fear, and confusion as possible, the public will sooner or later demand that the government "do something" to restore order. It's not a new idea. It's been tried and applied since the Late Rome Republic if not earlier. Once we feel we are no longer safe, the economy is to erratic, and the pressure from outside (manufactured or real) threats, the American People will insist that the government intervene, and trust me, they will but not in the way we expect.

America is already a surveillance State. There's no questioning that. We have the means that past totalitarian regimes could only dream about. We have militarized the police forces across the country. The Oligarchy already controls 90+% of all media, which means they control what we hear, see and watch,. They spin it and manipulate our perceptions. If they say a certain individual or group are the bad guys, they will spin the story to make us believe it and visa versa. If there is something happening they don't want us to know about, you can bet we won't, or if we do, it will be spun in such a way to create whatever impression they want. They control how we're entertained, be it sports, TV shows, movies or video games, which in turn affects how we perceive events and keeps us distracted (the ancient Romans referred to this technique as "bread and circuses").

I hope this helps clarify some of the "noise" you're getting on both social and local media. Whenever you feel the need to respond, feel free to copy and post this article. Perhaps it will help someone else too. Meanwhile, remember that the narrative of much of what you hear, read, and see is from these groups, the establishment media, and these so-called "experts" or "authorities" is aimed at steering you into a particular direction in order that you come to the conclusion they want you to. You need to always ask yourself "what are they wanting me to believe and why?", and never take it at face value.

The U.S. is an Oligarchy? The Research, Explained

Is America an Oligarchy?

America's super rich: six things to know

Nazism, socialism and the falsification of history

Hitler, Nazism, Socialism, and Rightwing Propaganda

Was Hitler a Socialist?

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