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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Those fat dogs are brown, therefore these brown dogs are fat 

With regard to my earlier post about Liberal Fascism, I should point out that my criticism of the book also applies to assertions made in the comments. For instance, one commenter immediately remarks on the "Body Count" of left vs. right ideologies. The problem is that authoritarian communists (who have some big body count numbers) don't bear a lot of resemblance to contemporary american 'liberals'. No more than the supposed right-wing fascists of history do contemporary conservatives. It isn't constructive to combat the ridiculously wrong conventional wisdom of Chris Chambers in the comments ("fascism is a construct of the right. period") by spinning out an equally specious argument about the left. The notion that a modern liberal is closer to Soviet Communists on a constructed right-left spectrum (government control of the economy, say) doesn't allow you to lump them together as fellow travelers. It's the same mistake Goldberg combats effectively, yet ends up making in return, I think.

Another interesting criticism of Goldberg is that he conflates all authoritarianism with fascism:
The primary problem I had with this book is not so much the author's associating American liberalism/progressivism with European fascism but with his attempt to say that all authoritarianism and idealization of the State is by definition, his definition, fascism. He goes so far as to say Lenin, Stalin, and Castro are fascists. This is absurd. They were, or are in the case of Castro, certainly authoritarian, but to call them fascist it to miss the clear differences in their economic policies from people like Hitler or Mussolini who were economic centrists--a Third Way between capitalism and socialism.

If one takes into consideration all of the various political ideologies present in western democracies during the 19th through the early 21st centuries and places them on a Cartesian plane with economic issues on the x-axis (left/right) and social issues on the y-axis (authoritarian/libertarian) one can more easily distinguish the differences between various points of view. Authoritarian rightists like the American Republican and Democratic Parties would be in the upper right, authoritarian leftists like Castro and Lenin would be on the upper left, libertarian leftists like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela would be on the lower left, and libertarian rightists such as Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand would be on the lower right.


This commenter is wrestling with the obvious problem of trying to reduce ideologies and political or motivational tactics to a simple right-left axis. Even invoking the various criteria for fascism around the web, ask yourself - do these criteria simply define the more 'right wing' (with respect to corporations or opposition to convenient leftists) forms of authoritarianism? It seems like the accusation that fascism is "a construct of the right" might properly be re-formed as "fascism is a definitional construct of the left designed to identify some of the most heinous authoritarians as 'right-wing' ".

Most of these definitions lean heavily on things like "patriotism", "nationalism" , "anti-communism" and "corporatism" as common fascist/right wing indicators. Goldberg presents a mountain of evidence that self-defined progressives and liberals have also displayed these traits in abundance, along with intolerance of dissent and suppression of civil rights. The idea that jingoism or racism makes something "right wing" is demonstrably false name-calling.

If a vigorous commitment to small government and individual freedoms is to be defined as on the political "right", then the political right can safely say it is distanced from authoritarianism of any stripe. Sadly, this isn't always the case.

18 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Feb 28, 09:21:00 PM:

The Cartesian grid plotting economic versus social leanings may be a helpful tool for some. The grid's defect is that its world view is our own, an American outlook on social-economic-political references.

It's as foolish to consider Stalin to be a leftist as it is to believe Goldwater was a Fascist. True, the Soviet regime had a following among American leftists (John Reed comes to mind), but the leftists held a biased American world view. In the early 80's, when political commentary was not dominated by wingnuts and moon bats, the perpetual Soviet regime was considered to be "conservative" (Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko) with Gorbachev looked at as the first liberal.

It's equally unproductive to talk about "liberal fascism" or "conservative racism." Any form of fascism, authoritarianism, oppression, or racism we find here will be uniquely American.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Thu Feb 28, 09:21:00 PM:

Don't be a moron. I mean, you don't affirmative action to hide behind--like me, supposedly. Fascism is a construct of the right. Period. Do I have to get a damn bullhorn? I don't know what the analog of it would be on the leftist extreme? It doesn't have such a tidy name, so why don't you use your clearly superior brain hehehehehe to cook one up.

I think the Stalin anomaly viz. "real" communies like Lenin himself, Trotsky is instructive. But yeah, fascism is at the end of the rightwing spectrum, nowhere else. When you die and go to rightie heaven, take Franco or Adolph out for coffee and ask them. And stop with the Jonah Goldberg worship. You sound like you...arrgh...hooked up with Lucianne...and spawned Jonah!  

By Blogger Andrew Hofer, at Thu Feb 28, 09:47:00 PM:

Wow. That's totally incoherent. Are you a random text generator?  

By Blogger jj mollo, at Fri Feb 29, 01:18:00 AM:

First of all, moderation counts for a lot. I don't think there are many liberals in America today who would call for elimination or even re-education of conservatives. And many conservatives who have called for elimination of liberals were not really serious. I used to hear a lot of suggestions that NYC should be nuked or forcibly seceded. All that talk stopped after 9/11.

Jerry Pournelle has pointed out that a lot of the argument over political classification disappears when you realize that it takes multiple factors to distinguish political subgroups. He believes in particular that we conflate statism with rationality. While Fascism and Soviet style communism are indeed both on "the right" in the sense of allowing extreme power to the state, they are completely different in their appeal to reason. Once they reach totalitarianism, it doesn't really matter, but the Fascists appeal to the heart, the Communists to the head. Fascists emphasize pride and anger and hatred, patriotism and purity. Science is only a tool of the state. Communists emphasize economic principles and egalitarian concepts of social justice. Science is the state religion.

Many so-called conservatives in America today really lean toward the libertarian side -- more rational and less statist. They have, possibly as a result of the disasterous 20th century political experiments, come to de-emphasize the value of authority and look scornfully on government.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Fri Feb 29, 02:35:00 AM:

"Don't be a moron."

Just let Chambers show you how.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 29, 05:06:00 AM:

Are you a random text generator?

Mindless, you are catching on fast. As CC is an attorney, he is well versed in the ways to construct a coherent argument. He just doesn't want to waste time using that skill on the rightwingnuts. He drops a verbal bomb, constructed as stream of consciousness or as random text, and watches with glee as the righwingnuts react.

CC knows full well where the term "National Socialism" came from. He knows what Benito's political affiliation was pre WW1. He just doesn't let facts get in the way of posting something to infuriate the rightwingnuts.

Read his blog. It would not surprise me that you would find on occasion some writings there that even a rightwingnut could agree with.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 29, 09:57:00 AM:

MHD: Personally, I think you did a hideous thing denigrating a commenter by name in the public forum. Do you ever see Michelle or Ed or Tiger or Glenn or any of the A-Listers doing such a thing? If you want to quote and attack something he says on his blogsite, that's fair game. But, as a commenter, he's supposed to be immune from such personal attacks.

And may I point out how valuable Christopher is, and why the LAST thing you'd want to do is publicly embarrass him and drive him away?

Let's ask it in the form of a question:

Do you really want to be surrounded by fawning acolytes and drooling sycophants?

"Oh, Mindles, you're so smart!"

"You're a blogging god!"

"You da man!"

That's what you want?

Or would you rather have a couple of Christophers and Doc Murkys around to keep you on your toes?

Besides, I can't provide all the comic relief around here. I need help, dammit! And I've noticed that when I falter, Christopher is right there to pick up the reins. And you took a chance breaking up this dynamic duo?

Jesus, buddy. :/

"Read his blog. It would not surprise me that you would find on occasion some writings there that even a rightwingnut could agree with." - Big-Balled Texan (Boludo Tejano)

I volunteer. I've got to dash off on some errands, but when I get back I'll grab a big bottle of whiskey, a huge box of illicit drugs, fortify myself against all forms of demagoguery, grab my 3000X electron microscope and have at it. I'm positive we'll find something.

Ah, here we go:

"Well, the sun rose today and-"

See? Already we're in agreement. More to follow in a bit. Should make for an interesting exercise. Chris, you've got one hour to completely de-moonbat your site.  

By Blogger Andrew Hofer, at Fri Feb 29, 10:58:00 AM:

Merc I never quite know what your serious about, but this premise I completely disagree with:

"MHD: Personally, I think you did a hideous thing denigrating a commenter by name in the public forum. Do you ever see Michelle or Ed or Tiger or Glenn or any of the A-Listers doing such a thing? If you want to quote and attack something he says on his blogsite, that's fair game. But, as a commenter, he's supposed to be immune from such personal attacks."

1) I'm neither aware of nor accept some kind of different standard for comments vs. blog entries.
2) It was not a personal attack. I ridiculed his ideas and, in the comments, his incoherent presentation of some other undisclosed idea. I try not to make personal attacks.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 29, 11:17:00 AM:

Dr. Mercury:
A more accurate translation of "Boludo Tejano" is "Texan Idiot." (Yes, I am a fan of Wierd Al.) Argentines use the terms Boludo and the more extreme, the more insulting term Pelotudo to mean idiot in the sense that a bull has large testicles but is not noted for its intelligence. Think of how we use turkey to call someone “not very bright.” Brain-dead might be another translation.

The difference between Boludo and Pelotudo is that you can call a friend a Boludo when you are in a good mood, and it will be considered a left-handed form of affection. Che Boludo, ¿ como anda la buena vida? Hey guy, how’s life treating you ?

Pelotudo, on the other hand, is something you would only say to insult.One might use stronger terms than idiot to translate these words, but this is a forum on politics, not a bar. In any event, Boludo is very commonly used, and I have never witnessed neither a fight nor ill feelings resulting from its use, so a more polite term is appropriate for translating Boludo.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 29, 11:45:00 AM:

Ultra interesting! http://www.spymac.com/details/?2347210  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 29, 01:49:00 PM:

MHD:

"1) I'm neither aware of nor accept some kind of different standard for comments vs. blog entries."

Well, a blogger has a platform in which to respond. A commenter is an 'innocent party', as it were. And just because someone actually has a blog, like Christopher, doesn't mean that he, in turn, uses it in such ways. "Rules" irregardless, I again point out that none of the A-Listers ever refer to commenters by name, with maybe the except of Ace.

"2) It was not a personal attack."

If you used his name in a negative manner, it was personal.

And, not to belabor the point, but allow me to note that this is his real name, and is going down in the search engines as such. If someone wanted to hire him for a speaking engagement and saw some blogger's negative remarks, they might not understand and think it was some kind of 'news article' and decide against hiring him. So now you've cost someone some money because they dared to speak their mind in the comments section.

And, legally, if you publicly defame someone's anonymous handle, that's one thing, but it might be quite another to actually use their real name. Don't know, buddy. Just kickin' it around.

"A more accurate translation of 'Boludo Tejano' is 'Texan Idiot.' - BT

Damn online dictionaries. :)  

By Blogger Andrew Hofer, at Fri Feb 29, 01:59:00 PM:

Nonsense. I'm astonished anyone would make that argument. I made no personal attack (name it); Chambers is responsible for his own remarks whether in comments or on blog where, I might add, he has plenty of freedom to respond.

The idea that someone could come here and vomit all over a blog entry in the comments, but I can't respond in a blog post is patently absurd. They can comment right here and there are literally no barriers to entry for someone who already comments.

I can even respond personally if I like (and many do). I simply choose not to.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 29, 02:30:00 PM:

Doc Reviews the blogsite 'Nat Turner's Revenge', hosted by regular TigerHawk commenter, Christopher Chambers.
______________________________________________

The gauntlet has been laid.

Is it possible that the Left and Right may meet on common ground via Christopher's site? Is Christopher just another raving left-wing moonbat? This investigative reporter shall endeavor to find out.
______________________________________________

Overall Impressions

- Looking at his picture, I immediately like the guy. I don't see any of that wild, moonbat gleam in his eyes. Rather, I see compassion, empathy, and an honest desire to better the world. My guess is that he's quieter and more refined in real life than he comes across in his writings. That's quite often true with people.

- One immediate glaring anomaly is that the banner uses the editorial "we", whereas the site is in first person. The 'we' is, presumably, an attempt to show power and an impression that his words are backed up by others, but this fails come time for the acid test and it ends up with the taint of hypocrisy.

- The only writing oddity I see is that he uses the British word "whilst" here and there, but otherwise uses American English -- given a rough definition.

- Connections? (remember, I'm figuring all this out in real-time)

Bio: "proud Princeton booster"

Article: "but if you're gonna lose, lose to *fellow* Princeton Tigers the Coen Brothers!"

So that's why he's here? Because of Tiger's Princeton background? They're both Princeton grads?

So tell me, Chris -- do they teach geography at Princeton?

Perspective Dept:

There's a picture on his site of a Walden Books marquee with "CHRIS CHAMBERS, SAT NOV 3, 2 PM" on it, touting a speaking engagement.

Question for everyone else:

When was the last time you had your name on a marquee?

Just asking.

- This might surprise some of you, but his site's rather tame when it comes to cuss words. Let's just say he's no Ace of Spades. It's like mine; a few damns and bullshits here and there, but nothing worse.

- Here's an interesting example of how one could both take something out of context and exhibit a true lack of perspective:

According to an ad on Chris' site, you can buy his book "A Prayer For Deliverance" on Amazon.com for one penny.

"Hey, Chris, I heard your book's being sold for a PENNY! That's all you're worth, fella! Haw haw haw!"

A. Except that you can buy almost any older used book on Amazon.com for a penny. I wrote a whole article on it, calling it "The Secret of Amazon.com".

B. And the question for his attacker is:

So, how much is your book being sold for on Amazon.com?

Hmm?

- He's got about ten little pictures of book ads in his right-side column, but, from what I can tell, the majority of them don't have anything to do with politics. Let's just say that "radical left-wing zealot" doesn't spring to mind.

- He also has a tidy little blogroll of about 30 sites, and, while he has Tiger's site listed, he doesn't have DailyKos, MediaMatters, MoveOn.org, or any of the rest.

Gee, this review is starting to get boring. :/

__________________________________________________________________


Article Content

Okay, but what's the guy actually SAY? Can we find that elusive ground where the Left and Right meet?

- The first article is about booze. Bingo! Got a hit on the first try. :)

- Okay, here's something revealing. To a stalwart Lefty, the subjects of gays and abortion are holy relics. You never, ever, disparage them. Yet note the slant Chris takes here as he opines on Mike Huckabee:

"Be real -- he 's as much a populist as Obama. Even more so, as he can hide behind the anti-gay, anti-abortion stuff."

Now, to me, that sounds like a Righty talking, referring to it as "anti-gay, anti-abortion stuff." It doesn't have that 'holy relic' reverence and awe that a Lefty would give it.

- This next paragraph is particularly revealing, and is our first real strike of gold:

"I try to put that in a cultural/historical perspective. Soulja Boy ain't Scott Joplin, folks, so stop the inapt analogies. Making money and everyone reading 'something' is a chimera. Hey, so then let's stop talking about the Chinese giving cash to the Sudanese so they can massacre black people. Let's say g'head to the Marlboro Academy and Alize Charter School. What will our black history be? It won't be Jesse Owens and Joe Louis--it'll be clowns like 'ocho-cinco' Chad Johnson of the Bengals, or Mike Vick. Not on my watch. Not on mine."

Did you catch it? He's lamenting the progressiveness of black history. The above words were written by a conservative aching to return to the old days and despairing of the new.

Side note: Check out this great title for a book written by some black guy:

Incognegro.

Nice play on words. Now, before I go on, I want to make a small editorial comment:

I have long contended that China represents a bigger threat to our way of life than all the rag-headed, poppy-addled Islamic miscreants and brainwashed, unwashed grad school dropouts flocking to the mountains of Pakistan combined. We have a government which floats on a sea of cheap Chinese money, we have businessmen and funds bathing in that sea as a source of investment, of largesse, of places to outsource. Consumers flock to Wal-Mart, which, more than any godless liberal, destroyed Main Street USA and American small business, yet waves the flag as we gorge ourselves on cheap Chinese crap.

Okay, you may think that Islamic terror is the greater danger, but you certainly wouldn't call me some kind of addle-brained Lefty for writing the above, would you?

How about if Chris wrote it?

Which he did in an article lamenting the slaughter taking place in Darfur. Does the above sound like the gooey "Let's all just give one another a great big hug" trope preached by the Left?

And it ends with something else rather revealing:

"The Red Chinese? Lord what would John Foster Dulles say?"

The...Red Chinese? That's Rightspeak, folks. To the ardent Lefty, it's "the brave People's Republic of China" or some such.

And just who is John Foster Dulles?

"John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 - May 24, 1959) served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism around the world." - Wikipedia

Chris, I hate to be critical, but if you're trying to be an ardent Lefty, you're not doing a very good job of it. Sorry to be so blunt, buddy. Hope we're still friends.

Here's another example of bad Leftsmanship:

"I vowed to myself I'd fight and die before I saw another and another and another Post-Reconstruction period, where retards like George W. Bush or facists [sic] like Dick Cheney can rise to such prominence while we grouse and crow and do the Soulja Boy dance."

Two comments:

1. Yes, but you do the Soulja Boy dance so well!

2. No, retards don't graduate from Yale. No, there aren't any fascists in American government.

That use of hyperbole may impress the weaker set, but all it does is add minus points to the inteligencia. The same is true with harsh swearing, which I gather you grasp, so I'm a bit surprised that you'd fall into the ol' retard/moron/fascist/Nazi shtick. Are you trying to impress people, or enlighten them?

- While it appears Chris is strongly in favor of some guy named "Barack Obama", I'd note that he also makes a strong case for Ron Paul.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ron Paul is a Republican, right?

Just checking.

Okay, let's wrap this up. Overall, I see very little political ideology on his site. Apart from a few artsy things, like articles on books and booze, he mainly blogs about the plight of the poor black man. Oh, how he's been plighted! It's obvious Chris can still feel the sear of the whip on his great-great-great-great-great grandfather's back.

Some wounds run pretty deep.

_______________________________________________________________

Commentary:

American Blacks are the only large body of displaced people in the world.

In every other nation and culture, when people voluntarily move to a foreign country, they've mentally set themselves to assimilate. But it's a little different when you've been dragged there.

It makes having and keeping a group identity vastly more important than it usually is, and therein lies the problem.

You read any stories about racial strife between Whites and Asians recently?

No.

You read any stories about racial strife between Whites and American Indians recently?

No.

You read any stories about racial strife between Whites and Hispanics recently?

No.

You read any stories about racial strife between Whites and Blacks recently?

ONLY IN EVERY OTHER GODDAMN ARTICLE!

You see any "legal defense funds" for Asians, Indians or Hispanics? Any Jesse Jacksons or Al Sharptons "protecting their civil liberties"?

No.

Why not? Because they've assimilated and, as any American White, Asian, Indian or Hispanic will tell you:

Who gives a shit about race??

But the Blacks, being the largest body of relocated people in history, simply can't give up that feeling of identity and, thus, have never really tried to assimilate, and probably never will.

Indeed, it might take another ten generations before enough intermarriage takes place that skin color simply ceases to mean anything.

Not that it ever did.  

By Blogger Andrew Hofer, at Fri Feb 29, 02:43:00 PM:

Ladies and Gentlemen, comments left by others at this site do not reflect the views of the contributors. Thank you for visiting.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Feb 29, 02:48:00 PM:

Come to think of it, comments left by conributors at this site do not reflect the views of the contributors!  

By Blogger Andrew Hofer, at Fri Feb 29, 04:29:00 PM:

I would never let a 'conributor' speak for me!  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Feb 29, 04:45:00 PM:

Doh!  

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