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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:06 AM
Original message
Was Stalin a Leftist or Friendly Fascism
This is one where you'd benefit from reading what I actually wrote, rather than responding to the title.

For those who don't know, Jonah Goldberg's latest book is called Friendly Fascists, and it's about how Liberals are really fascists. Among it's other contentions, both Hitler and Mussolini were really leftists, not conservatives. I'm not going to waste your time explaining how Hitler and Mussolini really are conservatives as I already did that at my blog (in a limited kind of way).

Rather, I'm curious about the phenomena of Conservatives or Rightists trying to take people on the right they don't approve of and jam them on the left. This isn't unique to Goldberg; I've been reading Conservatives and talking with them for a long time and they love pointing out the Socialist in National Socialist as if that alone were proof that all the evils of the 20th century were our fault.

What I don't see is the counterpoint. I have heard the argument that Stalin was more of a Nationalist than a Communist (which seems accurate), but I haven't seen liberals arguing that Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot weren't leftists. Rather on the left it seems like our policy is to admit that some who hold some of our views have been evil and twisted. This is a more adult way of looking at the world, of course; it's somewhat childish to assume that everybody who agrees with you on a political point must be a paragon of virtue. Which is why it's not surprising to see Conservatives adopting that philosophy.

I guess my question is - is my impression accurate? Do Liberals/Leftists generally accept that on the Political spectrum, you place Mao and Stalin on the left (while leaving Hitler and Mussolini on the right)?

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's not leftist nature to pigeonhole; that a right wing pastime nt
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. Mao and Stalin used "the people" merely as a mantle to project their fascist tendancies
both of them actually despised "the people", as near as I can tell, and they expressed this in the most brutal fashion.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I guess you have to define fascism
I usually define it as a movement to recreate a past and somewhat mythical age of glory through militarism and repression of minorities - not a complete definition, but close enough for my purposes.

Stalin and Mao were both militaristic and repressed minorities; but they also both were working in a Communist world view - pushing forward towards future vision, not looking to the past.

Bryant
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Yeah, I guess our definitions of fascism differ somewhat in that regard
I see it more as a militaristic repression of all except a group of insiders (those who are in the leader's inner circle). The population as a whole suffers, while those in the inner circle get rich. That was a consistency in all that you mention.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. The trouble is that if you remove the ideological trappings
you kind of also lose the ability to place it on the right or the left. In my opinion. That might be a good idea, but I'm not sure people will find it satisfying.

Bryant
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BridgeTheGap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. Absolutely. What they have in common, is that they are Statists
believing in the absolute power of the State over the individual.
Conservatives generally resist any change, so that doesn't necessarily make them fascists. However, when things move substantially to the left, conservatives will advocate for change (or regression, back to the "good old days.")
The difference is that most movements toward socialism have been popular movements driven by the desire for economic justice. Fascist movements, by definition, are corporate/oligarchic drives for power to consolidate control over the economy through use of the state, curtailing individual liberty. While loss of liberty can come from the left, it's generally not to aid the consolidation of power into the hands of an oligarchy.
It's raises an interesting issue in Red China's case, where private property and capitalism are now "okay." Does they make them fascists? No. But they are also not socialists. Again, they are statists, because the state holds all the power and checks individual liberty.
Read Antony Sutton's work: America's secret establishment - about skull & bones, for a good run down on statists.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. Such terminology has changed a great deal over decades
And obviously is often used/spun to suit current thinking/agendas i.e. national health care being deemed "socialistic" a la nationalism by rabid statists...whom I tend to lump into the rightist category. Such types want to remove "socialistic" safety nets for the public good, but are all in favor of a massive govt structure to support the aims of the wealthy.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. Stalin had syphilis and it ate up his brain.he was bat shit crazy.. the term 'Left' can be used to
Edited on Tue Jan-08-08 10:30 AM by sam sarrha
mean different things.. the American Heritage dictionary is the best dictionary to appreciate the nuances of the American language.

left can mean communist because communism is socialist, but Russia/china were never 'communist' by the definition of the word, they were/are totalitarian bureaucratic dictatorships, or perhaps just a mafia type group in charge.

liberal in western politics means someone who believes in the democratic process to initiate change for the greater good for all. the Right simply means 'those opposed to the the left', which means they are opposed to the democratic process for change..because..they are opposed to any sort of change.
they are that way due to structural brain limitations that effect and limit their perceptual processes.. which is why they are unconcerned about how many women and children are murdered in the process of getting what they want, the nearly 700,000 Innocent men women children and elderly Iraqi civilians are evidence of what they will sacrifice to stay the course of their rigid dogmatic ideology.. they display obvious symptoms of obsessive compulsive mental illness, mass hysteria.. much of it psychotic
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. the right means simply those opposed to the left?
I'm not sure about that. That seems simplistic on the level of "Terrorists hate us because of our Freedoms." Might be a grain of truth in it, but there's a lot more to the story.

Bryant
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. ...a faction, party,or other political group whose policies are conservative or "reactionary".>>
reactionary;characterized by reaction; especially, opposing progress or liberalism.

yes, there is more but inherently they oppose progress and liberalism on the quest of what they do in the name of whatever the hell they mean by conservatism.. you have to read the "Shock Doctrine" to understand what that is
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. What is Shock Doctrine? A book, article or website?
That said, they are in favor of preserving what they see as a working system, rather than tear it down in favor of a new and untested idea. In a healthy political clime, they would be the brakes on progress, keeping it from moving to fast or from swerving into bad territory - of course they are as sick as can be in our current set up.

But they do have some positive agenda points as well - positive strictly in the sense of being non-reactionary. Take School Vouchers - while an awful idea, it isn't strictly a response to liberal ideas.

Bryant
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. >Link>> it is the definitive history of what the Reich thinks works so well, as you put it, but...
Edited on Tue Jan-08-08 12:15 PM by sam sarrha
http://www.amazon.com/Shock-Doctrine-Rise-Disaster-Capi...

your 'Posit' is based seeing the rational side of a rational situation... but that is not the case, they are not rational, they are mentally deficient,an area of Conservatives brains involving critical thinking does not function to the level of progressive thinkers.. making them rigid and intolerant about evidence as to how it isn't working. they cant see that what they are doing isn't working also because they are lost in an apriori loop, their perceptual format is flawed and when it doesn't work they vehemently blame outside scapegoats..us

notice how whenever you engage them in a discussion that where ever you input info, they disagree with, they come to the same conclusion..

you can never get past that point, because where their logic comes from ...the conclusion comes first and the premise follows.. you may be having a rational discussion.. but they are not

Naomi Klein in her book 'shock doctrine' describes a world in spiraling decay because of this apriori delusional thinking.. the apriori part is mine, i discovered it when i was a juvenile parole officer.. her book, 556 pages-94 pages of footnotes and index, is an in-depth history of how Milton Friedman theory's melded with CIA torture techniques and mind control
systems and evolved into disaster capitalism, a self perpetuating global economic cancer that will destroy us all.. it is the book of the century. Randi Rhodes has Naomi on all the time.. google her name

the point is you ate giving insane psychotic people way tooo much credit for rational thought.. there is a fairly small group of disaster capitalists, but they are repeatedly elected by the 24% of Conservative personalities group.. that aren't really Conservative, they are a personality 'type' who live in fear and are looking for a strong political leader to tell them he will save them...

the personality group was discovered in the late 40's during research done by the government in Europe to find out how people could have allowed Hitler to do what he did... it seems that about 24% of every cultural group are Conservative personalities.. it is the subject of john deans recent book, http://www.amazon.com/Conservatives-Without-Conscience-...
i got a copy for $3.38, his last 3 books are considered the "Trilogy" of what is wrong with the ReThugs.. this is the John Dean of 'Watergate'

there are a lot of variables to this problem, it isn't cut and dried.. and one side isn't playing with a full deck of cards, they are incapable of recognizing their problems.. how can they effectively do anything about them.. they blane problems on others
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. I'll have to look into this - but it seems like a broad brush
I mean how many on the Republican/Conservative side are really irrational and mentally deficient? Ann Coulter, I'll concede. But what percentage of other commentators and politicians?

Bryant
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #35
36.  the problem is layered, the leadership is totalitarian, the base is the 24% lemming* plus /a link>>
Edited on Tue Jan-08-08 01:33 PM by sam sarrha
http://librocrat.blogspot.com/2007/10/conservatives-and...

and add the mindless evangelicals...plus apriori logic, which is perceptual dysfunction itself, is endemic or even required for membership.. add that to the rigid tendencies described in the >Link>> and you have robots that dont care about the truth or any relevant details.
plus the fact they are brainwashed the facts are the work of the devil... and all liberal tricks

there are several facets that form the structure, all dysfunctional in themselves, and multiplied together... it isnt a single brush stroke

this book by john dean of Watergate, explains the Conservative personality problem, it is about a famous research project on hitler and other fascists.. and how it relates to today
http://www.amazon.com/Conservatives-Without-Conscience-...
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
9. fascism and communism have a lot in common
'it is my way or the highway.' Both are closed systems, there is always a group of non-elected people in charge. Both are one way governments. Neither has free-open elections. Centralized rule by a military leader.
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fightindonkey Donating Member (674 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I Always Thought That Communism Lead To Fascism. Not Actually One Of The Same
They just both end up there.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
45. They both end up their when the country is run by a dictator or an oligarchy.
That is why I said they have a lot in common, I didn't say they were the identical.
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Steepler0t Donating Member (348 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. huh?
Which book did Marx write of this in?
That is Stalinism.

Good funny clip here with "Marx" showing his exasperation at the bastardization and misunderstandings of what he wrote of.
Check it:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=eSYczEWz1Q4
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
42. I was thinking of Stalin and Hitler
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. communism is what the Iroquois nation had, total cooperation for the greater good, it was under a
Edited on Tue Jan-08-08 10:53 AM by sam sarrha
matriarchal government, a sociologist in about 1774, i believe his name was Joshua Johnson, wrote an anthropological paper on the Iroquois Nation, how no one 'owned anything', how those who could helped those who couldn't..

Carl Marx read that paper and his political theory's were developed from it

that led to the Russian revolution, the democratic elements won that war but the mafia cleptocrats overthrew them and set up a totalitarian bureaucratic dictatorship, that was "INCORRECTLY" called "Communism"
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. You should be more clear and indicate that you are talking about
Stalinist Communism or Maoist communist. Communism is a plastic term; it happily means different things in different contexts.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
43. True, they are very different. I should have clarified.
Stalin and Hitler was the two groups I was thinking about.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
31. fascism is: a philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the
extreme Right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism

russian so called communism, could be called fascism except their totalitarian bureaucratic dictatorship is the business leadership.. which makes it a bit different
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #31
44. The business leadership is the same as a centralized committee
deciding the nations economic goals. I was thinking Stalin and Hitler.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
17. Stalin was an old-style oriental despot.
The theoretical underpinnings had nothing to do with it. They never do.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. So you think the urge to despot exists independent of political leanings?
I'm inclined to agree, but a lot of people seem to believe that Conservatives/Rightists have a greater tendency towards despotism.

Bryant
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. No, I'm saying wannabe despots will fake whatever political leanings are expedient.
Expediency, not principle, rules the day.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #19
25. The political test which shows the spectrum as a compass
Better reflects reality



Hitler and Pol Pot might have disagreed about economic matters, but they had much with which to agree about structural ones.

And yes, the red dot is me.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. That's all very well, but the relevant axis is authoritarian-democratic.
The most fundamental question is whether the will of the electorate ought to control policy, or whether we ought to be ruled by our "betters". Dictators and dictator wannabes all agree in being way over on the authoritarian side.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Agreed.
I've seen better "compass" tests. I just happened to have this one handy.

:hi:
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
32. they are organically mentally/perceptually "deficient".. >Link>>
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stimbox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
20. We have friendly fascism here in the u.s right now,
According to Bertram Gross' book "Friendly Fascism"
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/Friendly_Fasc...
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. lot of the 'Old Timey" kind too..
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
21. It is true that right wing idjits...
...like to say that Hitler was leftist because his party's name had "Socialist" in it.

Why do they do that, with Hitler and others? Why, to discredit the left, that's why. To deflect the reality that he was right wing, that's why. To dis-associate themselves from what is now nearly universally accepted to have been an evil regime, that's why.

Why do we not do that? Why, because we would be embarrassed to make such a juvenile ploy as to rest our argument on a single word, that's why. Because we are willing to face reality, and the reality is that perfection does not exist, at least not on this planet. Because we believe that we must learn from mistakes and yes, from evil so that we do not repeat it.

The first problem is, what they do is actively misleading. In the big picture, across the board, from large topics to small, their tactic is to obfuscate, lie, manipulate -- basically this is what they mean when they say they "create" reality. If reality is defined as "a shared view that we all pretty much agree on" then whoever controls the broad outlines of debate controls reality (at least that portion of it that one cares about -- in this case, politics and money and power and war). So they believe they can manipulate that shared vision and they will have created an alternate reality. And the reason some of us are so frustrated is that they have succeeded to an alarming degree in these efforts.

The second problem is, what we do is reactive. We try and counter untruth with truth, but we do need a proactive program too. I suppose we should not contemplate using the same kind of tactics as they do on our own behalf, for such tactics are fundamentally dishonest in that they assume that some group of people should be allowed to control the perception of reality by the masses. But what we could do, is to actively promote questioning. People really are hungry to hear answers to real questions, and we get precious few opportunities to do so because our so-called "press" have fallen down on the job. Maybe we could have a program -- instead of having a Think Tank type structure, it would be more of a distributed model where members of the organization from around the country asked questions at every opportunity of their elected officials and candidates at town meetings, legislative sessions, press conferences, and on the campaign trails. The questions would be based on factual information, and would demand issues-oriented responses. The questions might be inconvenient. Members would be expected to report back to the group, and the exchanges published on the group's web site. Where possible, they could record their interactions (legally of course) and post them as audio or audio/video clips. The group would keep lists of suggested questions, grouped by level (national, state, etc), party, whatever makes sense; but individual questioners are also free to ask their own questions. Members would have to be vetted to start with because this would be too easy to disrupt. We would want it to become a respected institution, actually -- a response to the press's total lack of professionalism, inability to bring truth to the population, willingness to go along with actual disinformation campaigns. So let's just take it back, but do it in a way that is respectful -- in other words, I like Code Pink and all, but that is not the intention of this group: this group is to maintain professionalism and a healthy skepticism / irreverence towards the monied and the powerful and the warmongers.

Okay this got too long. Thanks for the post it was very thought-provoking!


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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
22. Hitler was an idealogue. Stalin was an opportunist.
Hitler really believed that he was ordained to "save" Germany from the Jewish Capitalists and the Jewish Bolsheviks. His world view and politics were quite bourgeois and akin to a sort of populism that the masses could identify with. Despite his pronouncements, he was actually a weak leader who turned over everything to his sycophants so he could escape blame. And, he was just plain lucky. He was, in Germany, "the right man at the right time". He offered simple solutions to complex problems much as the likes of Bush or Limbaugh do.

Stalin just took advantage of the chaos existent after the civil war. The people were tired of the constant conflict, historically conditioned to "strong, decisive" leaders and yearning for stability.
Stalin provided them with that. He felt far more threatened by the left than the right. Trotsky, Bukharin, et al, were the bogeymen that challenged him, not the Czarists.

Socialism for both Hitler and Stalin was offered as a sop to the people. Stalin was a "socialist" only because it was politically opportune for him to be one. Hitler, with his muddled comic-book philosophy, saw a state of strong, happy Aryan bosses, lording it over the untermenschen. A sort of plantation society where the Aryans played the part of slaveholders who were, more or less, equal to each other.

Both of them were prime examples of Lord Acton's axiom about power but in an almost reverse way. They were both corrupt, (for different reasons), before they assumed power.



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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. What about Mao?
Curious because your response on Hitler and Stalin seems well thought out and I more or less agree.

Bryant
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. Mao, IMO, was Lord Acton's axiom in action.
A prime, truly prime, example of the corruption of power. An idealist who, when the ideals failed, turned to ruthlessness to try to make them work. "The ends justify the means" exemplified. The "Great Leap Forward", and the "Cultural Revolution" are prime examples.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. he was also insane from syphilis in his later years.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
23. It's become a habit of right-wingers to paint their opponents with the worst...
...parts of their own ideology.

Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all totalitarians. Being an economic leftist (collectivist) and totalitarian are not mutually exclusive, AND leftist policy does not require totalitarianism.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
26. A Socialist of the Thermidore phase.
Lenin was a revolutionary
Stalin was a builder
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
29. No. Fascism is right-wing totalitarianism. Stalin was a totalitarian communist.
Isn't it helpful for right-wing nuts to dilute and confuse the only existing term for their sort of totalitarianism?
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. see #31
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
30. .
Edited on Tue Jan-08-08 12:23 PM by readmoreoften
.
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brazos121200 Donating Member (626 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
34. Stalin and Mao were on the far left of the spectrum, Hitler was a centrist as far as political
philosophy went and generally supported Bismarck's socialist welfare viewpoint. Reagan, Thatcher, Pinochet, Franco, King George III & Bush jr. etc. were/are rightists of varying degrees. In this country obviously you can't be a totalitarian ruler, but under the right circumstances how do we know what kind of a ruler a Reagan or Bush jr would be? The will might be there but not the way.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-08-08 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
41. Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler were the same...
... in that when the opportunity presented itself, they grabbed and enforced (by violence and/or threat thereof) the centralization of absolute state power in their own hands. Beyond that, neither their original motives nor the propaganda they used to justify the grab matter.

This isn't a right/left issue.
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