This is a great article on the history of liberalism, socialism and even communism through the last century. For those not inclined to read its full extent, here's an interested and prescient chunk:
In 1983, President Reagan awarded Burnham—by then ailing and in his last years—the Medal of Freedom. In 1984, Chambers received it posthumously. Reagan claimed both men as major influences—he read and reread “Witness” until, Oppenheimer notes, “its cadences were native to him, memorizing entire passages, quoting and paraphrasing them at length in political speeches”—but their pessimism sat uneasily next to his sunny faith in the providential American future. Oppenheimer tells the familiar story of Reagan’s youthful ardor for Roosevelt; his career as a Hollywood labor leader; his growing hostility to Communist infiltration of the unions; and his turn to the right when he became a pitchman for General Electric, began to associate with anti-Communists, and married Nancy Davis. Reagan ascribed his defection to “the newfangled ‘liberals’ who rejected” Roosevelt’s faith in the wisdom of the American people, and who instead entrusted power to government engineers. It’s a sentimental and ahistorical view. Roosevelt allowed Communists like Hiss to go on working for him even after being presented with Chambers’s account of their perfidy, and he was more statist than the “newfangled” Democrats of the Eisenhower era.
Reagan needed to believe himself incapable of disloyalty to his father and to the President they both revered. Those attachments were part of the narrative of patriotism and virtue that remained constant throughout his life. “He’d been a liberal because it was his inheritance,” Oppenheimer writes. “But the fit had never been completely comfortable. And as the reasons to keep bargaining with the old liberalism fell away, one by one, he began to accept that there was another mantle that might drape more comfortably.”
Why are we afraid of re embracing the ideas of FDR that brought us all the advantages of the New Deal?
Now I screaming at my (supposed) Team on the TV machine? Why am I incessently fielding ignorant tweets from alleged allies? What’s wrong with Krugman and Dean and the ‘left’ leaning chattering class? I surround left with quotes as I hardly recognize this ‘left’. It bares little resemblence to the left of my youth. Of our youths. Of the 20th century or the 19th century left for that matter.
Just now a text arrives. A close friend of 40+ years has passed. She and I and our closest compatriots stood and still stand somewhere closer to Abbey Hoffman or Malcom X than Chuck Schummer or Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Who are these people? Where did they come from? What is their agenda as regards our wellbeing?
The common denominator is painfully obvious. Money. THE money machine to be exact. They live in a world governed by rules and parameters we have accepted as normal.
We have allowed this. We have condoned this. We are party to this corruption as sure as I sit here. It's bribery and we’re okay with it.
So, as I'm attacked on Twitter for being a foolish glitter farting unicorn lover with no idea how the game works let me remind you of the outrageous communist utopia I espose. A utopia based on uncle Teddy crushing railroad bosses who busted unions with rifles or FDR that broke up the banks as they plotted an armed coup or even simpleton (not my word) Jimmy Carter who killed the culture Ma Bell.
The impossible utopian dream of universal single payer health care like those insane Reds in Canada or the UK. For compassionate drug policies along the lines of those Pinkos in Scandinavia or Portugal. Chemical and industry regulations that will push us into the timeless abyss of reasonable corporate responsibility.
The Art of War tells us that the general who chooses the field of battle gains great advantage. And yet, we allow the narrative of the Right to dictate OUR starting point east of center where west means retreat. We speak in their terms, their frames and therefor have ceded the high ground.
I can only conclude that our ambivalence is the result of 35 years of pounding by a well orchestrated and well funded thought control effort. How else do you explain the fear and capitulation to ideas solidly ensconced 70 years ago and wonderfully successful all this time.
We talk of fear of the Right. How we must compromise (while huge majorities agree with us). How we must be cautious else the boogeyman wins. I'd say it's very close to Shell Shock or PTSD. It looks eerily like a serious case of the Stockholm Syndrome to me.
if government is the enemy, what is the purpose of society itself? Are we to believe we are simply throwaway creatures awaiting our fate in service to profits and the enrichment of those already in power?
Where is your virtue?
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