My colleague Jessica Bruning did an excellent job portraying conservatism, liberalism, and socialism in her series on ‘-isms', but I feel that one more must be concentrated on before settling the matter. And that final ‘-ism' is perhaps the most dangerous to the human condition: fascism.

When first thinking about fascism, two historical instances that come to mind are Nazi Germany and Italy under Benito Mussolini. Both of these states were totalitarian in nature and were under constant oppression. But what is fascism? It is sometimes hard to define because it has been rather isolated in occurrence and because it is such a recent phenomenon compared to other political theories.

The first and most important institution of fascism is unity. More specifically, the unity of the group. This is where the totalitarian mindset first arises. A common misconception of totalitarianism is that there must be a single ruler. Totalitarianism is merely the adherence to a single mentality by everyone - there does not have to be an authoritarian figure to have totalitarianism. It certainly facilitates the situation, as the leader is able to have sway over the actions of the group, but a leader is not always required.

Unity creates a system that not only opposes anything that is ‘other' but seeks to either convert or eliminate them. Other political parties must not be allowed to continue; they must be dismantled. Compromise is forbidden, as it shows weakness on the dominant group's behalf. Enormous propaganda campaigns are undertaken in order to discredit other viewpoints and portray them as not only wrong, but evil.

A common symbol of fascism is the fasces, which are a bundle of wooden sticks that are tied together, complete with an emerging axe head. This symbolizes that the individual sticks, like the individual person, are weak and unimportant isolated, but gain power only when combined into a group. If you have ever been to Washington, D.C. or watched C-SPAN, you have probably seen this symbol. It is present on the Lincoln Memorial and in the House of Representatives. However, in the American scheme, the fasces symbolizes that the pluralist collection of unique individuals acting together is the art of politics, a key foundation of this country.

Another important aspect of fascism is a very intense form of patriotism that coincides with xenophobia and ethnocentrism. This links back to that fear of the ‘other' and the drive to either force assimilation of other cultures or bar them from entering the dominant culture to begin with. Other characteristics that go along with this powerful form of nationalism is an obedience to the state and militarism. ‘Freedom' turns into being completely submissive to the authority, with the eradication of the private realm.

Betrayal or a sense of victimization was rampant in the formation of Nazi Germany. After World War I, Germans felt uneasiness after the Treaty of Versailles, a concern that a young demagogue named Adolf Hitler was quick to exploit. By blaming the loss of the War and the hyperinflation that soon followed on groups other than Germans, the Nazi Party went from a handful of meetings at beer halls to the verge of conquering Europe in a matter of years. Treating yourself like a victim implies that enacting ‘revenge' on those who mistreated you is justice, no matter what the outcome.

Anti-intellectualism is also rampant within fascist cultures. Because fascist regimes forced themselves onto the masses, they obviously had to cater the lowest common denominator to attract as many as possible. Thus, intellectuals were not trusted, institutions of science and higher learning were abolished, and the exodus of intellectuals ensued. This hatred was in light of intellectuals being able to resist tyranny; they were aware of what was happening, and had the capacity to speak out against it. But they were merely a small boat trying to paddle against a torrent of volatile waters; it is only a matter of time before something has to give, and the water is very strong.

Artists were also included in this, as musicians, actors, poets, artists and the like were intimidated until they either conformed or emigrated, or worse. A complete distrust and revulsion of higher culture led to a single civil society that was controlled by the state; so interwoven was the state and civil society that the difference between the two vanished.

On the economic front, Mussolini described fascism as a ‘Third Way' between capitalism and socialism. Where capitalism led to the pursuit of huge gains by a few, private individuals, socialism led to the inevitable class struggle - both scenarios pitted society against itself. It came to be that a corporatist state soon emerged, a state where corporations and government were linked in such a way that they were indistinguishable.

Unlike the political theories covered before by Ms. Bruning, fascism is itself not a political theory; it is rather the absence of rational political thought. It is merely a reactionary force that stems from xenophobia, ethnocentrism, intense nationalism, obedience to the state, militarism, and fierce anti-intellectualism. Sound familiar?

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Warren Blumenfeld
Warren Blumenfeld

Thank you Jacob for another factual and informative editorial. The links with the Tea Party are stunning and clear, and your editorial serves as a cautionary tale for our times. I hope your readers take this to heart. Thank you.

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

I agree with Warren Blumenfeld. This is a factual and informative article, much like the ones written by Jessica Bruning that sorted out many of the common misperceptions of "isms" that are held by Americans, mainly because the terms are misused by those with political agendas. Social systems are more complex than the simplistic connotations attached to some of these terms.

A couple of lines that stood out for me:

1. "Unity creates a system that not only opposes anything that is ‘other' but seeks to either convert or eliminate them."

Resulting in mass hate and fear-mongering compelling the population to conform or to be eliminated. The Spanish Inquisition and the Spanish Falangists (w/Francisco Franco) are other good examples.

2. "Another important aspect of fascism is a very intense form of patriotism that coincides with xenophobia and ethnocentrism."

Nationalism where only a limited version of a nation's values, history, and purpose is acceptable. Warren Blumenfeld observantly brought up the example of the Tea Party and here is where those links seem particularly clear.

Fascism also seems to depend upon a great deal of popular ignorance, or at least the willingness of the people to accept the reality propagated upon them. It is easy and convenient to hear what we want to hear and to dismiss that which we do not want to hear, regardless of the truth.

Warren Blumenfeld
Warren Blumenfeld

"Jingoism" as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy.[1] In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.

steve-gregg
Steve Gregg

Fascism is a variant of socialism. Both Hitler and Mussolini were creatures of the Left, horrible creatures.

Professor Blumenfeld is wrong, as usual, in his unhinged partisan comparison of Fascism to the Tea Party. The Fascists demanded total control by a giant state while the Tea Party demands smaller government which allows people to keep more of the money they make and to run their own lives. The Fascists wanted a centralized, planned economy while the Tea Party wants a decentralized market economy.

If anything, the Fascists and their Nazi cousins are liberals on steroids and crack.

Warren Blumenfeld
Warren Blumenfeld

Dear Steve Gregg: You might want to reread (or read for the first time) Mr. Witte's excellent column to better understand the "philosophy" and behavior of Fascists, rather than rewriting history as you are doing. Fascists are actually on the far Right. Please please please read your history.

steve-gregg
Steve Gregg

Professor Blumenfeld, you don't know what you are talking about. Mussolini was named after a socialist by his father, a socialist. He was raised a socialist. He worked for a socialist newspaper.

All those years as a socialist brought him to the realization that Italians were not interested in international socialism's goal of "saving the world." However, he realized Italians were very nationalist and so very interested in saving Italy. His innovation was to combine their nationalism with socialism in the Fascist party, which was a bundling of the many socialist parties.

As leader of the Fascists, Mussollni gave a speech in which he proclaimed that he was a socialist, had always been a socialist, and would always be a socialist. That is a clue that the Fascists were socialist.

If you knew your history, you would know that the Fascists were surfing the wave of socialism that was sweeping through Europe in the 1920s, not conservatism. Europeans of that era were crazy dog nuts for communism and socialism, even more than they are today.

There are other rather obvious signs that Fascism is socialism, such as its establishment of a dictator, which American Democrats of the 1920s thought was wonderful. Fascism was fond of the central economic planning so dear to socialists. Fascism was all about Big Government controlling everything. Of course, none of these things are conservative, as anybody with any wits can see.

Fascism has been a big embarassment to lefties everwhere since World War II made "dictator" a bad word. It was all the more embarassing since so many liberals were extolling Fascism as the government model of the future. Ever since, lefties like you have been rewriting history to mislabel the national socialist movements as conservative. And there are plenty of liberals ignorant enough to believe you.

Let's make your error a teachable moment for the student body, who should write their next term paper on the question whether Fascism was left wing or right wing. I'll even give them a hint: All the answers are in "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning," by Jonah Goldberg. You can get a used paperback copy on Amazon for half a buck plus shipping. It's the perfect antidote to Professor Blumenfeld's lefty political indoctrination.

David Jackson
David Jackson

Waren Blumenfeld,
You might want to reread (or read for the first time), the stated goals of the Tea Party and the Constitution of the United States. You will find that the portions of American culture that the Tea Party wishes to promote are the ones the extreme left wing of American politics has been working to destroy for the last half century. Hardly only a limited version of a nation's values, history, and purpose. More like a return to the core values that turned us into a prosperous nation in the first place before we continue to travel down the current course of financial ruin and unchecked centralized power (like a federal government that can do whatever it wants) that has more of a potential to turn this nation into a fascist state than anything else. Did you miss the line from the article that stated; “freedom turns into being completely submissive to the authority, with the eradication of the private realm.” If that sounds like the goals of the Tea Party to you, ya just may want to start getting “well informed” from a more diverse set of information sources. The only thing that’s stunning and clear is your hopeless bias fueled by the left wing group think of contemporary academia.

Rob Stone,
The Tea Party promotes a constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a free market economy. This is hardly in keeping with any form of fascism. The statement “It is easy and convenient to hear what we want to hear and to dismiss that which we do not want to hear, regardless of the truth” rings more true with your commentary than with anyone else’s.

jacob-witte
Jacob Witte

Dear Steve Gregg,

I have read "Liberal Fascism" by Goldberg. Heck, it is sitting on a bookcase of mine. Of all of the research and learning I have done about fascism, his is the only work that ever claims it to be a 'left-wing' phenomenon. So either he has an insight that no other intellectual has, or he is twisting history to fit his theory. My guess is the latter.

It is funny how his book has become the 'bible' that conservatives jump to whenever people talk about fascism. It is as if the entire body of work about fascism and Nazism never existed.

And if fascism is a form of socialism, as you claim, then why did Mussolini and Adolf Hitler detest communists, and in turn round them up along with all the others and throw them into the concentration camps?

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

"The Tea Party promotes a constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a free market economy. This is hardly in keeping with any form of fascism."--David Jackson

Why then do tea partiers employ fascistic techniques?

Jacob Witte: Good response. Jonah Goldberg is neither a scholar nor a historian. He's a conservative political pundit who tells his fellow right-wingers what they want to hear. Steve Gregg only seems to read materials that reinforce his narrow and horribly misinformed set of beliefs.

SHOE788
James Sampica

Jonah Goldberg once said he wanted france to be destroyed.

Yes, Steve Gregg, lets listen to his "non-fascist" ideas.

steve-gregg
Steve Gregg

James,

Your rebuttal is a non sequitur, having nothing to do with the argument that Mussolini and his Fascists were socialists. It is also an ad hominem argument. That's two fallacious arguments in two sentences. And you do not address any of the facts I put forward because facts are like kryptonite to liberals. But then, finding facts that rebut Mussolini's socialism are pretty hard to come by, aren't they? Your only option is to sling mudballs at the fact bringers, eh?

Thanks for demonstrating the low intelligence of lefty arguments and ideas.

steve-gregg
Steve Gregg

Rob Stone,

You also leap on the ad hominem bandwagon, fearing to face the facts produced below and the facts produced in Goldberg's book. Facts are facts where ever they come from. Two plus two equals four whether Einstein says so or a drunken stumblebum in the gutter says so.

One of the intellectual defects of the Left is to believe that truth can only come from their own lefty priesthood or certain classes of people. In fact, any person can discover the truth. The lefty rejection of this obvious truth is why they are lead to believe so many false things, like Mussolini was a Reagan Republican, while fiercely denouncing the truth even when carried on a throne of evidence: Mussolini and the Fascists were socialists.

I'm waiting for you to rebut any of the facts I stated below or to produce any yourself.

SHOE788
James Sampica

Ad hominem? Hardly...

If your "facts" are truely "facts" then you could certainly produce some other means of evidence besides a deranged crazyman. Wanting another country destroyed doesn't really appeal to the sane part of the population.

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

Steve Gregg,

I am not at all afraid to discuss the facts but I fear you will refuse to acknowledge them, as your previous posts indicate. Furthermore, you have presented little, if any, facts. Rather you have offered a litany of declarative statements with no supporting evidence (other than partisan political punditry).

But I'll exercise in futility for at least a short time.

Mussolini and Hitler were national socialists, which MEANS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. There are several political, social, and economic ideologies using the term "socialism" or "socialist."

Not to repeat what has just recently been written in the Daily, but socialism is essentially an egalitarian system where the ownership of the means of production and distribution lies in the communal collective. National socialism is authoritarianism where the state, under a dictator or junta, wield complete control over the people with the backing of the military. The authority owns and controls the means of production and distribution, not the community. There was nothing "liberal" about Mussolini, Hitler, or Franco.

Now, unlike producing a book of biased opinionating by a partisan hack, you can read all about these political and economic theories by examining some of the following:

Hitler's Germany: origins, interpretations, legacies, By Roderick Stackelberg
"Nazism is a radical variant of fascism, the movement for national regeneration that arose in many countries to counter the perceived threat from communism and liberal democracy in the 1920s and 1930s." (pg. 3)

The fascism reader, by Aristotle A. Kallis

A history of fascism, 1914–1945, by Stanley G. Payne

Speaking of Einstein, you might want to check out his opinions on socialism: http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism

The bottom line is that you are attempting to link contemporary American progressives with the most oppresive/repressive regimes in world history by using semantic tricks. You seem not to realize that you are posting on a univeristy site read by a lot of educated people who know about history and language and know how to research.

Finally, if you are going to whine about ad hominems then you can't use them against others. Playing the victim works about as well as trying to fool educated people.

steve-gregg
Steve Gregg

Benito Mussolini was named after a famous socialist. That is a fact.
Mussolini was raised as a socialist by a socialist father. Fact.
Mussolini wrote for Italian-language socialist newspapers such as the L'Avvenire del Lavoratore in Switzerland, L'Avanguardia Socialista (Milan), and Il Proletario (New York). Fact.
The Swiss arrested him for his socialist activities, noting him in their files as "the revolutionary Socialist Benito Mussolini". Fact.
He was the editor of two different socialist newspapers. Fact.
And of course, he declared himself a socialist., Fact.

Even a casual examination of Mussolini will reveal him to be a socialist. Only coffee shop lefties believe their own chatter that he was some kind of right wing nut.

And I note, once again, you have avoided rebutting any of the facts I have presented, but choose to avoid or dismiss them, for fear of engaging them to your disadvantage. I invite the readers to go a googling and discover the truth for themselves. It takes about ten seconds to find a boatload of evidence that disproves the politically correct fiction that Blumenfeld and company so earnestly and wrongly believe.

Mussolini was a socialist leading the Fascists, who were socialists.

David Jackson
David Jackson


“Why then do tea partiers employ fascistic techniques?”
-Rob Stone

What techniques would those be, please do tell. Then tell me how their political rallies, functions, and campaigns differ from any other currently running in America.

“But socialism is essentially an egalitarian system where the ownership of the means of production and distribution lies in the communal collective.”
-Rob Stone

Wow, and the unfettered bias and ignorance continues. That may be what your hero Che put down on paper there Rob but in practice there is nothing egalitarian about it. History, as you claim to be a student of, has proven time and time again that Socialism doesn’t work outside of a vacuum and that in practice it is anything but egalitarian when implemented. Although I don’t agree with everything Greg is saying I believe his point hinges around the fact that in order to make socialism work you have to put all the power into a centralized form of government which by definition is a level of authority where the darker parts of human nature thrive, and in every example of socialism have. In socialist states the authority owns and controls the means of production and distribution, not the community, because the community is the governed living at the consent of the government not the other way around. Simply being democratic doesn’t mean shit. Hitler was elected along with the rest of the despots claiming the people’s equity and care were there motivations.

“The bottom line is that you are attempting to link contemporary American progressives with the most oppresive/repressive regimes in world history by using semantic tricks.”
-Rob Stone

Pot calling the kettle black! So he is essentially a right wing version of you and Blumenfeld, what the hell are you going to hold against him for that? Your referring to a group of people who want smaller more efficient federal government as fascists and you dare to call Greg out on using semantics tricks and source references? Your hypocrisy has no limits.

steve-gregg
Steve Gregg

Jacob Witte,

While "Liberal Fascism" may be the only book you've read that claims Fascism is rather obviously a leftist movement, it's hardly the only book that makes the argument. And you hardly need a book to explain it to you with Mussolini's socialist background and Fascism's socialist programs. It's rather obvious.

If you think Goldberg has twisted the facts to make his case, then it should be easy to produce examples of that. Jacob, when Mussolini pronounces himself a socialist, how do you ignore that? How do you get around all the socialist organizing and writing he did? Do you think Mussolini got so involved with socialism as some kind of trick to hide that he was secretly a conservative who was pushing limited government?

The Fascists and Nazis were in conflict with the Communists because they were so much alike, just like the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks fought each other in the Russian Revolution, even though they were all sibling Communist factions. The national socialist movements of Nazism and Fascism were nearly the same as the international socialist movement of Communism. In fact, the original platform of what later became the Nazi party was the Communist platform with a few tweaks. Hitler bragged in Mein Kampf that the Communist party was one of his greatest sources of recruits. They were all fighting for the same members, a big source of conflict.

Also, if you ever met radical socialists and Communists, you'll find that they are all paranoid control freaks who are constantly trying to tell each other what to do and manipulate each other. That's why far leftist movements are so volatile and so frequently break into opposing factions. Fighting each other is what they do. They don't get along with anyone, even each other.

SHOE788
James Sampica

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fascism?view=uk

"an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. "

I guess the Oxford Dictionary isn't a credible source? [wink]

SHOE788
James Sampica

Steve Gregg, I think you'll love this quote...

"We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right,' a fascist century."
-Benito Mussolini

Fascism: doctrine and institutions. Rome, Italy: Ardita Publishers, 1935. Pp. 26

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

Steve Gregg;

As I have written and you have completely ignored, there are many forms of socialism. Some that have nothing in common with each other. Even Marx and Engels knew that. For example, a national socialist and a market socialist are two completely different kinds of socialists. That is a fact.
Supporting evidence: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch03.htm; The Oxford Companion to Philosophy.

If your contention is that Mussolini was a socialist, then yes he was a member of the Italian Socialist Party for a time. He was expelled from the party because his actions and views were not in line with theirs. That is a fact. (side note: Ronald Reagan and Rick Perry were once Democrats. The claim “Ronald Reagan was a Democrat” is a fact just like “Mussolini was a Socialist.”)

Benito Mussolini was a far right-wing authoritarian national socialist (that is a kind of socialism). That is a fact.
Supporting evidence: The Fascism Reader, by Aristotle A. Kallis; A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, by Stanley G. Payne; Mussolini Unleashed, 1939-1941, by MacGregor Knox

“Mussolini was raised as a socialist by a socialist father. Fact.”—Steve Gregg

I was raised as a Republican by a Republican father. Your point?

“Only coffee shop lefties believe their own chatter that he was some kind of right wing nut.”—Steve Gregg

Mussolini would be pissed if he knew you called in a coffee shop lefty. As Mr. Witte quoted Mussolini himself: "We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right,' a fascist century."

Finally, just because someone calls himself something, doesn’t mean he is. East Germany called itself the German Democratic Republic. And The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is hardly any of those things (except for the Korea part).

David Jackson;

“What techniques would those be, please do tell.”—David Jackson

Didn’t you read the article where Mr. Witte laid out the characteristics of Fascism?

Must I repeat what you already should have read?

1. “Compromise is forbidden, as it shows weakness on the dominant group's behalf.”
Tea partiers abhor compromise and threaten to relinquish support for, or run candidates against, any Republican who compromises. They create signs of hatred, spit and hurl epithets at members of Congress.
2. “Another important aspect of fascism is a very intense form of patriotism that coincides with xenophobia and ethnocentrism. This links back to that fear of the ‘other' and the drive to either force assimilation of other cultures or bar them from entering the dominant culture to begin with.”
Tea Partiers have a history of anti-immigrant, racism, and outright hatred for foreign ideas. English-only, fear-mongering about the Chinese, hatred of the U.N., etc.
3. “Anti-intellectualism is also rampant within fascist cultures. Because fascist regimes forced themselves onto the masses, they obviously had to cater the lowest common denominator to attract as many as possible. Thus, intellectuals were not trusted, institutions of science and higher learning were abolished, and the exodus of intellectuals ensued.”
Tea Partiers regularly belittle intellectuals and hold on to such anti-intellectual and un-intellectuals such as Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry. Facts are useless when they contradict their preferred reality.
4. “Artists were also included in this, as musicians, actors, poets, artists and the like were intimidated until they either conformed or emigrated, or worse.”
Hollywood is to blame for so much.

“That may be what your hero Che put down on paper there Rob but in practice there is nothing egalitarian about [socialism].”—David Jackson

I don’t think Che wrote the Collins English Dictionary or the Oxford Companion to Philosophy. There are several forms of socialism but the one advocated by Marx was one of egalitarianism.

Steve Gregg thinks there is only one form of socialism so his contentions are misinformed from the start.

“Your referring to a group of people who want smaller more efficient federal government as fascists”—David Jackson

That’s a lie. I wrote: “tea partiers employ fascistic techniques.”

YOU’RE defending a group of people who cheer death and dying uninsured patients so I feel pretty good about my positions.

David Jackson
David Jackson

Didn’t you read the article where Mr. Witte laid out the characteristics of Fascism?

I read it, and unless your perception is clouded by your own politics none of what he described can be applied to the Tea Party anymore than if can any other political interest these days.

1. “Compromise is forbidden, as it shows weakness on the dominant group's behalf.”Tea partiers abhor compromise and threaten to relinquish support for, or run candidates against, any Republican who compromises. They create signs of hatred, spit and hurl epithets at members of Congress.” –Rob Stone

Compromise is forbidden on their key principles, not on all actions or opinions. Some have created some questionable signs, but no more than any other political gathering or protest for any other cause or background. Not only that but if I recall the news the spitting and some of the hurled epithets didn’t even occur. So again what techniques would those be?


2. “Another important aspect of fascism is a very intense form of patriotism that coincides with xenophobia and ethnocentrism. This links back to that fear of the ‘other' and the drive to either force assimilation of other cultures or bar them from entering the dominant culture to begin with.”Tea Partiers have a history of anti-immigrant, racism, and outright hatred for foreign ideas. English-only, fear-mongering about the Chinese, hatred of the U.N., etc.” –Rob Stone

Anti-immigrant to anti-illegal immigration? Huge difference there Mr. Stone whether you want to admit it or not. What racism or hatred of foreign ideas? You claim this act without anything to back it up, that’s intellectual of you. I haven’t seen anything too extreme when it comes to their commentary on China or the UN. China is one of the fastest growing economic and military powers in the world, to be concerned with that is called smart not racist. And the UN is a collection of unelected officials who not only want to dictate to nations how to conduct themselves (regardless of the fact nobody in said nations had a vote for them) but also commonly fails at attempts to provide peace or prosperity to in the places it operates. The UN deserves some scrutiny.


3. “Anti-intellectualism is also rampant within fascist cultures. Because fascist regimes forced themselves onto the masses, they obviously had to cater the lowest common denominator to attract as many as possible. Thus, intellectuals were not trusted, institutions of science and higher learning were abolished, and the exodus of intellectuals ensued.”Tea Partiers regularly belittle intellectuals and hold on to such anti-intellectual and un-intellectuals such as Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry. Facts are useless when they contradict their preferred reality.” –Rob Stone

Belittle intellectuals. First, and again, where is the example of that? Second, if they belittled a couple people here or there does that equate to “institutions of science and higher learning were abolished, and the exodus of intellectuals ensued”? Not hardly. Oh, and how dare they promote politicians who promise to support their ideas, how horrific!

4. “Artists were also included in this, as musicians, actors, poets, artists and the like were intimidated until they either conformed or emigrated, or worse.” Hollywood is to blame for so much.” –Rob Stone

Yes because Hollywood is representative of all creativity in America, and if you bash an undefined group which in large part shows a certain level of bias and always that makes you guilty of fascist tactics. Give it a rest Rob Stone, you’re teetering on the ridiculous at this point.

“I don’t think Che wrote the Collins English Dictionary or the Oxford Companion to Philosophy. There are several forms of socialism but the one advocated by Marx was one of egalitarianism.” –Rob Stone

That’s fine and dandy, but the form actually implemented and practiced was one of totalitarianism in case you’re not too familiar with your history. Someone who really was a fascist could talk about how Hitler really wanted to be a nice guy and run a egalitarian state till he was blue in the face but that doesn’t over rule what actually happens.

“…who cheer death and dying uninsured patients so I feel pretty good about my positions.”
-Rob Stone

Now that’s the lie. Did you pick that one up from moveon.org or was Michael Moore running his mouth on TV again? They are a group of people who know our health care would be better off if insurance companies, doctors, and drug companies had to compete for business and earned money based on the results they gave people rather than government funding. I’m sure you do feel pretty good about your positions, that seems to be the end state goal of most “progressive” policies, legislation, and positions. But one day you might what to actually move past feeling good and prove how your positions will succeed to practically solve problems in the real world.

Basically you just throughout a bunch of propaganda without providing any facts to back it up and think that since you feel that way it must be true, regardless of lacking evidence. Of course that’s about par for the course with most extremist left wing philosophies so why would I expect your arguments about the political opposition to be any different. You were saying something about facts are useless when they contradict a preferred reality?

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

"Compromise is forbidden on their key principles, not on all actions or opinions."--David Jackson

Whether it is key principles or not, compromise is forbidden and that is a characteristic of fascism. Furthermore, their "key principles" are generalized to the point that there is no room to work with others (i.e., the majority) to agree on anything.

"Not only that but if I recall the news the spitting and some of the hurled epithets didn’t even occur."--David Jackson

You must only be recalling Fox News then because I've seen the video and news reports of both.
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100320/NEWS02/100329990
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9029316
http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/politics/racial-slur-by-tea-party-leader-hits-home-647303.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmP4Gb2pEsY

"Anti-immigrant to anti-illegal immigration? Huge difference there Mr. Stone whether you want to admit it or not."--David Jackson

Indeed there is.

"What racism or hatred of foreign ideas? . . . The UN deserves some scrutiny."--David Jackson

Examples:
"New Poll Finds Tea Partiers Have More Racist Attitudes": http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/blogs/the-gaggle/2010/04/09/new-poll-finds-tea-partiers-have-more-racist-attitudes.html
" 2010 Multi-state Survey of Race & Politics": http://depts.washington.edu/uwiser/racepolitics.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI
http://www.bet.com/news/news/2010/01/06/politicsteapartyleaderdalerobertsonoustedfornwordsign.html
http://washingtonindependent.com/73036/n-word-sign-dogs-would-be-tea-party-leader

Huge difference there Mr. Jackson between "scrutiny" and downright hatred for (to the point of devising propaganda campaigns against).
http://www.app.com/article/20110913/NJNEWS/309130115/Ocean-County-Tea-Party-hosts-forum-U-N-plan
http://www.roanoke.com/columnists/casey/wb/294308
http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/06/un-environmental-initiative-is-the-tea-partys-new-nightmare/

"Belittle intellectuals. First, and again, where is the example of that?"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/12/tea-party-insanity-burn-a_n_185991.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq8QspseNiQ
http://coloradoindependent.com/45341/schools-out-david-brooks-laments-tea-party-anti-intellectualism

"Second, if they belittled a couple people here or there does that equate to “institutions of science and higher learning were abolished, and the exodus of intellectuals ensued”?"--David Jackson

Of course not. That's why I didn't call them actual fascists, but they utilized some fascistic tactics.

"Give it a rest Rob Stone, you’re teetering on the ridiculous at this point."--David Jackson

Apparently humor escapes you.

"Someone who really was a fascist could talk about how Hitler really wanted to be a nice guy and run a egalitarian state till he was blue in the face but that doesn’t over rule what actually happens."--David Jackson

Again, Hitler was never a socialist in the Marx/Engles model. Hilter HATED Marxists and Communists. Hitler was a national socialist which is an admitted authoritarian ideology (even thought they called in totalitarian at the time).

“…who cheer death and dying uninsured patients so I feel pretty good about my positions.”
-Rob Stone

"Now that’s the lie. Did you pick that one up from moveon.org or was Michael Moore running his mouth on TV again?"--David Jackson

I picked it up from watching the debates.

Cheering death penalty and the possibility of executing innocent people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocKFSLsZnUo
Tea Party cheering letting uninsured people die: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irx_QXsJiao

The above links are recorded moments of history where what happened isn't a matter of opinion but of fact.

"Basically you just throughout a bunch of propaganda without providing any facts to back it up"

I expressed my opinions based on some evidence, much of which I provided earlier and in this post. I don't expect you to agree with me but in my opinion mainstream tea partiers employ fascistic tactics as the evidence proves.

David Jackson
David Jackson

Utube videos produced by political extremists, political phone polls, attack pieces from left leaning academics, and opinion columns. What a swath of unbiased reporting you provided. Hardly evidence of anything other than your politics.

Bottom line is you hate them because you’re ideology teaches you to hate them, not because you can generate a logical argument articulating how their solutions will fail. You’re arguments and points are based on emotion not fact. You attempt to drown out the opposition’s points with half truth propaganda and fear mongering about them, demonizing the opposition without proving how they are wrong. You just ride the wave of hysteria you helped create in order to label them racist or guilty of using “fascist tactics” when their overall behavior is no more extreme than anyone else’s.

Why don’t you try to articulate why their proposed solutions won’t work in the real world, instead of spreading propaganda from sources with the same bias as you? Wait, wait, that would require generating solutions based on facts and not mere feel good alternatives based on emotions. We can’t have that now can we.

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

David, attempting to engage in any kind of civil discourse with you seems to be implausible. You complain that I provide no evidence and when I do you dismiss it because you don't like it (instead of challenging it with counter evidence).

Sorry it doesn't reflect your preferred version of events or the versions you heard about from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Any recording or poll that doesn't tell you what you want to hear is propaganda.

I'm all for discussing the issues but I'm not going to debate reality. That's a right-wing tactic and I won't play.

David Jackson
David Jackson

“Sorry it doesn't reflect your preferred version of events or the versions you heard about from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Any recording or poll that doesn't tell you what you want to hear is propaganda.”
-Rob Stone

No it isn’t, but any poll that calls a couple hundred people in a certain area of the country could be made to say just about anything. Want to say that new poll shows the majority of Americans oppose homosexuals? Call 100 people in rural Texas. Want to show that the majority of people want welfare drastically expanded? Call 100 people in a Chicago slum. You can call a few people here and there and report the findings as “a recent study showed…” to prove just about anything you want as long as you ask the right people the right questions. That’s not evidence. You can pick and choose what videos from what gatherings you want and put them all together to paint a certain picture of any political group, especially if you are looking to slander them. That’s not evidence. Sorry that evidence doesn’t reflect your preferred version of events or the versions you heard about from MSNBC or the Daily Show but any recording or poll that tells you exactly what you want to hear doesn’t qualify as evidence. It has to be written with all the facts and not cherry picked half truths to qualify Mr. Stone.
“I'm all for discussing the issues but I'm not going to debate reality. That's a right-wing tactic and I won't play.”
-Rob Stone

I know it’s more comfortable for a left winger to keep the debate in fantasy land where you just shower the argument with links supporting your case regardless of the inherent bias of said links. But in grown up land you have to present facts to prove a point, not just shout opinions. Those links were by and large the opinions of people looking to paint their picture not a collection of facts we can base a judgment on. Quantity over quality is most certainly a left-wing tactic I’ll give you that.

Wait…yes, yes, it was. Another post by Rob Stone criticizing the Tea Party movement as a collection of racist, ignorant, greedy, extremists relying on radical left leaning internet propaganda as “evidence” without any coherent statement about how the Tea Party's proposals won’t help America.

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

David, if you think the evidence I provided is based on incorrect information then refute it. You haven't because you either cannot or you didn't examine it.

"But in grown up land you have to present facts to prove a point, not just shout opinions. Those links were by and large the opinions of people looking to paint their picture not a collection of facts we can base a judgment on."--David Jackson

Here's how it works: I made a statement of OPINION (tea partiers use fascistic tactics). I then backed that OPINION up with examples of what I consider fascistic tactics (videos, photographs, scientific studies). If you could argue that those examples are not fascistic tactics then you would be attempting to make salient points. But you have done no such thing. Instead, you attack/dismiss me and you attack/dismiss the sources without any basis.

What's propagandistic about this?: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100320/NEWS02/100329990
Or this?: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/politics/racial-slur-by-tea-party-leader-hits-home-647303.html
Or this?: http://depts.washington.edu/uwiser/racepolitics.html
What's untrue about this?: http://washingtonindependent.com/73036/n-word-sign-dogs-would-be-tea-party-leader
What is fantasy about these actual signs?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI

It's useless to discuss with someone who refuses to examine the materials at hand and dismisses actual recorded events as false.

And this discussion isn't about "how the Tea Party's proposals won't help America," it is about whether or not tea partiers utilize fascistic tactics (which I've argued and supported with evidence).

David Jackson
David Jackson

“What's propagandistic about this?: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100320/NEWS02/100329990”
-Rob Stone

The fact if it happened at all it was over reported for political reasons.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SCs6pSE8_I&feature=player_embedded

“Or this?: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/politics/racial-slur-by-tea-party-leader-hits-home-647303.html”
-Rob Stone

You posted this as an example of racism but the article itself states it was the actions of one individual who does not represent the group as a whole. Quantity over quality, like I said. You thru this up there because it had Tea Party and racial slur in the same sentence.

“Or this?: http://depts.washington.edu/uwiser/racepolitics.html”
-Rob Stone

It’s a slanted hit piece by a left leaning professor whose agenda is clear. The fact I have to point that out to you only reinforces the point you are a fish that doesn’t know it’s wet.

“What's untrue about this?: http://washingtonindependent.com/73036/n-word-sign-dogs-would-be-tea-party-leader”
-Rob Stone

Um, other than the fact he doesn’t represent the Tea Party, and has been denounced by them, but is a nut-job who liberal media outlets like to hold up high every time someone mentions the Tea Party. Nothing.
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/dale-robertson-no-friend-of-ours/

“What is fantasy about these actual signs?”
-Rob Stone

What’s fantasy about the majority of signs that were not like that? What’s fantasy about the percentage of off color signs being no higher at Tea Party events than at any other political rally?

What's untrue about this?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcsnWLLdl70&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giUh5H_ZIpA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd71TEn5E6o&feature=related

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

David, your response is, again, to attack the sources rather than refute the evidence.

There are videos and eye-witness testimony that tea partiers spit and hurled racial/homophobic epithets at Democrats. If you think those videos and testimonials are lies then feel free to prove it. If you think that all those racist signs held by tea partiers are illusions then feel free to prove it.

"It’s a slanted hit piece by a left leaning professor whose agenda is clear."--David Jackson

It's a scientific study! If you believe that the date was manipulated then feel free to prove it.

"Um, other than the fact he doesn’t represent the Tea Party, and has been denounced by them, but is a nut-job who liberal media outlets like to hold up high every time someone mentions the Tea Party."--David Jackson

Yes, the local tea partiers got rid of this guy. Good for them. But there are dozens of such pictures by people who weren't booted. That's just ONE example of bigots in the tea party and the many who tolerate such bigotry.

"What’s fantasy about the majority of signs that were not like that?"--David Jackson

Not an answer to the question. You admit that there are racist signs and racists who call themselves tea partiers and attend tea party rallies. I never said it was indicative of the majority but it exists. Ignoring racism, regardless of how minor you think it is, enables it. Why would you defend racists who employ fascistic tactics?

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

The one sentence should have read: " If you believe that the data was manipulated then feel free to prove it." Go ahead and feel free to prove that bias influenced the analysis of the data.

Numbers don't lie David, even though you can choose to ignore them.

David Jackson
David Jackson

"Numbers don't lie David, even though you can choose to ignore them."
-Rob Stone

Like you ignoring the numbers of racist and off color signs present in any political group's rally in order to push the false assertion the Tea Party tolerates racism? And the way numbers are collected my fall into the technical definition of scientific. Posting race baiting statistics derived by asking certain people certain questions is hardly representative data of any group.

"Why would you defend racists who employ fascistic tactics?"
-Rob Stone

I'm not. I'm defending a group of people, no more extreme than any other political group, who are demonized by political zealots who erroneously accuse them of racism and using "fascist tactics."

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

" I'm defending a group of people, no more extreme than any other political group, who are demonized by political zealots who erroneously accuse them of racism and using "fascist tactics.""--David Jackson

One man's political zealots are another man's political heroes. Some think the tea party movement is political zealotry. That's for another discussion.

It isn't erroneous if it's true. You can minimize it all you want but there is conclusive evidence that some tea party members are racist and employ fascistic tactics. Period.

David Jackson
David Jackson

There isn’t any conclusive evidence showing there is any greater number of racists or people using so called “fascist tactics” in the tea party than in any other contemporary political group. This begs the question why it is brought up as an issue; other than you, Blumenfeld, and other far left leaning individuals, wanting to detract from their movement because you don’t like them. It is in fact erroneous if it's no more true for them than for anyone else.

David Jackson
David Jackson

There isn’t any conclusive evidence showing there is any greater number of racists or people using so called “fascist tactics” in the tea party than in any other contemporary political group. This begs the question why it is brought up as an issue; other than you, Blumenfeld, and other far left leaning individuals, wanting to detract from their movement because you don’t like them. It is in fact erroneous if it's no more true for them than for anyone else.

David Jackson
David Jackson

There isn’t any conclusive evidence showing there is any greater number of racists or people using so called “fascist tactics” in the tea party than in any other contemporary political group. This begs the question why it is brought up as an issue; other than you, Blumenfeld, and other far left leaning individuals, wanting to detract from their movement because you don’t like them. It is in fact erroneous if it's no more true for them than for anyone else.

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

" It is in fact erroneous if it's no more true for them than for anyone else."--David Jackson

Wrong. If you are going to use a word, you should probably learn the correct definition. If you meant something else then you used "erroneously" erroneously. How ironic.

Erroneous:
"Containing or derived from error; mistaken"--American Heritage
"based on or containing error; mistaken; incorrect"--Collins English Dictionary

That there are racist tea partiers is not erroneous regardless of how many there are. There is conclusive evidence of racists. A lot. That's not an error, a mistake, or incorrect.

To defend or to minimize racism is, in itself, racist.

David Jackson
David Jackson

Is the entire group racist or are just a certain number of people in the group racist? Does the group use tactics considered to be “fascist” any more than any other political group? My point was that there are no more racists or those employing “fascist tactics” in the Tea Party than in any other large political following. As such, your claims concerning the Tea Party are derived from error, mistaken, and incorrect.

Pssst…that means erroneous, by the definition given in the dictionary.

To generalize a group based on no more evidence than you have for any other group in the same category is either displaying ignorance or blatant deceitfulness.

Rob Stone
Rob Stone

David Jackson, I've already answered your questions and I am not going to again. If you want to know the answers, scroll down.

My words were chosen carefully and none were erroneous because they are my opinions, based in evidence not based on your fallacious arguments.

You can't call my claim erroneous because it doesn't concern a point you made that had nothing to do with my original claim! That's a straw man.

When I claim there are racist tea partiers and provide photographic evidence of racist tea partiers, that constitutes the exact opposite of "erroneous."

For the last time, I won't debate reality.

David Jackson
David Jackson

You generalize an entire groups identity and judge them by the actions of a small minority inside said group then deliberately avoid the point of fact there are no more extremists in said group than most if not all others involved in politics. Your version of reality is really quite sad.