YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

July 16, 2017

What does 21st Century “Americanism” mean to you?

reddit.com

We are currently polarized around the question of nationalism vs. globalization. With the football season only a few months away, the fate of the now unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick has now generated some discussion of “patriotism” that many associate with “nationalism.”

Indeed, in high school we were taught that “nationalism, militarism, and imperialism” caused the rise of fascism after World War One. No mention of the Progressive or “Middle Way” response to industrialization that Hitler lauded in the Table Talk. The point was not to take patriotism to “extremes” as did the dictators.

Doesn’t Hitler sound like a “moderate” progressive here, lauding elites, collectivizing “the people,” and lauding “balance”?

[Hitler, 1942]:] “The English have to settle certain social problems which are ripe to be settled. At present these problems can still be solved from above, in a reasonable manner. I tremble for them if they don’t do it now. For if it’s left to the people to take the initiative, the road is open to madness and destruction. Men like Mosley would have had no difficulty in solving the problem, by finding a compromise between Conservatism and Socialism, by opening the road to the masses but without depriving the élite of their rights. Class prejudices can’t be maintained in a socially advanced State like ours, in which the proletariat produces men of such superiority. Every reasonably conducted organization is bound to favour the development of beings of worth. It has been my wish that the educative organisations of the Party should enable the poorest child to lay claim to the highest functions, if he has enough talent. The Party must see to it, on the other hand, that society is not compartmentalized so that everyone can quickly assert his gifts. Otherwise discontent raises its head, and the Jew finds himself in just the right situation to exploit it. It’s essential that a balance should be struck, in such a way that dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives may be abolished as well as Jewish and Bolshevik anarchists….”(Jan. 27, 1942, p. 253).

I have been reading Felix Gilbert’s The End of the European Era, 1890 To The Present (Norton, 1970) and like other social democrats, he describes the Russian Revolution of 1905 as a “socialist revolution.” Of course it was not, as the tsar remained in power and only modest reforms were achieved. But the lead up to 1905 was worth reviewing, for autocratic Russia was beginning to be industrialized, which opened the way to liberal reformism, and ultimately to Revisionism (the Menshevik road to socialism).

But what did 1930s Stalinists mean by the claim that “Communism is “20th Century Americanism”? I had always assumed that Reds were pulling the wool over American eyes, but I now wonder if they meant that for traditional Americans (loyal to the Constitution) they expected that “Americanism” would be adapted to a modicum of free speech and “good” labor unions, i.e., progressivism and the Third Way.

What do you think?

Hatsune flag posted by a libertarian nationalist

 

September 10, 2016

Is “America” racist?

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:07 pm
Tags: , , , ,
Clinton at LGBT event 9-10-16

Clinton at LGBT event 9-10-16

In the tumult of the 2016 campaign, three events stand out:

  1. The Colin Kaepernick scandal, in which K’s refusal to stand during the national anthem, threatens further to rouse the (already) “hot-tempered” black population; and
  2. Ex-President Bill Clinton’s accusation that to claim that America would be “great” again is an obvious Trumpian sop to (poor white) Southerners who value their (dubious) superiority on the racial “totem pole.” (Recall that “the first black president” implicitly hitched onto the black power movement, as did his wife, as did Barack Obama, the real first black president., though Black Lives Matter might dispute this genealogy; see http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/08/opinions/bill-clinton-black-lives-matter-protesters-opinion-garza/ ); and
  3. Mrs. Clinton’s characterization of half of Trump’s base as “a basket of deplorables” after all, she is an (aristocratic) centrist who would never stoop so low.

Sadly, supposedly Republican-leaning media (i.e., Fox News Channel) cannot address the ideologies represented by these widely publicized events, for the moderate men don’t dig deeply enough into dominant discourses, that are always collectivist.

That is, “America” is a single individual, disgraceful or exemplary, depending on “point of view.” (See https://clarespark.com/2014/07/20/national-character-does-it-exist/).  To those devoted to the welfare state, “America” overcame its racist pass by devotion to “those less fortunate than we,” as Eleanor Roosevelt said. Centrists such as the Clintons are social democrats, with a whiff of fascism in their preoccupation with “race” over “class.”

Even Ashley Montagu, that progressive anthropologist, despite his obvious flaws, emphasized the socially constructed notion of “race,” focusing on social conditions over hereditary notions of mental and moral character (“race”); see https://clarespark.com/2016/08/13/there-and-not-there-progressives-make-us-crazy-2/.

There is an obvious choice on how we envision “the American Past, a.k.a., the “American Heritage.” We can focus on the novelty in the 18th C. of The Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution (especially the Amendments), or we can vent our adolescent wrath on westward expansion and its many crimes.

The “New Left” (unlike many of their elders in the Old Left) chose the latter path, and we are muddled in that confusion.

The Clintons and Colin Kaepernick belong in that “basket.”

ABC News photo

ABC News photo

Blog at WordPress.com.