I need to apologize to both Ron Glenn and Rick Saunders. These guys got a total of three pieces of writing between them in my hands a few days ago, and I just haven’t gotten them up. Rick’s should be up later — here’s the first one from Ron. Sorry, fellas! — Jeff
By Ronald Glenn
I have not written an essay for America’s Right for several weeks. I have been occupied with family business, but that does not tell the whole story. I have been interested and mystified by the national reaction to President Barack Obama since the intensity of the health care debate has sustained itself. It would seem the labels pasted upon President Obama cover the spectrum from “fascist” to “communist.” He has become the empty vessel that the American public and press can fill with whatever they want. In many ways, he was the same during his candidacy.
How is this possible? How can one man be both of these–fascist and communist–at the same time?
A great deal of the problem rests in how the terms themselves are tossed about by the left and the right in order to explain the current state of affairs in America. Numerous articles and commentaries I have read over this past year have made the case that the two terms are interchangeable descriptions of tyranny. From this point of view, it would be like saying that Protestants and Roman Catholics are Christians, so the differences between the two are actually cosmetic.
If one judges the end product of fascism and communism it is certainly hard to tell the difference, but each has a radically different starting point. Each is based upon an entirely different interpretation of the world, which is why I believe fascism and communism were so violently opposed to one another, culminating in the horror of the war in Russia during World War II.
When looking at the difference in these two philosophies, I like to look from behind the lense constructed from the information I was handed as teenager by my Midwestern-American communist public school education.
Fascism is based on an interpretation of nature. When considering the history of politics and philosophy, there is nothing unusual about this. In a great deal of Western philosophy and art, nature is depicted as a reflection of the Divine, controlled by the forces that control the universe, such as Yahweh or Zeus. If, on the other hand, nature is seen as primal but not divine, nature then becomes a biological reflection of how the universe if organized.
An illustration of this point: I took my son on a hike in the woods when he was seven years old. We stumbled across a deer that had been dead for several days. It was covered with flies and in a state of decay. When we finally returned to the car my son said, “Don’t ever tell me there is a God to pray to. He doesn’t care about deer.”
This attitude is where fascism begins. Nature is indifferent to human suffering. Plagues and hurricanes take no prisoners. Wolves eat the weakest members of the deer population. Weakness in nature means death, and there is no God to interfere.
My son may have been seven and he may have sounded childish, but fast-forward to adulthood: When I was in college, I attended a speech by a holocaust survivor which ended with a confession about his lack of faith in a God that would allow thousands of children to be beaten, starved, and murdered by the fascists. He said he had been told in his youth that God looked out for children. He hated the fascists, but he also had a serious argument with his childhood idea of God.
A God, you see, that does not care about deer does not care about children either.
The universe does not care about its inhabitants, so the fascists have no conscience when it comes to inflicting pain on the same inhabitants, especially if those people live in their own country. In their minds, they are following the rules of nature. This is why fascism in Germany had two intellectual allies: Charles Darwin provided a scientific rationalization for the indifferent processes of nature, and Frederick Nietzsche the philosophical outlook that the Christian God had died historically. Once in power, the fascists were ready to roll. There was no need to worry about the pain they inflicted on the weak, and there was no God to judge them.
This places fascism at complete odds with civilization, which attempts to tame humanity through regulation and punishment in order to maintain peace. Logically, this fascist natural condition of man I have described means that the natural condition of mankind is war. Peace is unnatural. Peace is advocated by the weak, by the losers in a society that are holding down everyone who is naturally strong. Civilization takes on the characteristics of the feminine, which stands in stark contrast to a violent, masculine nature. Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst, had no regard for the fascists, but his concerns about civilization had some of the same overtones in his work, Civilization and Its Discontents. He understood that mankind has deep reservations about losing its relationship to its natural inclinations. Civilization had forced mankind to live a neurotic state of self-denial.
This kind of thinking is dangerous enough applied to an individual, but it is truly terrifying when it applied to the State. The State is looked upon as a biological organism, functioning as an autonomous unit. Anything that interferes with the well-being of the organism must be destroyed. If you think this idea is strange or insane, much of America experiences this phenomenon every weekend in the fall when attending a football game. All the fans who are wearing the same color shirts rooting for the same team experience a “oneness,” a unity that makes them act as a single entity. Anyone who sits among them wearing a different color shirt and rooting for a different team could very well be in danger. [Especially in Philadelphia. -- Jeff.] They do not belong to the whole and must be dealt with.
When people group together like this, they are no longer directed by intellect. This is where the concept of “will” comes into play. Nietzsche wrote a work titled The Will to Power — in it, his concept of will is as difficult to define as it to tolerate, since it is the excuse for a great majority of the criminal acts in human history and no one can clearly explain it. In the end, it means the opposite of rational thinking, summed up in the expression, “I did it because I could.” For most people, will equals desire.
What is important is the fact that will exists outside of ethics. Nietzsche wrote a work with the ultimate title in this regard: Beyond Good and Evil, Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Nature, you see, is beyond ethics. It is only concerned with the processes that allow it to survive. Strength and weakness are relative terms, not terms that involve moral judgments.
The culmination of this is the resulting national governments which the fascist philosophy creates, and they always end up in dictatorship. A herd of animals can have only one leader. A fascist leader does not lead by moral persuasion. He is the “interpreter of the will of the nation.” The rule of law becomes secondary to the interests of the leader. There is no greater enemy to the will than a constitution, since it might attempt to restrict the desires of the leader, who, of course, has everyone’s best interest at heart. Our Constitution is exactly that — a limiting document.
Conclusion (fascism): There are many scholars who think fascism does not have a definitive philosophy. I do not agree. In order to understand how this works in America, consider a practical example in which a fascist philosophy is applied:
Several months ago I had a conversation with a high school administrator who told me that there are school districts on the east coast of America that allocate $4,200.00 per student per year. He said it is impossible to provide an education for that amount of money in a major urban city.
At the same time, I know that there are many children in America who suffer from terrible birth defects that cost the government hundreds of thousands of dollars in upkeep. A fascist would argue that no country can survive if it gives more money to the useless than it does to the potentially productive. In fact, a fascist would argue this is an example of why democracies will always fail. Democracies cater to the weak and the sentimental.
“The great epochs of our life come when we gain the courage to rechristen our evil as what is best in us.”— Friedrich Nietzsche
Communism is based on an entirely different set of beliefs. Communists do not like to talk about biology at all. They deny the primacy of primal instincts. Communists have no apparent problem explaining themselves, if the vast number of books written by them is any evidence. Reading the works of Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao Ze Dong could take a lifetime, especially if you intend to remain awake through a majority of them.
Instead of recounting their tedium, I will tell a story.
Thousands of years ago, human beings roamed around the earth in groups. They hunted, had children, and lived as well as they could against the mysterious elements of nature. They had a leader who did his best to keep them alive. Finally, after years of travel, they came to rest at the bank of a river, and decided this would be a good place to stay. The river provided water and fish, they could travel on it in boats, and even use the river to water their crops when the sky forgot to rain.
Now let’s jump ahead a hundred years or so. The group has grown quite a bit, and their leader is no longer hunting with the rest or traveling in order to find safer surroundings. He is sitting on a golden throne instead. On his right is priest who receives messages from the Frog God, and on his left is the head of the police force who makes sure the members of the river town do what the King says. (The King, of course, is actually just following the orders of the Frog God.)
This is where the communist philosophy has its roots. The communists consider the King, the priest, and the policeman to be evil frauds. There is no Frog God, and the priest knows there is no Frog God, and the policeman knows there is no Frog God telling the King what to do, but they are in this scam together so they can force the inhabitants to bow to them, pay taxes, and keep them fat and happy.
According to the communists, this same scam has continued until today. The structures of society are based on rationalizations. According to modern statistics, for example, the world’s 500 richest people have as much wealth as the bottom one-half of the entire world’s population. Capitalist countries have no trouble defending this. In fact, capitalist countries can defend just about anything that keeps the rich rich and the rest of the world obedient and stupid.
Everything in communism revolves around social organization. The history of the world is the history of social organization and how it creates wealth and power. Since these social structures create massive injustice, the only way to create justice is to create a different social structure. These social structures are supposedly evolving into communism, but if we forget to do this, killing and civil war will help us remember.
When I was in school, the joke was a communist was a person who believed you could make a monkey into a maitre d’ by dressing him in a tuxedo.
What makes the communists so violent? Simple. Their “justice” can only be achieved by coercion. No one willingly gives up his religion, his constitution, and his personal property. The Frog Priests have done such a good job brainwashing everyone that the communists have to “re-educate” us to understand the truth. That is why the two great institutions of communism are prisons and schools, and why communist countries require dictators. People often like their gods better than the police.
(I will spare you an academic explanation of Marxist dialectic materialism, the five stages of economy, the substitution principle, etc. that you were taught if you went to public school. They sound as if they came from the Frog God.)
Conclusion (communism): In order to show you how communism works in America, consider the same example of the school payments used in the aforementioned conclusion on fascism:
A communist would argue that the ruling elite of America never intended to educate the average urban child. It’s all pretense. The rich send their children to any school they wish, and they do not wish educate the rest of America. They need six-dollar-an-hour workers to mow their lawns.
“A realist looks at the ocean and sees his own reflection. An idealist looks in a mirror and sees the ocean. A communist looks at a mirror and sees a mirror.” –John Weigel. My favorite communist college instructor.
So . . . which one of these is Barack Obama?
God willing, I will give you my answer in my next column. As a hint, I will forewarn you that I do not think he is either one; rather, I believe he is a shaman type who honestly believes he is guided by the inner light.
Surprised? After you read my next column, you won’t be.
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.