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Deconstructing Glenn Beck Lies

Commies and Nazis and Fascists, Oh My!

with 21 comments

It seems these days I get names being thrown at me a lot. I hear people calling progressives communists, and socialists fascists, I’ve even been called a Nazi for my atheism! I think that a lot of conservatives see words such as communist and socialist as insults, without really understanding what they mean. So that’s what this page is for – to explain the real ideology behind these various political movements, and to explain exactly how useless Glenn Beck is being when he accuses somebody of being a communist or a Nazi.

Communism

Communism is a far left socioeconomic/political system that advocates a stateless and classless society, as well as common ownership of property. The idea of communism was originally popularized by Karl Marx in the 1800s, though it had existed long before that time. The most famous form of communism is Marxism-Leninism, which is often cited as the type implemented in the Soviet Union. Many other countries have used communism, including China and Cuba. Though in many situations, communist governments have involved a small, powerful group of rulers, this is not necessarily the way a communist state is governed. Many believe that communism is still the best system, but has not been implemented correctly in the past. Communism distributes capital based on individual need.

Socialism

A lot of people seem to think that socialism and communism are more or less the same thing. This is absolutely untrue. The first thing that people should note is that many countries that have said they’re practicing socialism have in fact been practicing a form of communism. The two systems are similar in trying to do away with the ill effects caused by capitalism, however that’s where the major similarities end. First of all, socialism aims to have as many (usually, fairly elected) people in control of government as possible, while communism usually limits this to a small group. Another difference is that while communism is diametrically opposed to capitalism, socialists see capitalism as a potential part of a socialist society. Unlike communism, socialism distributes capital relative to an individual’s production efforts. Socialism is on the far left of the political spectrum.

Marxism

Marxism is a system of thought developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 19th century. Especially emphasized are the theories that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system will inevitably be superseded by a communist order and a classless society. Marxism stresses critiques of capitalism, and advocates the revolution of the working class. Many people simply use Marxism as a synonym for communism, however this is not entirely accurate. Marxism itself is simply a school of thought, which communist systems may adopt partially or entirely as their philosophy.

Fascism

Fascism is a political ideology that advocates totalitarian and authoritarian rule. Fascist governments forbid opposition groups and parties, and advocate a single-party system. War is viewed as a good and necessary thing in a fascist state, and nationalism is another big element of a fascist state. Fascism is considered to be a far-right ideology, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from communism and socialism. Many countries have had fascist dictatorships at some point, including Italy and Spain.

Nazism

Nazism is a unique brand of fascism. Though thrust into power by Adolf Hitler in 1932, the idea of it existed before then. Nazism asserted the dominance of the Aryan race, and inferiority or evil of Jews, homosexuals, and other minority groups. Though the word Nazi is a German portmanteau of “national socialist,” Nazi Germany did not practice orthodox socialism. Their economic system took on elements of socialism, capitalism, and communism, but mostly of fascism. Though Nazism mostly disappeared in the years after the Second World War, Neo-Nazi groups still exist today advocating similar or identical ideals.

Progressivism

Progressivism is a political attitude advocating change or reform. Progressivism is usually viewed in direct opposition to conservative principles. Progressivism can be cited for advances in women’s rights, proper working conditions, child labor restrictions, and much more. Progressivism is often considered a more moderate left option as opposed to radical solutions such as communism. My partner Wexler has an upcoming page on the progressive movement which I will link to when it’s done.

Secularism

Secularism is the belief that government and other public matters should exist separately from religion and religious beliefs. The majority of America’s founders were secularists, and this is why we have many quotes as to this point, as well as laws such as the Establishment Clause. Secularists can disagree about the finer details, such as the actual role of religion, but this is the real definition that you should be using.

If you would like to see a definition added to this page, please comment or email me at qu1n1an@glennbeckreport.com and I will do my best to expand the page as per public wishes.

Written by admin(Quinlan)

August 24th, 2010 at 11:09 am

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21 Responses to 'Commies and Nazis and Fascists, Oh My!'

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  1. Hello, there are a number of inaccuracies here that will unwittingly support the argument of morons like Beck. I’m not going to go into grave detail now but the main one is your description of socialism. Socialism is a mode of production, as is Communism. These are sometimes referred to as ideologies but an ideological socialist or Communist is someone who wants to establish this mode of production instead of capitalism. Socialism is a system wherein the means of production are owned in common, and distribution is according to WORK, not necessarily need. Communism(sometimes called the higher stage or level of socialism) occurs when goods are produced in such abundance that distribution can be according to need.

    Preserving capitalism is not a goal of a true socialist(a social democrat or progressive, maybe). A socialist understands the inherent contradictions in capitalism, commodities, money, etc., and realizes that in order to sustain socialism, society must move forward toward Communism. In short this means toward the elimination of money and commodities.

    This is important because jackasses like Beck like to point to examples of government regulation as “socialism”. Hardcore libertarians actually claim the US government is socialist. In fact, no amount of regulation, and in fact even the nationalization of many industries would not be socialism. Socialism begins with the abolishment of private property(means of production). More radical leftists like Trots, anarchists, or Left Communists insist that if certain other conditions aren’t met, then the society in question cannot be considered socialist at all. These views may be flawed for a number of reasons(they are rarely based on material reality), but the point is that socialism begins with the elimination of private property, not government regulation.

    This boils down to one of the crucial points that Becktards, Paultards, and even many liberals simply do not understand- there is no such thing as “the private sector” independent on one hand, and the government on the other. You simply cannot have capitalism in any form with the government, just as you cannot have any class-based society without some kind of state. This is based on a simple fact- you cannot exploit people unless you have some system of people with a monopoly on force to enforce such exploitation. People won’t work for free(like slaves) unless someone makes them. People won’t do some work for you for free unless you make them(feudalism). You can’t take peoples land so they are forced to work for companies, and then tell them everything they produce belongs to the owner who owes them no more than a wage far below the amount of value they produce(capitalism) unless you make them.

    The nature of capitalism necessitates a very complicated state structure which was/is necessary to build an infrastructure to support industry, regulate contracts and property relations, defend and open up markets, regulate trade, and provide services necessary for maintaining the working class so that capitalists don’t need to pay for it out of their own pocket.

    Thus, there simply is no capitalist la-la land without state regulation, and no amount of regulation can make a state socialist.

    It is also worth noting that while the USSR and several other states in history were socialist at one time(in the sense that private property was abolished), none of these states were ever able to abolish commodities or money. What doomed them was the inability to move away from the law of value and a massive political about face beginning in 1956 which led to the introduction of market mechanisms in economies not designed for it. An economy cannot be on one hand supposedly all planned, and on the other hand operating according to profit motive and the market on the other. The result was a continual economic decline beginning in 1960 in the case of the USSR, and the rise of the “second economy”. In the case of China it led to what amounts to a full restoration of capitalism.

    The description of Nazism is flawed as well. Fascist regimes have different ideologies- Nazism distinguishes itself mainly by its more or less unique racial policy. Most Fascist states did not necessarly have such strict ideas about purity and wished that the foreign populations they ruled would either see themselves as being part of the conquering nation(e.g. Croat fascists wanted Serbs in Croatia to call themselves Croats of Orthodox faith), or as loyal subject nations(Hungarian, Polish, Italian fascism).

    Nazism was no more socialist than any other fascist regime. Private property was protected and plutocrats made out like bandits. The state may have had the final word but let us not forget that: 1. The state is not separate from the private sector and must always regulate to some degree, and 2. In most nations the state has the ability to exert control over private businesses. For example, the US will not allow General Dynamics to sell weapons to North Korea. Lastly, industrialists and capitalists of Germany, like those of other fascist nations, were more than willing to sacrifice some theoretical freedom of action so long as their profits were secure and their asses protected from working class revolution.

  2. Shorter version, I think a major problem here is mixing ideologies with modes of production(like Communism). Yes, we can say that people who want socialism or Communism have a “socialist” ideology, but what they are advocating is a different mode of production. A Marxist-Leninist can be progressive and secularist. A fascist can be secularist and they sometimes have deluded themselves into believing that they are “socialist.” A capitalist can be progressive, fascist, or even Marxist(though it would be a contradiction) if we are speaking about ideologies.

  3. Ok I left off one thing that was really important, a real life example of how Beck uses misunderstandings of words like “socialism” to perpetrate his nonsense. In his book Arguing With Idiots(full title: A Complete Moron Arguing with Imaginary Idiots whose Arguments were made up by the Aforementioned Complete Moron – it was hard to fit on the cover), Beck refers to France as “socialist”. This is more or less entirely based on the fact that France is a welfare-state. France is not, however, socialist, nor has it ever been. (Too bad the Communist partisans trusted DeGualle and laid down their arms).

  4. This might be helpful:
    (Also, Check out Mein Kampf for Hitlers Propaganda essay)
    Bryan
    Identifiers: An Examination of Fascism
    Fascism Anyone? Laurence W. Britt
    The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2.

    For the purpose of this perspective, I will consider the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible.

    Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

    5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

    6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

    7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

    9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

    14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

    Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

    Note

    1. Defined as a “political movement or regime tending toward or imitating Fascism”—Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.

    References

    Andrews, Kevin. Greece in the Dark. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1980. Chabod, Frederico. A History of Italian Fascism. London: Weidenfeld, 1963. Cooper, Marc. Pinochet and Me. New York: Verso, 2001. Cornwell, John. Hitler as Pope. New York: Viking, 1999. de Figuerio, Antonio. Portugal—Fifty Years of Dictatorship. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1976. Eatwell, Roger. Fascism, A History. New York: Penguin, 1995. Fest, Joachim C. The Face of the Third Reich. New York: Pantheon, 1970. Gallo, Max. Mussolini’s Italy. New York: MacMillan, 1973. Kershaw, Ian. Hitler (two volumes). New York: Norton, 1999. Laqueur, Walter. Fascism, Past, Present, and Future. New York: Oxford, 1996. Papandreau, Andreas. Democracy at Gunpoint. New York: Penguin Books, 1971. Phillips, Peter. Censored 2001: 25 Years of Censored News. New York: Seven Stories. 2001. Sharp, M.E. Indonesia Beyond Suharto. Armonk, 1999. Verdugo, Patricia. Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death. Coral Gables, Florida: North-South Center Press, 2001. Yglesias, Jose. The Franco Years. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1977.

    Bryan LeinwandNo Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 5:36 am

  5. Hi, Bryan,

    Thanks for sending that in. Yes, the alarm bells do start going off when you start reading through the points and realize that right here in the Good Ol’ US of A we have those characteristics, every one of them, either 100% or in some lessor degree. Mostly towards the 100% end of the scale, I fear.

    Many of these symptoms have been around since WWII and come in and out of style but never really go away. At the moment, though, we have some things going on that seem to be irreversible. How do you fix Fox News? They are firmly entrenched with money, not even an advertiser boycott ended Beck’s show. They hid behind the protest of their First Amendment rights while just issuing a steady stream of partisan propaganda (some people who are less polite, like me, for example, like to refer to it as “bullshit”). I believe that Fox could be fixed by reinstating the Fairness Doctrine but if you thought you’d heard them howling for heads before, wait until somebody in government suggests that. You know, Obama could just DO that. He could instruct the FCC to reinstate the rule. It would be like pulling off a really sticky bandage. You do it fast, there’s a lot of pain for a short while, and then you’re done with it.

    If the Fairness Doctrine were reinstated, it would actually be good for business. Americans love a good catfight. So Fox makes an unfounded charge against somebody, they have to allow them to come on and tell the truth. A new fight erupts. Viewers would love it.

    Gotta run, thanks again for your comment, this one’s a gem. Very helpful (but spooky).

    Best,
    Wexler

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 5:51 am

  6. Outside of some kind of socialist revolution, Fox News, the Tea Party, the Austrian schoolers, and the rest of the morons who have been running America into the ground for the last 20 years are so aren’t really going to go away until they have finally trashed the economy and the nation’s reputation so badly that the US drops several more wrungs down the ladder of developed nations(it already has some of the word living standards among the top industrialized nations).

    Some Tea Partiers are well-to-do people already but as for the confused working class ones- starvation and total humiliation are the only things that could possibly wake them up. And yet many of them will still curse the “libruhls” with their last dying gasps.

    So as you can see, I’m quite optimistic!

  7. The problems are systemic.
    The bandaids are important, but we need to get to the core of the problem. Until then…..
    Bryan

    BTW, Is there a page to find ones posts?

    Bryan LeinwandNo Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 6:15 am

  8. I agree, but the core is really an ugly bucket of fish, isn’t it?

    I tried doing a website search of “Bryan Leinwand” and it didn’t find anything. Sorry, I guess we don’t have that yet. If we were to turn this into more of a discussion forum and use something like vBulletin, you could have a user login and all that stuff. To tell you the truth, I don’t know much about this topic, if any WordPress folks out there would like to help us get our registration system to actually mean something, I’d be all for hearing about it. Please drop me a line… wexler@glennbeckreport.com

    Thanks, Bryan.

    Wexler

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 6:51 am

  9. I guess I’m off the map. Always been that way. Immune to most social influences pretty much my whole life. Extremely vocal, but up till now, mostly face to face.
    BTW, a New Yorker now living in Amsterdam.

    Bryan LeinwandNo Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 7:15 am

  10. OOPS! you meant this site. Yes something to look into.
    Maybe you need something like the huff post system.
    Bryan

    Bryan LeinwandNo Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 7:18 am

  11. I szent you 4 mails BTW. No answer necessary. Just for a matter of interest.
    B.

    Bryan LeinwandNo Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 7:20 am

  12. It’s sort of like this: The rats have gotten into the biscuits again and there’s going to be no getting them out of the tin until they’re out of biscuits and onto eating each other.

    With any luck, we’ll be there soon when the USSC rules the 2008 election null and void because Steve King couldn’t find a picture of Obama’s baby footprint anywhere. They left their guns at home on 8.28 as per instructions of The Grand PooBah, but they’ll be locked and loaded next time fer shere!

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 9:06 pm

  13. Well, Arslan, you know those Frenchies aren’t sochi, they’s COMMIES. They’ve always been tight with the chi-comms, too.

    Oh, what’s that, just a minute… this just in, the nation of France saved our bacon during a period of the Revolutionary War when there wouldn’t have been anything to save if they hadn’t joined in. Oh, oh… what’s that I’m hearing? I’m being called a liiiiiiiiiiiiberal and saying I should lay off the history books and just blast the cheese-lovin’ surrender monkies.

    Back to you, Arslan.

    -Wexler

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    1 Sep 10 at 9:10 pm

  14. My experience is that when you start mentioning historical facts, Beck fans tune out while pretending to listen. You know they’re thinking: “Oh great, now the unhinged liberal is trying to complicate everything with facts.”

  15. On the topic of keeping track of posts, most blogging software allows you to put some kind of “recent comments” tracker on the side-bar of the main page. It isn’t a cure-all but it makes these discussions a lot easier to follow.

  16. I will search out a widget/plugin/thingamabob. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Wexler

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    2 Sep 10 at 5:54 am

  17. Arslan…

    You said…

    My experience is that when you start mentioning historical facts, Beck fans tune out while pretending to listen. You know they’re thinking: “Oh great, now the unhinged liberal is trying to complicate everything with facts.”

    Yes, or even worse, they swear up and down that Beck documents EVERYTHING he says. Wow, that’s a load of what comes out of the end of the horse that doesn’t whinny.

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    2 Sep 10 at 7:17 am

  18. If you want to see a good example of his fans going nuts, claiming that he provides evidence, and then being unable to defend his claims, you should have a look at this:

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/08/24/the-sick-farce-of-glenn-becks-restoring-honor-rally/#comments

    It’s long but it’s worth reading for LULZ. I appear under a modification of my name.

  19. Arslan…

    Ugh. I read as many of the posts as I could. The article was great. Did you write it? Or are you “beholder”?

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    3 Sep 10 at 8:11 am

  20. I post under Ruslan Amirkhanov. Ruslan is a variant of Arslan.

  21. Thanks for the clarification, I’ll go back and have a look. Did you see the post from “the beholder”?

    Wexler

    admin(Wexler)No Gravatar

    4 Sep 10 at 6:39 am

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