Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Hebrew Theology and The Divine Feminine

The desire some scholars have to imagine that the Ancient Israelite Religion originally had a separate Female Deity alongside YHWH does not actually create a Theology more genuinely Feminist then traditional Abrahamic Theology.  In my view needing separate Gods for Men and Women only reinforces the Gender Binary of Cisheteronomativity.

I much prefer the idea of a Creator who is All Genders.  And that is implied right in Genesis where it explains that Adam was made Male and Female because Adam was made in the Image and Likeness of God.  And having the rest of Scripture further emphasize this does not require imagining that the original Hebrew Text was changed or edited at all, the problems arise from how it's been interpreted and translated, and to some extent how the Hebrew Language itself has ben reinterpreted.

To this day Hebrew Mysticism associates the letter Heh with the Feminine, generally adding a Heh onto the end of a word makes it Grammatically Feminine.  But there are exceptions, there are some key Biblical words that are not considered inherently Feminine even though they end with a Heh, and a lot of these I feel have had their Femineity denied by theologians because of how often they are used to describe YHWH.  YHWH itself ends with a Heh as does it's shortened form Yah.  Elah and Eloah are forms  of El that end with a Heh yet don't get translated Goddess, Elohim is Eloah with a -im plural suffix added at the end. 

There are some schools of Trinitarian thought that seek to associate the Feminine aspects of The Godhead specifically with The Holy Spirit.  And one can see why with the Hebrew word for Spirit being usually used in it's Feminine form and the association of personified Wisdom with the Holy Spirit.  But I view this both Male and Female quality as ultimately applying to each Person of The Trinity.  Jesus is the Desire of Nations in Hosea where Desire is a grammatically Feminine word, and the Sun of Righteous which title Malachi writes in a Grammatically Feminine form.

The desire for an exclusively Female Goddess, either alongside or in-place of YHWH, sounds to me like it suites one particular kind of Feminism, a word that begins with a T and rhymes with Serf.

As someone who's view of their own Gender has become increasingly Fluid, a God who like me can be both is much more appealing.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Congregational Polity has lost it's original meaning.

Ready to Harvest is a YouTube Channel that makes educational videos about differences between Christian Denominations.  And overall I consider them pretty good and would recommend.  But there a couple doctrinal issues relevant to these differences that I feel he defined incorrectly.

The relevant one today is Congregational Polity, because every time that comes up in one of his videos he defines it as simply meaning Local Autonomy with no reference to the fact that Congregational Polity is supposed to be Democracy.  He's not alone in this, sometimes even Wikipedia seems to do this.  

Ready to Harvest doesn't mention his own denominational affiliation in these videos, but it's not that hard to figure out he is an Independent Baptist.  I know in the past some of the Independent Baptist Pastors I've listened to who are a lot less interested in discussing Denominational Disagreements politely will often when they discus the Authority of the Local Pastor sound more Episcopal then the Episcopalians.  They seem to believe the only way to became a Pastor is to be ordained by another Pastor and that his authority over the Congregation is supposed to be absolute, the idea even of removing a pastor because the flock no longer likes him seems anathema to them.

An emphasis on Local Autonomy was always part of Congregationalism, but it was intended to help protect the Democracy.  Because it has always been the argument of some that true Direct Democracy can only work on a local level, the wider a scale you apply it to the more you risk situations where what's the majority opinion over all may have no support in certain areas.  There are schools of thought in both Liberalism and Socialism that come to this conclusion in opposition to Centralism.  Even Rousseau saw it that way.

The proof that Congregationalism was originally about Democracy lies in simply looking at the English Civil War which happened when English Congregationalism in both it's Pedo-Baptist and Credo-Baptist forms was still young.   Because as I discussed in my Reformation and the Resurgence of Democracy post during that era positions on Clerical Polity and Civil Politics almost always most lined up exactly, the Episcopalians were the Monarchists the Presbyterians were the Parliamentarians and the Congregationalist Puritans and Baptists and Quakers were the ones trying to make England more Democratic.

Sometimes I feel like having the office of Pastor at all is the gateway drug to being functionally Episcopalian.  But it's important to acknowledge that there is a school of thought that suggests that there is a certain kind of Monarchy that is compatible with Democracy, that under the right circumstances a leader with true overwhelming popular support should be allowed to just do what he sees best for the people unchecked until he loses that popular support.  Even John Locke said some things supportive of that idea. In Game of Thrones that's exactly how the Wildings reconcile their rather Anarchist worldview with occasionally having a King Beyond The Wall.  

I'm not entirely unsympathetic to that since I have became a bit of an apologist for Oliver Cromwell who was a Congregationalist.  I also know some of the Founding Fathers wanted the President to be such a Popular Monarch, some of the lesser known Congregationalist influenced Federalist wanted the President to have even more authority but also elected by direct popular vote.    Hamilton himself however was an Episcopalian at his core so he wanted a President who was King in all but name and definitely not chosen by popular vote.

It goes back to how the word "Tyrant" didn't have the inherently negative connotations in Ancient Greece that it has to our ears, Tyrants were Popular Dictators and the term's evolution towards being inherently derogatory began with how it was used negatively by the exact same Philosophers who openly didn't like Democracy either like Plato, Aristotle and Xenophon.  This is also the reasoning behind support for Dictators among Marxist-Lenninists, I've seen Tankie YouTubers argue that Stalin wanted to step down actually but the people just wouldn't let him.

In that prior post I linked to above I also discussed potential documentation that the Church was still Congregational from a certain POV even past Nicaea deep into the 4th Century.  But in that case it's no longer direct democracy or localism but entirely lies in the the popular support certain regional Bishops had like Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem and the Arab Bishop Moses who was allied with Queen Mavia.

When you define Congregational Polity correctly it's interesting how the Civil Constitution of the Clergy passed by the French Revolutionary Government on July 12 1790 (and similar to ideas previously proposed by Claude Fauchet) if it was had been usefully enforced would have made The Gallican Church a Congregational Church.

The real reason why American Baptists in particular lost sight of the original point of Congregational Polity is indirectly tied to another issue that greatly effected the history of Baptists in America, the issue of Slavery and Abolitionism in the 19th Century.  

Baptists first came to America in the North while the Sothern Colonies were founded by Episcopalians with a very Neofeudalist ideology.  When the Southern Baptists broke off from the greater Baptist Community to support Slavery they inevitably also adopted the so called 'States Rights" ideology of the Southern Democrats that came with that.  Then once the Fugitive Slave Act came along the Anti-Slavery Northern Baptists had their own reason to emphasis local autonomy seeing that act as a violation of every local Church's Right to help runaway slaves if that's what their Conscience or The Holy Spirit demanded them to do.

But up North there was no conflict between that and Democracy, while down South supporting Slavery did conflict with Democracy because in many regions the majority of people, even the majority of professing Baptists, were the Slaves themselves.  Keeping them Enslaved was fundamentally Undemocratic.

Today the SBC is the largest Baptist Denomination in the world and largest Protestant denomination in the US, and many other Baptist groups descend from them, including I suspect the lineages of most Independent Baptist Churches inevitably go back to Churches that left the SBC.  I live in Racine WI a Northern State where when I was growing up 50% of the Independent Baptist Churches had a Pastor with a Southern Accent.

And that's how Baptist Pastors went from being Democrats to being Tyrants that don't even pretend to care about popular support.

Monday, April 10, 2023

The Symbiotic relationship between the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis.

Step Back History did a video once about the relationship between the KKK and Neo-Nazis that claimed up until the end of the Vietnam Era they were always two separate strains of White Supremacy that were if anything hostile to each.  And he even says that is partly because many Klansman were WW2 Veterans and WW2 Vets didn't like Nazis for obvious reasons.

Sure would be embarrassing for him if any research at all would have shown that the founder of post-War American Selfidentifying Nazism was a WW2 Veteran named George Lincoln Rockwell, and the first American Holocaust Denier was a WW2 Veteran named Eustace Mullins.  You see a lot of the kinds of people who become Soldiers have a mindset that actually makes them inclined to respect and even admire the enemies they fought against, it's more the people back home cheering on the war effort from the sidelines who buy into propaganda that completely dehumanizes the enemy.  And in general the Warrior mentality inherently feeds into Nazism.  So no fighting on the Allied side in WW2 didn't inoculate anyone agaisnt Nazism.

But even leaving that point aside, the tendency towards partnership between the Klan and the Nazis goes back to way before WW2 and thus certainly before Vietnam.

In some of my recent posts I've gotten into the sticky question of how to define Nazism and Fascism, but for this post I shall use the strictest definition for what makes a Nazi, before and during the War it refers to documented confirmed members of the NSDAP or derived organizations like the SA (Stormtroopers/Brown Shirts), SD and SS, and groups in other countries openly operating as extensions of that Party like the German American Bund. I have another definition of Nazi that essentially includes groups like the Klan, and well this post is part of arguing for that really, and even that is more narrow then how I use Fascist.

The main philosophical difference that does exist is the Klan favors Anglo-Israelism to reconcile their Racial Antisemitism and White Supremacy with believing in a Bible entirely about Semites being God's Chosen people.  While Nazis, if they are actively Christian at all, favor Marcionism.

Lothrop Stoddard was a known member of the Second Klan, he'd been exposed as one as early as 1923 and his books were required reading for Klan members.  His books about White Supremacist Social Darwinism alongside Madisen Grant's work were an important influence on Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of The Twentieth Century.  In 1939 and 1940 he was a in Nazi Germany as a journalist and received preferential treatment.

In the mid 1920s there was a Klan offshoot operating in northern Germany founded by American Immigrants to Germany called The Knights of The Fiery Cross.  Information about it online is mainly through old Newspaper Articles, there really should be more research into it.  But it seems there is known to have been members of this Klan who were also SA (the SA was temporarily officially banned for a time in the 20s).  However it is true that the main German Political Party it was tied to was the Germany Social Party founded and lead by Richard Kunze, but that party's platform was essentially the same thing as the Nazis and by the end of the 20s they like a lot of other rival Volk Nationalist Parties had been absorbed into the NSDAP including Kunze himself.

In the 1930s Britain had a Klan imitation group called the White Knights of Britain that operated out of the same building as the Nordic League.  The Nordic League was founded by agents of Alfred Rosenberg's Nordische Gesellschaft and Archibald Ramsay for the purpose of networking between different Nazi Sympathizing groups and politicians in Britain.  Oswald Mosley wasn't a member because he intended to model his Fascism more after Mussolini, but he did allow other BUF member to participate.  It had stronger ties to Arnold Leese's Imperial Fascist League which despite it's name actually hated Mussolini style Fascism and got into Street Fights with Mosley's Black Shirts.  The Nordic League was mainly lead by Archibald Maule Ramsay but the President of it's Liberty Restoration league front group was Lord Arthur Wellesley the 5th Duke of Wellington.

George W. Christians is another link between the Second Klan and actual Nazi Spies.

From 1938-1944 the House Un-American Activities Committee was lead by Maritn Dies and John E. Rankin, these two men were Klan sympathizers and possibly even members, even compared to most openly Racist Conservative Southern Democrats their ties to the Klan were uniquely strong.  The KKK even sent a letter to the Committee informing them of how it had their full support.

This form of the Committee was already primarily doing what we would later call McCarthyism, what nominal effort it did put into investigating Nazi sympathizers was half hearted and came to naught.  Instead it's fixation on Communists resulted in it going after the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, they considered being anti-Nazi the same as being Communist.

Theodore G. Bilbo was an admitted KKK member and one of the few openly Racist Southern Democratic Senators who openly opposed entry into WW2.  He was also closely associated with Earnest Sevier Cox co-founder of the Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America and future ally of Post-War SS survivors like Leers and even sent a letter of support to George Lincoln Rockwell.

If you go to the Wikipedia Page for the man who was Grand Wizard of the KKK during WW2 James A. Colescott, it will talk about how the Kan had fought alongside Nazi Sympathizers in Race Riots like the one in Detroit in 1943. 

Tyler Kent the American Ambassador to Britain who committed Treason helping Archibald Ramsay spy for the Nazis, went on to work for a KKK linked Newspaper in Florida.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Ecofascism is a Problematic term.

The problem with Ecofascism discourse is that we use the term Ecofascism to describe two distinctly different bad Environmentalist ideologies.  Only one of which was ever actually a part of any Fascist movement and that was a specific sub-type of Fascism that some do argue doesn't really qualify.  They only have in common that they're Malthusian.

The first is what should really be called Eco-Nazism, the explicitly White Supremacist Environmentalism of Madisen Grant and other conservationists who were close to Teddy Roosevelt who in turn had a strong influence on Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg.  

Interestingly what a certain YouTube Channel keeps calling "Fossil Fascism" is also actually Nazism and also has it's roots in the influence American White Supremacists held over German Nazism principally in their idolization of Henry Ford who's International Jew essays were translated into German and very popular over there in the early 1920s.

The other "Ecofascism" is really Eco-Nihilism or Eco-Misanthropy, this is the bad Environmentalism sometimes believed by people who think they qualify as Leftists as well as what certain people keep falsely accusing Degrowth of being a disguised version of.

The problem with associating that second ideology with Fascism is that Fascism is a fundamentally Anti--Nihilist and Pro-Human worldview.  Mussolini style Fascism doesn't tend toward being Environmentalist at all but when they are it's a from predicated on belief in Man's Dominion over Nature.

And the thing is even among Nazis it has become far more common for the Far Right to believe we actually have a declining birthrate problem.  The Overpopulation delusion has become almost exclusively the delusion of Liberals and Pseudo-Leftists.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Socialism and Third Positions

Arguing that the Socio-Economic aspects of the ideologies of Italian Fascism and the NSDAP legitimately qualify as types of Socialism is usually done for the purpose of condemning Socialism, (or more rarely to defend Fascism).  I however am a Socialist who is still willing to say not all Socialisms are good.

In my Fascism is Heroarchy post on my main blog I was talking about the core Psychology of Fascism in a way that mostly transcends any actual policies.  That definition of Fascism can apply to more than just the kinds of Socialism I shall define as Third Positions here but can also manifest as Capitalist like in the fiction of Ayn Rand or among Marxists like what Stalinism eventually became.

People arguing against the equation of Fascism with Socialism can’t agree on how.  To Progressive Liberals it’s more about proving Progressive Liberalism isn’t Fascist since Conservatives think Progressive Liberalism is Socialism.  And then Breadtubers don’t just want to distinguish their Socialism from Fascism but want to make Fascism somehow a type of Capitalism.

And then of course Conservatives and Libertarians and whatever TIK is don’t actually understand what is and isn’t Socialist about any kind of Socialism because they just think it's anytime the Government does anything.  

At its core Socialism originally just meant Collectivism with the goal of making Society more Equitable, and generally involved critiquing Capitalism with a forward rather than backward looking perspective.  It was always a much broader concept than Communism.  Marx himself wrote about how he prefers to use the term Communism because "respectable "Socialism had become associated with "Middle Class" tendencies he didn't like.  I'm going to argue that those Middle Class Socialisms of the 19th Century are the Grandparents of National Socialism and Fascism.

Today self described Socialists with a notable platform are mostly people identifying as either Marxist or Anarchist.  The thing is as much as Marxism and Anarchism seem like such diametrically different kinds of Socialism in that context, they actually have two maybe three things in common that were not Universal among those called Socialists in the 19th Century, or even all that common in the first half of that century.

First is that even Anarchists are Marxists in the sense that a “Marxist Reading” of a fictional story is about how much it can be interpreted as calling for Class Warfare.  Anarchists also believe the goal of Communism is a Classless Society, since Class is also an unjust hierarchy.  So Marxists and Anarchists are both supposed to oppose Class Collaboration.  Class based rhetoric is often associated with Marxism first because Marxism is strictly speaking not a political ideology at all but an analysis of History as being driven by Class Struggle, Anarchist philosophers mostly agree with the Marxist analysis of history even if they sometimes try to be less strictly economically determinist about it.

Now Class Collaboration is not about denying the lower classes have it bad and need to be treated better.  But they see the answer to Class Conflict as reconciliation rather than abolition.  Class Collaboration is often associated with Nationalist rather than Internationalist forms of Socialism, but H.G. Wells' political ideology was absolutely a Globalist Class Collaborationist Socialism.

The classic silent film Metropolis is one people love to give their Marxist readings of, but the ending of the film is in fact Class Collaboration with the protagonist becoming the mediator between the owners and the workers.  Most forms of Class Collaboration intend the mediator to be The State, but Fascist Class Collaboration sees the State as principally embodied in a Strongman Leader.  That’s the real reason Metropolis is part of the Caligari to Hitler thesis.

It’s possible to see a mild Statist Class Collaborationism is Keynesian Liberalism and Social Democracy.  But to me a true Class Collaborationist Socialism has to go further than that, it still sees society as in need of massive restructuring, not merely tweaked by Social Safety Nets and allowing Unions to exist.

However I also feel an Anarchist Class Collaborationism existed in the Anarcho-Mutualism of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.  Today Proudhon’s legacy is fought over between Anarcho-Capitalists and Anarcho-Communists but in my view both should disown him for his Misogyny and Anti-Semitism (the contemporary Frenchman who Libertarian-Communists should claim descent from is Joseph Dejacque).  He was also a direct influence on French Proto-Fascism via both Georges Sorel and Charles Maurass’s Integral Nationalism (Georges Valois then synthesized those two ideologies while still citing Proudhon himself), and on Nazism via Houston Stewart Chamberlain.  Proudhonian Anarchism is also probably what Tolkien meant when he described himself as an Anarchist but I’m not sure he knew that.

Sadly many of the people called Christian Socialists in the 19th Century were a type of Class Collaborationist.  The Denominationally more High Church Types wanted the Institutional Church of wherever they were to be the mediator.  But others took a more Christianized form of Proudhonian Mutualism sometimes called the "Community of Love".  Thing is Jesus was clear The Rich can't enter His Community till they are no longer Rich.

The second is that ultimately Marxists are also Anarchists, they also see the long term goal of Communism as a Stateless Society. Communists who are considered Anarchists in contrast to Marxists simply have no Faith in the Marxist belief that the State will wither away on its own, and also tend to have a very “Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely” attitude towards the very concept of trying to use the State to achieve Socialist aims.

This is often the core of arguing Fascism can’t be a kind of Socialism. Anarchists and Marxists are so used to arguing with each other about when the State should be abolished that they have lost the ability to imagine a Socialism that says it shouldn’t be at all.  

However almost all Pre-Marx Secular Socialists saw the State as necessary, as well as Louis Blanc in France who was the first person to criticize Capitalism by that name and was an apologist for the Jacobin dictatorship (his ideas also already contain the gist of Corporatism).  And then contemporary with Marx in his own country there was Ferdinand Lassalle who was a very vocal Statist, but I won’t accuse Lassalle of Class Collaborationism.  In England Henry Hyndman and the Fabian Socialists including H.G. Wells were also Statist Socialists.

The third is that Marxists and Anarchists are also generally Internationalist rather than Nationalist.  But there is some nuance here as there is a type of Nationalism that is ultimately compatible with Internationalism, Nationalist Resistance/Liberation movements for Colonized and Marginalized peoples.  And then there’s National Bolshevism which originally referred to Nationalists who saw themselves as still qualifying as Marxist-Lenninists before it became a generic insult for any Communist who seems Socially Conservative on some issues.

There are a lot of different kinds of Nationalism just based on how you define what makes a Nation.  The Volkish Nationalism of the NSDAP as well as the Christian Identity Anglo-Israelism of certain American White Nationalists are both Nationalisms where Citizenship is determined by Biological Race, but there are others that define it by more abstract cultural factors.  The more exclusivist the Nationalism is the more inherently Reactionary it will be.  But there’s also the matter of scale, people assume all Nationalists oppose the European Union because of its conflict with the Nationalism of more specific European countries, but there is also a Paneuropean Nationalism that supports the E.U. or at least forming something like it, Fascists and Nazis were considering Paneurpeanism already even before WW2 and today the E.U. is supported by Richard Spencer.

During the 19th Century Nationalism was considered an inherently Left Wing ideology even though tensions between Nationalists like Mazzini and Marxists were always there, and yes even Mazzini was sometimes considered a Socialist.  The formation of the Second International in 1889 was when mainstream Marxism said Nationalism shouldn’t be tolerated anymore.

On all three of these I agree with Marxists and Anarchists which is why I feel I qualify as a Communist, yet on where Marxists and Anarchists disagree with each other I'm still a bit torn between them.

The first two of the three things I just talked about are the core of what a Third Positionist Socio-Economic ideology breaks with Marxism and Anarchism on, and even then needs to be combined with the Heroarchy to fully qualify as either Nazi or Fascist.  The third is the one that’s optional.

But most Breadtubers feel the opposite, because they’re obsessed with the flimsy Palingenetic Ultranationalism thesis and really want to insist that Fascists are just taking a modified Capitalist position on Economics, while also accusing Anti-Government Conservatives and Libertarians of being Fascist.  The same Breadtubers will often base much of their criticism of Capitalism on saying it’s a relatively new development in Human history so can’t actually be Human nature.  If Capitalism is indeed New in the grand scheme of things then it is absolutely possible to be Anti-Capitalist in a Reactionary way.  But not even all Fascists see themselves as Reactionary, Nazism often does, but proper Mussolini and Mosley style Fascists did not.

My problem with treating Nationalism (or some other Exclusivist Identitarianism) as the most nonnegotiable characteristic of Fascism is that it precludes the possibility of a Globalist Fascism.  Now I don’t think a truly Globalist Nazism is possible (unless Extraterrestrials actually started migrating to Earth, then you could have an NSTAP), but again H.G. Wells' ideology had both my requirements to be an Economic Third Position, it just lacks the Heroarchy.  In Modern Hero Myth making Heroes who save and/or unite the entire World not just one tribe are increasingly becoming the standard.  So the pieces are already in place for a Globalist Fascism.  A government doesn’t need to be based on any specific bigotry to be authoritarian and oppressive. 

Mussolini’s Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought by A. James Gregor is a very interesting and well researched book.  It's early chapters document how the Italian Fascist ideology of Mussolini and Giovani Gentile organically evolved organically out of developments happening in Italy in the late 19th Century, where Mazzini style Nationalism and Syndicalism (which in Italy was already using the language and imagery of the Roman Fascio) were influencing each other in an increasingly fully symbiotic relationship while also taking influence from Sorel.

I’m someone who is interested in the differences between Fascism in the sense Mussolini intended and Nazism.  It has been common, (including by me earlier in this post and other recent ones I’ve made) to use Fascism as the umbrella term and National Socialism (what Nazi is short for) as the more specific subtype.  But this book has made me consider that maybe they should be switched, because it has quotes where the term “National Socialism” is used by Italian Proto-Fascists before it ever was in Germany in 1918, including by Mussolini himself.

Indeed there were a lot of groups popping up calling themselves National Socialist during this era, not all of them even fit the definition I’ve given for Third Positionist at all.  But another one that could be considered a Third Position was the National Socialist Party founded in Britain in 1916 by Henry Hyndman.  Hyndman was like Mussolini in how he left the Socialist Party he was previously in because he supported WW1.  But he was also a promoter of Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories related to the Second Boer War, and after the Russian Revolution he became very Anti-Bolshevik.

The first use of National Socialism in Germany predates the founding of the party Hitler would later take over and rename adding that term to it.  It was in late 1918 associated with the Anti-Bolshevik league.  So in Germany National Socialism was always somewhat fundamentally reactionary, a reaction to the Russian Revolution.  But again the core original definition of Socialism can still apply to a reactionary viewpoint, because reactionaries are not actually backward looking but doing in someway the opposite of the progressives they're reacting to.  

Within the NSDAP there was always a tension between those who took the Socialism part seriously like Feder and the Strassers, and the growing influence of German Industrialists who were financing the Party.  Hitler himself was actually more of a follower than a leader as far as this tension went, all he really cared about was Hating the Jews and restoring Germany’s “Heroic” Pride.  

The Prussian Socialism of Oswald Spengler was another German Third Position.

France had Fascist movements emerge organically and independently of simply being influenced by Germany and Italy. In addition to Valois there was the Neosocialism movement, and in Belgium Henry De Man came from the same Belgian Socialist Party that produced key leaders of the Second International.

After the War new Third Positions continued to emerge.  Juan Peron in Argentina was perhaps the most successful implementation of Mussolini style Fascism.  In The Middle East we had Nasser in Egypt, Baathism in Syria and Iraq and then the Fatah Party in Palestine.  Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalism was originally a Third Positionist ideology but like the NSDAP gave way to Capitalist influence in Taiwan over time.  Then Juche and Dengism are both functionally Third Positionist even though they nominally still claim to be Communists.

Saying there is no true Socialism in National Socialism because they disagree with us on Class and The State and Nationalism is a blatant No True Scotsman Argument that a certain type of the Internet Reactionaries we’re arguing with have a long history of not tolerating from Christian Apologists in which context Secular Leftists agree.  So doing the same thing when it comes to Socialism isn’t a good look.

Communism/Communist is the term that applies to Marxists and Kopropkin style Anarchists and other Socialists who take the correct position on Class Warfare rather then any Third Position.  But even Communism can be corrupted by Bad Actors.  We need to stop concerning ourselves with whether any given Dictator was a true Socialist or Communist and instead argue their moral, ethical and practical failings don’t mean Socialism and Communism can’t work at all.

Likewise a lot of Internet Leftists base their responses to calling Mussolini or Hitler Socialist on defining them based on what they did rather then anything said in their ideological Manifestos, and the problem is that's not how defining ideologies work.  Anarchists, non Leninist Marxists and Trotskyists feel the USSR also failed to actually be Socialist practice, but few would deny that Leninism is a Socialist, Communist and Marxist ideology.  The USSR also wound up crushing Unions when Unions become inconvenient for them.

A given regime's failure to do what it was supposed to may or may not be a valid argument against an Ideology being correct, but it isn't an excuse to redefine one.

Saying "the term Privatization was coined to describe what the Nazis did" doesn't change the fact that the Privatizations the Nazis did were fake because of all the strings attached.  The people who support Privatization for Liberal/Capitalist reasons would look at that as functionally indistinguishable from Nationalization even if it wasn't done by the one government absolutely no one wants to be compared to.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Left was Anti-War even during the lead up to WW2 (and the Right was not)

At Least in the English speaking world.

Emma Goldman, the standard-bearer of Anarchism in the United States during the first decades of the 20th Century (who was also Jewish and often a target of Judea-Bolshevik conspiracy theorists) said that while she despised both Hitler and Stalin she would not support a War again either.  The same goes for Paul Goodman.  Another Anarchist who's Anti-Fascist credential are unquestionable is Dorothy Day, she continued to stand by her Pacifist principals even after Pearl Harbor.

W. E. B. Du Bois, the leading Left Wing Black Civil Rights leader from the end of the 19th Century until the rise of MLK was also very vocal about opposing U.S. involvement in WW2.

The only person in either house of Congress who refused to vote in favor of the Declaration of War following Pearl Harbor was Jeannette Rankin, she was also a vital leader of the Suffragette movement being the first Woman elected to Congress ever.  And at this time she had recently regained her seat specifically to remove an actual Nazi sympathizer Jacob Thorkelson.

Another Left Wing Isolationist in Congress was Robert m. La Follette Jr who was carrying on the mantle of his father was one of the most Progressive U.S. Senators of all time.  He was the Congressman removed from his seat by Joseph McCarthy who explicitly used Follette’s Pacifism against him the same way war loving Republicans do today.  Another Wisconsin Progressive enemy of McCarthy who was Anti-War was Alexander Wiley who voted for vital Civil Rights Legislation.

Burton K. Wheeler a Northern Democrat who was La Follette Sr.'s Vice Presidential Candidate was the leader of the Non Interventionist Wing of the Democratic Party while also being an ardent New Deal supporter.  Accusations of Anti-Semitism were made against him but they were unfounded.  Another Northern Democrat Anti-Interventionist was David I. Walsh who was one of the very few Senators to vote against the Immigration Acts of 1924, the most Anti-Nazi thing you could do in 1924.

The War was supported early on by the British Labor Party, but it was Center-Left not actually Left.  They were always just Pro-Union Liberals like the Democrats. But even some Labor members stuck to their Pacifism like George Lansbury.

But I haven’t mentioned any Marxists yet and that’s where this shall get a bit complicated.

From the aftermath of the Russian Revolution through most of The Cold War generally speaking political Parties with Communist in the name were either taking their marching orders from Moscow or at least considered themselves some other type of Bolshevik/Leninist (like Trotskyist or Right Opposition).  While parties with Socialist in the name were not Leninist but absolutely were still Marxists (except the SPD in Germany which was always more Lasallian), they were the Mensheviks, the Luxemburgists, Kautskyists or Bernsteinists of their countries.  Internally everyone in these parties understood they support both of those words, but for branding purposes you only lead with "I’m a Communist” if you wanted to be seen as a Bolshevik.

So Communist Parties were incapable of having ideologically pure positions on Foreign Policy, their position on what their countries Foreign Policy towards Nazi Germany should be changed every time Nazi Germany’s relationship with the U.S.S.R. changed, even Foster and Browder in-spite of their many disagreements still agreed on following Stalin's line on Foreign Policy.  As far as the central claim of the title of this post goes which really refers to different time periods depending on the country, their most Anti-War period was after the War started in Europe but before it had for the U.S.  In fact the only U.S. Presidential Election where this was even kind of a divisive issue was 1940 during this period.  

However the Socialist Party of Great Britain and the Socialist Party of Canada were each consistently Anti-War, up to a certain point at least.  And the Socialist Party of America under the leadership of Norman Thomas was Anti-War up until Pearl Harbor and some members still were even after.   And the World Socialist Party of the United States was Anti-War at this time as well.

And here’s the thing, both Left Wing Pacifists like Norman Thomas and Conservative Pacifists like Robert Taft were among the few actually calling out and condemning the Internment of Japanese citizens at the time.  Those who modern Leftists keep ignorantly condemning for their lack of enthusiasm to oppose Racist Tyranny overseas were the ones actually standing up to Racist Tyranny at home. 

Likewise Republican Isolationists like Robert Taft and Hamilton Fish were still among the leading advocates in Congress for Anti-Lynching Legislation.  While it was Anti-Isolationist Conservatives like Republican James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr..and the Southern Democrats lead by Harry F. Bird, James F. Byrnes and Tom Connally who were the ones opposing Anti-Lynching legislation on “States Rights” grounds.  

Yes you heard that right, most of those notorious Racist Southern Democrats actually supported Roosevelt's Foreign Policy, John E. Rankin went further being one of the few Southern Democrats interested in Anti-Asian Racism he was enthusiastic to go to war with Japan and wanted even more Japanese Americans rounded up into camps, and he was also Anti-Semitic.  Hugo Black was a known KKK member who also supported the War while opposing Anti-Lynching Legislation.  FDR's friend Joseph Daniels was actually among the Red Shirts who did Fascism before anyone in Europe did in 1898. There were some exceptions like Ellison D. Smith and Theodore G. Bilbo but they were the weird ones, actually Robert Rice Reynolds was the only Southern Senator to vote against Lend-Lease and only he and John Overton voted agaisnt repealing the Arms Embargo.  

The Enemy being undeniably Evil is not an excuse to be a War Monger, it wasn’t for Saddam and it shouldn’t have been for Adolf.  The Holocaust could have been avoided peacefully if all the allied countries had welcomed Jewish Refugees like Norman Thomas wanted them to.

Obviously there were people who opposed the War because they liked Hitler, they were a larger percentage of the Anti-War movement in Britain then they were in the U.S.  But I’m less concerned about weirdos with a fetish for a foreign dictator than I am the more homegrown American versions of what Nazism and Fascism are.  

War tends to be good for Fascism even War against foreign Fascists because at its core Fascism is the cult of Heroism and placing your national pride in your military prowess.  Douglas McArthur and George Patton were American WW2 Generals who it’s not even controversial anymore to say had Fascists tendencies themselves (it is still a bit more controversial to acknowledge the Fascist tendencies of Charles DeGaulle).  And then some younger WW2 veterans went on to found post War American Neo-Nazism, George Lincoln Rockwell, Eustace Mullins and Bryant Bowles, lots of WW2 vets were in the 3rd and 4th Klans, and Strom Thurman was a WW2 vet as well.

While I mentioned some British Socialists above it is chiefly in the context of the U.S. that I hold Pacifist position to have been correct, things are different for those on the same continent as the villains in question.  

Lots of factors were working agaisnt Nazi Germany no single one is enough to remove to make them win not even the U.S.'s involvement.  So it wasn't worth how it actually helped homegrown Nazism and enabled the CIA to recruit experienced Nazis, and build the Gehlen Organization.  The truth is it's precisely because the U.S. entered the War that in the long term the Nazis won.

And Japan's crimes were no worse then Western Colonial Powers, so I'm not at all convinced they were the greater evil in Asia when you look at how opposing them made us allies with Chiang Kai-shek, his ideology actually had more in common with Fascism and Nazism then what the Japanese were doing.  Indeed if it weren't for a change in policy towards the Communists in 1937 that happened largely against Chiang Kai-shek's will the Nazis would have kept supporting him over the Japanese.  Also the Capitalist Military Industrial Complex had been wanting a War between the U.S. and Japan over the Pacific since before WWI.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Plato and Fascism

A lot of people have talked about how Plato can be considered a Proto-Fascist, and I somewhat agree but there is nuance to this that I feel needs to be acknowledged.

Plato’s discussion of the “Five Regimes” in Republic Books VIII-IX uses most Greek Political terms with different meanings then Aristotle used them, (with Aristotle’s meanings usually being the default meanings used by modern scholars).  Plato’s Five Regimes were Aristocracy which was how things should be in his view, Timocracy which was a corruption but still preferable to any state Athens was in during Classical Antiquity, Oligarchy, Democracy and Tyranny.

While you can define Plato’s Aristocracy as Fascist based on which traits of the Philosophy of Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile one prioritizes in deciding what the defining traits of Fascism are, in practice Mussolini’s regime was more Timocracy and Nazism was definitely more Timocracy.  But again I’m not referring to Aristotle’s definition of Timocracy (land ownership as basis of citizenship) which the Wikipedia page for Timocracy cites as the default.  I’m gonna quote a sentence from Wikipedia’s page for Plato’s Republic. “In a timocracy, governors will apply great effort in gymnastics and the arts of war, as well as the virtue that pertains to them, that of courage.” This definition for Timocracy is also essentially a part of what I meant by Heroarchy in a recent post I made on my main blog.

While on this subject I’d like to point out that some YouTube criticism of the Philosopher King concept is kind of missing the point.  Plato was not arguing that the kinds of people doing Philosophy as their profession in then contemporary Athens are inherently the kinds of people best fit the rule. He’s going back to the core Etymology of Philosopher to say that an ideal ruler should be bred, raised and trained their whole life from birth to be a Wise and Loving King. Think about the A Song of Fire and Ice Books and why Varys believes Young Griff will be an ideal King, that’s what Plato means by a Philosopher King.  I’m not pointing this out to defend the idea, I think it is misguided especially when combined with the other aspects of how Plato’s Aristocracy is supposed to work, but I do feel it’s important to know what he meant.

Another thing people are often confused by is how Plato speaks about the Five Regimes as a sequence as if that’s what history especially in Athens has demonstrated when it doesn’t fit our understanding of the history of Athenian Democracy. But the key is that Plato and most Athenians in his time believed things about the history of Athens modern Historians know are mostly not true.  Part of the whole premise of Timaeus-Critias is that it’s claiming Athens was this Ideal Aristocracy in the very distant past, that’s the Athens that defeated Atlantis and is probably meant to correlate to the Golden-Silver ages of Greek Mythology.  And then I would guess that the Timocracy period of Athens was supposed to be the Athens of the Heroic Age, the Athens of Theseus, then the Oligarchy was the Athens of Draco, and then the tension between between Democracy and Tyranny was how Plato saw the Classical period of Athens he was living.

But in the long term Platonism isn’t just defined by Plato himself.  One theory I’ve entertained on this blog already is that The Laws was maybe not an authentic writing of Plato but a Pythagorean Pseudepigrapha.  The Laws does seem to have a similar yet different underlying Political ideology to it from The Republic, so can The Laws be considered more of a Timocracy?  The Gymnasium having an important status in the center of The City alongside The Temple of Zeus is one clue that it could be thought of that way.

When people seek to trace the roots of Fascism back to Ancient Greece Plato isn’t the only source, they also look to Sparta, but more specifically Sparta as it was imagined by Athenian Laocnophiles.  Plato and Aristotle are often placed among those but they both did have criticisms of Sparta, even in The Laws where the unnamed Athenian blames Sparta for all the Gay stuff he hates.  But I do think what both Plato and Aristotle’s definitions of Timocracy have in common is that they were on some level thinking of Sparta.  The principal true unqualified Athenian Laconophile was Xenophon.  Xenophon also wrote the Anabasis which very much fits into the kind of Militaristic Hero Myths I talked about in the Heroarchy post, and perhaps in his Cyropaedia he laid the seed for the Great Man Theory of History since it would be the first Greek History text to be written as a Biography.

Middle Platonism is in my view the actually most influential period of Platonism.  It was during this period that the Greek Church Fathers started allowing Platonist ideas to influence them and lead them away from the generally more Stoic perspective of The New Testament.  Marcion and other founders of Gnosticism were a product of this period and Marcionism was definitely an influence on Nazism.  And then there’s Plutarch, again since I see a symbiotic relationship between the Great Many Theory and Fascism it’s notable that Plutarch was perhaps unintentionally a key influence on that theory, his most well known work is The Parallel Lives, and many don’t know this but before him writing history in the form of Biographies was not the standard.  In particular his Biography of Alexander can at points seem like Thomas Carlyle’s Heroarchy thesis almost fully formed.  I don’t know if smoking gun proof Carlyle was a fan of Plutarch exists, but I would be surprised if he was not.  Plutarch also had a lot of interest in Sparta.

I feel like Late Antiquity and Early Medieval Christianity is the closest thing we’ve had to a real life attempt to implement Plato’s Aristocracy, with The Emperor as the Philosopher King and The Monastic Church itself as the Guardians.  But perhaps a more Secular Version of it would be the “Socialism” of H.G. Wells in his non Fiction writings.

Plato’s definition of Oligarchy applies pretty well to Conservative Capitalism while his definition of Democracy applies to both Liberal Capitalism in its various forms and many forms of Socialism.  While Tyranny is probably how Plato would view Marxist-Lennist Regimes.