Henry Ford, antisemitism, and the American Right

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Londoner, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Londoner
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    Londoner Gold Member

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    I'm hoping we can discuss this dispassionately.

    Does anyone know when and why the Right pushed antisemitism from the party's mainstream into the neo-nazi fringe?

    Save Pat Buchanan, who is sympathetic to the Holocaust Denial movement, one can no longer find vocal antisemitism on the Right.

    The old American Right was filled with a small, but very vocal coalition of people who did not trust Jews or Israel. I'm talking about the days when Jews were not allowed into country clubs. I'm talking about the days of Henry Ford.

    Why are so many on the Right now afraid to be openly antisemitic and openly anti-Israel? This is not a rhetorical question or snarky potshot designed to call people on the Right closet antisemites -- I realize that the majority of people on the Right today are not antisemitic.

    Can anyone explain how and why the party evolved away from antisemitism?

    I'm trying to figure out if Cold War anti-Communism -- which invested heavily in Israel as a geopolitical asset -- was the reason for the shift. That is, once the party needed Israel to fulfill its visionary globalism (where Washington emerged as the chief facilitator and benefactor of the global market system), it was forced to keep antisemitism alive only on the margins, where it could still be used to agitate the base, e.g., Nixon's Liberal Jewish Media. [Of course, the true rightwing antisemite will tell you that Washington is Israel's puppet, not the other way around. They think the world is secretly run by a conspiracy of soulless Jewish bankers (-this is exactly what the Medieval Church and then Hitler said). Interestingly, you will not see the mainstream right denounce this conspiracy because it is candy for their uneducated base, who, in exchange for their electoral support, are given a political outlet for hating gays, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, blacks, etc., etc.]

    **I'm assuming people here are familiar with European antisemitism, and the way Jews were seen as Christ killers who were a plague on Christian culture. The Medieval church was ferociously anti-Jewish. Jews were literally constructed as agents of the devil because they rejected Jesus' revelation. Antisemitism in Europe calcified into a commonsense banality that affected generations of Christians. Christians in America were not immune to this.
     
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  2. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    I'm still trying to figure out how the democrat party pushed their racism from the party's mainstream to the lunatic racist fringe. Al Gore's father, senator Al Gore was a segregationist. Democrat senator Harry Byrd who died last year was some sort of grand kleagle in the KKK and used the "N" word in public during his entire career.
     
  3. Londoner
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    Londoner Gold Member

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    I'm not sure there is still a racist fringe on the Left -- given that the Civil Rights Movement chased them all into the arms of the Right.

    I've always wondered if FDR got in bed with the devil to pass the New Deal in the same way Goldwater, Nixon, and Wallace used the Southern Strategy to bring the conservatives out of their postwar wilderness.

    Do you understand the complex ways antisemitism grew out of Christian European Culture? [And no, I'm no suggesting Christianity is responsible for the Holocaust, only trying to point out the Church's deep history of antisemitism and the ways in which in contributed to a kind of mainstream European antisemitism. Certainly the party of religion in the USA was not immune to this. Antisemitism thrived in America until the 60s social movements started institutionalizing tolerance]
     
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  4. jgarden
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    jgarden Senior Member

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    It may come as a surprise, but US Administrations, both Democrat and Republican remainded somewhat "aloof" from Israel until the 1960's because they feared further alienating the Mid-East, oil-producing nations.

    From a security, economic and geo-political point of view, close ties with Israel has become an international "liability!"

    Israel ranks 15th in the 2010 Human Development Index (ahead of Finland, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom), but it is still the #1 recipient of US foreign aid. Israel has the most powerful military in the region and has become one of the world's largest weapons producers.

    Perhaps "Londoner" would care to defend Israel's moral position on the world stage, when it was all too willing sell weapons to "apartheid" South Africa, which in turn used them against its own black citizens!
     
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  5. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Check your premise....It's still a part of the mainstream.

    Check in on their attitudes toward people like Clarence Thomas and J.C. Watts to get your reality check.
     
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  6. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Id love to know when anti semetism has ever been part of the right.

    It's shocking how we can be for treating people equally regardless of race or ethnicity and be criticized for that and yet somehow we are racist. makes no sense to me.
     
  7. Londoner
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    Londoner Gold Member

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    If you look at the money the USA poured into Israel and Saudi Arabia, especially during the Cold War, it might be hard to think of them as separate from America. They are client states who would not exist in their present form without US financial and military support.

    Surely, you've seen the official record of the Iran-Contra Affair? Israel was integral to Reagan funneling weapons to Iran. Israel was very much a reflex of America's postwar ascendancy to global superpower, not least because middle eastern oil was/is the primary engine of wealth that fuels the system. What is a superpower? It is the thing which uses its military and economic power to run the globe according to its interests. This doesn't make America evil any more than the British Empire was evil. If we didn't do it, somebody else would. And don't kid yourself. When you run the globe, you form nasty coalitions with whoever is useful -- you spill blood when you have to spill blood.

    Mother England was in India for the salt, which was the 19th century equivalent of oil. Of course she said she was "civilizing the world", and the homelanders bought it hook-line-&-sinker as they always do. America does the same thing with "Spreading Democracy" and "Fighting Evil Doers". Superpowers have always dressed up their global dominance with a flowery rhetoric of justice, freedom, progress, and exceptionalism. The only people who don't understand the evil that goes on in the outlying colonies are the woman, children, and conservatives back on the homeland. Great Powers have always needed to protect a segment of the population from the truth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  8. DiveCon
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    DiveCon gone

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    yeah that has always amazed me too
    treat everyone equally based on the content of their character=racist today
     
  9. Madeline
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    Henry Ford is fascinating historical figure. Londoner is correct, he was rabidly anti-semetic. He owned a newspaper called "The Dearborn Independent" and used it as a vehicle to editorialize and spin attacks on Jews -- it was all Jew hate, all the time. The most virulent of his editorials were collected and published as a book titled the "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem".

    I'd be last person on Earth to defend anti-semetism, but a few historical facts might help place this into perspective. First, obviously, the Holocaust had not yet happened and Israel had not yet been re-created. In 1920, no one was anti-Israel in the sense we use that word now. Ford's biggest fear likely was the spread of the labor movement and unions, and it is true, there was a sizable contingent of Jews in that movement here in the US. Plus, in 1915, the Blosevik Revolution took place. Rightly or wrongly (you be the judge...I think it's ridiculous), Ford blamed the overthrow of the Tzar on Jews. The First World War, which ended in 1918, was concluded by the Treaty of Versailles. Many people then and now view this as a strategic mistake. The treaty put Germany on its knees and largely prevented it from rebuilding economically, leading to the conditions in which Hitler rose to power. Now, there is no doubt Ford was a raving bigot, but others in his social circle would have been accepting or endorsing some of what he said as they sympathized with Germany, or later, wanted to isolate the US from war in Europe.

    As for why anti-semetism is no longer a feature of the Right here in the US, that is a more complex story. I think it is in part due to the Holocaust and to the creation of the State of Israel, but no single paragragh can really tease out all the nuances.

     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  10. Londoner
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    Londoner Gold Member

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    This is fair.

    FYI: I don't think antisemitism follows from true conservatism. I think the neo-nazi groups on the right fringe are similar to the kind of electoral-coalition-mistakes the left made with the racist Dixiecrats.

    Are you aware of this term?
    Jewish Bolshevism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011

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