What The Right Should Remember About The Left

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PoliticalChic, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The following tale, from Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism," illustrates an important idea for those of us on the right to remember: not all on the left are enemies. With 2012 looming as a critical election, there are alliances necessary to form an amalgam with the strength that America once had, strength to defeat the forces of totalitarianism.

    Consider the French Socialists...

    1. The French Socialists of the 1930’s had impeccable democratic credentials, dating back to the 19th century. They won elections, and in Leon Blum they produced a great leader, a prime minister who had the ability to fuse French patriotism and social justice, and the finest cultural values.

    2. Paul Faure was the general-secretary of said French Socialists, and leader of the faction that opposed war- at any cost. While Blum recognized the horror that Hitler represented, the Paul-Fauristes desperately sought to find a description of reality that did not point in the direction of war! Don’t judge Germany too quickly, nor too starkly. After all, they had been treated poorly by the Treaty of Versailles. And their people living in Slavic countries weren’t being treated well… shouldn’t we show some flexibility? Conciliate the outraged German people! This is not cowardly, or unprincipled…no, it is simply anti-war. And, therefore, the real dangers were not from the Nazis or Hitler, but from the warmongers, those who would profit from war!

    a. While those were the arguments of the anti-war left, the unfocused or philosophical basis which gave credence to those arguments, was that, in our modern world, even the enemies of reason cannot be the enemies of reason. There must always be some rationality behind a movement, no matter how mad it seems. A faith in universal rationality. Can you say “liberal naïveté” of the nineteenth century…a simple minded optimism, the liberalism of a strictly rational world, the liberalism of denial.

    b. Paul Faure’s French Socialists refused to believe that millions of respectable Germans subscribed to a political movement whose doctrines were paranoid conspiracy theories, blood-curdling hatreds, medieval superstitions, and the lure of mass murder. For the Socialists, there was always a why.

    3. So our Socialist friends listened to the Nazis’ speeches about Jews, and stroked their bearded chins, and queried, ‘what is anti-Semitism, anyway?’ Aren’t there some Jews who we don’t like? And the war-hawks…some of them are Jews…why, even Leon Blum, he is a Jew, and he takes a hard line…suspicious. Perhaps Hitler isn’t entirely wrong.

    a. Marshal Petain and the right wing proposed to accept the invasion, a new government under Hitler. The anti-war left voted with Petain, and the new Vichy government arrested Blum, and sent him to Dachau.

    4. The defenders of human rights and liberal values evolved into bigotry, tyranny, and murder. The democratic leftists accepted a naïve faith in the rationalism of all things, and ended up as fascists.

    5. There are lessons we can learn from the French Socialists. From the pathetic anti-war arm of the French Socialist, during the Second World War, were unable to believe in the pathological mass movements or to comprehend the meaning of Nazism and fascism, the refusal to fight, the sympathy for Marshal Petain, which destroyed them.

    a. But the other wing of those Socialists, emerged with honor. Leon Blum, their leader, managed to survive his internment in Dachau. He returned to France as the patriotic Socialist leader.

    6. So Blum called for a “Third Force,” neither conservative nor communist, but a melding of democratic socialists, trade unionists, progressives who could lead their own fight against the communists and fellow travelers. He felt that such a group could offer better unions, truer hopes for a better future.

    We on the right should recognize that there are Leon Blums among the left, who may not see the world exactly as we, but neither are they the enemy.
    We do have real enemies in this world, and in the nation, but we should take care in making the distinctions.
     
  2. william the wie
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    william the wie Gold Member

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    At this point the Democratic party denounces moderates. While I wouldn't consider Obama a moderate I have seen him denounced on other boards as Bush's third term. To most on the left Obama is seen as a virtual country club Rockerfeller Republican in Democratic clothing. So, I do not buy your assumptions.
     
  3. Sheldon
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    Sheldon Senior Member

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    The American left looks like rightwing sympathizers compared to the European left. They have a long tradition of labor movements and activism for workers' rights, where socialism actually means socialism, where there are actual labor parties. I think this is probably because they industrialized from an agrarian society sooner and faster than us, and they had no manifest destiny where open land was to be had by any one who was a rugged individualist enough. And also that part of the globe has their roots in monarchy and more centralized governance, different from our roots. So I'm not sure it's fair or accurate to make conclusions of the American left based on what's happened in Europe. Two different paths.
     
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Actually, Obama is the Democratic Party, and the far left is denouncing him.

    And " the Democratic party denounces moderates..." is what the OP is about...the right can find common ground with what you call moderates.
    My reason for the OP is the way most of us on the right have responded to the Wisconsin labor situation. Here was a missed opportunity...there is the moderate labor movement,- remember that they gave the governor concessions early on, and the far left of the labor movement, and we allowed those folks to be the champions of the whole labor union movement.


    "So, I do not buy your assumptions."
    I assume you mean that there cannot be accomodation between the left, the progressive left, and the right.
    The two groups can never see that there are larger problems facing our society, and civilization itself, than collective bargaining....

    nonsense.
     
  5. BlindBoo
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    BlindBoo Gold Member

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    French Socialist? Really?

    What about all the Democrats being quoted as support for President Bushes failed invasion and occuaption. They sure don't sound like the French socio-weenies. What about all the democratic support GWH Bush drummed up when he led the UN's response to Iraqi aggression in Kuwait?

    Hey Rocky, wanta see me pull a Rabit out of my hat?
     
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Let's try to stay on the plateau known as reality....

    Which would take longer to recite...a list of President Bush's initiatives continued by President Obama, or a list of those that Presidnent Obama has reversed?

    Be clear...not initiatives he SAID he was going to reverse....


    See, BB, the point is that there is a world wide totalitarian movement that has shown its ugly visage, and will require both leadership and strength to resist.

    So, that leaves President Obama out...as well as the Hiroo Onoda Squad still supporting him.

    For the others, the 'moderates' and 'independents' and even the liberals and progressives who have had an epiphany, we on the right- not you, or course- have got to see the 'Leon Blum French Socialists' who we can work with; the folks who remained socialists, but saw the evil of Hilter and of Stalin. There are folks like that.
    Not necessarly 'marry,' but work with for the good of the nation.

    I realize now, that I should explain it to you in a different manner: NYYankee fans and Boston Red Sox fans may both root for an American League team if (heaven forfend) neither are in the World Series.
     

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