When living in a glass house…

When reading Cecil Kelly III’s latest letter to the editor this morning, it was actually LOL! hilarious to anyone who has some idea of history. Mr. Kelly attempted to show people who casually throw around the labels of Communism and Fascism (Nazi) what those labels mean. Unfortunately…

So, taking excerpts from his letter, let us explore history:  Communists are “pro worker.”  Pause a moment to consider U.S. History.  U.S. History has swung in two directions on the pendulum scale throughout its 200+ year history.  Either the U.S. would become highly protective of business interests, the interests of the wealthy or the interests of the ordinary people, to include its work force.  However, in the Europe that Karl Marx grew up in during the late 19th century, there were basically two class divisions:  the supremely wealthy and the work force that they were often known to exploit.  Karl Marx railed against this exploitation in his “Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital.”  Unfortunately, the equality of workers would never be realized in the Soviet Union, Communist China or anywhere else that this “leftism” (on the side of the common peoples) existed.  For, to put it bluntly, one dictatorship would simply be replaced with another  And the aspirations of the common people would simply be exploited to put Lenin, Stalin, etc. into power.  Further, Communists as the brotherhood of all humans.  Actually, that sounds like a Christian principle as discovered in the Book of Acts.  Just as distributing your worldly goods to those in need (being denounced as “socialist” or “communist”) was also the root of Christian charity as taught in the New Testament.  The idea of total equality (that Kelly notes “on paper at least”) as implemented by government, also had its origins in the Apostle Paul’s letters to various churches.  Neither man nor woman, neither bond or free, for all are the same in Christ Jesus.  So, in the U.S.; is implementing equality through the Bill of Rights, civil rights legislation, the anti-slavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution, promoting the agenda of the women’s emancipation movement Communist?  Or did a Christian people abide by biblical teachings?  And that what underlay such strivings, to include opposing child labor, was out of moral compassion.  I find it impossible to respect the idea that moral compassion was driven by communistic impulses.  Granted, that socialists and communists did glom onto the women’s movement and pushed their way into trying to influence any other effort that would support furthering the gains or the agendas of “the common peoples.”  Such as minority rights, labor rights.  But unlike Europe, within the U.S. Constitution, exists this final clause in the first amendment:  the right of the people to bring their grievances before government.  Which demonstrates exactly why this country could see pendulum swings between moneyed interests and the interests of the common people.  Did the first amendment pave the way to Communism?  Considering that the founding fathers drafted this as part of their legislation and a two-thirds majority ratified it into law some 100 years before the birth of Marx, I’d say no.  But leave it to certain peoples today, “TEA Partiers” included, to regard gvt lending an ear or legislation to the “wrong sort of people” (the common people) as at least socialist, if not communist.

Oh, and a final word on this; the “Communist” government dictated what would or would not happen within the country.  Nor did it elevate the masses to some concept of ultimate equality.  Even in the Soviet Union as elsewhere, there remained a two class system, the party and the people.  The people who could work for the party and the state the party represented, much as they had before, when they were still serfs. The sad truth was, that Lenin’s “Communism” was simply Tsarist Russia under a new name.  “Communism” might be to the far left of the Democrats in Kelly’s view, at least in concept.  But in practice, Marxist principles were simply abandoned by those who adopted the label.  As for  this nation, a label to smear any endeavor that would assist the common people in realizing the American dream.

What makes Nazism (Fascism) as Kelly described more fascinating is who it would inadvertently label at least superficially.  Pro-business, for one.  When you consider the Republican party and their undying support for business interests as a matter of legislation or even in moves to deregulation as was the case beginning with Ronald Reagan or for that matter, supply-side economics; that places the GOP in the “Nazi camp” doesn’t it.  Let’s take a pause and consider that there is a difference between being pro-business and pro-capitalist.  In a capitalist (or free market) society, capitalism is predicated on this:  the ability of Farmer John to sell a cow to Farmer Joe presumably without interference from the state.  But, who would have cause to “interfere.”  What if the cow sold to Farmer Joe proved sickly and could infect his healthy cattle.  Then Farmer Joe would want the state to say something to Farmer John about the fact that he cheated a fellow farmer with a sick cow.  Or, say Farmer Tim offers a better deal on the price of cows to Farmer Joe and undercuts what Farmer John would sell his own cows for.  Farmer John then turns to the state to demand that Farmer Tim should not be able to do that sort of business.  Don’t laugh, Ronald Reagan assisted American based electronics manufacturers such as TV and computer makers against Japanese “dumping” of cheaper massed produced electronic supplies.  “Farmer Tim” (Japanese trading practices during the 1980s) being accused of unfair trading practices brings the power of the state on the offender, on the behalf of Farmer John.  In Nazi Germany, you can not be said that this was strictly true.  The “unfair competition” was primarily of the enemy, the Jew who took money (in their business practices) from true Germans and make themselves wealthy at the “expense of the people.”  But of course, it was the government and the Nazi party who made themselves wealthy at the expense of the enemy.

Kelly is right on in discussing that Nazis did see themselves as racially superior.  But long before the rise of Hitler in the early 20th century, we had and still do have the elements of racism (the superiority of one group over that of others) that was instituted through the WASPish attitude.  To be a WASP in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was to carry at least some of the elements of fascism that would be carried to the extremes in Germany and elsewhere.  That you weren’t nothing unless you were a White Christian American of true (as opposed to Semite) European birth.  Also worth noting, the woman as property of her husband and who must be submissive…  There was a time in this country where women could not have known real independence, and the “jobs” she held had to be within the “traditional role” of women.  Or she was not qualified to have it.  The uppity woman who sought an easy divorce, having her own bank account, runs for office, has abortions, who isn’t submissive to her husband or simply doesn’t care to marry one and is stridently opposed to in her chosen life style by religious groups…  What exactly would that make these religious groups out to be?  Nazis?  I’m sure these religious groups would prefer to argue the opposite.  However, if they trot out the idea of “conservatism” that Kelly equates with a Nazi principle to any degree, I’d want to rethink that.

In closing, Kelly referred to the communists who wanted to ban religions.  Unlike the efforts of religious minorities to take “God out of the school” the Communist party of the Soviet Union and China did not care for competition from the “marketplace of ideas” which would  challenge  the totality of communist doctrine.  But, in the U.S.; “God might be taken out of the school,” churches however are free to open their doors.  What placed the Nazi doctrine to some extent in common with Communism, was to also fear a competing idea that would challenge the totality of Nazi thinking.  To that end, even Christians who disagreed with Nazi principles could find themselves headed as “enemies of the state” to the death camps.

A note on letter writer Ron Vieselmeyer.  This is a gentleman who can not stomach the idea that scientific theory can be taught in public schools without the caveat of “religious instruction.”  His letter also published in the Coeur d’Alene Press on 23 July 2010 on the same day as Kelly’s gives one pause to wonder.  Exactly what is Vieselmeyer driving at?  Evolutionary theory is accepted science as Charles Darwin had the audacity to provide the world the evidence of back during his nineteenth century voyages of discovery.  Perhaps Darwin made possible genetic research that would ultimately validate much of his original premise.  The genetic research that would determine for an entire human race who our most common ancestor happened to be.  The genetic research that would also be a useful tool in forensic science to assist homicide detectives in finding the perpetrator and bring him to justice.

Where would we be without Darwin?  Vieselmeyer makes it plain in his letter that he fears the competition of ideas that comes from science intruding into his belief in scripture.  If scripture is not to be taught, then neither should the science be taught.  In short, if I can’t have my way, I’d prefer the children to be ignorant?  So, given Kelly’s letter, does that make Vieselmeyer a Communist or a Nazi?  I do know this, it doesn’t make him a “conservative.”


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  7. Cecil Kelly III Says:

    Enjoyed reading this posting. Keep up the good work.

    Cecil Kelly III

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