Monday, June 25, 2007

Conservative Marxism Ain't Liberalism


In my last post about "Trendy Communism," I got an interesting reply (available here and here) from one of the local "liberals" who post on the local GOP thread:

Assuming that we all understand the history of America's support of right-wing dictators in South America shouldn't your logic also extend to the wearing of the American flag in countries like Chile, Guatemala and Nicaragua? Since you seem so eager to label wearers of Che garb to be illogical simpletons, shouldn't you also take stars-and-stripes wearing tourists to task as well?

Lastly, have you ever traveled through Latin America? As a fella who's been in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize I can you tell straight out that there is not a lot of hatred for Che and the revolutionaries in those countries. On the contrary, when we were in Southern Mexico in '99 the Zapatistas were more popular than the elected schmoes back in the M.C. After the crackdowns in Oaxaca last year I doubt things have changed much.

Trendy, indeed.


and

The most extreme case would be wearing Nazi propaganda down the street in Israel. That would be pretty stupid, or even ignorant.

But you seem to be implying that people know what they are doing when they wear stuff. That somehow wearing a Che shirt or a Maoist handbag is tantamount to endorsing communism and all of its most negative characteristics. Yet somehow wearing the stars-and-stripes is just an expression of patriotism. And so what if no one really knows what we did to the civilian populations in Tokyo, Dresden or Nicaragua. Why the double standard?

Guess what? Communism wasn't all bad, and capitalism aint all good. Take is backwards: capitalism aint all bad, and communism wasn't all good. We don't need to live on the extremes. There are things we can learn from the problems in communist China or capitalist America. We are silly to just write political systems off completely one way or the other. Believe it or not your post seems to me like an attempt to do that: (robot voice) "We must never even consider anything communist to ever be worthwhile. Capitalism is the only way!"

Gee, who does that sound like?


In my post I noticed in my link to my previous story on the related local issue that I did in fact point out some of America's historical black eyes:

"It'd be like learning about the first century of US history with patriotic stories and heroism but with all the negative aspects of manifest destiny and slavery censored out."

"...I will continue to fight to reform the inequity of opportunity and the abuse of our of economic domination..."

"Perhaps a Che devotee can pass this off as a necessary evil as many Americans do for what may otherwise appear as black spots on our record as well."


If I was truly attempting to argue that U.S. foreign policy was perfect or that our country can do no wrong does this guy honestly believe I'd make statements like this? Why did I imply that "We must never even consider anything communist to ever be worthwhile. Capitalism is the only way!" in my post? Anybody who read what I posted and linked to could see that I absolutely DID NOT!


And to that end I'm seriously annoyed. And while the following may seem harsh, please take my extreme state of being annoyed into consideration:


His knee jerk reaction seems to be more proof of his irresistible urge to bash the U.S. at any and all opportunities. Even when someone criticizes communism but notes the fact that U.S. foreign policy had its flaws and negative ramifications, here's the Marxist "liberals" jerking their knees into the face of anyone that might for one second have thought their nation was decent in any way shape or form! And thank goodness for that!


These guys wonder why "liberals" of their ilk get blamed for hating America? Their responses to this post seem to scream it loud and clear. It wasn't that I was saying that America was perfect, or its foreign policy was perfect. I specifically stated that it wasn't. It was the fact that I didn't BASH AMERICA ENOUGH for them. And they wonder why people get a bad impression of their motives?


Patriotism is defined as "love for or devotion to one's country." Do they wanna know why conservatives accuse them of being unpatriotic? Because they are. All it takes is them rattling off their opinions and a dictionary to know that to be true. This desperate need of theirs to make clear to everyone that they have absolutely no love or devotion to their country just helps solidify that. I'm all for their free speech to do so. But I'm also all for my own free speech to point it out. And my criticism of them isn't silencing them any more than their criticism of me is silencing me. So don't bother giving me that crap. I'm fully aware that the U.S. government and American culture has a long ways to go before it even approaches being perfect. But I still love my country and I'm devoted to it, in blood, sweat, and tears. It's not "my country right or wrong" it's MY COUNTRY and I'm going to right the wrongs as long as I have one more breath in my lungs.


As an actual liberal, I must say, "liberals" like these guys never fail to shock and surprise me. They take up the banner of "liberalism" yet for all their "open mindedness" and promotion of change these guys always end up sounding like conservative marxists. They may correctly bash people for being bigots and hatemongers but then they go and defend an ideology that resulted in the deaths of millions more: class warfare. There are no ideologies in our lifetimes that have more blood on their hands than that one alone. It's no wonder I have to qualify any statements of mine that I'm a liberal with "but I'm not a marxist liberal."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As the guy who wrote those remarks, I have to say you're making this whole thing pretty personal. You don't know me from Adam and you are declaring me to basically be a Marxist and a traitor who isn't devoted to his country.

That's pretty insulting stuff. I understand you are upset that you were treated unfairly in this debate, but to then go off and declare that I am unpatriotic and a conservative Marxist is a step too far.

You quote talks of "love and devotion to one's country". Some of us like to believe that we are more devoted to our country when we point out its flaws. It is the idea that we need to be on guard against this stuff so we don't do it again in the future. Call me unpatriotic, but what I am is unapologetic.

Read the original posts. While you use your disclaimers, the overall tone and point of the post is to bash Ms. Diaz and to remind everyone what a monster Mao was in Peru. My point was to mention that we also did our share of dirty work in South America and perhaps we should keep that in mind.

If you don't appreciate the comments then don't post. But typing something like this up and personally insulting someone you don't know because you disagree with them over a fairly silly discussion seems a bit over the top.

As Mike D. would say, "Check your Head!"

Glock21 said...

I can see where my wording on the "Marxist" description seems unfairly pinned to you personally. This was more me trying to vent steam at "liberals" who promote ideologies that are reminiscent of Marxism, not that they were in fact entirely Marxist. Although I try to explain that in the middle of my post it isn't clear in the initial or final usage.

"Traitor" is your own word that you brought into this yourself. I don't see the terms "treason" or "traitor" or anything of the sort in my comments so I don't know where you're getting that from. Perhaps jumping the gun on the defenses? Free speech, even if it is unpatriotic speech, would be extremely difficult to amount to treason under U.S. law in our modern age.

And yes you do come off as unpatriotic. I have no problem with criticizing the government, I in fact did so personally in the original Che article that this post links to. But as I noted:

"It wasn't that I was saying that America was perfect, or its foreign policy was perfect. I specifically stated that it wasn't. It was the fact that I didn't BASH AMERICA ENOUGH..."

You said: "You quote talks of "love and devotion to one's country". Some of us like to believe that we are more devoted to our country when we point out its flaws. It is the idea that we need to be on guard against this stuff so we don't do it again in the future."

I'm one of those "us" of which you speak. If you haven't noticed I do so here on a fairly regular basis and even did so in this particular chain of posts where you accused me of implying that "We must never even consider anything communist to ever be worthwhile. Capitalism is the only way!" when I said no such thing.

Read the original posts. While you use your disclaimers, the overall tone and point of the post is to bash Ms. Diaz and to remind everyone what a monster Mao was in Peru.

Pretty much, but it was also to relate it to a local incident that had happened earlier, one that I had linked to in the post, which included a wee bit more background comments painting a less than ideal American foreign policy picture with our historical black eyes and our abuse of our economic domination. The Blurb on Diaz was almost entirely to highlight the local story that had more of my earlier thoughts on the issue.

My point was to mention that we also did our share of dirty work in South America and perhaps we should keep that in mind.

I don't feel compelled to drag out all of our dirty laundry to the forefront on every single topic I write about. If it bears mentioning, I'll mention it. If it's very relevant, I'll focus more time on it. Sometimes a dirty laundry issue will bug me so much I'll focus on nothing but that. But if I write on a bicycle race you'll have to forgive me if I don't dig up dirt on some evil corporate bicycle sweat shop owned by AmericaCo in Indonesia. I'll save that for a post railing against the use of sweatshop labor.

If you don't appreciate the comments then don't post. But typing something like this up and personally insulting someone you don't know because you disagree with them over a fairly silly discussion seems a bit over the top.

Who said I didn't appreciate them? I value opposing viewpoints far more than getting a "right on, dude" or "I agree" (except on election day when everyone should just agree with me :P ).

More than anything the style of argument is what annoyed me the most. You threw what I did not say back at me to show me how absurd I was being (something you repeated once again here) in classic strawman tactics.

What followed after my pointing out said tactic was pre-apologized for rant. And it felt good to vent.

I don't think I went way overboard by any means. The Marxist bit was a bit of a stretch but for someone who has been known to push what I'd refer to as "class warfare" buttons a lot this shouldn't be a big *gasp* coming from someone ranting about you. I mean c'mon. Let he without generalizations cast the first flaming comment. :-D

But as far not posting to avoid criticism? Never! I actually wish I got more of it. Even when I find the tactics obnoxious it gives me something to complain about. A lot more interesting that just hearing someone say they agree.

Besides the main reason I decided to put all this together in a single post on my site was to keep going with the discussion, especially on the IRC channel I discuss politics on, about where people draw the line between patriotic dissent and unpatriotic dissent. You may have noticed a few other posts along this same theme here that were also used for that exact same purpose.

So far the overwhelming number of folks seem to believe that intent/motivation is a key factor in distinguishing the two and that often that factor is either unknown or requires certain assumptions. The discussions haven't been really about banning any speech as much as more accuracy in the fair labeling and/or depictions of dissent by pundits or others.

Glock21 said...

I remembered as soon as I forgot...

Just wanted to apologize for anything that came off as overly personal as opposed to aimed at your viewpoints and ideology, which I'd consider fair game.