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Turkey Offing Itself
Posted by: Dale Franks on Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ralph Peters' most recent column on Turkey is a bit of a downer. And for good reason.
For an enthusiastic visitor to Turkey for three decades, it's been heartbreaking to watch its society and economy come to life - only to fall prey to Islamist vampires.

With Salafism - the Saudi brand of radical Islam - biting into the Turkish political jugular, the joke is that the despised Bedouins of Arabia have finally conquered the "Ottoman Empire." The most primitive and backward form of Islam is increasingly at home in the heartlands that had formed the core of the most powerful Muslim state for five centuries.

...Turkey's educated elite is in much the same position as Germany's elite during Hitler's rise to power. Imagining that the Islamists would sputter out, progressive Turks failed to act. Now Turkish civilization - so great for so many centuries - is unraveling the way Germany's did in the 1930s. Turkish intellectuals made the classic error of underestimating the common man's capacity for hatred and lust for blind revenge.

As for the spectacularly virulent and dishonest anti-Americanism in the Turkish media - we need never have a "Who lost Turkey?" debate: The Turks lost it for themselves. Instead of maturing into the Western culture of responsibility, Turks succumbed to the Arab world's culture of blame.

Having looked down on Arabs for centuries, Turks are now becoming functional Arabs, reclining into fantasies of greatness as surreal as a Sufi mystic's hashish dreams. Ataturk's revolutionary vision for a modern Turkish state - betrayed by his own corrupt successors - is fading into the reality of yet another retarded Muslim satrapy.
Forget accession to the EU. That's not going to happen now. And NATO membership will probably also be a thing of the past if the Turks keep moving in their current direction. The Turks are sliding almost inexorably towards becoming either an Islamic Republic, with all the fanaticism and danger that implies, or a military dictatorship, implementing brutal repression on the populace.

There is something subtly and wickedly attractive about the Islamist message: One is never to blame for one's own failings. It's always the fault of someone else: the West, the Jews, whoever. It's always The Man keeping the Muslim brother down.

That attraction shouldn't be a surprise. After all, it's a lot easier to look in the mirror and say, "My life sucks because someone else is persecuting me," than it is to say, "My life sucks, because I make bad choices." Because if you ever even think the latter, then all of the sudden it becomes your responsibility to fix it. If you believe the former, however, it's always someone else that has to change, to take responsibility for fixing the mess you find yourself in.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the increasingly dominant strain of thought in Turkey today, just as it is in all places where the Islamist ideology takes root.

The thing is, Turkey is, by the lights of the Islamic world, a successful democratic state. As such it highlights the shortcomings of "democracy" per se, as a civilizing influence on a society. Democracy, as I've often said, is well-suited for determining what a majority of the voters in a polity want. It does very little, however, to ensure that what they want is the right thing, or even in their best interests.

Sadly, the Turks seem to bent on proving my thesis, and creating a Long Night for themselves. In a perfectly legitimate and democratic way, of course.
 
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There is something subtly and wickedly attractive about the Islamist message: One is never to blame for one’s own failings. It’s always the fault of someone else: the West, the Jews, whoever. It’s always The Man keeping the Muslim brother down.

That attraction shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, it’s a lot easier to look in the mirror and say, "My life sucks because someone else is persecuting me," than it is to say, "My life sucks, because I make bad choices." Because if you ever even think the latter, then all of the sudden it becomes your responsibility to fix it. If you believe the former, however, it’s always someone else that has to change, to take responsibility for fixing the mess you find yourself in
It’s the exact same principle that the Dems and race pimps like Sharpton and Jackson use to keep their "voters" on the plantation...
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
..Turkey’s educated elite is in much the same position as Germany’s elite during Hitler’s rise to power. Imagining that the Islamists would sputter out, progressive Turks failed to act. Now Turkish civilization - so great for so many centuries - is unraveling the way Germany’s did in the 1930s. Turkish intellectuals made the classic error of underestimating the common man’s capacity for hatred and lust for blind revenge.
Comparisons between the Bush administration to Hitler and the Nazis has become so commonplace on the nutroots that it is almost boilerplate, Netiquette notwithstanding.

At the risk of sounding like them, I’ll admit that this analogy between the rise of the Nazi party in 1930’s Germany, and the current rise of Islamo-fascism does seem to be useful:

In the 1930’s the German people were weak and economically oppressed by the conditions imposed on them by the Allied powers after World War 1. Some radicals led by Hitler were able to come to power by portraying the German people as victims of evil powers led by the Jews. These radicals had a utopian fascist ideology that promised to make Germany a supreme power once again.

Today, the Islamic world is weak and economically oppressed. Some radicals, symbolically led by Osama bin Laden have come to power in the Islamic world by portraying Muslims as victims of evil powers led by the Jews. These radicals have a utopian fascist ideology that promises to make Islam a supreme power once again.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Today, the Islamic world is weak and economically oppressed.


Please delete all after "weak"=
Today, the Islamic world is weak

That is true, but it is also not my fault, Michael Moore, Noam Chomshy, Dependencistas, and Scott Erb, notwithstanding. I would be hard-pressed to say how they are "opressed."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
That is true, but it is also not my fault, Michael Moore, Noam Chomshy, Dependencistas, and Scott Erb, notwithstanding. I would be hard-pressed to say how they are "opressed."
Their leaders are doing it to their people
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
The
"my life sucks and it’s all the fault of" theme is fundamental to the far right. That’s exactly the mentality that Limbaugh, Faux News, Hannity, etc. appeal to. It is also a good part of the appeal of Christian fundamentalism. Religious fanatics and political extremists share the common feature of seeking emotional safety in simple, clear beliefs that absolve them of responisbility and give them the illusion of being smart and right about everything. Modern conservatism isn’t realy conservatism at all because it has been so permiated with this sort of crap. What passes for conservative thought these days is just reactionary thinking.
It’s too bad that Turkey is going off the deep end. I’m not expecting that rightwingers will be willing to link this outcome with our unnecessary war against one of Turkey’s near neighbors, a war opposed by most Turks. That would be taking responisbility.
 
Written By: laura
URL: http://
"The my life sucks and it’s all the fault of" theme is fundamental to the far right. ...It is also a good part of the appeal of Christian fundamentalism."
Hey, I like that. I have some crazy conspiracy-type theories myself. Amazing. And you just made that up.

 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
It’s too bad that Turkey is going off the deep end. I’m not expecting that rightwingers will be willing to link this outcome with our unnecessary war against one of Turkey’s near neighbors, a war opposed by most Turks. That would be taking responisbility.
I’m not sure what "rightwingers" would do, but I’m sure that the regulars here at this libertarian site would be quite willing to entertain the possibility that the rise of Salafism in Turkey is driven by the Iraq war had you provided a shred of evidence that there is causal connection.

To simply assert a causal connection based on your your own disapproval of the Iraq war is typical of the type of reasoning employed by people with weak minds and a lack of critical thinking skills.

 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I’m not expecting that rightwingers will be willing to link this outcome with our unnecessary war against one of Turkey’s near neighbors, a war opposed by most Turks. That would be taking responisbility
No, it would be like blaming global warming on the Boy Scouts.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
No, it would be like blaming global warming on the Boy Scouts.
Come on steverino - all those camp fires? That’s gotta amount to something!

/snark
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
It’s too bad that Turkey is going off the deep end. I’m not expecting that rightwingers will be willing to link this outcome with our unnecessary war against one of Turkey’s near neighbors, a war opposed by most Turks. That would be taking responisbility.
And had the Turks not elected an Islamist government prior to the invasion of Iraq, we could all pretend you were wandering somewhere near a point. As it happens, however, the Islamists of the Welfare Party emerged as the largest political party in Turkey in the General Election of 1995, and took over the government after the collapse of Tansu Ciller’s coalition government in 2002.

Since that is so, not are you only nowhere near a point, I doubt you could even find one with a 50000:1 geodetic survey map, GPS, and a staff of Eagle Scouts.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Faux News
I think that some people don’t know how to pronounce "faux".
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
," wandering somewhere near a point."

Love that phrase.

We need not worry about Turkey becoming a violent Muslim state, because I have it on good authority that Islam is a religion of peace, and whatever Islamic fascists are out there are only a small, irritating but ineffectual minority.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Did I already win the forcast for the next year award you guys had on your site.

"We will hear more from Turkey in the next year. The islam folks will use it as another front to peck at us with."
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Whoa, Turkey isn’t that far gone! Turkey may not be the loyal ally it once was, and it may have ended its suppression of religious parties, but the military is still loyal to the basics of Kemalism, and the population is still generally liberal. Even the Islamicist parties avoid the kind of extremism found in other places. NATO membership isn’t in threat; EU membership never seemed likely to me (mostly because of European opposition), at least not any time soon. Turkey still remains a valuable ally and a bridge between the Islamic world and the West. But it is going to be more independent, and less "western," but still could be a hopeful model that Islamism does not equal violent radicalism. There is cause for concern, but Peters seems to yearn for Turkey as a good loyal ally. It won’t be that, but the alternative is not Turkey as another Iran!

While a lot of you love to hurl insults, the fact remains that the debacle in Iraq combined with the rise of Islam as a political movement has weakened the idea that western notions of politics can spread in the region. Turkey also is resisting that urge. Rather than look at this as "us vs. them," we need to see that the region in is going through a complex transformation. We need to: a) stop violent radical Islamic extremism; b) work with states like Turkey to do so; and c) stop demanding or expecting nice western, even libertarian states to emerge. Better to have an Islamicist friend in the fight against terrorism, then treating all Islamicist parties as foes.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
c) stop demanding or expecting nice western, even libertarian states to emerge. Better to have an Islamicist friend in the fight against terrorism, then treating all Islamicist parties as foes.

Written By: Scott Erb


You mean like the Shah of Iran?, too bad your buddy Jimmy let him twint in the wind.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
the fact remains that the debacle in Iraq combined with the rise of Islam as a political movement has weakened the idea that western notions of politics can spread in the region.
What the war in Iraq showed was that it was a foolish notion to begin with. It didn’t "weaken" anything, it simply showed that the idea was flawed to its core. The war has been a failure partly because Islam and western style democracy are incompatible. Turkey, the supposed exception to the rule, is quickly back-sliding, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Of course the main reason that Iraq has been a disaster was the foolish notion that 3 groups of ethnic people who hated each other for centuries but lived together in the same country only under a brutal dictatorship would voluntarily share the same country, share power, and settle their differences through the compromise of a constitutional democracy....without violence. When you write it down like that it sounds pretty silly. Doesn’t anybody remember what happened (and what is still going on) in the former Yugoslavia?

When you add the fact that the first step in this process would be for the country’s biggest enemy, a Christian (and Jewish) nation of infindels, to invade the contry militarily, over throw its government and occupy it under military rule, it sounds even worse. When you also add the fact that the people involved have known nothing but terrorism and violence for decades, it gets even sillier.

The war in Iraq didn’t cause the Islamic world to hate America, to think such a thing ignores every event in the region for 50+ years. How many islamic terrorist attacks were perpetrated against America during the Clinton Administration? Did our "restraint" in responding to them make the islamic world like us more? Did the "superior" way in which the Clinton administration handled foreign affairs lead our allies to like and trust us more? Remember Bosnia and how the Europeans "loved" the Clinton administration for trying, however foolishly, to help them with that problem that they should have been handling themselves? Our European "allies" just loved the original American Cowboy Ronald Reagan, right? Of course not. Anti-Americanism amongst our "allies" has been a constant theme for decades, not something that suddenly appeared during the tenure of GW Bush and the Iraq war.

To pretend otherwise is dishonest, and in this case obviously designed for partisan political purposes.

The real problem is that, for good or bad, Republicrat and Demoplican administrations alike, America and the American military has had too large of a presence around the world. Acting as the world’s policeman is a thankless, and probably counter-productive job. It was probably unavoidable during the Cold War since the Soviet Union was a real, hostile threat with a real army and real nuclear weapons with an ideology that depended on expansionism and world domination. But regardless of whether you believe that Islamo-fascist terrorism is a real threat to Americans in America, our current military forces, hardware, structure, and foreign presence is designed to contain the Soviet Union, not combat terrorism.

I think what happens is that a huge military like we have becomes a self-fulfiling proficy, as Thomas Jefferson warned. He warned us against large standing armies that would look for reasons to justify their existence, and Eisenhower made the same point 150 years later. Neither of these men were Chomsky-ite, socialist, America haters, nor was George Washington when he warned against "entangling alliances". What we really need is a military sized to defend our shores from hostile attack. Bring every troop quartered on foreign soil home, there is no reason to defend Germany or Japan or Saudi Arabia any longer.

But none of things are new and trying to frame them so that the administrations of one political party or he other is "to blame" is dishonest and completely transparent as petty partisan politics. That’s a game to be played elsewhwere.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
While a lot of you love to hurl insults, the fact remains that the debacle in Iraq combined with the rise of Islam as a political movement has weakened the idea that western notions of politics can spread in the region.
That statement is not even remotely similar to the one I hurled insults at, hence there is no fact remaining.

The earlier commenter noted that "Turkey is going off the deep end" and that "most Turks" opposed the war in Iraq.

Based on these two premises she was able to conclude that the phenomenon of Turkey "going off the deep end", by which she presumably refers to the rise of Islamism discussed in the post, is an "outcome" of the Iraq war, and that all of us "rightwingers" have refused to make this link due to our characteristic inability to take responsibility.

So, now we are all rightwingers here, shirking our responsibility for turning the poor Turks into Islamists.

Before you get too deep into defending this line of reasoning, Doctor, consider that:

1. Dale pointed out that the rise of Islamism in Turkey predates the recent war, which suggests that there is not the cause and effect relationship she asserts.

2. She provided no evidence to show that the one phenonenon is linked to the other.

3. Her conclusion does not exactly follow logically from her premises. After all, she opposes the Iraq war. Unless she has become a Salafist as a result, there are a few more variables here than are accounted for in her simple-minded equation.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Jordan wants nukes. The king is pals with Hillary and Bill, they even showed up for the opening of the new Peace Corps office.

I heard Plame was there and had something to do with the WMD, but that guy named Foley, not her boss got murdered around that time, so I guess she never did.

Fonda introduced Kerry to his billionaire wife after her republican husband died in a plane crash. Maybe, if i protest, I can get one too?

Maybe we should tell Jordan it’s bad to want nukes, but I guess Kerry and Hilly say it’s okay, so it is.

Posted by Dodeona at January 28, 2007 11:43 AM
 
Written By: dodeana
URL: http://
Thank you, dodeana, for proving that the left wing doesn’t have a monopoly on raving, incoherent kooks.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Peters exaggerates but the worry is valid.

I take exception to his description of Germany between the wars. The intellectuals and university students were Hitler’s first great success. Even before the 1933 election, university faculty and students were big supporters of Nazism. They won student elections, for example. Major intellectuals were either Nazis or sympathizers: Heidegger, Heisenberg, etc. I suggest the Nazism has deep roots in Germany’s cultural past. But I have to leave that assertion unproven here. But let’s at least remember that Nazism and fascism were nationalist routes to socialism and socialism had virtually won over the intellectuals in continental Europe.

Peters mentioned the irony of Turks being conquered by Arabs ideologically (via the Salafi revivalist Islamic movement). We too have defeated Nazi Germany militarily. But I suggest the nationalist route to socialism has resurfaced as an ethnic form embraced by the left and called identity politics, multi-culturalism, etc. Indeed, post-modernism owes much to Heidegger.

It’s a story that’s not over but this, too, is a valid worry.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
Okay, we need to go over Hitler. Hitler was insane. He had a thing for humans. So, when Satan showed up and offered his ’robots’ as an army, Hitler passed. Now, what really would have happened is they would have served Hitler and killed all his human enemies. After this, they would have killed the rest. Hitler was that stupid.


Kook is not very nice, stick with left wing inadvertant not my choice dem informer.
 
Written By: dodeana
URL: http://
That’s what I’m saying!:
“Contrary to President Bush’s view, they [radical muslims] don’t hate us for our freedom... Rather, they hate us for how we use our freedom. When Planned Parenthood International opens clinics in non-Western countries and dispenses contraceptives to unmarried girls, many [rightfully] see it as an assault on prevailing religious and traditional values. When human rights groups use their interpretation of international law to pressure non-Western countries to overturn laws against abortion or to liberalize laws regarding homosexuality, the traditional sensibilities of many of the world’s people are violated.
...Even as the cultural left accuses Bush of imperialism in invading Iraq, it deflects attention from its own cultural imperialism aimed at secularizing Muslim society and undermining its patriarchal and traditional values. ...the far left seems to hate Bush nearly as much as it hates bin Laden. ... It is Bush, more than bin Laden, they say, who threatens abortion rights and same-sex marriage and the entire social liberal agenda in the United States. So leftist activists such as Michael Moore and Howard Zinn and Cindy Sheehan seem willing to let the enemy win in Iraq so they can use that defeat in 2008 to rout Bush — their enemy at home.

...the extreme cultural left is whispering into the ears of the Democratic Congress. Cut off the funding. Block the increase in troops. Shut down Guantanamo Bay. Lose the war on terrorism — and blame Bush.
Pointing this out is what makes me dangerous.”
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Ooops! Sorry. That’s what I’m saying!:
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
In other words, Bush and the neoconservatives are not responsible for muslims attacking us, the far left is. [This is for the Lauras out there.]
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
While acknowledging such a fact might be a blow to one’s self-esteem, it is, ironically enough, usually much easier to stop making bad choices than to find and defeat the elusive Man.
 
Written By: Tom
URL: http://

You mean like the Shah of Iran?,
The Shah hated Islam and religion in general (he thought religion was for the weak minded). I don’t think we should support any authoritarians to the level we supported the Shah. He came to rely on us completely, didn’t do what was necessary to respond to real challenges in his society, and ultimately those who came afterwards associated us with the Shah’s brutality making it hard to find friends (Reagan tried in the mid-eighties, hoping to start a relationship with Khomeini’s Iran). No, we just need to recognize that it is utterly foolish and shows an ignorance of history to think we can spread our governing ideals to other parts of the world with a vastly different political culture. We need to focus on counter-terrorism and cooperation on mutual interests and forget this idealistic and radically liberal notion of trying to save the world by spreading our own system through force.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Peters mentioned the irony of Turks being conquered by Arabs ideologically (via the Salafi revivalist Islamic movement). We too have defeated Nazi Germany militarily. But I suggest the nationalist route to socialism has resurfaced as an ethnic form embraced by the left and called identity politics, multi-culturalism, etc. Indeed, post-modernism owes much to Heidegger.
Fascism shouldn’t really be called socialism because it confuses it with neo-Marxian notions which are ideologically quite different. Hitler used the term "national socialist" because there were two wings in his party; he liquidated the left wing after he took power. You could use the term "collectivism" though (traditional conservatives are also collectivist, yet are not socialist). I agree that Nazism had its roots in Germany tradition and history, though absent the Great Depression and the Versailles treaty aftermath of WWI, I don’t think they would have embraced such an extreme vision.

But I can’t for the life of me reconcile "nationalism" with "multi-culturalism." At best multi-culturalism is nationalisms, but there seems to be a big difference between traditional nationalism (which would want to fight multi-culturalism) and those calling for multiculturalism. I think trying to find too many links to past movements and ideas is a bit misguided, one can tie anything to something else at some level, and it’s often used to just denegrate a particular ideology. Everyone gets connected to fascism these days by their opponents, and no philosopher of any standing would suggest that Heidegger’s philosophy is a Nazi philosophy (indeed, he is held in high esteem by most philosophers, even those who strongly disagree with him).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Apparently this guy D’Souza (subject of my comment above) is a whacko who has no friends on the left OR the right. I like that. A typical liberal comment:
“So let this “decent” liberal make perfectly clear how thoroughly indecent Dinesh D’Souza is. Like his hero Joe McCarthy, he has no sense of shame. He is a childish thinker and writer tackling subjects about which he knows little to make arguments that reek of political extremism. His book is a national disgrace, a sorry example of a publishing culture more concerned with the sensational than the sensible.”
Anyone who can make liberals scream like that is definitely on to something. His book may be a fun read.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
With all due respect, Scott Erb, fascism is an offshoot of the collectivism tradition that includes communism. As you may remember Mussolini was praised by Lenin as an example of the future. Of course they had a falling out. Il Duce only made slight changes to the collectivist tradition when he broke away from the nominal socialists. He dropped the internationalist emphasis and substituted a nationalist (perhaps we might say ethnic) focus. He dropped outright nationalization in favor of nominal ownership under government control. There are several other changes that are superficial. He didn’t start with an anti-Semitic agenda and had Jewish supporters in the beginning. I don’t see fascism and communism as opposite but as superficial variants of the same ideology.

What has the Treaty of Versailles and the Depression have to do with fascism? Of course you didn’t say they did. But notice that fascism originated in Italy (on the winning side of WWI) 10-15 years before the rise of Nazism. Clearly the rise of nationalist collectivism can’t be blamed on the ill treatment of the losing side. Perhaps only the delay in German collectivism was due to losing the war. Note that another nation on the winning side, Russia, also succumbed to collectivism during the war.

You mention the Nazi complaint of the “Treaty of Versailles” but you don’t mention the “stab in the back” complaint. Many Germans felt they didn’t lose the war but were betrayed by their leadership. They wanted a second chance. Rather than the humiliation it may very well be that they were humiliated enough; they were humiliated by WWII by orders of magnitude. Problem solved!

I mentioned Identity politics as an example of fascism. Here collectivism is seen in ethnic terms instead of internationalist terms. Thus, what is right for a “people” is defined by demographic groups – often nations when applied to the “3rd world.” Each group defines its own truth. Thus, multi-culturalism becomes multi-nationalist collectivism, i.e. fascism.

Notice also that the left has abandoned nationalization (except Venezuela) in favor of regulation. Mussolini’s corporatism has won the day. (Even among the Republic right!)

As for philosophy, the rejection of objectivity, explicit or implicit, leads to relativism and/or emotionalism. Continental philosophy has embraced irrationalism long before Hitler and continues to embrace it to a large extent.

Perhaps I make myself clear now.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
I don’t think we should support any authoritarians to the level we supported the Shah.
Given the context of the day (the Cold War and Iran’s location), ending support for the Shah at the time was stupid. Outright stupid.

Further, it lead to Islamic fundamentalists much worse than the Shah taking over Iran, it lead to the Iran-Iraq War, it led to Hezbollah, dead Marines in Beruit, and so on. And that’s aside from the obvious stupidity of it.

And your point is the "level" of support. That’s asnine. What we need is good cost-benifit analysis, as well as a realistic expectation of outcomes. Ending support for someone ’cause he depends upon us is . . . stupid. No wonder you like Jimmy so much . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Fascism shouldn’t really be called socialism because it confuses it with neo-Marxian notions which are ideologically quite different. Hitler used the term "national socialist" because there were two wings in his party; he liquidated the left wing after he took power. You could use the term "collectivism" though (traditional conservatives are also collectivist, yet are not socialist).
First, fascism is the origional, Italian version. Bringing Hitler’s national socialism into the debate confuses things. The Nazis were rather special fascists, one could argue they really weren’t fascists at all, and leave them on their own as national socialists.

The national socialists had different views, but the name was not intended to create a "big tent" party, rather it rather accuratly describes their philosophy: a nationalistic form of socialism.

One problem with Marxist ideas is that they don’t work. In reality, the USSR became a particularly authoritarian form of fascism. Consequently, I’m not sure we are served well worrying about "neo-Marxian notions" and their ideological details. Whateve the details, they tend towards some form of fascism or the other.

Now Scott, in what way are "traditional conservatives" collectivist?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Now Scott, in what way are "traditional conservatives" collectivist?

Well I am a post-1945 Conservative and I can tell you that the Paleo-Cons are very Collectivist. Society is not individuals, but an organic unit. Paleo-cons are increasingly enamoured of socio-biologic theories of the differentiation of abilities amongst people and sexes. Pat Buchanan has NO problem signing onto to tariffs and "greenery" and the like. People are going to misconstrue this, but Paleo-Cons are very much Blood and Soil types. We have a stewardship to the land, and the little farmer as the stalwart yoeman of the society, the working man in his union, all ruled by their betters.

I, for one, had no problem understanding why folks like Susan Faludi, Lenora Fulani and Pat Buchanan can confer and agree. They have a common Golden Age-1939-69. A common hero, his name is Kazimir Kozlowski and he is in his work overalls and hard-hat, lunch pail in hand on his way to a steel mill in Gary IN, and a common enemy...US Steel which has betrayed Mr Kozlowski by exploiting cheap 3rd world labour. They all agree Mr Kozlwoski had a good deal, his son, Michael got a raw deal in the post-’69 economy and that his grandson William is performing NO USEFUL SERVICE as some kind of computer/marketing geek.

Please do not think that from Taft to Buchanan to Buckley to Reagan runs a continual philosophic/ideologic stream. There is none. I am NOT a Conservative to Pat Buchanan and he is not one to me. Buchanan, and Taft, and Reagan all agreed they did not like Ted Kennedy and they did not like Communists. After 1991 one threat went away and after 1994 Ted went away, too. And after that the common enemy dead the Paleo’s left the rest of us, as ideologically unpure....So there is no problem whatsoever in believing the Conservatives are collectivists.

Of course to many around these parts "collectivist" means the same thing as "Fascist" means to Progressives and is thrown around with equal abandon and reason. "I think the Income Tax is necessary." "COLLECTIVIST!"
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

Now Scott, in what way are "traditional conservatives" collectivist?
Conservatism as an ideology believed that society was like an organic whole, resting on customs and traditions which bound a people. Traditional conservatives were extremely skeptical of democracy and capitalism.
The national socialists had different views, but the name was not intended to create a "big tent" party, rather it rather accuratly describes their philosophy: a nationalistic form of socialism.
But if you look at Hitler’s version (compared to the left wing Strasser ideas), he emphasized nationalism, focused on support from the far right, and had a fiercly anti-bolshevik attitude, with an opposite approach to how society should be organized. Socialism usually refers to state ownership and egalitarian ideals. Fascism and the Nazis in particular rejected egalitarianism, co-opted business, and built on conservative notions (though destroying them in how they took them to extremes). It certainly has little in common with Marxism or the utopian ideas usually associated with socialism.

One problem with Marxist ideas is that they don’t work. In reality, the USSR became a particularly authoritarian form of fascism. Consequently, I’m not sure we are served well worrying about "neo-Marxian notions" and their ideological details. Whateve the details, they tend towards some form of fascism or the other.

Neo-Marxian traditions reject the totalitarian aspects of communism, and are primarily used as an analytical tool rather than a political program. Post-Marxism is also interesting as it tries to develop an anti-statist socialism and "radical democracy." Personally, I don’t like any "ism." Ideologies are like religions — they inspire belief and the adherents become unwilling to give up the faith when things don’t go right — so Pol Pot kills 25% of the Cambodian population, Lenin and Stalin rationalize mass murders (Stalin’s as much sociopathic as ideological), all in the name of an "ism." We have political beliefs and ideas, but "isms" are dangerous.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Interesting, Scott. You create a wide separation between communism and fascism because of the nominal egalitarian self-description of the communists. At the same time you nearly fuse “traditional conservatism” with fascism because of a nominal notion of an “organic” whole (i.e. collectivism) that they both incorporate in their sentiment to some degree. Don’t you think that this grouping – communism on one side and fascism with conservatism on the other – is a misspecification? Would not fascism and communism be more suited as a grouping? Is that not common sense?
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
...and had a fiercly anti-bolshevik attitude, with an opposite approach to how society should be organized.
That’s because Bolsheviks and Fascists were competing with each other for the "hearts and minds" of the same group of people: collectivists who believed that the society as a whole was more improtant than the individual and that humans cannot be trusted to do what is best for society when left to their own free will.

Those Germans who believed in "liberalism" in the pre-FDR connotation of the word thought both groups to be equally mad and (rightly) could care less what the details and emphasis were. True liberals who believed in liberty and freedom saw the "left" and the "right" of socialism as the manaces that they became and weren’t happy to see either side win. Many prominant Nazi’s started their socialist ideological lives as communists, changing "sides" without much difficulty. That’s because it was mild course correction not a 180 degree turn in the opposite direction.

Socialism in all its forms murdered hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century and arguing amongst the various sub-sets is a fruitless pursuit. Communismand Fascism are two sides of the same coin.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
Interesting, Scott. You create a wide separation between communism and fascism because of the nominal egalitarian self-description of the communists. At the same time you nearly fuse “traditional conservatism” with fascism because of a nominal notion of an “organic” whole (i.e. collectivism) that they both incorporate in their sentiment to some degree. Don’t you think that this grouping – communism on one side and fascism with conservatism on the other – is a misspecification? Would not fascism and communism be more suited as a grouping? Is that not common sense?
I believe all ideologies and religions can go the route communism and fascism did — to fanatic belief that creates rationale for terror and collapse. But fascists and communists stress such different ideals and goals that it is more in their method than in their ideology that they become similar. Even then, fascists coopated business, allowed the wealthy to prosper if they did not go against the state, and until the war did not really centralize government, it was more like competing fiefdoms or mafia families (party officials) in charge of different things.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb
Conservatism as an ideology believed that society was like an organic whole, resting on customs and traditions which bound a people.
But traditions and customs do bound a people. Does beliving that make one a collectivist? To me, it is a standard leftist strawman to imply that conservatives are "rugged individualists" who think they are going to move the world all by themselves (and of course, generally fail to do so).

Leftists are collectivists in that they persue collectivist statist solutions. Conservatives attempt to keep the state out of the act, and allow markets and cultural traditions (including religion) freedom to act and develop. Leftists in fact often attempt to break down collectivist non-statist traditions, such as religion. I don’t consider conservatives to be collectivists, because they do not tend to impose collectivist ideas via the state, however they often are strong belivers in collectivist action via churches, etc. However, since it isn’t a state imposed collectivism, I count it in a very different manner.

Everyone (except a few hermits) believe in collective action of some sort. The people I call "collectivist" are those who want to impose it via the state.
Pat Buchanan has NO problem signing onto to tariffs and "greenery" and the like. People are going to misconstrue this, but Paleo-Cons are very much Blood and Soil types.


I happen to view Pat as a populist, not a conservative. American conservatism is wrapped up with free markets, and Pat is iffy on free markets. Granted, he does share some ideas with conservatives. Perhaps we should call him a conservative populist.
Neo-Marxism traditions reject the totalitarian aspects of communism, and are primarily used as an analytical tool rather than a political program. Post-Marxism is also interesting as it tries to develop an anti-statist socialism and "radical democracy."
So, how is Neo-Marxism different from Marxism?

Marxism only viewed the "totalitarian aspects" as a temporary stage, the eventual result was to be a stateless form of socialism. Further, true Marxism was never anything but an "analytical tool", it was never a call to arms to overthrow anyone: it was simply an explination of what would happen and why. You can no more stop (or help) communism any more than you could prevent the fall of feudalism, if I’m understanding Marx correctly.

Neo-Marxism and Post-Marxism sound a lot like old fashioned Marxism.
But if you look at Hitler’s version (compared to the left wing Strasser ideas), he emphasized nationalism, focused on support from the far right, and had a fiercly anti-bolshevik attitude, with an opposite approach to how society should be organized. Socialism usually refers to state ownership and egalitarian ideals. Fascism and the Nazis in particular rejected egalitarianism, co-opted business, and built on conservative notions (though destroying them in how they took them to extremes). It certainly has little in common with Marxism or the utopian ideas usually associated with socialism.
Again, I think it makes more sense to compare Italian fascism to Marxism, rather than national socialsim. However, nationalism is progressive, in countries that are pre-nationalistic. And "co-opting business" is also progressive, in a nation that is not industrialized. Marx anticipated communism in developed countries such as England, the United States, and perhaps Germany (but not broken post-WW1 Germany). It was the "next stage", which required an advanced capitalist society to build on. Hence, in a nation such as Italy, nationalism and the development of an industrial base could be considered progressive.

I realize many modern leftists can’t help but pee on themselves when thinking of communist egalitarianism, but most communist countries have had a very dubious egalitarianism in practice. In any case, the leftist view of egalitarianism based upon outcomes is a farce. What works is the egalitarianism of the free market, the egalitarianism of opportunity.




 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I believe all ideologies and religions can go the route communism and fascism did — to fanatic belief that creates rationale for terror and collapse. But fascists and communists stress such different ideals and goals that it is more in their method than in their ideology that they become similar.
The problem with communism is that it doesn’t work. The USSR started with Lenin attempting communism and quickly backing off and accepting what in fact was essentially a form of fascism. That fascism became more pronounced, particularly when Stalin was faced with WW2, and realized that he had to appeal to Russian patriotism.

Communism doesn’t work: Few people are motivated by internationalism (and those few tend to be silly college students). The "vangard" of the revolution (the workers?) doesn’t give up control over the means of production once they seize them. Socialism can’t provide a functioning economic system (no incentive to work, no means of calculating the need for any product).
Even then, fascists coopated business, allowed the wealthy to prosper if they did not go against the state, and until the war did not really centralize government, it was more like competing fiefdoms or mafia families (party officials) in charge of different things.
Fascists are ex-socialists without acne. They know that shooting the buisnessmen is a bad idea, so they intimidate them and control them instead. They know that no one gives a rat’s ass for the international proletariat, so they defend nationalism instead.

Both fascism and socialism, in practice are collectivist ideologies that employee government control. The difference is that fascism is the pragmatic real-world version. Communism may sound good in campus coffie shops, but falls flat in the real world. The USSR, PRC, NK, Castro’s Cuba et al never achieved "true" communism.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The notion of an “organic” whole is inappropriate when applied to American conservatives. In the organic theory of society, some people or groups can be eliminated for the health of the whole. Nazism and communism clearly believed this. Whether the enemy is Jews or the Bourgeois parasites, both ideologies killed millions on principle. It’s wasn’t fanaticism or a panic – it was simple belief that sanctioned this behavior.

Conservatives and social democrats are collectivists, if we want to use the term, but in different ways. Conservatives believe in the collective wisdom of tradition while social democrats believe in the collective whim.

It just so happens that in America the “wisdom of our tradition” is individualism. Conservatives are generally favorable to the free market. They see limits more easily than libertarians and they don’t have a moral fervor about it but they readily admit that free markets and private property are major elements of our tradition. Recently they’ve become less satisfied with the notion of individualism but have retained a belief that markets are practical.

Don has some good remarks on why conservatives shouldn’t be lumped with socialists as political collectivists … they just don’t see the state as the unifying force. I noticed he just added some excellent notes on fascism and communism.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/

Conservatives and social democrats are collectivists, if we want to use the term, but in different ways. Conservatives believe in the collective wisdom of tradition while social democrats believe in the collective whim.
First part is right, but the second part is just a cheap shot. Social Democrats believe in reason and enlightenment ideals. Unfortunately, reason cannot give you the right answer, as how you use reason depends upon your assumptions. At one level I see your claim about ’whim’ — the assumptions upon which social democratic theory is built are moral assumptions about natural rights and equality. There is no proof that these things exist, but out of personal or even romantic grounds, social democrats build from that.

But I noted that traditional conservatives were collectivist. Modern American conservatives are liberal, and most Democrats are more liberal than social democratic (using the term liberal in its real, philosophical sense — libertarians are radical liberals).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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