Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to scifidink@gmail.com)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

LIVING HISTORY

American study of history has been as ruthless in eliminating aspects of history that don't serve the right wing narrative - - the best, the brightest and the most entreprenurial - - as the economics profession has been in eliminating theories that don't serve the narrative, like Keynes.
How many of our colleagues reading these comments know that Socialists and Communists fought Hitler in the streets, were interned with Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and dwarfs and except for the military's last minute demural almost succeeded in organizing a coup against him. How many also know that while the German middle class was voting for Hitler the working classes overwhelmingly voted socialist. American historians pose fascism as a working class phenomenon while it clearly was not. You really need access to foreign language sources in my experience to get the real story of what went on.
The best thing about the possiblity of the ruling class uniting with the lunatics in the country to foster some variant of fascism on us will be the opportunity to rise to the historical occasion again. This same dichotomy occurred in Spain in the war against Franco; Italy in the partisan resistance and France in their resistance and is being played out on the small stage in Europe still today. In England as well elements of the ruling class also supported Hitler but the war got ahead of them and largely but not entirely united the country.
@ Real Person
Thanks for your thoughtful and sincere comments. My own feeling is that Reagan was very instrumental in furthering this agenda. It started as a right wing assault, concerted if not an organized conspiracy - - the monied classes doesn't need to sit down and discuss their common interests to get behind them, they know them all too well - - on what they viewed as the excessive populist gains of the 1960s and 70s, e.g. women's rights, the civil rights movement, student rights, black panther radicalism, union student alliances, environmentalism, etc. One of the first things that occurred was the elimination of progressive economists from campuses around the country --can you believe in that period we even had a few marxist economists in the USA! It wasn't done through conspiratorial efforts and a few survived for a while but the reaction slowly set in through diverse social spheres, endowments given by right wing foundations, right wing think tanks funded, etc. While economics was certainly considered by the well to do a sensitive area to control and one vital to their interest, the assault gained momentum and spilled into many sectors. The assault on Keynes was soon to follow and is the reason for much of the discussion on this blog today as we come to grips with the result of a half century of right wing reaction and empowerment.
In regards to another of a Real Person's questions regarding Obamas plan. I think that the best it will do is gain us a bit of time. I have no doubt that in the circumstance - - both political and economic circumstances have to be taken into account which is something we largely don't do in an economics blog - - the plan is the best anyone could have done.
Buying tims until when and if the economy shows some life is very important because we don't want to force individuals and institutions to take additional losses until the economy picks up.
I do not see criticisms and especially warnings as the one above as "undermining" Obama. On the contrary progressive realism, as that of the socialists in Germany before the war, may be the only thing that will save the middle class from the path the well to do has embarked them on.
SS

18 comments:

Thai said...

We need to bring them back to the campuses, I totally agree.

And the socialists were indeed heros of WWII as you rightfully point out.

But do you really think an all out revolution in the US?? I have thought on this a bit and need to think some more. Certainly I would never have entertained such an idea before blogging but now I am not so sure.

Revolutionary group agendas are so hard to predict as there are an awful lot of wacko's out there: anti-Semites, etc... so it would be hard to say how things would play out.

Interesting post.

Thanks

SS said...

Thai,

A right wing putsch could resemble Iran, indeed 2000's Supreme court decision was a dress rehearsal.

Thai said...

I just don't see right wing religious groups in America as that cohesive.

They tend to agree on things like abortion, etc... but once theology comes into the picture, they are not that uniform.

Thai said...

But I fully admit I could be wrong.

SS said...

I didn't mean or say religious, I meant Iranian only in terms of the inside nature of the coup, here it will be monied interests with or without religious groups.

Dink said...

CA hits another budget deadline today. That state scares the hell out of me.

Debra said...

Hmmmm....
If there is a REAL person commenting on this blog does that then mean that I am an UNREAL person ?
That is a very interesting thought.
I am in mind to take it as a compliment for the time being.
SS, I still think that you idealize way too many things for your good, and for mine.
You have to SIT THROUGH a lecture by a Marxist literature prof spouting out Marxist theory in order to appreciate just how LIMITING Marxist ideology really is.
On the French resistance, see Lacombe Lucien. I think that Louis Malle almost got crucified for this film, even YEARS AFTER the events had already occurred.
I have much in common with some people who would consider themselves to be a part of the religious right, and who I know personally. I have MORE in common with them than I do with many lib dems. (This is a disparaging term, I know, and it doesn't even fit American politics, but I like it...)

Thai said...

"Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime
oubli , parce qu' il a t proprement fait."

- Balzac



Which I am told translate (probably incorrectly) as "behind every great fortune lies a great crime."


... Of course the greatest crime of all is life itself ;-)

Thai said...

Oops typo (Freudian?) again.

I meant to say "Of course the greatest fortune of all is life itself"

Regards

Dink said...

Just when we thought the "depravity" Freudian slip couldn't be topped....:)

Debra said...

Geez, Thai, I'm glad you're not MY Ob-gyn...
(But it's a little late for that anyway...)
Living proof : typo Freudian slips ARE possible !!!
Now let's all just politely look the other way.

Thai said...

I think you are taking my Freudian typo into meanings I think it is fair to say that even my subconscious clearly did not intend.

Have no concern, I spend all my days figuring out how to preserve life, not the other way around.

Thai said...

FYI- I was thinking about how I admire Dink's vegetarianism while I was typing but then I started thinking about how the real admiration comes from avoiding consuming things with intelligence similar to us (which I have never been completely able to bring myself to do).

And this gets me thinking about why we make these distinctions between intelligence in what we eat when plants and animals are really both life so it is still life (us) eating life (plants or animals).

... I am not sure what you thought I meant with my typo but I have a hunch I don't really want to know.

;-)

Debra said...

I was just rubbing you, Thai.
I am the LAST person to pompously insist on interpreting this kind of stuff. Remember ? Freudian interpretation is reductionist thought in my book. (Kind of iconoclastic coming from a (former) shrink, right ?)
And for the veggies, EVERYBODY'S heard the carrot scream, haven't they ?
Gotta indulge in our individual and collective sadistic impulses somewhere, though. Otherwise we shoot each other in the streets...
Personally Thai, I am not sure that I am willing to imperiously decide that carrots DON'T think.
If they think, they don't think the way I do.
But... who are WE to say they don't think ?
When was the last time YOU asked a carrot the question (in a way it could understand, of course...)?

Anne said...

"The secret behind every great fortune without obvious justification is a forgotten crime, forgotten because cleanly pulled off."

Thai said...

I knew someone would tell me I got it wrong!

... By the way, are you the same Anne that comments frequently on economist's view?

If so then "hello" as you just so happen to be one of my favorite commenters on that site.

Anyway, thanks for the correction. I knew it was dangerous to quote someone I have never read. ;-)

Anyway, whether you are that Anne or a different Anne, please feel free to stop whenever.

Regards

Debra said...

No, Thai, sorry to get your hopes up.
But then you should have known that one of the few people capable of polishing up the translation was bilingual and currently living abroad.
Anne is my daughter, and for some curious reason, Google decided that I was posting from HER account, and not mine..

Thai said...

Well that's fine too. I think I had two schizophrenic patients today at work... In order to increase authorship why don't you come as Debra sometimes and Anne others?

;-)

PS- see if you can get Okie to join us. he is a good guy. he said he tried to post but had trouble getting on.

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