Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hating Jews Progressives

One of the primary objects of my blogging over the last several years has been my belief that much of what passes for acceptable, mainstream conservative discourse is common hate speech masquerading as legitimate political dispute. In essence, that extremist ideas based in prejudice and bigotry have new found life in a more pc form.

And this is why I use the strike function so often where I replace "Jew" with "liberal," "S-P," or "progressive." It's because it's one of the only ways I know to emphasize something that seems so intuitive to me: often when I hear movement conservative derogatory speech about "liberals" it sounds to me the same way racists that I grew up around in the South talked about blacks.

Now don't get me wrong, I've heard people discussing Republicans and/or conservatives with the same underlying prejudice, contempt and hatred, but there is a key and vital difference. There is no mechanism by which hating conservatives, saying incoherently stupid yet horribly defamatory and demonizing things about them catapults one into media stardom and or wealth.

Which is why I'd like to take a moment, that is to say, a post, to thank Glenn Beck for providing the clearest example to date of the very phenomenon that I've been trying to explain and understand over the course of five years of blogging. Take it away Media Matters

Earlier today, Glenn Beck was regaling his radio audience with stories of all the old books he'd received from listeners and offered some particularly effusive praise for one particular volume that he was reading called The Red Network: A 'Who's Who' and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots, first published in 1934. According to Beck, the book shows that "McCarthy was absolutely right," and he lauded it for exposing the unions as havens for communists.

Unmentioned by Beck was the name of the author of The Red Network, Elizabeth Dilling, a woman known to history primarily for two things: her trial for sedition during World War II, and her rabid anti-Semitism.

Among Dilling's more noteworthy works was a polemic entitled The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today (originally titled "The Plot Against Christianity"). As the Anti-Defamation League notes, Dilling wrote in The Jewish Religion that Jews consider non-Jews to be sub-human, and that Jews have a hatred for Christians that is expressed in code in the Talmud. More the point, Dilling specifically blamed Jews for communism, writing: "Marxism, Socialism, or Communism in practice are nothing but state-capitalism and rule by a privileged minority, exercising despotic and total control over a majority having virtually no property or legal rights. As is discussed elsewhere herein, Talmudic Judaism is the progenitor of modem Communism and Marxist collectivism as it is now applied to a billion or more of the world's population. ... Socialism is indeed merely the clover held in front of the cow's nose to get her into the barn under the milking machine. It is a mechanism whereby a 'human' can lead a whole non-human herd into the Jewish controlled barn."

As Media Matters' Simon Maloy noted, Beck had kind words for Dilling's 1934 anti-communist book, The Red Network, saying: "This is a book -- and I'm a getting a ton of these -- from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now are documenting who all of these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it." Maloy noted that Dilling has a long history of rabid anti-Semitism, such as calling President Eisenhower "Ike the Kike" and labeling President Kennedy's New Frontier program the "Jew frontier."

Professor Glen Jeansonne and writer David Luhrssen note in the encyclopedia Women and War that Dilling wasn't only anti-Semitic, but a sympathizer and supporter of the Nazis and Hitler
This link, particularly, is significant

According to [University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee history professor]Jeansonne, Dilling was probably the "most bigoted woman anti-Semite of the period around World War II" and used "long-discredited conspiracy theories" -- including theories advanced in the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion -- in an effort to link Communism and Judaism.

Jeansonne said that "in addition to being anti-Semitic and anti-Communist, Dilling purported the most convoluted conspiracy theories that are imaginable." He added, "She viewed all sorts of groups with no connection or only the loosest connection as being bound together in an international conspiracy."
I say this is significant because if you've been following my posts on Beck you'll recall that I've said repeatedly that Beck's world view is basically a Protocols of Zion type paranoid conspiracy, but with "progressives" having replaced "Jews."

Here we see Beck mindlessly endorsing precisely that sort of conspiracy and hate, apparently believing that Dilling was exposing the same "progressive" enemies within that he's Quixotically battling. One might be inclined to excuse Beck on the grounds that he didn't realize that Dilling was part of the very cabal of pro-Nazi sympathists that Beck has characterized on his tv and radio programs as being part of the 100 year "progressive" plot to destroy America, and given his demonstrated ignorance and stupidity this is quite plausible, but yet presumably Beck has read the book he's endorsing, which doesn't explain his inability to recognize hate when he sees it.

Here’s the book Glenn Beck is pushing: The Red network: a ‘who’s who’ and handbook of radicalism for patriots. LGF reader Killgore Trout points out a lovely quote from this toxic book:

…the American Negroes have acquired professions, property, banks, homes and produced a rising class of refined, home loving people. This is far more remarkable than that many negroes are still backwards. The Red play upon the Negroes’ love of their own people and represent them as persecuted in order to inflame them against the very White people who have in reality given the colored race far greater opportunities than their fellow negroes would have given them in Africa today.
Of course, as Alexander Zaitchik notes in Common Nonsense, Beck has a history of introducing his audience to right wing extremist bigots without bothering to identify their prejudice to his audience (more on this in an upcoming post.)

As Dave Neiwert puts it, "[this is] probably the most significant major-media endorsement of American fascist ideology since the 1930s." One point I disagree with Mr. Neiwert on is his use of the qualifier "probably" in suspecting that Beck believed that American Nazis were progressives at heart. I disagree with it because I watched the episode of Mr. Beck's program where he told his audience indeed that American fascism was one of the consequences of "progressivism" derailing the American tradition followed by a psuedo-documentary arguing the same.

What would Glenn Beck have to do, short of putting on Klan robes and declaring President Obama a threat to white power, to end his career in the mainstream media?

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