Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Kyklos, Sep 14, 2018.
Here is part Two of the interview of Paul Tillich by Carl Rogers.
Here are two interesting sources on how fascism has infiltrated the American Christian churches--Christian Fundamentalism in particular.
How Conservatives Co-Opted Christianity
And one consequence of co-opting American Christianity is that Americans are leaving churches in droves: they intuitively know it isn't the "Christian Pattern" as Kierkegaard would say. Notice that in 1991 Americans began to leave the fascist churches with the rise of the Mega Churches preaching the fake "Prosperity Gospel" i.e, Free Market Fundamentalism, and even incorporating churches as businesses. Here is an interesting article on why Americans are leaving Christian churches.
Why Americans are leaving their churches (link)
Positive Muscular Christianity: "Jesus was a woman with a beard."
Video narrative excerpt:
"Some of the reasons why most Christians in Germany welcomed the rise of Nazism in 1933 were: Backlash against the Weimar Republic and the political, economic, and social changes in Germany that occurred during the 1920s; Anti-Communism; Nationalism; and resentment toward the international community in the wake of World War I, which Germany lost and for which it was forced to pay heavy reparations.
The German Christians were also persuaded by the statement on “positive Christianity” in Article 24 of the 1920 Nazi Party Platform, which read:
'We demand the freedom of all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not jeopardize the state's existence or conflict with the manners and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The Party as such upholds the point of view of a positive Christianity without tying itself confessionally to any one confession. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit at home and abroad and is convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only be achieved from within on the basis of common good before individual good.'
Despite the open antisemitism of this statement and its linkage between confessional 'freedom' and a nationalistic, radicalized understanding of morality. Many Christians in Germany at the time read this as an affirmation of Christian values."
And this is the version that the fascist whores ('idolatresses' in biblical terminology) Marjorie Traitor Greene, and Lauren Boebert embrace.
HORRIBLE Execution of Otto Neururer - Catholic Priest Brutally Crucified by Nazis at Buchenwald
I think the Christian Germans saw it as an acceptance of Christian values in contrast to the Communist opposition's hostility towards religion. And I doubt Hitler was much of a Christian but was pragmatic and recognized the influence of Christianity among the German people and and wanted to exploit the communist opposition to religion to garner support from the German people. Germany then was a competition between Hitlers fascism and communism. They called it anti fascism but it was just communism.
Marjorie Traitor Green (Fascist Whore--Ga) and Paul Gosar (Fascist-Ariz) have been given power by the Republican Party to rule over American life and minds. In the New Testament book of Revelations, "whore" is a metaphor for an "idolatress." Freedom of religion will soon be further suppressed as their incompetence bring about a new regime of idiocy to the Washington D.C. Congressional Mafia-Fascist Whorehouse--literally.
Helene Gotthold was guillotined for reading her bible with others and giving moral support to other persecuted by the Nazis.
The HORRIFIC Execution Of The Former Lutheran Guillotined For Standing Up To Hitler for not Supporting War
On Fundamentalist Biblical Literalism and the Christian Copernican Revolution
“Bonhoeffer’s answer was to say that God is deliberately calling us in this twentieth century to a form of Christianity that did not depend on the premise of religion, just as St. Paul was calling men in the first century to a form of Christianity that did not depend on the premise of circumcision.”-- John A. T. Robinson (1919-1983) in “Honest to God,” (1963) p. 23 (pdf.).
Keith Ward is a Christian philosopher, theologian, pastor and scholar. He has an MA and DD degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford, and he served as Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford from 1991 to 2004. In the video below is his critique of Christian Fundamentalist biblical literalism that renders Christianity incomprehensible in modern advanced industrial society. This problem is mentioned early in theologian Rudolf Bultmann’s essay "New Testament and Mythology," addressing the issues of Kerygma (κηρύσσω: proclamation of the Gospel) and Myth (μῦθος: story, or narrative). Some German Christian ministers found it difficult during WWI, if not impossible, to communicate the obscure jargon of New Testament Christianity to soldiers in the trenches. Theologian Paul Tillich was a Chaplin in the Battle of Verdun in which 143,000 German soldiers were killed that had a profound impact on his understanding of Christian theology.
One extremely important book concerning Kerygma and Myth that addresses the problems with biblical literalism is authored by John A. T. Robinson (1919-1983) titled, “Honest to God,”(1963)(pdf.). Robinson was the Bishop of Woolwich, England and Dean of Clare College, Cambridge, and Chaplain of Wells Theological College. Robinson introduces a new theological hermeneutic (principle of interpretation) of the New Testament as presented by Tillich (pursued by the Nazis), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (hung naked by the Nazis), and Bultmann in a “Copernican Revolution” of understanding Christianity.
Professor Keith Ward’s Critique of Fundamentalism (Part 1 of 2)
Remember, the Nazis presented themselves as "Christian Nationalists."
The HORRIFIC Execution Of The 11 Nuns That Stood Up To Hitler
Reporter Rachel Maddow discusses the rise of American Christian Fascism and the American Catholic crypto-fascist, Father Coughlin, during the 1930s. But it is only a short summary of a much larger work by Maddow.
Rachel Maddow EXPLOSIVE Interview with Former Top Federal Prosecutor
In the above video, Maddow mentions another eight-hour documentary podcast on how the Nazis infiltrated the US Congress in the 1930-40s that included some 24 sitting U.S. Congressmen that took money and spread Nazi propaganda to keep the US out of WWII. Her documentary podcast is titled "Ultra." I do not subscribe to any of the mainstream networks, so I didn't know about this excellent documentary released in October 2022. I am glad Maddow is getting this history out. Notice how the courts played down the violence, and threats of violence by the right-wing during this historical period. And notice how the press steered events by omitting information and mocked the courts. The historical material Maddow based her research on has been well documented in a book by Glen Yeadon and John Hawkins titled, "The Nazi Hydra: How America's right-wing politicians are plunging the country into a fascist police state." (2003-2008 ) (pdf.). I have referred to Yeadon's work in the past naming leading American public figures that cooperated with the Nazis (Lindbergh, Williams Hearst, Henry Ford, Henry Luce). You will find the same political personalities, acts of violence, and treason committed during WWII by American Fascists have reappeared today.
The Un-American Congress
"And these citizens are united only by one thing and this is true. That is, you become a citizen in the United States by a simple consent to the Constitution...it is a scared document. It is the constant remembrance of the sacred act. And that is the act of foundation. And the foundation is to make a union out of wholly disparate ethnic minorities and regions and still have a union and do not assimilate or level down these differences. And all this is very difficult to understand for a foreigner. It's what a foreigner never understands. We can say this is a government by law and not by men to what extent that is true and needs to be true for the well-being of the country." -- Hannah Arendt, 1973 interview (2:45 min.).
I first discovered Glen Yeadon and John Hawkins' book "The Nazi Hydra In Fascist America," (2003-2008 ) in 2004 while studying the history of fascism, an interest developed from reading Herbert Marcuse on totalitarianism who was associated with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, and reading "The Authoritarian Personality" (1950) authored by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, and Nevitt Sanford, at the University of California, Berkeley during WWII about the rise of fascism in Nazi Germany.
Those books are extremely abstract and theoretical, while on the other hand most WWII video documentaries only recount battles and dates without examining fascism in depth, but Yeadon and Hawkins researched the historical facts of how German Fascism infiltrated the United States Congress in the 1930s operating a huge pro-Nazi German propaganda publishing machine paid for by the US taxpayer, some of whom died in war against the Axis Powers while getting paid $50 dollars a month as soldiers. The Hydra text examines the influence of Nazi fascism in US corporate law, shocking corporate economic sabotage, Red Scare propaganda campaigns, the Klansman preachers, American eugenics, the Bush Banking Crime Family, seditionist insurrection against Franklin D. Roosevelt, Republicans elections & Nazis, the corrupt US media, the failure of the FBI, the success of the OSS and the fascist insurrection in America--it's a 543 page well researched book for free here (pdf.), but I purchased my copy to give moral support to the authors. It is a great resource text for historical reference even if you don't read it cover to cover. The table of contents list is at the end of the book.
George “Swastika” Viereck
Our current 118th United States Congress is the most corrupt since the 1930s Congress in which numerous US Congressmen were secretly receiving monies from the Nazi agent propagandist George "Swastika" Viereck who supplied the Republican Minnesota populist Congressman Ernest Lundeen with isolationist pro-fascist propaganda articles and speeches in hope of delaying or preventing the US from entering WWII against Hitler.
Minnesota Congressman Ernest Lundeen
After the death of Lundeen in a mysterious plane crash, special assistant to the Attorney General, William Maloney, discovered other Congressional members were also being paid by the Nazis to use the US Congressional postal system to mail free of charge hundreds of thousands of ghost-written Nazis propaganda tracks with congressmen as pseudo authors. Congressman Lundeen had taken money not only from the Nazi Viereck, but from the German Foreign Ministry Ambassador Thomsen. Interestingly, the investigative journalist turned propagandist, George Creel, agreed to write for Thomsen before Peral Harbor interrupted the book deal (NH, p. 176)."
Here is a partial list of the treasonous congressmen indicted by special assistant to the Attorney General, William on July 21, 1942, of mostly Republicans from Minnesota and Michigan*:
Stephen Day (Republican from Illinois)
Hamilton Fish (Republican New York) (Absolutely the worst)
Rush Holt (Democrat West Virginia)
Ernest Lundeen Republican (Farmer-Labor Minnesota)
John Alexander Republican Minnesota
Philip Bennett Republican Missouri
Usher Burdick Republican North Dakota
Worth Clark Democrat Idaho
Cliff Clevenger Republican Ohio
Henry Dworshak Republican Idaho
Clare Hoffman Republican Michigan
Edwin Johnson Democrat Colorado
Bartell Jonlman Republican Michigan
Harold Knutson Republican Minnesota
Robert LaFollette Republican Wisconsin
Gerald Nye Republican North Dakota
Robert Reynolds Democrat North Carolina
Paul Shafer Republican Michigan
Henrik Shipstead Republican Minnesota
William Stratton Republican Illinois
Martin Sweeney Democrat Ohio
Jacob Thorkelson Republican Montana
George Tinkham Republican Massachusetts
Burton Wheeler Democrat Montana (Also, among the worst of the American fascists congressmen)
*Source, see Glen Yeadon's book, "The Nazi Hydra,"(2003-2008 ) (pdf.) p. 175.
Yeadon notes that the Nazi corruption of Congress continued from the 1930s to the 1940 election. The Republican Party was profiting from a secret Nazi election slush fund:
"On the eve of the Republican National Convention , money from this Nazi slush fund was used in a propaganda blitz for the isolationists. One Republican congressman received $3,000 for heading up a contingent of fifty isolationists. The Nazi money was well spent, as the convention closed with a party platform plank firmly opposed to US involvement in the war. The Nazis were especially pleased to note that the platform plank was taken almost verbatim from the full-page German propaganda ads placed in the New York Times on June 25. 35 Stephen Day had been paid thousands of dollars to form the committee publishing the ad. Day, a Republican congressman from Illinois, would be named as a fascist collaborator by [US District Attorney] Maloney. The ad was signed by Representatives Samuel Pettingill, Harold Knudsen, John O'Conner and Hamilton Fish, and Senators Edwin Johnson, Bennett Clark, David Walsh, Burton Wheeler and Rush Holt. [superscript. 101 Both Lewis and Democratic Senator Burton Wheeler, a leading isolationist, spoke before the convention (NH, p. 154)."
When the German ambassador Thomsen was busted and funds seized by the FBI, he had three million dollars remaining of five million dollars to spend on the 1940 Republican elections:
"Regardless of whether the Nazis spent only $2 million or the full $5 million dollars, they were a major source of campaign funds for the Republicans in 1940. While the total amount of Nazis funds spent on the Republican 1940 campaign may never be known with any certainty, from the funds recovered in the embassy raid it is clear that at least $2 million was spent from the slush fund alone. Therefore, the lower limit is at least $2 million. In short, a major proportion ranging from 15% to over 33% of the Republican campaign funds in 1940 came directly from the Nazis. Considering the fact major industrialists were active supporters of the Nazis and large donors to the Republican Party, well over 50% of the Republican campaign funding in 1940 came either directly from Nazis in Berlin or those within the United States (NH, p. 155)."
These acts of treason pale in comparison to those of Democratic Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana when, unbelievably, he leaked to Hitler through the pro-fascist Chicago Tribune newspaper America's WWII strategic military plans against Nazi Germany:
"...it was on the eve of the war with Germany that Wheeler revealed himself as a traitor and a fascist. On December 4, 1941, the pro-fascist Chicago Tribune and its' sister publication the Washington Times Herald printed the plans for the top-secret Rainbow 5 Plan.
Rainbow 5 was the battle plan developed by the military in case war broke out. Publishing the plan or leaking information about the plan would be the equivalent of publishing or leaking the battle order of the Pentagon during the Cold War. Unquestionably, leaking such a plan was an act of treason. In Hitler's speech declaring war against the United States on December 11, 1945, the final straw he listed was as follows.
'With no attempt at an official denial there has now been revealed in America, President Roosevelt's plan by which, at the latest in 1943, Germany and Italy are to be attacked in Europe by Military means.'43
Amazing as it may seem, no one was charged with treason or sedition, not the Chicago Tribune, not Wheeler and not the army officer that delivered the papers to Wheeler despite an FBI investigation. Remember this was the battle plan in case war broke out. It was top secret and fewer than a dozen copies of the report were ever produced (NH, p. 214)."
This era of American history shows just how crazy our democratic congress can become, and it even gets worst.
Continuing from post #736....
US CEOs Provide Nazi Germany War Production and Sabotage America
Before examining the role of American Christian sects played during the 1930s and 1940s as the German Nazis rose to power, let us revisit what American politicians, and the big corporate business leaders were up to during the time leading up to the outbreak of WWII.
I have been reviewing only some of the high points of Glen Yeadon and John Hawkins’ book on American Fascism, “The Nazi Hydra,” that in part researched fascist Germany’s effort to delay FDR’s entering WWII as an ally of Great Britain during the 1930’s until Pearl Harbor, December 4, 1940. The German Nazi government had successfully infiltrated the US Congress and by July 21, 1942, Attorney General, William Maloney indicted twenty-eight persons (24 were Congressmen), thirty publications and twenty-six organizations for receiving Nazi propaganda money (Ibid., p. 174). The German Embassy had already spent about three million dollars out of five million dollars reserved to fund the Republican November 1940 General Election. And when Japan attacked Peral Harbor Democratic Senator Burton Wheeler of Montana immediately leaked detailed US WWII military war plans. Wheeler was later responsible for removing William Maloney from the investigation and indictment of the treasonous US Congressmen.
However, as unAmerican as the indicted Congressmen were, American corporations were even worst. Yeadon/Hawkins notes the “…majority of support for fascism and opposition to the war came from the leaders of corporate America. It was the leaders of corporate America who were behind the plot to seize the White House and install a fascist government. It was the leaders of corporate America who were building the Third Reich's war machine as the statement from the US Ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, noted. And it would be the leaders of corporate America who went on a sit-down strike to prevent the production of war munitions first for the Lend Lease program and then for our own troops once war was declared (Ibid., p. 216; bold text added).”
Pro-Nazi Domestic Terrorists Go Unpunished
During 1940 to 1945 American corporate leaders conspired to prevent or delay the delivery of munitions intended for Britain’s war against Nazi Germany in a “Lend Lease agreement.” At least four separate munitions factories in the United States mysteriously blew up, three power factories about 20 minutes travel time apart exploded at the same time.
These particular acts of sabotage are not covered in “The Hydra,” but Rachel Maddow includes great detail in her third chapter of “Ultra,” titled “The Day.” The first munitions factory to explode was during 1940 located in Kenvil, New Jersey, and was named “Hercules Powder Plant” because it was larger than 900 football fields. This explosion of 25 tons of gun powder killed 52 persons, injuring 200, or about half of all workers that day, and causing two million dollars damage leaving a 13-foot crater whose blast was felt 90 miles away. Then two months later three other separate munitions plants within 20 minutes travel time of each other —another factory in New Jersey, and two others in Pennsylvania—exploded at the same time killing sixteen additional Americans, and wounding dozens more. It turns out that an Anti-Defamation League activist, Steven Ross, leaked to the FBI before the bombings that a Los Angeles Nazi group called “Friends of New Germany,” where involved, and an informant name Neil Ness knew of the planned bomb attacks on munitions plants. Ross Ness testified in 1939 before the plant explosions:
“Look, these Nazis are dangerous, and they are violent, and they are going to start– they talk about Der Tag all the time, ‘The Day,’ meaning the day that they’re going to blow up and takeover America. And he uncovers a series of plots. Amongst them are Nazis are planning to blow up military and defense installations. He says, ‘You know, we talked about blowing up the Hercules Powder Plant’ (Ibid., ‘Ultra: The Day’).”
No arrests were ever made by the FBI for these acts of sabotage, and murder by a domestic Nazi group.
Returning to Yeadon/Hawkins’ research, “The Nazi Hydra,” text documents corporate America’s organized rejection of contracts to provide Britain with war materials such as munitions, and in the case of the Ford Motor Company refused a contract to build aircraft engines for the Royal Airforce (NH., p. 217). In contrast, the famous Nazi "Blitzkrieg" method of military combat was only possible by getting the Nazi military off horseback and into a fully mechanized army. General Motors provided the Nazi army with motor vehicles (see, “Nazi Nexus: America's Corporate Connections to Hitler's Holocaust,” Erwin Black, Washington, DC: Dialog Press, 2009).
In another case, IBM was particularly bad. IBM used its computers that ran patented Hollerith numbered punch cards that only IBM could use and be programmed on their machines. This computer system kept tract of the Jewish population in death camps or work camps, and all the German people. Daily, camp prisoners had to stand for hours during roll calls to verify prisoner records. Prisoner deaths were recorded as "natural," "disease," and "special treatment" (gas chambers) so the American IBM programmers knew how their computers were being used (see, “IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation,” Erwin Black, New York: Crown Publishers, 2001).
American Aluminum Company of America (Aloca) was owned by Andrew Mellon during the 1930s and dragged his feet-- and even sabotaged—implementing FDR’s efforts to increase aircraft production that needed aluminum which Mellon conveniently held a near monopoly. During the 1920s Mellon signed a “cartel agreement” with German business interests, i.e., Adolf Hitler. Yeadon/Hawkins found all the particulars:
“By its cartel agreement with I.G. Farben controlled by Hitler, Alcoa sabotaged the aluminum program of the US air force. The Truman Committee heard testimony that Alcoa's representative, A.H. Bunker a dollar a year head of the aluminum section of the OPM prevented work on our $600,000,000 aluminum expansion program.
Congressman Pierce of Oregon said in May 1941: ‘To date 137 days or 371/2% of a year's production has been wasted in the effort to protect Alcoa's monopolistic position. This delay translated into planes means 10,000 fighters or 1,665 bombers.’
…Not only did Alcoa own almost all of the plants that produced aluminum, but it also controlled most of the high-grade bauxite ore. Aluminum production requires massive amounts of electric power and Alcoa controlled much of the hydropower (NH., p. 217).”
Andrew Mellon had the monopolies on the necessary aluminum ore, smelting process, and even hydroelectricity. Mellon even owned land on both the American and Canadian side of the International Rapids Stretch border which produced unlimited hydroelectricity for a mere one-tenth of a penny per kilowatt-hour. On the Canadian side the power generating utility was publicly owned and charged $0.85 cents a kilowatt-hour. In contrast, on the New York side, hydroelectricity was produced by the privately owned Niagara Hudson company for $1.59 per kilowatt-hour (for more details see, Ibid., p. 21.
US investigators learned that “not only did Ford willingly build trucks for the Nazis they also helped the Nazis stockpile materials for the war with the complete knowledge of the Dearborn headquarters (Ibid., p. 269).” In another case, “When the RAF bombed the Ford plant at Poissy in March 1942, photographs of the burning plant were published in American newspapers. However, the media chains owning the majority of American newspapers were eager to protect one of their largest advertisers failed to mention that Ford owned the plant (Ibid., p. 269).” Yeadon/Hawkins note, “The first to support what became the Nazi line publicly was Henry Ford. In the early 1920s, Ford began publishing an antisemitic newspaper. Ford was also an early financial supporter of Hitler at a time when the Nazis were virtually unknown.”
John Birch Society
None of the corporate leaders mentioned here were never held responsible for their actions by the US government. Some congressmen later lost their seats for taking money from the Nazis, but most continued their careers specializing in John Birch Society Red-Scare propaganda. In summary, “The same corporations that were guilty of delaying war production in the sit-down strike and sponsoring pro-fascist groups at home were also guilty of knowingly trading with the Nazis during the war. A massive change in tactics was required to protect themselves from sedition or treason charges following the conclusion of the war… First, it marked the beginning of targeting those within the government that were fully opposed to fascism. Many of those within the Roosevelt administration or in the halls of Congress that called for the complete destruction of fascism were discredited, forced to resign or targeted for defeat in elections by corporate America (Ibid., p. 232).”
continuing from post 737.
The Parallelism of American Fascism and Christian Fundamentalism
The American history researched by Yeadon and Harkins in “The Nazi Hydra” is not the version you will find in Samuel Eliot Morison’s famous text, “The Oxford History of The American People.” (1965)(OHAP)(pdf.). Morison’s history does mention briefly (Ibid., p. 972-4) the right-wing religious leader, Father Coughlin, (1891-1979) a Canadian Catholic Irish priest who moved to Detroit, Michigan during the 1930s to start a religious radio broadcast to some 30 million American listeners, or a fourth of the U.S. population at that time. Coughlin initially supported President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, but later turned against him for bailing out Wall Street Bankers. Although unorganized, Father Coughlin was just the tip of the fascist iceberg that had been in existence for many decades in American Christian churches before the multiple Wall Street bank crashes of the 1930s. U.S. Corporations and the American oligarchy blamed Roosevelt for causing the 1929 economic collapse and interfering with the depression they hoped would destroy labor unions: “Almost every man of wealth had enough resource to tide him over any conceivable depression, but he wanted the downward spiral to hit rock bottom, smash the labor unions, and reestablish the free labor market of the previous century. Roosevelt's successful effort to prevent that was his unpardonable crime; but in the eyes of the country at large, his greatest achievement (OHAP, p. 977).”
U.S. Corporations heavily invested in Germany were so outraged by Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, that some American corporate leaders began a plot in 1934 to overthrow the American government and install a fascist regime. Fanatic Hitler worshipper, Irènee du Pont (1876–1963), financed the Nazis regime through General Motors, and the J. P. Morgan Bank. Also involved in the planned coup was owner Robert Clark of the Singer Sewing machine corporation (and gun manufacturer), Grayson Murphy of Goodyear, and the Pew family of Sun Oil (see NH, p. 143). Extremist right-wing political organizations were also participating such as the American Liberty League financed by the du Pont family:
“Morgan and du Pont cronies (including John J. Raskob) funded the League. Included in the League's advisory council were Dr. Samuel Hardin Church, who ran the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, W.R. Perkins of National City Bank; Alfred Sloan, CEO of GM; Joseph M. Proskauer, former New York Supreme Court Justice and the general counsel to the Consolidated Gas Company; J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil and the financier of the openly fascist Sentinels of the Republic; and David Reed, the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania who remarked on the floor of the Senate in May 1932: 'I do not often envy other countries and their governments, but I say that if this country ever needed a Mussolini, it needs one now’ (NH, p. 145).”
"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidency October 31, 1936
WWI veterans Gerald MacGuire (a bonds salesman employed by the heir to the Singer Sewing machine corporation, Robert Clark) and Bill Doyle (Bill Doyle was commander of the Massachusetts American Legion) were sent to recruit the famous war hero, General Smedley Butler, to give a speech on the gold standard at an American Legion convention in the hope of eventually convincing Butler to lead 500,000 volunteers of embittered veterans in an insurrection against FDR. Sent by Robert Clark, MacGuire had gone to Germany specifically to study how military veterans were convinced to join the German Nazi movement. General Butler wanted nothing to do with the planned insurrection, but still allowed MacGuire to think he was interested. After several meetings Butler contacted journalist investigator Paul C. French who then informed FDR of the coup plot that was not unlike other reports he was getting. The McCormick-Dickstein Committee was formed on November 20, 1934, to investigate the coup plan and concluded Butler told the truth: the committee submitted a report, but the media networks suppressed the committee findings. Very little of the investigation got into the mainstream press. FDR may have decided not to go public any further since Nazi agitation propaganda would intensify and exploit widespread political unrest.
To Morison’s credit, he briefly mentions this ugly episode in his one thousand one hundred-and eighty-four-page classic text on American history, but he does not go into detail of the sabotage FDR experienced before, during, and even after the Nazis were defeated. These same Wall Street financial powerhouses that financed Germany’s pre-war military build-up successfully propagandized for the release of Nazi war criminals who in one case executed en mass 84 American soldiers with hundreds of other allied soldiers in the Malmedy, Belgium massacre (see, NH, p. 293). Here is how Morison summarized the coup plan and only many hundreds of pages later mention General Butler regarding a battle in Nicaragua:
“…Roosevelt's foreign policy sharply divided American opinion. Critics charged that it was dragging the United States inexorably into an “imperialistic" war with which we had no legitimate concern; supporters insisted that only by helping Britain and France to defeat Hitler could we save democracy from destruction and ourselves from ultimate attack. The issue was fought out in the halls of Congress, in the press, over the radio, on public platforms, in bars, offices, and homes. Party lines were shattered, labor organizations split, business relations strained, old friendships broken. William Allen White's Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies organized branches in a thousand towns, sent out hundreds of speakers and millions of letters and pamphlets to arouse the nation to its danger. The opposition organization, the America First Committee, top-billing Charles Lindbergh, paraded, picketed, protested, and preached an amalgam of isolationism and pacifism, with overtones of anti-Semitism; and it came out after the war that the “America Firsters" had accepted financial support from Germany. Newspapers like the New York Times and Herald-Tribune ranged themselves behind the presidential policy, while the Chicago Tribune found itself in a congenial alliance with Hearst ringing an alarm-bell against, ‘being dragged into war to save England’ (OHAP p. 977).”
The Many Headed Nazi Hydra and Christian Nationalism
Father Coughlin of the “Christian Front” was only one pro-Nazi propagandist among many other leaders of some Christian religious sects that held similar views and long outlasted Coughlin’s paid pro-Nazi propaganda gig which ended when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. Yeadon/Hawkins’ research found Reverend Gerald K. Smith, (1898 –1976) assistant to Coughlin, was an even more important pro-Nazi religious leader and is considered the founder of Christian Identity religious movements that right-wing extremist groups embrace today. Smith was also Louisiana Governor “The Kingfish” Huey Long’s assistant in his “Share-the-Wealth” populus movement (OHAP, p. 975). Smith was a friend of Henry Ford, and a minister in the anti-Semitic cult “Disciples of Christ Church.”
“Christian America” was another fascist group which successfully lobbied states for “right to work” anti-labor laws during the 1946 election in which over 200 anti-union bills would flood congress. Yeadon noted that “The rehabilitated Fred Hartley, who had supported Japan and Germany up until the moment Pearl Harbor was bombed, would co-author the anti-union Taft-Hartley act. The fascist group Christian America would successfully lobby several Southern and Midwestern states to pass anti-union right to work laws (NH, p. 260).”
Yeadon found that “Others associated with the Christian America were Alfred Sloan, CEO of GM, the du Ponts, bankers George and Joseph Widener, and Wall Street lawyer Odgen Mills (NH, p. 168 ).” Who would have known Wall Street bankers and lawyers were so holy? Associates of the wealthy Texas Kirby Family formed the group “Christian America” directed by Vance Muse whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so (Vance Muse [III], “Making Peace with Grandfather,” Texas Monthly (February 1986): 116.).” Muse was also against the Adamson Act of 1916 which gave an eight-hour workday to railroad workers—just what Jesus would do!
Another businessman religious group was the Chicago 1937 “Church League of America” founded by Saint Frank J. Loesch, the head lawyer of the non-profit non-government civic group Chicago Crime Commission, along with Henry Parsons Crowell, chairman of the board of Quaker Oats and on the Board of Trustees of the Moody Bible Institute. Advertiser G.W. Robnett was Chairman for twenty years and his own “Institute for Special Research” compiled surveillance reports on suspected American communists and sympathizers. The Church league was financed by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Coors Foundation, Howard Phillips, and General Robert Woods among others [p. 256]. This anti-communist, anti-labor, racist organization lasted until 1984.
Yeadon/Hawkins’ historical research found that during 1928 some twenty-five religious denominations received more than $400 million in donations and managed another $132 million from other funds. In 1926 the Baptist Church received $469,835,000; Congregational $164,212,000; Methodist $654,736,000; Presbyterian $443,572,000; Episcopal $314,596,000. Yeadon notes the total value of those religious denominations is about two billion dollars, and that in 1926 the total federal budget was only $2.9 billion (NH, p. 256).
Once a candidate for Governor of California in 1958, Colonel William Gale, founded Posse Comitatus and the Christian Identity church called the “Ministry of Christ” which included the head of the Aryan Nations, Richard Butler, as a member (NH, p. 185).
"The role of academics, and particularly those involved in the public sphere, has always been to test assumptions, provide
a range of alternative explanations, to seize moments and have the courage to provide reaction, to be subversive
of received thought, hidden assumptions, misconceptions and fallacies. An intellectual’s mission in life, Edward Said told us,
is to advance human freedom and knowledge. This mission so often means standing outside of society, apart from the
dominating ethos of its institutions, and actively disturbing the status quo. It is notable and telling how the cultural sphere
does this so well in ways that academia often does not."--President Michael D. Higgins "On Academic Freedom."
The article, "The Name Game: Does American Fascism Exist?" written by Professor Daniel Bessner, an Associate Professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, is complete garbage. The trend now among academics, it seems, is to publish a completely absurd position paper to merely attract attention and controversy--to fill the zone with ****, and Professor Bessner has done his part well. The entire essay written by Bessner is just sophism playing around with the politically legitimate term used in political science to describe two ancient historical cults.
Bessner makes an armature error concerning definitions. "fascism" may not be an object, a thing; like the term, "game," the political term "fascism" may not have an essence but is instead a process. At a certain level of linguistic analysis definitions become tautological, or circular--try and define "democracy," or "republic" and you will see the problem if one is honest. Sophists make a living exploiting ambiguity in ordinary language. By focusing on the word, "fascism" used in ordinary language, Bessner avoids critical paradigmatic thinking that undermines static limited colloquial meaning that does not really challenge the status quo. It is this castrated version of the term he continually returns to as if further analysis is not necessary, or possible.
Bessner's argument is that the term "fascism" has degraded into an empty epitaph meaning nothing more than the colloquial term for "yuck!" Profound linguistic analysis at the university of Washington!
That point is actually true, because of the poor quality of American professors unwilling to do the needed historical research, and instead raddles the cages of people suffering to get more views and prestige. Bessner only buttresses his ad hominin arguments against anti-fascists by referring to additional garage published by Professor Bruce Kuklick, whose book "Fascism Comes to America" simply repeats the same stupid arguments. Both authors claim that "liberal" strawman homunculi (He blurs this term with its opposite meanings in America as "leftist," and European as "Free Market Capitalism) simply want a vacuous term like "fascism" to rally against unpopular politicians and is a form of virtue signaling repeating the ad hominins that MAGA uses against the left. With allies like Kuklick, who needs MAGA. Bessner knows all the political buzz words--it's all he knows. Bessner demonstrates a mind-boggling ignorance of recent American history. Here are a few useful books and resources for the professor's homework on fascism.
I'm not finished with this topic and will do more research to defeat this dishonest and ahistorical strawman argument advanced by Bussner.
"The Nazi Hydra" by Glen Yeadon and John Hawkins (2008 )
"The Anatomy of Fascism" by Robert O. Paxton
"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," by Williams Shirer
"The Socialist Decision" (1933) by Theologian Paul Tillich on the origin of cults of fascism.
Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, identifies 14 characteristics common to fascist regimes. This list is called "The Fascist Minimum."
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
...continuing from post # 738
Ministries of Hate:
Reverend Gerald Winrod, Rev. William Bell Riley, and Rev. Carl McIntire
“Remembrance of the past may give rise to dangerous insights, and the established society seems to be apprehensive of the subversive contents of memory.”--Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, p. 101 (pdf.)
I want to review some of the most important ministers that authors Yeadon/Hawkins mention in their historical review in the hope the reader will be interested in doing further reading about this historical merger of right-wing fascist groups and American Christianity; and most importantly, the reader may see parallels with today's political atmosphere. After the Pearl Harbor attack, some isolationist propagandists were reincarnated in fundamentalists churches as right-wing anticommunists. In some cases, Yeadon is able to follow these crypto-fascist religious organizations and personalities all the way to 2001.
Even as early as 1919, Reverend David Burrell of the “Marble Collegiate Church” in New York was militantly anti-union arguing the Christian Bible “proves” unionism is anti-Christian and anti-American. Burrell’s sect of American Christianity attacked anyone who supported labor rights, or any organizations that lobbied for social services such as “The National Welfare Council,” and the “Commission on Church and Social Services.” Yeadon regards this early date after WWI as when American Christianity became radicalized by the extremist right-wing (NH, p. 109). From out of this religious extremist trend several other authoritarian, White Supremacist, anti-Semitic, and Christian Identity leaders emerged out of the body politic as representatives of a Christian revival movement.
Reverend Gerald Winrod: "The Jayhawk Nazi"
("Jayhawk" is a nickname for a person from Kansas)
“International Jewish Communism, which has already undermined all nations, firmly expects to exterminate all Christians.”
—Gerald Winrod, The Jewish Assault on Christianity,1935
A former Kansas utility clerk, Gerald Winrod (1900-1957), founded the “Defenders of the Christian Faith” fundamentalist Christian fascist group in 1925, and a monthly magazine named, “The Defender” that had a circulation in 1937 of 100,000 monthly readers. He was also a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 1938 elections. Winrod believed FDR was part of a world-wide “Jewish-Communist” conspiracy of from which Hitler will save the world. The Defenders were against homosexuality, prohibition, evolutionary science, and for racial segregation. He was appointed to a Minnesota committee to examine school textbooks for potential banning. Winrod was closely associated with the Christian fascist group “Christian American Association” led by a Texas Pentecostal preacher, Harry Hodge. Gerald Winrod was indicted for sedition against the U.S. in 1942. Winrod’s son, also a Christian Identity minister, Gordan Winrod, was sentence to 30 years in prison for kidnapping in 2000.
Winrod helped Rev. William Bell Riley (1861-1947) compose a bill banning teaching evolution in local schools for submission to the Minnesota legislator. Riley was an extremely conservative Baptist minister who embraced the anti-Semitic track “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” proclaiming a world-wide Jewish conspiracy for world domination that involved in particular President FDR in a communist plot to destroy America. During 1919 Riley founded the “World Christian Fundamentals Association” and was affectionately nicknamed by some as, “The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism.” Riley crusaded against the teaching of evolution and urged attorney Willam Jennings Bryan to represent his organization in the famous 1925 “Monkey Trial,” or Scopes Trial, while successfully launching campaigns that removed evolutionary science from the school curriculum of his day. This Christian fundamentalist preacher also believed in an international Jewish-Bolshevik-Darwinist world-wide conspiracy, and wrote a famous sermon titled, “Shivering at the Sight of a Silver Shirt,” for the White Supremacist paramilitary group, “The Silver Legion of America” ran by William Dudley Pelley. In 1942 Pelley was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison for 11 counts of making seditious statements, obstructing military recruiting, and fomenting insurrection within the military” after the Pearl Harbor attack.
Riley also founded in 1902 the Northwestern Bible Training School (Northwestern University, Minnesota) with an auxiliary Seminary. After Riley died in 1947, a young Pastor named Billy Graham became the school’s President from 1948 to 1952. I have written two other essays on the Rev. Graham in “The ‘Graham’ Inquisitor,” and “Rev. Billy Graham's last Public Fascist Rally: Shivering in the ‘Light’ of the Silver Shirts.”
One of Reverend Billy Graham’s wealthy patrons during the 1950s was oil, munitions, and Thompson machine gun producer Russell Maguire. Maguire purchased “The American Mercury” (1924-1981) conservative magazine in 1952 which he later sold to Rev. Winrod’s “Defenders of the Faith” in 1956 after giving the magazine an anti-Semitic reputation. Billy Graham’s picture appeared on the 1957 edition cover while Maguire donated $75,000 to his ministry ($808,717 adjusted for inflation today) for producing a propaganda film praising the free enterprise system. George Lincoln Rockwell was a writer for the magazine who later became the founder of the American Nazi Party. Yeadon/Hawkins write of Maguire:
“The film Graham produced was called Oiltown, USA. Graham continued his friendship with Maguire after producing Oiltown, and wrote several articles for the American Mercury…. Maguire and the Mercury were ardently anti-communist, and also called for the abolition of the income tax, the UN, NATO, the ACLU and Zionism. Throughout the 1950s the Mercury, under the guidance of Maguire, supported Senator Joseph McCarthy. Other writers for the Mercury included J. Edgar Hoover, Ralph de Toledano and George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. De Toledano's resigned from the OSS after refusing to work with liberals. Maguire was an open backer of fascism and fascist organizations and was an early supporter of Rockwell. Rockwell often complained about Maguire's miserly donations (Link added; NH, p.116).”
Since the 1950s, Russell Maguire has been arrested multiple times for molesting children as young as eight years old and in 1984 he was acquitted by reason of insanity for molesting a young girl in 1983, but was immediately arrested on a Florida fugitive warrant and molestation charge of a fourteen year old girl.
Yeadon/Hawkins’ mentions the fundamentalist radio preacher, Rev. Carl McIntire (1906-2002) as an important figure shaping the religious right from the 1940s until today. A highly educated minister, McIntire was kicked out of the Presbyterian Church for his rejection of all modernist theology, and extremist views of “anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-liberalism, anti-Catholic, anti-union, anti-Semitic, racist and pro-business (NH, p. 257).” McIntire founded the “American Council of Churches,” and during 1941 asked the Federal Communication Commission to divide the airtime given to Protestants between the fundamentalist broadcasters and the Federal Council of Churches.
“… McIntire played a pivotal role in obtaining and exploiting airtime. McIntire's 20th Century Reformation Hour aired for years before being surpassed by the new fundamentalists of the 60s. Perhaps McIntire's greatest hour came in the early 1950s with his close association with McCarthy and Hoover of the FBI. However, McIntire's more lasting impact was that in furthering the careers of three other fundamentalists, Billy James Hargis, Dr Fred Schwartz and Major Edgar Bundy.38 (Ibid, p. 257).”
In 1937 MacIntire founded the Bible Presbyterian Church, and purchased radio station WXUR, Media, Pennsylvania during 1965. MacIntire built a vast empire of conference centers, hotels, schools, radio, newspapers, and watchdog organizations. By the mid-70s the tax cheating Reverend saw his empire collapse leaving behind a half a million-dollar tax bill for the holy city of Cape May, New Jersey. In 1999 his own congregation at Bible Presbyterian Church forced him to resign. Francis Schaeffer was the first minister to be ordained in MacIntire’s right-wing denomination. I should note that Francis Schaeffer was passed off as progressive, or modern when he first became well known from his book, “He is There, and He is not Silent,” (1972). I think this book is meant as a retort to Wittgenstein’s famous aphorism in part seven of the Tractatus, “(7) Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” But I doubt Francis Schaeffer ever read Wittgenstein, or Heidegger. It was out of Francis Schaeffer’s religious community founded in Switzerland during 1955 called L'Abri (French for "the shelter") that the violent right-wing anti-abortion movement targeting doctors emerged in the United States.
The WWII isolationist “America First Committee (AFC)” was created in 1940 by Douglas Stuart Jr. who is the son of the first vice president of Quaker Oats. Also, remember that Henry Parsons Crowell, was a co-founder of Quaker Oats and on the Board of Trustees of the Moody Bible Institute as a founding member of The Church League of America (see NH, p. 187, 256). Along with Stuart, retired US. Army General Robert E. Wood and chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Co. headed the AFC. Members of the America First Committee included Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Gerald Ford, and many other isolationists with diverse political views which was the goal of the committee. Financing for the AFC generally came from the same familiar conservative industrial sources as The Church League of America funding: “Fundraising drives produced about $370,000 from some 25,000 contributors. Nearly half came from a few millionaires …. Other funding came from executives of Montgomery Ward, Hormel, and Inland Steel (Wiki: AFC).”
The AFC existed for only fifteen months until the Pearl Harbor Attack rendered isolationism unpopular, and the organization collapsed as both the Japanese Empire attack, and Hitler a few days later, declared war on America. However, the same domestic pro-fascist forces that successfully delayed American’s entry into war against Nazi Germany by using American Christian churches, will now go to work aiding the Nazi in the war effort with intelligence, and literally shouted-down the U.S. Justice System to allow Nazi war criminals and their collaborators to escape the hangman’s noose.
...continuing post # 739
The Sophistry and Fallacies of Playing the Name Game
“Instead of throwing up our hands in despair at fascism’s radical disparities, let us make a virtue of this necessity. For variety invites comparison.”
--Paxton, in “Anatomy of Fascism,” p. 20.
One of my favorite political internet programs is “Left Reckoning” because of the high-level understanding of classic Marxism that the hosts, Matt Lech & David Griscom, demonstrate with their careful readings of Marx's writings. Professor Dr. Daniel Bessner of International Studies at the University of Washington, and a fellow at the Quincy Institute was a guest for the video interview, "Is 'Fascism' Happening Here?” to discussing his recently published essay "The Name Game: Does American Fascism Exist?" I think this is an excellent title for his essay on whether fascism exists in America today, because there is no question that fascist political movements have existed in America's recent past.
I believe the strongest point of Dr. Bessner's essay is the title because he begins with an analysis of ordinary language—a very promising approach--and directs our attention toward three keys words: “fascism,” “name,” and “game.” Introducing the term “game” is brilliant, although, I do not think he was fully aware of it. Does American Fascism exist, or is this term, as Bessner argues, only used in an insincere semantic game to manipulate the reader's opinions and judgment? The word “game” has a connotation of insincerity, making it an even better example. I want to further the linguistic analysis of “game” because it shares the same characteristics as other abstract terms like the name “fascist” --both names have no essence as a definition. An essence meant in ancient Greek, “the what it was to be," or the indispensable (essential) quality that characterizes an object for identification by a name. Without going into too great of detail (that would be torture) reviewing logicians Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein's theory of language, I instead want to show how elusive an ordinarily meaningful terms like “game,” or “number” are actually difficult to define. Improving on St. Augustine's obsolete word/object theory of language, Frege formulated his Sense and Reference Theory of Meaning where reference is the object a word indicates, and sense is all the other meanings evoked by a name. Improving on Frege, Bertrand Russell's Theory of Descriptions better shows that names may have no referent at all (The 'Witch' of 'Narnia'), but still have sense from descriptions, for example, that author C.S. Lewis assigned to his fictional characters and places. Improving on Russell, Wittgenstein added the concept of “language-game,” characterized as “the whole, consisting of language and the actions into which it is woven (Philosophical Investigations, para. 7)(pdf.).” Wittgenstein chose “game” as a paradigmatic example of a name without an essence.
What is a “game”? A game such as chess involves rules, two players, a chess board with colored squares and pieces; however, some games like solitaire require only one player, and no board, while both games have rules. This problem of definition is best illustrated by the person asking a game shopkeeper to provide the rules to all games, i.e., to provide the universal essence of all games. But there is no such universal rulebook for all games because the scope of what one knows as a game is not fixed, unless one is drawing a boundary for some methodological purpose. Or one could simply be both a self-absorbed solipsist and a sophist and not explore fixed meanings. A “game” can even consist of making up names for a doll as children do sometimes (PI, para. 27). Are we stupid because we cannot give a universal definition of “game”? And yet, most persons will say they know what “game” means since the concept has empirical examples such as Chess, Go, Checkers, or war games—the list of examples is endless and easy to identify. Wittgenstein wrote, “...do we know any more about it ourselves? Is it only other people whom we cannot tell exactly what a game is? —But this is not ignorance. We do not know the boundaries because none have been drawn. To repeat, we can draw a boundary— for a special purpose. Does it take that to make the concept usable? Not at all! (PI, para. 69).” Although we have difficulty defining the essence of game, we all know from experience to understand pragmatically what a game is when asked. And similarly, this is the case for the abstract term “fascism.”
But what is the empirical content of fascism? I could offer Dr. L.W. Britt's fourteen empirical characteristics of fascism, or writer Umberto Eco's list of fourteen very similar characteristics of Ur-Fascism (Eternal Fascism) as the definition of fascism. In “The Anatomy of Fascism,” (2004)(pdf.) Robert O. Paxton's argues the existing fascist minimum definitions as too static; although, searching for a static essence is a good heuristic principle (Paxton p. 206). Rather than seek a static essence of fascism, Paxton instead tracks the historical phenomena of fascism that succeed and fail in development so at the end of his historical survey fascism reduces itself to a radical minimum for a more dynamic formal definition. Paxton also rejects an “intentionalist” interpretation of fascist dictatorship that focuses on the dictator’s will and personality and instead accepts the "structuralist" view that focuses on historic, economic, and culture forces that forms a fascist movement. Paxton does not even consider Imperial Japan as fascist and instead calls it “an expansionist military dictatorship” (Paxton, p. 200). I prefer the structuralist analysis of fascism. Paxton even rejects Spain’s General Francisco Franco as fascist and calls it a traditional form of dictatorship lacking the emotional commitment to fascism (Paxton, p. 157). I would say Spain and Japan were “close enough,” as fascist states, but Paxton is extremely cautious and strict applying his criteria for identifying a fascist government.
As the boundaries of our concept of game expands with experience, so too the definitional boundaries of fascism broaden with historical experience and knowledge. Paxton offers his formal definition of fascism as the following: "Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion (Paxton, p. 218; italics added )."
Dr. Paxton's definition of fascism is the best around today, but it seems still not to have an essence just like the term “game.” The terms “game” and “fascism” share the same problem with the ancient term “virtue.” What is virtue? It is easy to find empirical examples such as the virtue of the leader, of the child, of the mother, of the soldier, and so on. But Socrates asked in Plato's dialogue Meno for the whole of virtue, and not just the parts of virtue so that the discouraged Socrates wanted to start the conversation with Meno all over again (Meno, 79c). The problem with the static terms “game,” “fascism,” and “virtue” is that they are names attempting to define dynamic processes of movement or action: not things, or objects, but pure abstractions (hyper-objects). I discuss further abstract objects and contradiction in the essay, “Bertrand Russell's Critique of Fregean Logico-Mathematical Objects” and in the subheading near the end of the essay, “Marcusean Dialectics on the Ontology of a False Condition,” see “The Metalogic of Contradiction.” Wittgenstein's answer to this question of meaning is the meaning of a term is its use: “43. For a large class of cases—though not for all—in which we employ the word “meaning” it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language (Tractatus).”
“But in reality, we understand each other only through whole areas of misunderstanding and contradiction. The real universe of ordinary language is that of the struggle for existence. It is indeed an ambiguous, vague, obscure universe, and is certainly in need of clarification. Moreover, such clarification may well fulfill a therapeutic function, and if philosophy would become therapeutic, it would really come into its own.“
--Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (pdf.), p. 203
From here on, I want to reply to some specific points made by Bessner's criticism of the usefulness of the word, “fascism.”
...continuing from post #741
"Historians begin by looking backward. They often end by thinking backward"—Nietzsche
Later on in his article, Bessner wrote that President W. Bush was labelled as a fascist before Trump: Bush came before Trump as president. The concept of fascism can be traced to Roman times, which Bessner noted, so it would be reasonable to expect the term would be in more common use during and after the experience of war. And of course, there are always undocumented conspiracy theories espoused by some regarded as agnostics of the term fascism.
Kuklick's approach is flawed since if fascism appears in all its stages as a fully developed powerful State, it would then be too late to resist! This is why the academy sucks at cultural critique.
Terms like the definite article “the” and indefinite article “a” are also devoid of meaning, but these signifiers also serve a useful function that makes communication easier. Do numbers function as floating signifiers? Could the number “ten” signify both “ten houses,” and “ten planets” without using a different numerical signifier? In some ancient cultures this is not the case, such as the Klamath Indians, who had a variety of "numeral classifiers" for the specific character of the object to be counted. In other words, a different numerical signifier is used to count a row of fish, than a heap of grain, or layers of flat bread depending on the specific character of the objects to be counted. (See, Ernst Cassirer, “The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms: Vol. 1, Language,” 1953, p. 230) (pdf.). Over time, numerals lose their empirical concreteness and become purely abstract. Bessner's epistemology of language is gradually revealing itself: the erroneous presupposition that language has an essence leads to the belief that there can be a final analysis of language and words. Kuklick's linguistic and historical critique of fascism is embarrassingly inadequate.
Bessner's attempts to defend his Kuklickian agnosticism by drawing a false equivalence between Jonah Goldberg and Chris Hedges. For an in-depth rebuttal to Jonah Goldberg's disingenuous book, “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning,” (2008 ) see journalist David Neiwert's six-essay rebuttal at Orcinus titled, “The Not-So-Secret Desire of the American Right to Project Its Own Worst Propensities Onto Everyone Else.” Goldberg's thesis that fascism is left-wing is very easy to counter with the example of only one right-wing businessman--Henry Ford, who was a fanatical right-wing admirer of Hitler. Projectionism is the right-wing's most important strategy since it requires no effort for critical thinking—they just accuse antifascists of the very actions fascists themselves are doing, or as one commentator said, “Every accusation is a confession.” Projectionism is the right-wing's propensity to see in its enemies its own dark side, so much so that they cannot utter the word "fascist," and instead use the propagandistic euphemism "antifa" cleansed of all historical content and even sounds like the foreign Arabic word “intifada,” meaning “shaking off.” Goldberg's book is an example of “meme mimicking.” Goldberg's purpose is to impede and debase political discourse as irrational. Some on the Left identified W. Bush's government as fascist early in the administration, and the response of the right-wing was to argue that fascism is a leftist phenomenon. Jonah Jacob Goldberg wrote "Liberal Fascism" (2008 ) in which he tried to define fascism as leftist liberalism: he avoids any critique of the term “neoliberalism,” which is a stage of fascism (see Paxton, Five Stages of Fascism). Of course, Glenn Beck picked up Goldberg's meme. The mainstream media never mentions the histories of Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, William Randolph Hearst, or Henry Luce and their support for fascism and the Nazis. Lacking historical knowledge, fascism is a muddled term and is reduced to an insult rather than understood as a specific historical political pattern. Don't forget The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Shooting on July 27, 2008, by Jim David Adkisson killing two members and wounding seven. Adkission admitted in a confession that Bernard Goldberg's book on "liberal fascism" inspired the shooting. The church allowed gay members, about who Adkission wrote "This [church] is a collection of sickos, weirdos, and homos."
That fascism's power emanates from linguistic ambiguity is true, but this can also be said of other terms used for propaganda. The subject-predicate sentence structure inherently implies an “essence” as subject of a sentence--such are the tyrannical limits of language, and yet ambiguity also empowers language. Natural-scientific positivistic materialism is built on the same theory of language that implies the derivative metaphysical view that everything is an object—no object, no meaning. This worldview is so burned into modern thinking that it has led to aspect blindness of processes.
A limited language requires other methodologies to understand all its dimensions such as historical research, sociological statistical studies, phenomenological description, critical theory, and dialectical reasoning. Bessner repeatedly notes that fascism is used as a slanderous epithet, except for a contrived meaning invented by Leftist. I found at least ten definitions for fascism in a single dictionary entry, with at least one being pejorative, which is a perfectly legitimate definition. No one should be surprised multiple meanings would include a “negative valence,” but multiplicity of definitions is not an excuse to claim that all other meanings are invalid—meaning is use (Wittgenstein). However, in scientific analysis--to use the eighteen-century meaning of scientific as “systematic” -- requires boundaries be drawn as a methodological strategy for building knowledge. To claim fascism is a meaningless term is an Orwellian effort for narrative control to render political discourse meaningless, since we cannot think clearly without words. I remember the Nixon, and Reagan administrations had fascists in their administration (search for details in Yeadon/Hawkins' “The Nazi Hydra”).
“But this radical acceptance of the empirical violates the empirical, for in it speaks the mutilated, "abstract" individual who experiences (and expresses) only that which is given to him (given in a literal sense), who has only the facts and not the factors, whose behavior is one-dimensional and manipulated. By virtue of the factual repression, the experienced world is the result of a restricted experience, and the positivist cleaning of the mind brings the mind in line with the restricted experience. In this expurgated form, the empirical world becomes the object of positive thinking. With all its exploring, exposing, and clarifying of ambiguities and obscurities, neo-positivism is not concerned with the great and general ambiguity and obscurity which is the established universe of experience.”
--Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, p. 187.
Post #739: Dr. Bessner's Essay
Post #741: Sophistry and Fallacies Playing the Name Game
Post #742: Historians Look Backwards
Post #743: Tautologies and Heuristics
“Tautologies can be exceedingly useful in the clarification of conceptualization. If they are used intelligently, they can also be effective rhetorical devices. But they ought not to be confused with heuristic, open-ended questions of the sort which can be resolved by empirical research.”
--Historian David Hackett Fischer in “Historians' Fallacies,” p.34 (pdf.).
An interesting piece of history, but unfortunately it is misleading. Writing historical commentary is extremely easy to distort, and takes a tremendous amount of research. For example, let's examine that same snippet of American history Bessner reported regarding Mr. Herbert Croly:
“In 1914, [Willard] Straight [a partner of the banker J.P. Morgan] and his wife Dorothy (maiden name, Dorothy Payne Whitney) invited Herbert Croly to edit the first edition of the New Republic, a new magazine funded by Straight. During WWI, J.P. Morgan was obsessed with the media and endeavored to control it. Providing backing for the New Republic had a threefold purpose for Morgan. Firstly, it would keep him abreast of the thinking in left-wing circles. He even had an inside man in the communist press. Secondly, Morgan believed a magazine such as the New Republic allowed the left to blow off steam, thus acting as a safety valve. Finally, he also believed it would give him a power of veto on any actions originated by the left, in case they ever went radical. Funding the New Republic was not the only effort funded by Morgan to gain control of the press. In 1915, he got together 12 leading men within the newspaper business and commissioned them to determine how one could control the national press. They agreed that, to control the national press, all that was needed was to control 25 of the most influential papers. Morgan immediately sent emissaries to purchase the editorial policy of the 25 selected papers. Morgan also used his money to form the American Legion and to craft it into a union busting and red-baiting group of hired thugs that ran amok during the 1919 Red Scare terrorizing and murdering countless union leaders and leftists (“The Nazi Hydra,” Yeadon and Hawkins, p. 393).”
I doubt the Italian Fascist leader understood William James any better than he understood Hegel. In America, German Fascism dazzled many American leaders of capitalist industry. At first, both Churchill and FDR were highly impressed by Mussolini. Other supporters of fascism were William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Kennedy (JFK’s father), Charles Lindbergh, John Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon (head of Alcoa, banker, and Secretary of Treasury), DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil, Henry Ford, ITT, Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA), Prescott Bush (don’t forget him), National City Bank, Henry Luce (owner of Time-Life publication put Mussolini's picture on the cover of Time Magazine five times) and General Electric. And don't forget Report: Koch Brothers' Father Helped Nazis Build Oil Refinery. These industrialists were not socialist sympathizers, but iconic capitalists of corporate America, yet some would have us believe they were Leftist, or socialists.
Bessner makes historical claims throughout his essay with no, or little historical evidence that begs the question, appeals to unknown facts, and formulates hasty generalizations that together trivializes the study of fascism. I would strongly recommend to writers and readers of history a book on fallacies authored by historian David Hackett Fischer, “The Historians’ Fallacies,” 1970, that list eleven categories of historical fallacies with one hundred and twelve specific fallacies such as “Fallacies of Narration” that includes the “fallacy of anachronism” which is to make an analysis of an event that occurred other than when it actually happened (chronos). There are two kinds of anachronisms: either predating (pro-chronism), or postdating events (meta-chronism)(See, Fischer, p. 132). For another example, the “fallacy of presentism” (also named, “nunc pro tunc” meaning “now for then”) is done by “pruning away the dead branches of the past” to preserve contemporary bias and prejudices (Ibid., p. 135). Fischer teaches how to detect the “fallacy of tunnel history,“ (Ibid., p. 142), “false periodization” (Ibid. p. 144), and the “static fallacy” committed by attempting to account for dynamic processes in static terms (Ibid., p.153).
For comparison of alternative theories and histories of American Fascism, see my short sixteen-hundred-word summary essays on Christian Socialist Paul Tillich's book "The Socialist Decision," (1933) which is about the complex inter-conflicts between socialism, religious socialism, capitalist class domination, the cults of origin such as Blood and Soil Cults Post #718 and an essay on Tillich's view of the “Socialist Inner-Conflict with Free Enterprise Economics,” post #719. For my short summaries of Yeadon/Hawkins' history of American Fascism see, “The Un-American Congress,” post #736; “The Parallelism of American Fascism and Christian Fundamentalism,” post #738; “Ministries of Hate,” post #740. (I will reuse excerpts from these posts).
“To write history, or even to read it, is to be endlessly engaged in a process of selection.”
-- D. H. Fischer (HF, p. 64).
The American Left-wing was devastated after the immoderate Palmer Raids during 1919 and 1920 during which 10,000 socialists were arrested, and 552 deported. I would label Bessner's narrative “disaster socialism” that claims a homunculus “welfare liberal” fabricated a vast fascist conspiracy with the intent to advance a powerful socialist welfare state. Obviously, this passage is an unoriginal underhanded ad hominin directed at anti-fascists. I should note that the Department of Homeland Security agent, Brian Murphy and FBI Director Chris Wray reported there is no Antifa organization, only a general distaste for authoritarianism by some in the population.
A more “stable” meaning of fascism resulted from historical experience of WWII that shifted the definitional boundaries of fascism. After the Pearl Harbor attack, isolationism was rejected and “fascism,” became a more common term for the enemy. “National Socialism” is fascist, but not all fascism is Nazism, i.e., Italian Fascism. And notice a built-in ambiguity here with the term “socialism”: the right-wing National Socialists (Nazis) adopted the party name “socialist” which had a left-wing association and was popular during this period in Europe. In my opinion, this misrepresentation of left-wing socialism by the right-wing Nazis adds to the ambiguity of the meaning of fascism still today. Fascists engaged in sabotage against America before, during, and even after WWII. FDR's critics were not just ordinary citizens, but powerful industrial oligarchs and Wall Street lawyers: see, US CEOs Provide Nazi Germany War Production and Sabotage America.
The neo-Marxist, Herbert Marcuse, worked under intelligence analyst William L. Langer (1896 –1977) in the Research and Analysis (R&A) at the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and denazification program to be promoted to Acting Chief of the Division of Research for Europe (DRE) in the Central European Branch during 1943; however, on September 20, 1945, President Truman disbanded the antifascist OSS to be replaced by the CIA composed of fanatical anti-communists. Marcuse wrote a 532-page analysis in 1958 of the Soviet Union for the Division of International and Functional Intelligence titled, “The Potentials of World Communism,” later declassified in May 1978. Marcuse concluded the Soviet Union’s “bureaucratic communism” was merely a corrupt third-rate welfare state that would collapse in forty years: the fall of the Soviet Union is usually dated around 1988. The American military-congressional industrial complex eager to profit from the Cold War military build-up wanted instead to hear a scarier Soviet narrative and ignored Marcuse's report.
Adorno, and Marcuse avoided the word “fascist” in their writing, and instead used an Aesopian language of euphemisms to describe fascism as “totalitarianism,” after all, they wanted to safely research the “authoritarian personality” while in the United States (see, “Marcuse and the Art of Liberation,” Kātz, Barry (1982) Verso press, p. 139).
...next: Narratives and Paradigms
Post #739: Dr. Bessner's Essay
Post #741: Sophistry and Fallacies Playing the Name Game
Post #742: Historians Look Backwards
Post #743: Tautologies and Heuristics
Post #744: Narratives and Paradigms
“Narrative history is still consistent with Kuhn's paradigms, but it becomes a more profound and more intricate narrative, in which the story consists not in a progressive unfolding of the present, but rather a series of structural reformations (in a literal sense).“
--Historian David Hackett Fischer (HF, p. 162).
Nonsense, the concept of fascism has much empirical content; see Dr. Britt and Umberto Eco's lists of the fourteen minimum characteristics of fascism.
Is this an example of xenophobia pitting homegrown fascists against “foreign valence” like the imported term “democracy” (δημοκρατία) from ancient Greece? Or maybe that foreign name “Amerigo Vespucci – Wikipedia” is too much of a foreign valence for America. Unfortunately, America was not an importer, but an exporter of fascism. Nazis officials came to America to learn from the segregationist South how to politically repress African Americans, and in a ceremony in Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford was awarded with the “Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle” on his 75th birthday. Henry Ford was the first American recipient to received this award created by Adolf Hitler himself. Ford had a strong influence on Hitler since the early 1920s and even provided financial support. Yeadon reports that “The U. S. ambassador to Germany, William Dodd was quoted saying 'certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy' (NH. p. 22).” Ford was not alone, just the most fanatical: “But like Germany, it was the rich industrialists that funded these groups. Hearst ordered his newspapers to print pro-Nazi articles in fact he had them print the Nazi propaganda directly from Gobbels. Irenee du Pont funded several pro-fascist groups. Henry Ford was well known for his praise of Hitler and funded many pro-Nazis in the 30s. Andrew Mellon and John D. Rockefeller were supporters of Hitler as well. No one is foolish enough to argue that these men were not part of the ruling elite or rich industrialist in America at the time. In fact, support for Hitler among the rich industrialists was rampant (NH, p. 43).” The historical evidence of Ford's material and ideological support of the Nazis is overwhelming.
Bessner used the term “protean function” to describe fascism, meaning having a varied nature, or the ability to assume different shapes. I wish I thought of it, but “Hydra” also captures fascism's historical polymorphic character. In July of 1933 U.S. Marine Major General Smeadly Butler believed the danger of a fascist coup existed before FDR was to begin his first administration on March 4, 1933. Notice the coup was planned for the time period between when FDR won the election of 1933, and when the president actually takes office in March, not unlike the January 6th, 2021, failed coup.
A conditional premise (if,then) is sometimes an incognito False Dilemma Fallacy by excluding other alternate recorded histories. I will show more precisely that premise 1 commits the fallacy of false dilemma by deducting its logical equivalent premise 2.
Premise: If there were Actual fascists running around, you wouldn’t go around Calling everyone fascist.
Premise: Either there are no Actual fascist running around, or you wouldn't go around Calling everyone fascist. (Implication to Disjunction, premise 1.)
My question: “How does Bessner know that disjunctive (either, or) premise 2 is true?”
Disjunctive premise 2 has the same truth-value as the conditional (If, then) premise 1 by applying the logical rule of equivalence (≡) called Implication to disjunction to premise 1 so that both have the same truth-value by definition.
Another example of applying the implication to disjunction rule of equivalence is the conditional statement, “If it rains, then there will be clouds,” has the same truth-value as the disjunction, “Either it does not rain, or there will be clouds.” Applied to Bessner's proposition:
A ⊃ ~C ≡ ~A v ~C
(“If A, then no C” is equivalent to “Either no A, or no C”)
The phrase “calling everyone a fascist” is a strawman exaggeration since everyone does not meet, for example, Paxton's definition of fascism. Premise 1 has been shown by historians to be false by identifying an actual fascist figure such as Irenee du Pont in the historical narrative recounted below. Deducing premise 2 is a logical translation that better uncovers premise 1 as a false dilemma fallacy. The source of Bessner's fallacy lies not in an invalid inference, but in a false premise. The “actual fascist” hypothetical encounter described is a false analogy telescoping space and time into an oversimplified arena of fascists while the historical record shows its emergence as much more complex with persons working for decades through government, business, media, and social institutions like the American churches.
“Communism” replaced fascism as the primary threat to the world after WWII according to US Government propaganda which shaped public opinion through media manipulation during the Cold War Era from 1945 to about 1988. There was really no post war national discussion of what Nazi fascism was or its causes following the Allies' victory; but instead, fascism became reduced in the public understanding to personalities, battle dates, wins, and defeats cleansed of meaningful ideological analysis. Wall Street lawyers, American CEOs, and some politicians did not want Americans to know of their history of profiting from building the Nazi war machine and delaying its defeat. In fact, US intelligence agencies worked with 1,600 Nazis against the new communist nemesis, and American citizen themselves in Operation Paperclip from 1945 to 1959. Beginning in 1946 extremists Republicans and some Democratic politicians began a blacklisting purge of antifascist Americans that culminated in US Senator McCarthy, and Roy Cohn's witch-hunts during 1954.
“The disbanding of the OSS had an express purpose. The leftists within the OSS would serve as the sacrificial lambs to atone [Irenee] du Pont’s new feckless goddess on the altar of free enterprise. Those that had served their country gallantly during war and who were dedicated to stomping out the last vestige of fascism would now become victims to the fascists within the United States. The American industrialists who willingly supported Hitler during the war had to be protected. The political climate by the war’s end had undergone a tremendous shift to the right. This change was not abrupt.... In 1946, the Republicans gained control of both chambers of congress. The stage was now set for a wholesale purging of the government of leftists who were dedicated to wiping out fascism. The new CIA was a mixture of old OSS agents and military officers. The old OSS veterans soon became the dominating force within the new agency.... Allen Dulles headed up the OPC branch [Office of Policy Coordination] .... The CIA had but one agenda anti-communism. The fourth director of the CIA ...was General Walter Bettle Smith. Smith in all seriousness once warned President Eisenhower that Nelson Rockefeller was a communist. The CIA was led by three individuals who harbored no qualms about working with Nazi war criminals. [James] Angleton, [Allen] Dulles and [Frank] Wisner all worked with and helped Nazi war criminals to escape from Europe. Many immigrated to the US after having their records sanitized by Dulles and others within the intelligence community (Hydra, p. 310: bold text added).”
After awarding CIA Director Allen Dulles the National Security Medal on November 28, 1961, John F. Kennedy fired Dulles the very next day for his covert and overt activities in Cuba. However, Dulles simply moved his CIA office to his home and continued intelligence work according to Dulles biographer Stephen Kinzer in an interview.
There are many passages in the bible conveying the idea that followers (“Christians") should separate themselves from worldliness.
But the weak, the stubborn, those focused on worldliness and cannot follow these teachings in the bible but prefer to cling falsely to the name “Christian” have gradually distorted the teachings of Jesus by selectively quoting and fabrication of false justifications of their cult. As time passed these fakers have converted Christianity to an unrecognizable worship of worldliness, culminating today in the growth of “Christian” Nationalism which is the latest iteration of fascism, taken from Hitler’s regime and reworked to make it fit the USA better.
Post #739: Dr. Bessner's Essay
Post #741: Sophistry and Fallacies Playing the Name Game
Post #742: Historians Look Backwards
Post #743: Tautologies and Heuristics
Post #744: Narratives and Paradigms
Post #746: Disenchantment
“History cannot be calculated, for it contains within itself the possibility of the new. But neither is it dependent on the whim of free human action. History has within itself a directionality, an impetus.... But it moves on this way through human action. If it were to bypass human action, there could be no fulfillment, for apart from human action, being is neither fulfilled nor unfulfilled; it lies beneath that contrast. The fulfillment of being is fulfilled human action that corresponds to the demand. No miracle nor any natural process can produce the fulfillment of being if human action is bypassed.”
--Paul Tillich, (Socialist Decision, p. 121) (pdf.)
This looks like a projection again. The key concepts of Marxism are human alienation and freedom otherwise what would be the point of Marx writing a critical analysis of capitalism? Today, the meaning crisis is an important concern, especially for young people. Destructiveness is the outcome of life unlived (Eric Fromm). Despair is suffering without meaning (Victor Frankl). Besser presents the modern-day meaning crisis as another ad hominin argument against progressive leftists and their sympathizers claiming “fascism” is an illusory threat, an escape from reality, and a careerist grift. Certain critiques of postmodernism blame all historical change on a particular contemporary leftist group (See essay introduction, “Postmodern Socrates on Virtue”). Bessner presents a similar argument by blaming the use and abuse of the term fascism on a particular contemporary political group as a fraudulent concept and term.
Every person is born into a society trustingly accepting government institutions we could not possibly know anything about except through experience. Capitalist economic production requires a mobile workforce that often separates families, and fractures communities resulting in a lost sense of community. A theory provides an unifying worldview for understanding society for those living in the same socio-political class situation in the hope of bringing change for the better, but this requires personal maturity. Aristotle wrote in the first sentence of the Metaphysics (350 B.C.), “All men naturally desire knowledge.” The German Christian Theologian, Immanuel Kant, wrote over twenty-one centuries later in the first sentence of “What is Enlightenment?" (1784 A.D.):
“This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! [Dare To Know!] Have courage to use your own understanding!”
The term “dollar-a-year-men” was coined in 1915 referring to the salary of one dollar a year paid to volunteers selected to manage corporate interest projects such as forming lobbying groups, or a non-profit organization. Progressive volunteers also seek dopamine reward in the form of pecuniary reward but are often motivated by other goals by embracing a life philosophy, a political ideology, or a religious paradigm. Such personal dedication alone is not a sound reason to reject a worldview whether it's neo-classical economics, neo-Marxism, or religious existentialism.
Take for example the socialist and Christian theologian Paul Tillich who was the first non-Jewish professor to be forced out of the University of Frankfurt in 1933 by the Nazis. Tillich was a Professor of Theology at the University of Marburg (1924-1929), Dresden University of Technology, and of the University of Leipzig (1925-1929), and the University of Frankfurt (1929- 1933) where he was also the university's Dean. Tillich expelled a disruptive Nazi student which angered Nazi officials. The troublesome Professor published “Ten Theses: The Church and the Third Reich” (1933). In Thesis Seven he wrote, “Protestantism set the cross against the paganism of the swastika…the cross was against the ’holiness’ of nation, race, blood and power (“Against The Third Reich,” Paul Tillich’s Wartime Addresses to Nazi Germany 1942 to D-Day 1944; p. 6) (pdf.).” That statement nearly got him arrested, but an alert Reinhold Niebuhr quickly urged Tillich to join the faculty at the New York City’s Union Theological Seminary where he was accepted. Many highly educated German refugees including physicist Albert Einstein emigrated to America, and the social sciences also benefited by a rich collection of world-class philosophers many of whom were Jewish. Paul Tillich was among of these philosophers, but it took time for him to learn a new language and construct a new paradigm-shifting Christian Systematic Theology. He is best known for his work, “The Courage to Be,” (1952) which is a synthesis of Kierkegaardian Christian Existentialism and Heideggerian Phenomenological Existentialism.
“It is a dreadful saying that the gods blind those whom they want to ruin…But who are these gods? They are the evil instincts that are in every nation with whose help the Nazis came to power…God opens the eyes of those whom he wants to save, however terrible this awakening may be.”
--Paul Tillich, “Against The Third Reich,” p.153.
As Nazism took power over the German government in 1933, Tillich finished his book “The Socialist Decision." The Nazis promptly burned his book; and as Tillich was leaving for America, they offered him a prestigious Chair of Philosophy at the University of Berlin if he would denounce his critique of fascism. Tillich laughed in their face. The Nazis officials would have never kept their offer. Tillich knew the Nazi paramilitary was investigating him for a comment he made in private to an old friend that the Nazi Field Marshal, Goebbels, was a drug addict (which was true). “The Socialist Decision” is well written and easy to read, but the interplay between the dialectical elements is complex and dynamically changing over time. His understanding of these forces is from historical research, experiences as a military Chaplin at the Battle of Verdun (1916), and witnessing the rise of the Nazi cults of Blood and Soil in Germany before WWII.
Tillich described proto-fascism as “Political Romanticism.” In his critique of socialism, Tillich gives his reasons for embracing socialist principles and how they are compatible with religious socialism and incompatible with other political movements in Europe. Tillich presents a historical dialectical analysis of two primary political movements that are derived from the mythic Cults of Origin. There are two cults of origin: first is the vegetative soil form of the myth of origin for its life-sustaining power. The second derivative cult of origin is the animal form of origin, or “the origin of blood that develops out of the vegetative form.” The animal form of origin focuses on the struggle for survival, breeding, a noble race, divine origin, brute strength, and conformity to the group. Out of these two mythic cults of origin political romanticism emerge during certain epochs in an attempt to rescue the broken myth of origin from modernism.
Political romanticism views the Enlightenment as the enemy: “It is thereby compelled to fight under presuppositions that it denies and with methods that it attacks in its opponents. It is forced to use the ethical categories of prophetism and to portray itself as a higher ethos (for example, as a higher justice), even though the myth of origin as such excludes ethics. And it is forced to use rational analysis as a means of establishing itself (for example, historical, sociological, and psychological investigations), and thus to appeal to the very thing it distrusts in principle as alien to the origin. In this way the theories of political romanticism arise; despite the frequently brilliant way in which they are developed, they cannot escape the contradiction of having to establish the irrational by rational means (SD, p. 26)." This explains, in my opinion, why the theories of political romanticism are unable to hold up under a sustained rational critical dialogue of their political philosophy: they reject rationality but must use it as a weapon.
Tillich also argues that Marxist debates concerning dialectical materialism (the philosophical arm of Historical Materialism of Marx) are a waste of time attempting to turn Marx's dynamic materialism into a static scientific positivist calculator. (Marx never used the term “dialectical materialism” in his writings). Instead, Tillich was involved in creating a new philosophy journal and appointing the editors who shortly thereafter published in 1932 the newly discovered humanist-existentialist work by Marx, “The 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (The Paris Manuscripts)(pdf.)." These manuscripts were not published in English until 1956 when Cold War propaganda had already stereotyped Marxist scholarship as lacking human subjectivity, and morally nihilistic.
“...existentialism is a natural ally of Christianity. Immanuel Kant once said that mathematics is the good luck of human reason.
In the same way, one could say that existentialism is the good luck of Christian Theology.”
--Paul Tillich, SD, p. 27.
...next, concluding with “Life-forms of Transcendental Homelessness.”
Post #739: Dr. Bessner's Essay
Post #741: Sophistry and Fallacies Playing the Name Game
Post #742: Historians Look Backwards
Post #743: Tautologies and Heuristics
Post #744: Narratives and Paradigms
Post #746: Disenchantment
Post #747: Life-Forms of Transcendental Homelessness
Life-Forms of Transcendental Homelessness
“The proletariat is no Savior.”
-Marcuse, in “Letters on Surrealism.”
Herbert Marcuse's phenomenological existentialism is compatible on many points with Tillich's existentialist theology. Tillich and The Frankfurt School of social theory rejected the worldview of teleological historical progress. Tillich mentions Martin Heidegger five times in his famous three-volume “Systematic Theology,”(pdf.). Marcuse was a student of Heidegger while studying modern German literature at the University of Freiburg (1920-1923) and completed his doctoral dissertation “Der deutsche Kunstlerroman” on the German literary concept of the fictional novel known as, "Kunstlerroman” (artist-novel) and approved by Edmund Husserl granting a Ph.D., October 1922. (see details; "Marcuse and the Art of Liberation," Kātz, Barry (1982) Verso press, p. 37). Both of these scholars of Marxism, Tillich and Marcuse, held to the classical view of Reason, and the existentialist approach to questions of human existence. Tillich begins his existential analysis not unlike Heidegger's Dasein Analytic of ontological anxiety of Being and finitude; “Finitude in awareness is anxiety (ST, Vol. 2, p. 189).” The meaninglessness of human existence is the “destruction of the structure of being (ST, Vol. 2, p. 189).” Marcuse and Tillich were highly impressed with the newly discovered Paris Manuscripts of 1844 which reaffirmed their view that Marx was a humanist and not the crude deterministic materialist that Marx was portrayed by his critics. Tillich wrote a positive review of Marcuse's most important book on political philosophy, “Reason and Revolution,” commenting that ‘Even a critical social theory cannot avoid an ‘ultimate’ in which its criticism is rooted because reason itself is rooted therein’ (Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, vol. IX, no. 3 (1941); pp. 476-8 ).”
“And if you want biographies, do not look for those with the legend: 'Mr. So-and-So and his times,' but for those whose title page might be inscribed,
'A fighter against his times.' ”
--Nietzsche, The Use and Abuse of History
The Kunstlerroman story plot reflects the Hegelian triadic dialectical progression of human society that begins with a primordial state of relative unity, followed by disunity, and reunification. Marcuse's earliest existential analysis began with the literary theme of the alienated artist living in a violent, impoverished, and meaningless reality. The aesthetic dimension of the artist is inherently antagonistic to the “modes of life” in a world that does not acknowledge artistic sensibility or experience for “...this life is beauty, but the life-form is alienation and the impossibility of integration (Katz, p. 41).” The originary unity of the self, then diremption or separation, creating inner and outer conflict, a beautiful world becomes an estranged world of repression from the “opposing forces of pietism and enlightenment rationalism.” The artist-novel is written out of the artist's struggle for “transcendent ideals against a deficient reality” to achieve the resolution of a spiritual schism, or “transcendental homelessness” between “subject and object, Idea and reality, art and life.” Goethe's writing about this contradiction between the artistic-aesthetic mode of existence and a devalued world began the German artist-novel form; however, Marcuse developed it further by combining it with Georg Lukacs's Neo-Hegelian Marxism (see details, Katz, p. 47). The early Marxist scholar Lukacs wrote, “Theory of the Novel”(1920) and published by Marcuse's former Berlin professor Max Dessor. Marcuse understood that classical Marxism lacked subjectivity and viewed the artist-novel theme of the existentialist struggle against a false social reality as a theoretical corrective.
Marcuse focused on the existential analysis of “modes of being” in his proto-critique of capitalism as early as 1922 while Heidegger's phenomenological analysis of the modes of Dasein presented in Being and Time such as dread (Angst), abandonment (Geworfenheit), fallenness (Verfallenheit) was not published until 1927. Also, Marcuse's critical study of the Life-forms of alienation was philosophically reinforced by the discovery of Marx's existentialist-humanistic Paris Manuscripts ten years later.
“...the artist grasps at the 'separate reality'... within the finite and human world.”
--(Katz, p. 45)
Later, Marcuse injects Freudian psychoanalytic psychology into his critique of capitalism by authoring the book, “Eros and Civilization” (1955) to further develop human subjectivity which easily falls victim to Wall Street's Edward Bernay's modern media propaganda methods. However, the United States academies were steeped in anti-Freudian B.F. Skinnerian operant behaviorism opened Marcuse to ridicule for formulating a 1960s “Pop Marxism.” Marcuse studied under Heidegger to develop his phenomenological analysis of modern life but broke off the relationship because Heidegger did not publicly denounce the Nazis and instead became Rector of the University in 1933 only to resign in one year. I should mention that some members of the “Confessing Church” that publicly spoke out against the Nazis interfering with the Protestant churches were jailed, murdered, hung, and sent to concentration camps including theologians Martin Niemöller, Heinrich Gruber, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In another case, famous European Opera Singer Marianne Golz-Goldlust was guillotined for anti-Nazi activities. The price was high for anyone (and their families) publicly embarrassing the Nazis.
Tillich and Marcuse are just two examples of individuals who were influenced by existentialist literature and understood the extreme dangers ahead of them as fascism emerged in Europe in the 1920's. They were not attracted to the concept of alienation by caprice but by recognition of the real forces encountered in their daily lives. Marcuse realized that he did not need Heidegger's existential analytic but could instead develop his critique of capitalism from Marx's humanist-existentialist 1844 Paris Manuscripts. Bressner's criticism of political activists searching for meaning in a pseudo world-historical struggle against authoritarianism has the relationship backward. Rather, the artist-novel literary theme emerges from real forces that alienate persons distorting one's self-identity, and relationships with others in society. “Kunstlertum” is the artistic-aesthetic mode of existence that resists the status quo reality as given. They are infinite-game players who eliminate boundaries and keep on going.
I switched to another word processor program, and things got jumbled here.
The above sentence in blue should read:
Wittgenstein's answer to this question of meaning is the meaning of a term is its use: “For a large class of cases—though not for all—in which we employ the word 'meaning' it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language... (PI, para. 43).”
Assemblies of God Faith Healer Reverend Jack Cole
"Jack Coe the faith healer who kickstarted a nation-wide faith healing tent revival before landing himself in jail for practicing medicine without a license would con hundreds of thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars. He built a small empire, packed out arenas, and traveled the US in the world's largest tent - claiming he possessed the gift of healing and spoke words of prophecy during the uncertain times of the Cold War. Joining the ranks of Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, and William Branham, Jack Coe helped create the blueprint that laid the grounds for the modern faith healing con used by many health and wealth prosperity doctrine preachers today. After working closely with Gordon Lindsay, editing the Voices of Healing Magazine, Reverend Jack Coe launched his own magazine, the Herald of Healing which reached over 300,000 members. Although he was exposed as a faith healing charlatan by Adon Taft of the Miami Herald, Pastor Jack Coe amassed a fortune while offering nothing but false hope and deception before the pastor died of polio at just 38 years old."
The Preacher Who Scammed America
J.P. Morgan died in 1913.
Separate names with a comma.