Alt Left: Even the Rich Have to Support Socialism Sometimes

From the Internet:

When the UK went to war in 1914, they discovered that their soldiers were so undernourished and unfit to fight for the Empire, that a series of ‘social reforms’ were enacted to improve the lot of the working class (or cannon fodder).

Actually this is a serious problem in Latin America. There the rich are so selfish and cocky that they won’t even pay for a proper army! When the Peruvian Army was fighting the Shining Path, many didn’t even have proper uniforms or boots. They were often short of ammunition. Soldiers used to man checkpoints to shake down motorists just so they could get money to survive.

You see how cocky and arrogant the rich are? They were so sure that they could defeat the Revolution that refused to even fund an army to fight them! Also note how selfish the rich are. They won’t pay a nickel in taxes for anything, not even for an army to defeat a revolution which would have taken away everything they had!

Looks like the British rich were more sensible than the Peruvian rich. I think it goes to show you that socialism is coming one way or another whether the rich or anyone else likes it or not. That’s more or less one of the laws of Marxism, and if we define socialism as even social democracy or a safety net, it’s obvious that it’s always going to get here one way or another.

The rich always push for total free market economics and getting rid of all safety nets, social democratic programs and even the very state itself (even the army – see above).

According to Marxist laws, the more they move in that direction, the more the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, and as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, inevitably, you end up with some sort of left or socialist like backlash. It’s so consistent that you could indeed call it a law of political science, which is exactly what it is.

Anti-Germanism in a Nutshell

Anti-Germanism is a Left philosophy started by, you guessed it, Germans! They hold that Germany has been rotten from the start, that German culture is evil and irredeemably poisoned, and that Germany needs a complete Cultural Revolution to destroy German culture and replace it with something humane. There are only a few Jews in Germany right now, but there are quite a few Jews in the anti-German movement. The percentage of Jews in the anti-German movement is much higher than in the population. However, most anti-Germans are not Jewish. For the life of me, I cannot see why the Jews want to pick a fight with the Germans. Haven’t Germans and Jews fought enough and wreaked enough destruction on the world?
I came across this on Facebook and I think it sums up anti-Germanism quite well. I removed some crap about Communism, Frankfurt School, and postmodernism because this is some weird Alt Right crap that got tacked onto what is otherwise a Leftist discourse. It is interesting to see Leftist anti-German theory adopted, modified, and warped by some weird sort of Alt Right types.

The country that I despise the most is Germany. Germany has had only a history of destroying what is right and civilized, not to mention their Germanic love of totalitarianism.
During the days of the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire, the Romans were spreading civilization throughout Europe, bringing technology and civilization to wherever they conquered. However, the greatest enemy of the Romans were the barbaric and savage Germanic tribes, who later spread all over the Roman world, plundering, destroying, and raiding wherever they went. They eventually managed to destroy the Roman world, annihilating its advancements, and pushing Europe into a Dark Age for nearly 1,000 years.
During this period of the Dark Ages, a new power, Prussia, emerged on the European theater. Born from Germanic knights slaughtering an entire ethnic group and enslaving Poles, they brought nothing of merit into the world, bringing only tyranny, militarism, and terror.
Once Europe fully recovered from the first large scale attack on civilization, a new Germanic Empire took hold, even surpassing the Roman world, with the spread of new ideas such as Protestantism. This empire was the Holy Roman Empire – which was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an empire; but in fact a Germanic tool to fight civilization and anti-totalitarianism. The empire waged brutal wars of religion in an attempt to reinstate corrupt Catholic rule all over Europe. This finally culminated in the 30 Years War, the bloodiest European War until the next European-wide war, also commenced by Germany. However, the German plot was stopped.
Finally, a bit later, in a book called Von Krieg (On War in English), the Germanic elite of Prussia revealed their plans, which are still being implemented to this day. Here are a couple of quotes from the book:
Just as Prussia has been fated to be the core of Germany, so Germany will be the core of the future German Empire of the West..Conquered people shall be left with nothing but their eyes to weep with.
The Germanic states then clamped down further upon liberalism and liberty, maintaining an absolute monarchy until unification. Otto von Bismarck was their leader – an absolute monarchist/militarist. He then started three aggressive wars: against Denmark, against Austria, and against France. He created Germany as a brutal, totalitarian monarchy, hell bent on conquering the world. Prussia had become the core of Germany, and a new leader now needed to make it the future German Empire of the West.
That new leader came – Kaiser Wilhelm II. Plotting to destroy all other nations and achieve a worldwide German Reich, he took the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, as his opportunity. Knowing full well that the Habsburgs, his fellow Germans, would use the assassination carried out by one man, who just so happened to be a Serb, to carry out an aggressive war against Serbia, despite knowing full well it would lead to war with Russia and the rest of the world, Wilhelm promised to unconditionally support Austria-Hungary.
The Kaiser of Germany singlehandedly began the most destructive conflict the world had ever seen in an attempt to annihilate all non-Germans. He invaded neutral Belgium, raping and massacring innocent civilians; began using poison gas, which was banned by the rules of war; and sunk without warning merchant shipping. However, liberty and civilization won, and totalitarianism and barbarism lost.
 
After the war, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Ferdinand Foch had the correct analysis, “This is not a treaty, this is a 20 year armistice.” The way that quote is taken in our pro-German history books is that those evil Allies were so cruel, and those evil Allies forced the evil Treaty of Versailles upon those poor Germans. However, the quote meant what the real case was: this treaty was no hard enough, and why is Germany still allowed to exist? Unfortunately, we learned the hard way that it was not harsh enough. Worst of all, we didn’t even enforce the treaty and allowed Germany to expand and attempt to conquer the world again.
During the Weimar Republic, there was another Germanic ideology that was created in attempt to utterly annihilate the West – Nazism.
As we all know, the Nazis won at first, and with the power they had, they created one of the most totalitarian regimes ever been created in the world, and the Germans marched across Europe and spread genocide, tyranny, terror, and barbarism. However, the world finally managed to destroy the 3rd German Reich and discredit Nazism forever. We thought we destroyed Germanism, however, once again, we were wrong. We made the fatal mistake of feeling sorry for the Germans, and allow the continual existence of the German state.

About That "Stab in the Back"

Many German Jews were very patriotic during World War 1. Quite a few fought and died for their country and its lousy cause. The problem was that the war was a lousy cause, like the Vietnam War and just about every war we ever fought after the Great War.
Germany started losing, and a dissident peace movement similar to the antiwar movement in the Vietnam era sprung up in Germany. Some of these people, but many others were just good Germans sink of junkers, kaisers and disgusting mess that was incipient German imperialism and militarism. The antiwar movement helped end the war, which was a good thing. After the war, which ended in Germany’s defeat, this protest movement began challenging many of the traditional views of the land which had dragged the nation into a stupid militaristic adventure that led to the massacre of a generation of European men. Many liberals, media people, comedians, musicians, show business types, politicians and intellectuals joined this movement.
Of course some were Jews but most were not. Keep in mind that Jews were maybe 1-2% of Germany at this point. The point here is that these Jews were not traitors at all any more than the rest of the liberals were. They were calling for a Cultural Revolution in Germany and challenging the reactionary views that led the nation to war.
This was the “stab in the back” that Hitler referred to. There was no stab in the back anymore than that the Vietnam War Protest Movement was a stab in the back.  Hitler and the Free Officers were reactionary militarists. They were not OK people. They were like McNamara and LBJ on steroids. They were a bunch of lousy killers, militarists fighting for a no good cause. And really the entire liberal intelligentsia stabbed the country in  the back, if anyone did.
But the stab in the back more than anything was self inflicted. Germany was losing a lousy war they started for no good reason. The Army and the militaristic state was stabbing its own self in the back in a form of perverse hari kari.

Pio Baroja

Where’s this guy been all my life? The name sounds familiar, but I didn’t really know anything about him. Another Generation of ’98 writer who barely made it through the Spanish Civil War.
Federico Garcia Lorca, the doomed gay poet, one of the finest poets of the 20th Century, of course was assassinated in this war, but he was from the next generation of Spanish writers, the Generation of ’27. They were much more avant garde than the ’98’ers.
The Generation of ’98 were a whole new crop of Spanish writers who popped up at the turn of the century in Spain. Spain was still a monarchy back then and these were times of fervent. The monarchy was trying to balance between the desire of the people to modernize the humanize their country and the desires of the Church conservatives to keep things as static as they were.
At the same time, in 1898, Spain was reeling from its defeat in several wars around the globe. Thousands of Spaniards were dead, and Spain lost all of its colonies. This was a time of great upheaval in Spain. The ’98’ers attacked traditional culture and the monarchy which they say as conformist and undemocratic. In this sense, they were like the liberal protest movements that arose in Germany after World War 1 who attacked German culture and ways of thinking in the light of their painful defeat in the war.
These liberal movements were met with a conservative backlash or mostly demobbed soldiers who formed gangs called the Brownshirts who fought socialists and communists in the streets of Germany. These conservatives felt that the liberals had “stabbed the country in the back” and been traitorous during the war, leading to the nation’s defeat. One of these demobbed soldiers was an angry, wounded soldier named Adolf Hitler and it was from this Right vs Left firestorm in the streets that the Nazi God of Destruction arose a decade later. The Phoenix rising from the ashes, the regeneration of the illustrious nation of blood and soul, which is fascism in a nutshell. Fascism can best be seen as palingetic revolution of the Right. The word palingetic brings to mind the Phoenix rises to glory from the ashes of defeat.
Baroja was a liberal like most of that generation. He grew up in the Basque Country. He wrote a number of trilogies, including The Sea, The Cities, The Struggle for Life, The Basque Country and a few others. The Struggle for Life is a gritty, harsh trilogy about life in the slums of Madrid. John Dos Passos was very fond of this series. Probably his most famous book is The Tree of Knowledge. Baroja was a pessimist and a nihilist who soured on life at a young age.
I do not mind reading downbeat authors though, even if I am an optimist. Really the optimistic and pessimistic views of life are both true and equally valid.
Baroja was influenced by Nietzsche, but below almost looks like Heidegger. I like the elaborate, ornate, very descriptive prose of the 19th Century. I love the long, fancy sentences where the tail of the sentence almost seems to be the head. I don’t mind getting to the end of a Henry James sentence, commas and all, and then wondering what the start of the sentence was about. It’s fun to decipher fancy writing. People don’t write like this much anymore as it is considered to be too elaborate and difficult for its own sake. I believe some of the finest writing in English was done in the 19th Century though. I can’t get enough of those $64,000 sentences. They’re so good you could almost take them to the bank.
Most of Baroja has not yet been translated into English, though he has been famous in Spain for a century.  Hemingway was heavily influenced by Baroja, although this fact is little known.
Isn’t that some fine writing?

The individual is the only real thing in nature and in life. Neither the species, the genus, nor the race, actually exists; they are abstractions, terminologies, scientific devices, useful as syntheses but not entirely exact. By means of these devices we can discuss and compare; they constitute a measure for our minds to use, but have no external reality. Only the individual exists through himself and for himself. I am, I live, is the sole thing a man can affirm.
The categories and divisions arranged for classification are like the series of squares an artist places over a drawing to copy it by. The lines of the squares may cut the lines of the sketch; but they will cut them, not in reality but only in the artist’s eye. In humanity, as in all of nature, the individual is the one thing. Only individuality exists in the realm of life and in the realm of spirit.
Pio Baroja, Caesar or Nothing, 1903

The Hell with the Pentagon

As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.
First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?
Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.
Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?
The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.
It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?
There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.
Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.
In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.
1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.
So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.
The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.
Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.
The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.
Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.
I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.
But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.
And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.
And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.
One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.
Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.

Salafi Jihadism: Part 1

Original here. This essay is very well-done, the best I have ever read on the subject.

This is the first of a two-part post on Salafi jihadism. Part 1 is intended to provide a definition of jihad, a look at the history of Salafism/Wahhabism, their similarities and differences and how they spread in the end of the 20th century.

Also before anyone thinks I’m targeting Salafis for an agenda, I intend to cover jihadism in each segment of Islam. I simply chose to begin with Salafi jihadism due to its greater relevance and attention in the world today.

Definition of Jihad: The Arabic word Jihad is derived from the verb Jahada – meaning to strive or struggle. In Islamic terminology it means to make an effort, to endeavor and to strive for a noble cause. The word is generally used to describe any type of striving in the cause of Allah (God). According to Islamic teachings there are three main types of Jihad as explained below:

i) Jihad-e-Akbar, i.e jihad of the highest order. This is the jihad (struggle) for self-reformation. The struggle is against our own temptations such as greed, lust and other worldly temptations. This type of jihad is obligatory on every Muslim throughout his life.

ii) Jihad-e-Kabir, i.e major jihad. This is the jihad of propagation of the truth, the message of Qur’an. The Qur’an also instructs us to spread this message with wisdom, tolerance and respect to others and their beliefs and prohibits the use of any coercion or force. According to the Qur’an anyone who devotes his time, effort, wealth or knowledge to the cause of righteousness is practicing Jihad-e-Kabir. This is also obligatory on all Muslims.

iii) Jihad-e-Asghar, i.e jihad of the lower order. This is the jihad of a defensive battle. The Qur’an has clearly restricted this type of jihad to certain conditions while forbidding transgression of any sort. The conflict must of a defensive nature for the Muslim community, Muslims must have been prevented from freely practicing their religion and beliefs, and they must have been driven from their homes.

Another requirement for the declaration of this type of jihad is the existence of an Islamic State and a Muslim leader to declare it; without this condition, Muslims are allowed to defend themselves in case of being attacked or persecuted but not to declare and prosecute an official jihad. Once a jihad has been declared, the Muslim army is bound by a set of regulations to observe while on campaign, some of which are listed here.[1][2]

It is critical to understand that the aim of jihad is not the conversion of non-Muslim populations. Most scholars agree upon the concept of jihad being a defensive measure; some modern Islamic revivalists such as Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam argued for the use of jihad as an offensive measure but for the expansion of Muslim territory and Islamic ideals rather than the religious conversion of the local peoples, forced or otherwise, to Islam. As a result, jihad is similar to the Christian concept of a crusade but differs in this critical matter among others. However, jihad is a hotly debated topic in jurisprudence, and a look at the opinions of various scholars can be found here.[3]

History of Salafism/Wahhabism: Salafism is a conservative, orthodox movement within Sunni Islam that seeks to return the practice of Islam to its fundamentals. As such, it emphasizes emulation of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Salaf as Saliheen (Pious Predecessors) which comprise the first three generations of Muslims (Companions, Successors and Successors of the Successors), and it rejects any rituals or beliefs not practiced by them; as a result, they are against any innovations, or bidah.

In legal jurisprudence, Salafis are divided among those that remain faithful to the four Sunni maddhabs (schools of law) and those that reject them in favour of ijtihad (independent legal judgement).

In terms of politics, Salafis are generally divided into three categories.

The largest category consists of the quietists, those who believe in remaining indifferent to politics and repression in favour of being closer to God.

The next largest category is the activists, that comprises those who participate in politics to advocate for Islamist agendas and religious legislation.

The smallest category by far is the jihadists, which are the most well known category worldwide but are a tiny minority.

The central tenets of Salafism have existed since the earlier days of Islam, with scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah referring to and emphasizing adherence to the model of the Salaf. However, Salafism did not spread widely until the 18th century when Muhammad Abdul Wahhab started preaching in the Najd area of Arabia. Abdul Wahhab believed that the practices of the society around him, including venerating the tombs of the Companions, or making invocations to holy men, were similar to the practices during the pre-Islamic Jahiliya (Age of Ignorance).

Thus, he wished to return to a more puritan and conservative form of Islam free of any supposed innovations or bidah and similar to how he believed Islam was practiced in its earliest days. He also believed that those who professed themselves to be Muslim but participated in bidah were beyond the pale of Islam. He began preaching in the town of Unayna, but his actions and ideals were unpopular with the nobility of the era, with Abdul Wahhab being expelled from his town due to pressure applied by a powerful chief, Sulaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Ghurayr.

However, he managed to find refuge with the ruler of the town of Diriyah, Muhammad ibn Saud. In 1744, they formed a pact whereby ibn Saud would protect and propagate the doctrines espoused by Abdul Wahhab by military action, while the latter would religiously legitimize the former’s military conquests and allow the imposition of Islamic taxation, which would net the Al Sauds more income than at the current rates.

Hence began a period of conquest over multiple generations that expanded the Al Sauds’ holdings to much of Arabia, created the First Saudi State and the propagation of Abdul Wahhab’s teachings, pejoratively termed Wahhabism by its critics, outside of Najd. This is also where Abdul Wahhab broke with traditional Salafist thinking; unlike traditional Salafists, Abdul Wahhab was willing to use force and coercion to spread his teachings and was willing to participate in politics and political agreements to achieve that goal.

Scholars are disputed over the degree of brutality sanctioned by Abdul Wahhab, but it is clear that in successive generations, the Wahhabis have become more and more radical, ultimately adopting ibn Taymiyyah’s ideas of takfir (excommunication); this allowed them to brand Muslims living in violation of Islamic law to be non-Muslims and thus justified their fighting against other Muslims. They also adopted a ‘convert or die’ approach to their enemies.

This increasing ruthlessness was the cause of the Al Saud’s downfall. In 1802, the Wahhabis attacked Karbala, slaughtering much of the population and desecrating the shrine of Imam Hussain, and launched a similar assault on Taif in 1803, slaughtering the male population and enslaving women and children.

Ultimately, the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Arabia at the time, had enough and dispatched an army in 1818 that destroyed the First Saudi State, killing the Al Saud ruler, razing Diriyah and doing their best to stamp out both the House of Saud and the Wahhabi movement. However, the remoteness of the Najd prevented either from happening, and a Second Saudi State resulted in that region; consequently, by the end of the 19th century, most of the townspeople in the area were Wahhabis.

Many of the new members were former Bedouins who abandoned nomadic life for settlements on the insistence of Wahhabi religious scholars who declared that a nomadic lifestyle was incompatible with Islam. The newly settled Bedouins served well as soldiers for the Wahhabi religious leaders.

Although alive, Wahhabism remained mostly confined to the Najd till the end of the First World War. During the war, the reigning head of the Al Saud family, Abdulaziz ibn Saud, aided the Allies by revolting against the Ottomans. Although his campaign to rule Arabia had begun in 1901, he was unable to assert his authority over Hijaz until 1923, when the British removed their support for the Sharifs of Makkah.

In 1927, Abdulaziz signed a treaty with the British, who recognized his independence from the former Ottoman territories in exchange for letting go of Transjordan, Iraq, Kuwait and other British protectorates. However, Abdulaziz faced an internal rebellion among his troops. During his campaigns, he made use of the Ikhwan, a militia of radical Wahhabi Bedouin warriors. When he signed the treaty with the British, the Ikhwan refused to obey and raided Transjordan.

Unwilling to risk British ire, Abdulaziz fought the Ikhwan and defeated them in 1929 with British support. The survivors of the Ikhwan were then organized in various militias which would later form the core of the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Although defeated, the Ikhwan left their mark on Arabian society by uprooting the old cultural norms and supplanting them with radical Wahhabi ideology as part of their campaign on behalf of the Al Sauds.

In addition, Wahhabi ideology spread to the cities of Makkah and Madinah and gained control of the religious apparatus in the land. Although the Wahhabi religious establishment was given much latitude with respect to religious observance and teaching, in many cases Abdulaziz overruled the ulema, allowing the driving of automobiles and the attendance of Shia pilgrims at the annual Hajj. In addition, most of Abdulaziz’s consolidation of power and dealings with Western powers kept him at odds with the ulema.

Although Salafism/Wahhabism inspired offshoots such as the Ahl-e-Hadith and Deoband movements in South Asia, the reach of these two ideologies was quite low during most of the 20th century. Even within Saudi Arabia, the implementation of Islamic law was relatively relaxed compared to today.

This changed in 1979, when two things happened. First the Iranian Revolution occurred, toppling the Shah there and sending shockwaves through the monarchies in the region. Second, the Grand Mosque in Makkah was taken over by Islamic extremists who called for the stricter implementation of Islamic doctrines and the fall of the Al Saud family.

In the aftermath of these events, the Saudi government became stricter in religious matters. Due to the huge increase in oil income since the 1973 oil crisis, the government had lavished funding on religious literature, scholarships and hundreds of new Islamic schools, universities and mosques. In order to counter any threat of an Iranian-style revolution by the Shia population of the country and to satisfy disgruntled conservative clerics, this funding was further increased.

The beginning of the Afghan War provided an opportunity to export troublesome clerics to Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries. This achieved two aims; first, it allowed the Sauds to embed a Wahhabi religious establishment of their choice, and secondly, the export of Wahhabi ideology served as a bulwark against the revolutionary doctrines that Iran was beginning to propagate in the Middle East. Since the Afghan War attracted volunteers from all over the Muslim world, almost all of whom spent time in the Saudi-sponsored religious schools, the spread of Salafism was assured.[4]

Due to the financial support that Salafism/Wahhabism enjoys from the Gulf, it has received attention and commands influence disproportionate to its size. There are roughly 50 million Salafists in the world, a tiny fraction of the total Muslim population.[5] Yet, Salafi scholars such as Zakir Naik from India are some of the most recognizable in the Muslim world, having instant name recognition even amongst many non-Salafis.

The Salafi movement is described as the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world, according to a report by the BND, the German domestic intelligence service.[6] This is especially true for regions such as Europe and North America, which have no native Islamic traditions of their own and thus are more susceptible to supplanting than historically Muslim areas.

Although Salafis have historically been peaceful and apolitical, believing in using persuasion rather than force, modern Salafism is often considered indistinguishable from Wahhabism and in many cases, conflict has arisen when Salafis have tried to propagate their doctrines. For instance in Pakistan, there is much animosity between followers of the Deoband movement, inspired by Salafism, and the Barelvi movement, inspired by the Sufi traditions of the subcontinent.

Moreover, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, more and more Salafists are becoming part of the activist category, joining politics to propagate their beliefs. One example of such a movement is the Nour Party in Egypt, which gained a quarter of the seats in the 2011-12 elections.

In normal circumstances, one might consider the engagement of conservative Islamists in democratic politics to be a positive sign; however, the failure of the Arab Spring to bring meaningful change to the lives of people in most of the affected countries has disillusioned many democratic Salafis, many of whom have shifted to the jihadist category of Salafism, thinking military action to be the last feasible route.[7]

Sources:

1 http://islamicfaq.org/jihad/

2 http://www.islamhelpline.net/node/441

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad#Current_usage

4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salafi_movement#cite_note-123

6 http://www.aina.org/news/20120416150547.htm

7 http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21656189-islams-most-conservative-adherents-are-finding-politics-hard-it-beats

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, "Everything America Says Is a Lie"

Paul Craig Roberts, who is basically a paleocon, shows why America is the enemy of mankind. Washington is threatening to blow up the world again. It won’t be the first time. The Shining City on a Hill has threatened to use nuclear weapons many times since 1945. You just never heard about it in the Free Press (TM).

Everything America Says Is a Lie

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The 100th anniversary of World War I is upon us. And the folly that caused this war is being repeated. WWI destroyed a civilized Western world, and it was the work of a mere handful of scheming people. The result was Lenin, the Soviet Union, Hitler, the rise of American Imperialism, Korea, Vietnam, the military interventions that created ISIS, and now resurrected conflict between Washington and Russia that President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev had ended.
As Stephen Starr has pointed out on my website, if merely 10% of the nuclear weapons in the US and Russian arsenals are used, life on earth terminates.
Dear readers, ask yourselves, when has Washington told you anything that was not a lie? Washington’s lies have caused millions of casualties. Do you want to be a casualty of Washington’s lies?
Do you believe that Washington’s lies and propaganda about the Malaysian airliner and Ukraine are worth risking life on earth? Who is so gullible that he cannot recognize that Washington’s lies about Ukraine are like Washington’s lies about Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, and Assad’s use of chemical weapons?
Do you think that the neoconservative influence that prevails in Washington, regardless of the political party in office, is too dangerous to be tolerated?

100 Years Ago

On June 28, 1914, 100 years ago Friday, Gavrilo Princip, a radical Serb member of Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) put a gun in his pocket and went out into the streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia. The area was at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was St. Vitus Day or Vitodan, an auspicious day in Serbian history that commemorated, among other things, the Serbs’ defeat by the Ottomans in Kosovo during the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389.
The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, ruler of the Empire, was in Sarajevo that day with his pregnant wife Sophie. The Empire had conquered Bosnia in 1878, and during the 36 years since, it had been a good colonist as compared to the previous owners of the land. In fact, more progress had occurred during the Empire’s reign than any other rulers of the land had done previously.
But occupation and colonization are always humiliating. No one wants to be ruled and occupied by the Other. It’s like someone takes over your house. Sure, he spends a lot of money fixing it up for you, but he owns it now and he tells you what to do. It’s shameful.
Princip’s irredentist ideology was the same as his ideological descendants Radovan Karadjic and Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990’s – Greater Serbia.
As assassins go, Princip was highly inept. But by a stroke of luck and terrible ineptitude on the part of his victims, he achieved his goal. As their motorcade passed, Princip pulled a gun out of his pocket and fired. The Duke and his wife were dead.
The bloodied bodies of the Duke and his pregnant wife lay in their car. In the chaos that rapidly followed, a monarchical alliance system set up to prevent war actually caused what it was trying to prevent.
World War 1, the war to end all wars, the last war of the tottering monarchies of Europe, had begun.

"Russia's Western Frontier Has Become a Desert"

Another great piece from the Saker. He has an excellent point. It’s time to give up on the Ukies. They are determined to marry into the West and become the West’s newest colony. It will ruin them economically, but they don’t care. Ukraine no longer has any connection with Russia. There are no more two brother peoples. That’s all over. Time to let them go. They’re Nazis anyway. Let the Europeans have them!
He makes some excellent points about Western Ukraine. As you can see, every time Russia was invaded, the invaders came through the Western Ukraine. Since 1600, Western Ukraine was chopped off Russia by various Catholic Western powers to be used a foothold inside Russia and a base for attacking Russia.
This started around 1600 when it was conquered by the Polish-Ukrainian Commonwealth. Around this time, the Ukrainian branch of the Russian Orthodox Church split off and joined the Eastern Catholic rite, aligning themselves with Rome, the West and as we shall see, the perennial enemies and invaders of Russia. The Russians have never forgiven the Ukrainians for what they see as the heresy and treason of this schism.
Later Western, Catholic Napoleon moved into Russia via the Ukraine. Then the Austro-Hungarian Empire carved off the Western Ukraine and made it a part of that Western Catholic Empire. During WW1, the Ukrainians rounded up tens of thousands of Russians in their land and sent them to a concentration camp in Romania where many of them died.
This region and especially the Rusyn region to the south, has been the scene of many Russianizer-Russiaphobe battles since the last half of the 1800’s. One part of the population wanted to Russianize and maintain a close relationship with, or even annex themselves to, Russia and the other group saw themselves as Ukrainians and wanted to become an independent state.They spent a good part of the time from 1850-1921 persecuting each other.

In World War 2, once again, the Western Catholic invaders, this time the Germans again in the form of the Nazis, moved into Russia via the Ukraine. Many Western Ukrainians greeted them with flowers and gleefully assisted in the Jew- and Commie-killing. Their leader was a man named Bandera, who allied himself closely with the Nazis.
During WW2, there was a short-lived pro-Nazi Vichy-like regime in Western Ukraine. Bandera’s group not only killed many Jews, but they also slaughtered many Poles. The reason for this is uncertain but perhaps it was a Ukraine for Ukrainians thing. Bandera is still the hero of the Western Ukrainians who are also voracious anti-Semites. Many Western Ukrainian militias openly use Nazi memorabilia. During Western Ukrainian protests, Nazi graffiti often appears on the nearby buildings. Swastikas in particular are favored.
And with the birth of the Maidan, as we can see, once again the anti-Orthodox West has once again captured the Ukraine, installed another fanatical anti-Russian government, and had plans to use the Western Ukraine once again as a base to attack Holy Mother Russia. So you can see why Russians are alarmed, to put it mildly.

Russia’s Western Frontier Has Become a Desert

Warning: the following is not an analysis, it is a “cri du coeur” !
Looking at the photo of the three stooges oh so proud of having “prevailed” over that evil Russia I have very mixed feelings. On one that, I have a sense of immense disgust. No, not for the the Eurobureaucrats or for Poroshenko – they are true to character.
No, my disgust is directed at that sorry pseudo-ethnicity called “the Ukrainians” and which now has fractured into two mutually exclusive groups: the real “Ukrainians” – the Russians from “core Russia” (which is the real meaning of the expressions “Malorossia” or “Small Russia”) who live on Russia’s western frontier (the real meaning of the word “u-krainy“) and the pseudo-Ukrainian ex-homo sovieticus (I call them Ukies) who mutated into pseudo-Europeans and who now fancy themselves as “Europeans” just because they volunteered to become the next Anglo-Zionist colony.
These are the folks who traded a 1000-year old history for the (imaginary) prize which the capitalists have been dangling in front of their collective noses like a carrot before a donkey. Two things characterize these folks: they are phenomenally ignorant of pretty much everything, but especially of their own history, and their credulity is quite literally infinite. In other words – they are terminally stupid. As for their spiritual or cultural values, they don’t extend beyond what is shown on a typical commercial on TV.
It is at this point my thinking that I move from disgust to relief. Relief that modern Russia will not have to deal with such a morally degenerate and spiritually corrupt population.
I am Russian. My family roots go far back into the Russian middle-ages and for me each phase in Russian history – whether good or bad – has its own spiritual significance.
From the birth of Russia at the baptism of Saint Vladimir, to the heroic resistance of Saint Alexander Nevsky, to the gradual formation of a new Russia under Ivan III, to the tragic period of Ivan IV, the Stoglav, the tragic Old Rite Schism, the spiritual desert of the reign of Peter I, to the rebirth of Russia through the times of Alexander II and Alexander III and to the martyrdom and final transition form an earthly empire to a spiritual reality under the Czar-Martyr Nicholas II – each of these moments in history can only be understood through spiritual eyes and not by means of materialistic categories.
And even though modern Russia is still spiritually sick, very sick, I clearly perceive the signs of a spiritual revival, or a gradual shedding of the materialistic delusions which had been imposed upon the Russian people during the 20th century.
What some (correctly) call a “clash of civilizations” between Russia and the West is a reality. Likewise, when the Ukrainian propaganda speaks of a “civilizational choice” it is inadvertently expressing a profound spiritual truth. Russia is barely standing up, still shaking and in many ways confused, but already it is resisting the capitalist rot which is corroding the western civilization and Russia is already (correctly) perceived as a threat by the western plutocracy. If this is what a weak and still confused Russia is capable of, just imagine what it could do if it fully recovered its true spiritual and cultural identity and strength!
So this for me is a crucial question: does the slowly healing Russia really need to live under the same cultural/civilizational roof with the kind of folks which brought Iatseniuk or Poroshenko to power? I say let Europe deal with them! In fact, the Ukies and the EU richly *deserve* each other.
Yes, I know, Kiev is the cradle of the entire Russian civilization, but did Christ Himself not say:

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(Matt. 5:29).

I don’t want Russia to perish for the Ukraine, much less for for the pseudo-Ukraine I call “Banderastan”.
The Pope’s Crusaders came from the West. Napoleon’s Masons came from the West. The German and Austro-Hungarian imperialists came from the West. Then the Nazis came from the West. Now the Anglo-Zionists are coming from the West. In the past, each time the “outer-Russians” (the correct translation of “Grand Russians”) came and saved the Ukraine from these invaders and they did that a a huge cost for Russia.
But at least in the past the real Ukrainians never confused the occupier and the liberator. Nowadays this has changed. In fact, the modern “Ukrainians” think that they are feeling a deep kinship with the invader, they even identify with him. I think that Russia should stop pretending that this is not happening and that these two are “brother” nations. Okay, maybe they were brothers in the past, but now all they share is the brotherhood of Cain and Abel.
There is no continuity between Saint Vladimir and Poroshenko and what we are observing in Kiev today is what the Scripture call the “the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place“. And the Ukies like it that way. They have no use for holiness. I say let them have it!
Yes, of course, there is Novorussia which Russia cannot and will not abandon. And Crimea will forever remain part of Russia. And there are still real Russians in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Mariupol, Nikolaev, Odessa and even in Kiev. But these Russians either cannot or don’t want to fight to free their land from the current western occupier and they need to live with the consequences of this choice.
As for the rest of Russia, I hope to see it turn to the North and the East were its real future lies. Let the EU deal with Banderastan, let Banderastan deal with the EU and let them jointly enjoy their role as faithful servants of the plutocratic elite which administers the European Anglo-Zionist protectorate on behalf of the USA. Let the Ukies, the Balts and the East-Europeans all race each other to see who will get the title of “employee of the month” from Uncle Sam. Let them bask in their new-found pride to have finally become full members of the civilization of Walmart and McDonald’s.
And let them keep on digging a deep trench all along the Russian-Ukrainian border. While it is, of course, militarily useless (what in the world are the Ukie generals thinking?!) is a a fantastic symbol of what the ex-Ukraine now “EU-associated Banderastan has become”. Russian kids should be bussed in from their schools and shown this trench while their teachers explain to them what kind of people dug this trench and why.
Russia’s western frontier has become a desert. It is high time for Russia to accept this reality and act on it.

The Polish Government Is 100% Behind the Ukranian Nazi Regime

See here.
I have known this for quite some time now. Many of the Maidan terrorists, particularly the Right Sector Nazis, were trained at a special institute in Poland months before the Maidan riots and the subsequent coup. NATO and the US knew about this and may have been involved in it. This is more evidence that the Maidan riots and the subsequent Nazi coup have been planned for some time.
Poland is a logical source for cooperation with the Ukrainians. Poles hate Russians as much as Ukrainians or Georgians do. This goes back to ancient feuds in this part of the world. There have been Catholic-Orthodox wars on the western border of Russia since the early 1600’s. The Russians see the Western border as the place where the Catholic West keeps trying to attack Russia. The West sees the Catholic nations on Russia’s Western flank as jeopardized by an expansive Russian imperialism.
There were more wars later on. Much of this region then came under the influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. Before and during World War 1, there was  great deal of fighting between the West and Russia, particularly in the region of Ukraine and Ruthenia. These regions have been home to “anti-Russians” (Catholics who look to the West) and pro-Russians for a long time now. The pro-Russians often call themselves Russians (see the names “Rusyn” and “Ruthenia” – the name “Rusyn” was adopted by a Russianizing group of these people who speak a language closely related to Ukrainian but who hate Ukrainians. Ukrainians say that Ruthenians do not exist and Rusyn is a Ukrainian dialect, not a language. They say that Ruthenia is a part of the Ukraine.
During World War 1, Ukrainians and Ruthenians working with the Austro-Hungarian Empire arrested many “Russianizers” and put them in a camp in Southeastern Europe. This was for all intents and purposes a concentration camp, and conditions were so poor that many of the men sent there died.
Western Ukraine, particularly Galicia and Lvov, have traditionally been part of Poland, Lithuania, Poland-Lithuania, or Austria-Hungary. All of these are Western and Westernizing Catholic entities who look to Rome. Russian Orthodox call these people Papists and hate them. The Catholics in this region tend to hate and fear the Russians whom they regard as the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
This hatred has been going on forever and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. It is from this rancid soil that Zbigniew Brezhinski, who, as a man, an influence and a theory, is really the brains behind the current “Destroy Russia Now” project in the Ukraine. Brezhinski is the hardest of the hardcore Russian-haters. As you might expect, he is a Pole. He is also one of the highest ranking agents of US imperialism and an important theorist of US imperial policy (read his books). Brezhinski’s father was an official in the fascist government that held power in the interwar period in Poland.
In 1918, a virulently anti-Russian ideology was hatched in Poland. This hate and fear driven ideology saw Russia as the main threat to the existence of Poland. The project, a true conspiracy, involved working with minorities in Russia to chop Russia up into as many pieces as possible, thereby delivering the death by a thousand cuts and rendering Russia harmless and impotent.
This same ideology has since been taken up by various Georgian regimes and is the main ideology behind the Ukrainian Nazi government.
As you can see at the link, the former security adviser to the government of Poland was photographed outside of Slaviansk talking to the current Nazi President of the Ukraine.
This man, a virulent Russia-hater, has been trained as an anti-Russia agent by the US government State Department in Israel, Germany, France and the US.

The Time Has Come for Putin to Make the Most Important Decision of his Presidency

Below, the latest from the Saker. I agree with him. I have a Russian friend, and she told me that the word on the street is that Putin is going to be sending in peacekeepers soon. She also said that the public was 100% united behind Putin. He literally must act soon or his Presidency is gone.
On to the Saker:
Today I would like to just share two thoughts with you and suggest that each and every one of you come to his/her own conclusions.
First, Russia was literally “sucked into” WWI by the Germany. Russia did not have to enter the war as Russia herself was not attacked. “Only” Serbia was. Russia was not ready to enter the war, but the Czar-Martyr Saint Nicholas II decided that it was his Christian duty was to take the defense of the Serbian people even if all pragmatic considerations were clearly advocating against a Russian intervention.
This war soon turned out to be extremely costly for Russia and greatly contributed to the weakening of the Russian monarchy which eventually resulted in a Aristocratic-Masonic coup (February 1917) followed by a Jewish-Bolshevik coup (October 1917). Did the Czar do the right thing when he decided to defend the Serbian nation at the potential cost of his own Empire, the last Christian Empire in history?
It is a fact that the Serbian Prince Alexander and the Serbian people have always shown an immense and sincere gratitude to the Russian people and to Czar Nicholas II (whose first icon was painted on a fresco in Serbia, not Russia). But Russia also liberated Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke. We now see the kind of “gratitude” Russia got from Bulgaria. Will a liberated Novorossia be more like Serbia or more like Bulgaria?
Second, the level of outrage in Russia over the apparent Russian non-action in the face of what has now clearly become a systematic terror campaign against the people of Novorossia is immense. If Putin does not take action *very* soon he will face a very serious challenge from many sectors of Russian society including the media, the Duma and even his own party “United Russia”.
My personal opinion is that this “wait and see” game was probably aimed at deliberately getting the Russian public opinion in a state of rage similar to the one which preceded the 2nd Chechen war but if that is so, then now the Russian society has reached boiling point and that if Putin does not act very soon a political explosion will take place in Russia. Every day now I see already “not so veiled at all” criticisms and expressions of disbelief at the Kremlin’s “shameful passivity”, and I am not talking about some small extremist party websites, but of the most watched and best known TV news and talk shows of mainstream Russian TV.
Reporters which used to be very pro-Putin are now clearly and openly expressing frustration maybe not at Putin personally (yet), but at “Moscow”. But the writing is on the wall for Putin now. Furthermore, representatives of Novorussian authorities are now spending their time in Moscow going from one talk-show to another and making truly dramatic pleas for help. In other words, Putin is days away from what will become his political suicide unless he takes action.
I would say that things have become so bad that even if the Novorossian Defense Forces have what it takes to keep the neo-Nazi death-squads mostly in check (and I believe that they do), the humanitarian situation is so bad (over 110,000 refugees already) that the pressure to have Russia intervene will continue to grow regardless of the military equation.
With these elements in mind, make your own conclusions now as to what Putin should/will do.
My personal belief is that a Russian intervention is imminent.

Review of Peter Fritzsche's Germans Into Nazis, by Robert John

Repost from the old site.
I am proud to present a book review by a new guest author, Robert John. His biography is at the end of the piece. In this piece, he reviews a book by Peter Fritzsche, Germans into Nazis. This book takes on, in part, a thesis by a best-selling book by Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners.
Goldhagen’s book was wildly controversial, to say the least. His thesis was that Nazism was a normal evolution of the virulent anti-Semitism inherent in German society for decades, if not centuries. An anti-Semitism spanning all of society, from top to bottom, urban to rural.
Goldhagen gives examples of how ordinary Germans knew full well the nature of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews, but either did nothing about it, or cheered it on. He cites postcards sent back by German soldiers to family at home, telling gleefully about how the soldiers were massacring Jews on the Front.
The reaction to Goldhagen’s book was ferocious, much of it coming from conservative Catholics, anti-Semites and German nationalists but also from serious scholars.
To this day, Goldhagen is a favorite whipping boy of anti-Semites and Holocaust revisionists and deniers, except that their own behavior seems to prove Goldhagen correct. So those who hate Jews take exception to Goldhagen saying that Germany was a nation of Jew-haters. One would think they would cheer this assertion on?
Regarding this review, here are some facts for those lacking background in this matter:
After World War 1, Germany was hobbled at the Treaty of Versailles with horrible reparations that were essentially unpayable and ruined the economy. John points out correctly that Versailles led logically to the rise of Nazism.
Immediately afterwards, in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution, German Communists attempted to overthrow the state. They were defeated. German anti-Communists, including most of the middle class, noted that many of the leaders of the Communist revolutions in Russia and Germany were Jewish.
History is not kind to losers. For better or worse, German Jews were blamed for a few of them having led the failed German revolution.
In the 1920’s, Germany had a series of very unstable governments known as the Weimar Republic. At the same time, there was widespread political violence in the streets, often between Communists and socialists on one side and nationalists and proto-fascists on the other. The economy was devastated and it took a wheelbarrow full of worthless money to buy a loaf of bread.
At the same time, a wealthy and decadent class lived it up in the nightclubs of Berlin. Many of this decadent artist class were Jewish and many were also homosexuals and bisexuals. The movie, Cabaret, starring Liza Minnelli, about the life of gay author Christopher Isherwood, was set in Weimar Berlin.
Comedians and artists, many of whom were Jewish, ridiculed German nationalism and the things that patriotic Germans held dear to their hearts. This nationalism, along with traditional German culture, was held by these artists as having led to the war and the disastrous defeat. Enraged German nationalists saw only decadent urbanites, many of them Jewish, attacking German culture and values.
Further, the decadent lifestyle in Berlin enraged traditional elements in Germany. The wild life of the rich in the cities aroused rage amongst the immiserated poor, workers and middle classes.
While German Gentiles were being economically ruined, many German Jews had avoided economic destruction by stashing their money outside the country early in the crisis. No doubt this led to charges that the Jews were failing to invest in Germany.
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, as German property values plummeted, German Jews were able to return bring their money back and buy up much of the country for 10 cents on the dollar. By 1932, German Jews, 1% of the country, owned 32% of the wealth of Germany.
After quotas on Jews in government jobs, the professions and universities were lifted in the 1920’s, the ranks of attorneys, doctors, judges and law professors were quickly filled by high-IQ Jews. 1/2 of German law professors and Berlin attorneys were Jewish. 1/3 to 1/2 of Berlin doctors were Jewish. 20% of German judges were Jewish. Berlin gained a Jewish police chief, the first in the history of the city.
Many Germans were outraged at the overnight Jewish success and implied humiliation of German Gentiles and insisted that the Jews must have cheated to get these positions.
Just before they seized power, Nazi propagandists made much use of these figures. They also claimed that most politicians and civil servants were Jews, which was not true. Only a few high-ranking civil servants were Jewish. There were few Jewish politicians – during the entire Weimar Period, there were only 8 Jewish members of the Reichstag from Berlin. After 1922, there were almost no Jewish Cabinet ministers.
Similar claims that most pickpockets were Jewish and that German prisoners were filled with Jews were also false. Looking at figures from 1925, only 1.05% of Prussian prisoners were Jewish. Likewise with claims that the German Communist Party leadership was mostly Jewish. In 1932, there were 100 Communist deputies in the Reichstag and not a single one was Jewish.
As you can see, the Nazis were engaging in some scapegoating and out and out lying about German Jews.
The Weimar Regimes (republican democracy) seemed to be powerless to remedy any of these problems. Democracy came to be seen as symbolic with ineffectual government that fiddled while the nation burned, with decadent intellectuals and artists who attacked beloved German culture and values, with an outrageous gap between rich and poor, and with a disastrous economy.
So the Nazis ran on a platform of “the Hell with democracy”.
At the same time, similar fascist movements were spreading across Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe, where most nations had fascist governments during this period. Even Finland and the Baltics had fascist governments.
Fritzsche’s book points out that the Nazis succeeded due to good old politics, Karl Rove style. They appealed to workers, women and liberals, though their program was secretly hostile to all three. They attacked social conservatism and the rich while hiding the fact that support for these elements was an essential nature of their project.
Even the name “National Socialists” was chosen along the same lines, to co-opt the rising Socialist and Communist movements in Germany.
By playing such dishonest political games, they gained support of socialists, Communists, liberals and even some Jews. While the socialists and Communists seemed boring or dangerous, the Nazis were all about getting Germans to feel good about themselves and have fun at the same time. Instead of Reagan’s “Morning in America”, it was “Morning in Germany”.
After they seized power, no German socialist or Communist was fooled by the Nazi lies about being a socialist party. In fact, at its core, Nazism was hostile first and foremost to liberals, union members, socialists and Communists. Communists, socialists and union members were the first to go the concentration camps, Dachau being the most famous. The Jews were number four on the list, after these three!
After they seized power, at the Night of the Long Knives, the Left Nazis were all killed or driven out of the party. Through the 1930’s, most of the German Left went to ground, fled the country or took up arms against the government. The German Communist Party declared war on the Nazi regime during this period.
The name “National Socialists” has confused many people, including rightwing ideologues. There is much more to the refutation of the disgusting rightwing lie, “Nazis were a leftwing, socialist movement” but I will save it for another post.
I realize that a quick, ignorant, emotional read of this piece could lead one to the conclusion that it is some defense of Nazism. If you read it closely, intelligently and soberly, you should notice that it is nothing of the kind.
I hope you enjoy John’s piece.

Those Abnormal Germans?
Understanding Goldhagen
Robert John*

Germans into Nazis
Peter Fritzsche
Harvard University Press, 1998
269 pages. ISBN 0-674-35091-X

The history of this century has been dominated by the horrors that came from the inferno of World War I. The rise of Nazism in Germany is only comprehensible by taking into account the national hardships and frustration provoked by defeat and the harsh and punitive treaty of Versailles, in which President Wilson played the leading role.
Peter Fritzsche, professor of history, University of Illinois, and the author of Reading Berlin 1900 (Harvard), gives an account of what gave the German National Socialists their electoral victories in 1932 and why.
Why were 37.4 percent of German votes cast for the Nazis in the July 1932 legislative elections, when for the first time they became the largest party; the SPD was second with 21.6 percent?
Half a century after their destruction, new accounts of German National Socialism, and its leader, still contend for space on bookstore shelves.
Many seek to explain German support for a leader portrayed as the most dangerous archfiend of recorded history, or to analyze the dynamics of that leader himself. Daniel Goldhagen, in his best-selling book Hitler’s Willing Executioners, suggested that Hitler was little more than a midwife in a German war against the Jews.
Goldhagen blamed successful appeal to widespread German anti-Jewish prejudice for the Nazi victories. He alleged that by the time Hitler came to power in 1933, racial anti-Semitism had already made Germany “pregnant with murder.”
Fritzsche gives an account of some of the confusion of patriotism and social turbulence from 1918 to 1933. He quotes the Berliner Tageblatt of 10 November 1918:

Yesterday morning . . .everything was still there – the Kaiser, the chancellor, the police chief – yesterday afternoon nothing of all that existed any longer.

The March 1917 Menshevik Revolution in Russia was being re-enacted in Germany, with Friedrich Ebert playing the role that Kerensky had played in Russia the year before. With knowledge of the red terror the Bolsheviks were waging in Russia, and some awareness that the majority of their leaders were Jewish, gave grounds for the development of a counterrevolution with anti-Semitic elements.
Like most other historians of the Allied Powers, Fritzsche omits significant reference to Allied failure to honor President Wilson’s Fourteen Points for peace which were announced by him on 8th January 1918.
It was on their basis, and Wilson’s declaration a month later: that there were to be no annexations, no contributions, and no punitive damages, that General Ludendorff had recommended to Field-Marshall Hindenburg that Germany ask for an Armistice.
Diplomatic exchanges followed until 23rd of October. On that day, Wilson informed the German government that, were he compelled to negotiate with the military rulers and monarchist autocrats, he would demand not peace negotiations but a general surrender. The Kaiser abdicated.
In his haste to present the circumstances and appeal of National Socialist policies to the German people at the beginning of the 1930’s, Fritzsche also skips reference to the continued Allied food blockade of Germany for nearly six months after the war had ended. Even the German Baltic fishing fleet, which had augmented German food supplies during the war, was prevented from putting to sea.
(See The Politics of Hunger: The Allied blockade of Germany, 1915-1919, Vincent, C. Paul, Ohio Univ. Press, 1985, and the Kathë Kollwitz lithograph Deutschlands Kinder hungern – Germany’s Children are Starving.)
In the spring of 1919, both the putting down of Communist insurrections in Berlin, Bremen, and Munich and breaking of general strikes in Halle, Magdeberg and Braunschweig by a Freikorps of nationalist volunteers, temporarily suspended the threat of a repetition of the Bolsheviks’ October revolution in Russia.
When the Freikorps finally disbanded, they left behind a loose confederacy of secret organizations, veterans’ groups, and rifle clubs.
Organization by both the Left and the Right seems to have satisfied a popular need for feelings of solidarity and renewal. By 1924 there were signs that this social activity was taking a more coherent political form.
New organizations were also distinctive for being more open to women, who established their own auxiliaries, and attended patriotic celebrations. Activities for women, common in international socialist organizations, were included in nationalist events in community life. Brass bands and choral societies joined in what looked more like a family celebration than a wartime field service.
The wife of an engineer described a new look in her city streets: groups of young people passing by, singing patriotic songs. In midsummer her daughter Irmgard, living in Nordheim, looked forward to Sunday’s flag consecration and dance.

Everywhere there is great excitement . . . all the regimental associations are coming, even the riflery clubs. (p. 134)

Fritzsche chooses such illustrations of entertainment and excitement, rather than negative appeals, that drew many of the young and others away from the blandness of the Social Democrats, and the preaching of international revolution, “Workers of the world: Unite,” of the Communists. ‘For good reasons or bad, Germans turned indifferent to the Weimar Republic, but they did not remain inactive or apathetic.
The real consequence of the revolution was not so much the parliamentary government it secured as the organization and activism of thousands of constituents it made possible. The new Germany can best be found in the humdrum mobilization of interest groups, veterans’ associations, and party branches and in the self-authorization of a hundred voices, libelous, illiberal, and chauvinistic as they may have been.
It is a sad but compelling paradox that the hostile defamations of the president of the republic were as indicative of democratization as the presidency of good-willed Fritz Ebert himself’ (p.136).
In the hard economic times of 1930,when the social welfare programs of the state were being cut back, the Nazis erected a “rudimentary shadow welfare state” for their supporters, responding to the crisis in a concrete way.
They never made the mistake of Hugenberg’s German Nationalists of holding political meetings in the best hotel in town. During a metalworkers strike, striking party members were fed three times daily in Nazi pubs.
Womens’ groups associated with the party were particularly active. National Socialist speeches and propaganda repudiated the narrow politics on the “reactionary” bourgeois parliamentarians and the proliferating interest groups and splinter parties.
In speech after speech at mass rallies, Hitler and his followers tended to address voters as citizens, rather than as blocs or constituents, and repeated again and again the need to solve local problems by liberating the entire nation from republican misrule. (In Britain a National Government was set up in 1931 with slogans of unification, patriotism, insulation, planning, etc.)
The National Socialist message brought to the people in town after town was not the class consciousness of Hindenberg’s upper class, nor its representation in the primacy of ‘the class struggle’ of the Communists and Socialists; instead, national solidarity was the answer to Germany’s vexing problems: social reform, economic productivity, the shameful peace.
There was a deliberate attempt to enroll Germans in a collective destiny and to present Hitler as a national savior rather than a solicitous politician (Fritzsche, p. 195).
Nazi propaganda very effectively portrayed political choices in Utopian terms: here was a party that opposed the present “system” and, once in power, would rebuild the nation. It was not just the modern methods of political campaigning that the Nazis used that brought them success; it was their message.
With Hitler as Chancellor, workers who had watched the Social Democrats fight long and hard and always unsuccessfully to persuade the Reichstag to recognize 1 May as an official holiday, looked or listened to the Leader’s May Day speech to a disciplined mass at Tempelhof in 1933. All day the radio played the songs of “miners, farmers, and soldiers.”
A “symphony of work” composed by Hans-Jurgen Nierentz and Herbert Windt, featured interviews with a dock worker from Hamburg, an agricultural laborer from East Prussia, a steel worker from the Saar, a miner from the Ruhr, and a vintner from the Mosel Valley. The crowd drank beer, ate sausages, and, in the evening, marveled at the fireworks.
Should one wonder why many former Communist and international Socialists who joined the Nazis, came to be called “underdone beef:” —brown on the outside, still red on the inside?
The Nazis distanced themselves from liberal state administrators, social conservatives, and traditional authoritarians. They were as dismissive of the Kaiserreich as they were of the Weimar Republic. ‘In short, the Nazis were ideological innovators.’
They met popular demands for political sovereignty and social recognition and insisted that these could only be achieved through national union, which would provide Germans with an embracing sense of collective identity and a strong role in international politics.

It was this far-reaching program of renovation that made the Nazis stand out and made them attractive to a plurality of voters.
If Hitler and his followers had simply recirculated the anti-Semitism of Anton Drexler’s German Workers’ Party or blustered on about the shameless Treaty of Versailles or devoted all their energies to combating the Social Democrats and other treasonous “November criminals,” the movement would have stalled completely.
This is exactly what happened to Wolfgang Kappa and the Freikorpsmen of 1919-1920 and also explains the demise of Alfred Hugenberg and the German Nationalists in 1924-1930. Instead, attacks on conservatives as well as Marxists, denunciations of local power arrangements as well as the national parliament, and an affirmative vision of a prosperous, technologically advanced nation gave the Nazis a sharp ideological edge.
At a time when so much civic strife is defined in terms of cultural affinities it is all the more important, if sometimes difficult, to recall the force of ideology.
Long-standing ethnic hatreds, religious fundamentalisms, and transnational “civilizations” dominate contemporary discussions about instability and unrest, which are frequently understood in terms of the friction between basically essential cultural qualities that have come into contact with one another.
However, the Nazi phenomenon was not a hyperventilated expression of German values, even as it pronounced the allegedly superior quality of the German people.
Nor was it the pathological result of economic hard times, instead National Socialism comprised a program of cultural and social regeneration premised on the superordination of the nation and the Volk and modeled very much on the public spirit and collective militancy of the nation at war.

Fritzsche concludes:

even as the Nazis upheld an integral, almost redemptive nationalism, they created new categories of outsiders, enemies, and victims. That system was neither accidental nor unanimous’ (p.235).

Some Jewish historians have noted almost marginally that National Socialist election material did not directly appeal to anti-Jewish sentiment (for example, Avraham Barkai’s From Boycott to Annihilation, Brandeis Univ. Press, 1987, 11, Saul Friedländer’s Nazi Germany and the Jews, Harper-Collins, 1997, 4), or Finkelstein and Birns’ A Nation On Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis, Henry Holt 1998).
So why is the Goldhagen account and conclusion so different from that of Fritzsche? The parsimonious explanation is the ‘Zoom syndrome.’ This is a tendency to magnify items supporting the prejudices of the observer. Goldhagen focuses on German critics of Jews or practices associated with them, and projects these as anti-Semitism leading to a program of Jewish extermination.
His premise is—unchecked criticism of Jews leads to a ‘Holocaust.’ With this ‘tunnel vision,’ he is deprived of depth and width of perspective. Leading Jewish academics are stressing the importance of incorporating the Jewish ‘experience of the Holocaust’ into the perspective of Jewish studies programs. This would help Jewish scholars to regain or maintain historical perspective.
In his review of A Nation On Trial in the New York Times Book Review, Max Frankel, a former executive editor of the paper, recorded his mother’s experience in wartime Berlin in 1940 as an enemy alien Polish Jew. A commissioner of police gave her the name and location of the Gestapo chief who would give the family an exit permit.

As she thanked him and turned to leave, the commissioner suddenly asked,
“Where did you say you want to go?”
“To America.”
“If you get there, will you tell them we’ re not all bad?”
To her last day, she did.

The facts cited by both Fritzsche and Goldhagen, and other previous writers, are explained as never before, using evolutionary and social identity theory, by Professor Kevin MacDonald’s analyses of anti-Semitism published in the Praeger Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence series, in 1998 “Separation and Its Discontents: Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism and The Culture of Critique, and in his previously published A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Strategy, 1994.
*Dr. John is a diplomatic historian, policy analyst, and a former professor of psychiatric education. He is the author of The Palestine Diary: British, American and United Nations Intervention 1914-1948, 3rd. ed. 2006, 2 volumes, with a foreword by Arnold Toynbee, and Behind the Balfour Declaration: The Hidden Origins of Today’s Mideast Crisis, 1988.
He has been a U.S. correspondent for the monthly Middle East International and adviser on international affairs to the Council on American Affairs. He was presented with the 1997 Freedom Award by the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Analysis in Baden-Baden “for his outstanding work and contributions towards the fight for human rights, justice and liberty.”

“We’ll Get You Pie Before You Die,” by Alpha Unit

The fruits of their labor built America’s cities and homes, historians say, and made some people very rich. Nowadays we call them loggers.

Once upon a time they were lumberjacks. Or “timber beasts,” if you really didn’t like them.

Life was rough and frequently cut short when you did this kind of work. At the beginning of the twentieth century when serious efforts were made to unionize the logging industry, most workers in the country were virtual slaves, called “wage slaves” by organizers, according to journalists John C. Hughes and Ryan Teague Beckwith. In their book On the Harbor: From Black Friday to Nirvana, they chronicle unionization efforts for loggers in the Pacific Northwest, and go into detail about their working conditions.

Record-keeping wasn’t very good in those days, but a man’s life expectancy as a logger was said to be about seven years, they say.

Seldom a week went by without a buddy killed or maimed by a rolling log, a falling tree, a giant splinter run through him, or a whipping cable slicing him in two.

From the time he got out of bed in the morning, a logger never knew if he’d make it back to the bunkhouse in one piece, as one writer put it. Hughes and Beckwith continue:

Sawmill workers and shingle weavers lost fingers so routinely that it was practically a rite of passage. Hands and arms went flying, too, in geysers of blood, as the saws shrieked.

None of this made much of a difference to the employers. None of what many workers take for granted today existed then in this industry – no safety regulations, no inspections of gear or practices, and certainly no health insurance or rehabilitation programs. According to Hughes and Beckwith:

When a logger was crippled or killed, the bosses often said it was his own damn fault. He was too careless, or a greenhorn. Maybe just unlucky. “Joe’s number was up. We’re burnin’ daylight. Let’s get the lead out!”

These workers were easy to take advantage of. They were typically single young men, often recent immigrants. Many were migrants who followed timber jobs as they became available. But conditions in lumber camps were so bad that, by one estimate, the annual turnover rate was as high as 600 percent.

Employers didn’t seem to care. They weren’t moved in the slightest to do anything to ameliorate the conditions that were creating this astronomical turnover. Conditions like overcrowded, lice-infested bunkhouses. Another author, John E. Haynes, described some of the logging camps in Minnesota.

Bunkhouses were ventilated only by doors at each end and one or two small skylights in the roof. One or perhaps two iron stoves, kept fired all night, provided heat. The poor ventilation compounded sanitary problems.

The men worked 11-hour days in the cold Minnesota winter and generally wore two or three sets of underwear in addition to their outer garments. The combination of wet snow and hard labor soaked the jacks’ clothes every day, but the men were without washing facilities either for themselves or what they wore…layers of sets of wet-from-sweat clothes hung near the stove every night to dry for the next day.

The steam from the clothes joined the stench of tightly-packed, unwashed bodies in the bunkhouses, prompting one Wobbly to comment that “the bunkhouses in which the lumberjacks sleep are enough to gag a skunk.”

Toilet facilities were primitive in the extreme, says Haynes. Privies were simply shallow, open pits with a roof and some poles for seats. The privies were rarely treated with lime or even covered with dirt.

To the men who hired the workers, all of this was perfectly okay. If you were a worker who didn’t think it was okay, your option was to quit. A perfectly fine arrangement, correct?

Not so, said union organizers, specifically the IWW, or Industrial Workers of the World – also known as the Wobblies. It was workers just like these loggers that the Wobblies focused their energies on.

Any wage earner could be a Wobbly, says labor historian Gibbs M. Smith. It didn’t matter what your occupation, race, creed, or sex was. You could be Black or White or Asian, American or foreign-born, skilled or unskilled.

This openness toward unskilled workers is what set the IWW apart from the American Federation of Labor. The AFL adhered to a craft union philosophy and were too conservative for the Wobblies. Consisting mainly of skilled workers, the AFL refused to organize the unskilled.

“Big Bill” Haywood led the IWW. He favored industrial unionism over craft unionism, stating:

We are going to go down into the gutter to get at the mass of workers and bring them up to a decent plane of living.

Machinery and advancing technology were progressively eliminating the need for skilled craftsmen, Smith writes. The IWW believed that since the employers had united into great combinations of capital to maintain supremacy, it was necessary to organize all workers, skilled and unskilled, into industrial unions “to wage effective war on the integrated power of modern industry.”

In their efforts to organize loggers, it wasn’t just conditions in the camps that the IWW protested. They strongly objected to the “job sharks” who supplied laborers to the mills and logging camps. Because working conditions were so awful, employers hired agents to snare fresh bodies, as Hughes and Beckwith put it.

In the winter of 1911-12, the IWW took a stand against the logging companies and their job agents in Aberdeen, Washington.

Off-duty laborers would pass by and congregate near the Sailors’ Union Hall in downtown Aberdeen, where IWW organizers had begun their outreach efforts. The favored spot was near a saloon owned by a city councilman. The City Council didn’t like the IWW, seeing them as subversives, so it passed an ordinance prohibiting street speaking in the locality.

But the City Council chose to look the other way for one group in particular, another group that was interested in the laborers, or at least in their souls – the Salvation Army.

The Wobblies didn’t like this one bit.

Joe Hill, an immigrant from Sweden who had worked his way across the country as a laborer in factories and mines, and on farms and waterfronts, had joined the IWW once he made it to California. He mocked the “Starvation Army” in a song that parodied their hymn “In the Sweet Bye and Bye”:

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

The IWW kept up their protests of the Aberdeen ordinance, suffering vigilante violence in the process. In January of 1912, the City Council passed another ordinance – this time outlawing all street speaking. The Salvation Army, too, had to lie low.

But the IWW wasn’t contented. This was about the principle of free speech as well as organizing workers. They staged another protest, complete with singing, soap boxing, a boycott of local merchants, and a lot of bad publicity.

Eager to avoid the kind of destructive conflict that had gripped Spokane a couple of years earlier during IWW-led protests, the city of Aberdeen reached a settlement with the Wobblies. They consented, finally, to street speaking. The Wobblies moved the free-speech fight on to other cities, and organized a massive strike that closed every wood-working plant on Grays Harbor.

The timber industry eventually met many IWW demands, such as clean bedding and the 8-hour workday, during World War I. According to Hughes and Beckwith:

Frightened of paralyzing strikes that could harm logging of spruce for military planes, the U.S. Army created a special Spruce Production Division. With military efficiency the “Spruce Army” improved conditions more than the Wobblies ever had.

The Wobblies didn’t get everything they set out to get as an organization. They wanted all workers united into “One Big Union.” It hasn’t happened. They wanted workers to unite to overthrow capitalism. Capitalism is still here, a hundred years later (and so are the Wobblies).

But the city fathers in Aberdeen became afraid of them. Lumber company owners were afraid of them, and so were Chamber of Commerce managers. The U.S. Army became afraid of them. That’s quite a feat.

References

Haynes, John E. 1971. Revolt of the “Timber Beasts”: IWW Lumber Strike in Minnesota. St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society.
Hughes, John C. and Beckwith, Ryan Teague, eds. 2005. On the Harbor: From Black Friday to Nirvana. Las Vegas: Stephens Press.
Smith, Gibbs M. 1969. Joe Hill. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

"We'll Get You Pie Before You Die," by Alpha Unit

The fruits of their labor built America’s cities and homes, historians say, and made some people very rich. Nowadays we call them loggers.
Once upon a time they were lumberjacks. Or “timber beasts,” if you really didn’t like them.
Life was rough and frequently cut short when you did this kind of work. At the beginning of the twentieth century when serious efforts were made to unionize the logging industry, most workers in the country were virtual slaves, called “wage slaves” by organizers, according to journalists John C. Hughes and Ryan Teague Beckwith. In their book On the Harbor: From Black Friday to Nirvana, they chronicle unionization efforts for loggers in the Pacific Northwest, and go into detail about their working conditions.
Record-keeping wasn’t very good in those days, but a man’s life expectancy as a logger was said to be about seven years, they say.

Seldom a week went by without a buddy killed or maimed by a rolling log, a falling tree, a giant splinter run through him, or a whipping cable slicing him in two.

From the time he got out of bed in the morning, a logger never knew if he’d make it back to the bunkhouse in one piece, as one writer put it. Hughes and Beckwith continue:

Sawmill workers and shingle weavers lost fingers so routinely that it was practically a rite of passage. Hands and arms went flying, too, in geysers of blood, as the saws shrieked.

None of this made much of a difference to the employers. None of what many workers take for granted today existed then in this industry – no safety regulations, no inspections of gear or practices, and certainly no health insurance or rehabilitation programs. According to Hughes and Beckwith:

When a logger was crippled or killed, the bosses often said it was his own damn fault. He was too careless, or a greenhorn. Maybe just unlucky. “Joe’s number was up. We’re burnin’ daylight. Let’s get the lead out!”

These workers were easy to take advantage of. They were typically single young men, often recent immigrants. Many were migrants who followed timber jobs as they became available. But conditions in lumber camps were so bad that, by one estimate, the annual turnover rate was as high as 600 percent.
Employers didn’t seem to care. They weren’t moved in the slightest to do anything to ameliorate the conditions that were creating this astronomical turnover. Conditions like overcrowded, lice-infested bunkhouses. Another author, John E. Haynes, described some of the logging camps in Minnesota.

Bunkhouses were ventilated only by doors at each end and one or two small skylights in the roof. One or perhaps two iron stoves, kept fired all night, provided heat. The poor ventilation compounded sanitary problems.
The men worked 11-hour days in the cold Minnesota winter and generally wore two or three sets of underwear in addition to their outer garments. The combination of wet snow and hard labor soaked the jacks’ clothes every day, but the men were without washing facilities either for themselves or what they wore…layers of sets of wet-from-sweat clothes hung near the stove every night to dry for the next day.
The steam from the clothes joined the stench of tightly-packed, unwashed bodies in the bunkhouses, prompting one Wobbly to comment that “the bunkhouses in which the lumberjacks sleep are enough to gag a skunk.”

Toilet facilities were primitive in the extreme, says Haynes. Privies were simply shallow, open pits with a roof and some poles for seats. The privies were rarely treated with lime or even covered with dirt.
To the men who hired the workers, all of this was perfectly okay. If you were a worker who didn’t think it was okay, your option was to quit. A perfectly fine arrangement, correct?
Not so, said union organizers, specifically the IWW, or Industrial Workers of the World – also known as the Wobblies. It was workers just like these loggers that the Wobblies focused their energies on.
Any wage earner could be a Wobbly, says labor historian Gibbs M. Smith. It didn’t matter what your occupation, race, creed, or sex was. You could be Black or White or Asian, American or foreign-born, skilled or unskilled.
This openness toward unskilled workers is what set the IWW apart from the American Federation of Labor. The AFL adhered to a craft union philosophy and were too conservative for the Wobblies. Consisting mainly of skilled workers, the AFL refused to organize the unskilled.
“Big Bill” Haywood led the IWW. He favored industrial unionism over craft unionism, stating:

We are going to go down into the gutter to get at the mass of workers and bring them up to a decent plane of living.

Machinery and advancing technology were progressively eliminating the need for skilled craftsmen, Smith writes. The IWW believed that since the employers had united into great combinations of capital to maintain supremacy, it was necessary to organize all workers, skilled and unskilled, into industrial unions “to wage effective war on the integrated power of modern industry.”
In their efforts to organize loggers, it wasn’t just conditions in the camps that the IWW protested. They strongly objected to the “job sharks” who supplied laborers to the mills and logging camps. Because working conditions were so awful, employers hired agents to snare fresh bodies, as Hughes and Beckwith put it.
In the winter of 1911-12, the IWW took a stand against the logging companies and their job agents in Aberdeen, Washington.
Off-duty laborers would pass by and congregate near the Sailors’ Union Hall in downtown Aberdeen, where IWW organizers had begun their outreach efforts. The favored spot was near a saloon owned by a city councilman. The City Council didn’t like the IWW, seeing them as subversives, so it passed an ordinance prohibiting street speaking in the locality.
But the City Council chose to look the other way for one group in particular, another group that was interested in the laborers, or at least in their souls – the Salvation Army.
The Wobblies didn’t like this one bit.
Joe Hill, an immigrant from Sweden who had worked his way across the country as a laborer in factories and mines, and on farms and waterfronts, had joined the IWW once he made it to California. He mocked the “Starvation Army” in a song that parodied their hymn “In the Sweet Bye and Bye”:

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

The IWW kept up their protests of the Aberdeen ordinance, suffering vigilante violence in the process. In January of 1912, the City Council passed another ordinance – this time outlawing all street speaking. The Salvation Army, too, had to lie low.
But the IWW wasn’t contented. This was about the principle of free speech as well as organizing workers. They staged another protest, complete with singing, soap boxing, a boycott of local merchants, and a lot of bad publicity.
Eager to avoid the kind of destructive conflict that had gripped Spokane a couple of years earlier during IWW-led protests, the city of Aberdeen reached a settlement with the Wobblies. They consented, finally, to street speaking. The Wobblies moved the free-speech fight on to other cities, and organized a massive strike that closed every wood-working plant on Grays Harbor.
The timber industry eventually met many IWW demands, such as clean bedding and the 8-hour workday, during World War I. According to Hughes and Beckwith:

Frightened of paralyzing strikes that could harm logging of spruce for military planes, the U.S. Army created a special Spruce Production Division. With military efficiency the “Spruce Army” improved conditions more than the Wobblies ever had.

The Wobblies didn’t get everything they set out to get as an organization. They wanted all workers united into “One Big Union.” It hasn’t happened. They wanted workers to unite to overthrow capitalism. Capitalism is still here, a hundred years later (and so are the Wobblies).
But the city fathers in Aberdeen became afraid of them. Lumber company owners were afraid of them, and so were Chamber of Commerce managers. The U.S. Army became afraid of them. That’s quite a feat.

References

Haynes, John E. 1971. Revolt of the “Timber Beasts”: IWW Lumber Strike in Minnesota. St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society.
Hughes, John C. and Beckwith, Ryan Teague, eds. 2005. On the Harbor: From Black Friday to Nirvana. Las Vegas: Stephens Press.
Smith, Gibbs M. 1969. Joe Hill. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

It's Official: Americans are Fascists

Polls don’t lie. 59% of Americans (all of them fascists) say that Julian Assange must be prosecuted for espionage.

I’ve been feeling this way for 30 years or so, that Americans are fascists. I’m wondering if it’s always been this way though? Was there ever a time when polls have showed that a majority of Americans were not fascists?

For instance, Barack Obama’s fascist Administration is trying to prosecute Assange under a fascist US law called the Espionage Act, passed during the First Capitalist World War in 1917. It’s one of the worst laws ever passed in this country, and it was used to criminalize dissent during WW1. It was used again during WW2 to criminalize dissent again.

The court rulings during the war said that the act could be used to restrict any political expression that the government considered a “clear and present danger.” Apparently this is only operative during wartime, or at least during world wars. But subsequent rulings found that the Vietnam War did not meet the test of clear and present danger.

The fascist Nixon Administration tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg using this fascist law. The courts ruled that Ellsberg was a journalist, and he had whistle-blower’s rights to release the Pentagon Papers. There have been repeated attempts at prosecution using this Act since then, but all have failed in the courts. At this point, the courts have slapped down Espionage Act prosecutions so many times that the very constitutionality of the Act itself is in question.

I am curious what the polls at the time showed? Did they show support for Ellsberg (the anti-fascist position) or did they support the state (the fascist position)?

It’s a poignant question. Have Americans always been fascists? How sad that I should even have to ask that.