[Marxism] Beck and historical idiocy....

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Sat Aug 28 07:35:47 MDT 2010


America's leading right-wing lunatic now claims the legacy of Martin Luther
King and the civil rights movement as "ours" and something to "take back."
The pundits of the Right have been using media to create an impressive level
of hallucinations about the American present, but Beck has been particularly
focused on doing the same about the American past....

Beck particularly began ranting about Tom Paine as a prophet of the
neocons.  Paine advocated nothing that could remotely give solace to today's
reactionaries, and was, in fact, so radical on just about every question
that there were serious efforts in our past to write Paine out of U.S.
history as an embarrassment.  Teddy Roosevelt called him a "filthy little
atheist," for example.  Despite that, Paine became a sort of underground
hero for progressives.  He was the Left's Founding Father, in a way...an
advocate of human equality against the institutional inequalities of the old
order, an internationalist, humanitarian, and a pioneer of political
solutions to social problems like poverty.  I would suggest that subverting
that real Tom Paine became as much of Beck's purpose as finding another
helplessly dead historical figure on which he could pin a Sarah Palin
button...

The other day, I decided--on a silly consumerist lark--to get one of those
wonderful old red liberty caps. The sans-culottes in the French Revolution
adopted their version of the Phrygian cap worn by freed slaves in parts of
the Roman empire.  It became the symbol for the radicalism of the streets,
associated with such events as the seizure of the churches and the elevation
of a prostitute as "the goddess of reason" at the Notre Dame.  Anyway, when
I went to ebay looking for my liberty cap, I was flabbergasted to find these
things being sold by the tea party crowd.  The Christian Fundies...

I don't know what to make of all this, except to observe that the world is
ultimately Darwinian and these folks are repeatedly earning their
extinction....

ML



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