By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Jul 9, 2010 11:12 PM
Glenn Beck, an extreme right-wing pundit of television and radio, has shown his outrageous racism and anti-working-class sentiments once again when he told us that Barack Obama “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” and that a massive “invasion” by undocumented workers “threatens our America.”
Beck’s anti-communism is not new, either. But he made clear his dedication to the capitalist system and racism on June 4 in a pseudo-historical lecture on his radio show. Proclaiming that the author “was doing the same things that we are doing now,” Beck promoted “The Red Network,” a book written in 1934 by virulent anti-communist Elizabeth Dilling.
The book is a tract of conspiracy theories attempting to link high government officials in the Roosevelt administration with the U.S. Communist Party and the Soviet Union. It is full of confused logic, giant leaps and baseless presumptions.
Dilling would have you believe that the very government that had just sent the National Guard to mow down communist-led strikers in Minneapolis and San Francisco was itself controlled by the Kremlin. Dilling’s text stands out, however, for its unapologetic racism and support for the newly installed regime of Adolph Hitler in Germany.
It apologizes for the massive repression and arrests of Jews by the Nazi regime, saying that most of the victims were only “Russian Jews” bent on “Red terrorist revolution” and that “German nationalist Jews” would remain untouched. Dilling portrayed the Black liberation movement as communists manipulating oppressed people to inflame them against whites.
Later in life, Dilling wrote another book called “The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today.” Originally entitled “The Plot Against Christianity,” it blamed Jewish people for all the world’s problems. Dilling toured the U.S. in 1940 as part of the “America First Committee,” a group of fascist sympathizers who opposed war with Germany. Dilling herself was very supportive and most likely a member of the German-American Bund, a U.S. Nazi group that used the swastika as its official symbol and marched in full brown-shirt regalia.
Was Glenn Beck correct in stating that Elizabeth Dilling was “doing the same thing” he is doing? Absolutely.
In the 1930s the global capitalist economy had collapsed, and millions were cast into poverty and misery. However, a strong and powerful movement of the working class finally erupted.
Unemployed workers staged mass hunger marches and even burst into the Capitol building, challenging members of Congress to provide them with jobs or an income. Southern textile workers, organizing their workplaces with the help of the interracial, communist-led Trade Union Unity League, armed in self-defense against gun-toting company goons.
In Harlem, Black artists and writers like Langston Hughes raised the demands of racial equality and self-determination for the Black community. Mass women’s organizations demanded a constitutional declaration of gender equality, which already existed in the Soviet Union.
The capitalists could not smash these heroic uprisings with their usual bag of tricks. Many began throwing money and other support behind the fascist movement. They attacked the administration of Franklin Roosevelt as “soft on communism,” even though Roosevelt’s reforms were in fact aimed at saving capitalism.
Many describe fascism as “capitalism in decay.” The fascists were ideologically trained racists and defenders of the capitalist class. However, their propaganda pretended to be “revolutionary” and, in some cases, “anti-capitalist.”
Fascists recruited alienated individuals by channeling their rage into attacks on oppressed people and the revolutionary movement. For example, while pretending to be “revolutionary,” the fascist Citizens’ Alliance and Black Legions attacked striking autoworkers in Flint, Mich., who were demanding that the millionaire bosses recognize their right to unionize.
The Dillings of our day
Today, at a time when long-term unemployment is at its highest level since the Depression and millions are losing their homes, the movement directed by the Glenn Becks and the “Tea Party” is calling for “liberty” and an end to “big government.” Instead of attacking the capitalist class and the banks that have impoverished the workers, its target are social programs and the millions who receive very minor assistance in place of a job or livable income.
After first coming out — with much support from the medical corporations — to oppose even the meager health care reform introduced by the Obama administration, these right-wingers soon switched their focus to anti-immigrant racism. These “champions of liberty” defend the racist Arizona law that allows police to search “suspected” undocumented workers and demand proof of legal status at any time. They also try to block women’s right to reproductive choice.
While White House journalist Helen Thomas was accused of anti-Semitism and forced to resign for defending the Palestinian people, Glenn Beck can openly champion the writings of a Nazi and continue to earn millions. What better exposes the two-faced capitalist ruling class and media?
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