Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More Lies From Beck's Million Dollar Megaphone

Comrades and Friends,

It came to my attention that Ultra-Rightist Glenn Beck advertised our upcoming Nov. 12-14th National Conference on Socialism in New York City today on his program. I then watched the opening clip of his show, to see us mentioned, and felt it necessary, as in the past, to refute his lies and deception point by point.

So, once again, here I go. This time, its 12 falsehoods, all of which are passed off as being "common sense" by a lying fool with a million dollar megaphone, paid for by the wealthy elite.

Caleb T. Maupin

1. “We Can’t See the Books?”
– While Beck is correct that we can’t see the books, this is NOT because of Marxism. Contrary to the free-marketeers who maintain that private institutions, like the Federal Reserve have the right to keep “business secrets”, the demand to “Open The Books!” has been a key demand of the Marxists for decades. Leon Trotsky’s 1936 “Transitional Program” lays out this demand, as do numerous other revolutionary groups. The demand has been that corporations who claim that their profits require layoffs “open the books!” and let the union and others see how much executives are paid, and then demand that cuts made there. Marxists oppose keeping “the books” closed, but demand public access to trade secrets, “business secrets”, and other knowledge considered to be “private property.” This way it can become apparent to all that workers are being forced to bear the brunt of the capitalist crisis.

2. Federal Reserve Redistributes Wealth” – Yes, they redistribute wealth, but the wrong way! The Federal Reserve system is a system of redistribution of the tax dollars of millions of working class people to the banker class. Federal Funds, based in collections from the Tax system that unfairly targets working people are used to pump money into the capitalist economy, and help stabilize a naturally unstable “Free Market” system.

With every dollar printed, the wealthy make profits “lending” the government the ability to print it. Furthermore, bank bailouts, corporate welfare, and other forms of redistribution of wealth those with the most, continue as massive cuts in social spending accelerate.

If Beck is opposed to wealth redistribution, he should be calling for workers control of finances. He should support Workers World Party’s call for the New York public transit system to be foreclosed on by the people as MTA, a private corporation is not paying what it owes to the people of New York City. He should support an end to bank loan repayments which remain uncut, as social services and basic necessities are chopped to pieces. All of these are “wealth redistribution”, but at the expense of the many, to benefit the capitalist wealthy class of the few.

3. “The Weight of the Poor”
– Frances Piven’s is a Canadian Political Scientist. Her work for a large part focuses on how to drive low-income people into politics in order to benefit the Democratic Party and the liberal capitalists. Her theories are largely in line with the work of Saul Alinsky and Michael Harrington. The Democratic Party has often utilized such methods for its own end of keeping capitalism intact, with their wing, not the Republican wing in control.
Piven’s goal, like Alinsky’s, is to manipulate low income people’s needs for the benefit of the liberal capitalist class, which began to lose a lot of power under Reagan. Piven’s work “The Weight of the Poor” focuses on how manipulate low income people into becoming the shock troops for the Democratic Party's political program. She calls for demands like a “national income” and such to be utilized to get Democrats elected. Like many social-democrats and liberals, she sees the “weight of the poor” as a section of the country that is often absent from politics as a “hidden gold mine” for the Democrats to manipulate. The goal is to use the poor, not liberate them with Socialist Revolution.
Piven also authored the famous “Motor-Voter Bill” of Clinton, so that people were automatically registered to vote when getting a driver’s license. The idea being that this would increase the number of people voting, and as a result, strengthen the electoral power of the Democrats.
The school of political science that is promoted by Piven has strengthened non-Marxist and Reformist groups like ACORN, while actively doing that can be done to eliminate groups like the Welfare Rights Union and the All People's Congress.
Without the control of the "welfare rights movement" being wrestled into the hands of the Piven-Harrington-Alinsky crowd, it is unlikely that Clinton could have enacted "welfare reform" and destroyed so many lives in the mid-1990s.

(For the record, I neither live in my parents basement nor eat cheetoos. I am just politically informed, a crime in a society which openly promotes ignorance.)

4. The Weather Underground – Being Done Today? – “Prairie Fire” the Manifesto of the Weather Underground, published in the late 1970s just a few years before the organization's dissolution and surrender is hardly being enacted in the current times. It calls for the creation of an armed revolutionary movement of “colonized people” within the U.S. to engage in “Protracted People’s War” against the U.S. government based on Mao Zedong’s military strategy.

According to the booklet, eventually this revolutionary struggle will result in the violent overthrow of the U.S. government and the creation of a socialist society in the United States led by a Marxist-Leninist Party. I do not see any such armed groups engaging in “Protracted People’s War” against the government, especially not the government itself. I see barely anybody even advocating such a thing. It is hardly accurate to think Obama is doing such a thing.

I do not see any “liberated territories” independent of the U.S. government and controlled by communists being established. Likewise, I have not seen any sections of the Working Class engaging in armed warfare with the government. In addition, I do not see the Democratic Party even advocating such things.

In no way is the “Prairie Fire” booklet being enacted.

I search the lists of “Terrorist” acts in recent decades for a single one to be carried out by Marxists or Socialists.

In the 1970s, there was a significant sector of the U.S. left such as the May 19th Communist Organization, The Weather Underground, and the Symbionese Liberation Army that attempted to do such things. Such groups do not exist at the moment, and do not run the government by any means.

Yes, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Mike Klonsky, Carl Davidson, and others from the milleau that spawned books like "Prairie Fire" are still active in politics. But their politics have significantly changed. Those whose politics did not change remain locked away. Countless revolutionaries from the Black Liberation Army, the Revolutionary Armed Task Force, and the May 19th Communist Organization remain imprisoned for attempts at waging a "People's War."

Inside various prisons, they are hardly setting government policy.

5. Social-Democrats “Promised Communism…” In Europe
– The Social-Democratic Parties of Europe, beginning in the late 1980s, openly repudiated Socialism and Marxism. Tony Blair’s “New Labour” faction conquered the British Labour Party, removing the "old labour" figures like Michael Foot and Tony Benn. They then proclaimed that “class struggle” is “out of date.” Though it claims to still believe in “socialism”, the British Labour Party defines "socialism" as “a nation working together for a strong economy.” It purged “Clause IV” from its constituion, repudiating the idea that workers should control the means of production.

The British Labour Party strongly supported Bush's invasion of Iraq, and has presided over countless cuts in social services and spending. "Promised Communism?", not since the 1950s, and that's a stretch!

The French Socialist Party, the German Social-Democratic Party, and numerous others have announced that they believe in Neo-Liberalism and Free Market Capitalism, “with justice included” and with some weak state regulation implemented. The Social-Democrats occasionally do talk of "reform" and the "underclass", but this is limited almost entirely to occassional sermons of the John (or Jonathan) Edwards trope.

The various Social-Democratic Ruling Parties in Europe have not openly “promised Communism” since 1915 when they expelled the Bolsheviks. They have barely even spokne about Socialism and workers control of industry since the 1950s, all of them denouncing it officially in the 1980s. The British Labour Party has expelled all Marxist Factions, including the Militant Tendency of Trotskyists in the 1980s, and those who formed Arthur Scargill’s “Socialist Labour Party” after the Miner’s Strike of 1982-1984.

Recently, the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD) had a split, leading to the formation of a new party The Left (Die Linke), that still promotes a kind of socialism.

6. Van Jones & STORM – The STORM organization and the politics of Van Jones today are miles and miles away from each other. STORM was a Maoist organization advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, that no longer exists. Jones was a member of the group while a college student.

Van Jones is currently an environmentalist and liberal reformist who advocates the creation of employment through government subsidizing of private companies to create eco-friendly products. He was hired by Obama to go around publicly advocating such things, in order to transform fears of global warming and "eco-capitalist" economist sentiments into financial/political support for the Democrats.

To compare Jones politics today with his politics as a college student during the 1992 L.A. Rebellion is like comparing apples and oranges. Also, as soon as Jones politics of decades before became known, Jones was fired by administration.

It should be noted that the ranks of the Republican Party also has numerous "reformed" Marxists. David Horowitz was an open Neo-Trotskyist intellectual before realizing that right-wing think tanks write bigger checks than Ramparts Magazine. Paul Wolfowitz, Jean-Kirkpatrick, and Irving Kristol were all active promoters of the ideas of Socialist Max Shachtman before founding "Neo-Conservatism."

Ironically, noted conservative Christopher Hitchens claims he is STILL a Marxist, while promoting anti-Islamic bigotry and apologetics for the free market. Among the supporters of the Iraq War and Neo-Conservatism, are the Platypus Affiliated Society, a supposedly Marxist group who's mission seems to consist of convincing campus radicals to support rightist causes.

I wonder if Beck will do a program arguing that the Republican Party is a Marxist conspiracy. An equally convincing case could be made, and the anti-working class, racist, and right-wing politics of the Republican Party would make such a hidden conspiracy even more diabolical in nature.

7. Barack Obama is Black Liberation Theologist
– During his election campaign Obama responded to his minister Rev. Wright of the United Church of Christ by giving his “More Perfect Union” speech. The speech compared Rev. Wright, a Black Liberation Theologist, to his racist white grandmother, and proclaimed that Black Liberation Theology and other actions by the Black Liberation movement were partially responsible for the very existence of Racism in modern times. He urged people to “get beyond” “divisive” ideas like those of Black Liberation theology, and “come together.”

Obama went further and announced his resignation from Wright’s Church in response to Wright’s continued preaching Black Liberation Theology.

During his presidency Obama has apologized to a racist police officer for saying he acted “stupidly” when arresting Harvard Professor Louis Gates for supposedly breaking into his own home.

Obama then invited the racist officer to the White House to “have a beer” with his victim.

These actions are hardly consistent with “Black Liberation Theology”, a school of Christian Socialist thought that calls for fighting racism and capitalism with religious rhetoric and action.

Obama has made a point, time and time again, to denounce and distance himself from Black Liberation Theology, Black Nationalism, and much else. He even fired Shirley Sherrod for falsely being accused of being “anti-white” due to selections of a speech that were altered by Andrew Brietbart.

Where has Obama ever voiced any support for Black Liberation Theology? Where have his policies ever come close to such a thing?

8. “Capitalism won’t work because it can’t handle unemployment.”
– Workers World Party, of which I am a member, argues that unemployment is by-product of capitalism, which requires a “reserve army of labor” to maintain profits for the ruling class. We call for the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with Socialism, a system that puts the needs of people in command of the economy, and actively combats war, racism, anti-LGBT bigotry, sexism, and all other oppressions and evils. We call for a jobs program to combat unemployment as a demand in mobilizing a movement of millions against the ruling class and the system that keeps them in power, capitalism. We demand relief for the people in this time of capitalist spawned crisis.

Capitalism doesn’t work, and its failure is due to a number of factors, not simply unemployment. Beck is greatly simplifying our position. He should read the document he quotes, written by Fred Goldstein, which explains key Marxist concepts like overproduction, declining rate of profits, etc.

9. “Mixed Free Market And Marxism”
– Mixed the Free Market and Marxism? No! Marxism calls for workers control of industries, banking, and society. In the U.S. currently there is no section of the economy under popular control. Banking, Industry, and nearly all services are directly owned by private capitalist enterprises. In addition, the very few state run programs like the Post Office remain under the control of a capitalist control government, not working people or popular organizations. Social Services are being cut. Unemployment is growing. Unions are being busted. Public education is being gutted. Where’s the Marxism, Beck? I don’t see it.

10. “We have always thought differently…” – This childish fairy tale of the “unique” “American Experiment” is silly. The ideology of the “founding fathers” was reflective of many other European thinkers of the Capitalist Revolution against feudalism. John Locke of England, shared much of the same teachings and concepts as Jefferson. Libertarian economics is largely based on the ideas of France’s Bastiat. Ayn Rand, the founder of “objectivism” a school of ultra-right pseudo-philosophy was born in Russia and Jewish in her heritage.

Free Market Philosophy may hold more power in the U.S. but it is not magically wired into U.S. DNA, or inspired by magic dust we breathe in from our unique soil.

When it comes to economic liberalism, there are some countries which outstrip the U.S. Thousands of worker’s flee Mexico where the U.S. has imposed extreme free market policies, without the environmental regulations, labor protections, and minimium wages of the U.S.

In Chile, Milton Friedman was handed total control of economic policy by U.S. backed dictator Augusto Pinochet. His market liberalism allowed for 30% unemployment, something the U.S. is not even approaching at this moment of extreme unemployment.

We have been pumped all our lives full of concepts like “the greatest country in the world” etc. These concepts are foolish, and not grounded in reality. The United States is another country, like any other. Currently, the U.S. is the central power in Imperialist Capitalism. This has, however, only been the case since the conclusion of World War II.

Many other countries suffer from the horrors of Free Market capitalism. Likewise, many other countries have struggled for freedom from it.

There is no magical “American Spirit.” Such thinking is inconsistent with reality, and shows how ridicules it is that Libertarians call themselves believers in “Reason” and “The Scientific Method.” The idea that a certain economic philosophy is genetic or geographically determined is as credible as Nazi "race science", the measuring of skulls to determine criminal activity, astrology, and whole list of silly concepts supposedly rejected by "rational people."

11. “De-valued Education…” – Education is hardly being “devalued.” Its price, supposedly a reflection of its value in free market theory, has rapidly increased. While in most western countries education is free for all from elementary school to college, in the U.S. college has never been “free.”

In addition, primary and secondary education are being gutted and privatized left and right. Yet, as the “value” of education in terms of price grows, lies that education or “re-education” will solve the crisis of unemployment spew from the mouths of both the left and right wings of capitalist politicians, all the time.

Supposedly, the economic crisis will wither away if we all take out thousands in loans and go to business school. However, Mr. Beck, this does not seem to solve the crisis.

Just like any other commodity, the capitalists are happy to try and sell it, especially during the economic crisis.

Even the natural capitalist process of deflation, which should lower college costs is being prevented by government intervention. While student loans and aid to people is actually cut, the state continues to allow college prices to remain fixed up high. This another example of "wealth redistribution" that Mr. Beck doesn't seem to devote much time to exposing.

Rather, he attacks those organizing to keep college prices from skyrocketing as Marxist or dupe thereof. Does this man have a consistent bone in his body? Does he simply read off a tele-prompter?

12. “The Whole World Is Going The Opposite Direction…”
– No, most of the world is not engaging in the same cutbacks and “liberalization.” Cutbacks in Europe, are being combated with Worker Militancy not seen in the U.S. since the 1930s.

Workers in most industrialized countries would probably mistake Beck for a stand-up comedian, as they have been exposed to actual Marxism through their trade unions and formal education. They realize that Neo-Liberal Capitalist Obama is not a Marxist, as, unlike so many in the U.S., they realize Marxist is not just another word for "bad guy". Workers who have won stronger educational systems, as they have elsewhere realize that "Fascist", "Maoist", "Black Nationalist", "Liberation Theologist" and "Muslim" are not synonyms.

A number of countries in Latin American continues to move rapidly toward Socialism, led by the “Bolivarian Movement” and inspired by the writings of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Che Guevara, and Mao Zedong, as well as a leftist interpretations of the Bible, and the writings of Latin American Independence Fighter Simon Bolivar.

China is revitalizing the socialist sectors of its economy with the “Chinese New Deal”, a response to the weakening of the investment of foreign capitalists. Furthermore, "Neo-Maoists" dominate the radical trade union movement, and seek to restore the "command economy" that existed before Deng's 1978 reforms.

Cuba stands strong, maintaining its socialist character, despite recent setbacks. (It's so odd that Beck and his ilk have much more concern for Cubans in the process of changing decent paying jobs, than for U.S. workers being laid off, evicted, foreclosed, and going without food.)

Maoists wage revolutionary warfare in India and Nepal.

The Japanese Communist Party is growing in numbers day by day.

The writings of Karl Marx, esspecially his classic economic textbook "Capital" sells in record numbers.

Over 55% of Russians hold a positive view of Stalin and the Soviet Experience.

The Greek Communist Party is on the vanguard of the workers movement there, after taking a radical shift internally, rejecting "class collaborationism" and the "Popular Front" ideas it had accepted for a long time.

Belarus continues to have a socialist economy, and maintains a better standard of living than most of the former Soviet Bloc.

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, with aid from China, continues to redistribute land while leading the country with the highest literacy rate on the African Continent.

The percentage of people believing in Socialism in the U.S. is rapidly increasing.

If you want us to “catch up with the rest of the world", the way to do it by building a revolutionary socialist movement, as is growing rapidly around the world. Most countries have or are rapidly shaking the free market mythology and idealism you preach.

The period beginning in 1991 with the collapse of the USSR is ending. The workers and oppressed people are on the move, under a revolutionary banner. Pay attention.


Anonymous said...

Caleb: Frances Fox Piven is a woman, and by no stretch of the non-Trotskyite imagination does her work seek to "manipulate low income people’s needs for the benefit of the liberal capitalist class." It is glaringly obvious that you have not even read her work, and doubtful that you would understand it if you ever do. Anyone who has ever read "Poor People's Movements" -- which she wrote with the late Richard Cloward, and which has become one of Glenn Beck's focuses of attack for a reason -- would never come away with the conclusions you do. Piven and Cloward's analytical conclusion in their analysis of poor people's movements over the decades is that movements should always act to "maximize" their "disruptive potential" to the system.

So just remember that being more informed than Glenn Beck is no big achievement, and does not mean that you are "politically informed." Stop and think before the next time you hurl bratty, ignorant insults at people on the left who do real social movement work.

Anonymous said...

This I believe is the best point-by-point reply I've yet seen, to one of Beck's "socialism"-related jeremiads.

Why not contact Fox to ask if you could present it, on Beck's show? I'd be curious to hear the network's response.

Cleveland FIST said...

Point taken, anonymous.

As a male in capitalist society I seem to have made a horrific assumption on Piven's gender.

I am truly embarrassed and wish to formally apologize for it.

I thank the anonymous individual for pointing this out.

The article above has been altered to reflect the correct gender.

I apologize to you, and all of my readers!