Category archive

History

Articles pertaining to political and economic history.

History/Politics

Columbus, The West, And The Myth Of The Noble Savage

Well, it’s Christopher Columbus Day again. And this, of course, means that it is but another occasion for leftists everywhere to repudiate their own civilization. For a few decades now, the 15th century European explorer’s face has been held up as that of Western civilization, i.e. the face of all that is evil in the world. Columbus is the proverbial poster child for the White, Christian, Heterosexual Male, i.e. the contemporary left’s version of Public Enemy Number One. Columbus Day assumes a new significance this year, however, for monuments to Columbus are no longer alone in being targeted for destruction… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

DACA And The Dream Act, Part 3

In the final outcome, we must temper the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients with the rule of law. It was Obama who unconstitutionally allowed them to stay, an illegal action that President Trump is trying to bring back to the rule of law that this country is based upon. The children involved in DACA, through no fault of their own, have been placed in an unsustainable position. If President Donald Trump had not stepped in, the courts would have found DACA to be unconstitutional, and it would have been stopped immediately. President Trump has given the Congress six… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Lysander Spooner: Freedom Trumps The Rule Of Law

On May 22, 1856, South Carolina Representatives Preston Brooks and Laurence Keitt, along with Virginia Representative Henry Edmundson, made a visit to the Senate chamber. When they arrived, the balcony above the chamber still contained some straggling observers, mostly wives of senators. Since Brooks and Keitt were southern gentlemen, they respectfully waited for the ladies to leave. Once the galleries were clear and only men remained in the chamber, Brooks and his allies approached Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, who was writing at his desk. Their reason for approaching Sumner was to respond to a speech Sumner had recently given, called… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

What I Like About Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon (1737-94) was born into an old and moderately wealthy family that had its origins in Kent. Sickly as a child, he was educated at home, and sent while still a boy to Oxford. There, an illegal conversion to Roman Catholicism ruined his prospects of a career in the professions or the City. His father sent him off to Lausanne to be reconverted to the Protestant Faith. He came back an atheist and with the beginnings of what would become a stock of immense erudition. He served part of the Seven Years War in the Hampshire Militia. He sat… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Will President Trump Allow Release Of The Final JFK Assassination Documents?

The assassination of former President John F. Kennedy is known as one of the most tragic moments in United States history. A popular, young President was riding along in a motorcade in Dallas when he was shot dead sitting next to his wife, Jackie. The assassin would later be caught and then killed before he could tell his side of the story. Since, many questions have lingered. Was Lee Harvey Oswald indeed the shooter, or was he just a lowly patsy? If he was indeed the assassin, did he act alone? The basic premise of the story is known through… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

The Value Of The Greek & Roman Classics

When a member of the House of Commons rises to speak on a subject in which he has a pecuniary interest, both the rules of the House and plain decency require him to declare that interest. It is a just requirement, and I propose to follow it here. My agreed title for this morning is “The Value of the Greek and Roman Classics.” I run the Centre for Ancient Studies, which provides tuition in Greek and Latin and Classics in general. I am also the author of twelve novels set in the early Byzantine Empire. Give or take the inevitable… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy/Politics

The Marxist Archipelago

“Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the Universe.”  Albert Einstein In the political struggle for man’s superiority over the state (the Right), and supporters of the state’s superiority over man (the Left), we naturally arrive at a final crisis. Why final?  Because the Left seems to have exhausted all of its ammunition, and they have nothing left. From the very beginning, it was clear that Leftist ideas were a dead-end in the development of mankind, although in some cases everything looked quite the opposite on the surface. One of the most dismal… Keep Reading

History

The Radical Republicans: The Antifa Of 1865

“Anybody who would trash Lee and laud Lincoln is either stupid as a post or just plain evil…” This applies in spades to anyone who would laud the Radical Republicans of 1865, as one TV GOP blonde has recently, and asininely, done. The Radical Republicans, if you can believe it, considered Abraham Lincoln a moderate (a bad thing, in their book). Lincoln successor Andrew Johnson these fanatics branded a reactionary (punishable by obstruction and impeachment). Praised these days by the blonde-ambition faction of the Republican Party, the Radicals were stars of America’s own Reign of Terror over the South, at… Keep Reading

History/Politics

50 Shades Of American Fascism

Hitler was a very good student. Those who read Mein Kampf will find therein many good words about America. More precisely, not about the whole of America, but about the numerous attempts of the American socialists to change the foundations of the American way of life. The ideas of forced sterilization and forced abortion were adopted by Hitler from the founder of feminism, American socialist Margaret Sanger. Madame Sanger even founded a special clinic to promote mass abortions of black people to reduce their number with the aim of completely eradicating blacks in America. This organization still exists–it is called… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Mead, Brannon, And Sexual Misery

Last week we delved into Coming of Age in Samoa, and now we’ll deal with its repercussions. As a casual glance around would inform you, much of the discussion of masculinity that goes on in this day and age is roughly “why don’t we just…change it? After all, there’s nothing inherent about it, it’s all just social constructs, right?” As was discussed in the last article, Mead and Boas were two of the biggest propagators of this train of thought. But the question remains, what is the link? How did Margaret Mead’s theories go from a popular anthropological text to one… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Lincoln Or Lee? What Would Hitler Say?

“Some crazy person just compared President Abraham Lincoln to Hitler. Yes, this just happened on CNN and Brooke Baldwin’s reaction was perfect.” So scribbled one Ricky Davila on social media. Indeed, an elderly Southern gentleman had ventured that President Lincoln, not General Lee, murdered civilians, a point even a Court historian and a Lincoln idolater like Doris Kearns Goodwin would concede. While the Argument From Hitler is seldom a good one, Ms. Baldwin’s response was way worse. Were she an honest purveyor of news and knowledge; anchor-activist Baldwin would have sought the facts. Instead, she pulled faces, so the viewer… Keep Reading

Economics/History/Politics

Southern Secession Was One Thing — And The War To Prevent It Was Another

There’s an old saying that “he who distinguishes well teaches well.” In other words, if one’s going to talk about an important subject, one should be able to define his terms and tell the difference between two things that are not the same. This wisdom, unfortunately, is rarely embraced by modern pundits arguing about the causes of the American Civil War. A typical example can be found in this article at the Huffington Post in which the author opines: “This discussion [over the causes of the war] has led some people to question if the Confederacy, and therefore the Civil… Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Why Decentralized Militias Matter

In 1852, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in Springfield, Illinois in which he talked about the attempts at required militia training. He described how much of a joke the citizens made of any attempt at mandatory militia training. “No man,” Lincoln said, citing the rules, “is to wear more than five pounds of cod-fish for epaulets, or more than thirty yards of bologna sausages for a sash; and no two men are to dress alike, and if any two should dress alike the one that dresses most alike is to be fined.” He also described the militia figure of “our… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

Thoughts On Charlottesville

I’m not going to bother going over the gory details of the national disgrace that unfolded in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday. It’s been hashed out over and over again, and there’s nothing to be gained by putting it under a microscope here. But I do have some observations that I’d like to share. First, there are a lot of people out there who want to punch Nazis. Fair enough, I’ve wanted to do the same thing since I first watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. My zeal for crushing National Socialists only grew with my first play-through of Wolfenstein 3D… Keep Reading

History

Joseph Goebbels: Hitler’s PHD

From its beginnings, academics abroad, and for a time within Germany, attacked the Nazi regime’s appeal to the uneducated, ignorant, and mindless as a reflection of those who peopled Hitler’s dictatorship in general and his inner circle in particular. This had a basis in reality, for among Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Herman Goering, it was only the former who had some type of post-secondary education. But Himmler’s was the equivalent of what is called today “a trade school,” as his chief focus was on agronomy, which he did not receive a degree for. Apart from Albert Speer, who attended graduate… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Anti-Federalists Were Right

On the eve of the federal convention, and following its adjournment in September of 1787, the Anti-Federalists made the case that the Constitution makers in Philadelphia had exceeded the mandate they were given to amend the Articles of Confederation, and nothing more. The Federal Constitution augured ill for freedom, argued the Anti-Federalists. These unsung heroes had warned early Americans of the “ropes and chains of consolidation,” in Patrick Henry’s magnificent words, inherent in the new dispensation. At the very least, and after 230 years of just such “consolidation,” it’s safe to say that the original Constitution is a dead letter.… Keep Reading

History/World

Spain At The Brink

Time has not been kind to the Spanish Civil War, which, among the Left at least, ranks up there with World War II as “the good war.” Russian declassified documents show that Stalin was trying to import his horrific Purge Trials into Loyalist Spain by attempting to execute en masse his Spanish opposition in the form of non-Stalinist but authentically anti-fascist frontline military units on trumped-up charges of being “fascist spies.” On his orders, his plaything, the Stalinist-dominated Loyalist government used their secret police to hunt down and execute these “fascists.” Unfortunately for those who defended the necessity of these… Keep Reading

Culture/History

George Orwell: More Astute Than Edmund Wilson

Biographers of literary critic Edmund Wilson have asserted that the writer who bears the closest resemblance to Wilson, who reigned as America’s premier man of letters from the 1920s—1960s, is George Orwell. Writing of his subject, Lewis Dabney sought to validate this trans-Atlantic connection by stating that, like Wilson, Orwell was “a social critic who’d digested Marxism, a satirist and autobiographer until 1984 better known as a man of letters than for his fiction.” Dabney noted that both men, rarely praiseworthy of their contemporaries (although Orwell inexplicably lauded Henry Miller), were so toward each other. Orwell lauded Wilson’s essay on… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Helen Gahagan Douglas: The Hillary Clinton Of The 1940s

As Hillary Clinton continues her “excuse” tour regarding her decisive loss to Trump, ranging from the now well-worn Russian collusion thesis to weak support from Obama during the campaign to an ineffective and shattered DNC, many Democrats have sought to acquaint her with the painful reality that she was simply a bad candidate. Such frankness, however, has not attached itself to a cherished liberal history lesson regarding an eerily similar 1950 California Senate race between Republican Congressman Richard Nixon and Democratic Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas. For liberals then and now, Nixon’s victory was achieved by his métier of red-baiting and… Keep Reading

History

Robert Merriman Was Brave, But Apologized For Soviet Tyranny

It is said, cold-bloodedly, that JFK died in the most romantic and, based on what was to come for the remainder of the 1960s, fortunate way possible. For his death bathed his image in golden lights that did not cling to him while he lived, and allowed him to miss the consequences of many of his actions, particularly with regard to his hawkish stance on Vietnam. Had Oswald missed or Kennedy dodged the fatal head shot, it could have been JFK who was the subject of the New Left chant directed toward his successor–“Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

The Rise Of Trump From An “Elite” Perspective

As we are well into the first year of the Trump administration, and leftists are still walking around in a dim haze of incredulity, I’d like to reflect a little on why the man was elected. As some of you have probably inferred from the title, I am (on paper) a “coastal elitist.” I was born and raised in New Jersey, I am college educated (holding both two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree), and being that I read, exercise, and listen to classical music, I suppose my tastes run to the fairly “highbrow.” In practice, some of my other… Keep Reading

Culture/History/Politics

Male Taxpayers Are Literally Rape Survivors

As always, we should begin by defining our terms: What is rape, and why is it bad? There is nothing inherently traumatic about a foreign object being inserted in the vagina. Women insert tampons in there several times a month. Moreover, a large majority of rapes are not forceful, so the concept of rape is not related to physical pain or mere penetration. Rapes can even occur without the victim being aware of it. Yet, rape is punished as severely as aggravated assault, such as breaking someone’s legs. Why is that? We punish rape for psychological reasons. Women who experience… Keep Reading

History/Politics/Religion

Graham Greene: Catholic Communist

One of the more transparently manipulative and hypocritical slogans used by Western Communist Parties in the mid 1930s to recruit allies for Stalin was specifically designed for Catholics: “You can still take Communion and love the Soviet Union.” Graham Greene, novelist, pundit, and above all, Catholic, embodied this slogan. Indeed, Greene’s attempts to link Catholicism with a Soviet Union that persecuted priests from the get-go predated this slogan. Since the 1920s, Greene had sought to merge his Catholic faith with his Communist one, which prompted George Orwell, a foe of both organized religion and communism, to label Green the first… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Claud Cockburn: Pioneer Of The Mainstream Media

Conservatives today locate the origins of the “mainstream media” in the Watergate and Vietnam era; when every reporter since has wanted to have the presidency-toppling effect of a Woodward and Bernstein. But from Watergate on, the presidencies that reporters have wanted toppled have been exclusively Republican ones. Much of this partisanship had to do with the inclusion of New Leftist ideologues, ironically once anti-establishment toward the press, burrowing into the profession and the academia that trains future journalists. Conservatives are certainly correct that the profession today is dominated by leftists who never left the late sixties, where objectivity was an… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Mother’s Little Helper?

A major part of the progressive mindset is the notion of a linear path of history (one might call it a “progression”). This is essentially the belief that all things today are better than all things in the past, and all things in the future will be better than all things today. Since things today are supposed to be good, this belief engenders a demonization of the past when problems inevitably arise in the present, as they tend to do in all ages. It’s not very difficult to find examples of this phenomenon in the cultures of various far-left regimes… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Napoleonic Touch

Some observers have smugly claimed that it is impossible to have a reactionary movement. They say it would be like piecing a ruined cobweb back together or trying to set Humpty Dumpty back on his wall. For them, it is one item on a long list of impossibilities. If one supposes that reactionaries want to return to some glittering past in every particular and detail, then the critics are right; it cannot be done. Fortunately, we are not focused on bringing back the poke bonnet or illuminated manuscripts; that is to say, nobody is trying to revive the little irrelevancies… Keep Reading

History

The Duchess Of Atholl: Nobility For Stalin

In the film version of George Orwell’s book Keep The Aspidistra Flying, the main character, a struggling writer, assumes correctly that because a benefactor of writers is wealthy, said benefactor is therefore a communist. This assumption was very much a reality in the upper class intellectual world of 1930s Britain. For it was not only the expensively educated like Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden–and on a more sinister level, Kim Philby–who were pro-Stalin, but also Nancy Cunard, the daughter of a shipping magnate. This zeitgeist was so pervasive, that this pampered faction had a titled conservative in their ranks; who,… Keep Reading

History/Politics/World

Letter From England 1: Setting The Scene

I have been asked to write a weekly column on British politics. Since I am writing for a largely American readership, and since Americans mostly know little of what happens outside their own country, I think it would be best if I were to begin with a brief overview not only of what is happening here, but also of what has been happening for quite some time. David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010 at the head of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Conservatives had won more seats than any other party in the House of Commons, but fallen short… Keep Reading

Culture/History

The Struggle To Publish Animal Farm

George Orwell’s devastating satire on Stalinism, Animal Farm remains even 72 years later, along with Nineteen Eighty-Four, the gold standard for totalitarian literature. But Orwell’s classic novel which established the phrase “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” nearly didn’t secure a publisher, who based their rejections not on the quality of the book, but because of its unwelcome politics. Written and submitted during the height of Soviet popularity in 1943-1945, who, as a war-time ally pushed Hitler all the way back to Berlin, the fable was rejected not only by pro-Stalinists and at least one KGB agent, but by… Keep Reading

History/Politics

“The Necessary Murder”

Omitted from leftist narratives as to why those of their own defected to the anti-Communist side is how a single murder provoked the defection. Instead pro-Communists and “anti-anti-Communists” assign base motives to these supposedly mentally unstable drunks such as a desire for the latter to line their pockets and for a new appreciation of fascism. Ernest Hemingway, who sought a relationship with the Soviet secret police, used the greed argument against his one-time friend John Dos Passos for publicly accusing Communists during the Spanish Civil War of murdering Dos Passos’ friend, Jose Robles. Hemingway with help from the Soviet-directed loyalist… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Advice On Learning Latin

Aside from my various books–more of which will come out this month and next–I get most of my living nowadays from teaching Greek and Latin. I do this as a private tutor, and sometimes as an informal staff member at various places of education. Because demand for my services in any one place is limited, there is no point in my becoming a formal member of staff. Instead, I go out to see students in their homes or in classrooms, or in university libraries, or sometimes I even hold court in the kitchen of my own house. I do the… Keep Reading

History

On Our Soil: The Liquidation Of Juliet Poyntz

To this day, anti-anti-communists from the Cold War period and their tenured academic counterparts scoff at the idea that Soviet communists liquidated their American agents on US soil. While grudgingly admitting that Stalin did carry out wet work against those who dared to oppose him (I’ve heard professors actually defend it), they argue that such actions were exclusively conducted overseas–i.e, Leon Trotsky pickaxed in Mexico or the death-by-torture of loyalist soldier Bob Simile in Spain. But on at least one instance, Stalin used a Soviet assassination squad to undoubtedly kidnap and murder an American agent in New York City for… Keep Reading

History/Politics/World

An Evening With Enoch Powell, 22nd November 1986

Note: This is an exact transcript from one of the handwritten volumes of my Diary. I have kept this, with occasional lapses, since I was fifteen. It currently runs to about five million words. Most entries are of no interest to anyone else. Many are a waste of paper and ink. Some are too shocking or embarrassing ever to be published. Here and there, nevertheless, are entries of actual value. This is one of them. SIG Saturday 22nd November 1986 No concert after all last night. Instead to Newham North East Conservative Club, to see Simon Pearce – and, much… Keep Reading

Culture/History

Eastern European Jews And The Case Of The Marginalized Elite

The story of Eastern European Jews who immigrated to America in the beginning of the twentieth century is a story of “self-marginalization.” The more dramatically Eastern European Jews progress socio-economically, the more strenuously they identify with “marginalized groups” and seek to undermine the white Christian majority population. And though he takes care to guard against charges of being Politically Incorrect, David R. Verbeeten’s The Politics of Non-Assimilation: Three Generations of Eastern European Jews in the United States in the Twentieth Century is a goldmine of sociological evidence revealing this critically important phenomenon which so many scholars are happy to ignore. The… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Puerto Rican Compromise

On Jun. 11, Puerto Ricans voted for the second time to become a state of the union. Could this Caribbean island actually become the 51st state of America? Other authors have written at length about the political struggles within Puerto Rico as well as the island’s serious financial sickness. I will not repeat their capable analysis of those problems. Rather, I will consider the less talked about issue of the congressional balance of power. Puerto Rico has long been a progressive region featuring a population of twice as many Democrats as Republicans. Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect the 3.5… Keep Reading

History/Politics/Religion

We Must Defeat Radical Islam

When radical Islamist 22-year-old Salman Abedi blew himself up at a pop music concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 and wounding 59, he did more than commit a terrorist attack – he once again demonstrated the insidious nature of violent, radical Islam manifested as jihad. The suicide bomber detonated himself at Manchester Arena late Monday as concertgoers streamed out following the end of Ariana Grande’s concert. While ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack – at least in terms of inspiration, if not direct operational support – what is important is the fact that someone who was born in Britain not… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Sanctuary City Mayor Trashes An American Hero

Mayor Mike Signer—who had declared his intention to make Charlottesville, Virginia, the “capital of the resistance” to President Trump and a sanctuary city “to protect immigrants and refugees”—is refusing to protect a symbol saluting one of America’s greatest men. Yes, Robert E. Lee was a great American. If Signer knew the first thing about human valor, he’d know that there was no man more valorous and courageous than Robert E. Lee, whose “two uncles signed the Declaration of Independence and [whose] father was a notable cavalry officer in the War for Independence.” Keep Reading

History/Philosophy/Politics

The Battle For Ideas Is Never Won

The battle for ideas is never won. Just because you win an election, it does not mean you get to rest on your laurels. Over the last couple of weeks, I have heard many conservatives complain that they think Congress has let them down. In the minds of conservatives, Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House. This makes it time for Republicans to actually fulfill their campaign promises and repeal the un-affordable Health Care Act (ObamaCare), build the wall, and reduce the size of government. Conservatives are making the same mistake that the United States military made… Keep Reading

Tripolitan War
History/Politics

A Lesson From The Tripolitan War

In the west, people tend to have short memories. Typically this isn’t a problem because most lapses in memory tend to be centered around the mundane: Where you left your car keys, picking up the dry-cleaning, the date of your third cousin’s wedding to the Shriner who resembles Dwight Yoakam, only uglier – if you can imagine that. With any luck you’ll find your keys, get to the dry-cleaner, and, hopefully, you chose something more becoming to wear to the nuptial ceremony than a leisure suit. These things are easily understood and forgiven, if not completely relatable. The leisure suit…… Keep Reading

civil war
History/Politics

The Civil War, Then And Now

One hundred and fifty-four years ago this week, nearly at the peak of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee cemented his legacy in American history with his triumph over Union forces at the battle of Chancellorsville, a victory often referred to as a perfect battle. It is an example of how sangfroid and strategy and chutzpah and cunning have together the potential to overcome overwhelming odds. It was a disgraceful performance by the north’s General Joseph Hooker and it cost Lee his “right arm” in General Stonewall Jackson, who was killed by friendly fire on the second of May.… Keep Reading

oliver stone
History/Politics

Oliver Stone Educates And Misleads

I recently had the opportunity to watch The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and, as I’m sure was intended, it was a thought-provoking experience. It is for many reasons a masterpiece of documentary filmmaking. The research behind it left no stone unturned and the archival footage included in the ten-part series is awe-inspiring. It is well written and well narrated by Stone. It is thorough and informative and enlightens the viewer to the many unseemly aspects of governance in the greatest nation in the history of mankind. Less thorough and more friendly than Stone’s treatment of… Keep Reading

doctrine
History/Politics

The Trump Doctrine Takes Shape

The concept of Presidential Doctrine dates back to when James Monroe adopted a posture of anti-European colonialism in the western hemisphere. Since that time many presidents have come and gone without leaving a signature stamp on the attitude and behavior of our nation vis a vis foreign policy though many have at most sought to merely modify pre-existing positions. Theodore Roosevelt took Monroe’s doctrine and mutated it into the Roosevelt Corollary which would later be reversed by his fifth cousin, Franklin Roosevelt who adopted a Good Neighbor policy toward those nations in the Central and South America. In relatively short… Keep Reading

History

The Selective Pacifism Of Dalton Trumbo

Probably the most mocked of anti-Communist claims by anti-anti-Communists was that the American Communist Party of the 1930s and 40s was dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government. Former Communist and blacklisted screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. said that even though Communism had “taken a violent form in the Soviet Union” it did not mean the American Communist Party wanted to use the same Leninist methods of seizing the government. Rather, he asserted, the CPUSA sought to bring socialism about through democratic gradualism. But a generation later, in the 1960s, the New Left was committed to that very goal… Keep Reading

History

HSCA At 40: Validating The Warren Commission

As the credits to his wildly-conspiratorial JFK (1991) rolled, Oliver Stone, to buttress his argument that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy and not Lee Harvey Oswald, listed the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations’ conclusion that the president was indeed the victim of some group. But in reality, this Congressional investigation did not exonerate Oswald; indeed, the Committee validated the Warren Commission’s conclusion but with one caveat: that, in addition to Oswald’s shots from the School Book Depository, someone might have fired from the Grassy Knoll. But this addition was last-minute, and today, the evidence for a fourth… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Orwell: Not So Private With Ukrainians

By and large, British author George Orwell addressed his essays and novels to the English-speaking world. During the war, he wrote a “London Letter,” about the political situation in England, to the readers of the anti-Stalinist American journal, Partisan Review. Even his stint as a BBC broadcaster with programs designed for Indian consumption were to audiences who spoke English. But there was one instance in which Orwell wrote to a non-English-speaking audience, the Ukrainian readers of Animal Farm. Orwell wrote a preface to the Ukrainian edition that is remarkable in what he revealed about himself. Something about writing for a… Keep Reading

History/Politics

The Old Left And The “Warmonger” Roosevelt

In the Vietnam era, when the “New Hollywood,” shorthand for sixties’ leftists taking charge of the movies, lionized the Old Left in films like The Way We Were and The Front, they did so with the script used by American Stalinists during the early days of the Cold War; that those blacklisted were merely innocent New Dealers in “a hurry,” who were unfortunately caught in a crunch when the political climate shifted from FDR liberalism to anti-New Deal rightism. An example of this was The Way We Were, a moist treatment of Hollywood Stalinists, and the vicious treatment afforded them… Keep Reading

History

Did JFK Admire Hitler?

During his presidency, John F. Kennedy was accused by the far right of being a communist appeaser at best, a secret sympathizer at worst. Now, thanks to the release of his diaries from the 1930s, it may be more valid to accuse JFK of admiration of fascism, however youthful the passion. In a series of diary entries, the future president recorded complimentary references to Nazis during a 1937 visit to Nazi Germany. He found that fascism to be “the right thing for Germany,” and regarding its brutish features, he rhetorically stated, “what are the evils of fascism compared to communism?” Keep Reading

History/Politics

John E Rankin: Equal Opportunity Racist

When his activist wife criticized FDR for not addressing the plight of blacks, the president always stated that to do so would lose him crucial Southern Congressional support for his New Deal measures. A perfect case in point for Roosevelt’s dilemma was personified by Congressman John E. Rankin of Mississippi. Rankin, who served for sixteen terms, from 1920-1952, was proof one could be both economically liberal and virulently racist; and his “Yellow Dog Democrat” constituency, who swore never to vote for Republicans because of Reconstruction, reflected both of Rankin’s political tendencies. Keep Reading

History/Politics

Gary Cooper: Fairminded Conservative

When Lucille Ball was accused of being a Communist at the height of her fame in the 1950s, she pleaded contextual circumstances. She cited her pressure by her Party-line uncle, but also noted that “in those days it was considered shameful to be a Republican.” And indeed it was, even in Hollywood, which was presided over by rock-ribbed studio heads. To subscribe to any type of anti-New Deal conservatism in Hollywood was to invite charges of fascism from Hollywood reds, who were at the high tide of their influence in the 1930s, and especially during World War II. Keep Reading

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