Nevada Republican Party becomes communist
Expanded from the 3-30-1997
Daily Sparks Tribune
man once said that we become what we overcome, we turn into that which
George Orwell painted pretty
much the same portrait at the end of his totalitarian fairy tale, "Animal
Farm." The barnyard animals who had banished evil farmer Brown
ended up butchering, selling and eating their fellow critters. The revolutionaries
became what they despised.
"Democracy passes into despotism,"
said Plato some 2,300 years ago. "Does not tyranny spring
from democracy in the same manner as democracy from oligarchy? The good
which oligarchy proposed to itself and the means by which it was maintained
was excess of wealth," Plato wrote in "The Republic,"
"The insatiable desire of wealth
and the neglect of all other things for the sake of money-getting was
also the ruin of the oligarchy...and democracy has her own good, of
which the insatiable desire brings her to dissolution...When a democracy
which is thirsting for freedom has evil cup-bearers presiding over the
feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wines of freedom, then,
unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she
calls them to account and punishes them, and says they are cursed oligarchs,"
In other words, spread the wealth or
become what you despise. The United States is quickly becoming a two-class
society, ruled by a narrow, wealthy oligarchy turning us into a third
world economy. The continually shrinking middle class screams, but usually
attacks those below it. Those losing the American Dream despise what
they most likely will become - poor.
Philosopher Eric Hoffer, in his
seminal 1951 book "The True Believer, Thoughts on the Nature of
Mass Movements," wrote "should Americans begin to hate foreigners
wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence
in their own way of life."
Throughout this century, a very clever,
corporate-funded, tax-subsidized propaganda machine has done a tremendous
job of getting the struggling middle class to focus its hatred at immigrants,
politicians, women, the poor, the young, the old and the alternatively
procreative. We should aim higher, at the untitled super-rich who rule,
and increasingly ruin, our lives.
country has been built on the myth of equality. "The American oligarchy
spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist,"
wrote Michael Lind in his 1995 book "The Next American Nation."
I submit the Nevada Republican Party
served our rulers well on March 26. Their one-page news release dredged
up the worst of red-scare McCarthyism and stirred in threats of modern
terrorism. The damned thing looked so bogus that I did the GOP the courtesy
of calling to find out if the smear might have been a fraud.
Alas, Charles Muth, the party's
Las Vegas communications director, confirmed the document as official.
"Distributed by Nevada Republican Party, John Mason, Chairman,"
"The Union Label, organized labor
in America today...The spirit of Khrushchev lives on. National labor
boss John Sweeney said here last month 'Las Vegas will be the
national standard in union organizing.' This sounds like an echo of
Khrushchev's historic table pounding threat of 'we'll bury you.'"
The flyer attributes the quote to one
Larry Litchfield, executive director of the Associated Builders
and Contractors, a virulently anti-union organization of mostly small
companies. (Mr. Litchfield and the GOP should have checked their accuracy.
Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's famous table-pounding
episode took place at the United Nations in New York. He said "we
will bury you" at a reception for Wladyslaw Gomulka at the
Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.)
No matter. The message is clear. Union
members are a bunch of commies in the opinion of Mr. Litchfield and
the Republican Party. Mr. Muth termed the document as "not an official
position from the party or from the chairman. We're just passing along
what other people are saying."
That's a distinction without a difference,
apparently aimed at maintaining plausible deniability for Mr. Mason
in case the Red Scare tactic backfires. Mr. Muth says the flyer is a
reaction to the "political threat" of the AFL-CIO's increased
activity in last year's election. "Forty percent of union members
are Republicans," he told me.
Zounds. The communications director of
the Nevada GOP accuses Republican union members of being part of a communist
organization. He's right, of course. That organization is the Republican
Blind until age 15, Eric Hoffer was a
self-educated longshoreman who never attended school. He spent 10 years
as a migratory field laborer and gold miner. In his 1964 book, "The
Ordeal of Change," he wrote "heresies have often served as
vehicles for the transmission of ideas, attitudes and ways of life...Judaism
impressed itself upon the world by a heresy it rejected, Christianity.
Christianity itself...spread outside the core of the Graeco-Roman world
mainly by its heresies" (spinoffs)"...and if Communism seems
likely to become a vehicle for the transmission of Western achievement
to non-Western countries, it is due partly to the fact that Communism
is a Western, and particularly a Capitalist, heresy which the West rejected,"
"There is apparently no surer way
of turning a thing into its opposite than by exaggerating it,"
he said. "Ever since Capitalism came into its own, we have caught
glimpses of the Capitalist's dream of omnipotence - of a 'company state'
rather than a company within a state...Only a Communist regime succeeds
in making the wildest Capitalist dream come true right in the home country.
A monolithic company - the Communist Party - takes possession of the
whole country...It is only natural that such a 'company state' should
aspire to turn itself into a holding company of the whole planet,"
The ultimate achievement of unfettered,
unbalanced capitalism is also one huge corporation which has swallowed
up all the others. Ronald Reagan's descendants in both major
parties call it "deregulation." When everybody works for that
one huge corporation, capitalism has become communism. We become that
which we despise.
"It is permissible to predict that
the slogan of an eventual Communist heresy will be 'Communism without
the Communists,'" Hoffer said.
The GOP's 1997 edition of Red Scare thus
becomes self mockery, an inwardly-directed insult. I have often quoted
George Shultz, who held four cabinet positions under three Republican
presidents. In 1991,
he told the National Planning Association that vigorous labor unions
are necessary to provide balance to an industrial society.
A healthy democracy stands on a tripod
where business, labor and government are equally strong and balance
each other. The U.S. has the most repressive labor laws in the industrialized
world. Nevada workers have no rights. "Big Labor" is a myth,
has never represented more than a third of U.S. workers and now speaks
for about one-sixth.
With workers rendered powerless, the
oligarchy has focused on weakening government. They're doing a hell
of a job of fanning that hate. Pretty soon, big business will own not
only the tripod, but the whole photo studio.
This is why I am so disturbed by Bill
Clinton and Al Gore playing footsie with Red China. The U.S.
de-linked trade from human rights. Corporate profit is now officially
all that matters. They remind me of the last page of "Animal Farm."
The barnyard revolutionaries watch aghast as their ruling animals drink
wine and eat cooked critters with businessmen. As Orwell wrote, it became
increasingly difficult to tell the animals from the humans.
They became that which they despised,
as will the GOP if it continues to promote unfettered, oppressive capitalism
toward its logical end - one megacorporation, Communism with a western
Be well. Raise hell.
1997, 2005 Andrew Barbano
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