Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Conservative Communism: Chapter 1

Conservative Communism: The Secret History of the American Right, From Gerrard Winstanley to Grover Norquist

Chapter 1. Oliver's Army Are On Their Way: The Origins of Conservative Communism

It was inevitable that the intellectual origins of conservative communism should be found in Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army, since the English Civil War represented the first major conflict between conservative communism and liberal fascism. Just as the Roundheads represent the origins of conservative communism, so the Cavaliers represent the origins of liberal fascism. As Michael Stipe has pointed out,

Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh, this means no fear - Cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! 1

The authoritarian libertines who supported King Charles I intended to create the world's first liberal fascist regime -- a regime combining the Divine Right of Kings and liberalism's metrosexual fashion sense, as represented by their 17th-century manifestations: ostrich plumes and elaborate curled wigs.

Opposing them were the world's first conservative communists, the Roundheads: sober, conservatively dressed members of the New Model Army quoting the Bible in support of communitarian ideals.

1 Stipe, Michael, "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", as quoted in Document, I.R.S. Records, 1987.

[Adam, you get the idea. I'll fill in some stuff about the Putney Debates and the Levellers and Diggers later. Maybe I can get some of my blog readers to send me some stuff.]

Conservative Communism: Introduction

Conservative Communism: The Collectivist Conspiracy From Hegel to Happy Meals


A specter is haunting America -- the specter of conservative communism. All the powers of liberal fascism have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcise this specter: social worker and college professor, Moulitsas and Soros, San Francisco homosexuals and New York intellectuals.

This book will present a very serious, thoughtful argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care: that the roots of the modern-day American conservative movement can be found in the works of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. We (and when I say "we", I of course speak of myself as a member of the conservative collective) will trace the intellectual roots of conservative communism from its origins in the 17th century conservative communitarian religious factions of Cromwellian England. I will follow that strain of belief as it is introduced into colonial America by such notable conservative communitarians as William Penn and Mother Ann Lee. I will examine the cross-pollination of ideas between 19th-century American religious communists and European secular communists. And finally, I will trace the convergence of these two communistic impulses into the modern Republican Party, the "Grand Old Revolutionary Vanguard Party", with its vast array of think tanks, media outlets, radical journals, revolutionary "militia" cells, warblogs, and self-reinforcing mytho-ideology.

It is a common misconception to regard communism as an ideology of the "left". This is due to the confusion between the "classical" communism of William Penn and Karl Marx, and the aberrant "leftist" strain of communism as practiced by the notorious "free-love" communes of the 1960s. One of the goals of this book will be to disentagle "classical" communism from its many hippie-inspired leftist variants and restore it to its proper place within the continuum of conservative thought.

Another goal of this book will be to take a look at the current field of Republican presidential candidates and show how conservative communism informs the ideology of each, albeit in different ways, from the Penn-derived religious communitarianism of former Arkansas governor Michael Huckabee to the descendant of Leninist War Communism that has been one of the driving forces of the George W. Bush administration and of the campaigns of Arizona Senator John McCain and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Finally, this book will serve as a counterpoint to that of my fellow conservative communist intellectual Jonah Goldberg. Just as Goldberg has served to warn America about the threat posed by liberal fascism, so I hope to reassure a fearful nation that conservative communism remains the central ideology of the Republican Party, and that that ideology will continue to serve as a blueprint for the ongoing radical restructuring of America into a collectivist conservative utopia.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Race and the Democratic Primary

Ever since Senator Barack Obama announced his presidential campaign, one issue has dominated his candidacy more than any other, and following his first place showing in the Iowa caucuses and his close second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, that issue has now come to the forefront. I'm talking, of course, about Race.

Roger "Race" Bannon has been a close friend of Senator Obama since the latter's childhood. Readers of Obama's Dreams from My Father will recall the story of Obama's 1970 meeting in Jakarta with Bannon and his companions, Dr. Benton Quest and Quest's son Jonathan and ward Hadji Singh. Although their initial meeting in Jakarta lasted only a few days, Obama became close friends with Bannon and the Quests, often visiting Bannon and the Quests at their compound in Key Palm, Florida, and rooming with Jonathan Quest when the two attended Columbia University together.

Bannon of course is a well-known gay rights activist, first gaining notoriety after being expelled from the Secret Service in 1971 after openly acknowledging his relationship with Dr. Quest. Since then, Bannon and Quest have been at the forefront of the gay rights movement, being among the first gay couples to marry after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004.

Obama's longstanding friendship with Bannon first surfaced as an issue in 2004 during his run for the United States Senate. During a televised debate with his Republican opponent, Alan Keyes, on October 21, Keyes denounced Bannon and Quest's relationship in harsh, uncompromising language and called upon Obama to prove his commitment to Christianity by renouncing his friendship with them. Obama refused to do so.

Despite his friendship with Bannon, Obama's relations with the gay community have not always gone smoothly. His inclusion of anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin in a concert tour in South Carolina in October 2007 led to friction with gay rights activists, a dispute that Bannon and Quest chose not to comment on in public.

Now that Obama is one of the Democratic frontrunners, the issue of Race Bannon is once again receiving attention, as supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton drop hints that Obama's close ties with the controversial former government agent may cost him support in the general election in November. Obama supporters, in their turn, have been accusing the Clinton campaign of engaging in gay-bashing. If sparring between the two campaigns degenerates into open warfare, the Race Bannon issue may wreck the best chance Democrats have had in a generation of attaining a clear electoral mandate for a progressive agenda.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Alan Keyes and History

Jeff Fecke, a component of the blogospheric hive mind known as Shakesville, has posted the latest edition of his GOP Power Rankings on the current state of the Republican presidential race. Amidst the well-merited liberal schadenfreude (the post is subtitled "Someone's Gotta Win, Right?), Fecke has this to say on the subject of Alan Keyes, whom he ranks ninth and last:
Alan Keyes received a grand total of 220 votes in New Hampshire. I'll wager you a friendly bet that I could get 220 votes in New Hampshire. Alan Keyes is no longer a joke merely among Democrats; he's just a joke. That said, he's a joke that never stops being funny, so here's hoping he stays in the race a long time. I can't wait to hear how he manages to blame global warming on abortion.

Fecke is not alone in finding Keyes a source of amusement. The commenters at Balloon Juice had what amounts to an online party when news reached them that Keyes had qualified for a spot in the Des Moines Register/Iowa Public Television presidential debate on December 12.

Clearly, then, Keyes plays a vital role in adding entertainment value to the Republican presidential race. Fecke hopes he stays in the race a long time, and that got my thinking. Will Keyes stay in the race till the bitter end? What was his motivation for running in the first place? That's when the year 1860 occurred to me.

The 1860 presidential election was, hands down, the most important in American history. The Republicans were a recently-cobbled-together antislavery party confined entirely to the North, the nation's first major regional party. The Democrats had split in two when Southern Democrats broke with their insufficiently-proslavery Northern colleagues. And in an eerie foreshadowing of Unity08, the Constitutional Unionists attempted to create a centrist party that ignored the slavery issue completely.

Among the free states, the election was a contest between Republican candidate Abraham "Honest Abe" Lincoln and Northern Democratic candidate Stephen "The Little Giant" Douglas. This was particularly interesting because two years before, Lincoln and Douglas had faced each other in a race for a senate seat from Illinois.

And this brings us to Alan Keyes, who faced Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama four years ago for . . . a senate seat from Illinois. (Disappointingly, the seat in play in 1858 was not the seat in play in 2004. Obama's colleague Dick Durbin currently occupies the Lincoln-Douglas seat.) In the extrordinarily unlikely event that Keyes wins the Republican nomination, we could see a repeat of the Lincoln-Douglas rematch.

The Illinois senate elections of 1858 and 2004 were both historically important elections. The 1858 contest produced the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, which served to crystallize Northern opinion on the subject of slavery. The 2004 contest quantified the Crazification Factor, which is the percentage of the population that will vote for any Republican, however crazy, over any Democrat, however sane.

In both the 1858 and 2004 senate elections, the Democrat defeated the Republican, though Douglas' victory over Lincoln was a narrow one, and Obama's victory over Keyes was overwhelming. As noted above, both men are now running for president, though Obama is one of the Democratic frontrunners and Keyes has practically no support among Republicans.

Is Keyes basing his presidential hopes on somehow replicating Abraham Lincoln's victory over his onetime senate race opponent? I have no idea, but I'm willing to bet that if you used the Vulcan mind meld on Keyes, you'd find that the answer is yes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Deep Space Nine: Dark Prophecy of the War on Terror

Over a year ago, reasonable conservative Jon Swift devoted a post to the then-current storyline of the revamped Battlestar Galactica called "On Battlestar Galactica Heroic Cylons Battle Vicious Terrorists". As the title indicates, Swift noted the parallels between the storyline in which the cybernetic Cylons attempted to deal with an insurgency on New Caprica and the ongoing effort by the United States to deal with a similar insurgency in Iraq.

What Swift did not mention was that Ronald D. Moore, co-producer of Battlestar Galactica, had dealt with a similar (and similarly relevant) theme in an earlier science fiction series which he also co-produced. Swift's failure to mention this earlier series is understandable given its obscurity; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine suffered the fate of being overshadowed by its better-known, more glamorous sibling, Star Trek: Voyager. Nevertheless, DS9's eerily prophetic theme of jihadist-fueled terrorism merits our attention.

Some necessary background follows. Back in 1991, the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation were tasked with creating a spin-off series that would continue the Star Trek franchise after TNG went off the air. They then did what any creative team in Hollywood would do: they dug out a series proposal from Paramount's archives called Babylon 5, made a few cosmetic changes, and claimed the result as their own.

The series was set in the Bajoran system, which, like Iraq, was liberated by a major power (called the Cardassian Union in the show. The similarity in name to the United States is obvious). Since the series is set fifty years after the actual liberation of the Bajorans by the Cardassians, we don't know the exact circumstances surrounding that event. We do know that before the arrival of the Cardassians, Bajor was a caste-ridden theocracy, so the planet was in definite need of liberation. We know that, as has been the case in Iraq, the Cardassians sought to finance their liberation of Bajor by extracting and refining one of the planet's valuable natural resources (and that extremists claimed that it was the Cardassians' desire for that natural resource that was the real motive for the liberation). We also know that, as has been the case in Iraq, following the planet's liberation, an insurgency arose that was fueled by religious fanaticism.

The essentially benign nature of the Cardassian liberation of Bajor can be seen in the person of Gul Dukat, the Cardassian prefect (administrator) of Bajor. Upon being appointed prefect, Dukat ordered the abolition of child labor on Bajor, and reduced production quotas by fifty percent. Dukat is also known to have been in intimate relationships with at least two Bajoran women, which speaks volumes about his love for the Bajoran people.

The most remarkable thing about the parallels between the Cardassian liberation of Bajor and the American liberation of Iraq is the fact that the series was created ten years before the liberation of Iraq. This can doubtless be ascribed to the foresight of series creators Michael Berman and Michael Piller. At the time the series was being created in 1992, the first Iraq War had already been fought, leaving Saddam Hussein still in power. It was apparently already clear to Berman and Piller that it would be necessary for the United States to return to Iraq and depose Saddam, and that DS9 was their forecast of the upcoming war of liberation.

The most powerful aspect of DS9's prophetic storyline is its cautionary nature. As the series begins, defeatist elements within the Cardassian government have allowed the terrorists to win, and have chosen to cut and run from Bajor. The Bajoran system quickly falls under the control of the Cardassian Union's greatest enemy, the Federation (the similarity to the name of the recently-established Russian Federation cannot be coincidental). Over the course of the next seven years, the Cardassian Union is invaded by the Klingon Empire, betrayed by its erstwhile allies in the Dominion, and conquered and occupied by an alliance of enemy powers.

Those fainthearted so-called Americans who want us to withdraw our troops from Iraq would do well to heed the warning of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There we can see depicted, in metaphorical form, the fate that awaits us if we lose our will and allow ourselves to be driven from Iraq before our mission there is complete.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Is Obama Black Enough?

That's the question that political commentators (invariably, white ones) asked when Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) first entered the presidential race: is he black enough to attract the "black vote"? Well, as Glenn Greenwald points out, Obama is certainly black enough to cause conservatives to start tooting on their race dogwhistles. Here he quotes Jonah Goldberg:

I think it's worth imagining a certain scenario. Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee -- and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged. I can imagine the fear of this social unraveling actually aiding Obama enormously in 2008.

This seems a little obscure, since it's written in a conservative dialect called Chickenshit. Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of Babelfish, we can machine-translate Jonah's words from their original Chickenshit into the more easily understood LOLCat:

O noes! Teh negroz iz komen! Teh negroz iz komen!

Greenwald predicts that if Obama secures the Democratic nomination, we can expect to hear many, many more racial dogwhistles from conservatives.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Minneapolis Dreams

I'm already on record predicting that the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis will deadlock, resulting in the compromise choice of former President George H. W. "Poppy" Bush as the Republican nominee. And that prediction still stands.


There's prediction, and then there's daydreaming. Here's my daydream of how the convention in Minneapolis will turn out:

As the delegates assemble on September 1, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has a razor-thin majority. However, he's been spewing gaffes like a firehose all year, and polling shows that he's running about fifteen points behind the newly-chosen Democratic nominee. Also, the Powers-That-Be in the Republican Party still don't like having an actual fundy as their nominee. Fundies (or "the nuts" as the Powers-That-Be like to call them), are for voting, not for nominating. As a result, on the day of the roll call, certain Rovian dirty tricks are employed (possibly by Rove himself), and in a replay of the 2000 presidential race, the nomination ends up going to runner-up Mitt Romney.

Well, the Huckababies aren't Democrats, and they won't take that kind of bullshit lying down. Fights break out across the convention floor as Huckabee supporters vent their rage on Romney supporters, and the convention comes to a premature close as a mob of Huckababies storms the podium.

Huckabee himself isn't willing to bend over and take one for the Party, and the day after the convention ends he announces that he is leaving the GOP, and his supporters f0llow him en masse. Although there are only two months to go before the general election, the Huckababies succeed in placing their candidate on the ballot in 21 states, mostly in the South. On election day, Huckabee wins 14% of the vote, to 29% for Romney and 55% for the Democratic nominee.

Following the election day debacle, Huckabee's followers begin converting their insurgent movement into a national political party called the Christian Democrats. Attempts to lure them back into the GOP are rebuffed; the Christian Democrats are determined to replace the Republicans as the country's major conservative party. The split among American conservatives continues for the next thirty years, resulting in a permanent Democratic governing majority.

Hey, a man can dream, can't he?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Iowa Predictions

It's now 7:00 PM on the evening of Thursday, January 3, 2008. The Democratic Caucus in Iowa opens in half an hour, and the Republican caucus opens in one hour. I hereby commit to blogospheric posterity my predicted outcomes:

Democratic Caucus
Obama - 38%
Edwards - 30%
Clinton - 29%
Richardson - 2%
Biden - 1%

I also predict that Biden and Dodd will withdraw from the race when these results are known.

Republican Caucus
Huckabee - 34%
Romney - 25%
Thompson - 13%
McCain - 13%
Paul - 10%
Giuliani - 4%

I also predict that none of these candidates will withdraw from the race before the New Hampshire primaries.

Now, if it turns out that these predictions prove to be suspiciously accurate, some may suspect me of resorting to some sort of trickery. It is true that one can manually set the timestamp for Blogger posts, so it is theoretically possible that this post was actually composed Friday morning, and the timestamp backdated to Thursday evening.

I just want to assure my readers that I did nothing of the sort. As Joe Klein so memorably put it, I'll stake my reputation on it.

Liberal Fascism: The Venn Diagram

Yeah, if you wanted to understand the basic point of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, you could acquire a copy and read it, like poor Spencer Ackerman is doing. Or you could look at the Venn diagram below.

As you can see from this diagram, which is a very serious, thoughtful diagram that has never been made in such detail or with such care, liberalism is a form of fascism, but conservatism isn't.

I hope that clears everything up.