On his show last Friday, Glenn Beck did something quite unusual for a guy who makes his living scaring people into thinking that America is on the road to communism — he promoted an idea straight out of the Paris Commune of 1871, an idea considered by the Commune to be a necessary stepping stone in the transition from capitalism to socialism to communism. And, to make it even more special, Beck did this before a studio audience of West Point cadets and faculty members.
Now, the fact that West Point allowed a group of uniformed academy cadets and faculty to be used as props by Beck is a serious matter in itself, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but Beck, in his zeal to slam Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, unknowingly promoting a core step towards socialism is just way too ironic to pass up. And what is this step towards socialism that Beck, in all his ignorance, was so enthusiastically promoting? That government employees and officials should never be paid more than what the average citizen earns.
In a 1911 speech about the Paris Commune — a movement lauded by Marx as “heroic,” and said by Lenin to have been “a practical step that was more important than hundreds of programmes and arguments” –Lenin pointed out the Commune’s (and apparently now Glenn Beck’s) position on government salaries: “And, as if to emphasize its character as a truly democratic, proletarian government, the Commune decreed that the salaries of all administrative and government officials, irrespective of rank, should not exceed the normal wages of a worker …”
Much like Ayn Rand and others on the Right, Beck’s reactionary politics go so far in the opposite direction they end up at a place much like that which they would seem to oppose.Beck and the Right’s philosophy are in many ways straight out of Marx, Mao and Stalin. Instead of a government collective, Beck would have everyone work as obedient and grateful pawns for the corporate collective. The corporations write legislation, tell the lowly peon workers what to do and how to live their lives. While the U.S. Constitution guarantees the redress of grieves for the government, the citizenry has always had the right – because of the common law traditions which permeate U.S. civil law – to redress their civil grievances against other individuals and business through the courts. Beck and movement conservatism and rightie libertarianism would have the wage earners and consumer’s right to end redress of damages done to life and property taken. Marx, Mao and Stalin would be proud that a guy who claims to be against collectivism is doing such a good job of selling it. Beck is not only selling collectivism but is good at convincing people that an insidious form of collectivism and a nation of powerless workers is patriotic.
That is the reply if Beck and his sycophants have a glue what they are talking about. Beck has declared himself a clown and entertainer who thinks anyone who takes what he says seriously is an idiot. Whether it is just formal debating rules or the philosophy of logic, the rule is you must take what your opponent says as sincere and their motives generally not taken into account. Beck and other shock pundits live on breaking on those rules. They can and do make up facts, history and political theory. So honest arguments with them are close to banging your head on your desk. They seem to be operating on some frequency which only the lizard brain receptor understands.
Security guru Bruce Schneier on the TSA body pat downs and X-rays. I’d go for the its a circus comparison but circuses are more professional and less invasive. One of the more obvious problems is not stopping the terrorists acts these security measures are supposed to stop. Chemically treated clothing would pass both types of screenings. While I have some sympathies with the public -especially families traveling this time of year – the public may be getting its comeuppance for the general nationwide over reaction to 9-11 and terrorism. There might be provisions of the Patriot Act worth keeping, but the draconian attacks on civil liberties contained in that law inspired very little public outrage in comparison to the body searches and x-rays. I guess the issue had to become personal – the excessive zeal finally reached the white middle-class and NOW they’re upset.