3/11/2006

Regrets: "Should Have Said Mussolini"

Bennish-the teacher that made headlines for stating that some people see similarities between Bush and Hitler, leading to his removal- was reinstated, and society is better for it. How ridiculous the free-speech bashers look when even Bush can't be on their side on this! Even Bush was unwilling to go to the extreme of these fascists. See the right can't get past their blanket assertions that teachers are 'liberal communists' long enough to see reason. But again I ask this question: considering the basic ideals of communism, isn't communism more about controlling and suppressing free speech 'for the state'?Why is it that we are constantly told by wingnuts that free speech is the work of commies? The thing about those that want the government to control everything that comes out of our mouths is that that they often describe themselves as CONSTITUTION lovers. Minimal interventionists. "Keep your nose out of my business' types. Love covering up pedophilia and calling science a theory, but hate the ACLU that says 'permit us to think for ourselves'. Too Democratic, not Saddamish enough for you? Ah, another day in the distorted uninformed territory of the thumpers. NO WONDER THEY HAVE A GRUDGE AGAINST PUBLIC EDUCATION- LOOK WHATS ITS DONE TO THEM! They can't tell Trotsky from Ventura.(continued)
Yet in their zeal to talk about their hatred of regulation or infringement on state's rights, they love the idea of Big Brother schools and kindergarten theology. This is why the 'left-right'idea is so distorted.

People call themselves 'right' because they think the government is overbearing. But also on the right are people that seem to think civil rights should be dispensed with for the good of the 'state' or nation, which is a very socialist/communist idea. Then people on the left talk about individualism, the right to autonomy, liberty, freedom of identity, etc. and they seem to have more in common with the far right than a commie, if the right made any sense. And they WOULD make MORE sense and possibly even appeal to more of us if they could only let go of the thumper inconsistencies that make them look so foolish. It comes down to this: people on the right seem to want a hands off approach to business, and a hands on approach to humans. They obviously feel that corporations are more deserving of 'rights' than citizens. The Bennish case was telling in that it really revealed the nature of where people stand. TALKING ABOUT DEMOCRACY AND SAYING WE SHOULD NOT TOUCH DISSENT IS INCONGRUOUS.

Ask yourself: how can students be taught to think critically about politics or society when their teachers cannot teach them the basic idea that people have different views? How can anyone talk about 'spreading Democracy" when they oppose the very ideals of Democracy which require an informed citizenry capable of discerning facts?

How can we have an example where Lefties are saying 'teach many views' righties are saying 'teach facts but OUR facts which of course are subject to opinion and most Americans don't agree with our facts but teach them anyway or you are an ACTIVST teacher or worse, A FUCKING COMMUNIST!!!!" Centrists are calling for balance... This case really shakes things up for people and where they stand and really seems to be sorting out the people that truly DO want a Deocracy versus those that want to become the 'fascist theocracy' we claimed to have just liberated.

The thing is, much as we oppose Bush here at Lose The Noose, there are rare moments when he surprises (me) at least. This case was one of them. I give Bush credit for his view on this issue, and suspect that if some of these politicians could just look reasonably at things the divisiveness would be reduced. This was a moment of reason, albeit a very very small fleeting moment.

The link at the end was included because I have already received two emails about the allmighty libertarian responses which, like Bush, supports our view on the left that teaching requires some degree of critical thinking. The example mentioned is cited often to reveal the idiocy of the right: a police chief breaks INTO a building to see if a teacher has posted anti-war propaganda on a bulletin board. Now think of the leaps of logic that these people use: I can thumb my nose at law, process, just cause, warrants, oversight, the constitution, etc. just because I suspect a man might be inappropriately displaying a flyer that pertains to possible differing views on the war? Now I am not saying a teacher should recruit students, thats not the point. But think about the way they justify all of their OWN wrong behaviors just because of what they see as one RIGHT behavior which is to stop an activist teacher.

This is what they do, though. They will talk about the tenets of Democracy and fascist leaders that do not permit dissent in their societies and impose religion- then they seek to do the SAME THING HERE. They claim to value Democracy so much that thousands should die for it, but yet they want the youth of America to be raised without any sense of plurality, diversity, or skills to participate in government as intended by our political process.

And lastly, this love for business? Respect for capitalism and love of markets that they preach about so much? What kind of industry would you have if everyone sat there being spoon fed their ideas, their thoughts? If the next generation of business leaders were unable to consider different views, options? We would collapse. We might not be efficient, but we are INVENTIVE. This is partly because of our ability to permit different perspectives. Isn't the flow of ideas part of what makes America so different, historically so successful? Because we are not willing to sit on an assembly line and take orders, but rather, develop ideas that solve problems? if you value industry, why would you want our education system to become a Pink Floyd video????


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25 comments:

sirona said...

Great Piece Lily. The right is so full of idiological inconsistantcies. I'm not even talking about the Bush Cultists because they aren't conservitives. The kid who taped the teacher and got him suspended in the first place? In the 1930's he would have been a leader in a Hitler Youth group. Faith based this and that with a total disreguard for science is so typical. Blind faith is good because it can be applyed to leaders as well as religion. Oh thanks for getting me all pissed off so early on my Sat morning. lol

Lew Scannon said...

Thank you for exposing the hypocrisies of the free market advocates. Obviously the free market doesn't extend to the marketplace of ideas.

abi said...

I'm always impressed by the hypocricy of the right, and especially how they have been able to convince a good number of Americans that it is the left who opposes dissent. You have to give them credit for this bit of hocus-pocus.

Great post - thanks.

LILY BRANFORD said...

Well thats why it goes beyond doing posts on why this person sucks or why this person is crooked. (not that those aren't cool!)I think we have to really get to KNOW their "hocus pocus" and how easy it is to poke holes in it. We need to talk about their strategy, not expect unrealistically that the right are going to wake up one day and see this light of reason. I have said many times that it is the influence on the people and their actions by interest groups, not so much that their platforms are so disagreeable. In theory republicans are not half as bad as they are in practice. Its the way they toss aside their own respectable ideas in favor of the thumper brigade. They will ultimately alienate their own rational base and I really think the Republican party will again see a split. The Repubs will have a backlash from the public, lose a great deal of control, and be forced to reckon with their looney constituents. The looney constituents will revolt, and break off as the republicans come back toward center. They know they need to regroup, as the Dems know they need to regroup. Right now centrist Democrats reflect most of the characteristics desired by Americans: Reproductive choice, with conditions. Religion, without intrusion. Growth and jobs, but not to the total detriment of the planet. Fiscal responsibility, but not on the backs of the most vulnerable. Peace, but not complacency to threat. Security, but not at the cost of civil liberties. These are the things people need to embrace for the next election. This is too middle road for my taste, but a democracy of the people BY the people would reflect those characteristics. Remember the wingnuts are not as numerous as they are active, engaged, and effective. Even major Dem players have bemoaned the lack of pavement pounding on the left. These hatemongers organize, meet, rally, and turn people out based on an agenda of hate. We need to rally around REASON and sell that message better.

dusty said...

What WE need to do is beat them at their own game..afterall, it WORKS!

They managed to gain control of both houses and the Oval Office using their methods..

By their methods I mean the ones you dear Lily listed: organize,meet,rally and turnout the vote.

You can bitch about the righwing nutjobs controlling our lives..they worked hard and won.

Sitting on our arses will not change anything. How bad do you want change, bad enough to actually become active and get other progressives out to the voting booths?

According to Howie Dean..if only 7 more people in each voting district came out and voted Democratic, the progressive's would of won.

I think those were his numbers..I am not looking at them, so don't hold me to task if I am off a bit. The idea remains the same: Just a couple more votes PER PRECINCT and we could of bagged the WhiteHouse..

Reminds me of Gore..if he had carried his own state he would of won. That haunts me at night when I can't sleep..really..it does.

Earl Bockenfeld said...

It would be a great teaching exercise to see, if Dubya who wants to be a dictator, would be more like Hitler or Mussolini. I defer to what Kurt said.

“Well,” says (Kurt) Vonnegut, “I just want to say that George W. Bush is the syphilis president.”

The students seem to agree.

“The only difference between Bush and Hitler,” Vonnegut adds, “is that Hitler was elected.”

Rory Shock said...

Great post Lily ... there is much for the brain to chew here ... small govment when it comes to taxin' the rich ... big guvment when it comes to suppressing the freedom of the poorer folks to get a few more crumbs ... you gotta look in their eyes and ignore their words ... shameless motherfuckers ... but the real reason that Bush didn't find the comment objectionable is because he considers what most consider criticism to be a compliment ...

Lizzy said...

Hi Lily,

Hope all is well.

Come leave a link at The Heretik

Neil Shakespeare said...

LOL "No wonder they have a grudge against the educational system. Look what it's done to them." So true...

Rory Shock said...

funny ... its almost like the reactionaries are unwitting suicides ... they blather about inventiveness and then suppress it through their practices ... DYSfunction Junction on ... so many levels ...

Kvatch said...

They obviously feel that corporations are more deserving of 'rights' than citizens.

What is this thing? The corporation? I don't see such an entity defined anywhere in the Constitution. Were I strict constructionist, I'd say, "therefore this entity has no rights." As I am, a liberal wacko, I'd say they have no rights but privileges only to the extent that they are explicitly granted by the people.

Kvatch said...

I'm always impressed by the hypocricy of the right, and especially how they have been able to convince a good number of Americans that it is the left who opposes dissent. You have to give them credit for this bit of hocus-pocus.

Well then, all of us whack-jobs on the left will soon been in good company. Autocrats don't tolerate dissent within their own ranks any better than do from the opposition. Republican senators and congressman beware!

tp said...

Thats right, where does it SAY that the corporation has rights? Like women, their rights are subject to interpretation. The fact that they interpret and scrutinize the constitutionality of laws versus making them somehow makes this not their job though- because then you are an activist judge.

Unlike the activist legislators that flew in just to pontificate about Terri Schiavo all night.

earl bockenfeld said...

I think if you study cases, the "Activist Judge" epithet is reserved for judges whose decisions don't fall into line with the far-right agenda. Otherwise they are happy for judges to 'activate' away. The left has so far labeled far-right decisions as fascism and overturning precedence.

GraemeAnfinson said...

great post. talking about ideologies can make your head hurt.

There is really quite a lot of common ground between some views on the right, and some on the left. people don't understand it so they love to just throw you in a category. anarchists and socialists have been allies all through out history. one wants complete democracy in all areas of a country and the other thinks government will always lead to a bureaucracy. but they both are for INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. Tolstoy said being a christian forced him to be a pacifist and being a pacifist forced him to be an anarchist.

bush didn't read tolstoy

abi said...

tp, unfortunately, the Supreme Court in 1886 gave corporations many of the same rights as citizens.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Very well put, my dear. When I was in High School, I had a teacher I will always remember. She taught Social Studies - and in a way I had never been exposed to – at least going to school in the United States. While in Ireland, I learned a few home truths about America that surprised me; letting me know at age 13 how biased history can truly be. When I came back stateside to finish High School - I was at least prepared to look at the world through different eyes. This teacher helped me do that. She was young, vibrant and involved. Through her I learned about the lynchings in the south, read works by Baldwin, Douglass and a wonderful book - Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. It was a revelation. I adored her. Of course, she was fired. Nixon-speak ruled – just like today – good was really bad, any history that was in any way critical of the United States was un-American – you know the drill. BushCo has it down to a (religious) science.

But silencing her didn’t have the intended effect. They couldn’t shut off my mind, you see – nor put blinders on my ability to think and analyze. I have her to thank for that. Prejudice, war, race-baiting – this was and is just plain wrong; and nothing the pseudo-Christian, God hates (insert object of bigotry here) crowd does can cover up that one salient fact. A lie is a lie – dressing it up in white linen for Sunday service doesn’t change that one whit. So let them tape Bennish and a whole host of other critical thinkers, educators and intellectuals. Let them try to whip up the public into a froth of fear and uncertainty. The under 100 IQ crowd will always loathe anyone who tries to get them to exercise their little grey cells. Some people prefer to remain stupid. So I say fuck ‘em if they don’t want to think. What was it Mark Twain said? “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” I’m afraid I tend to side with Ayn Rand on this point.

fosco said...

Well its sort of like the way they say the military will teach a person discipline. How, by structuring and barking orders? That teaches OBEDIENCE, not the ability to control one's self or use one's mind. Well they want school to be this way too. Obedience is more important to them than education. Just as a good soldier is not a smart soldier but one that does what he or she is told. Thats a patriot, according to Bush, too.

Eli Blake said...

Excellent post.

I've always considered that the right is actually much like Stalinist communists. Not just in their tactics of internal suppression, but also in 1) the way they can suddenly change course on an issue (i.e. claiming that they were always in favor of a 9/11 commission when they opposed it, or Bush in his state of the union speech suddenly coming out and saying we are 'addicted to oil') and woe to any right winger who isn't quick enough to learn the new vocabulary; and 2) the sort of xenophobia that leads them to propose building a wall along the border (dare I say, 'Berlin Wall?')

And here is the really scary part of it: we now have, as in the Padilla case, the government claiming the right to detain people indefinitely, if they define you as an 'enemy combatant' (they get to write the definition). And, according to what was written when they first proposed the Patriot Act, they have the right to conduct secret military tribunals, which can sentence people to death. Further, we have examples of people snatched off the street and sent to secret prisons where they are tortured (i.e. the terror suspect snatched off the street in Milan and tortured in Egypt, and the numerous cases of people who have undergone 'rendition,' the process where they have been sent to U.S. military prisons in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

This sounds amazingly like the Soviet Union to me.

Somewhere, the laughter that you hear in the background is Josef Stalin laughing at us from Hell.

LILY BRANFORD said...

Yes, I think the similarities are scary, which is why it is so irritating when they talk about the commies on the left because it makes me want to get out an elementary school textbook. They still have a few after all the funding cuts, right?

After the No Child Left Unrecruited Act?

Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said...

"...people on the left talk about individualism, the right to autonomy, liberty, freedom of identity, etc. and they seem to have more in common with the far right."

Once again the liberals, devoid of their own ideas, must steal ours. Next thing you know they'll be calling for tax cuts and stricter abortion laws.

Frederick said...

Rex,

Hillary who?

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