Dec 23, 2010

This is What the Communists Actually Did, Ctd.

In my previous entry, I did not mean to suggest that efforts to deny birthright citizenship/path to citizenship due to crimes of the parents are part of some insidious, overarching scheme for social control.  The Communists were paradoxically quite intelligent granted their insane premises.  If we concede that human rights are irrelevant to the establishment of a workers' paradise, and if we concede the idea that such a thing is even possible (rather than a metaphor for their own tyranny), then their methods make a lot of sense.

The same cannot be said of current surge of right-wing populism.  As an aggregate, the movement is not capable of seriously working towards overarching goals--in fact, it has no goals, just Pavlovian reactions to dog-whistle issues: "Murka good!  Taxes bad!  Bear arms good!  Libruls bad!", that sort of thing.  (Some of the demagogues leading it may have certain goals, but that's another story.)  I don't honestly believe that the opposition to birthright citizen/DREAM is based in some insidious scheme to enforce social control by punishing children of dissenters, I think that it's a mix of groupthink, "they took our jerrrrrbs", and tribalism/racism.

But the comparison is still a fair one: despite the difference in motivation, they're still clamoring that children be punished or denied rights due to crimes committed by their parents, usually before they were born.  The second point is that the populist Right has turned 'Communist!' into a general-purpose epithet for anyone who believes that the government should do anything besides cut taxes, bomb Arabs, and keep its hands off their Medicare.

I might have hesitated in using the analogy if their own rhetoric were a little more grounded in reality, just as I would hesitate before inquiring too deeply into the private lives of politicians.  But when politicians run on a platform of interfering in other people's private lives, or when movements use 'Communist!' as a catch-all term of disapproval, that makes them fair game.  You don't get to make a bugbear out of Communism while agitating for some of the worst things that the real, flesh-and-blood Communists actually did.

No comments:

Post a Comment