Friday, August 04, 2006

A Blast From the Past

Think you know how to tell the good guys from the bad guys in the world? That your education and refinement has prepared you to choose who to cheer for? Watch this old fashioned video from fifty years ago, prepared for a much more unsophisticated audience and ask yourself, what's changed?


Blogger Ball-of-Whacks said...

Based on your video, I'd say that the US has come a long, long way since the early 1950s. Credit a lot of that change to, among other things, the Civil Rights movement, greater Federal monies for higher education beginning in the 50s and 60s, the 70s Feminist movement (helping to change the face of the workplace), and lower Federal and Capital Gains taxes beginning in the 80s.

8/04/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

In one scene in the video a person has to certify he's not inviting any Jews to a club party. But it was portrayed as regressive. That sounds a whole lot like the British academic boycott of Jewish scholars today. But now it's "progressive". I was also struck by the teenager's expostulation, "but it must be true! It's in this book!"

Funny what people thought in those days.

8/04/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

So the KGB has fellow travellers working over at they're hangin' out at ABC/CBS/NBC et al.

To B-o-W's list add: Ronald Reagan.

8/04/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

A people's personality is far more important than economics.

True story.

8/04/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

I'm not aware of any boycotts on Jewish academics. Perhaps on Israeli academics, but that's a different story. Just as the US does not embargo ethnic Cubans but does impose strict punishments against those who might go to Cuba and trade with Cuban nationals.

8/04/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

At least those kids could read, write and do arithmetic and point to Florida on a map...

Also, the film used "infinitely variable analog scales."

Compared to today's digital measurements, on a scale of 1 to 3, I would say that rates, er, um, kewel!

8/04/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

James Kielland,

I stand corrected. The British academic boycott is about Israelis.

8/04/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Was that Rock Hudson? The copyright date was 1945 so this was made during a hot conflict with a despotic regime.

While I was watching it I was thinking about the failed state index. We could make a despotic state index with the various metrics mentioned in the film.

8/04/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

I see that a flat tax is a sign of despotism!

This video is a neat artifact of the FDR's "Four freedoms" attempt to introduce communism-lite here in the States. Notice that there is an "economic distribution" scale but no "private property rights" or "rule of law" scale. That means we can avoid despotism by nationalizing land and other resources and distributing them equally amoungst the people! Those darn fat cat capitalists with their diamond studded top hats can just suck eggs. Forget liberty and rule-of-law... we need populism to keep us free from want and fear.

8/04/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

If, say, the BBC were to produce a video about values today in the UK - essentially the equivalent of that Britanica video - exhorting people to do the right thing, it would be a load of shit about "Islamophobia".

Liberalism is in the minority today in most of Europe.

8/04/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


Tangential to this film clip it's interesting because in the last few weeks I've been exploring similar films from that era on, I site I highly recommend. There's a great collection of various public service films of this nature, as well as civil defense films and the like.

In a sense, they are anachronistic and mysteriously funny in a way that Westerners tend to find old films like this to be. The strained elocution, the stilted acting, and the concerns which seem remote or to some people exagerrated.

One film produced by the Inglewood, CA, police department titled "Boys Beware" warns young men about the dangers of other young men in their community who are infected with a dangerous disease. "Not a disease you can see, such as small-pox. No, this is a disease of the mind. The disease is called 'homosexuality.' How things change. Nowadays a public service film could have a very similar phrase but the disease would be called 'homophobia.'

In addition to allowing viewing via streaming or downloading, the site offers the viewer a chance to post comments in typical blog fashion. What I was struck by, particularly with the WW2 and civil defense films, is a strong tendency amongst various commenters to regard such films as pure propaganda, intended to "unite through fear."

It strikes me as fascinating how very few young people these days are really able to put themselves in the position of their ancestors. Undoubtedly, this is due to a tremendous amount of historical ignorance. I recently asked a very left-wing public school teacher how many people died in WW2 and I got a shrug and the answer, "a couple o' million?" I routine run into people who are off on their estimates of the casualty toll of individual battles in the Pacific by about 1/10 of the actual numbers.

Looking back on the 1950s and the nuke scare, one with a hint of historical awareness should be left thinking that the concerns of many were completely justified. The scale of the carnage and the sheer viciousness from Auschwitz to Unit 731 should have left just about anyone traumatized and fearful as to what could be coming next.

But not for many of our intrepid reviewers who write from the comfort of modern Western nations and from the even softer and more dangerously luxurious comfort of chronic historical ignorance.

Thanks for sharing this clip. The reactions to our contemporaries of these films is often times more illuminating (and worrying) than the films themselves.

8/04/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

What a bunch of commie propaganda.

The famous "expert".

A.k.a. the Useful Idiot. He needs three in the back of the skull and the Mussolini treatment.

The bit about information was decent though.

8/04/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Brother D-Day,

What exactly about it do you find to be commie propaganda?

8/04/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

As John Kerry would say... that film lacked nuance.

8/04/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger greer rants said...

Habu enjoyed the links I placed a few days ago.

Think this fits in here on many levels:

A line from American Digest:

"First modern-day suicide bomber... Sort of gives you a real head's-up notice thatthe wiring in all human heads is not all exactly the same, doesn't it".......Vanderleun : August 3, 06

And a link to a comprehensive post by Shrinkwarpped today.
I pulled two parts but it must be read in full with the links he provides:

Shrinkwrapped's "Clans of the Alphane Moon"

What occurs in young people with Schizophrenia seems to have an analogue with nations and clans. The left has become increasingly unhinged in reaction their increasing marginalization. Richard Landes does an exemplary job in The “Left” Takes on the Qana Affair: Fisking the Daily Kos. His entire post is worth reading to see how a bright person can twist his mind into knots to avoid even questioning his basic assumptions.
The Arab world is famous for their paranoid conspiracy theorizing about the supermen of America and Israel. S, C & A does a masterful job describing their downward arc in Useless Ceasfires And The Tragedy Of The Unter-Menschen.

There are many similarities between the Arab/Muslim world and the world of the left and their allies in the media. All three clans have failed, and failing, models of the world. The modern world has repudiated communism almost completely and is well on the way to repudiating traditional welfare state liberalism; the media is facing a frightening environment where they no longer have a monopoly on information and its dissemination and are having significant difficulty adjusting to the change; the Islamist world view has been stagnant for 1400 years but only now has the contrast between the modern world and their failure become inescapable. Israel, to a large extent, and America in a much greater way, are the messengers of their doom and they are becoming increasingly shrill and delusional in their agitated and panicky attempts to maintain their sense of themselves as important.......

8/04/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger RegretLeft said...

wretchard asks what's changed

well, the commies - an utter absence in the film - are 50 years later, absent

we're shown despotism in Germany, and the rural south ... incipient in the industrial north ... yet not the merest allusion to Stalin and the gulag

that's commie propaganda

8/04/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Back by somewhat popular demand:the bard of Bama,the semi -literate laureate of upper Alabama:

A Glimpse at a Hezbollah Funeral(or 6 pounds of Shiite in a 5 pound bag)

L'il Akmal straps on a Mattel semtex vest
And dreams of striking the Crusader West
Lets turn their crib into an ordinance test
And rid the future of the little pest
Brother Omar rages
He dreams of martydom and heaven
Then sighs"Screw that"
He pumps gas at a Jersey 7/11
The Iman screams for vengeance
In the name of the prophet and Cindy Al Sheehan
My knees are a knockin'
My pants Imma p'in'
The widow looks plug ugly
As in black she wails
wait,that's just her burkha
Not a funeral veil

So c'mon all you big strong jihadis
Uncle Nazrullah fell in the pottie
He got his beard caught in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Lebanon land
So quit humpin' that goat and pick up a gun
We're gonna get the Jews on the run
And its one,two three
What are we fightin' fo'?
The Mullah says 72 ho's
And its five,six,seven open up the pearly gates
Well I ain't got time to wonder why
Whoopie we're all gonna fry...

8/04/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

James Kielland said...

Brother D-Day,

What exactly about it do you find to be commie propaganda?

I'm going to echo j.random american's post.

Start off with the mention that Germany was a republic but still sank to despotism.

Follow that with the graphics that go from "democracy" to "despotism".

FDR's regime was the one that pushed the false idea that the USA is a democracy more than any other before its time. The fact is, the word "democracy" appears not ONCE in the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution.

Our country is a republic by design. Pledge of Allegiance uses the "r" word and not the "d" word.

According to this movie, land is to be "distributed fairly" and there is no mention of property rights or how a free country protects those rights.

There's a poor farmer in the movie getting the dreaded foreclosure notice from the evil, captialist banker.

Funny, my memory is full of people's property being auctioned off for failing to pay Caesar's property tax. But of course, this movie falls to mention that this happens.

The dig at "private interests" affecting the press was a nice one. Well, duh, a newspaper is not a government organization. I'm glad that the ad manager has a say in the editorial. It's when the .gov henchmen show up to tell you what to print is where you have 1st Amendment issues. Private interests can censor, bias and propagandize at will. Government, in a republic, is restricted to do so.

Sorry, but that film was commie propaganda in its highest form. The insinuation was that private parties were the sources of despotism. At the time it was produced, that was pure BS. The 20th century is a bloodbath of tyrannical governments (mostly with a socialist bent) slaughtering its own en masse.

FDR was the American Strongman and was a product of his time. He was the beginning of the end of a federal government that stayed within its Constitutional and respected the rule of law over the rule of the mob.

That film is a product of the time that America lost its soul. It had backbone and will at the time, but a country rots from from the soul outward.

8/04/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Brother D-Day, your sensibilities are finely-tuned.

One thing, the film made at war's end may've been harking back to pre-war "new normal" --an economic depression wherein the "government man" was an actual help to people in actual need.

8/04/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Country Trangbang and the Fish--loved it!

8/04/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...

Maybe I'm just too optimistic, but I found myself agreeing with the major themes in that movie.

But after I read some of the comments about why this could be viewed as left-wing propaganda, I realized that there was certainly an argument for communism/socialism as the means to the ends being promoted here.

But what I first thought about was the fact that in the US, we (for the most part and in most places) have those things that would show that we're not despotic, and that it's our freedom and free market system that has largely made those things possible and continues to maintain those things.

I think it goes to show that as humans, most of us want a lot of the same things, but the best way to get there is a huge matter for debate.

On a side note, the one image that I thought was questionable was the "fat cat" telling everyone how it was going to be- ironically this too is a destructive stereotype, although like most stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth there.

8/04/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Brother D-Day,

I think you are unfair to Harold Lasswell, who was a professor at Yale and Yale Law when I was there (at Yale as an undergrad).

You have to have lived through that era to truly "get" the film.

Lasswell was certainly not, in any way, an apologist for communism.

Jamie Irons

8/04/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

Aren't we currently living in an era of "Hollywood" despotism, or an "elite traditional media" despotism?

8/04/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger R C Dean said...

The British academic boycott is about Israelis.

Oh, well, that's alright then. No anti-semitism here! Just move along, then.

I don't suppose those British academics can point to anything that is uniquely offensive about Israeli scholars that warrants that they, and only they, be boycotted?

Other than their Jewishness, that is.

8/04/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

RegretLeft said...

wretchard asks what's changed

well, the commies - an utter absence in the film - are 50 years later, absent

we're shown despotism in Germany, and the rural south ... incipient in the industrial north ... yet not the merest allusion to Stalin and the gulag

that's commie propaganda
8/04/2006 07:07:24 PM
It was the american communists who imputed the Stalins doctor's plot to McCarthy's anti communism

8/04/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/04/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Brother D-day,

I think you're making too big of a fuss about the distinction between a democracy and a republic, and the film's use of the term "democracy." The essence of a republic is system of government that is characterized by limits on power and the use of nominated or elected officials to represent public will, as opposed to absolute power via inheritance or other means. So the distinction between democracies and despotism is useful. A republic is basically just a form of a democracy.

The movie makes no implication that, in your words, "land is to be "distributed fairly" and there is no mention of property rights or how a free country protects those rights." There is no basis by which I can see that the farmer is portrayed as a victim of an "evil capitalist." I believe you're injecting that inference. Nor is there anything in the film which suggests that private interests affecting the press are necessarily negative.

Following WW2, when the ideological battle of the Cold War was heating up, there was a lot of work done to examine which factors may make a country susceptible to communist revolution. Reading the US government's research into this for such areas as counter-insurgency warfare by what eventually came to be known as the Special Forces, shows that it was commonly regarded that countries with vast inequality and extreme concentrations of power ended up producing social conditions ripe for revolution.

The Founding Fathers of the United States, in creating the republic that they created and as evidenced in their extensive writings on these issues, were largely considered with the separation of powers. They were not merely leery of the concentration of power into a single branch of the government, but were also leery of any concentration of powers. This is not to suggest that they advocated intrusive government measures, nor commie measures of wealth re-distribution, but on the other hand it's pretty clear to most who've actually read the Founding Fathers that they weren't off in some half-baked Rand-inspired loopy, lunatic Libertarian fantasy-land.

The message that I took from the film was that widespread land ownership is a good thing, and that it promotes both social stability and social involvement. As to press freedom, a strong curtailing of press freedom and a censorship of what can be talked about, what language can be used, and who can be questioned is a threat to free enquiry and a healthy functioning republic, no matter what the source of that censorship is. The affect on discourse is more critical than the particular method. There's little difference between being tortured by a criminal gang and being tortured by an ostensibly "legitimate" state. Freedom has many, many threats. Contrary to libertarian thinking, the source of those threats come from more than just government. As the Founding Fathers understood it, men created governments in order to protect themselves from those other sources. And the trick was to make sure that the government itself was not simply taking over the role.

I think the film makes some great points. And far from being "commie propaganda", it represents what was at that time a largely consensus view of many freedom loving Americans as to what was required in order to keep America free, to keep it from falling into conditions whereby violent socialist revolution would seem desirable. You may disagree with their viewpoint, but commie propaganda it is not.

8/04/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

My Wife's tryin' to sleep and I'm here tryin' not to wake her while laughin' over:

"And its one,two three
What are we fightin' fo'?
The Mullah says 72 ho's"

My only question: Is the fry reference indicative of the use of MOABs and Daisycutters? I am unaware that the Israelis are using Napalm.

8/04/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Dusty said...

Lot's of good points here which helped me re-orient my focus from viewer to critic of the classroom instruction film.

Here's some of my thoughts about the film after watching it a second time. First, I noticed the pledge recited was " ... one nation, indivisble ..." and it wasn't long after this film was made that we nipped that pre-commie plot which had been hanging around since the turn of the century. :)

Joking aside, I appreciate Brother D-Day's noticing a communist meme and it may have a some truth to it, but it's more likely socialist and not communist and it's reflective of the times. And that, I think, is one interesting aspect of the film -- it shows what events preoccupied the minds of those living then and it is important to see this in the "sliding scale" context (more about which at the end of this). Who now would use the Bourbon Kings as an example. The silhouette of the public hanging piqued my interest. Was that produced for the film or was it a picture more widely recognized at the time?

I don't think, though, that the film had communist overtones, except as we judge it our vantage 70 years later. The discussion of property ownership was clearly one of private property, particularly the gentleman faced with losing his farm and relegated to working for another. That is a strong statement for private property in my opinion. Even more so, the point about business, speaks more about monopoly than anything favoring communism. By extension there is no greater monopoly than government ownership.

One last thing on Brother D-Day's observation "The insinuation was that private parties were the sources of despotism. At the time it was produced, that was pure BS." I'd disagree it was BS. Hitler was a private interest (party) as was Lenin, Mao and Castro. That they acquired sufficient power via appeals to the people either honestly or dishonestly until they became the government doesn't invalidate the private party argument. Today think Hezballah, or Al Sadr or the Islamic council in Somalia. All are private parties (not in the political sense per se) insinuating themselves into government for the purposes of total control. But closer to home and at the time of the filming, I do wonder if thoughts of Tammany Hall were dancing in the producers heads when preparing that segment. It was, after all FDR who, on becoming president, put a fatal nail in their coffin.

Also interesting was the segment wrt the taxes. Specific mention was to sales taxes, not income taxes. Was that a bigger issue then or is that just the academic speaking? In either event, I like the reference to "feudal societies" and "salt tax" in connection with sales taxes and will use it when my local pols come ringing in about a month. I should note that that seems to be a big change; now we talk more of a national sales tax rather than ostracize it (maybe they denigrated it back then in order to make income taxes sound like a better alternative.)

The teaching skit was cute. My son showed me the same book a couple years back, but he was referencing a different chapter, the one on global climate change.

But the most interesting change I noticed, if I must compare the reasoning in that film to general reasoning now, is the ease with which they could think in terms of sliding scales, whereas now yes/no, either/or, and black/white way of thinking seems prevalent. Maybe I am wrong. I'll leave it to someone else to expand on that thought if they wish, I've imposed too much already.

8/04/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

Two points, James Kielland:

[1] The affect on discourse is more critical than the particular method. There's little difference between being tortured by a criminal gang and being tortured by an ostensibly "legitimate" state. Freedom has many, many threats. Contrary to libertarian thinking, the source of those threats come from more than just government. As the Founding Fathers understood it, men created governments in order to protect themselves from those other sources. And the trick was to make sure that the government itself was not simply taking over the role.

Agreed. It's a fantastic point that has real relevance in world affairs right now.

[2] A boycott against Israelis, not Jews

I'm not following the need for the correction or Wretchard's quick acquiescence. This reminds me that as a black kid growing up in the South, Jew and Gentile "things" were completely invisible to me and all other black folks that I knew. Invisible, that is, until I arrived at the University of Florida, where there is a strong Jewish community. Once there, Jew and Gentile both began to edumacate me on the facts of the matter -- so, I readily acknowledge that I may be missing some yet invisible but nevertheless essential point.

But on the face of it, the boycott is an outrageous absurdity precisely because of its arbitrary anti-Semitic nature . . . correct?

Wretchard, your original point about Jewish scholars and the "progressive" boycott still appears to be right on the money.

"Are there any Hebrews in your party?" indeed. Niggerization comes in many forms, which is why I was drawn to Kiellands words cited in point one and also why I'm intrigued by his earlier correction of Wretchard. There's something odd there, to me.

8/05/2006 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rattlergator, the official explanation is of course that the Israeli government can be referenced without referring to Jewishness. Like supporting the troops but not the war, or supporting the Hez but not terrorism, the argument is purely academic since it pays no attention to history nor the conditions and circumstance.

The divestiture movement--to boycott Israeli commerce--claims it is not anti-semitic because the Jews could do without Israel. Of course, only an academic would not see that the argument is its own antithesis.

8/05/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"In one scene in the video a person has to certify he's not inviting any Jews to a club party."

Actually, Wretchard, the application form asks about Hebrews...

And I may be wrong, but I sense a wry, sly tongue-in-cheekiness here, with your "Funny...thought IN THOSE DAYS," comment, because THEY SURE DON'T THINK LIKE THAT THESE DAYS... mweh!

8/05/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

James K / Dusty,

Good points.

My harping on democracy boils down to Ben Franklin’s quote:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."

and the expansion of that idea, I believe by Dr. John Eidsmoe (with apologies), that

A republic is two wolves and a sheep voting on a representative who will decide what they will have for lunch.

A Constitutional Republic acknowledges the sheep has inalienable rights endowed by his Creator that prevent the wolves from eating him, and he is armed to ensure the wolves respect those rights.

We reflexively refer to our country as a democracy, and what the mob wants, it gets.

It’s not just semantics. There is a clear distinction. Our government has limits on it, and those limits must be enforced. We are now a country that thinks that 50% plus one person gets whatever it wants. If those pesky inalienable rights stand in the way of pensions, free health care and free food, well, we’ll just push those aside for the “greater good.”

The oncoming train wreck of Social Security and Medicare will sharply illustrate how far we have fallen. As the huge Baby Boomer voting bloc draws on these systems, politicians will bend over backwards to ensure they continue to receive their largesse, whether or not it turns the next three generations into tax slaves. If that isn’t the despotism of the majority, then I don’t know what is.

I digress.

I stand firmly corrected about despotism coming from private parties / movements. You guys are on the money. My point was more to the effect that once those private movements had the official “monopoly of force”, their despotic abilities became nearly limitless.

Sadr and his goons have to settle for slaughtering guerilla style for now. Should they ever become the official government in Iraq, their ability to kill would increase twentyfold.

The machinations of the state are the force multipliers of despotism to the extreme.

My final point about this film as commie propaganda goes back to what isn’t in there. Joe Stalin and the USSR. I don’t care if it was made just after the war. That omission speaks volumes.

It’s like making a film about Islamic fascism today and never even talking about the KSA. Say it with me…”religion of peaaacee…”

8/05/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Actually, I still use old fashioned dial up so it'll take me an hour to download the vid.

In the meantime I've been reading the comments and gather that the boycott of Israeli academics would include dissident Arab Israelis as well -- or was there a loophole?

What I find interesting is the Anti-Americanism that has seeped into the very DNA of Hollywood these days. I just watched "The Legend of Zorro" which was a confused confection, to say the least. Those of Mexican and Spanish heritage are apparently desperate for California to join the United States but the way they portray Americans (think the KOS image of Dick Cheney for the most positive portrayal) makes the idea of willingly joining the union nuts. They should be fighting to stay out.

What I found interesting was the need of everyone involved to portray all the American Gringos in a bad light even to the point that the film is utterly ridiculous. The plot screamed out for one example of a good white guy but all Hollywood could cough up was hairball heavies, all despicable -- though for different reasons and motives.

Maybe they are concentrating on the foreign markets and figure Americans will take whatever they dish up. Hollywood is like an American Hong Kong gathering raw materials and workers from the peasants in the interior while exporting the product of their exploitation to the rest of the world. America itself is "a niche market" -- good for the occassional 9/11 film made to appeal to the superstitions of the peasants in that niche.

The vid is still downloading. Looks like a clear day on Planet Earth.

8/05/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

These are all great discussion points. I especially appreciate the Ben Franklin quotes and the Communist propeganda discussion. The section of the film regarding information control in education was particularly interesting; what was originally intended as a warning against right-wing propeganda has spun 180 degrees to become a warning against left-wing propeganda. Seems that the right-left political spectrum I learned about in high-school Government class really *is* a circle, not a line. As the Soviet Union proves, despotism can come from both the right and the left. In my case, the environment here in the Cascadia Collective does little to leave any place for criticism from the center-right.

In regards to the items on the pie graph that constitute "necessities," the perspective of our tremendously productive society has turned many items from luxuries to necessities since the 1950's. Back when I was a teenager, I never thought that the cable TV that wasn't in my house would ever be considered a necessity of some kind. Perhaps TV, and cable TV, are only necessities in as much as they simultaneously broadcast 1) images of things that those rich people have that everybody should have and 2) propeganda to justify and reinforce the new line separating luxuries from necessities.

8/05/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The copyright looks like 1945 (quick: what's MXL+XLVIIXCML equal? Oops, one of those x's is a multiplication sign. Sorry). the film was made at the end of WWII. It makes sense to use the Fascist Frame of reference when talking to school kids. In 1963 my liberal civics teacher would have sounded like a right wing nut case today when he talked of Communism.

The film did knock the big city political boss, who, in the US of that day, would be associated with the Democratic Party (along with the "unofficial militia" of the KKK in the Jim Crow south).

The film said we should not tax bread and milk and that Cartels are bad. I think the Stalinist prespective has been well concealed here (that was not a attempt at sarcasm--I was being facetious), although the gates to a Social Welfare state are indeed "left" open.

I would replace the sliding scale with a circular meter -- where going to far in either direction gets you into the political "Red Zone" -- or Brown or Black, if that's your sauce (though we may be going green these days!).

8/05/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


You wrote:

"[2] A boycott against Israelis, not Jews

I'm not following the need for the correction or Wretchard's quick acquiescence. "

I probably should have elaborated on that, and there was a moment of hesitation before I even brought it up. Some might have taken it to mean that my meaning was, "well, it's not because they are Jewish... so it's all okay." That's not what I'm getting at.

During the 1980s, many nations/corporations/local governments, etc., boycotted South Africa as a means to pressure that country. A number of people feel very strongly that Israel's policies towards the Palestinians are completely unacceptable. They do not view Israel as a completely innocent victim in the problems that it has, but rather view the situation as a result of Israeli cruelty and aggression towards the Palestinians.

Some of these people may just be anti-semitic. But the fact that many Jews around the world and within Israel dislike Israel's handling of the situation should give us pause to equate anti-zionism or disagreement with Israeli policy with anti-semitism.

The problem is, I think, that a good portion of the griping about Israel is anti-semitic. There is and has long been, particularly within Europe, a strong bias against Jewish people. When concern about Israeli policy reaches the level of boycotts and is combined with a lack of concern about worse treatment of people elsewhere, it certainly raises some suspicions and the appearance of hypocrisy. But inconsistency or disproportionate outrage is not necessarily hypocrisy.

Nevertheless, with all of this stated, I do think Wretchard is clearly on to something. Explicitly, it's a boycott on Israelis. Implicitly, it's probably something more. My raising the point was an attempt to distinguish between the implied and the inferred.

8/05/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger sig94 said...

Brother D Day is the only person who mentions, IMHO, a very pertient factor in the path from freedom to depotism, the ownership of firearms.

"A Constitutional Republic acknowledges the sheep has inalienable rights endowed by his Creator that prevent the wolves from eating him, and he is armed to ensure the wolves respect those rights."

During the past century a number of countries outlawed firearms: Soviet Union (1929), Germany (1938), China (1935), Guatemala (1964), Uganda (1970) and Cambodia (1956).

After banning provate ownership of firearms, these countries then slaughtered million sof their own citizens. The following estimates of the ensuing carnage were compiled by various studies:

Russia 20,000,000 (1929 to 1945)
Germany 20,000,000 (1938 to 1945 )
China 42,500,000 (1941 to 1975)
Guatemala 200,000 (1960 to 1996)
Uganda 300,000 (1972 to 1979)
Cambodia 1,650,000 (1975 to 1978)

The total is over 84 million people, civilians, murdered by their own governments after they were forcibly disarmed.

8/06/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Medcalf said...

"A republic is basically just a form of a democracy."

I weep for the state of education, as shown even here, where most of the commenters and certainly the host are better educated than most.

8/06/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


I stand by that statement. A republic is a democracy, simply limited in a set of specific ways.

8/06/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

One of the things that's changed is we get to fisk a propaganda film if we want to and post the results for all to comment on. That's certainly democratic progress.

8/06/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Will Rayford said...

What is interesting to me about this film clip is that it appears to be "political correctness" in its gestation period.

8/06/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

That's 60 years ago at least. It actually reflects some of the social studies textbooks of the 1930s.

8/24/2006 05:33:00 AM  

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