By Zach Foster
An analysis of Dialogues with Socialists: Racism and Civil Rights
What a lively discussion that was! I quickly realized that what we had was an old fashioned Socratic dialogue, which caused my initial excitement for posting it on the Political Spectrum. I would like to note that after several days of silence, Soviet Socialist came back to the dialogue and stated displeasure that the dialogue made it to the Political Spectrum without the consent of those involved. I was unaware that I was bound by such an agreement, and I believed that protecting the privacy of their identities was sufficient, since complete strangers would be reading this and not those who knew them. I’m not quite sure if the opposition’s displeasure is due to the fact that I used our conversation without their consent, or because I used their own words to illustrate a realistic dystopia of the Marxian system in which they so fervently believe. Nonetheless, it is clear that I offended them and for that I offer them my apology. At the time of my writing this analysis of our debate, Soviet is currently working on a rebuttal. While I wait for that, I will proceed with the analysis of our Socratic dialogue.
Originally, Soviet posted a video link whose title stated that Ron Paul wouldn’t have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This is an obvious attempt to paint Ron Paul as a bigot—something he is definitely not—as well as a subtle attempt to poke at me by assassinating the character of someone I highly respect (Soviet is a good friend of mine and knows my favorable views of Ron Paul). What Soviet didn’t realize was how irrelevant the video and the interview are; Ron Paul wasn’t even in Congress in 1964—he was serving our country in the Air Force—and asking him how he would have voted is akin to asking him “If you could go back in time, what would you…” Who cares?
Three socialists were involved in this debate. The primary debater was Soviet Socialist, the secondary debater was Socialist Worker who left shortly, and the third was Violent Pacifist who merely made one comment, calling Congressman Paul a mother f***er.
After Moderate, the other non-socialist besides me, initially denied Soviet’s “case closed” statement, Soviet insinuated that nothing would stop companies from racial discrimination in their hiring processes once the act was hypothetically repealed. This is a slippery slope argument. Insinuating that the repeal of the act would open the flood gates to racial discrimination—a flawed argument at best—is the equivalent of the popular but flawed argument that legalization of gay marriage will open the floodgates to interspecies marriages. Animals, unlike adult humans, cannot consent, and racial discrimination of the potential cream of the labor crop is bad for business and worse for profits.
After having dismissed Congressman Paul as a racist, Soviet continued to dismiss him as having no understanding of political economy. This accusation can hardly be taken seriously when thrown at a celebrated Austrian school economist of the modern era. At this point the argument was no longer whether he would or would not have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which is irrelevant given that he wasn’t in Congress at the time), but that he is a racist with no understanding of political economy.
I still stand by my statement that racism is a thing of the past, and anyone willfully out of step with tolerance is simply out of step with the rest of society. Bigotry and backwardness will always exist no matter what. What is important is that the vast majority of humans learn tolerance and coexistence. I also still stand with my viewpoint that the 1964 Act, though it did infringe on states’ rights, was necessary because the Southern states were using the Jim Crow system to step on the rights of their non-white citizens.
Socialist Worker then jumped in to defend Soviet’s points, and playfully commented on my high horse verbiage. I still fully stand with my observation that Soviet was on a high horse, since Soviet’s character assassination of Congressman Paul was moralistic and the dismissing of him as having no understanding of political economy was elitist. Both points were and are founded on quicksand and absolutely wrong. Furthermore, neither Soviet Socialist nor Socialist Worker have ever read a Ron Paul book (despite my repeated recommendations), and generally don’t know what they’re talking about when they try to lower his moral standing as a leader.
Soviet’s statement that the Tea Party Patriots are the epitome of racism is incredibly false. The reason I hold little respect for the Tea Party movement is that it is based in ultraconservatism and many if not most of its members subscribe to the ideas of the ultra-religious and ultranationalist Ameritianity cult. I also have no respect for Fox News because it is a propaganda network and everyone who isn’t a fan of Fox News is aware of that. I’ve written before that Fox News is as fair and balanced as a seesaw with an obese child on one side. Using those to argue against me is like fighting a fire with gasoline. Yet Soviet tries to incorporate the Marxist dialectic into this debate by equating the “ruling class” with a cult and a propaganda television network. This “ruling class” sounds a lot more like the Soviet Union with its Lenin worship and monopoly of state-owned media.
Impressively, Soviet did subtly concede that in regards to racists, “Paul might not be one…” This concedes the original argument in favor of Moderate and I. The opposition accused Ron Paul of being a racist, we denied and refuted, and now it is admitted that he “might not be one.” This is probably the best I’m going to get, so I’m happy with it. Unfortunately, Soviet equated Ron Paul with right-wingers, which is not the case. Right wingers tend to impose their conservative ideals on the rest of the population (just like Marxists), whereas Congressman Paul is more of a Libertarian than a Republican, who constantly promotes individual liberty and pursuit of happiness (independent of State intervention), whether it be through drug use, religion, homosexuality, or whatever makes the individual happy. This is true liberation. Socialism and Communism would seek to impose radical changes and utopian ideals on everyone, in the name of freedom, but in the form of oppression.
Soviet also assumes that most right wingers in the “ruling class” are CEOs, and these CEOs are also racists who will racially discriminate in the hiring process. Really? This is the twenty-first century. “Most right-wing leaders are CEOs” is a false generalization at best. These evil CEOs will either be greedy for profits, or they will be racist. If a black worker is more efficient and productive on the assembly line, then he will be hired or promoted first. If a Hispanic accountant manages to bring the company greater tax returns, then he will be hired first. Soviet forgets that these allegedly racist CEOs are subservient to the corporation’s Board of Directors, whose members probably aren’t racist. I wonder if Soviet has heard of Herman Cain, the very successful right-wing CEO who is a black man, born to a poor black family in the deep south, who now heads a pizza and Italian cuisine chain and is a bestselling author.
Soviet follows up with ad hominem attacks directed at me. “And don’t talk to me about "being on a high horse" and accusing random people for racism that isn't there, you damn hypocrite.” Fair enough. “…don’t talk to me about being on a high horse…” If Soviet doesn’t want me to talk about being on a high horse, then who can take my place? Is there any candidate that Soviet will accept? Alright, alright, I’m just being facetious on that one. Call me a comedian. However: “…accusing random people for racism that isn't there…” We’ve already established that Ron Paul, the main topic of this debate and the main target of Soviet’s character assassination, is not a racist. Follow this up with the blanket accusation that CEOs are racist and hypothetically will use the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to discriminate openly. Taking these facts and adding two and two, Soviet was in fact accusing random people of racism that is in fact not there.
I wrote: “FACT: Most Americans are NOT RACIST. A small minority are. There are other and better shadow puppets to keep prisoners chained to the walls of Plato's cave than racism. Please don't call me a damn hypocrite, since I'm neither damned nor a hypocrite.”
I agree with Moderate that people in high paying positions are paid because of knowledge, education, and experience. Most people can pretty well understand that this is a generalization and not an absolute statement. I know that cronyism and inheritances exist, but they account for a minority of positions held in the high paying world. I slightly disagree with him that being racist means being caught doing a racist act. Really, being racist means a person believes that one race is supreme to all the others, or that one particular race is below all the others. We know that Congressman Paul is not a racist, since his writings clearly stress his belief that God created all people as equals. I encourage everyone to research Karl Marx’s writings on the racial trash in Europe.
Part 1 of the dialogue concludes with my defense of Ron Paul’s ideas. I defend the fact that Congressman Paul is “one of the pacifists who would rather see change happen slowly and peacefully—all inclusive—than for it to happen quickly and violently in a sea of bitterness. I'm sorry that such pacifism is inconsistent with revolutionary ideology, but most thinking people don't think the way socialists do.” This is true. The proletarian revolution Marx and Engels write of is not all-inclusive. The proletarian revolution calls for the destruction and dissolution of an economic fiction called the bourgeoisie. What I have yet to hear from any Marxist is the direct admission that destroying and dissolving a group, like the bourgeoisie, realistically means destroying (killing or converting) human beings.
Though Marxists see themselves as elevating all people through revolution, they ignore the fact that many people simply don’t want to be elevated. People will be counter-revolutionary, peasants and workers included, because they either simply disagree with Marxism and don’t wish to live it in their own lives, though they respect the rights of others to live by it, or they believe it is wrong. In either case, they will fight this tyranny of the revolution, and if the revolution is to succeed, these counter-revolutionaries must be destroyed.
Continued in part 2