Part I of VI: Beck’s Countless Lies about America & the Founding Fathers
By Marcus Winter, Farabundo Morazán and Ismail LaLanne
On January 22nd 2010, another hardened reactionary tried to attack the history of leftism and Marxism and (surprise) managed to bring nothing new to the table at all. Shock jock Glenn Beck, an admitted alcoholic and former cocaine addict, has made a career out of appealing to the most lunatic fringe of the right-wing. Even so, this week he finally managed to outdo himself, even after the time he said Obama was “a racist” and had a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” Revolutionary Holocaust: Live Free or Die begins oddly—with white X-Files font letters against a crackling static background. What this has to do with or why this is the least bit appropriate for the subject matter Beck tackles is anyone’s guess. As we shall see though, this is symbolic for the entire presentation, which, while clever, is the same hodgepodge of anti-communist views that we have all seen and heard a thousand times before.
A good question for Glenn Beck: why is such radical anti-communism necessary today if communism is discredited, dead, and buried? If communism is supposedly dead in the water, a footnote of history, and so on, and if capitalism is truly the greatest system, then why is it that we are facing a wave of anti-communist hysteria not seen since the Cold War? Mr. Beck, it might do you well to remember that hysteria and desperation are signs of weakness…and liars.
No matter how hard he tries, Glenn Beck cannot sell his line about how “this story has never been told.” Horror stories about communism have been told since before communists ever came to power in the first place. The opening of the secret Soviet archives actually reveals that these claims were in fact ridiculously exaggerated, not worse, than previously claimed.
So, what are his intentions here? Many things all at once—among them licking the boots of the bourgeoisie and re-packaging old and debunked lies. We shall tackle them one by one using our own sources and information. The complete transcript of Beck’s program is available here until further notice: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583732,00.html.
Because of the length of his program, we have decided to break this presentation up into several parts. For right now, we will content ourselves with refuting the introduction to his program.
We invite you to stay tuned for a little series of our own.
Glenn Beck’s allegedly “groundbreaking” exposé of “progressives,” whom he conveniently lumps together, is by no means new or groundbreaking at all. Revolutionary Holocaust seeks to establish a link between Joseph Stalin and communism on one side, and Adolf Hitler and Nazism on the other. While doing this it also seeks to talk about the reign of Mao Zedong in China, along with a segment about liberal icon Che Guevara.
This same “thesis” of fascism and communism being almost exactly the same or at least sharing fundamental similarities, has been repeated for us endlessly since we were kids. For Beck to champion this as a “new and groundbreaking” idea is either foolish or stunningly arrogant. It has been the dominant narrative shoved down our throats since the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism in 1951 by Hannah Arendt. For a closer look at this laughable “theory,” look here: http://theredphoenix.wordpress.com/2009/09…otalitarianism/
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, & Slave-Owning Freedom
The video begins with Glenn Beck praising the United States of America and its associated American Dream. “The story of America,” he pines, staring into the camera with his intellectual glasses on, “is really one of self-reliance and optimism, and profound faith.” He continues to milk this image for all its worth, bringing up the merits of the US Constitution and the Founding Fathers.
Glenn Beck has willfully ignored the history of the American Revolution. The spirit of the American Founding Fathers is only a myth and not a reality.
First, the Constitution of the United States was not set up by “the” people or any sort of popular democracy, but by financial autocrats. White males with property were the only ones allowed to vote under the system that men such as George Washington (the richest man in America), James Madison (owned enormous slave plantations), John Hancock (a rich merchant), Benjamin Franklin (a wealthy printer) and others aimed to set up. Of the 55 men who gathered to write the Constitution in 1787, most were lawyers and men of enormous wealth, making their fortunes in landowning, slave trading, manufacturing or shipping. Half loaned money out for interest, 40 held government bonds.
Regarding the writing of the Constitution:
“The manufacturers needed protective tariffs; the moneylenders wanted to stop the use of paper money to pay off debts; the land speculators wanted protection as they invaded Indian lands; slaveowners needed federals security against slave revolts and runaways; bondholders wanted a government able to raise money by nationwide taxation, to pay off those bonds” (1).
Governments are not neutral. They reflect the economic interests of the dominant class, expressed in America as men such as the Founding Fathers. The Constitution protects “life, liberty, or property” and little else in reality. Women, Blacks, Indians and poor whites were not mentioned, but the defense of private property was.
The clause about the “freedom of speech” was soon enough violated, as it is today, by clauses such as the Sedition Act of 1789, which was a response to the French and Irish Revolutions. It forbid under law the practice of writing or saying anything “false, scandalous and malicious” against the United States government, the Congress or the President. It is not immediately apparent that anyone’s “liberty” should be left to a government run by the rich and powerful.
Despite this, Beck says that “[…] those seeking a different path than the ones the founders settled on realized the only way to really defeat the Constitution was for the people to stop reading it.” He then insists that the Constitution, through its supposed system of check and balances, “kept dogs at bay” for 200 years. Despite this Utopian dream, the Founding Fathers were not men seeking a “balance” in society, and certainly didn’t believe that all men were created equal. If they wanted any sort of balance, it was between the wealthy, and not between such groups as Indians and whites, blacks and whites, men and women, boss and worker, or rich and poor, slave and slaveowner, and certainly not property owner and the propertyless.
In the next part of the series, we shall see how Glenn Beck uses the story of Nazi Germany and WWII to further his own ends, and ends up whitewashing Nazi crimes in order to attack the USSR.
1) Zinn, Howard. Peoples’ History of the United States, page 91.