Friday, February 19, 2016

J. Arthur Bloom: The Socialist Party And The Old Right

Some might find the Koch's brothers finding common ground with Bernie Sanders a little odd, but the Old Right and American Socialists have shared platforms many times in the past. Here's a Getty Image of one such moment,
 UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Chief participants in anti-war rally in Madison Square Garden pledge allegiance to American flag. Senator Wheeler, Charles A. Lindbergh, novelist Kathleen Norris, and Socialist leader Norman Thomas (l. to r.), salute flag with old Nazi arm salute. (Photo by Charles Hoff/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
And here's from J. Arthor Bloom's piece on the The Socialist Party And The Old Right
I’d like to close with a final anecdote about one of my favorite libertarian women, Vivian Kellems, founder of a cable grip company who courageously fought income tax withholding, saying if the government wanted to turn her into a tax collector, they “have to pay me, and I want a badge.” In 1950 this quintessential capitalist ran for senate in Connecticut, sharing an independent ticket with the Socialist mayor of Bridgeport, Jasper McLevy. When asked about the contradiction, she replied:
The Connecticut Socialist Party is far to the right of both the Republican and Democratic Parties. . … I am no Socialist, I am an American. Jasper McLevy is also an American, a truly great one. He and I stand for the same things – direct primaries, economy in government, lower taxes, and an active political role for women.
65 years later, we are still ruled by the same duocracy Kellems and McLevy put aside their differences to oppose, and next year we will in all likelihood face another non-choice between two big-government, pro-war candidates. Jack’s book is, among other things, a look back into the days when a republican alternative was not a formless nostalgia, but a living tradition which gave the war party a run for their money, and may even have prevailed had history not intervened. Today the same tradition lies abused and neglected, a frame without flesh. It falls to the next generation, God willing, to make those old bones stand and walk again.
Those well meaning people in that picture naively using a Nazi salute in the pledge of allegience to the United States ought to give some pause about fleshing out those old bones. Fact's America's been here before though and Radicals and Conservatives sometimes unite in opposition to Liberalism. It's not unusual at all.

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