Monday, August 11, 2008

Listening to the other side

“A liberal anti-Communist, Morton Wishengrad . . . [used] “a pseudo-documentary style” “for his program on the American Communist party that aired in August 1948.

“’Communism – U.S. Brand’ tells the story of a young party recruit who helps commandeer a chemical factory union, then moves on to organize seemingly well-intentioned political action groups that bamboozle liberals into supporting the Soviet line. For the most part the program avoided melodrama and instead presented its case in a subdued, thoughtful manner, an approach that The New York Times radio critic Jack Gould described as ‘brilliantly successful and provocative.’ Others were less impressed. More than that, they were outraged. Writing in the New Republic, Saul Carson took the program to ask for overstating its case and complained that the Communists were not allowed to tell their side of the story. Wishengrad later pointed out that this begged the question: if he had written an anti-Nazi show, should the Nazis have been allowed a rebuttal?”

Should the Nazis have been allowed to voice their views in the American media during the Second World War? My opinion is that they should not and neither should the Communists; although the Communists fared much better in our media than the Nazis as we know. In retrospect we know that the heinousness of Stalinism was as reprehensible as that of Hitler, but there were a lot of Americans who didn’t know that or didn’t think so and one of the big reasons they didn’t is that a lot of people in our media were presenting them favorably. If you allow an enemy to present his views in our media; then some percentage of our population is going to be favorably influenced by what they say. Can we always afford that?

I read David Everitt’s A Shadow of Red, Communism and the Blacklist in Radio and Television. The Communists had and still have supporters in the U.S. I’ve head modern day pro-Communists defend their views by saying that Stalin betrayed the revolution and things would have been much better if Trotsky had won out. I’ve heard others say that they are Marxians or modern Marxists and that they reject “Stalinism,” but when they talk they sound just like the old Communists. Our Leftists have a great love for Communism and near-Communism, and our nation has suffered as a result. Whenever we have a war to advance American’s self-interest, they oppose it, and it isn’t hard to understand why. Since they have a Communist orientation, they oppose everything America stands for and want America to become what Communist Russia should have become.

Our Leftists would resent the comparison of Communism to Fascism. They argue that we should hear Communist speakers and writers because they represent an interesting, alternate viewpoint. But then why not listen to the Nazis? Lots of people found their ideas interesting, and perhaps the reason not so many today think so is that they were denied a voice in the American media.

And now we are faced with a similar concern. Do we want Jihadism being taught in our Media in America today? Lots of those on the Left think that we should. Let us hear what they have to say, they say. And yet the Jihadist views, or even the so-called respectable non-lethal Islamism (that likes the goals of Jihadism but not its methods) is far closer to the Fascism of old than the Communism that Leftist nostalgically long after.

Let us apply the Mothers Against Drunk Driving social engineering to the Jihadist message. If we allow it without restriction, some percentage will become influenced. A certain number of Americans will take up the Jihadist cause. Can we afford for all those incipient Jihadists to be driving around drunkenly in our society .08% inebriated with Sayyid Qutb Jihadism? I say no. Let the Jihadists publish books. Let anyone who wants to read them. A certain level of intelligence is required to read a serious book. That level is not required to watch a TV program or a movie. A certain number of those, who still need lots of guidance, will watch pro-Jihadist programs and be influenced – if we allow the Jihadists (and their Leftists supporters) in our society to do whatever they like.

Lawrence Helm

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