Friday, December 18, 2009

Howard Zinn Recruits More Dumbies for His Propaganda War by Book

Daniel Flynn always has a level-headed look at his blog at the History News Network at George Mason University. I was skimming through the end of the year mags at the library waiting to pick up my daughter at the doc and the Entertainment Weekly Magazine had an [unintentionally] funny piece on Matt Damon and Josh Brolin planning to read on the History Channel out loud [teleprompter? LARGE PRINT? Phonetically Spelled?] segments of Howard Zinn's Unabridged Marxist Anti-History of the USA---the stuff they don't teach you in high school.

Mainly because it's Marxist lies concocted by worms from an alien universe, or at least their moral equivalent....

Daniel Flynn asks the fundamental question that his job as Executive Director of Accuracy in Media aims at everywhere---why are deliberate distortions of historical facts on which there is a wide consensus so frequently met with in Zinn's writings? Or as Flynn puts it:
Readers of A People’s History of the United States learn very little about history. They do learn quite a bit, however, about Howard Zinn. In fact, the book is perhaps best thought of as a massive Rorschach Test, with the author’s familiar reaction to every major event in American history proving that his is a captive mind long closed by ideology.

Theory First, Facts Second

If you’ve read Marx, there’s really no reason to read Howard Zinn. The first line of The Communist Manifesto provides the single-bullet theory of history that provides Zinn with his narrative thread— “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle.” It is the all-purpose explanation of every subject that Zinn covers. On other hand, why study history when theory has all the answers?

Thumb through A People’s History of the United States and you will find greed as the motivating factor behind every act of those who don’t qualify as “the people” in Zinn’s book. According to Zinn, the separation from Great Britain, the Civil War, and both World Wars all were the result of base motives of the “ruling class” -- rich men to get richer at the expense of others.

But the greed gets zanier and Zinn's mind must be addled by some of that good dope Eddie Vedder and other rock stars slip him which put his imaginative powers into a virtually hallucinagenic warp-speed:
Here we come to the real secret of the commercial success of A People’s History. It is a case of simple ideas for simple minds – a broken record for the tone deaf. When we come to World War I, it sounds very much like the Civil War. “American capitalism needed international rivalry—and periodic war—to create an artificial community of interest between rich and poor,… supplanting the genuine community of interest among the poor that showed itself in sporadic movements.” Yet another conspiracy to distract the proletariat from its destined revolution.

The account of World War II made slightly more interesting by author’s preposterous account of its origins. According to Zinn, suggests that America, not Japan, was to blame for Pearl Harbor, provoking the Empire of the Sun and forcing it to attack us. It’s the devil made them do it theory of history, which is great fallback position of the left when confronted with the imperialistic aggressions of “people of color.” Like the war to end slavery, the fight against fascism was an optical illusion. It was really a struggle by American capitalists to rule the world. Regarding America’s neutrality in the Spanish Civil War, which preceded World War II, Zinn asks: “Was it the logical policy of a government whose main interest was not stopping Fascism but advancing the imperial interests of the United States? For those interests, in the thirties, an anti-Soviet policy seemed best. Later, when Japan and Germany threatened U.S. world interests, a pro-Soviet, anti-Nazi policy became preferable.”

Thus is reality inverted or more accurately twisted. Zinn – a pro-Communist supported Stalin’s monster regime at the time, elides the fact that it was the Soviet Union that pretended to be anti-fascist in Spain, then signed a pact with Hitler and then – when Hitler double-crossed his Communist ally and invaded the Soviet Union became anti-fascist again. The United States was isolationist in 1936 and until Pearl Harbor. But it was always anti-fascist. Zinn projects the Soviet Union’s schizophrenic policies (and his own schizophrenic allegiances) onto America. While the Hitler-Stalin Pact is awkwardly excused, Zinn all but invents a Hitler-Roosevelt Pact to serve his social aims
Yes, you can always wrongfoot a leftie and watch him stumble and lurch to the ground over that Ribbentrop [throw in the Count Herr Von just to rub in ironic strokes of proletarian hypocrisy] and Molotov Pact in August 1939, which even the witless pair Hillary and Barack-O completely forgot about seventy years later when they pulled out the rug under Poland --- not that the witless propagandist media in the USA would say peep except Anne Applegate of the Washington Post , who found it difficult to keep silent since her husband was the Polish Foreign Minister.

But Howard Zinn, ever the faithful Emmanuel Goldman, Howard would have found a way. Just like
“...when the Scottsboro case unfolded in the 1930s in Alabama,” Zinn writes in an even more egregious fit of historical amnesia, “it was the Communist party that had become associated with the defense of these young black men imprisoned, in the early years of the Depression, by southern injustice.” Perhaps the Party had become “associated” with the defense of the Scottsboro Boys, but in reality the Communists merely used the embattled youngsters. Richard Gid Powers points out in Not Without Honor that the Communists had raised $250,000 for the Scottsboro Boys’ defense, but had put-up a scant $12,000 for two appeals. At the time, a black columnist quoted a candid Party official who stated, “we don’t give a damn about the Scottsboro boys. If they burn it doesn’t make any difference. We are only interested in one thing, how we can use the Scottsboro case to bring the Communist movement to the people and win them over to Communism.” As a fellow-traveler, Zinn has the identical view. He is only interested in history so long as it serves as a weapon of socialist ideology.

And sells more of his "textbooks" by fellow-traveller instructors too lazy to think for themselves. Any way, no TIVO for the History Channel and here's a final send-off from Flynn:
“Unemployment grew in the Reagan years,” Zinn claims. Statistics show otherwise. Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent in his first month in office. By January of 1989, the rate had declined to 5.4 percent. Had the Reagan presidency ended in 1982 when unemployment rates exceeded 10 percent, Zinn would have a point. But for the remainder of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment declined precipitously
Not that a simpleton like Damon would know, but Zinn is a chronic serial liar and a P.O.S.

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