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Paul T Horgan: The Guardian’s memories of the 1930s are highly selective


According to The Guardian, we are re-living the 1930s. But only because of Donald Trump.

The Left is blaming its serial reverses over the past two years on the rise of ‘populism’. It seems to define populism as a form of politics that appeal to the gut and the heart, but not to the head. They do not regard their socialistic, collectivist, bigoted world-view in the same way. Of course, it does not accept that the current crop of left-wing politicians are rather woeful. To the Left, it cannot be that their policies do not have any answers to the current global and political problems. And yet for some reason, voters around the world are rejecting surrender to terrorism, greater state control, and the use of the printing-press to try and buy a way out of economic problems.  For rejecting Ed Miliband, for leaving the EU and for electing Donald Trump, voters are not understood by the Left. Instead they are abused. Democracy, says the Left, is to be blamed..

The Guardian has a longish piece about the 1930s posted today on its site, which draws parallels between the demagogic dictators of the day and Donald Trump. Apparently, ‘scholars of the period are still hearing the insistent beep of their early warning systems’.  When they draw this parallel, they conveniently forget that Trump is the head of but one of the three branches of state and is constrained by the checks and balances to power in the American constitution.

However, The Guardian is highly selective in its portrayal of the 1930s. The article makes no mention whatsoever of Stalin’s purges which killed hundreds of thousands of innocents and severely weakened his country. Experienced and competent Soviet officers were executed because of Stalin’s paranoid imagination. As a result, the USSR was almost knocked out of World War II by its former ally Nazi Germany.  About five months after the Wehrmacht invasion, German soldiers arrived at the outskirts of Moscow. An evacuation of Moscow would likely have resulted in the fall of Stalin and a humiliating armistice.

The Guardian article also makes no mention of the Ukrainian Holocaust, where Stalin engineered a famine that killed millions.  Nor indeed is there coverage of the Soviet system of slave labour.  Further, it does not mention the Japanese invasion of China or the atrocities committed there by a country in thrall to a barbaric martial culture that seems to resemble Daesh. These are as much a part of the 1930s as the blackshirts.

Instead, The Guardian tries to make this all about the rise of fascism, implying that this is happening all over again. But then, this is all the discredited Left can do these days.

Socialism is and always has been the politics of plunder. It is a parasite that thrives in comfortable economic times, as this is the only period that it can feed. It is no surprise that Blair’s government prospered during the relatively benign economic climate. New Labour lived off the revenue generated by an under-regulated financial sector that over-lent to create the taxable profits Labour needed. However, as soon as the economic weather soured and the loans turned bad, voters kicked Labour out of office at the first opportunity.

Ed Miliband had no good answers about how to govern in a deep financial crisis. He failed to account for Gordon Brown leaving UK the worst-prepared to deal with the global financial crisis. Miliband has now been replaced by a leader who believes that Marx’s oft-prophesied ‘crisis of capitalism’ has happened and it is now time for communism to take over. No-one, certainly not the voters of Copeland, believes that.

And this perhaps explains why The Guardian and the Left generally are shouting from the rooftops. It is because they style themselves as the sole public defenders against an ever-incipient ‘fascism’. Forcibly shorn of any other credibility, it is only this fiction that remains to attract voters.

None of the economic and social policies of the Left hold any attraction to mainstream voters any more, especially those voters the Left persist in denouncing. There is a ‘rise of fascism’ only because the Left says so, and nothing more. Instead what is being experienced is a popular reaction against the Left’s failures to address the growing threat of Islamist terrorism, which the Left failed to do because they believed doing so would be racist, or because Islamists and the Left are in fact natural allies. There is also a public exhaustion over never-ending political correctness that shuts down discourse as racist, sexist, homophobic, and now, transphobic. Freedom of expression is under threat from the Left, not from fascists.

The Guardian’s article makes no mention of Islamism. This is despite Islamism being the closest to fascism in our time.

This selective blindness by The Guardian seeks to romanticise politics by making people believe that they are players in the middle of a political drama. They are not. This is real life, not some edited 20th Century fantasy politics. This is not the 1930s all over again. This is the 2010s. The world is different and new. The Guardian and its politics are stuck in the past. And so is the Left.

(Image: Bryantbob)

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Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan worked in the IT Sector. He lives in Berkshire.

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