The Adolf vs Che debate begun here and continued on Radio NZ yesterday is going on in the States at the moment too -- but with much higher stakes, and at the same time much less lather.
In NZ it was silly boys saluting Nazi symbols, for which they were castigated up hill and down, and (by contrast) the Victoria University Students Association who got a free pass for their poster of Che in the meeting room in which they squelched a democratic vote on making association membership voluntary.
In the States it’s much more serious, but from little things big things grow. In the States it’s one of Obama’s four top advisers who, it turns out, is a Maoist. Enter Anita Dunn, , who is not just an admirer of Chairman Mao, but someone who considers him one of her “two favorite political philosophers.” And not just someone who considers him one of her “two favorite political philosophers,” but someone who tells a high-school commencement class that before quoting him approvingly:
“. . . the third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers Mao Tse-tung and Mother Teresa, not often coupled with each other, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is you're going to make choices, you're going to challenge, you're going to say why not…. In 1947, when Mao Tse-tung was being challenged within his own party on his plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-Shek and the nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army, they had the air force, they had everything on their side and people said, "How can you win, how can you do this, how can you do this, how can you do this against all of the odds against you?" And Mao Tze Tung said, "You fight your war and I'll fight mine."’ [Dunn's remarks appear in this online video.]
For those remarks, Ms Dunn is not getting the arse-kicking she deserves. She’s not even getting the sort of reaction those silly Auckland Grammar boys got. Fact is, Fox aside, she’s getting nothing at all but support. She’s got a free pass, leading George Reisman to ask:
“My question is, Where is the outcry against Anita Dunn? Her remarks were not limited to a casual comment that had vicious implications. Rather they constituted a prolonged, blatantly explicit, and far more fundamental endorsement of an incalculably worse person and program than did those of Trent Lott. She has dared to say that one of her "favorite political philosophers" is one of the greatest mass murderers in the history of the world, a man whose takeover of China was responsible for as many as 70 million deaths during his reign. She has dared to present the words of this monster as a source of inspiration to youth!
“Perhaps she would like to rephrase her remarks. Perhaps she would like to substitute Adolf Hitler for Mao Tse-tung. Perhaps she would like to say something like this:
‘"In the days when the Führer was being challenged even within his own party on his plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe, the Jews and their allies controlled many major businesses, they controlled many major banks, they owned many major newspapers and magazines. They were protected by the rule of law, by trial by jury, and by laws against robbery, kidnapping, and murder. They had everything on their side and people said to Hitler, 'How can you win, how can you do this, how can you do this against all of the odds against you?' And Hitler said, 'You fight your war and do your destruction and I'll fight mine and do my destruction.'"
“If the United States had an honest press and media, one committed to the principle of individual rights, their outrage would drive Anita Dunn out of Washington, D.C., just by hurling her words back at her. They would make her such a "hot potato" that no one would dare to defend her in her infamy.”
The same double standard I was arguing about yesterday is there in spades in the States, wouldn’t you say. Looks like according to the prevailing “cultural film” not all totalitarian monsters are equal. Looks like some are more equal than others.