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The phrase "American Taliban" has been around for a while; but it has never gotten much traction because of the corporate media's unwillingness to recognize that non-Muslim religions can also have ideological agendas, which are almost always right-wing.

So, I propose a new metaphor for the bloodthirsty, cruel, and increasingly deranged right wing cadres, funded by the Koch Brothers, who are waging a civil war against the American government, the American worker, American women, and American minorities: the Amer Rouge. The Amer Rouge is the rightwing equivalent of the "fundamentalist communist" Khmer Rouge.  'Amer' for a nation reference; 'Rouge' since they live within the Red State boundaries of the GOP. (Another virtue: three syllables instead of seven for AT.) The Amer Rouge takes the inverted Marxism of the hard core financial fundamentalist to an extreme, and adds Christianist theocracy to the mix.

More on the resemblance to the Khmer Rouge below the orange napalm splash.

The Khmer Rouge described itself as "Maoist", not Marxist; but this did not mean it was a puppet of or even aligned with Communist China...The Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) , better known as the Khmer Rouge, was driven by a "fundamentalist" communist ideology - Marxism as interpreted by Mao Zedong - rather than by allegiance to an established communist power...the Khmer Rouge put a fanatical adherence to ideology before any consideration of humanity.

- Alan Axelrod, The Real History of the Cold War: A New Look at the Past

Have we not seen the inhumanity of the Amer Rouge, as they refuse Federal payments and shutdown Medicare, Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood on the grounds that the poor are "able bodied", and hence not in need of medical care? Haven't people already died for their despicable policies?

Is not their absolute unwillingness to compromise, even in the face of losing the election, a mark of fanatics and fundamentalists? Are they not engaged in scorched earth tactics against taxes, unions and women wherever they win an election: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida? Is not such fanaticism un-American? Just as the Khmer Rouge put their Maoist "stone age communism" of self-sufficient rice farming into practice where they gained control, the Amer Rouge have put their "stone age capitalism" of primitive accumulation into practice. The orthodox (i.e., somewhat less fanatical) capitalists allow them to do this because stone age capitalism destroys resistance to Wall St. domination.
 

These (leaders of the CPK) were perhaps the most educated leaders in the history of Asian communism. Two of them, Khieu Samphan and Hou Yuon, earned doctorates from the University of Paris...In retrospect, it seems unlikely that these talented members of the elite...could launch the bloodiest and most radical revolution in modern Asian history. Most came from landowner or civil servant families.

Khmer Rouge

While most of the Amer Rouge cadre are bone-ignorant thugs and religiously-indoctrinated zampolits with an overlay of brutal cleverness, the leadership of the Amer Rouge has a few highly-educated fanatics. Case in point, Harvard-educated Grover Norquist - an extremist of the first magnitude. Also, someone thought Tom Coburn was educated enough to become an M.D. Of course, no one ever accused fanatics of being rational about their own contradictory class origins.
The Khmer Rouge's ideology was based on an extreme version of Khmer nationalism and xenophobia...Their ideology was also influenced by colonial French education, which posited Khmers as "Aryans among Asians"...The Khmer Rouge explicitly targeted the Chinese, Vietnamese, and even their partially Khmer offspring for extinction; although the Cham Muslims were treated unfavorably, they were encouraged to "mix flesh and blood", to intermarry and assimilate. Some people with partial Chinese or Vietnamese ancestry were present in the Khmer Rouge leadership; as in the Soviet Union, they either were purged or participated in the ethnic cleansing campaigns.

- Wikipedia

The Amer Rouge have a nativist, xenophobic, and racist program similar to the Khmer Rouge. Their constant demonization of Moslems, minorities, and homosexuals would certainly escalate to execution if they came to power. Witness their funding and verbal support for kill-the-gays laws in Africa.
The Khmer Rouge government arrested, tortured and eventually executed anyone suspected of belonging to several categories of supposed "enemies":

Professionals and intellectuals – in practice this included almost everyone with an education, or even English-speaking people or people wearing glasses (which, according to the regime, meant that they were literate). Paradoxically, Pol Pot himself was a university-educated man (albeit a drop-out) with a taste for French literature and was also a fluent French speaker. Many artists, including musicians, writers and filmmakers were executed.

Ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Chinese, ethnic Thai and other minorities in Eastern Highland, Cambodian Christians (most of whom were Catholic, and the Catholic Church in general), Muslims and the Buddhist monks. The Roman Catholic cathedral of Phnom Penh was razed. The Khmer Rouge forced Muslims to eat pork, which they regard as forbidden (ḥarām). Many of those who refused were killed. Christian clergy and Muslim imams were executed...

"Economic saboteurs" – many former urban dwellers were deemed guilty due to their lack of agricultural ability.

- Wikipedia

The brutality directed towards anyone with an ounce of intellect was the trademark of the Khmer Rouge. They killed people for the "sin" of having a pair of eyeglasses. They hated anyone with education. This is exactly the attitude of the Amer Rouge. Attempting to reason with them will get you marked as an enemy of their state.

But they are not only financial fanatics; they are also religious nutcases. They have been infiltrating the military - note the West Point cadet who quit over religious bullying this week and the many scandals at the Air Force Academy.

The Christianist ideology of the Amer Rouge is a sick hijacking of Christianity in worship of Wall St. greed. The mixture of religious nuttery backed by Wall St. money should scare the crap out of any small-d democrat in this country.

Although a radical movement, the Khmer Rouge also drew on the idioms of Cambodian Buddhist culture... Rather than maintaining a bureaucracy based on names and reputation, the Khmer Rouge also used charismatic leadership that is characteristic of Buddhist societies.

- Wikipedia

The Amer Rouge use Christian idioms to talk about their radical Christianist agenda. The Dominionist theocrats at the heart of their movement are also very big on charismatic leadership.
The Khmer Rouge's social policy focused on working towards a purely agrarian society.  The evacuation of the cities disproportionately affected Chinese and Vietnamese, who were unused to agricultural work, segregated from Khmers in labor camps, and forbidden to speak their own language or practice non-Khmer religion.

- Wikipedia

The Amer Rouge has the same pathological hatred of education, urbanism, and modernity as the Khmer Rouge. The sneering at effete, Eastern liberals is but a publicly acceptable face over a seething, murderous hatred for anyone with an ounce of intellectual accomplishment or tolerance of diversity.

The Amer Rouge is a fanatical, fundamentalist capitalist cadre, funded by cynical bums like the Koch Brothers. The purpose of the Amer Rouge is to destabilize the American government and pave the way for a takeover by Wall St. capitalists.  In today's world of multi-national corporations, Wall St. domination,  and multi-billion dollar semiconductor fabs, their Norman Rockwell vision of a nation of self-sufficient small-businessmen is as idiotically unrealistic as Khmer Rouge rice farming.

But the intolerant fanaticism of the Amer Rouge is so un-American, one must ask how America has come to this low state.

Nixon...dropped more bombs on rural Cambodia than had been dropped on Japan in WW2, killling at least three-quarters of a million Cambodian peasants and helping legitimize the murderous Khmer Rouge movement under Pol Pot...without the US government's Vietnam-era savagery, he could never have come to power in a culture like Cambodia's, just as Mao's uneducated peasant radicals would never have gained legitimacy in a normal Chinese context without the disruption and depravity of the Japanese war.

- Chalmers Johnson,  Blowback

IMHO, just as the American carpet bombing of Cambodia was the biggest recruiting tool for the Khmer Rouge, the de-industrialization/offshoring/destruction of American manufacturing and the middle class is the biggest recruiting tool for the anti-government Amer Rouge. That might sound contradictory until you understand that the rightwing media bubble has blamed all of the fundamentalist capitalist destruction on the government, on unions, or on minority "moochers", instead of on the fundamentalist capitalists.

A lot of Americans have been recruited to the Amer Rouge by the industrial devastation of the last thirty years. They have been so brainwashed they don't recognize that the China which received all the looted industry is the largest Communist government on the planet. They don't blame greedy bastards like Bain Capital. They blame the liberals who have been trying to do something about the situation.

I really have to hand it to the fundamentalist capitalist propaganda team. They have stood reality on its head for thirty years; and they have bled America like a Kosher steer. They have enabled the murderous fundamentalism of the Amer Rouge.

----

I'm sure someone will find this diary over the top. Fine with me. I would rather be overwrought about a looming dystopia that doesn't come to pass than oblivious to one that does. These people are dangerous fanatics, and the underlying health of our democracy is so damaged that they could take power (can you say 47% of the vote for that transparent looter/loser Romney?).

History points to similar national suicides by fundamentalism, and the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is way too tolerant of the Amer Rouge ideology for confidence. The steady flow of statements by DINOs putting Medicare and Medicaid on the table despite their overwhelming electoral victory is a sign of the rot in our party. Make no mistake, we continue to be in an ideological civil war. The fact that the election is over has changed nothing. The GOP continue pretty much as before. The corporate media repeats the lie that the budget crisis was caused by the little guy, who deserves to pay for it. The Koch Brothers and Adelson continue to spend heavily, continue to rape states like Michigan.

I am done with being polite to the GOP. Its high time someone called them out as the fundamentalist fanatics that they are.

 

Originally posted to ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not a hit-and-run diary, just bedtime. back in AM. (7+ / 0-)

    n/t

    •  arendt - I predict Amer Rouge (9+ / 0-)

      will be as wildly popular as "American Taliban", although American Taliban may have never had any traction because people thought it was a reference to John Walker Lindh.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:56:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Recommended Reading (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aaa T Tudeattack

      Personal accounts.

      Cambodia

      A Cambodian Odyssey by Haing Ngor

      Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor

      Vietnam

      The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh

      I incude the last, a difficult book (needs at least 2 reads because of the narrative), but one worth reading to understand this war in personal terms. On my first visit to Vietnam in 1992, I bought a dog-eared water-stained copy from a hawker outside the war museum in Hanoi, which was then just a large room full of war artifacts tended by some old docents. Back in my hotel I read it cover to cover in one night. Just a story about a boy who went to war.

      Probably you know of Haing Ngor as he gained notoriety as a lead actor in the film The Killing Fields, but have you read his books? Regrettably, he ended the victim of a senseless shooting, a terrible way for such a brave man to die.

      Anyway, these put more human face on the topic than Wikipedia.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:01:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love it. /nt (6+ / 0-)

    Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

    by jan4insight on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:21:17 PM PST

  •  Spot-on analogy and great addition to lexicon. (17+ / 0-)

    "Free market fundamentalism" is a brutally-imposed social experiment that has failed catastrophically not once, not twice, but three times in as many decades in this country, but every time its priests and practitioners just get more deranged in their convictions, and more committed to violently demonizing and punishing anyone who either stands in its way or lives as proof that it doesn't work.  These people are pure evil, and we know exactly what kind of actions they're headed toward.

    In Roviet Union, money spends YOU!

    by Troubadour on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:29:04 PM PST

  •  Hatriots works, too (17+ / 0-)

    you are correct.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:50:22 PM PST

  •  conjures images of the killing fields......... (5+ / 0-)
  •  I love it, your analysis is spot-on, BUT (11+ / 0-)

    I'm afraid it's a bit too cerebral for a large portion of the population -- especially the low-into troglodytes -- to understand, let alone comprehend.  It sounds too "foreign."  Hell, my guess is that a good many monolingual Americans with no experience with, or interest in, anything outside the Good Ol' U. S. of A will think it's some weird kind of make-up or something!  As for the "Amer" allusion to the Khmer, few under 45 will have the foggiest notion what it might refer to.  Most are so uneducated that these subtleties will be completely lost.  (It's also hard to pronounce, of course!  Oy vay!)

    -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

    by GulfExpat on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:28:54 AM PST

  •  Social Arsonists is what I have been (9+ / 0-)

    calling them, bur I like Amer Rouge much better.

  •  Well, a new moniker is in order. (10+ / 0-)

    The words "right" and "religious" need to be discarded. "Fundamental" too. Because antagonism towards one's own kind to the point of destruction for a failure to comply with demands is not basic. Antagonism towards one's own kind, as exhibited by Cain, is an aberration, a flaw. Which, of course, is why Cain was banished, rather than struck dead on the spot in revenge. Killing one's own kind is a no-no.
    "Fundamental fanaticism," on the other hand is an oxymoron. Fanatics are deranged; not basic or stolid. A phrase which cancels itself out is meaningless and, ultimately, deceptive.
    One problem with the word "American" when we apply it just to the U.S. is that it implicitly insults all of the people's of the Americas.  Why should all the other residents of the western hemisphere be tarnished by the bad behavior of a small percentage of the Americanos del Norte?  Also, "rouge," a French word, had relevance in a part of the world where resentment of colonial influence was still strong and meaningful. Red, as the color for U.S. citizens (people who can vote, a valid distinction) who apparently have a strong preference for the status quo, is problematic. They may think of themselves as red-blooded Americans (certainly not red men) or appreciate being first in the enumeration of "red, white and blue," but the color assignment is largely a matter of the map-makers and pollsters' convenience. Red as a descriptive word makes more sense on the European continent where significant populations actually have red or reddish hair.
    Then there is the matter that the residents of an area who apparently prefer the status quo are largely recently arrived. Texas, Arizona and Florida are full of people who moved from somewhere else. So, the concentration of people who are seemingly content to be represented by Cons is a consequence of self-selection. "Birds of a feather flock together." Self-centered, clueless people who can be persuaded to buy a pig in a poke apparently do the same. Many of these people were lured to leave home so they could be exploited. It was a strategy, this effort, as Greenspan explained, to "liberate the equity" people had built up in their homes "for the market," that differs little from a cattle drive to deliver the herd to the slaughterhouse.  The exploitation, which I refer to as "human husbandry" and which comes in a variety of flavors, depending on whether it's the elderly or the young or the captive or the migrant that's to be used up or abused, just takes longer and the end tends to be less humane. Our "fungible troops" are not unique. The designation of our own kind as "resources" is evidence of a shared perception by the Cons that exploitation of their own kind is a kinder/gentler response than killing them outright when they fail to comply with their authoritarian directives. The Cons are authoritarians. But, that word is too long to serve as a convenient moniker. Besides, there is some confusion occasioned by the fact that authors create and skilled people are recognized as having authority. Authoritarians just pretend. Their claim to authority relies on deception, based on skills they don't have. Which is why they are Cons.
    Confidence men
    Confederates
    Conspirators
    Connivers
    Contractors

    The Uncle Cons. That their influence is centered on the former confederate states is probably not a coincidence. As I said, the residents have self-selected. Self-directed, generous liberals have moved out and self-centered stingy people have moved in. What makes people stingy? Given that some very rich people continue to exhibit that trait, I suspect it springs from a feeling do insecurity -- an inability to understand how throwing one's bread upon the water will bring it back many fold. People who think the world turns on their demand can't understand that it is generosity which actually keeps them fed. Perhaps it is just a matter of them not getting what's up first, what comes second and what's last.
    Willard Romney is perhaps a good example. He thought he'd been elected when he decided to take the job. Like Dubya, he had to learn that deciding is not all it takes. Thank goodness, this time around the electorate made that clear at the start. Letting the Uncle Cons wallow in their delusions is disastrous. Letting them have a turn making decisions for the rest of us is worse. Sometimes it is not good to be generous.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:19:24 AM PST

  •  Nay. (5+ / 0-)

    Because it trivializes the atrocities the Khmer Rouge perpetrated against Cambodian society and is hardly finished business.

    Perhaps you should consider that Cambodians, including the refugees that settled in the USA would find this offensive and that it could trigger horrible memories for people trying to get past it and move on with life.

    Really bad advertising strategy for progressive ideas.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:06:34 AM PST

    •  Or it might be a warning that resonates... (4+ / 0-)

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:08:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing in the diary seems the least bit (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arendt, Eyesbright, Calfacon, Sandino

      disrespectful toward Cambodian victims of the Khmer Rouge.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:21:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It trivializes genocide (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        The diarist's arguments are a stretch.

        Would you really compare the Tea Party movement to the genocide of more than a million people?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:44:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  45,000 unnecessary medical deaths a year (5+ / 0-)

          for ten years is half a million dead.

          Then toss in the suicides and suicide by drugs, drink, cops.

          Just because the violence plays out one person at a time doesn't make it any less murderous.

          They have looted our entire country. Looted our factories, stolen our jobs, run away with our pensions and retirement savings.

          In that situation, people lose heart, people despair, people want to die.

          Do not limit this to the Tea Party. The entire GOP has hated everything decent about America for decades. The result of that hatred is a country on the downswing. A formerly great country that is circling the economic drain.

          Tell me again how I am stretching the damage done to this formerly first-world country of 300 million compared to that of a third world country of what, 10 million?

          Are.you.blind?

          •  Are.you.a.moral.idiot? (0+ / 0-)

            Let me start by suggesting that >10% of the American public have not been put into death camps, tortured and violently murdered, and if you don't understand the difference you need to visit Cambodia and look at the cute little piles of bones. It makes a very clever meme, no?

            If you would like to indict Americans for genocide, study the history of the American west or various and sundry wars where it bombed the crap out of folks with funny sounding names, including a fair number of Cambodians.

            But appropriating Cambodian's national tragedy as you suggest is really offensive on multiple levels, particularly when the families of victims are still living.

            BTW, did you notice Obama won?

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:20:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm doing absolute numbers, you're doing % (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino, Dirtandiron

              Is this really worth fighting about?

              Potentially one million Americans are prematurely dead thanks to the GOP, and you are splitting hairs about whether or not to call that genocide? Which, BTW, is not the main point of my analogy. The main point is "fundamentalist capitalist fanatics".

              Are you Cambodian? You take on all this moral authority - FROM WHERE?

              Not one commenter on this thread has self-identified as Cambodian. There is no evidence for your position except your outraged posturing. So why don't you reveal how you have become such an authority on how the Cambodians feel about what happened to them?

              As for "appropriating Cambodia's tragedy", how the hell did I do that? I pointed out that they had a bunch of fanatical ideologues who ruined their country, and that we were facing similar fanatical ideologues and better watch out.

              This is "appropriating their tragedy"? What overblown crapola.

              I have already commented in this thread about our genocide of the Indians. And the bombing of Cambodia was in the OP. Your breathless objections here are totally out of proportion. Why don't you take a time out.

              •  No, I'm Chinese (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                soaglow

                And I would not like the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward or the Nanjing Massacre trivialized or appropriated by others as a clever slogan, so it's not difficult for me to imagine how this would be received by Cambodians, particularly the survivors of the victims (who are victims too).

                This is not some remote historical event in the distant past, the wounds are still open.

                And BTW, I have been to Cambodia (and Vietnam) and seen the results of this tragic chapter in their history, including the results of American bombers. Do you have any shame about that? I invite you to go and take a look.

                "overblown crappola"?  That label could be applied to your thesis which is really a stretch.

                Lastly, you might give some thought to the effect slogans that demonize others, for example, the slogans used by the Khmer Rouge in their campaigns.

                This type of objectification does not elevate the political dialogue and often facilitates exactly the sort of thuggishness you seem to warning against.

                In fact, what outsiders find troubling about current American politics is the polarization and dumbing-down of political discourse and you might want to consider your own contribution to that.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:51:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  For example: (0+ / 0-)

                  A: "Socialist!"

                  B: "Fascist!"

                  A: "Nazi!"

                  B: "Khmer Rouge!"

                  Brilliant. That solves the problem.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:17:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Of course I am ashamed of American militarism (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino, IreGyre, Dirtandiron

                  I'm a left winger. I demonstrated against the Indochina war. I'm with Eisenhower that every dollar spent on guns is money we don't spend on our citizens.

                  But I have yet to hear any Cambodian object to what I said, because I said that out of respect for what happened to them; and I said it so that it would not happen to this formerly great country.

                  Thank you very much for giving me some background. It helps. I would point out to you that Communist China supported the KR:

                  China "armed and trained" the Khmer Rouge during the civil war and continued to aid them years afterward.

                  - Wikipedia

                  Do you feel shame about that? Just asking.

                  Where do you get that referring to a historical event "trivializes" or "hijacks" or "steals" it? Are you saying that I have to get permission (from whom?) to refer to historical events?

                  The need for documentary film makers to get copyright releases for famous pictures and video has sent the cost of making documentaries out of sight. It has essentially privatized the market in documentary history to only those who can pay the copyright fees. Are you advocating the same thing for historical facts? Do I have to pay a fee to refer to the Khmer Rouge? Is it one fee for all references or one fee for genocide, another fee for their military activities, another fee for when the Vietnamese attacked them?

                  Do you get my point? You are advocating privatizing history.

                  Lastly, you might give some thought to the effect slogans that demonize others, for example, the slogans used by the Khmer Rouge in their campaigns.

                  This type of objectification does not elevate the political dialogue and often facilitates exactly the sort of thuggishness you seem to warning against.

                  But I used no such slogans of the KR. I have no idea what they were. What kind of "objectification" of what exact thing are you referring to? I am clueless. Honestly.
                  In fact, what outsiders find troubling about current American politics is the polarization and dumbing-down of political discourse and you might want to consider your own contribution to that.
                  That is really upside-down. If most Americans never heard of the KR, then I am actually smartening-up American politics.

                  Hey, but at least we are communicating.

                  •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    arendt

                    China supported both the North Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge during the Vietnam War as they were allied in these anti-colonial wars, and the Khmer Rouge during their civil war, so it's fair to say China indirectly facilitated what followed, up to a point. All parties present have blood on their hands to some extent, and so we ought to think seriously about that and be careful how we use it.

                    But if you are suggesting Chinese had a hand in the genocide, you are mistaken; rather, it is the Vietnamese who founded the Khmer Rouge and put boots on the ground during the civil war. Chinese provided aid and most certainly it was misused in a crime against humanity.

                    You should also note the Chinese aided Sihanouk before and after the founding of the Khmer Rouge and that Sihanouk allied with them. Complicated.

                    After the Khmer Rouge were disposed, China recognized and aided the Kingdom or Cambodia and continues to support and aid the country to this day. Why?

                    China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have a very long and complex shared history that spans several thousand years and numerous Dynasties/Kingdoms throughout. They are neighboring countries with shared culture, people and land mass. At various times they have ruled one another. Thus, they are "joined at the hip" geographically, culturally and historically. If you studied the history in depth and breadth, you would get the flavor and appreciate the nuance of their relationships.

                    And therefore, despite periodic disputes and divisions, they have a common interest to peacefully co-exist if possible. Sometimes as "frenimies" (as is currently the case with China and Vietnam) sometimes as friends and allies.

                    Which loops back to my position; I assure you that the genocide is still an open, festering wound on the Cambodian nation and people, and the country is still trying to recover from it. It will take decades; blood was spilled, lots of it. As I suggested elsewhere, this still recent history and living history for these people not some remote historical event.

                    So in my judgement, it is unwise to appropriate it as a metaphor for the political troubles of the US because I honestly think some people would find it offensive and some Cambodians in the US might find it painful. Like the Cultural Revolution in China, it belongs to the people who lived through it and are still coming to terms with it.

                    You might consider their sensibilities since it is thier history not yours or mine.

                    I'm not Cambodian. I cannot speak for them or authenticate my opinion by citing the number of Cambodians offended (or not) as you repeatedly demand (while complaining about others "tasking" you).

                    It's just my common-sense opinion you can take or leave. It's OK for us to disagree about this and agree about other things (and we do; i.am.not.blind and I don't think it's OK that 45,000 American die because of lack of health care while insurance companies run off with the money).

                    My Opinion:

                    Bad comparison.
                    Potentially offensive to people living with fresh wounds.
                    Doesn't elevate the discussion at a time when that should be.
                    Probably not effective because:
                    (a) lots of Americans have no idea who the Khmer Rouge are, and;
                    (b) some who do will not equate their situation with then Cambodia or their fellow Americans with Khmer Rouge because it's over the top.

                    I'll give you this: it's a strong image. But is it wise?

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:56:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Just found this. It is fabulous. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      koNko

                      Had you simply come forward with this immediately, we could have had a really great discussion.

                      Sorry for the lost opportunity.

                      I'm at work and can't respond in depth. But I am thinking.

                •  I agree, to 'otherize' people will only continue (0+ / 0-)

                  to polarize 'sides', discourage dialogue as well as any attempt at understanding what the basic human needs are that underlie such ideologies...if we cannot find common ground as human beings, objectification of the 'other' will encourage more ignorance, indifference, demonization, and fundamentalization (extremism) of a person's world view in defense to such classification.

  •  My first reaction (11+ / 0-)

    I do seem to have hit a nerve.

    People either love it or try to deconstruct it and turn it into some kind of slur that should be avoided.

    That means there is some emotional heft to it, and that's the point of a metaphor.

    If you like it, use it. If you don't like it, explain yourself better.

    Are you a Cambodian? Do you feel demeaned or recognized?

    Are you a Latin American? Do you feel especially insulted by the umpty-ninth billionth time someone has used "America" to refer only to the U.S.

    The attempts to deconstruct it do not make sense to me. They are a stretch.

    The only valid complaint is that people today are so uneducated they won't recognize the reference. And, that is so scary! A major genocide, less than 50 years ago, and it has gone down the memory hole? At the time it happened, the right wing tried to etch it in stone as an example of the evils of communism.

    Help me out here. Just how de-politicized and historically ignorant do people think the US is? Do I have to start making up metaphors about contestants on "Dancing with the Stars" to connect to the body politic?

    The floor is open for discussion.

    •  Amusing Ourselves to Death (7+ / 0-)

      The late Neil Postman nailed it decades ago.

      we are in the middle of a huge communications chasm, bigger than the printing press was for Western Europe.

      AmerRouge are fighting to preserve the hierarchical structure built on the written word. The Bible, the Constitution, the Koan... all dependent on someone interpreting symbols with an assigned meaning. (words)

      The rest of us are tweeting and uploading images - complete with our opinions. And talking to each other, not dispensing 'revealed wisdom.'

      We're trying to get empathic - they are trying to keep us in separate boxes so they can control us.

      They will lose, but it's gonna be bloody.

      The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. - The Communist Manifesto

      by nolagrl on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:55:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Intersting take! (5+ / 0-)

        I mentioned Postman when I did a diary about Idiot America.

        Your opinion is that people ARE getting smarter, because of the internet. Implicitly, you argue that people who still receive their information hierarchically (i.e., pronouncements from the corporate media) are the stupid ones.

        I can't disagree.

        And, when you say its going to be bloody, you are right, too. It will be the hierarchical media vs the internet media. That's why the Doha ITU meeting is crucial. A bunch of hierarchical, authoritarian politicos are meeting behind closed doors to Balkanize the internet.

        Good comment.

        •  Yesterday on "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me"... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arendt, BlueDragon, Eyesbright

          The celebrity guest was an actor from "Downton Abbey". They gave him 3 questions to answer about America's Downton Abbey - "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."

          That's a little too true to be funny.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:12:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Spanish Civil war - a previous version of this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arendt

          old doctrine vs. new doctrine, to some degree two versions of received wisdom.... but there was far more discussion and openness and free-form organization and thinking on the anti Fascist side. The whole thing was essentially reactionary fearful far-rightists lashing out as if the world was ending... Argentina and Chile went through later versions of this with their own repressive military dictatorships... but without full blown battlefield civil wars.

          Syria is a current incarnation in a way with a mix of  older and newer with some very retro elements complicating things...  as is Afghanistan... but the social or theological distance from old to new is even greater in Afghanistan which has had waves of new and old both modernizing and also going retro in new ways at the same time... which is a very destructive mix - almost like an acid and a base reacting with new things, catalysts and more complex ingredients keeping the ferment going..  and the reactions will keep going until the reagents are exhausted... used up, converted to some new synthesis.

          And does the US with its latest round of strong reactionary elements building up fearful mythologies, resolve and strength resemble these? Just like these preceding and different struggles does the US run the risk of going through a dangerous period where there is no alternative to letting the reaction burn itself out in destructive ways? But the USA was never an old place with long entrenched traditions... it did import many strands of that sort but overall was changing too much for any archaic notions to get set in stone for long.

          Paradoxically or perhaps predictably conservatism has stiffened its resistance as the speed of change has increased. And this is at the same time same time that the US has run out of many traditional frontiers or destroyed areas of its own strengths while becoming more and more uniform a number of ways... including the all important overlapping of separate fundamentalist thinking as part of the new conservatism and its overall reaction. We seem to be making up a brand new and mostly fake old guard history to complement that but which has modern propaganda and technology to help build it. But it is parodying itself at a similar rate to its growth and in step with the older members becoming inactive or dying... they are losing demographically in all areas and of course that makes the reactionary pressure all the more panicked and urgent.

          It may look big like a large and scary Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade balloon float but more like one that has extra large pumps overheating to keep it growing or at least not deflating since at the same time it has huge holes that leak as fast or faster than pressure can keep it going...

          But that large balloon can come down on top of a lot of people with disastrous results... and if there is more than one run by similar minded groups of people with some sort of common goals... but all with inherently faulty design that can't work for long the problem is multiplied...

          They may just fizzle in the long run... but whether they cause some havoc when some get just too desperate and have the potential to do some serious harm before they are laughed out of history...

          Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

          by IreGyre on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:36:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great stream of consciousness. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IreGyre

            The Koch Bros and the rest of the 1% have infinite pumping capacity. I don't see the balloon deflating even if all the old bigots die off.

            They are breeding tons of new fundamentalists, even more violent, more ignorant, and more self-righteous than before.

            I don't see it fizzling. I see the momentum of money and thuggery  knocking down what little is left of the infrastructure supporting the middle class. The anti-labor coup in Michigan is how these people play the game: lie (we're not going to do this; we promise), cheat(bogus clause that prevents discussion), steal (lame duck session, one day and you are screwed).

            They are just getting bolder and bolder. This law has 6% approval in polling in MI. SIX PERCENT. And they are going to ram it thru in the dark. Because they have the power.

            This shit is going to keep getting worse until someone just says fuck it and then the shit will fly.

    •  Well (4+ / 0-)

      ...there are other possible reactions :}  I thought it was catchy, but I also think such outright demonization is fraught.  More than a few people who are firmly in the bosom of the Amer Rouge, per family and friends, decided this last election to pull the lever for our guy.  And those of us who are already marginalized couldn't hate these bastards any more than we do -- a cartoon to kick is briefly satisfying but may not help cohesion among disparate interests.

      Per specifics of analysis, I don't think they hate our educational institutions so much as construct parallel versions restricted to their own value system ("Liberty University").  And they do not come to our homes and drag us out, they simply render the less acceptable of us harder to employ and unable to eat, or have the police arrest us for proxy offenses which separate the Good People and Bad People, then let an unquestionable "justice" system do the rest.  Nobody ever has to look at the raw magnitude of human misery, because the media pretty much only presents anecdotal outrage (internet and mainstream both).  

      In truth, I do not think we are so far from shooting at each other.  I laughed when I read this and said "right on" but then I felt kind of queasy.

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:15:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the large amount of nuance... (5+ / 0-)

        Yes, labels are dangerous. Labels lead to de-humanization. I am aware of that.

        OTOH, you have to have shorthand to survive in the news cycle. Chomsky talks about the "conciseness filter". You have to discuss a phrase often enough that its complete meaning comes to mind at the mere mention of the phrase. For example, all the BS baggage that "free market" brings along.

        Unfortunately, the Amer Rouge have been labeling liberals for decades: socialist, communist, atheist.

        In truth, I do not think we are so far from shooting at each other.  I laughed when I read this and said "right on" but then I felt kind of queasy.
        That quesiness is reality sinking in. If times were normal, the GOP should change behavior on the basis of the election. Instead they have doubled down on the nasty/crazy. That is a signal that it is goiing to get worse not better. That is quesy-making.
        •  well (3+ / 0-)

          Your diary and the comments got me thinking.  I ended up more with the comment below about specific memory.  We are responsible to the dead and to history.   There are ways both this label and comparison of the American right to past authoritarian regimes (including National Socialism, Pinochet, etc) are appropriate and useful, however much people dislike it.  Godwin's law is partly bullshit.  But the argument that genocides are specific historical events also has great weight to me.  Been to Yad Vashem.  There are reasons to remember for those who can no longer do so.    I agreed with the diarists on here a couple years ago who went ballistic about Nazi comparisons, even though I think some very smart people used the rise of Nazi Germany to illustrate authoritarian family structure and class structure, and how it creates things like the American right (Adorno, Miller...).  

          We need ways to call them out.  Not all wrong to do so in catchy terms.  But in the end...can't follow all the way on this one.

          ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

          by jessical on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:42:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very well said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright, IreGyre

            My issue is about "breaking through the clutter" as the advertising people call it.

            The left is systematically excluded by the media - unless they say something that can be turned into a counter-attack against the left.

            So, writing dispassionately guarantees a leftie to be ignored. But writing passionately risks overstating your case and then getting clobbered by the media.

            Its a fine line, because it has been constructed that way by the media. I mean look at all the offensive horseshit that the media never calls the rightwing to task for. But leftists have to defend even the most factually obvious position. The treatment of Petreus vs Susan Rice tells the whole story.

            But as to "Amer Rouge". Before people start worrying about its reception, it has to make it off the back page of DKos. Secondly, I am nobody. I am not Kos. I am not a front pager. If I have overstated the case, it is nothing more than another failed attempt to slide between the media filter.

            Thanks again for your intelligent discussion.

        •  What is even more dehumanizing (0+ / 0-)

          Is trivializing genocide. Worse than the hyperbolic comparison of dimwit conservatives to mass murderers is the suggestion that mass murder is equivalent to Tea Party politics and American political gridlock.

          I guess Auschwitz had less of a clever ring, but can you imagine the reaction of Jewish members of Daily Kos if the diarist had chosen it?

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:57:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Shooting (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arendt, Eyesbright, Calfacon
        In truth, I do not think we are so far from shooting at each other.
        I know a few guys and one woman, conservatives who never expressed the slightest interest in any shooting sports or hunting, go out and get gun permits and begin collecting pistols and shotguns. The answer to why always was "Obama (or "that N Word" by some of them) is going to take our guns". All this from folks who never owned guns before.  Right wing media is stoking their fear and scaring them into buying guns. There must be a reason for that, and I hope it's just wingnut stimulus for the gun companies. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not a gun control fan or anything, it's just right wingers who previously didn't have guns are being sold on the idea of gun ownership, and they're eating it up like candy. I am worried about why that is.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:30:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, in your case (0+ / 0-)

      It does seem a genocide has gone down a memory hole.

      That was my initial reaction to your suggestion.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:23:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Community Spotlight - THANKS! n/t (5+ / 0-)
  •  No. (6+ / 0-)

    "Amer Rouge" trivializes the Cambodian Holocaust - One quarter of the Khmer population was murdered! - and marginalizes this community which seems to want to put it in the spotlight.

    From Wikipedia, since you use it so liberally:

    Number of deaths
    Various studies have estimated the death toll at between 740,000 and 3,000,000, most commonly between 1.4 million and 2.2 million, with perhaps half of those deaths being due to executions, and the rest from starvation and disease.
    How many people have the American right killed with pickaxes in concentration camps? How many cities have the American right evacuated? Look, I'm no supporter of Grover Norquist or Tom Coburn, but to infer that they'd support the active genocide of tens of millions of Americans.

    I don't understand. If we had a diary that compared - seriously compared - the current leaders of the republican party to Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler or Adolf Eichmann, I think the community would rightly be in flames.

    •  You're right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow, koNko

      My comment above notwithstanding, I agree.  The dead do not have a voice except in memory.  

      I want to defend my initial laugh at the diary, but am not able to do so.  I am picturing what a survivor of this might feel.  As a meme, this would last exactly as long as it took to put on an old lady who'd lost every person she loved to some specific people, at a specific time, and who wanted that truth remembered.

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:30:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But that's the direction they're headed (8+ / 0-)

      Whether they admit it or not. And if you listen to their official voices - Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, etc. etc. you can tell they're standing at the top of that slippery slope licking their lips thinking about it.

      Eliminationist rhetoric, the construction of a security state, the use of tasers by the police on anyone who doesn't immediately obey them, assassination by drones, the huge population we have in prisons in this country, the mendacious paranoia of the right wing media machine....

      It was only 150 years ago in this country that Americans were at each others throats in a civil war, that an entire population was in slavery and regarded as sub human. The forces that fueled that conflict were not alien to America then, and they haven't gone away.

      Consider the numbers of Americans who were lynched in the years after that conflict, for being members of the wrong race. Look up Sundown Towns. There are communities that were wiped off the map - we didn't call it ethnic cleansing then, but that's what it was. Look at the bloody history of the labor movement - and how capital is currently riding a long string of victories over working people.

      It can happen here.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:37:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clue: Obama won. (0+ / 0-)

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:26:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Big whoop, he's a corporatist too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          Nobody on the left trusts him not to sell us out.

          No one knows what he plans to give away for free from a position of strength.

          No one know whats in the corporate wet dream  Trans Pacific Partnership that he has been negotiating behind closed doors for three years.

          The only direction the middle class is headed is down until we the progressive base cannot be ignored or silenced.

        •  Clue: Obama did win - but it's not over (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arendt

          Seen any real concessions from the dead-enders of the right?

          We might have thought we got social justice with the New Deal and Social Security.

          We might have thought we got racial justice with the Civil Rights act.

          We might have thought we were finally getting our act together with the creation of the EPA.

          Guess again.

          Nothing can be taken for granted. We might have victories from time to time, but the war does not end. Every inch of ground gained is under constant assault. Every new generation has to relearn what the previous ones knew.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:58:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I do not see many concessions. (0+ / 0-)

            But Dems have the opportunity to take the high road and taking the low road with more hyperbolic demonization and labels to aggravate the polarization is not likely to be helpful.

            Time for Dems to act like they won an election, use the political leverage they have and to build on it.

            Zero is accomplished by calling corrupt political hack mass-murderers.

            Reasonable people in the middle that could be persuaded might not find that convincing.

            Win more elections.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:09:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Problem is, the truth is not their friend (0+ / 0-)

              Polite, reasonable people seldom change the world. We don't have to go all Godwin on the GOP - but we can't pretend their policies won't be anything but a disaster, and we need to say so.

              "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

              by xaxnar on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:30:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wonder where/how (0+ / 0-)

                the polarization of the US electorate ends. I'm not after the right seeing the light, but "Independents" who are tired of the BS and gridlock. They swung to the left in the recent election and if you look at issue polling, they are ripe to move in that direction.

                So do you offer them reason or more BS?

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:54:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If (0+ / 0-)

                  You have to ask that question, I think you've already decided what the answer is.

                  "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                  by xaxnar on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 05:42:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  How many American lives have been... (6+ / 0-)

      ruined by outsourcing over the last thirty years? Farmers committing suicide over foreclosure, middle class people living in shanty towns and committing slow-motion suicide via drinking or drugs.

      The estimates are that 45,000 Americans die every year for lack of medical care - one of the main targets of the Amer Rouge's back-to-the-stone-age campaign.

      More women will die from back-alley abortions and pregnancy complications as the strangulation of Roe V Wade gains strength.

      People ARE dying here. You seem to believe that because the causes are indirect that mass murder is not happening. That is the attitude that Wall St. CEOs have. "Hey, I didn't murder anyone."

      ----

      Look, I'm no supporter of Grover Norquist or Tom Coburn, but to infer that they'd support the active genocide of tens of millions of Americans.
      The Amer Rouge is already on record sending money to African countries to promote kill-the-gays laws. They are doing the same thing here. Anti-abortion laws kill people too.

      People die in Joe Arpaio's stinking camps at a much higher rate than in a normal jail. Sheriff Joe is running camps already. And the private prison industry is pushing being guaranteed a minimum number of prisoners - i.e., round up the usual suspects.

      So don't tell me it can't happen here. It is happening here.

      Finally, am I supposed to sit back and let it happen? To wait for the scale of what is going on to reach levels of genocide before I give a strong warning. The media has de-sensitized the population by giving the rightwing a pass for all its "communist, socialist, Muslim-loving" garbage rhetoric. And you are upset with me for using an analogy that has more truth to it than anything the right has said. I do not get it.

      I would rather be overwrought about a looming dystopia that doesn't come to pass than oblivious to one that does. These people are dangerous fanatics, and the underlying health of our democracy is so damaged that they could take power
      •  We differ. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, soaglow, koNko

        Are there elements of the American right with fascist tendencies? Absolutely.

        But I disagree that the comparison with the Khmer Rouge is appropriate, and I believe that it strains credibility.

        You've expressed your opinion. I've expressed mine.

        BTW, to say I'm "upset" is far too strong a statement.

        •  i'm with arendt on this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arendt, Eyesbright

          slow death is death.  it is not kinder and gentler.  is is worse as it is harder to identify what is going on and harder to oppose.

          i'm going to try to remember to use this term.  it has the weight we must give the situation.

          if it upsets Cambodians, here or elsewhere, so be it.

          we need some strong language that elucidates the crisis at hand.

          Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

          by BlueDragon on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:44:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah! (0+ / 0-)

            Who gives a crap if this offends some people with funny sounding names, this is our meme and if they don't like it, that's just tough. This is America and if we want to appropriate someone else's tragedy as a catchy political slogan, we can do it.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:31:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You have yet to demonstrate that anyone but U (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              is offended.

              Now, you try to put words in my mouth that I called them "people with funny sounding names".

              Why don't you stop trying to project whatever crap you have running on to me and prove to me that anyone but you is so violently insulted.

              And, while you're at it,  why don't you tell me how you came to be the great spokesperson for all Cambodians?

              •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                Weak tea.

                I find it offensive and I'm a person.

                I'm sorry if my disagreement vexes you but when you post a deliberately provocative proposal, you should expect some debate.

                If you can't handle it, don't hit the Post button.

                And if you think I'm trolling your diary, please do report it to the mods.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:56:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  never said any of that. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  You are perfectly entitled to your opinion. I never said you were a troll or that I could not handle criticism.

                  All I object to is your claiming authority and support that you have not demonstrated.

                  •  I did not put words in your mouth (0+ / 0-)

                    I put them in BlueDragon's mouth.

                    Why don't you stop trying to project whatever crap you have running on to me and prove to me that anyone but you is so violently insulted.

                    And, while you're at it,  why don't you tell me how you came to be the great spokesperson for all Cambodians?

                    -snip -

                    All I object to is your claiming authority and support that you have not demonstrated.

                    Now who's putting words in peoples mouths?

                    I said it could offend people.

                    I never claimed any special "authority" or to be a "spokesmen" for the Cambodian people, I suggested that they might get offended and why. You are reading in quite a bit.

                    As of this writing, there are not an overwhelming number of self-identified Cambodians on this thread so my suggesting they might get offended and you suggesting they haven't is pure speculation by us both.

                    My opinion is based on common sense and experience with humans; yours appears to be a defensive tactical device.

                    If you need a headcount of Cambodians to bolster your argument, then by all means go out and get one.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:25:27 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are equating proving a negative with... (0+ / 0-)

                      proving a positive.

                      As of this writing, there are not an overwhelming number of self-identified Cambodians on this thread so my suggesting they might get offended and you suggesting they haven't is pure speculation by us both.
                      Just FWIW, there have been ZERO self-identified Cambodians. Why you choose to fudge that is beyond me.

                      --------

                      But, back to my point. The burden of proof in our two cases is vastly different. It only takes one person to prove your case. But, no matter how long I advertise for offended Cambodians, if there are none, you can continue to claim you are not proven wrong.

                      Your claim of equal speculation is not true. My speculation is much easier to disprove than yours.

                      OTOH, my claim is from Occam's razor.

                      There have been plenty of opportunities for someone to claim offense, and no one has. My explanation for that (no one is offended) is simpler than your explanation (someone, somewhere might be offended and might not have spoken up).

                      ----

                      My claim is not, as you say "a defensive tactic". It is a legitimate deduction based on the fact that no one has complained for over a day on a board where everyone who has been offended complains loudly and often.

                      ----

                      I don't need a headcount. You are the one who needs a headcount, because so far NO Cambodian is supporting your positive assertion. OTOH, I don't need a headcount because I am asserting the negative.

                      ----

                      Good grief this hair splitting is not worth the trouble. I am done discussing this. At this point it feels like you are just screwing with me.

                      •  That's a tactical argument (0+ / 0-)

                        Not a substantial one. I could likewise ask you for a headcount on any of your assertions but I won't because it's silly.

                        I don't need a headcount to support my opinion, it's based on reason, and a casual and unscientific poling of people of people of unidentified ethnic or national origin on this thread has at least 3 people in basic agreement with me.

                        We are not convinced your idea is a good one. Simple.

                        What about my Daughter's future?

                        by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:01:45 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

    •  No cities emptied? Try Detroit for starters (6+ / 0-)

      then the rest of the Rust Belt. The stories about shuttered mills, abandoned retail strips, apartment blocks turned into crack dens dominated the news in the 1980s. Just because the cities were emptied decades ago doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just because they were emptied by joblessness, rather than at gunpoint, doesn't change the fact that both events happened for ideological reasons.

      You do things differently when your demolishing a first world country than when your taking over a bunch of third world peasants.

      But in both cases, you need your recruits to be in fear for their lives and their livelihood.

      That was accomplished here twenty years ago.

      •  Specificity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, soaglow

        It isn't that there aren't harms here, however differently they occur.  It's that the journey from history to metaphor is implicitly fraught, and while dealing with an authoritarian right is indeed about us, the Cambodian genocide was not (except insofar as a war and colonial system we supported for our French allies helped bring it about).  As Americans, we make it about us all the time, and indeed, every people does this.  There's no great evil in a catchy phrase, or in showing similarities.

        But to those third world peasants, as you so quaintly describe them, it was a vast horror, one which our country -- left and right --watched from afar and without much of a real care.

        There are people who survived the holocaust who worked very hard to point out how the American right was following in the footsteps of the Nazis, from family upbringing to political values.  And yet that comparison is considered unusable in current rhetoric, because people argue that turning a specific historical event into a useful metaphor is to use the voices of the dead for our own ends.  I think they're only partly right, which is why this diary has appeal.  But if we can't use a genocide which mostly involved westerners killing westerners, as metaphor and model, but we can use one where the people are far away, brown and poor...well...erm.   That gets creepy fast, and metaphors rest on all the impressions and feelings that go into them.  You end up defending the specific similarities, as you do here, and that is -- largely-- not workable.    Losing your job and your home is not the same as losing your life.  Losing your life slowly because your society has no place for you is not the same as being taken from your home and having a bullet put in your head.  Arguing for that position is (to this reader) a stone loser.  You could say -- I'm looking at similarities in historical development.  But in the specific, they are not the same.  And the people you could ask, if you were so brave, are silent now.

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:49:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a question of where to draw the line... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright, Sandino, lotlizard

          as you note,

          There are people who survived the holocaust who worked very hard to point out how the American right was following in the footsteps of the Nazis, from family upbringing to political values.  And yet that comparison is considered unusable in current rhetoric, because people argue that turning a specific historical event into a useful metaphor is to use the voices of the dead for our own ends. I think they're only partly right, which is why this diary has appeal.  But if we can't use a genocide which mostly involved westerners killing westerners, as metaphor and model, but we can use one where the people are far away, brown and poor...well...erm.
          What lesson can be learned here? Is the lesson that because the Holocaust was over-used as a metaphor (and the rightwing Israelis had a lot to do with that, rolling it out at the drop of a hat to guilt-trip their political opponents) no one is allowed to point out parallels to the early stages of ANY genocide EVER again? As Mark Twain says, "History doesn't repeat, it rhymes." No two historical situations are completely analogous; so you can always find some divergence to attack.

          I, like you, recognize that Nazi Germany has been rendered unusable as a reference point for political debate. That is why the Khmer Rouge came to my mind.

          I fail to see how other people's (not mine, because I avoid it) misuse/overuse of the Holocaust prevents me from using a different genocide as a talking point.

          It would be helpful in this discussion if a real Cambodian had something to say on the subject. If as some people opine, voters today are unaware of the subject, do Cambodians prefer that? Or would they prefer people to remember what happened to them and prefer that their experience helps other avoid repeating it?

          Until those questions are answered by some real Cambodians, I am not going to wring my hands.

          •  History helps us understand the present. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arendt

            By studying the Holocaust, Nazism, the Khmer Rouge and similar organizations, events and movements, we can better spot similar destructive movements today and take care of the problem, protecting our Democratic Republic, before it becomes a larger problem.  Take a look at Altemeyer's book, The Authoritarians.  We don't need to reinvent the wheel to figure out what is going on and take steps to fix it.  

            My own suspicion about authoritarians, they will most likely flame out spectacularly because of their tendency to engage in infighting.  Take a look.   I think that this time, it might look a little more like self immolation but who knows?  I just know it will be ugly.  

            Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

            by DavidMS on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:48:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No. you will just keep demanding (0+ / 0-)

            That others do the work, not you.

            Guess that "tasking" thingie is a one way street.

            But since you are so confident they would not get offended, why not seek out some Cambodians and give it a road test, face to face?

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:33:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  45,000 per year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arendt

      In 2009 Harvard news reported 45,000 deaths annually due to lack of healthcare.  For how many years?

      -approaching Curmudgeonry with pleasure

      by Calfacon on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:57:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kinder gentler mass deaths do not count (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arendt

      we are so much more civilized these days in more developed parts of the world and organized decisions by the few in power that cost huge numbers of people their lives are much more acceptable since the deaths are a lot more diffuse in time and space with more deniable steps between the decision makers and the final death or suffering and too hard to do much to reduce let alone stop.... intentional acts due to Indifference and greed might actually kill more than hate and intentional acts overall but it does not make for a good story.

      And as for those intentional mass deaths that are more Concentrated in time and space with more compact horrific visuals that are more immediate and trump statistics and generalities... thankfully the keepers of the specially defined, unquestionably more important mass deaths make sure the quasi-cult of victims' memories is handled exactly as those self appointed referees specify... after all there is a pecking order in mass death definitions that must be maintained; some deaths are tragic and more than just unfortunate while other deaths are much much more important and get better press and more outrage... understandably since they are more easy to see and get better history.

      A shame that most of the world already DOES NOT know much about ANY of the truly major genocides or maybe never did for that matter or just know something about THEIRS or one nearby... and the rest of humanity who do have some awareness of them are arguing about which one is number one or in the top five on the all time list of humanity's shame or gets extra special treatment based on total numbers or duration or means or methods or specific intentions of the perpetrators and even WHO were the victims and who were their killers and why or even declaring that some never happened.. and above all there is the discussion about who is specially designated or inherently able to be able to decide these things while other need to just shut up or use the correct phrases lest they be labelled impure in thought or harbor some secret thoughts that are in sympathy with the authors of genocide in some inventive way... at the very least allegedly aid the watering down or forgetting of things that humanity cannot afford to forget or not know about.

      And for those who are not inherently "correct" genetically or culturally or historically to deserve to have opinions on various genocides there remains only the choice of how high to jump, how low to crawl, how much guilt to bear for how long depending on the personal rulings by any specific designated arbitrator of any specific special historical or current horror. Assuming that these "outside the perimeter" people are already aware that a genocide did happen and that it was horrific and must not happen again there is still the question of just how acceptable or complete their understanding is and many of them learn HOW to phrase things, not just have generally the right beliefs and facts. Unfortunately that strictness can be imposed on deniers or trivializers too by the leaders of that mindset for not denying correctly or enough... they have problems with weak deniers.... That kind of doctrinaire thinking is more consistent with authoritarian and right wing people... always jarring when elements of it pop up on the progressive side for whatever reason.

      But the more automatic the conditioned response must be there is a danger of abuse in both directions... at one end of the spectrum the charlatans and haters on the side of denial of a given focused or defined mass death and on the other hand those who whether they realize it or not tend in the direction of cultification of both monstrous acts but also the horror of special horrors that these protectors of sharply drawn historical definitions help defend. Anyone caught in between the people who inhabit the extremes must be called out and compelled to avoid wishy-washy thinking that could be called trivialization or something else or worse that different shades of Anti-Semites or other groups depending on the genocide in question might opine.

      I suppose it might be reassuring to people dying in the Soviet Gulag or Ukrainian famine, Chinese labor camps or during the great leap forward or the Cultural revolution or these days in North Korean prison camps to know that they are well down on the list of major inhumanities... That would also be a small comfort to the intentional victims of famine in India or Ireland during the British Empire ... and uncounted deaths in the mostly unknown widespread corporate prison slave labor in mines and dangerous factories in the USA from the Jim Crow era until up to WWII... and many many other horrors throughout history and more that we will never know about that were decided one way or the other by a few people in powerful positions.

      And above all that as many as these victims were and as horribly as they suffered and as DEAD as they were dead... there were others who are officially more victims than they were... Deader than them and all the more importantly, more horribly dead. I suppose it is down to some special statistic... deaths per hour per square mile or kilometer... with some sort of duration of agony and or pain or belonging to a more easily defined identity with total deaths adding to the weighting system. Oh... and genetic relationship to them  by the "Statistician" who feels these numbers more than actually working through them.

      To call this "victim relationship hubris" might be cruel and unjust but it might have some validity just the same... but still "My people suffered more than your people" is what it can often boil down to and that is the kind of "boast" that is being made... and with the non humble and righteously angry demand-expectation that special status be accorded... as it may well deserve... as is the need for defending this status... and yet like defining genocide the horror is in the mind of the understander... the cultification of genocide can be more readily seen by those accused of not being reverent or at least submissive enough... which is sometimes defined as not shutting up enough or having and sharing a divergent or unapproved thought.

      Or in other words even on touchy subjects we need more respect for shades of thinking when we are all on the same side... Looking for closet enemies or appeaser-enablers of the enemies never improves things when there are not even any closets or actual or enemies nearby....

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:15:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure what you said, but I like the way... (0+ / 0-)

        you said it. I think you deconstructed everybody; but I can't tell because my eyes don't connect to my brain anymore. :-)

        Where were you yesterday when this would have been a breath of fresh air?

        •  Wrong time zone (UK Time)... by the time I comment (0+ / 0-)

          it is behind the main population of DKos commenters who have moved on to newer diaries or are asleep when I get up and catch up with diaries I missed when I was asleep... so often not too many people read my comments...

          With as touchy subject as your diary covered I was not sure how it would be taken if anyone actually read it. It was my 5000th comment on DKos as it happens... and as far as I know not one donut yet on any of those 5000 comments. (not that I go looking to get any).

          *************

          Expanding a bit on my comment.... I do notice that each and every tribe, faith, nationality, faction etc. always has its own horror story where ancestors of the current incarnation of the grouping suffered something horrible on a larger than usual scale at the hands of another group... and so it is the most important "Genocide" or injustice to them and beyond that it always ranks high enough to be runner up to the usual top one or not far below on a worldwide list. But as for all the other narratives of victim-hood in all other groups, most of them will escape each others notice if they are not discounted or downplayed.
          1. The Holocaust,
          2. the Slave trade,
          3. ____  (insert own group's main victim event that ranks as a crime against humanity here).
          4. misc others....
          But probably for most people on earth there is just their own group's victim history/myth/tradition on a list of one.

          We have genocide/mass murder-Myopia on a mass cultural level... just like wrongs done to an individual or a family member are so much more horrible than similar things done to others somewhere else... that which is done to the larger group a person identifies with is also felt very deeply whether it happened in recent memory or is a mythic tale of suffering handed down and effectively mythologized and kept alive and even magnified to some degree. The Holocaust of course is in living memory and there is not much need to embellish something so huge and horrible. It is more the opposite, the need to document it and understand it, bring justice to the few remaining who have escaped so far and to make "Never Forget" mean something.

          But we just do not have enough time or emotional capacity to learn about ALL atrocities done to all peoples in history and really understand them in a general or fundamental as well as visceral way... too much. Atrocity overload whether current or historical... an abstraction when it is not in front of us. Abbreviated explanations deal with it... Religious ones, racist ones, or just that traditional enemies are just inherently bad (our tormentors were EVIL... end of story)... or there are political explanations... quickie historical, religious or psychological narratives that explain things simply, assign blame, sainthood, right and wrong and people get on with their lives with the quick and easy history to remember... That is what people will absorb and want - history lite that is edited down so it will be remembered as intended.

          But the same building of history and ensuring it is not forgotten and stays a central feature of the identity begs the question of HOW will it be remembered and what will the memory be USED for? And who decides the overall narrative of the memory and what can be said and what cannot be said. There are no easy answers. Germany has very strict laws against things associated with the 3rd Reich and while in an absolute sense these restrictions are anti-democratic there is ample justification for it there for the time being.

          But how long should such things be kept in force? Memory and laws can outlive the purpose they served originally. History has always been a faulty and changeable resource and all to often a tool for those in the present to use or misuse for their own purposes. Time heals all wounds unless there are some who keep the wound festering... and they cannot step away from the emotional response and do not want others to either... Horrible acts should make us have emotional as well as rational responses... but we cannot live our lives in perpetual outrage or perpetual penitence or perpetual reverence.

          As more and more year separate us from certain periods of genocidal activity the fading is both good and bad. How many have a visceral and immediate horror over the Mongols sacking of Baghdad in 1258... with a staggering loss of life... (plus all the other cities they obliterated across Asia.. and the death count and enslavement ran to the millions) the later series of invasions of Northern India by Islamic invaders has been estimated in the millions... but again it is forgotten by most of the world if it ever knew... and even those who study it have to try and go beyond the dry abstraction of the numbers... I was a schoolboy in India for two years long ago and they do cover the Islamic invasions and the Mughal dynasty and India to this day has a love hate relationship with the narrative of their conquest and rule.

          And comparing different sized genocides and atrocities and stepping back and trying to get better understanding in all ways that are possible cannot be a bad thing... except that those who feel they must act as watchmen or guardians of truth to the point that being alert for deniers or apologists or those re-writers of history with an agenda or just correcting misinformed people... bleeds over into being the guardian of a sanctified set of ideas or ways of thinking or approaching something and when that happens there is little room for discussion outside of what they define as the boundaries for those who fall under suspicion of being irreverent or pushing a dangerous hidden agenda...

          And there are a lot of false positives in identifying such people when the detector has an extreme setting that means most people are under suspicion unless they speak in formulaic ways and agree unreservedly with whatever they are required to agree with... but those who police ideas cannot see this and especially when they are protecting something that needs to be protected and that needs more people to be aware of it. The danger of being vigorously in the right with a just cause can lead to a rigid unyielding approach most of the time out of habit since that is definitely needed some of the time.

          Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

          by IreGyre on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 08:18:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Labels (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soarbird, Eyesbright

    Attempting to label a phenomenon (and hoping that the label will stick) is like attempting to light a tinder pile with a flint stone. Sometimes it takes many sparks before the tinder ignites. I think that labels have a way of emerging from the young, hip culture rather than being imposed by a superb intellect. What we need to do here is to constantly reiterate the absurdities and failing of the our defective systems and to highlight the successful ones. This is an educational path that must be advertised to all and especially the righteous youth. The web has opened a window for education (and also one of deception).  We need to proclaim here and in all other possible web forums with well-reasoned argument that which is good and why it is. I think this site does a pretty good job. But we must do more.

  •  Why can't we just tell the truth: (6+ / 0-)

    they're ignorant. They're hateful. They're greedy. They're bigoted.

    And, they are, rightfully and deservedly, scared to death that there is no future for their preachments.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:39:17 AM PST

  •  Terrible, terrible, terrible. A while back some (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko

    bozo applied red & blue to a US map to denote GOP & Dem, but Red also, pretty universally, means left, socialist, commie (Danny the Red).

    This phrase would be gleefully adopted by the right and used to associate the US left with the Khymer Rouge, bloodthirsty totalitarians. We don't need to spread the term.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:28:41 AM PST

    •  The GOP shot their bolt on that a while ago... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, spacecadet1

      they have been screaming commie, commie, commie about the Democrats for half a century. It is old. It is tired. Nobody but TP nutcases believes it.

      OTOH, the Dems have some legitimate reasons to compare the ideologically rigid  policies and inhumane outcomes of right wing policies to genocide and blood-lust. And its about time they did.

      Come and talk to me when the right wing gets traction with this talking point. Right about the time that Obama grabs all the guns and the UN black helicopters come for us all.

      I do not share your concerns.

      •  Go around your neighborhood and a few (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soarbird

        other areas and do a word associatin test. Ask each person to say the first word they think of when you say "red", then ask them for the second, then the third. You will find very few except electorial politics junkies who come up with Republican. That is simply not what people associated with Red.

        they have been screaming commie, commie, commie about the Democrats for half a century
        I said the left, not Democrats; there is a world of difference. I'd hope that somebody with a moniker like yours would know that.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:32:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If true we need to change that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soarbird

          I mean the right hates reds, they hate greens, they hate brown people, they hate yellow people.

          Do the liberals get to have any colors of their own? :-)

          Can you point me at a poll that validates your statement?

          First of all, very few 20-somethings have any experience of real Communism. (China doesn't count. It is just a neoliberal authoritarian capitalist state with a red-wash of rhetoric.) Communism has become little more than a curse word, equivalent to socialism, naziism, and vegetarianism for most of the mouth-breathers.

          Its about time we re-opened the narrative to show how GOP behavior resembles communism. The whole "inverted Marxism" narrative needs to be pushed. There is a fresh audience waiting to redefine the meaning of the word red.

          I said the left, not Democrats; there is a world of difference. I'd hope that somebody with a moniker like yours would know that.
          Are you trying to say that I am not a Democrat, but rather a "dirty lefty"? You statement is aggressive and open to many interpretations. Please clarify.
          •  Like I said, do the test. Redefining terms in the (0+ / 0-)

            middle of trying to use them as a metaphor is generally not wise. You can do what you want, but I won't adopt your phrase and will recommend against it whenever and wherever I can.

            BTW, if nobody knows about reds, WTF makes you think they'll pick up on the association with the K.R.?

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:32:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You gave me no cite for your claim. n't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino
              •  Try it, I don't need a cite, and you are afraid (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko

                to try it.

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 03:32:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What provocative BS. Like I got time to run... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  my own poll. As in, statistically valid - which I begin to think yours isn't, since you refuse to cite.

                  You got nothin so you play this gradeschool "coward" bunk.

                  Bye.

                  •  I never claimed that there ws a poll - I (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    koNko

                    suggested that you perform an experiment and predicted an outcome.  You don't wish to try the experiment, even with a handful of people, and I suspect that is because you also suspect that "Red" - "Republican" is not very common.

                    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                    by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:03:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Stop trying to "task" me. That is such... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Eyesbright, Sandino

                      blatant manipulation.

                      Running out and doing experiments takes time. Political boards are now. There is no requirement for posters to do experiments on demand. It  is Sunday night two weeks before Xmas. Your demand is ridiculous, except for its manipulativeness.

                      You are just being disruptive with your demands that I do something or you win. (That is called "tasking", and it is discussed heavily in business and management literature.)

                      I ain't playin your manipulative game. Got that, manipulator?

                      •  No, this whole "tasking" crap is called yet (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        koNko

                        more bullshit. The simple point is that "Red" is an established term in this country, with numerous established meanings and numerous established and common associations. You, and you alone, wish to ignore them all and begin assigning a new meaning to it, taking one of the least common and most ephemeral and elevating it to predominant standing.

                        Red doesn't mean Republican, I know how it is used in my neighborhood, from my court up to my town and then on out to the Bay Area. It is not used to mean or imply Republican except in the case of political junkies and pundits, discussing electoral politics and using the specific phrase "Red State(s)". The same holds true for everybody I was just with up in Seattle for a week and those I was visiting in Portland for a few days, and I am talking all ages and backgrounds.

                        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                        by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 04:49:02 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I said I want to change it. You have a problem... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sandino

                          fine. That is your problem.

                          How dare you tell me that I have no right to change how people think about which political party more resembles communism.

                          Get off your high horse.

                          I have no idea where you are coming from. I really don't care what your personal friends think. I say we can change this. WhoTF are you to tell me I dare not try?

                          BTW, I noticed you stopped trying to manipulate me and just decided to slag me. You got nothing. And you lose. Tasking is not crap, its what your doing. Oh, right. It is crap.

                          This time, good bye for keeps.

  •  I understand the intention but have to disagree.. (3+ / 0-)

    First I agree about the analysis of the problems in the US, but…
    The need to “appropriate” a phenomenon from another culture shows how ill prepared we are to deal with our own problems.  The Khmer Rouge were not communist regardless of the labeling.  They used the label to appeal to the Chinese. They were Maoist in the sense of Maoism of the cultural revolution.  The Khmer Rouge (at least at the beginning) were a revitalization movement emerging out of increasing chaos in Cambodia, US bombing, fears of Vietnamese invasion, xenophobia, based on a fantastical belief that purifying the culture would lead to a magical reemergence of Angkor the ancient empire.  The Khmer Rouge beliefs were more like the ideological basis of Nazism than communism.  With the failure of this ideology came the very predictable attempt to create external enemies, an invasion of Vietnamese villages (a VERY BIG mistake) and the actual invasion by Vietnam.  The brutality of the supposed purification was not dissimilar to that under Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism during the cultural revolution.  The lesson is to be wary, very wary, of any movement advocating some kind of cultural purification.

    The second issue is why we have to look outside for label for our own problem?  The essential reason is failure, until recently, to recognize that there are real classes in American culture and the reality that there are very serious opposing interests between them.  This bit of American irrationality is an artifact of the teaching of historical mythology and more importantly of the basis of American culture, individualism.

     Americans believe that everything important about themselves and others is a result of the individual choices they make.  This belief is enacted in American’s endless assertion of regeneration through regression stories.  The story of having endured tests and tribulations and then reached an important where a choice is made and regeneration to a better life results emphasizes the importance of making individual choices as the way to assert one’s individualism as it also is used to assert, collectively,  American exceptionalism.   At present the rich assert that all they have is a result of their individual choices and that if you are poor it is a result of your choices.  

    This assertion is bogus and has suffered a blow to its credibility after the 2008 crash and bailouts, but they are working very assiduously to reassert it.  Many, not all, in the 99% assert correctly that the rich have become so as a result not of individual choices but the corruption of the US government, in essence, the buying of the government to create policies that benefit the rich, and thus they are not as deserving as they assert.  Further the aware 99% assert that the policies have circumscribed the range of choice available to anyone but the rich.  We have terms, labels, for this, klptocracy, plutocracy, the old robber barrons, etc…

     All of these labels require, however, a realization that there are very real classes and class differences that have consequences for the individual choices people can make.  This is a hard sell against powerful cultural belief in individualism.  We need our own American culturally based way of describing this phenomenon to really address it.  Unfortunately, the power of culture makes this a very difficult possibility.

    •  So close, but also so far away from my POV (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino
      We need our own American culturally based way of describing this phenomenon to really address it.  Unfortunately, the power of culture makes this a very difficult possibility.
      And that is why I proposed this metaphor.
      The Khmer Rouge (at least at the beginning) were a revitalization movement emerging out of increasing chaos in Cambodia, US bombing, fears of Vietnamese invasion, xenophobia, based on a fantastical belief that purifying the culture would lead to a magical reemergence of Angkor the ancient empire.  The Khmer Rouge beliefs were more like the ideological basis of Nazism than communism...

      The lesson is to be wary, very wary, of any movement advocating some kind of cultural purification.

      But that is exactly what I said, minus the Nazi reference. What is your objection?
      The need to “appropriate” a phenomenon from another culture shows how ill prepared we are to deal with our own problems.
      I completely disagree. The phenomenon of callously letting the majority of the country go broke and die for lack of medical care as a matter of policy is something completely unique in American history. There is no reference point for it anywhere inside our tradition - unless you want to talk about the Irish Famine of 1847. That is why we need an outside referent.

      To dare to raise the Holocaust, was there any European history before 1930 that would have suggested the mass killing of millions of unarmed and defenceless people based on their religion? Religious wars? Sure, by the dozens. But mass murder? Not in the cultural record.

      why we have to look outside for label for our own problem?  The essential reason is failure, until recently, to recognize that there are real classes in American culture and the reality that there are very serious opposing interests between them.
      That's backwards too. There was class consciousness in this country right up to the 1980s. Then, the Amer Rouge got started. They immediately turned all discussions of class into discussions of race. They created "political correctness" and tied it to race. The Amer Rouge got traction by expressing the racism that is openly on display today.

      Perhaps you are under 30 years old, so that you are unaware of the politics of class prior to 1980.

      •  It is ok... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soaglow, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        we can dissagree.  I am way over 50 and class conciousness was not prevelant in 60s, 70s, or after.  Race has been been a substitute for class far longer than the 1980s.

        My essential point is that until Americans acknowledge that we have a culture that we acquire and has a major impact on behavior the kinds of problems we have, that do have paralells, but are also very much rooted in our culture are not going to be addressed.  

        We have in anthropology a specific term for those who have pre-historically and more recently, created or instantiated inequality within a culture, self-aggrandizers.  Un fortunately, this term does not resonate very powerfully in our culture.  One of the persistant strategies they use is the manipulation of the culture.  the same is happening here in America.  I simply prefer an analysis of that manipulation before resorting to metaphors derived from other specific cultures.

        •  There was class consciousness in the 60s... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright

          if there weren't, I wouldn't have acquired the understanding of class that I did. We actually had socialist speakers, like Michael Harrington, and ?existentialists? like Herman Marcuse.

          You make it sound like America has always been de-politicized by race. But then why did the sixties happen at all? It wasn't just the draft and VietNam and drugs. The whole rejection of corporate "gray flannel suit" culture and oppressive religious gatekeepers, like the pathetic Motion Picture code office. There were magazines like Ramparts, and people actually read them.

          I will grant you that not much of society had class consciousness then; but more then than now. That is why I will disagree on that point.

          ----

          Even you admit that "self-aggrandizers" is not very catchy or very scary.

          You also seem to be saying that until America experiences a white genocide (as opposed to the one we carried out against native Americans) that we have no right to talk about such a thing being prepared.

          Again, I disagree.  I suggest you read the recommended diary by Billmon about the possibility of armed insurrection in America today.

          •  The class conciousness... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arendt, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

            thing may be the result of being raised in the South.  I did not mean the America has always been "de-politicized" by race.  Race has, and is part of American politics, but there are other factors in American politics.  I encountered real discussion of class in college.  When I informed my family that we were white trash, an artifact of the class system in the South, they were not impressed.  

            Further much of the measures that were supposed to address poverty and issues of race in the US were a result of trying to assert American cultural superiority during the cold war.  You should listen to the LBJ tapes.

            Yes, self-aggrandizer does not resonate, only archaeologists and cultural anthropologists really consider the consequences of their activities as something to be really addressed.  the real point, however, was that one of the very basic strategies used is manipulating the culture.  the self-aggrandizers we in the US are inflicted with are doing this too.  This is why understanding the way the culture is manipulated I consider to be important.

            The "white genocide" thing I do not really get.  To point out that the Khmer Rouge phenomenom was a result of Khmer culture and history, and though there are paralells, is the result of those unique factors does not lead to the assertion that we need a white genocide to talk about such a thing.  I simply argue that what will happen here will be an artifact of our unique culture no matter the paralells.  

            If the self-aggrandizers seeking to take it all continue to do it I can see an armed insurrection, there are a lot of guns around.  

            •  I am very aware that most of what was done... (0+ / 0-)

              during the Cold War was done to avoid looking bad. It was done for propaganda purposes, not real caring. It sure ended fast when the Cold War was won.

              But that is not the point when it comes to class consciousness. I felt that during the sixties, people were open to hearing about class. Certainly the students at Columbia were open enough to ruin that elite school's reputation for at least twenty years.

              I am unclear from your personal experience whether or not you agree that class was discussed more then than now.

              ----

              I simply argue that what will happen here will be an artifact of our unique culture no matter the paralells.  
              I have been over this up-thread with my Mark Twain comment. Of course no two situations are perfectly alike. But if you refuse to draw any abstractions at all, then history is but a meaningless recital of a series of unique (but, thereby, pointless) facts.

              I continue to argue for the analogy that today's GOP are fundamentalist capitalist revolutionaries who will, if they come to power, inflict even more damage (and loss of life, and destruction of urban life) than they already have done.

              All you have to put against that is that "no two situations are the same".

              •  In my experience... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

                class is discussed more now than before.  The degree of inequality in income and assets has become so drastic that I think it is much harder to deny.

                I agree with you about today's GOP, though the term capitalist may be misplaced.  They are simply rapacious.  

                My point is not that no two situations are the same, there is a pattern, but resistance must be based in the culture.  Americans have a problem with egalitarianism as a primary goal.  Anthropological research (Hierarchies in the Forest, a book) shows that egalitarianism is only sustained when it is the goal, not a secondary effect of some other goal.  Elevating egaltarianism as the goal has not been very successful in American culture as a result of the incessant assertions of individual choices creating success (a bogus assertion, but very powerful culturally).  Unless Americans can successfully assert that egalitarianism is a goal worthy of support (which it is, both socialy and economically) then the incessant propaganda from the right asserting that the rich have succeeded totally as a result of their individual choices will succeed to the detriment of all of us.

                •  "Resistance must be based in culture" (0+ / 0-)

                  That's going to be very difficult in a world where culture has been privatized, commoditized, and industrialized. Read any of Thomas Frank's early work in the Baffler, especially "Commodify your dissent", or "Consolidated Deviance".

                  The corps own the culture now. Literally. Watch youtube delete something for the most specious claims of ownership.

                  We tried our own cultural referents. We banged on for years about the new "Robber Barons" and the new "Guilded Age". It went nowhere against the media wall of "moochers", "welfare cheats", "drug addicts", etc.

                  I'm in a hurry and can barely remember enough to paraphrase, but some historian remarked that making money is the basis of most American culture. Its why people came, its what they talk about.

                  If you want a resistance based on that culture, you are going to wait a very long time.

      •  If you are against "purification" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soaglow

        Then why are you promoting provocative metaphors to demonize, objectify and divide instead of promoting dialogue on real issues, many of which you identify and have no difficulty elaborating intelligently?

        Do you get that what I am objecting to here sloganeering and labeling that many (who are not your object) would find offensive and would have a polarizing effect?

        This is a great recipe to perpetuate political polarization and negate the gains made in the recent election.

        But if Dems have too many toes left, shooting one's self in the foot is a cure.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:10:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I use metaphors due to the "media filter" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          Today's media is about sound-bites, not long explanations. Google Noam Chomsky and the "conciseness filter".

          Yes, cheap phrases are not the best method; but they are the only method that gets through in today's media. The left desperately needs sound bites that get the true nature of the GOP out to the public when the channel for communication is the corporate media.

          The corporate media is nothing but demonization, objectification, and division by the right towards the left.

          If that is the arena of the battle, then I must use the weapons of that arena. Sorry if it offends you.

          This is a great recipe to perpetuate political polarization and negate the gains made in the recent election.

          But if Dems have too many toes left, shooting one's self in the foot is a cure.

          What gains? The GOP is still fighting for every inch, and Obama continues to hint he is willing to raise the Medicare age and cut the funding.  The Trans Pacific Partnership is still cruising along in stealth mode.

          There is a civil war within the Democratic Party as much as within the GOP. In the Dems, it is the progressives versus the corporatists. The corporatists continue to compromise with the mad dog GOP. If any Dems have shot themselves in the foot, it is the corporate Dems.

          The whole point of my metaphor is to make it clear in one phrase exactly who the corporate Dems are willing to compromise with. I will not apologize for that. I am not ashamed of that. And no Cambodian has criticized me for it yet.

          •  Do you think the media will embrace this term? (0+ / 0-)

            I doubt it.

            And I have to ask, how many Cambodians have you discussed this with so far?

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:44:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the media can't block sound bites (0+ / 0-)

              That's why "death panels", "welfare queens", and all the other stuff is out there. It can be spoken before the moderator/interviewer has a chance to block it.

              That's what happened with "the 1%", the "99%", and the "47% of moochers".

              Sounds bites are the way the game is played. If the media wants to block "Amer rouge" they merely call more attention to it.

              As for Cambodians, I keep asking for people to self-identify as one. So far, no takers. My conclusion, admittedly based on absence, is that no one is outraged. They had an entire day to speak up. "Amer Rouge" was right up there in the title on Community Spotlight. You couldn't have missed it.

              Ball is in your court.

    •  This is really a great comment. I agree with so (0+ / 0-)

      much of what you said.

  •  perfect analogy is perfect n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arendt
  •  beautiful, logical, frightening (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calfacon, arendt

    as it should be - 'overlay of brutal cleverness' is particularly apt for folks like Ann Coulter and James O'Keefe.  But let's all work hard to make sure this particular dystopia doesn't come about.

  •  Have to stop now. Spent all day on this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    Thanks to all who participated.

    Have to go back to my real life now.

  •  This coinage will make a few people on the left (0+ / 0-)

    feel really good when they say it, like "Rethuglicans", totally confuse a lot of other people, and make the people who use it seem somewhat hysterical to a small number of other people who understand the reference but haven't seen people rounded up and executed.

    You appear very emotionally invested in this. The funny thing about coinages though, is that you can't argue their way into being used. They either will or they won't. You've made you're case at great length and now all you can do is sit back and see if anyone actually uses it. Personally, it doesn't resonate with me. It's hard for me to say why, but I really like duck152's arguments.

    You could probably draw a parallel between the right in the U.S. today and just about any authoritarian regime in the past. Well, anyway, I learned far more about the Khmer Rouge than I knew before. In retrospect, that might actually be the problem. It didn't illuminate anything about the right in the U.S. but required a huge amount of explanation about Cambodia.

    By the way, I'm 46 and not entirely uneducated. I knew the reference to the Khmer Rouge before even clicking on the diary. I didn't have a clue who the "Amer Rouge" was and curiosity to find out was the reason I read it in the first place.

    •  The only emotional investment I have is... (0+ / 0-)

      that people remember the past well enough to prevent the bad shit from happening all over again. I have used all kinds of analogies in the past: the French Revolution, the Russian collectivization, the Pan Slav movements. History is what I do; and obviously what most people do not give a shit about anymore.

      There are also two other reasons to coin phrases:

      1. See my post above: I use metaphors due to the "media filter"

      2. Because, I want to go after the perceived GOP strength of anti-communism. I want to pin that label on them. And I think that their recent behavior makes them open to that attack.

      ----

      Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you were curious enough to find out how we got way down this hole we are in and are still digging. That's one of the reasons I do catchy phrases - to pull people in for a history lesson.

      What do you think of the fact that the Chinese supported the KR, and now they are our biggest trading partners - without a peep from the GOP? I think that's an opportunity to go after the GOP base and take the tired communist meme away from them.

      Of course, it is a legitimate counter-argument that the communist meme will die with the generation of old white folks who are the majority of the GOP base.

      In either case, I would just like to provoke some dialogue about recent history and its influence on American politics. I didn't get much of that in this thread, populated mostly by concern trolls.

      •  While reading the diary and the comments, the (0+ / 0-)

        French Revolution is what first popped into my mind, but that may be because that's what I've been interesting myself in lately. But the more I thought about it, the more I can't help hoping it will be more like the period of the Robber Barons because I rather hope it will all end through progressive legislation and we'll avoid any sort of bloody revolution.

        You have an interesting point about the fact that the whole fear of communists idea may die out within a generation. That's quite possible. Although Stalin's collectivization was certainly brutal, it seems to have never entered the popular imagination in the way other deadly historical events have. In fact, I tend to think that the people who hate communists don't hate them for that reason, but hate them for some vague notion that they're opposed to "our way of life."

        •  Google "Gilded Age" (0+ / 0-)

          2.0

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:28:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I would love for a political solution... (0+ / 0-)

          but the country is less educated and better armed than in the 1910s.

          Legislating anything that hurts the 1% is going to be very difficult because the legislature is even more corrupt than at that time. In addition, the military/police/intelligence surveillance and takedown of opponents (e.g., Eliot Spitzer - illegally caught by DHS; Julian Asange - hounded by trumped up charges based on a bogus, after-the-fact complaint)  today has no counterpart from the Gilded Age.

          The political process is more in the hands of the elites than ever; and the suppression of Civil Liberties on a Constitutional basis (thanks to the evil SCOTUS) makes most legal challenges unlikely to succeed.

          Compared to me, you are definitely an optimist.

          •  The idea that the country is less well educated (0+ / 0-)

            than in 1910 is just laughable. I'm not even going to bother to give you links.

            Fucking a woman is her sleep is rape. I've had it happen to me. So don't you tell me it's not rape. It's a real damn issue. I'm so damned sick of fucking "progressive" guys who think rape is cute. He can rot under the protection of a dictator for all I give a damn.

            When a conservative person is caught in a sex scandal, everyone thinks its poetic justice. When a leftward leaning person gets caught in a sex scandal everyone think its a great conspiracy. Give me a fucking break.

            I feel bad for Spitzer, but he was stupid and sloppy.

            •  Let's not get off topic here (0+ / 0-)

              My comments are about the ILLEGALITY of the searches.

              Spitzer was tracked down by GOP operatives given illegal access to DHS facilities for an illegal purpose.

              Assange offered to testify in Britain about a COMPLAINT, not a CHARGE. This is pretty standard procedure for Sweden, but they have REPEATEDLY refused to do this for Assange. They have blown a minor administrative matter up into an international incident.

              Do you think Assange deserves what Bradley Manning got on the basis of an unsubstantiated complaint? Because, make no mistake, if Assange gets extradited, he will be on trial for treason/espionage long before he gets a hearing on any sex charges.

              So, just don't misintrepret me on this topic. The whole point is the rule of law; not what evidence you can get by breaking the law. If the cops don't obey the law, we live in a police state.

              ----

              As for lack of education:

              Have you seen the studies about what percentage of the country can't find places on the map - like their own state or any country in africa or even africa itself?

              They stopped teaching civics a long time ago. Most people do not have a clue what the official version of the legislative process is, much less the bribery-infested sewer that is the actual reality.

              History is also unfashionable. No one cares. All they care about is today.

              So, I'm not talking about science, tech education. I'm talking about education for being a citizen in a democracy. These days schools are vocational training to serve corporate needs, and that goes for a lot of college courses - business schools come to mind.

              That's why I say people are less educated - to be citizens.

              --------------

              Bottom line: if you have a question about what I write, ask me before you go off on a rant. You might just become informed without insulting me.

              •  Have some sensitity to other human being (1+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Rei
                Hidden by:
                arendt

                I'm a human being, not a fucking piece of meat for men to poke at will.

                I'm screaming. I you hurt me. you fon't dare about people only your stupid political view.

                DDo ou know wat a ptsd attack lools like doi you have any sympathy

                hearlestt, mean, cruel

                You have no heart.

                •  What I said does not call for this level of hate. (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:
                  Rei

                  I am HRing you for abuse. I never did any of the disgusting things you are projecting on me.

                  I gave my reasons. I am not some punching bag for you to take your bad experiences out on.

                  You are busy revealing your entire life in another thread. Does what happened to you take priority over every other topic.

                  Why don't you get some counseling? Because its better than the public psychotherapy you're doing.

                  •  HR'ed for abuse of the HR against a rape victim. (0+ / 0-)

                    You publicly defended a guy who's running from rape charges to a rape victim and then act all shocked that she got upset.  What sort of reaction did you expect?  

                    •  I didn't know such until after... (0+ / 0-)

                      she went absolutely ballistic on me.

                      What am I, a mind reader?

                      Again, you have no call to HR me for responding to what I think is abuse to me.

                      "A guy who is running from rape charges." Yeah, as in not proven guilty and not likely to get a fair trial ANYWHERE.

                      Your rationale is bullshit. If this thread hadn't expired, I would HR you for butting in way, way after the fact and not understanding anything.

              •  "Offered to testify" (0+ / 0-)

                Assange knows damn well that they mean to indict him and that the questioning in Sweden is part of the process.  As one example among hundreds, from the first of his UK trials, the signed and sworn statement of the prosecutor:

                Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be launched with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries.
                Of course Sweden has "questioned" people overseas to gather information, but that isn't the goal here.  To indict someone in Sweden requires a second questioning, and they have to be in Swedish custody because after being indicted the trial must begin within a couple weeks (I can give you the relevant sections of Swedish law if you want).  Assange knows damn well that he's deliberately derailing this process and knows why "questioning on skype" is totally unacceptable.  He's trying to force them to drop the charges by hiding out in the embassy.

                And Assange has been charged (anklagad för brott) but not indicted (åtalad).  It's some crappy translations of Swedish that have led to some people getting confused about this issue.   Two courts in Sweden have already reviewed his case (on appeal from Assange's attorneys), going over all of the evidence, and both ruled against him (the Svea Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court).  Be you so kind as to Quit Supporting People Running From Rape Charges.  Especially people with a long history along these lines (that's just scratching the surface).

  •  The U.S. imposing "sanctions" on its own citizens? (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans think that 47% of the country are moochers and takers, and deserve to be "put on a diet" and walled off in some kind of socio-economic Gaza strip.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:13:14 AM PST

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