Repeating History: 1930s Communism vs. 2010s Globalism

There’s too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

— Genesis, Land of Confusion

 

So many would worry about the status of the United States today.  What was once a mainly Christian-Conservative nation (which did have its own share of flaws, but plenty of upsides), is now transforming into a socialist/globalist nation.  Mainstream media vilifying anyone deviating from such political views, open borders, and being anything but straight and white.  Radical groups going after anyone challenging the change.  And only a few strong-willed individuals fighting against what seems to be a losing battle.

This is not something new.  This has happened before.  The biggest example would have to be the Red Scare.  Many would argue this was primarily about the Cold War, and the paranoia over Communist influence.  How Senator Joe McCarthy went after 80+ people unjustly with no grounds for his claims regarding them being Communists that pose a danger to the Democratic-Republic form of government.  How much of the red scare wound up being false flags, and much of the paranoia stirred up from people like McCarthy was simply a case of chasing one’s own shadow. And McCarthyism would be a term used from then to now, continually demonizing the man’s name to this very day.

Like how many demonize people like Donald Trump for claiming there’s a crisis at the border, that there is a serious issue with the crime rates due to illegal immigration, much less the voter fraud.  How others point out that this is part of some conspiracy fueled by people like George Soros who want globalism to happen, by putting in as many “refugees” as possible from chaotic third-world countries into first-world countries, bringing them down to their level.  Because once all major countries are in chaos, they will become easy pickings for corporate/communist/socialist/totalitarian overlords.  And anyone who challenges this threat becomes broken down and demonized themselves.

The similarities can be summed up with this quote from the novel Blacklisted By History:

To see the changing nature of the issue, we need only scan the report on domestic Communism compiled in 1930 by the Fish committee.  For its time a comprehensive wrap-up, this found the CPUSA to be a militant revolutionary group, mostly headed by alien leaders and drawing on a membership base heavily weighted to recent emigres, many of whom could not speak English.  That a Communist Party so led and constituted could penetrate the civilian ranks of the federal government–or make serious efforts to do so–occurred to practically no one.

In the next few years, however, the conditions recorded by the Fish committee, both in the Communist party and in the nation, would be altered in drastic fashion.  By the middle 1930s, the party would undergo a complete makeover in public image and at least a partial makeover in composition.  In the age of the “popular front,” the comrades shelved much of their violent,  revolutionary rhetoric; the cause would now be depicted by party boss Earl Browder and his agents as old-fashioned Americanism updated for the modern era.  In pursuit of this notion, the party adopted a stance of cooperating with other leftward and conventionally liberal forces for reform and social justice, peace, and other noble objects.

Simultaneously, and no-doubt aided by this tactic, there would be an influx into party ranks of native-born Americans, many fresh off the college campus, some from Anglo families dating back for generations.  The new arrivals gave the party a different kind of cadre, and cachet, that would be useful to it in numerous projects.  Foremost among these was the entry of party members into posts of influence in many walks of life, including academic and media jobs and government work for those inclined in that direction.

Aiding the infiltration process were the pell-mell methods of the First New Deal under President Franklin Roosevelt, who came to power in 1933 in the early stages of the Great Depression.  As is well known, Roosevelt and his advisers tried multiple panaceas to deal with unemployment, bank runs, a collapsed stock market, farm problems, and other economic troubles.  Subsidies, regulations, and new programs abounded.  This hurly-burly meant a lot of federal hiring.  It also drew into its vortex all manner of self-stylized planners and reformers anxious to get in on the action.  And nobody at this time was bothering to vet the new recruits for anti-Red credentials.

As a result of these conditions, a sizeable corps of Communists and fellow travelers would wind up on the federal payroll, together with a host of others susceptible to recruitment.

–p.51.  Evans

 

While the Communist threat didn’t do as much damage during that time period, up through the 60s at least, as many like McCarthy feared they would, damage was done.  And it is still being felt today.  Consider how many media/news sources demonize Catholicism Christianity and Capitalism, compared to Communism (either Russian or Chinese) from the 70s to the present (hint, there’s a curve).  How many demonize America for its involvement in Vietnam, compared to the havoc wrought by Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong.  How many demonize Republicans and Conservatives, compared to Democrats and Liberals and Socialists.  The condemning of the former tends to overshadow any condemning of the latter in each case.  And it’s not because true history is on their side, and not because it goes along with the facts, and not because it’s for the moral good.  It’s because many in power don’t want individualism and freedom to thrive.  Because individualists and those with freedom are more difficult to control.  And every Communist/Socialist nation needs control over the populace, so that those who rule can maintain a firm grip on their power.  Every Corporation wants to control and/or eliminate all potential competition so that they can remain on top.

The ironic thing about all this is that those in charge are themselves individuals, with their own needs and wants, with their own flaws and strengths.  Because it is human nature to desire wealth and power.  Wealth can be gained by earning it from your own work and being given it willingly from others, or by forcefully taking it from others.  Same thing applies to power.  The more wealth/power there is in the world, the more the most ambitious in the world will see for the taking.  The more technology advances and the more the world population grows, the more power/wealth there will be.  With technology that ends up making the world smaller by making travel and communication faster, it is only inevitable that the world will transform from those factions who each rule a nation, to a faction that rules the world.

Ooh superman where are you now
When everything’s gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

— Genesis, Land of Confusion

Is it possible to fight the good fight and win out in the end?  To have sense and compassion win out in the end?  Or will we succumb to what some consider to be the inevitable?  The downfall of once-great civilizations, the scattering of a once unified populace, only for the process to begin again?  The way I see it, populations are running out of places to run to.  The world isn’t as wide and open as it once was.  The cycle has to break, a sense of unity and progress has to be maintained.  Because if not, then it will be humanity that breaks.

They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  I say we only get so many repeats before it’s game over.  Those who won’t hear others out, who won’t be reasonable, who won’t compromise, who won’t think critically of events, who don’t question much of what they hear, will inevitably lead everyone into bloody conflict.  At this point, I don’t see any way out of this but through war.  And it could very well be the last war anyone fights, one way or another.  And if it doesn’t come down to war, then it comes down to being willingly and cumulatively poisoned to death.  There is a red scare.  And there will be blood to make the scare red.  It has already been shed.  It’s just a matter of how much more there will be until it ends.

We may not live long enough to allow science to progress to allow the human civilization (let alone Americans) to live on when the planet fails.  And if that is to be our fate, then all I can say is, “Well, it was good while it lasted.”

I wont be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know, we’ll never keep.

[…]

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.

This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to.

— Genesis, Land of Confusion

 

Source

Evans, M. Stanton.  (2007)  Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.  New York, NY: Crown Forum

The War on Film Culture: Part 4: What Shall the History Books Read? (1915)

Oh I suppose it began when I was a child.  I used to get under the table and listen to my father and his friends talk about the battles they had been through in their struggles.  First these impress you deeply.  […]  You know, when you’ve heard your father fighting day after day, night after night, and having nothing to eat but parched corn.  A group of people fighting desperately against great odds.  Great sacrifices.  Suffering.  Death.  It was a great struggle, a great story.

— D.W. Griffith

1914, The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) begins to lobby aggressively for government regulation of films. The WCTU claims that films are “addictive,” that they glorify war and violence, and that they cause crime, delinquency and immoral behavior.  They were one of several religious organizations that began to rally against films for their content.

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The War on Film Culture: Part 3: Holding the Tongue (1913-1915)

The motion picture has entered every city and town of the country. It makes a widespread and subtle appeal to people of all ages and all degrees of mental development. In the short period of fifteen years it has established itself beside the book, the school, and the church as an instrument for moulding opinion.

— Orrin Cocks

The issue of censorship gained even more steam in April 16, 1913, when the state of Ohio passed an ordinance that allowed them to enforce censorship of films released in their state.  This formed an organization which stated that their objective “is to improve the moral quality of motion pictures.”  A fee had to be paid by film distributors in that state in order for it to be under consideration by the Ohio state commission, who would determine if the film should be released theatrically (the only way films could be seen at the time) in the state of Ohio.  If the commission deemed the film unfit or immoral for audiences in their state, it would be illegal for the film to be released there.  And any attempt to release the film in the state without approval would result in the arrest of the film distributors.

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The War on Film Culture: Part 2: The Fox and the Monopoly (1900-1915)

Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged.  That’s not the place to become discouraged.

— Thomas Edison

 

Carrie Nation, a radical feminist and member of the temperance movement (against alcohol before prohibition), went about busting up saloons in 1900 for a few months in protest of alcohol; she usually did this wielding a hatchet.  A year later, Edison would capitalize on her popularity with the film Kansas Saloon Smashers.  It’s only inevitable that films would cover topical subjects outside of boxing.  Carrie Nation would later die in 1911, with her last words being, “I have done what I could.”  In 1919, her dreams of national prohibition would be realized.  One year later, women would be given the right to vote.

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Rollerball (1975) review

Rated: 4.5 / 5

The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.

This is a film that seems to be a cult classic at best, when it should really be an all-time classic.  I find it puzzling how difficult it is to get a hold of this film in a physical format.  It’s not impossible, and it’s affordable, but you have to go out of your way to do it.  Any DVD version that got a release went quickly out of print.  The only Blu-Ray versions tend to be “Limited Releases”.  And it doesn’t exactly show up on television all that much, even though there is no sex, there is a brief amount of nudity (men’s asses in the showers), and the violence isn’t exactly excessive, especially when compared to films we get today.  Hell, this movie is rated R, and PG-13 films get released today that have much more violence and foul language than this film does.  Guess we’ve become desensitized to the violence.  Ironic, given that this relates to one of several messages contained within the film.  Both the being desensitized to violence, and the seeming hindering of historical knowledge.  The messages within this film are more relevant today than they were when the film was made.

Rollerball (1975) - Blu-ray DVD review at Mondo Esoterica

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The War on Film Culture: Part 1: Boxing with Edison and Rector (1894-1897)

Enoch J. Rector
Thomas A. Edison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But political fear is more than an individual experience, and it affects more than personal lives. The morals contributing to it descend from tradition and popular belief, and the rational calculus underlying it reflects the realities of social and political power. Whether by design or consequence—for sometimes the outcome is intended, other times not—political fear reinforces a society’s distribution of power and resources, influences public debate, and compels public policy.

— Corey Robin

In 1894, one of the first films ever was censored by the mayor of Newark, New Jersey.  The films is titled Carmencita.  It was censored because, during the dance, the woman’s underwear is (briefly) visible.  But this was a minor act of censorship compared to what would happen three years later.

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The War on Film Culture: Part 0: An Introduction

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

So a while back, listening to the Slaughterfilm podcast (again), Forrest Taylor brought up the subject on how many were bitching about “the death of cinema.”  And Forrest basically stated that these complaints are nonsense.  Well, this instigated a multi-step response from me over the course of a few of their podcasts.  Below I list each entry I made in response to each podcast.

Entry #1

“Where’s this ‘death of cinema’ coming from?”

You’re looking at it the wrong way. Financially? Nuh uh. A film can be the highest grossing film of the year, and still be a piece of shit, which dumbasses who are easily entertained with money to spend go and see. For example, in the year 2000, the highest grossing film of the year was Mission Impossible 2. As another example, in 1979, the highest grossing film of the year was Moonraker.

The point being, just because a film does well financially doesn’t mean, long-term speaking, it’s going to do well culturally (ex: March 1990, Pretty Woman did better financially than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yet it’s the latter that had the bigger cultural impact). And that’s where people are coming from when they state that cinema is dying.

Television shows, whether on network television or on streaming services, are doing far better from a cultural impact standpoint than films are. And before you get your feathers in a ruffle over that statement, I’m aware of The Last Jedi (which is coasting on the cultural impact setup by the original and prequel trilogy) and the Avengers films (or any Marvel film in general, which have been coasting on Iron Man and The Avengers’ cultural impact since 2012), and their cultural impact (which is about as negative as it is positive in some cases). But the problem with those films is that they are a glorified series. They don’t stand on their own. You are required to see previous episodes/movies for the sake of understanding what is going on a good portion of the time. They’re not movies, they’re a glorified episode of an ongoing series.

The bigger cultural impacts come from shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Last Man Standing, The Big Bang Theory, Vikings, House of Cards, etc. People know more about those, and are more inspired by those, than they are with films in theaters.

For more on this, I suggest viewing this 10 minute YouTube video that primarily discusses how a remake should be done, but delves into the death of cinema too for a respectable length:

 

Entry #2

Well, I wouldn’t say everyone loves Marvel films. The amount of people starting to hate on them has been growing since Captain America: Civil War (yes, that includes me as one of the haters). And I mean a consistent growing hate across all their movies. It’s small now, most would consider insignificant. But, by the time the Captain Marvel movie hits (at the earliest), or after the 4th Avengers film comes and goes (at the latest), this hate won’t be insignificant anymore. It will be for reasons I’m sure you find silly and childish. However, if you feel strongly enough about it (which I doubt, considering the “not giving a shit” attitude you tended to have with regards to Star Wars), I’m willing to debate the subject. But be warned, when I debate, I do it aggressively and methodically.

In any case, I’m ready and waiting for Hollywood to fall down, while the Independents swarm in to help pick it back up, like they did throughout a decent portion of the 90s and early 2000s. I expect this fall to be the biggest one since the Hay’s Code went away. I hope for a semi-film revolution the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 70s. I will be disappointed if this doesn’t happen within the next 5 years (I calculate this will happen no later then 2043; just hoping it happens a lot sooner than that).

Entry #3

Regarding where I got that date from, it’s an estimation based on how long the Hay’s Code lasted. The Hay’s Code was put into place in 1930, but wasn’t fully enforced until 1938. Basically, between 1930 and 1938, more and more films became more and more self-censored by adhering to the Hay’s Code during that time until it came to a head in 1938, when it remained in full effect until 1967 where it thematically (but no less officially) died with the release of Bonnie and Clyde. If we state that the whole thing started in 1930, then that’s a lifespan of 37 years.

I predict 2043 to be when the film industry goes through an independent reformation because I suspect this current trend of safe PC liberal films began around 2006, possibly earlier. But there are 2 factors that make me believe this reformation will occur sooner than that.

1.) This trend likely began earlier than 2006.

2.) The Internet, where much information is spread about the state of things at a far more rapid rate than was possible in the 30s-60s. Which makes it possible for things to change faster.

But it’s like Cory said, there are so many films and shows being made that it’s basically impossible to track them all, let alone know which ones are supposed to be good. And social media sites like Letterboxd, and various sites where so-called film critics review films, and Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, were initially meant to not only track/rate/review all these diverse films, but to also allow one to know if it is something that would appeal to them or not.

But that has now, heavily. Letterboxd has largely become an echo chamber for liberal-minded PC viewers (they greatly outnumber alternative voices, who are never the most popular reviews, and thus are largely ignored unless you search hard enough for the good ones). Film critics are either paid off or just as liberal-minded. And Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes have become a joke like IMDB.  As a result, as things stand now, even if a non-liberal, non-PC film was released that appeals to those of other political/social/cultural tastes, those sites and critics will do everything in their power to bash it to pieces, or even worse, attempt to silence its existence by ignoring it.

So because of those factors, while it is possible for the reformation to happen sooner, the masses who have been brainwashed by teachers and critics, and spend most of their time in safe-spaces where group-think is not only encouraged but mandatory… That could make the reformation happen later rather than sooner.

I warned you about this, and gave you hints about this with my bashing of The Last Jedi. And to be honest, I’m more worried that society will fall before the counter-culture grows big enough and gains enough influence to even matter. And at that point, awaiting good films to be made will be the least of our worries (though it is a symptom of the overall problem).

The key word is culture.

 

Hey! You!  Hey you!  Where Do You Go?

So after thinking on the subject for a while, I decided to do a study on film culture.  My initial intent was to simply study the Hays Code, its rise and fall, and what we could (or should) learn from it.  Lessons we should have learned from it since then, yet showcasing evidence of censorship to conform to some government/corporate/religious view the eerily mirrors that of the Hays Code era.  If nothing else, it would give me a better idea on how to predict events, and form superior arguments more prone to swaying opinions.

However, I didn’t expect to find elements during and prior to the Hays Code that end up being more relevant to the time period we’re in now than the Hays Code period.  As if we’re not so much as living in an era similar to that of the Hays Code, so much as living in a time period similar to the oncoming rise of the Hays Code.  And that is something I find more unsettling than what I thought we were currently dealing with.

There is too much information to condense into just one single post.  So I will be presenting my findings over a series of posts.  I intend to showcase events and speeches that occurred around a century ago, and how they mirror events similar to this day; demonstrating that we are regressing from free, liberated, artistically independent film-making culture, to a film culture controlled by politics and religion (sometimes religion disguised as politics).  You may find them fascinating at the least, terrifying at the worst (or is it ‘best’ in this context?).

I currently don’t have all of the articles done.  But I have enough of them done to feel comfortable to start releasing each of them now, one by one, on a weekly basis.  You may find them not starting out all that exciting.  Stick with them.  By the time they get to the year 1915, you’re going to be in for some heavy-hitting stuff.  And just when you think you’ve seen the craziest most controversial stuff, just when you think you know everything about that time period, it will get even more insane.  The more I uncovered, the more I knew I had to write about this.

The next entry will hit on Sunday.  And I will try to aim for the releases from each Sunday after that.  Until then, here’s some older posts I made that should hold you over until then:

https://theanomaloushost.org/2018/01/09/on-the-topic-of-films-based-on-true-stories-events/

https://theanomaloushost.org/2018/06/30/its-not-just-a-movie-the-importance-of-films/

 

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4