By 史蒂夫 奥托
It sounds ridiculous, laughable and yet there are bound to be people in the US who actually believe this non-sense. Where did these revelations start? Glen Beck did a series of shows linking Jed Brandt, Van Jones and the Brecht Forum, with President Barrack Obama, the Democratic Party and any organization using the name Progressive.
Beck is off his rocker and has been an embarrassment to more serious conservatives if there are any left. And what is worse, other bloggers are picking up on these ridiculous accusations and printing them as if they are fact.
The Raw Deal website had a similar blog taking up the misinformation from Beck. Now Scott Wheeler, of Townhall.com is taking it one step further claiming; “Obama Stimulating a Marxist Revolution Using Taxpayer Money.”
Obama funds Marxist revolutionaries? According to the Wheeler blog:
” A Marxist group that has demanded the “destruction” of the U.S. and issued a call "to bring this government down" is the recipient of stimulus funds from the Obama American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This same group, the Brecht Forum, has also called for the complete takeover of insurance companies and farms in America.
The controversial stimulus bill, as ARRA is better known, provided funds for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), which promptly granted the New York City-based Brecht Forum $5,000 in 2009 and $9,000 in 2010. The NYSCA had previously announced in 2008 that due to state budget cuts it would no longer be able to fund 573 organizations that it had previously funded. One of the groups on the list to be slashed was the Brecht Forum. After NYSCA secured $399,000 in stimulus money, the Brecht Forum once again had funding.”
It’s quite a stretch to claim that Obama intentionally planned on giving any money to the Brecht Forum. What is the Brecht Forum? According to their website:
“The BRECHT FORUM is a place for people who are working for social justice, equality and a new culture that puts human needs first. Through its programs and events, the Brecht Forum brings people together across social and cultural boundaries and artistic and academic disciplines to promote critical analysis, creative thinking, collaborative projects and networking in an independent community-level environment.
Throughout the year, the Brecht Forum offers a wide-ranging program of classes, public lectures and seminars, art exhibitions, performances, popular education workshops, and language classes. These activities are developed in collaboration with the many social movements and the diverse communities of this most cosmopolitan of cities, and our programs bring together leading intellectuals, activists and artists from New York, across the U.S., and internationally.
The Brecht Forum is organized through projects including The New York Marxist School, The Institute for Popular Education & Arts at the Brecht.”
So they do provide a forum for Marxists. But what does that have to do with the Obama? A lot of attention has been focused on Jed Brandt, a long-time communist, political activist. He is openly communist, but is not that well known nation wide. He has come out and said that he and other communist have no alliance at all with the liberals who support Obama and any such belief is an illusion. That is what he has told his own supporters. Van Jones is another person the right-wing has focused on. He is a supporter of Obama, but he is a FORMER communist. He has denounced his former beliefs. It is possible for people to change their political beliefs over time, so the idea that “once a communist, always a communist” is just a form of McCarthyism. It is guilt through association for Obama and the idea that people are unredeemable once they have an idea that is unpopular.
Brandt has recently pointed out to his supporters not to expect Obama to follow a progressive or left-wing agenda. One example of that is the Afghanistan war. If Obama was a Marxist he would never have escalated that war since it is pure and blatant imperialism. It is the creation of a puppet government to allow the US full access to that country’s resources. Brandt has warned leftist not to expect Obama to do anything he hasn’t promised and he has not promised to end the war. He is also a capitalist and that is the reality, according to Brandt.
.There are many such communist bloggers besides Brandt to focus on. It’s unclear why so much attention has been given to Brandt. Considering how much coverage real Marxist and communist get in this country, the attention is good publicity for Brandt and the forums and groups he is associated with. From a Marxist point of view it would be very helpful to have a president who is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. But it’s just not true. In fact it is a ridiculous assumption. And that assumption is what the far right is really trying to bolster. The Tea Party is made up of many uneducated people who seem to have only a scant understanding of the political rhetoric they espouse. So it is not hard to imagine that many of these crazies will actually believe that Obama is secretly aiding communists.
For those of us on the revolutionary left, this may be an opportunity to tell the public what we really believe as opposed to all the non-sense that people think we believe in. There’s also a danger in the right repeating the McCarthyist fodder of the past.