The Right and the ‘Communist’ Slur

One of the most tiresome slurs used by the right is calling everyone on the left a “communist.” They never define the term, of course, and there’s a reason for that. Because the things they’re using it to criticize are almost never even remotely related to actual communism. Here’s Joseph Farah accusing CNN of being “communist.”

At CNN, just as in “The Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital,” the most important targets for elimination from the consciousness of the people are religion and free enterprise.

Amazing. Stunning. Welcome to the world of the Communist News Network.

It’s an all-too-accurate moniker indeed.

No, it isn’t. Communism requires public ownership of the means of all economic production. Is anyone at CNN even remotely suggesting such a thing? Has anyone at CNN ever requested such a thing? Of course not. This accusation acts as a slur, a dog whistle and a way of poisoning the well. A liberal is a socialist is a communist, obliterating all relevant distinctions. That their followers eat this kind of bullshit up with a spoon is depressing, especially when they vote.

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  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    All I can say is they must be Fascists to use slurs!!!!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    One of the most tiresome slurs used by the right is calling everyone on the left a “communist.” They never define the term, of course, and there’s a reason for that. Because the things they’re using it to criticize are almost never even remotely related to actual communism. Here’s Joseph Farah accusing CNN of being “communist.”…No, it isn’t. Communism requires public ownership of the means of all economic production. Is anyone at CNN even remotely suggesting such a thing? Has anyone at CNN ever requested such a thing? Of course not. This accusation acts as a slur, a dog whistle and a way of poisoning the well. A liberal is a socialist is a communist, obliterating all relevant distinctions. That their followers eat this kind of bullshit up with a spoon is depressing, especially when they vote.

    That sounds like something a Communist would say.

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    I believe that the logic goes something like this:

    Comunist=Bad. Therefore by the reflexive property of the equal sign anything that is bad is communist. See how easy that was.

    Now, we also know, Nazi=bad, so by the transitive property, Nazi=communist. And of course, Satan is the baddest Nazi, communist of them all, and since the 4th Star Wars movie was bad, Jar-Jar Binks is the anti-christ and therfore both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    “Jar-Jar Binks is the anti-christ ”

    I thought he was the whore of Babylon??

    It’s all so confusing

  • marcus

    Sorry but “Nazi-Muslim-Homosexual-Atheist-Socialist” just doesn’t say bat-shit crazy in the same way it does when you add the “Communist” modifier.

  • marcus

    PS I wonder if any of these idiots have actually read either “The Communist Manifesto” or “Das Kapital”. Well, I don’t wonder really, it’s obvious that they haven’t. I haven’t either but then I don’t use them as a huge tar-brush.

  • birgerjohansson

    Since you do not have private ownership of stuff like the CIA, the whole of USA must be communist.

    Santa has red clothes, so = communist. Red states are also communist. If you do not agree you are obviously a communist.

  • matty1

    I thought socialism was the public ownership of the means of production. Communism is a particular variant of socialism. Not that your explanation isn’t already far better than what you quote but fine distinctions can matter.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Actually communism was the system advocated by the earliest Xians.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/LDORIGINALS Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Indeed, Communism is a relatively broad concept. State ownership (what’s usually meant by ‘public’) of t he means of production would be a form of Socialism, often considered a subcategory of Communism, but most people who call themselves Communists favor worker ownership of the means of production, which would be a co-op. Of course, CNN isn’t calling for that either, and the Right are still deeply stupid for calling them Communists.

  • sketchvac

    One the best retorts I ever saw to the “there are no atheists is foxholes” canard was “that’s not an argument against atheists, that’s an argument against foxholes”. I employ a variant of that whenever someone (and, by someone, I mean my two brothers and my father!) roll out the ” is a ‘select_random(communist|socialist|muslim|atheist|marxist)” trope. I simply tell them that “all you have shown me is that you have no clue what-so-ever what Communism is”.

    Goes over well at family gatherings.

  • Nick Gotts

    matty1@8,

    In Marxist theory, communism is the final stage in the development of a socialist society (one in which the means of production are collectively* owned, as you say), in which material goods are so abundant that the slogan “To each according to their needs” can be implemented. However, since the Russian revolution, “communism” has often been understood to imply advocacy of a one-party state, while “socialism” and “social democracy” have been diluted to mean welfare-state capitalism or, in the parlance of the right, any controls of any kind on private greed, or the political power of the ultra-rich.

    *”Collective” ownership is not quite the same as “public” ownership: at least some kinds of producer co-operatives would generally be regarded as a socialist form of ownership.

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    ARIDS: “Jar-Jar Binks is the anti-christ.”

    Richardelguru: “I thought he was the whore of Babylon?? It’s all so confusing”

    Ah, yes. This is where you need advanced logic! You see. the whore of Babylon was bad, but if you are a Xtian who is in dire need of a BJ, the said grand ol’ lady might be good, so bad=good. And I leave it as an exercise to the reader to show also that:

    black=white

    and

    freedom=slavery

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Who dares disrespect Comrade Commissar Jar-Jar?

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Ah! Now it’s all clear to me.

    btw

    “black=white”

    But you’ll get killed on the next zebra crossing… (joke for the UK and for friends of Douglas Adams)

  • matty1

    @12 Thanks for the corrections, I actually thought of the collective ownership point after posting. My vague model for non-communist socialism was the situation in Britain prior to Thatcher when many things like steel production were nationalised, which I think goes beyond welfare state capitalism. Although on checking it seems the series of nationalisations and privatisations was longer and more complex than my faulty memory indicated.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    The heavy use of propaganda and the “big lie” technique is, um, fascistic…

  • colnago80

    Hey, the Whacknutdaily has some competition from the official Iranian news agency.

    Here’s the headeline.

    US run by Nazi space aliens, Iran claims

    http://goo.gl/8onplZ

  • Alverant

    @9

    Yep, christianity and communism are pretty compatible and have a lot of things in common. The idea that the state (aka God) owns everything, even your life. The inability to question the authority. The claim that it’s good for everyone when in practice it’s only good for those on top. The intolerance of other views. The dislike for voting. The list goes on.

  • Scr… Archivist

    I agree that “communist” is usually used as a mere slur, without any understanding behind it. But I suspect that some people who use the term as an insult use it as a pejorative form of “egalitarian”.

    Some people benefit from hierarchy no matter where they are in it, and don’t want it challenged. What better way to turn people away from even the mildest ideas about social equality than to equate them with the worst totalitarian, Leninist vanguard states that pretended to be egalitarian?

  • dingojack

    SLC – oooh and you’re such a creditable source*. @@

    Dingo

    ——–

    * If I were you I’d not post anything on Israel or Iran – nobody believes a word you say.

    You’re only hurting the Zionist zealotry you slavishly follow**.

    ** No doubt your genocidal masturbatory fantasies will follow in close pursuit.

  • colnago80

    Re the chihuahua @ #21

    Hey, I’m just reporting what the Iranian news agency is alleged to have said. However, here it is from the horse’s mouth so to speak.

    http://goo.gl/a2igcZ

  • typecaster

    Yep, christianity and communism are pretty compatible and have a lot of things in common.

    Which requires the obligatory mention of Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer”, which goes into a lot of detail about a whole lot of commonalities.

    @13 – This reminds me of the 1984 World Science Fiction convention, held in Anaheim. The con T-Shirt had the IngSoc slogans on the back:

    1. War is Peace

    2. Freedom is Slavery

    3. Ignorance is Strength

    4. Shit is Shinola

    Anyone wearing that shirt was not allowed to enter Disneyland.

  • Moggie

    Anyone wearing that shirt was not allowed to enter Disneyland.

    Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc, and you don’t get much olderthink than the mouse.

  • freehand

    I especially like the common pairings of

    Muslim atheist

    and

    fascist liberal.

    Plus, he seems to be some sort of socialist Wall Street whore.

    But Moggie said it best.

  • Ichthyic

    I believe that the logic goes something like this:

    Comunist=Bad

    that “logic” goes all the way back to before the turn of the last century. it was pushed by the oligarchs of the time out of fear they would lose their power to the rising middle class.

    seriously.

    go read Richard Evans’ Third Reich trilogy. the first book has a fantastically detailed account of exactly how this occurred, and why there was a right-wing reactionist movement against “communism”.

    they have used the exact same meme for over 120 years now, with great success.

  • Ichthyic

    The idea that the state (aka God) owns everything, even your life.

    show me the part of Marx’s writings, or Lenin’s, where this is documented. It’s simply not part of “communism”, just like an authoritarian dictator is not part of “democracy”.

    pathetic.

  • Ichthyic

    The inability to question the authority. The claim that it’s good for everyone when in practice it’s only good for those on top. The intolerance of other views. The dislike for voting. The list goes on.

    you know what these are all a part of?

    hierarchical authoritarianism.

    in fact, the very thing Marx was against.

    man, it’s amazing how stupid people are.

  • matty1

    Pay no attention to Dr Strangelove