Yes, it is true. Progressives loved Stalin and Mussolini. At least that was the case until it turned out those progressives, fascists, were actually doing some really bad things over there. In fact, some progressives actually "loved what Hitler was doing over there," before it came out what his ulterior goal was.
Some progressives actually noted that they were jealous of Stalin because he made his country more progressive and faster than what was going on here in the United States. Of course such talk ceased once word got out that Hitter, Stalin and Mussolini were bad people.
I'm not joking here either. And, ironically, this is the part of the progressive history that progressive leaders don't want us to remember, and so they have left this part out of the history books our kids learn from in school.
As Jonah Goldberg notes in his book, "Liberal Fascism," "There were of course significant differences between fascism and Progressivism, but these are mainly attributable to the cultural differences between Europe and America, and between national cultures in general.
Progressivism in America, and fascism in Europe, were basically one and the same, and a trend of the times between 1900 and the 1930s. The goal, as Goldberg writes, and several other experts have noted, was to obtain "the great utopia." If we could take from the rich and give to the poor, we can make a world where there is no poor.
Although, as history later proves, there is no evidence a government can achieve such goals. Yet that wasn't evident in the early 20th century. Progressivism, fascism, was a "worldwide movement."
Jane Adams, at the 1912 progressive convention, noted that progressivism is like a science, and in science there is experimentation. Although, what she didn't realize, as none of the other progressives did at the time, was that if you "experiment" with something and you don't know what you're doing, you might create a bigger mess than you might expect.
Hence is the case with the progressive movement, and is why Europe is enveloped today in an economic disaster, and why America (still lagging behind Europe in the progressive movement) under Obama (and to some extend George W. Bush) is headed in the same direction if an opposing force doesn't stop it.
Goldberg mentions many members of the FDR administration who were "awed" by what was going on in Europe. He writes, "For countless liberals, Mussolini, Lenin, and Stalin were all doing the same thing (as we progressives here in America): transforming corrupt, outdated societies.
In his own way, Goldberg writes, Woodrow Wilson was as much a part of modernizing the world, creating a more "evolved" world, organizing society so it was a better, more euphoric place, ideal place, as was Mussolini.
Hence note that, like Mussolini and Stalin and perhaps to some extend Hitler, Woodrow Wilson dictated his agenda through rationing, price fixing, telling Americans they needed to make "great sacrifices such as "meatless" and "wheatless" days. In this way, he was a totalitarian, controlling his people.
Benito Mussoline made the same claims that American progressives made, that he wanted to create a perfect society with perfect citizens who put society ahead of their individual needs. He was actually influenced by many of the same minds who influenced American progressives, including Karl Marx. He actually wanted to fight on the American side, but he ended up supporting Hitler, and was therefore called a right winger, even though he still had the same values as American Progressives.
FDR, like Wilson, became known for forcing rationalizing, placing American Japanese in concentration camps around the country, forcing Americans to turn in their gold, and the like. He, in this way like Hitler and Stalin, was a dictator. He was a socialist in the mould of Karl Marx. He was for social reform, just as the Europeans were for social reform.
Another thing Wilson and FDR did that was Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini-like, was to silence dissent. They often imprisoned people who spoke out about the war, or criticized. They both were known to even shut down newspapers that spoke out against the war. Can you imagine if that happened in 2003 during the Iraq War?
Wilson had the sedition act that banned "uttering, printing, writing, or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States government or the military."
Goldberg notes, "The government was given the authority to deny mailing privileges to any publication he saw fit -- effectively shutting it down. At least 75 periodicals were banned. Foreign publications were not allowed unless their content was first translated and approved by censors. Journalists also faced the very real threat of being jailed or having their supply of newsprint terminated by the War Industries Board. 'Unacceptable' articles included any discussion -- no matter how high minded or patriotic -- that disparaged the draft."
Sauerkraut was called "liberty cabbage." German measles were often called, "liberty measles."
Goldberg notes, "Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but it has been estimated that some 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another. All were punished, many went to jail."
Totalitarian. Marxist. Whatever you want to call it.
Benito Mussolini was doing many similar things. In fact, Goldberg notes, he was influenced by many of the same people progressives in America were influenced by: Marx, Nietzshe, Hegel, James, etc.
Yet, although what he was doing was eerily similar to what FDR was doing in America, when he decided to side with Hitler, he was deemed by American scholars as "right wing" even though he was actually quite "left wing."
Similar things occur today, as many liberals have threatened a return of the Fairness Doctrine because they don't like people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity talking bad about liberalism, or revealing the truth about the Progressive movement. If they can't shut them up, they at least want equal time for liberal talk show hosts, who otherwise cannot get their shows on the air because nobody wants to listen to them.
When Conservatives speak on popular TV shows like the Today Show they are introduced as "controversial," while when a progressive like Al Gore goes on the same show in the same day, he is introduced as, "Vice President Al Gore," with no mention of the liberal tag.
Goldberg notes, "In the liberal telling of America's story, there are only two perpetrators of official misdeeds: conservatives" and right wingers. So, even when someone is a progressive, fascist, socialist just as they are, they are called "right wingers," or "controversial."
Just as Mussolini was called a right winger, Newt Gingrich today is called a right winger, and even the progressive John McCain is referred to as a right winger by the media when their is a more progressive Obama running for President.
They also rewrite history. Did I mention that before. For instance, as Goldberg notes, you hardly hear tale that many progressives were supporters of Eugenics. You hardly hear tale that many with mental disabilities were castrated so they couldn't procreate. This was all their attempt to create an "ideal" people.
Yet, this was quickly set aside when it was realized Americans didn't like what was going on in Europe, especially Germany. And, later it was realized Stalin was killing his people too if he didn't like them, and castrating those he didn't want reproducing in order to create a more idealistic Russia.
Goldberg notes that "conservatives, meanwhile, not only take the blame for events not of their own making that they often worked the most assiduously against, but find themselves defending liberal misdeeds in order to defend America herself."
The goal of both progressives in America and Fascists in Europe (of course neither is called such anymore, but is still the same), is to assure that there is no dividing line between the rich and the poor."
Hitler had a similar goal, when he preached, "What a difference compared with a certain other (Spain). There it is class against class, brother against brother. We have chosen the other route: rather than wrench you apart, we have brought you together."
However evil this sounds, that is the goal here in America for progressives too. That is why Woodrow Wilson and his progressive administration sought for and got passage of the progressive tax. They did so by "lying" to Americans that it would only generate a 3% tax on the upper class. Once it was passed the tax was ultimately increased to 75%.
The goal is to create "social programs" that benefit the poor. To pay for them, money must be taken from those who work. "You must do your fair share," is a common chant back then and now by progressives. "You must do your fair share for the state."
"Of course," Goldberg is smart to note, "such Utopian dreams would have to come at the price of personal liberty. But progressives and fascist alike were glad to pay it."
Note Volksgemeinschaft: a Nazi slogan about placing the common good before the private good.
Again, Goldberg notes, "This is the elephant in the corner that the American left has never been able to admit, explain or comprehend. Their inability and/or refusal to deal squarely with this fact has distorted our understanding of our politics, and ourselves. Liberals keep saying 'it can't happen here' with a clever wink or an ironic smile to insinuate that the right is constantly plotting fascist schemes. Meanwhile, hiding in plain sight is this simple fact: it did happen here, and it might very well happen again. To see the threat, however, you must look over your left shoulder, not your right."
Now we have Obama. Oh, how we did see it coming, yet nobody listened.