Media Welcome for ‘Baroque Conspiracy Theories’ Not Unprecedented

What “surprises” Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik (8/30/09) more than this summer’s news full of “baroque conspiracy theories” and “weepy hysteria” is “the idea that these are somehow unprecedented.” Hiltzik looks back to an earlier era of supposed presidential “socialism” in the U.S. to see such current claims as “merely the latest examples of a phenomenon that might be called Wirtism”–a label Hiltzik “just coined… to honor the memory of William A. Wirt”: Wirt’s day in the sun came back in 1934, when the obscure Midwestern blowhard placed himself at the center of a political maelstrom by “discovering” a […]


Newsweek: None of Us Are Really Socialists, Still

Real-life socialist Paul Street (ZNet, 3/5/09) takes issue with a Newsweek cover story “about the Obama administration’s economic recovery and bailout plan… that ‘…has already–under a conservative Republican administration–effectively nationalized the banking and mortgage industries.’” Though the piece bore “the remarkable title ‘We are All Socialists Now,’” Street lists “four key things missing from this remarkable Newsweek report”: 1. Any remotely accurate understanding of socialism as it is grasped and advanced by its modern-day adherents: democratic workers’ and peoples’ control of economic and political life in the interests of social use, equality, and the common good instead of private gain […]