Wednesday, September 09, 2015

From the "you can't make this stuff up" files, Ted Cruz drawer

David Barton, whose pseudohistory is a favorite on the Christian fundamentalist home-schooling circuit, is taking over leadership of Ted Cruz' $38M Super-PAC "Keep the Promise." (Karoli, Wallbuilders Founder Takes Over Cruz SuperPAC C&L 09/09/2015)

Karoli's post features audio of Barton talking about how dubious he finds all this here bitness about wimmin voting.

The same audio with transcript can be found in this post by Kyle Mantyla, Barton: Not Allowing Women To Vote Was Designed 'To Keep The Family Together' Right Wing Watch 05/01/2014.

It features this striking bit of "history" from Barton: "You look at the Pilgrims, when they finally moved away from socialism and moved toward the free enterprise system ..."

Yes, kiddies, the Pilgrims were socialists. Just like Barack Obama and pinko RINOs like Jerry Ford and those Bushes.

I know for the Christian homeschool crowd, all this nonsense about actual history is like, soo-ooo 1969!

But in the boring old real world, the Pilgrims, aka, Puritans, landed in North American in 1620. You know, the Mayflower and Thanksgiving and all that? The expedition was sponsored by a London joint stock company, an early capitalist enterprise, an organizational ancestor of today's corporations.

In one of my more studious moments, I dug up a couple of articles about the origins of the word "socialism." (Who you callin' a socialist? 11/29/2009) Here's my summary from 2009:

Carl Grünberg (1861–1940)

Anyway, I thought this post would be a good place to mention the real historical origin of the word socialism, based on a couple of articles from what is known as the Grünberg Archiv, after its editor Carl Grünberg (1861–1940). The publication was actually called Archiv für die Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung (Archive for the History of Socialism and the Workers Movement). Grünberg later became director of the Institut für Sozialforschung, better known as the Frankfurt School. These two articles from the Archiv deal with the origins of the words "socialism" and "socialist": Carl Grünberg, Der Ursprung der Worte „Sozialismus“ und „Sozialist“ 2/1912 and Ernst Czóbel, Zur Verbreitung der Worte „Sozialismus“ und „Sozialist“ in Deutschland and in Ungarn 3/1913.

The earliest usage of the words Grünberg found was from an Italian cleric in 1803, where it was used to refer broadly to the opposite of individualistic philosophies, which Grünberg describes as "a thoroughly different" meaning that the one it was to later acquire. He finds a French usage from 1831 of "socialisme" where it referred to ... the Catholic Church! In the sense of the Universal Church: Catholic theology emphasized the importance of community in contrast to the more individual-oriented Protestant theology.

The first use of "socialist" he identifies is in 1827 from the English Co-operative Magazine and Monthly Herald, a paper of Robert Owens' reform movement to describe the Owenites. This is essentially the first usage he finds of the word in the sense it came to be generally used in the 19th century. Although he notes the word didn't catch on for a while in England.

In 1831, he finds "socialisme" used in a French paper, Le Globe, where it is used to describe the Saint-Simonist reform doctrine in contrast to individualism. This is a very similar usage to that of the English Owenite paper in 1927.

So, in other words, the term socialist came into usage as a reference to the reformist doctrines that later came to be known as utopian socialist, particularly those associated with Robert Owen (1771-1858), Charles Fourier (1772-1837) and Claude Henri Graf von Saint-Simon (1760-1825).

Grünberg and Czóbel find the first usages of the adjective form "sozialist" in German in 1840, though it's not clear which among them was the earliest, Fr. J. Buss in a speech of July 1840 or August Ludwig Churoa, writing under the pen name of Rochau, in the book Kritische Darstellung der Sozialtheorie Fouriers. Grünberg finds the first use of the noun form in German in an 1842 book by Lorenz von Stein (1815-1890), Sozialismus und Kommunismus des heutigen Frankreichs. Czóbel finds the earliest incidence of the word in Hungary in 1842.

In short, the use of "socialist" and "socialism" in the sense to which the world became accustomed in the 19th century began around 1830 and by the 1840s was beginning to come into general usage to describe utopian reform schemes like those of Owen, Fourier and Saint-Simon.
But David Barton thinks the Pilgrims in America were already practicing it before those guys were even born! Awesome.