There were times while reading Dinesh D’Souza’s new book The Big Lie where I was reminded of Emile Zola’s famous letter of 1898 to the French newspaper LˈAurore accusing President Félix Faure of antisemitism. Like Zola’s historic, combative and wide ranging defense of Captain Alfred Dreyfus involving false accusations of espionage, D’Souza launches an all-out attack upon the Democratic Party in America and its progressive allies. The “big lie” to both Zola and D’Souza is a carefully laid out conspiracy to cover up the sins of the past and accuse the innocent in order to distort the truth. The bulk of D’Souza’s work mirrors my own in the study of Social Darwinism[i] in that it chronicles its diabolical and bloody march through most of the 20th century, and its iniquitous implications for today. But, first a quick synopsis.
Let’s start with D’Souza’s true intent on writing his book:
“My goal is to produce a genealogy in the sense of the term that Nietzsche wrote in his Genealogy of Morals.[ii] Nietzsche hopes, by giving an account of the origin of Christian morality, to discredit it by revealing its allegedly base roots. My goal is to show the base origins of fascism, not so much to discredit it–it should hardly be necessary in our time to do that–but to put to bed once and for all the big lie that makes fascism a phenomenon of the Right. Without this lie, the claim that Trump and the GOP are fascists simply crumbles.”
And what a genealogy. D’Souza traces the roots of the Democratic Party from its inception in 1828 to the present day. Throughout his well-researched and well cited work, the author meticulously documents the political party’s poisonous footprint on American history starting with Andrew Jackson signing the Indian Removal Act in 1930. Because of this heinous legislation members of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations were forced to move west of the Mississippi River. Thousands perished in the “Trail of Tears” along the way.
D’Souza then details the Democratic Party’s fight to make slavery an institution guaranteed by law. In the Dred Scott decision, the seven democratic justices declared blacks not people but property. Through the Plantation Period or Antebellum Era, Democrats strove to legalize slavery in newly arriving states and established territories. The American Civil War was an inevitable clash of national consciousness brought on not by the firing on Fort Sumter, but by the intransigence of a political party that could not recognize “that all men are created equal.
D’Souza pursues the democrats in the decades following reconstruction, and into our previous century with its Jim Crow laws, lynching’s, and the history of the Ku Klux Klan (a de facto militia organization utilized by the Democratic Party to enforce its racist agenda).
Where D’Souza’s research and mine dove tail is in uncovering the history of euthanasia and eugenics. We agree it has its genesis in Europe and America as part of the theory of Social Darwinism. We diverge a bit in that D’Souza concentrates solely upon the sins of the Democratic Party and conveniently omits mention of the culpability – indeed, the orchestration of the eugenics movement both as a racial and radical pseudo-scientific movement by republican stalwarts Theodore Roosevelt, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie. In England supporters included Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, and Lord Balfour.
D’Souza implicates, with justification, the role of academia in pushing the progressive ideas of eugenics. Still, despite support from Ivy League professors, there began, in the years leading up to World War II, a wave of dissention because the zeitgeist and early euphoria eugenics and euthanasia enjoyed began to crumble around the edges. Not so much because of Nazi programs (read pogroms) but because many scientists were becoming outraged at the lack of scientific methodology and they started to speak out.
Sustained intellectual opposition, very early in the discussion of eugenics, included American sociologist Lester Frank Ward,[iii] anthropologist Frank Boss,[iv] G. K. Chesterton,[v] and Pope Pius XI.[vi] Yet D’Souza fails to credit these credible adversaries of eugenics, possible because it doesn’t follow his genealogical narrative.
Additionally, D’Souza is remiss in following the money trail throughout the post-WWII period. Rockefeller funding continued to pour into organizations espousing eugenics and euthanasia, and, to an even greater extent, pro-abortion advocates. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s republicans turned a deaf ear to prolife pleas for help. This continues with liberal and moderate republicans today.
Yet, the overwhelming evidence compiled correctly in D’Souza book is that the Democratic Party is guilty of gross injustice to the most vulnerable in our society: minorities, the poor, the aged, those with mental and physical disabilities, and, of course, the unborn. This is indeed a collaborative effort from the Left that has re-resurrected socialist hegemony. Hear D’Souza’s reasoned opinion:
“I am also referring to what the Nazis called Gleichschaltung. The term itself means “coordination” and it refers to the Nazi effort to use intimidation across the cultural institutions of society to bring everyone into line with Nazi priorities and Nazi doctrine. Progressives in America are using their dominance –-actually their virtual monopoly–in the fields of academia, Hollywood, and the media to enforce their own Gleichschaltung. They do this not merely through the type of blatant propagandizing and outright lying that would do Joseph Goebbels proud, but also through the relentless battering and forced exclusion of dissident voices from their cultural institutions, so that there is only one point of view that is communicated to the vast majority of students and citizens.”
Today, unfortunately, there is a convoluted interpretation of what fascism (Benito Mussolini), National Socialism (Adolf Hitler), and international communism (Joseph Stalin) really mean. And, this is the “Big Lie” D’Souza is constantly alluding to. Fascism, Nazism, and communism all find their genesis on the Left of the political spectrum; not on the Right as is commonly misunderstood today.
D’Souza quotes Mussolini in his Autobiography:
“The foundation of fascism is the conception of the State. Fascism conceives the State as an absolute, in comparison to which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. For us Fascists, the State is not only a living reality of the present, it is also linked with the past and the future, and thus transcending the brief limits of individual life, it represents the immanent spirit of the nation.”
This flies in the face of our constitutional guarantees of individual liberty which is sacrosanct in our nation’s history. There is no room for fascism, Nazism, and communism within the parameters of our constitutional republic. It would be beneficial for all Americans to look back at where we have come from, what we have fought and died for, and what our country’s flag truly stands for.
Emile Zola’s letter forced France to look within itself. It not only saved Captain Dreyfus from the perdition of Devil’s Island, it eventually helped bring down the government. Zola never extolled the virtues of violence in order to accomplish this. He used a weapon rarely tolerated today: the truth. D’Souza thinks he has done likewise. Give The Big Lie an unprejudiced read. Our system of government and our very way of life in America may depend upon your conclusions.
[ii] Nietzzsche, Friedrich. 1887.
[iii] Ward, Lester F. 1913. Eugenics, Euthenics, and Eudemics. Chicago: American Journal of Sociology.
[iv] Boas, Franz. Eugenics. The Scientific Monthly Vol. 3 (July-December, 1916).
[v] Chesterton, G. K. 1922. Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientific State.
[vi] Encycl. Casti Connubii. Dec. 31, 1930.