Profile picture
David Walsh @DavidAstinWalsh
, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
It's kind of funny that D'Souza believes FDR's (supposed) admiration for Mussolini is a greater crime than Japanese internment.
@rauchway has a thread debunking D'Souza's claims that fascism equals socialism and that the Roosevelt administration was rife with fascist sympathizers, so I'm just going to take a step back and make some general comments.
It never ceases to amuse me, as a historian who studies this stuff, D'Souza's constant attempts to prove that New Deal liberalism is bad because of fascist sympathies.

I say this for two reasons.
One, so many Americans who were sympathetic to fascism and especially Nazism in the 1930s moved to the far right in reaction to the New Deal.

It was fairly common for right-wing businessmen to look at the changes the New Deal was rendering in American society...
...particularly when it came to bosses' control over workers through things like the Wagner Act, and conclude that maybe there was something to this whole fascist thing.

Some even detected the malign influence of a Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy to set up a Soviet America.
These are the same people -- in many cases, *EXACTLY* the same people -- who became prominent conservatives in the 1950s and steered the Republican Party far to the right.
Two, it's not as if you need to invent some imaginary fascist history of New Deal liberalism to identify some pretty serious flaws in the project. Real historians do this all the time.
The economic reforms were incoherent. The Social Security Act was deliberately designed to exclude people of color. New Deal agencies cemented redlining in American cities, explicitly bolstering segregation. And did I mention Japanese internment?
All of these practices drew upon longstanding American political, social, and economic traditions. The Roosevelt administration didn't implement them because they looked at Hitler and Mussolini and said, "hey, that's a good idea, we should do that, too!"
If anything, quite the reverse happened.…
So here's why what D'Souza is doing is ultimately a con:

The New Deal did some pretty awful things along with some good. (If it was a revolution in American life, it was a limited and incomplete one.)
But D'Souza doesn't care about engaging with that history. He just wants to put the words "liberal" and "fascist" together.

But the *ACTUAL* fascist sympathizers in the 1930s were ferociously opposed to even the *modest* reforms of the New Deal as too radical.
You know, the reforms that were deliberately designed to maintain the color line. (I'm not even getting into the problematic labor history of the New Deal, although to summarize real quick it's not like the feds suddenly became labor organizers.)
So that's the con. The New Deal liberals were "fascists" and fascist-sympathizing right-wingers in the '30s who thought that federal programs deliberately designed to maintain white supremacy were communistic were actually freedom-loving liberty defenders.

There's so much written on the New Deal it's hard to figure out where to start. Here are five suggested books.
Not about the New Deal strictly speaking, but gives a firm handling of the FHA and how public-private partnerships word in cementing housing segregation.…
From the late Leo Ribuffo -- THE book on the far right in the 1930s.…
And quite possibly still the best single-volume history of the New Deal.…
Scrub "internment" for "incarceration."
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to David Walsh
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!