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Posted: 1/21/2006 11:10:00 PM EDT
So, this historian guy decides to do some research on neo-Nazis because they are "nutty". In order to do so he decideds to immerse himself in it. To make an analogy, this is like a WW2 historian joining a reenactment group. Something like it's more real to write about things you lived through, so if you can't storm Utah Beach, you should at least know what it's like to run through sand in full kit and Thompson.
Anyway, he does it, and decides to do some research into academics as well. So he fires off an anonymous letter accusing himself of being a neo-Nazi and in the IRA. He was promptly fired.

www.nj.com/columns/ledger/mulshine/index.ssf?/base/columns-0/1137649957316870.xml&coll=1&thispage=1


Sham neo-Nazi finds himself between a Reich and a hard place
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jacques Pluss has accomplished the impossible. He has managed to get himself hated by everyone.

Nazis, socialists, lefties, righties, academics, nonacademics -- if they have any feeling about Pluss, those feelings are negative.

I may be the only person in America who appreciates what he has done. And what he has done is to single-handedly expose the myth of academic freedom in America.

Pluss did this with an unprecedented -- some would say nutty -- piece of guerrilla theater that just came to light the other day. At this time last year, Pluss was a quiet and otherwise unremarkable part- time history teacher at the Fairleigh Dickinson University campus in Teaneck. Then in March, the student newspaper received a mysterious letter postmarked from a small village in Ireland. The letter alleged that Pluss was a member of a neo-Nazi group in America and was also, among other things, an Irish Republican Army member who was being investigated concerning a recent drive-by killing in Belfast.

The neo-Nazis and the IRA generally don't move in the same circles, so that should have tipped off the college kids that something about the letter was a bit fishy. But then a bit of investigation turned up the curious fact that Pluss had been holding forth on an Internet radio station hosted by the National Socialist Movement.

Before long, Pluss was summarily booted from his teaching post and told not to show up on campus again. Fairleigh Dickinson officials said the firing had nothing to do with his politics. The dismissal was, they said, the result of some absences that had, coincidentally enough, come to their attention at the same time they learned of his tendency to march around in a brown shirt wearing black boots.

Having gotten that bit of legalese out of the way, they then went on to denounce Pluss for his political views. "It's not politics; it's hate mongering," a dean by the name of John Snyder told the Bergen Record. "It's just hatred directed at the very students he taught."

When I phoned Pluss at the time, he protested the hypocrisy of the FDU faculty. Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed. Back when he was a professor at William Paterson University some years ago, Pluss told me, a fellow professor had a huge hammer-and-sickle banner on her office wall. Che Guevara's a big hit among college kids these days, and Chairman Mao's not far behind, he noted.

I agreed with Pluss on that point. But when he launched into a spiel about the subtle but overlooked charms of that Austrian politician formerly known as Adolf Schickelgruber, I began to think he was a few Stukas short of a squadron, if you know what I mean.

It now turns out Pluss is not a Nazi; he's just a post-modernist. The other day, Pluss posted an article on the History News Network Web site (http://hnn.us/) titled "Now It Can Be Told: Why I Pretended to Be a Neo-Nazi." The episode, he writes, was inspired by the great French deconstructionists Jacques Derrida and Michele Foucault, who had insisted on "the need for the historian to 'become' her or his subject."

When I phoned him yesterday, the 52-year-old Pluss said his experience, which he expects to turn into a book, has brought him even more hatred from the academics who had hated him already.

"I had thought there would at least have been some more academically and intellectually oriented responses," said Pluss, whose Ph.D. in medieval history is from the highly respected University of Chicago.

Meanwhile, the storm-trooper wannabes he had befriended want to do to him what Hitler did to the Danzig Corridor. They've been phoning him with death threats, he said.
"They're a real bunch of misfits," Pluss said.

But they're good material for a historian. And Pluss said he couldn't have gotten that material without immersing himself in the movement.

"The theory behind my actions came from legitimate scholarship," Pluss said. "I thought to myself, 'Let's do a method-acting approach to the study of history and see how it works.' I chose the Nazis because they were absolutely the most obnoxious, whacky group I could find."

The academics were a close second, however.

Pluss wanted to test their reactions as well, which is why he mailed off that nutty letter when he was vacationing in Ireland. The FDU officials took the bait. So much for academic freedom. Pluss was not only booted from the campus but shunned by all of his former colleagues.

"I knew them to be a bunch of jerks," he told me. "If they wanted to dump me for my political views, why can't they just come out and say it?"

Pluss plans to write up the whole experience in the form of a historical novel. That gave me an idea. I had just read "A Million Little Pieces," that bogus memoir of drug rehab by James Frey that became a million seller. If hanging out with a bunch of bored druggies makes for a best seller, how about hanging out with a wacky bunch of nutty neo-Nazis?

"I've got just one more question," I said to Pluss before he had to go. "Have you had your people contact Oprah?"

Paul Mulshine is a Star-Ledger columnist. He may be reached at pmulshine@starledger.com.



What this proves is that leftist academics will happily support some murderous idealogies, but some are right out. I naturally hate all murderous idealogies, but the incident really shows the hypocricy you find in most colleges today. Pretty smart way of doing it, imo.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 12:57:49 AM EDT
Liberals are among the most closed minded people I have
ever had the misfortune of meeting.

Equality, fairness, and tolerance.

Sure.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 1:11:20 AM EDT
If he ever gets his book to print I would love to read it.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 6:33:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 6:35:40 AM EDT by raven]
He wasn't fired for being a Nazi. He was fired for not showing up for class 6 times in one semester. It's not mentioned in that column, but is in this blog. The blogger called up the school asking about him.

dbsoxblog.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_dbsoxblog_archive.html#111255139709359759
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 6:45:28 AM EDT

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?


Link Posted: 1/22/2006 6:47:12 AM EDT
Cool - I think I'll join a neo-nazi group. Then I'll tell my school about it right before I go up for tenure. Then when I get denied tenure, I'll claim it was for my "political beliefs"

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 6:56:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
So, this historian guy decides to do some research on neo-Nazis because they are "nutty". In order t
I agreed with Pluss on that point. But when he launched into a spiel about the subtle but overlooked charms of that Austrian politician formerly known as Adolf Schickelgruber, I began to think he was a few Stukas short of a squadron, if you know what I mean.




, that's a great simile.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 6:57:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?





I was wondering that myself. I thought Nazi's were left wing socialists.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:17:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?





I argued that when I was still in college. I was constantly harassed for my libertarian leanings and being open-minded I engaged in discussion with people of other mind, since that is what a university education is partially about. I pointed to the fact that all of the middle 20th Century dictators rose to power using socialist ideology (including Tojo). Leftists don't want to hear that the Fascists, Nazis, and militarists of Japan were in fact of their ilk. Hell, many of them refuse to believe that Communists are in fact left wing (don't ask me why, I ceased trying to understand how liberals "feel" [note: not "think"] after my sophomore year).

Academia has been left for a very long time, longer than even my mother has been alive. There was NEVER such a thing as academic freedom in the 20th Century.

Truth be told, there wasn't academic freedom when the conservative-minded ruled academia either.


Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:27:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?





because they are

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:30:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Redmanfms:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?

I argued that when I was still in college. I was constantly harassed for my libertarian leanings and being open-minded I engaged in discussion with people of other mind, since that is what a university education is partially about. I pointed to the fact that all of the middle 20th Century dictators rose to power using socialist ideology (including Tojo). Leftists don't want to hear that the Fascists, Nazis, and militarists of Japan were in fact of their ilk. Hell, many of them refuse to believe that Communists are in fact left wing (don't ask me why, I ceased trying to understand how liberals "feel" [note: not "think"] after my sophomore year).

Academia has been left for a very long time, longer than even my mother has been alive. There was NEVER such a thing as academic freedom in the 20th Century.

Truth be told, there wasn't academic freedom when the conservative-minded ruled academia either.

Yep.

And wow - haven't seen you posting here in a long time Redmanfms.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:32:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Liberals are among the most closed minded people I have
ever had the misfortune of meeting.

Equality, fairness, and tolerance.

Sure.



Conservatives are also very closed minded.

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:37:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:37:59 AM EDT
Sure, the National Socialist Party is right wing. That makes a lot of sense. Right wing extremeism would be anarchy. The difference in the theory of the 2 parties is the amount of control the government has. That doesn't stop the liars though.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:40:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?





because they are




Fascism has much more in common with left than the right.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:40:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:43:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 7:44:52 AM EDT by raven]

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Right is the triumph of the individual over the state. The plato model.

The left (and the nazis were pure left if there ever was one) is the triumph of the state over the individual. The Aristotalian model.





Ancient politcal philosophy dealt mainly with virtue, not questions of individual liberalism and authoritarianism. Aristotle saw the tyrant as a man of no virtue, not as an authoritarian like we'd think of him. Plato's vision of politics in The Republic was hardly about the importance of the individual over the good of the city. Actually, he was at the extreme opposite, except for the philosophers who due to their goodness and wisdom would know the truth, live freely (and rule over the city, of course).
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:43:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 7:44:01 AM EDT by Redmanfms]

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Yep.

And wow - haven't seen you posting here in a long time Redmanfms.



I've posted now and again.

Since I joined the Navy I've not had much time to be on the internet.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:49:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 7:58:03 AM EDT by Dino]

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Murderous leftist movements of all types are welcome on campuses all over America, he told me, but their right-wing equivalents are repressed.



Why do people always call nazis "right wing"?





because they are



Because its embarassing to call them what they are, socialists.

Right is the triumph of the individual over the state. The plato model.
The left (and the nazis were pure left if there ever was one) is the triumph of the state over the individual. The Aristotalian model.

Sorry Dino, the nazis and the soviets were so vicious against each other because they were the same species fighting for the same reasons.



I'm sorry if the correct usage of the term offends your delicate sensibilities. Originally right wingers were pro-monarchists in the assemby of the French Revolution.

Later it took on the form of authoritarian nationalism and was considered the opponent of the left wing communism.

Today, it has taken on a different significance, but it is not incorrect to say that the Nazi's were right wing. They were right wing extremists. Other right wing extremists include the KKK.

All but our nutjob ring wingers in America are to the left of the nazi's. Most of the right wingers today are also to the left of right wingers from the 1950's. It doesn't change the fact that the people who were killing civil rights workers and burning down churches were all right wingers.



p.s. your misunderstanding of Plato boggles the mind. Plato's republic was a dictatorship, but a benign dictatorship on the model of some of the Greek tyrants. His whole system relied on specially trained philosopher kings with a sense of civic responsibility. The first time they had a bad king, it would have fallen apart.

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:50:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:58:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:59:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Liberals are among the most closed minded people I have
ever had the misfortune of meeting.

Equality, fairness, and tolerance.

Sure.

+1
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:00:53 AM EDT

It doesn't change the fact that the people who were killing civil rights workers and burning down churches were all right wingers.



Chairman Mao, Lenin and Pol Pot would be proud.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:04:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
I would invite you to compare what happens to opposite minded posters here as oppossed to DU.
Conservatives have the vindication of reality which allows discussion. The leftist are devoid of anything short of blind ideology and viciously repress any dissent out of fear.



I would disagree.

You are using an example of the views of one person who owns a website and how he runs it against the views of another person who owns a website and how he runs it. You equate it to mean all conservatives are open minded versus all democrats who are closed minded.

Republicans and Democrats each have dogma they follow and are close- minded to opposite points of view.

Other then that, using this website and the posters here as an example of conservatives or an example of being open-minded is laughable. Look at the arguments on abortion, religion, police, and Glocks being the best pistol in the world as examples.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:05:07 AM EDT
In my Law and Society class last semester, a discussion on firearms and gun laws popped up.

I let everyone know some facts, and went on for a good two minutes, I was nice and I enunciated my points rather effectively I could see various nods of agreement, even from my professor.

However, I haven't seen a crowd turn so ugly so quickly since the time I caught a quick glance at the audience of Oprah's show.

I'd say about 30% of the people there were on my side, the rest didn't care, or immediately started to call for everything up to and including my lynching for my "neo-con" baby killing attitude.

I said, this is why liberalism will die in America, because you just can't respect that anyone else can think differently than you.

If I recall correctly this was the only time the professor (of 15 years) had ever had to actually stop a discussion in class and change the subject, because the haters just wouldn't stop whining.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:07:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino:
Today, it has taken on a different significance, but it is not incorrect to say that the Nazi's were right wing. They were right wing extremists. Other right wing extremists include the KKK.

All but our nutjob ring wingers in America are to the left of the nazi's. Most of the right wingers today are also to the left of right wingers from the 1950's.




Nazi= National Socialist. Socialist = left wing.

The KKK were as much a part of the right wing as they were a part of the Christian Church.


It doesn't change the fact that the people who were killing civil rights workers and burning down churches were all right wingers.



And that is a fact because you say it is?



The fact is the two longest fillibusters in Congressional history were performed by Democrats on the 57 & 64 Civil Rights bills.

The fact is the only known card carrying Klansman in Congress is Byrd the Democrat.

The fact is the guy who ordered this....



and this....



was Bull Connor, a Democrat. He was in with and under ALabams Governor George Wallace ("Segragation now, Segragation forever"), another Democrat. And Wallace was beat in 1958 by a guy named John Patterson, another Democrat. Wallace was "out ni****ed".


I dont know if you are young, from DuH, or just trying to rewrite history, but the facts are all there, you are failing to address them. I live dthe 60's and I know the history, you can sell this bs to someone else.


Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:09:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:21:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 8:23:01 AM EDT by danpass]

Originally Posted By Dance:

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
Liberals are among the most closed minded people I have
ever had the misfortune of meeting.

Equality, fairness, and tolerance.

Sure.



Conservatives are also very closed minded.




Would you call a mathematician closed-minded?

Conservative - when your right, your right. There was a time when I was very wrong.


BOT- I think the professor did a great jon on the exposure . Lets see that book !
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:24:59 AM EDT
For any who are confused as to who the National Socialist German Workers Party AKA Nazi's were.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_German_Workers_Party

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_socialism

I have a leftist friend try and tell me that they were right wing recently, so I e-mailed him these links. Still have'nt heard back from him.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 9:42:52 AM EDT
Bravo for CavVet's post.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 9:50:27 AM EDT

But when he launched into a spiel about the subtle but overlooked charms of that Austrian politician formerly known as Adolf Schickelgruber, I began to think he was a few Stukas short of a squadron, if you know what I mean.


Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:01:55 AM EDT
Screw the university post. He just got himself best-seller book material.

And yeah, I heard that crap too all through every history class no matter what the subject. Nazis = Right Wingers and Communists = Left Wingers.

Its BS. For starters, you can't compare the 1930s German "Right wing" with American politics today. The Nazi party didn't come to power by enjoying the support of the conservative party. They originally managed to gather in all the cookie fringe. Then they stole some of the socialist supporters by adopting some socialist rhetoric. Then they used a private army to steal elections and crush political opposition.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:11:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
cookie fringe



Makes me hungry.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:31:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 10:36:55 AM EDT by crazyquik]
Political Scientist on!

The Left-Right spectrum dates back about 200 years, when supporters of the King of France sat at his Right, and opponents sat to his Left. Therefore, the Right is rooted mainly in tradition (not free market economics or libertarian thought!!). This is why the National Socialists and other neo-Nazis are considered Far Right, because they are the strongest advocates of traditional values, even when they are not the most free-market liberal. In nations with monarchies, the Right are also the Tory or Monarchist party, because the main determinante of "rightness" is tradition.

Fast foward 100ish years. The Left-Right spectrum stretches between tradition and capitalism on the Right in the West, and progressivism and socialism on the Left. The Italian and Spanish fascists were much closer tied to the church than the Nazis (who had thier own pseudo-pagen religion), and the corporate nature of Italian fascism (everyone has "thier place" in society) fit well with the order of the Catholic church, and didn't threaten to destroy the church like Marxist-Leninism did.

Today, the best way to express all this is on a two axis model. On the X axis is how a party ranks towards wealth redistribution (Left is Soviet style, Right is pure free market), and on the Y axis is how parties view tradition, authoritarianism, nationalism vs the green movements, libertarianism, etc.

Two Axis Party Spectrum


This graph was constructed on the research of various political scientists around Western Europe. You will notice that all the Far Right or Radical Right parties, aren't at the right extreme on the economic spectrum at all, but instead are slightly center-right on the issues of wealth redistribution. So they support national health care and such, as long as only white Europeans get it. They support family leave and things like that, because it keeps the native Europeans breeding in the face of thier declining birthrates.

However they are all very far south on the Y axis, meaning they are grouped together based on thier views towards nationalism and traditional values.

A Leninist Communist party would be in the bottom left quadrant, advocating strong authoritarianism as well as income redistribution. In fact, in Eastern Europe there are many parties represented in this quadrant as they are the ex-commie parties.

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:41:41 AM EDT
I spent a lot of time studying fascism, and its pretty hard to seperate the wheat (what fascism really is) from the chaff (people who lump it in with all other dictatorships). This is probably because in almost every real-life example, it has been dysfunctional. The best texts regarding the philosophy of fascism are from the 1930s, because anything afterward is tainted by World War II. There were scholars writing prior to WWII which said that fascism was the way of the future, just as some wrote the capitalism was, and others wrote that communism was.

Also, perhaps the best example of modern day fascism is the Ba'athist party that spread across the Middle East, often at the encouragement of the German Nazis. They have come under a little fire lately though
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:44:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 10:46:11 AM EDT by Redmanfms]

This graph was constructed on the research of various political scientists around Western Europe.


Are these the same yahoos who stated that European women must bear the onus of guilt for the sky-rocketing rape rates in Western Europe? Rapes commited by Middle Eastern men against white European women because the women "dress and behave in a manner Arab men are not accustomed to."

"Political" + "European" invalidates pretty much anything that might follow.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 10:53:51 AM EDT
The Nazis don't work very well as "traditionalists". They were a revolutionary party--anti-monarchy, anti-religion, and dedicated to breaking down class distinctions.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 11:34:41 AM EDT
In modern American usage, hasn't "left-wing" and "right-wing" pretty much evolved into an all-purpose name for those whose views are disliked by the speaker? Especially as most folks' historical knowledge doesn't extend past their last meal...

If someone has lexisnexis access, it would be interesting to see quickly "neocon" changed from a boring political term to popular usage. The original definition and context no longer matter.


Link Posted: 1/22/2006 11:48:29 AM EDT


Regarding the accusation that academic freedom is a myth:

I think that it is more of a principle to which we aspire, but usually fall far short. And yes, political, ideological and theoretical trends make it more or less likely that one will feel free in the academy.


Regarding whether the prof should be protected by the principle of academic freedom:

In order to enjoy benefit of academic freedom one must engage the academy. Here he did not. He posed as an neo-nazi schmuck, people perceived him as an neo-nazi schmuck, and people got rid of the neo-nazi schmuck on technical, but probably legal grounds. Had he informed his academic dept head, dean, and or vice presdident of his plans to do a Griffin - Black like Me study of Neo-Nazis, they likely would have blessed it.

But he didn't do that and it appears all his neo-nazi posing was outside of his job (ostensibly).

Now that the "truth" is out that he was posing and the university reaction is as much a subjectof his research as anyone else, the university will likely not expose itself to rehiring the guy because then it will substantiate that they fired him for his political views.

The University got rid of him because they perceived him as an neo-nazi and may be wanted in connection of a criminal investigation, not because they perceived his scholarship as undesirable.

Interesting case.

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