They say it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I’m going to gamble on that and offer this, my Labor Day extravaganza of random leftist agitprop which I’m going to pretend is somehow connected to the blog’s purpose in that it shows you a bit of a subculture you’re probably not familiar with.
While I am fully prepared for Evan to chew me out, I am hopeful that you, the faithful readers, will soften his hard heart by reminding him of these two important facts:
Firstly, it’s Labor Day.
In this country, that doesn’t mean much more than a last chance to get some barbecuing in while the weather’s still pleasant. Considering how pitiful the labor movement has been in this nation, a bit of red flag waving and raised fists is far overdue.
Secondly, today is my birthday.
Now granted, I’m a young, single employed man. Really, every day is my birthday.
All the same, if I can’t get away with a post like this on a birthday-labor day combo, what hopes is there for anyone?
So here it is, comrades- Gordon Brown’s random anarchist and socialist spiels strewn together in no particular order or logical progression.
A Very Brief Defense of Che Guevara
Yesterday, I came across this image.
Now there were waaaay too many people who took this image to actually be true. I’m guessing it has more to do with a general dislike of the kinds of people who wear Che Guevara t-shirts than Che Guevara himself, but regardless of the reason, I want to set the record straight.
Firstly, the claim that Che “burned books” is, quite simply, an utter lie. It, like the knife fight between Teddy Roosevelt and a Sasquatch, just never happened. On the contrary, Che loved books- by the time of his death, he had over 3,000 books in his home- not including the countless notebooks and journals he himself wrote.
As far as “banning music,” this would appear to be another myth. The only reference to this I’ve ever heard is a brief segment of an Andy Garcia film The Lost City, in which the revolutionary Cuban government is portrayed as having banned the saxophone in response to the Belgian perpetrated genocide in the Congo (the saxophone having been invented by a Belgian). I’ve researched this a bit, and the only mention I can actually find of this comes straight from the movie- it would appear to be, like the book burning, simply another blatant falsehood.
As for “hating blacks,” this is yet another bold faced lie. Che was actually instrumental in bringing down the Batista regime in Cuba, which maintained a viciously segregated society. In fact, commenting on segregation in the US, Che had this to say:
“Those who […] discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men — how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?”
You don’t typically see racists decrying racism, do ya? You also don’t usually see ’em risk life and limb to fight for Angolan independence from colonial rule.
As for the “murdering gays”? Another myth. There is no record of Che so much as speaking on the subject of homosexuality, let alone executing people for it.
Marxist Economics Explained In One Cartoon
A problem- heck, probably one of the the biggest problems with Communism- is that its most foundational works were written in highly academic language nearly two centuries ago. Back then, that’s how you appealed to people- offer your argument in a scientific manner. With the massive historical, social, cultural- you name it- changes that have happened since “Prussia” was actually a place, trying to decipher what the **** Marx is talking about when he writes about the “accumulation of surplus value,” “alienation,” and the “lumpen-proletariat” is an ordeal and a half.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Marxist thought can be boiled down to a single, readily understandable cartoon:
Hey Look! It’s a List of People You Didn’t Know Were Socialists!
Even today, the radical left is trying to pick up the pieces of the movement after it was hijacked by tyrants and despots who used Marxism as a facade for their own twisted ends. I say “Communists,” and you think of such psychopaths as Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. This list down here isn’t going to change that, but hopefully, reading it will mean that you’ll stop associating socialism with dictators exclusively.
Yep, the guy whose name is synonymous with genius was a die-hard advocate of Socialism. Here’s just one of the statements he made on the subject:
“I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate (the) grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy… In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and… the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child.”
Yep, that’s the famed (chief) inventor of the atomic bomb. In spite of inadvertently helping start the Cold War, Oppenheimer was a tireless advocate of international cooperation, scientific exploration, and general human decency. Oppenheimer, though never a member of any Socialist party, was a pretty radical leftist- involved in multiple Marxist groups and associated with many notorious reds, Oppenheimer was continually harassed by the FBI, and was even forced to testify before the House Sub-Committee on Unamerican Activities.
You know those books that people always cite when trying to tell you about the evils of Socialism? Animal Farm? 1984?
Yeah, those were written by a Socialist.
One of the most outspoken critics of Stalin and his ilk, British author George Orwell did everything he could to advocate true Socialism, citing it as the only hope for freedom of speech.
“For some years past I have managed to make the capitalist class pay me several pounds a week for writing books against capitalism. But I do not delude myself that this state of affairs is going to last forever… the only régime which, in the long run, will dare to permit freedom of speech is a Socialist régime. If Fascism triumphs I am finished as a writer – that is to say, finished in my only effective capacity. That of itself would be a sufficient reason for joining a Socialist party.”
Though most people only know Helen Keller as a girl who managed to overcome being deaf, blind, and (as a result) mute, Keller actually was a pretty phenomenal activist. Keller was a champion for the disabled, an early advocate of feminism, one of the founders of the ACLU, a dedicated pacifist (which I admire, even if I don’t agree with it), and- you guessed it- an outspoken Socialist.
“Some years ago I met a gentleman who was introduced to me as Mr. McKelway, editor of the Brooklyn Eagle … At the time the compliments that he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for Socialism he reminds me and the public that I am deaf and blind and especially liable to error…”
An icon of American literature, you probably know London from such classics as Call Of The Wild or White Fang. What you probably don’t know him from are such works as The War of the Classes and Revolution, and Other Essays. Yep, Mr. Rugged Individualism himself was a prominent Marxist.
You might not have heard of his name, but you’ve almost certainly heard of his works. Larsson was the author of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Though grappling with the dark issues of rape, misogyny, and modern-day slavery, Larsson was no armchair activist. In the late 70s, Larrson traveled to Africa and helped train an all-female squad of Eritrian rebels during their war for independence from Ethiopia. After returning to Sweden, Larrson became an intrepid investigative journalist and attempted to combat the rising white-supremacist currents in Swedish culture and society until his death in 2004.
I’d be surprised if you recognized this name. You might not even recognize her by “Joy Lewis,” until I said that’s Lewis as in “C.S. Lewis.”
Yep, the guy held by Western Christians as the most important theologian and writer since Saint Augustine was married to a member of the American Communist Party.
Although a fervent Communist writer early in her life, Joy Lewis joined and left the American Communist Party with her first husband (whom she later divorced). Obviously, I can’t say if she stayed a Socialist into her final years, but I can’t imagine that she simply recanted the beliefs she held for the vast majority of life. One way or another, it’s always funny to reveal this fact to a social-conservative and watch him or her suddenly have an existential crisis.
Also, My Favorite Movie Of All Time…
The Trotsky is good.
In a day and age where Adam Sandler gets to steal over 200,000,000 dollars for making fart jokes, we have a movie that shows that comedies can be actually funny and smart and have a half-decent message on top. If you haven’t seen The Trotksy– do it. Regardless of whether or not you wave red or black flags, you should get a kick out of it just for what it is.
Lastly, This Meme, Which I Have Inserted For No Reason In Particular
Hasta La Victoria Siempre
Well, that’s just about the extent of my crazed ramblings for today. I’ve just received a “happy birthday” e-mail from my student loan provider, which is kinda like getting a cigar offered to you by a mafia don. I’m going to take it as a sign that the struggle goes on, so to one and all on this labor day, viva la revolucion!