THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin


Ever wonder how the POTUS developed his unorthodox beliefs about America?  His book, “Dreams From My Father”, suggests that the books he chose to read as a young man planted the seeds.  The seeds were cultivated by his mentor, Frank Marshall.  Later associations in Chicago nurtured his growing ideology into full flower.

Now, we are seeing the fruits of all of these labors and who is benefiting from them.  Just as an acorn will never change itself into a pecan, Obama will never be anything other than an extreme left ideologue.  Notwithstanding the fact that some of the Left’s most radical agenda items have yet to be implemented, Obama has not given up on these.  They have simply been moved to a back burner.

The prevailing opinion seems to be that currently Obama is trying to hold together the center of his party in order to pass the defining legislation of his presidency, Health Care Reform.  After some form of Health Care Reform is passed, as it surely will be, he will be free to pursue the extreme leftist policies that are not only near and dear to his heart, they are his heart.  The following biographical sketches elucidate why this is true.

Chronology is a constant difficulty when speaking of Obama’s early years, so it is not clear whether his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, supplied the reading list, or whether Obama’s reading led him to seek out Davis.  Either is possible since Davis, when he was in Chicago, was a contemporary of two of the authors that Obama read, Langston Hughs and Richard Wright.  It is also known that Davis, a poet, was a close fellow traveler, if not a full member, of the Communist Party of the U.S.A.  Furthermore, during the House on Un-American Activities Committee hearings, Davis was accused of involvement in several Communist front organizations, including the John Reed Club.  He was also an editor for Left Front, a Communist Party magazine.  Davis was a labor activist and helped with fundraisers for progressive events in Chicago.  When he was working for the Associated Negro Press, he worked with Vernon Jarrett, the father-in-law of Valerie Jarrett, Senior Obama Advisor.

Davis’ résumé has many elements in common with those of the authors discussed below.  As you read through these, notice the patterns and themes that recur.

James Baldwin was a devoted fellow traveler of the Communist Party during his high school years.  Richard Wright (see below) helped to launch his writing career by introducing and recommending him for writing assignments with The New Leader, The Nation, and Partisan Review.  Baldwin wrote book reviews and essays for these leftist publications.  Themes he pursued in the books he authored included ones of victimization, racial and class conflict and the corruptive evils in the United States.  Baldwin also wrote about the chasm of the racial divide.

W.E.B. DuBois, until the turn of the 20th century, had been a supporter of black capitalism.  By 1905, however, he had been attracted by Marxist/socialist ideas and moved further left throughout his life.  DuBois shared in the establishment of the NAACP in 1909.  He attended Pan-African conferences and was later involved in pacifist, anti-imperialist and anti-colonial pan-African movements.  He ran for U.S. Senate on the American Labor Party ticket.  His engagement with socialist ideas is apparent from his participation in organizing a “consumer co-op” which was a step toward the realization of an integral collectivist society.  Eventually, DuBois became so disillusioned with the U.S., that in 1961 he joined the Communist Party, renounced his citizenship and relocated to Ghana.  He became a citizen of that country, where he died two years later.  His writings reflected a collectivist perspective.  He believed that collectivism was the proper goal of the rational movement of historical forces along a continuum of progress.  He believed that the better classes should recognize their duty toward the masses.

Ralph Ellison probably joined the Communist Party in the late 1930’s, although later, after breaking with Communism, he denied ever having been a member.  In fact much of his later life was spent in minimizing his Marxist leanings and expunging his history.  He was a member of the John Reed Club concurrently with Langston Hughs (see below) and Richard Wright (see below).  As a writer of the Federal Writers Project, he authored pieces that were sympathetic and supportive of Marxism ideology.  The essays and book reviews that Ellison wrote for New Masses also have a decidedly Communistic bend.  During WWII, Ellison displayed a seemingly untroubled willingness to support the Communist Party, even when it shifted dramatically.  Nevertheless, by the late 1940’s, Ellison seems to have become totally disillusioned with the Party and broke with it.  The themes in Ellison’s works are various.  They include Blacks being for blacks, the white “power structure” as the enemy, America’s distorted value system, victimization, America’s refusal to accept diversity, blacks selling out by working for the system, emphasizing group over individual rights.

Langston Hughes journeyed to the U.S.S.R. to work on a film project there.  He concluded that Communism held the solution to racial equality.  It is unclear whether he actually joined the Communist Party, but certainly was a close fellow traveler.  He, too, was a member of the John Reed Club in the early 1930’s.  This group was established by the Communist Party and supported leftist and Marxist artists and writers.  Hughs came before the McCarthy Committee in 1953.  At that time he renounced his earlier associations with the Left.  However, he continued to praise Communism’s apparent racial egalitarianism and favorably depicted the U.S.S.R. even after renouncing his ties to the Left.

Richard Wright began his association with socialism in ~1931.  By 1933 he had joined the Communist Party after first joining the John Reed Club in 1932.  He worked for the Daily Worker in 1936 and wrote over 200 articles for that Communist organ.  His writings reflect his belief in the promise of socialism to bring about racial equality, and his belief in the working class to bring about social change.   However, Wright became disillusioned with the Communist Party during WWII.  At that time he began to believe that the Communists were abandoning the fight against racism.  He officially broke with the Party in 1944.  During the Cold War, Wright continued to believe that the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were twin monsters of imperialism.  In the 1950’s, Wright began to believe that the real conflict was not between classes but one of the individual vs. the society and the intellectual vs. totalitarianism.  Wright sided whole-heartedly with the anti-colonial revolutions taking place across Africa.

What do we think the chances are of Obama renouncing his Leftist views?  Slim, or none?


Filed under: indoctrination, language, liberal activism, , , ,

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