Pansies: The New – New Left Just Like the Old New Left

The New-New Left are even bigger pansies than the old New left, and neither has a gram of the testicular weight of the real thing. This is demonstrated in their posturing and mock defiance, which vanishes in the event of any pushback.

 “Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.” (Apparently, Clemenceau said this, not Churchill).

The Panthers were cool: they scared people.

While I had pretty much left the mild socialism of my college and early working years behind by age 25, I still have a soft spot for some old lefties. Very old lefties, not Ramparts writers wondering if they should get guns in case Nixon canceled the election, or sitting around discussing how cool the Panthers were because they did have guns, as David Horowitz described in his memoir of the 60s. I knew people like that back then, and laughed; I snickered as well in recent years when I encountered expatriates who claimed to have fled Bush’s Police State. There is certainly a lot of Big Government around, but I don’t remember hearing about Cheney run Lubiyankas, although the EPA recently imprisoned some Gibson guitars.

Nor do more active “activists” of the revered 60s measure up.  Bill Ayers

Picture sof Ms Dohrn adorned many dorm rooms. Long haired hippie chick - we knew she put out. Bill who?

and his consort Bernardhine Dohrn were at the very least intimately involved with people who killed people with bombs and ambushes, but they, and no one else I’m aware of, never joined a military unit to fight imperialism. For one thing, they would have had to get up in the morning, and then face people who shot back. Real fighters don’t smoke a lot of weed either, as it slows your reaction time. And while I believe the NVA was fairly open to romance and marriage within its ranks, there weren’t any orgies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Freikorps: Rightist militia of Great War Veterans, and predecessor of the World War II Wehrmacht, who fought leftists in the aftermath of the defeat, and suppressed the Munich Soviet of Spring 1919.

Back in the 90s, I met an elderly fellow, an artist, who had left his native Sweden in 1919 to join the  socialists in Munich during the three month Soviet, and although he didn’t brag, it was clear he’d been out on the streets fighting the Freikorps. He had contributed some illustrations to “Vorwarts, “ the revolutionary newspaper, and knew the editor, Ret Marut, whom many think went on to write as B. Traven, author of “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Ret Marut, German anarchist, writer agitator, and most likley B.Traven, the enigmatic author of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre," and many other works set in the Indian states of southern Mexico.

Wow! This was pure gold.

Then he’d fled to Moscow, and somehow made his way to Vladivostok, and having had enough of revolution, took ship for San Francisco. How exactly he accomplished that, he didn’t say, and I didn’t ask as it might have been he’d spent some time with the Whites as well.

It was well worth listening to his anti-Republican diatribes for an afternoon of amazing stories. The Swede had retired after along career as an art teacher in junior college, and this kind of thing was what I expected in the way of political discourse from teachers anyway, but in this case, he’d earned it. When I finally confessed to being one of Wall Street’s minions myself, he wasn’t that taken aback, as he was so pleased to meet some one who had any idea what he was talking about, although he did ask me to reconsider leftism, an my mother was wont to ask me to take another look at Catholicism. How refreshing compared to the “fighters” of my generation, who thought taking a little tear gas at People’s Park was earning revolutionary chops.

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi, 1964.

Defiance in the face of unlikely retaliation was a trademark of the 60s lefties. Listen to Neil Young in “Southern Man: ” gonna cut him!” No you’re not ,Neil,. At the time you were hanging out between concerts in La Honda and chasing young chicks( I knew a girl who knew a girl…) People like Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerener, did the heavy lifting way before you “spoke out.” This was 1970. The land mark civil rights legislation some years passed, the bridge at Selma just a bridge. The battle was over.

Four dead dead in Ohio” pretty much did the trick. (And two dead and twelve wounded at Jackson, State, but never mind. Would mess up the rhyme scheme.) These are great songs, but I just listen to the guitar work. Chicago? Try Tien An Men or Tharir Square.

Leftie activists do show up in combat zones now and then, but Hanoi Jane played with an antiaircraft

Hanoi Jane: Target Not Acquired

gun when the skies were clear. I’ve been unable to find any references to Viet Nam War Era Abraham Lincoln brigaders, other than American turncoat Marine Robert Garwood,who claimed he was captured, but may have crossed over.

Paris, May 1968: French Hippie Chicks! Getting teargassed or bonked with a nightstick was so worth it!

Or leftists show up prepared for combat they can be pretty certain will not occur, “What if they gave a War and no one came,” indeed. The “Generation of 68” is still congratulating itself for going to the barricades in Paris. It was a pretty fair bet that DeGaulle was not going to rake Hausser’s broad boulevards with grapeshot, . Unlike the Communards, they got a party instead.

Daniel Marc Cohn-Bendit, French German dual national60s activist and German Green politician today. Easy to grin when you know they won't shoot.

DeGaulle famously skewered these brats and their infantilism with the term “chie-en-lit( bed shitters”),

Kinda clever, one has to admit. Tres drole!(and yes, the should be a circumflex over the o: I went to high school in the 60s, so I know stuff like this!)

to which they wittily responded “Le chi en lit, c’est lui.”   Decades later, it’s clear that “Les chi en lits, ce sont ils, ” or something to that effect.   (High school French was a long time ago.) Red Danny is still with us, after a detour into pedophiliac pedagogy,

Few remember Bruce Cockburns”s 1980 “If I had a rocket Launcher.” The song was a protest against the genocidal, decades long war of various Guatemalan governments against the Indians, the intermittent support for which is certainly one of many blights on US foreign policy history, but still, my reaction at the time, was ”so get one.” He could have passed the hat to Jackson Browne(“Lives in the Balance,”and of course who is soon to appear on the OWS CD, which I’ll pirate via bittorrent so I can make fun of it.) and other buddies.

Robert LaFolette(1855 – 1925) Republican(yup, Republican) Representative and Senator from, and Governor of Wisconsin,and Progressive Party presidential candidate in 1924

Still, the Viet Nam Era lefties would at least speak their names. The time saw reams of earnest analyses of “The New Left,” but today’s left term themselves ”Progressives,” you know, guys sorta like Bob LaFolette, concerned with farm cooperatives and public utilities. Big hearted Minnesota farmers. Lots of people are against socialism, few speak in favor of communism thee days, but who doesn’t like progress?

Instead, today’s left sympathizers, I mean progressives, hide out at the Huffington Post and the activists call themselves Occupy Wall Street. And no, despite Michael Moore’s efforts at instant pop hagiography, the Zuccotti Square folks and their clones elsewhere are not equal to the protesters in Beijing, ( Although Michael would have a better chance against a tank than the iconic lone protester did.(Yes that’s an ad hominem attack, for which I feel no shame as mister Moore has made lots of bucks using the same technique)

Beijing 1989: Definitely not OWS material: no human microphone; just one guy.

A little pepper spray sends these soi-disant revolutionaries into fits of self pity and , and actual blood, well you’d think it was Petrograd 1905. As for the behavior that precedent these fascist attacks, on “peaceful protestors,” there is plenty of visual evidence to support the view that the police were, if anything, over patient. The cossacks would have had their sabers out in minutes.

Nothing new here. Just look at the prevalence of Che t-shirts. The good Doctor Guevara, murderer, Iberian racialist,and just plain dilettante. Both the writer and dicrector of “Motor Cycle Diaries” seem quite oblivious to the factual irony that Che didn’t finish the trip, and couldn’t even fill out a two week committement to a free clinic,

"They Shall not Pass"

Some OWS types have shown up  in Anarchist,and even Wobbly(International Workers of the World) tees. The woblies trqvelled around by jumping freights and organizing strikes. As for the anarchists, every time I see a “No Pasaran” poster in a non-smoking San Franicisco Mission district cafe where white guys in Mother Africa caps are busily massaging their Macs, I want to puke. The Spanish anarchists needed their cigars to light dynamite, and when facing Falangist firing squads, shouted “Me Cago en Dios!” just before they went to eternity. This is Spanish for “I shit on God,” and no doubt pissed off the very Catholic Francoists, but is it is also a common Spanish expression inidcating feelings from exasperation, to utter despair. If you showed OWS to the shades of some POUM fighters( the militia with which Orwell fought), I think they might say,”Me cago en ellos.”

As for Trotsky, I don’t know if he would laugh or weep. No doubt, both. Then he would order OWS to some part of the front where they would be quickly dispatched.  I do miss those old lefties.  

Abby Hoffman Was Right


What a Showman! Revolutionary? Nah...Jewish Vaudeville and He Was a Master.

“The only movement that counts is a bowel movement”

Short Changed by the System, this Demonstrator is also Caught Short. From the Daily Mail(UK)


There is, however, hope for the young.

Such Wisdom in One So Young, and so Cute. From the WSJ.

Occupy Wall Street: 99% Clueless


Well, um, yeah. I guess we can agree on that

The movement got a an assist yesterday as major union components joined,  including NYC Teacher’s union locals, which may bring some focus to the movement.

The media have across the board commented that the protesters don’t seem to know what they want. They don’t much like capitalism, but they want jobs.  In that case, it must be government jobs.

Where does this guy think the money comes from to pay his salary? Oh yeah, the government prints it.

We don't like profits, but we want jobs. The "make jobs..." slogan is redolent of the 60s, but Code Pink are not the hippy chicks many of us fondly remember.

Teachers joining the protest may find that some of their former charges are not too happy with the course of their educations;  A tumblr site in which protesters hold up handwritten signs with thier unhappy stories has gotten major play with the Wahington Post, the Guardian, Pajamas Media and elsewhere.

A persistent theme is students, or graduates decrying their fates: no jobs and huge student loan debt, and often additional  credit card debt. What do students buy with their credit cards?

What is missing is what exactly these people were or are studying.

That's quite a resume, kid! BTW, what are you studying? Communications?

This is tough. But still, 80k in student loans to study what?

Could it really cost 85k to earn printer repair? Dont worry about the cats, dude. They are more resilient than a lot of people,

Hard times are here, and some of the stories sound pretty tough, but one is more struck by the utter guilelessness of whoever is running the site, since the majority of the posts are just plain laughable.  Apparently the plan is to whine the government into taking money from business and givng it to the protestors, so they can buystuff: like cat food.

Degree holding, but not necessarily overqualified barista

Another refrain is that graduates can’t find work in their (unstated) fields, so are reduced to menial jobs, like baristas.  Myself, I got a BA in history in 72, and after a few weeks of being turned down for entry level jobs whcih I naively thought the diploma qualified me, spent two and half years as an office boy and xerox clerk, before being promoted to an administrative job.

I have an MA, which I took because I wanted to, paid cash, at night. A lot of these kids must have spent plenty of dorm time watching “Friends “re-runs, and figured that was what was out there for them.  In “Friends,” Or “How I met Your Mother,” unemployment is just a one or two episode plot point.

Bad life choices figure in many cases, with people having children they clearly cannot afford, often without a spouse or partner.

I don’t like corporate bailouts, but these folks are missing the point: It was the government that bailed out the TBTFs.  After generations of indoctrination in our universities, and when public figures as prominent as the First Lady advise the young to stay away from corporate employment, the attitudes shown here are not surprising.  I spent 30 years working for large corporations, and I’m glad to be past it now.  But it paid the bills, and as I knew full well that I had not trained in any marketable skill, I was grateful.

It’s easy enough to track the growth of government spending on higher education, and the cost of degrees, to find a match, but that kind of iron clad economic cause and effect doesn’t produce “economic justice.”

Consider “It’s Money That Matters” by Randy Newman.

Of all of the people that I used to know
Most never adjusted to the great big world
I see them lurking in book stores
Working for the Public Radio
Carrying their babies around in a sack on their back
Moving careful and slow

This would seem to describe a lot of the 99ers.  “Lurking” would appear to imply some disapproval,  but Mr. Newman goes on to say:

All of these people are much brighter than I
In any fair system they would flourish and thrive
But they barely survive
They eke out a living and they barely survive

So, a “fair” system is one in which MFAs can do whatever they do, at a “living wage.”  He then goes on to a vignette of one of the undeserving rich.

27, and a hundrd grand in the hole. Not clear for what, but probably not education, as she doesn't seem to now where babies come from

Then I talked to a man lived up on the county line
I was washing his car with a friend of mine
He was a little fat guy in a red jumpsuit
I said “You look kind of funny”
He said “I know that I do”

“But I got a great big house on the hill here
And a great big blonde wife inside it
And a great big pool in my backyard and another great big pool
beside it

The rich guy is just some square from flyover country(“county line,” a hick who lives way out of town)  definitely not urban chic, no black tee shirt, kaffiyeh, or Mother Africa beanie.
Somehow, I’ll put my money on the guy in the red jumpsuit.  While some commenters on the right side blogs are seeing Occupy as a harbinger of civic unrest, even uprisings, I doubt it.

Red Cavalry, Russia, Ca 1920

These bookstore lurkers don’t’ have it in them to be real revolutionaries. And the heirs of the real revolutions of the last century found eventually that Newman has one thing right:

It’s money that matters
Now you know that it’s true
It’s money that matters
Whatever you do.”

99ers are racist. Coz they are mostly white. I went through ten of the fifty pages( as much as I could stand), and I only found this one young lady who is of african descent.

The songwriter means this ironically, rather than a concise understanding of economics.  He shows the same simple and unfocused resentment as do the 99ers.  They would just as fruitfully resent gravity.

Money isn’t free; nothing is, And if money does cease to matter, it will be  because it has become worthless.

I'm not sure what to say about these two.