Guilty as Hell, Free as a Bird

Back in the early eighties… Bill Ayers remembered his reaction upon learning that he would not be prosecuted by the government for his bombing spree as a member of the Weather Underground. “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country”…

Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer. (If you find the metaphor strained, consider that Walter Duranty, the infamous New York Times reporter covering the Soviet Union in the 1930s, did, in fact, depict Stalin as a great land reformer who created happy, productive collective farms.)

That from an article, The Bomber as School Reformer in City Journal (which I recommend).  [EDIT: Note that Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for reporting on Stalin's Five Year Plan to Industrialize the Soviet Union, in which Duranty denied the famines in the Ukraine (the Holodomor), where Stalin killed 2 or 3 million people. The New York Times has a long history of covering for Leftists.]

And for those who believe that the Weatherman never tried to kill anybody, here’s Fire in the Night, The Weathermen tried to kill my family:

Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. Early on the morning of February 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car…

The same night, bombs were thrown at a police car in Manhattan and two military recruiting stations in Brooklyn. Sunlight, the next morning, revealed three sentences of blood-red graffiti on our sidewalk: FREE THE PANTHER 21; THE VIET CONG HAVE WON; KILL THE PIGS.

47 thoughts on “Guilty as Hell, Free as a Bird

  1. I know you are joining in on this because the right-wing is telling you too, but it isn’t working and you are in trouble buddy. The final acts of desperation by a losing party. Personally, I would recommend Jeremiah Wright (but it would be viewed as racist, and rightly so) to fend off Obama in “red” states like Indiana and Virginia, and possbily pick up Pennsylvania. I will at least commend McCain on not being a racist, but there are only winners and loser in politics and he is going to be in the latter category.

  2. Obama’s terrorist friends don’t play well with people who aren’t blinded by the ‘Lightgiver’…

    Criticizing Obama’s relationship with Jeremiah Wright isn’t racist, unless you are calling Obama (the white half?) a racist for throwing Wright under the bus…

  3. I posted this on an earlier blog entry. However, it bears repeating since this blogger seems to know something about Obama none of the rest of us do.

    ————————–

    This blog entry is total garbage.

    Obama is NOT a Marxist. How do I know? Because I am a Marxist. DSA is not a Marxist group, either. They are a social democratic group that REJECTS the central Marxist idea of a vanguard party.

    What gets me is all you right-wingers who are trying to pin the Marxist (or, in this case, “terrorist”) label on Obama. Obama has been endorsed publicly by various assorted “Marxists” like Paul Volker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warren Buffet, Paul O’Neill, and Susan Eisenhower.

    If Obama is a Marxist (and/or a terrorist, a racist black power Christian, a radical Muslim, etc etc…) ,then you seem to have a lot of work to do! You better get on the stick and tell these various assorted capitalists and cold warriors that they’re endorsing a commie terrorist for president! You obviously are smarter than they are, or you know something they don’t about some type of “secret agenda” Obama is hiding. Or….you’re wrong about Obama. Personally, I think the latter option is the most correct one.

    No, I’m not voting for Obama. I’m voting third party this year. I refuse to vote for another pro-big business, corporate Democrat like Obama.

  4. Obama associates with radical socialists. And Van is wrong about the ‘vanguard party’, which was a Leninist idea and contradicted the Marxist idea that the working class would instinctively revolt against the capitalist running dogs. Lenin believed that the proletariat needed a push to prepare the workers for revolution.

    Lenin proposed that intellectuals and educators and professional activists (Community Organizers?) should educate the masses and promote revolution.

    But really, who cares about the dialectics of social democracy versus democratic socialism? Or about post-Marxist New Left versus Marxist-Leninist versus bureaucratized Stalinist states? The distinctions between these ideas are unrecognizable to anyone who is not a Monty Python fan. The example of Leon Trotsky illustrates the fate of ‘splitters’.

    Marx was one of the founders and leaders of modern socialism.

    The point of Marx’s quote was to distance himself from other socialists who thought of themselves as Marxists, but were flawed in their implementation of socialism because they weren’t pure enough (or maybe they ‘rejected the idea of a vanguard party’).

    Socialists agree on redistribution of wealth, a centrally-planned economy, and nationalization of major industries. They are anti-capitalist, anti-globalists, and anti-people.

  5. Housekeeping note – I deleted one of the double comments from Van (the one on the older thread). IMO this will keep the discussion more focused.

  6. No, YOU’RE wrong.

    The origin of the vanguard party began with Marx. He supported the idea of a Communist Party led by a revolutionary cadre of workers and trade unionists.

    Lenin developed the idea of a vanguard party to adapt to the economic reality of Russia at the time. However, to assert that the concept of a vanguard party is purely Leninist is dead wrong.

    Also, you didn’t answer my question. Why would such prominent capitalists and cold warriors support Obama? Like I said, you’re either smarter than they are, or you’re wrong.

    “Obama associates with radical socialists”

    And, early in his life, Stalin attended seminary and sang in a seminary choir. According to your own “logic”, Stalin must be a Christian because, after all, he associated with them early on.

  7. From the Communist Manifesto:

    “The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. ”

    Here is the kernal of the “vanguard” concept.

  8. You’re weak on your supposed Marxism. Everybody knows that the Vanguard Party is a Leninist accretion. Off to the re-education camp with you, Van.

    “A vanguard party is a political party at the forefront of a mass action, movement, or revolution. The idea of a vanguard party was developed by Vladimir Lenin, most prominently in What is to be Done?, a political pamphlet first published in 1902.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_party

    Don’t like Wikipedia? How about marxists.org:

    “History of the Marxist Vanguard: Among the early world-reknown implementations of the Marxist vanguard came about in the Russian Revolution, in the form of the Bolshevik party.”

    http://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/v/a.htm#vanguard

    “The greatest contribution to the arsenal of Marxism since the death of Engels in 1895 was Lenin’s conception of the vanguard party as the organiser and director of the proletarian revolution. That celebrated theory of organisation was not, as some contend, simply a product of the special Russian conditions of his time and restricted to them.”

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/1967/party.htm

  9. The only comment I can make about Obama supporters is that they are wrong…

    And nobody said that Obama was a terrorist – the point is that he has personal and professional associations with a man who is an admitted and unrepentant domestic terrorist.

  10. Sorry, Reactionary. No dice.

    From the page you cite:

    http://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/v/a.htm#vanguard

    “The Marxist theory of the vanguard, in relation to class struggle under capitalism, stipulates that the working class, the mass, needs to be militantly lead through revolutionary struggle against capitalism and in the building of Socialism….
    1. History of the Marxist Vanguard: Among the early world-reknown implementations of the Marxist vanguard came about in the Russian Revolution, in the form of the Bolshevik party.”

    Notice it says MARXIST vanguard?

    Cannon states:

    “The MARXIST theory of the vanguard, in relation to class struggle under capitalism, stipulates that the working class, the mass, needs to be militantly lead through revolutionary struggle against capitalism and in the building of Socialism. The Communist vanguard is theoretically made up of the forefront of workers who are engaged in direct struggles against the capitalist state, and who occupy an advanced position in constructively and creatively building the socalist movement. ”

    Cannon was a Leninist. Of course he was going to emphasize the notion of a “vanguard” as a Leninist conception. However, the concept itself is MARXIST.

    “Marxism teaches that the revolution against capitalism and the socialist reconstruction of the old world can be accomplished only through conscious, collective action by the workers themselves. The vanguard party is the highest expression and irreplaceable instrument of that class consciousness at all stages of the world revolutionary process. In the prerevolutionary period the vanguard assembles and welds together the cadres who march ahead of the main army but seek at all points to maintain correct relations with it. The vanguard grows in numbers and influence and comes to the fore in the course of the mass struggle for supremacy which it aspires to bring to a successful conclusion. After the overthrow of the old ruling powers, the vanguard leads the people in the tasks of defending and constructing the new society.”

    Lenin didn’t just pull this concept out of his butt. I cited the passage from the Communist Manifesto as proof of this. The full title of the Manifesto is “The Manifesto of the Communist Party”. What is a Communist Party if not a vanguard party? The quote directly from Marx shows this.

    PS: You’re right. I don’t like Wikipedia.

  11. “Obama supporters is that they are wrong…”

    Riiiiiiiiiiight. Paul Volker, the Fed Chairman under Reagan, doesn’t know what he’s doing; Zbigniew Brzezinski, cold warrior par excellence, is ignorantly backing a closet communist–as is billionaire Warren Buffet, Paul O’Neill, (Bush’s former Treasury Secretary), and Dwight Eisenhower’s granddaughter.

    You’d better hurry and tell these experienced, well-educated folks they are backing a communist!! You’re obviously smarter than they are.

  12. Arguing dialectics is best done by Monty Python:

    REG:
    Listen. If you really wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to really hate the Romans.
    BRIAN:
    I do!
    REG:
    Oh, yeah? How much?
    BRIAN:
    A lot!
    REG:
    Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.
    P.F.J.:
    Yeah…
    JUDITH:
    Splitters.
    P.F.J.:
    Splitters…
    FRANCIS:
    And the Judean Popular People’s Front.
    P.F.J.:
    Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
    LORETTA:
    And the People’s Front of Judea.
    P.F.J.:
    Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
    REG:
    What?
    LORETTA:
    The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.
    REG:
    We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
    LORETTA:
    Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
    REG:
    People’s Front! C-huh.
    FRANCIS:
    Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
    REG:
    He’s over there.
    P.F.J.:
    Splitter!

    http://www.mwscomp.com/movies/brian/brian-07.htm

    As I noted previously, Marx is the founder of modern socialism. Just about every concept in socialism derives from Marx. However, Lenin originated the Vanguard Party concept (Splitter!, ergo Marxist-Leninist). If you can show me a link to more than your opinion I’ll consider it. Otherwise, you should accept that you got your ass handed to you and move on.

    BTW, Bill Ayers is still a Marxist terrorist.

  13. With regard to the above paragraph from the Manifesto, I will cite Phil Gasper’s commentary. Gasper’s commentary is found on page 59 of his edition of the Communist Manifesto.

    “The differences between Marx, Engles and Lenin are matters of degree. Here, Marx and Engels describe the role of Communists as in effect the vanguard (the leading units in an army) of the working class, an idea later associated with Lenin.”

    The vanguard concept originated with Marx, not Lenin.

  14. “you should accept that you got your ass handed to you and move on.”

    Nope!!! Sorry.

    Gasper is a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame de Namur University and a noted Marxist theorist. Unless you can match that, I’m afraid you just got YOUR ass handed to you.

  15. Try citing someone who doesn’t agree with me. Gasper made my point: “as in effect” (as in, almost) versus “an idea later associated with Lenin”.

    Citing Monty Python gives more respect to Marxism than the murderous cult deserves.

  16. “Just about every concept in socialism derives from Marx.”

    Wrong. Moore, St. Simon, Fourier, Owen and others developed socialist concepts before Marx. One of the earliest theories on communism is discussed by Plato in the Republic.

  17. “Gasper made my point: “as in effect” (as in, almost)”

    Huh…??? What the hell are you talking about???

    “As in effect” doesn’t mean ‘almost’.

    Definition of effect: to accomplish; to put into action; to execute; to do

    What Gasper is referring to is the notion of the vanguard party AS a party that puts into action Marx’s idea of how a Communist Party should act politically. Reading the passage from the Manifesto, I don’t know how anyone could come to a different conclusion.

  18. There’s no need to continue this discussion. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Please refrain from blogging on issues outside of your areas of competence. You’ll only embarrass yourself more.

  19. Typical Leftist – lose an argument and your first thought is to silence your opponent’s speech. BTW, you don’t get to decide the issues I blog about.

    Gasper said “in effect”, which doesn’t mean the same as “effect”. I’m sure that a man with such impressive credentials as Gasper is careful with his speech. If he meant to credit the idea of the ‘vanguard party’ directly to Marx, he would have. Instead, he associated the idea with Lenin, who was influenced by Marx and Engels.

    Ad hominem? I made a statement of fact: Marxism is a murderous cult, as exemplified by Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Hussein… If it offends you to be associated with such murderous tyrants, then reconsider your politics.

  20. “Gasper said “in effect”, which doesn’t mean the same as “effect”

    OK, here’s the dictionary:

    in effect: in fact, as a result, actually, virtually; see essentially, really 1

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/effect

    Sorry, Reactionary. You have a right to your own opinion. You don’t have a right to your own definitions.

    Gasper did NOT mean “almost”. You’re wrong. The vanguard party developed as a RESULT of Marx’s notion of the Communist Party as a cadre that has “over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. ”

    This is what it comes to. You get your ass handed to you, and you start making up definitions and inserting words like “versus” to change the meaning of what was clearly said.

    Gasper said: “The differences between Marx, Engles and Lenin are matters of degree. Here, Marx and Engels describe the role of Communists as IN EFFECT (i.e. as a result; actually)the vanguard (the leading units in an army) of the working class, an idea later associated with Lenin.”

    Gasper is saying that the idea of a vanguard was later ASSOCIATED with Lenin, but it BEGAN with Marx.

    You’re illiterate if you come to any other conclusion.

    BTW: Blaming the above murderers on Marx is like blaming Nietzsche for the Nazis, Christ for the Crusades, or Rousseau for Robespierre. Stupid.

  21. I didn’t want to mention this, but I know what I’m talking about.

    I have an MA in political theory from LSU. I don’t like to mention this simply because it sounds arrogant. Plus, just because someone has an advanced degree doesn’t automatically make him correct on a given subject!

    However, I was fortunate enough to take a Marxism seminar during my years there. During class, this exact question of a vanguard party came up. The professor was discussing Lenin and what he meant by the term “vanguard” as it relates to his book “What Is To Be Done?”

    The prof asked the class: “Does anyone know where Lenin got the idea of a vanguard party?”

    Blank stares all around the table. One guy actually guessed Plato based on Plato’s notion of communism as laid out in the Republic.

    The prof’s answer? Lenin got the concept from Marx.

    The prof then proceeded to read the exact passage from the Manifesto I just cited, plus a few lines from Capital (I can’t remember exactly which ones, but they spoke directly of the idea of a party of cadres who will lead and educate the proletariat–the vanguard idea in a nutshell).

    This prof knew his Marx. He earned his PhD from Michigan, one of our “elite” public universities. So, sorry….I’m going to have to take his word and the words of Phil Gasper over a few random quotes pulled from Wikipedia and other on-line dictionaries.

  22. My grandfather (a yellow dog democratw an 8th grade education) and his brother (Ph.D Republican) always argued politics when I was a kid. My great uncle mentioned something about a class he had taken and Granddad told him if he got just 1 more degree, he’d be a certified idiot. Van, not calling you an idiot at all. Your MA comment just reminded me of that. and of a good joke. The diff b/t a Ph.D in philosophy and a large pizza? the pizza can feed a family of four

  23. And now folks realize why it is in free societies, socialist parties fissure and become more irrelevant to the every day life of the proletariat.

  24. “The diff b/t a Ph.D in philosophy and a large pizza? the pizza can feed a family of four”

    That’s for sure!! :-)

  25. “My grandfather (a yellow dog democratw an 8th grade education)”

    Your grandfather sounds like he was a great guy! :-)

  26. Yeah he was. He was an investigator with Office of Special Investigations in the USAF. Can’t do that with an 8th grade education nowadays. He told my dad he didn’t like a democrat (can’t recall for sure but he later switched parties) b/c he was a wolf in sheep’s (demo) clothing. He voted for Reagan once and griped about it every day afterwards.

  27. Overview – this discussion basically illustrates the arguments between the Bolshevik (Lenin majority) and Menshevik (Trotsky minority) factions in early 1900′s Russia. The Mensheviks claimed that Lenin’s “tactics as a plan” (i.e., organizing the vanguard) violated the Marxist concept of ‘spontaneous revolution’. Lenin argued that his plan was a logical extension of Marxism. Lenin’s response to the Mensheviks was to kill them, exile them, or send them to Siberia.

    From your ‘yourdictionary’ link:

    Idiom “in effect”
    1. in result
    2. in essence
    3. in operation

    You’ve described the Manifesto “kernal” of the idea, quoted an editor who wrote that Lenin ‘in essence’ got the idea from Marx, and provided an anecdote of a professor’s assertion that Lenin ‘virtually’ got the idea from Marx. Or as Lenin might say: “consciousness in an embryonic form”.

    Here is the context of the passage from the Marx in the Manifesto (cited as the ‘kernal’ of the vanguard party):
    “They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.”

    As I’ve stated, almost all Modern socialist concepts derive from Marx. Lenin is credited with the first explication of the vanguard party concept. The reason Marxists disagree about the vanguard is explained by Lenin in ‘What is to be Done’: “…we shall never rid ourselves of this narrowness of our organisational activity until we rid ourselves of Economism generally (i.e., the narrow conception of Marxist theory…)”.

    Lenin ‘broadened’ the conception of Marxist Theory. We could conclude that Marx had people like Lenin in mind when he said: ‘if he is a Marxist, then I am not a Marxist’.

    We could also conclude from his defense of the vanguard that Van is really a Leninist who’s embarrassed about Marxist-Leninist excesses (millions dead at the hands of Stalin and Mao), and revises history to convince himself of the purity of his Communism.

    walt – Splitters!

    Bill Ayers is still a Marxist terrorist.

  28. You’re blowing smoke like nobody’s business.

    You didn’t refute a single thing I said. Here’s where the debate started: You said: “the ‘vanguard party’, which was a Leninist idea and contradicted the Marxist idea that the working class would instinctively revolt against the capitalist running dogs.”

    Sorry, you’re wrong. I don’t know what else to say about this. Even the dictionary quotes YOU cited clearly refer to the idea of the MARXIST vanguard party. Also, the Cannon quote makes my argument for me.

    “The greatest contribution to the arsenal of Marxism since the death of Engels in 1895 was Lenin’s conception of the vanguard party as the organiser and director of the proletarian revolution. That celebrated theory of organisation was not, as some contend, simply a product of the special Russian conditions of his time and restricted to them.”

    He’s directly refuting people like you who assert that the vanguard party was a Leninist invention that had nothing to do with conditions outside of Russia and had little if anything to do with Marx’s notion of a Communist Party and how it is to function. The vanguard concept is a MARXIST one.

    I don’t know how else to explain it. I’m sorry you can’t grasp this fact.

  29. PS You also weren’t able to refute Gasper or defend your blatant distortion of what he actually wrote regarding the vanguard party.

    Here’s a simple thought experiment that will clear this up. Take Lenin’s theoretical justification for a vanguard party, then remove ALL Marxist elements from it. What are you left with? Not much.

    Go back to your Monty Python, R. Have a nice life.

  30. Ok…one more point.

    You also misunderstand Lenin. The notion of a vanguard party is not simply a group of intellectuals leading by force. Specifically, here’s what Lenin said about the consciousness of the masses in his April Theses:

    “We don’t want the masses to take our word for it. We are not charlatans. We want the masses to overcome their mistakes through experience….Insurrection must not rely upon conspiracy and not upon a party, but upon the advanced class…Insurrection must rely on the revolutionary upsurge of the people.”

    The basis of this experience is exactly the class consciousness Marx spoke of. This class consciousness is absolutely VITAL for the formation of a vanguard party.

    I’ll quote Marx again:

    “The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others”

    “That section which pushes forward all others.” Here is the vanguard…Marxist to the core, yet adapted by Lenin to the Russian context.

  31. No, Cannon makes my point. You can’t have it.

    Van – “the Cannon quote makes my argument for me.”

    “The greatest contribution to the arsenal of Marxism since the death of Engels in 1895 was Lenin’s conception of the vanguard party as the organiser and director of the proletarian revolution.”

    This quote shows that the vanguard party was “Lenin’s conception”. That is one of my points, which you seem to concede by using the quote and not refuting that part.

    You seem to have trouble with my use of the term “contradicted”. Lenin wrote: “rid ourselves of Economism generally (i.e., the narrow conception of Marxist theory…).” Tell you what, I’ll revise my use of the term “contradiction” and use Lenin’s words. The concept of the vanguard party ‘abandons’ (“rid ourselves of”) conservative Marxism (the “narrow conception” according to Lenin, which wasn’t revolutionary enough).

    You support an exploitative tyrannical ruling structure.

    Your Marxism kills tens of millions of people. Explain that.

    Bill Ayers is still a Marxist terrorist.

  32. Do any of you really they think so little of our country’s intelligence agencies that they would be so inept as to allow a terrorist to run for any national office, much less the presidency, and secure the nomination of one of its major political parties? Especially after 9/11?

    Imagine the laughing stock we would be in the world if our nation’s defense department was so ineffective.

    What would our allies think about us?

    If the Clintons, who have some of the best opposition research teams in the world, one of them was our president, after all, couldn’t get anything on Barack Obama, there’s nothing to get.

    Barack Obama is not the enemy. Nor are other Americans with Semitic/Arabic names and brown skin. The kind of rhetoric going around can put the safety of people on the ground in jeopardy.

    Times are tough. Folks are desperate. People are looking for scapegoats. They’ll do just about anything: rob a store, kill their own family in a murder-suicide, attack anyone who looks “exotic”, gas innocent children in a mosque, walk into a Unitarian church and open fire…

    Vote for Obama or don’t vote for Obama, but to demonize him with all this terrorist innuendo in a post 9/11 climate is dangerous and wrong and it needs to stop.

    Barack Obama is the father of two beautiful girls. They need him to be safe. We need to keep our citizenry safe.

    H/T Jack and Jill Politics.com

  33. Redeye, do you really want the alphabet soup security agencies vetting presidential candidates? Wouldn’t democracy (which includes the right to elect the totally unsuited) suffer?

  34. “Vote for Obama or don’t vote for Obama, but to demonize him with all this terrorist innuendo in a post 9/11 climate is dangerous and wrong and it needs to stop”.

  35. Redeye, I’ll take then that you believe other grounds such as his statist tendencies and/or pandering to the right would be suitable grounds for demonization.

  36. From the Signet Edition of the Manifesto:

    “Lenin’s cheif amendment to Marxism, the “vanguard party”, finds good intellectual warrant in the Founder himself. To be sure, Marx never formed an organization comparable to the Leninist party. Yet he did furnish the theoretical basis for such a body by asserting in the Manifesto that the Communists “have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. ” This statement attests further that on a more general level there exists a deep connection between Marx’s idea of Communism as conscious, rational mastery over mankind’s collective fate and Lenin’s idea of the Party as the controlling vanguard of the spontaneous mass movement”.

    This debate is over, R. I win.

  37. “Bill Ayers is still a Marxist terrorist.”

    You might want to have this embossed on your own personal stationary so you won’t have to keep typing it over and over.

  38. “Your Marxism kills tens of millions of people. Explain that.”

    I don’t have to. It’s not a valid question.

    By using your “logic”, the Catholic Church is responsible for Franco (who killed millions of Spaniards thinking he was defending “Christian civilization”), Nietzsche is responsible for the Nazis, Rousseau is responsible for Robespierre, Friedman is responsible for Pinochet, and Jesus is responsible for the Crusades.

    Teachers can’t be held responsible for the actions of their idiotic pupils.

  39. BTW: Cannon does NOT make your point. That quote is taken out of context. I suggest you read Cannon’s “The Struggle For a Proletarian Party”. It was his position that the vanguard notion IS a Marxist one. In the quote you cite, he was defending against the charge (common at the time) that Lenin’s notion of the vanguard had no applicability outside of Russia, and Marxists outside of the USSR should forget about the concept and form workers’ parties along more “bourgeois” lines.

    Cannon was an ardent supporter of the vanguard concept because, in his view, it was a fundamental MARXIST principle that was valid even in conditions outside of early 20th century Russia.

  40. “To be sure, Marx never formed an organization comparable to the Leninist party.”

    This is part of why the idealistic Menshevists (and the contemporary British Fabians) opposed Lenin. Just because your Marxist-Leninist comrades killed, exiled, or banished the opposition doesn’t negate the fact that their point of view existed (and still exists). The debate is over only if you’re a Leninist.

    Come to think of it… My use of the word “abandoned” was less precise than it should be. Kill, exile, send to gulags… A better word is “purge”:

    The concept of the vanguard party ‘purged’ conservative Marxism (the “narrow conception” according to Lenin, which wasn’t revolutionary enough).

    Your support of the vanguard indicates that you are a Marxist-Leninist. Are you an MLM (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)? Which Marxist tyrant do you admire more: Lenin, Stalin, or Mao? Do you choose your favorite based on how many people they killed?

    Marxism killed tens of millions of people.

    Bill Ayers is still a Marxist terrorist.

  41. redeye / homey – Obama may not be a terrorist, but he and his wife pal around with terrorists. That’s a fact. Ayers’ terrorist wife was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. That’s a fact. Obama doesn’t see a problem with it – his latest defense is that he thought Ayers had been “rehabilitated”.

    Old saying: If you don’t know a man’s character, look at his friends.