Friday, 15 December 2017

The Weathermen and their legacy: they won academia




My two posts on the Weathermen, the terrorist wing of the American student radical movement in the era of Richard Nixon, weren't intended as political polemic, although polemic is my strong suit. 

My purpose was twofold. First to bring to people's attention the speech by Bernardine Dohrn about the Manson murders and second to show part of the background to the anti-racist, progressive ideas that have influenced and continue to influence the world so much. 
To recap, Bernardine Dohrn told a Students for a Democratic Society meeting shortly after the Manson murders:
“Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”
Her audience “instantly adopted” “four fingers held up in the air, invoking the fork left in Sharon Tate’s belly,” according to Mark Rudd, another leader of the group.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

1960s student radicalism, the Weathermen and the origins of political correctness

The SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) was an important American student organisation in the 1960s known for its activism against the Vietnam War. It split after 1968 over whether to use violence to overthrow the government. This article is in the public domain and sheds light on the origins of the modern left in the USA.

It was at this meeting that Bernadine Dohrn, celebrated the fork stuck into the heavily-pregnant Sharon Tate's belly.
“Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild!”
I draw your attention to this passage:


The logic of that view was expressed in a statement by Ted Gold, a top Weatherman, who said that “an agency of the people of the world” would be set up to run the U.S. economy and society after the defeat of the U.S. imperialism abroad.

A critic spoke up: “In short, if the people of the world succeed in liberating themselves before American radicals have made the American revolution, then the Vietnamese and Africans and the Chinese are gonna move in and run things for white America. It sounds like a John Bircher’s worst dream. There will have to be more repression than ever against white people, but by refusing to organize people, Weatherman isn’t even giving them half a chance.”

“Well,” replied Gold, “if it will take fascism, we’ll have to have fascism.”

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

“The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”



“The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.”

An unnamed “SDS radical” quoted by David Horowitz - I wonder which radical if any said this. I remember hearing this expression back in my 1970s childhood. 


This brings to mind the recent emergence of transgender rights as a political issue.

It is interesting to be reminded of the revolutionary fervour of the 1960s, which later transmogrified into the identity politics of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both disciples of Saul Alinsky. Alinsky's book “Rules for Radicals” was originally entitled “Rules for Revolution”.

Calling the gendarmes slaves is against the law



Last month a Romanian, posting on Facebook, called the gendarmes guarding the National Anticorruption Department (DNA) "slaves", reports News.ro. He has been ordered to pay a fine of RON 900 (about EUR 195) for offensive language.

Calling the gendarmes slaves is against the law.

Eastern Europe is starting to become as authoritarian as Western Europe: in the 1980s I could not have imagined writing this sentence.


Things are even worse in England where a demonstrator was fine for calling his MP a coward. that only made the local paper.

Freedom is a concept that people increasingly no longer even understand.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Bernardine Dohrn: "They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild!”

I wrote about the murderer Charles Manson  when he died two weeks ago. He was one of the increasingly few people who was before my time. 

At his death, the liberal press incredibly tried to suggest that the murderous Manson - a counter culture hero if ever there was one - was a forerunner of Donald Trump. 

I mentioned the debate in the SDS about whether killing white babies was a revolutionary act and quoted Bernadine Dohrn, the SDS and Weather Underground leader, who celebrated the fork stuck into the heavily-pregnant Sharon Tate's belly.
“Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild!”
This was at a meeting held just after the Manson murders to decide a strategy for using violence to take over America in the name of Vietnamese and Africans. One of the SDS

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Sir Edward du Cann was a crook

I blogged about the death of Sir Edward du Cann here. I wanted to add this, which I just read in The Spectator by Charles Moore.
Sir Edward’s longevity proved a problem for me when I was preparing my first volume for the publishers. A paragraph about him (incredibly, he came quite close to being chosen over Mrs Thatcher to challenge Ted Heath in 1974) had to have two versions, one if he were still alive, the other if he weren’t. He lived, so my quotation from William Waldegrave said that Heath’s supporters hoped that Du Cann would challenge because they ‘all knew that he had such a dubious financial record as to make him an easy target’. In the ‘dead’ version, Waldegrave said: ‘all knew that he was a crook’. Those who romanticise the probity of politics in the old days would do well to study Sir Edward’s career.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Guernica

When Colin Powell stood outside the Security Council meeting room to discuss the forthcoming invasion of Iraq a curtain was tactfully or disgracefully drawn to hide the tapestry version of Picasso's Guernica.

Decline and fall



I decided that Rome the eternal city is the ideal place to celebrate a birthday and my recent one was a very good one. Lunch and dinner with clever like minded people. Wonderful food and drink, churches and paintings, even the Tridentine Mass. Italy is an economic disaster due to the euro, but Italy is the last civilised country in Western Europe. And Rome is good for introspection which is the point of travel and birthdays.

But Rome becomes more touristy each time I visit. The small family owned shops and restaurants are still plentiful but the souvenir shops grow more. Rome's future is Venice. It is already half a museum and this is the future of Europe.

Rome was taken and sacked by a series of infidels including Arabs long ago, but remains