Skip to comments.The Left's History Of Violence
Posted on 01/12/2011 12:39:08 PM PST by freespirited
The surest way to become a folk hero on the Hard Left is to kill a human being.
As Mumia Abu-Jamal, Joe Hill and Huey Newton could have attested, murder trumps even treason for establishing radical credentials. You certainly dont get invitations to deliver commencement addresses, become the subject of folk songs, or hang with the likes of Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda by protesting a traffic ticket. Taking the life of another person elevates a radical to cause celebre status like nothing else can.
So why all the carping about violent rhetoric from people wearing Che T-shirts and imploring us to Free Leonard Peltier?
Wheres that toxic rhetoric coming from? Paul Krugman asks in the New York Times. Lets not make a false pretense of balance: its coming, overwhelmingly, from the Right. Michael Tomasky writes in the Manchester Guardian that violent rhetoric is too encoded in conservative DNA and central to Republican electoral strategy to go away. Tomasky posits a connection between violent rhetoric that emanates from the Right wing of American society and what happened in Arizona on Saturday.
What constitutes violent political rhetoric is subjective; what constitutes political violence is more clear-cut. One can debate whether the American Right currently has the market cornered on the former, as Krugman and Tomasky suggest. But the latter, at least as assaults upon high-profile American politicians are concerned, overwhelmingly stems from the Left. And lets face it: Violence, not violent rhetoric, kills people.
Four men have murdered U.S. presidents. Three of them have been communists.
Charles Guiteau, the troubled Bible Communist who lived for more than five years in John Humphrey Noyes Oneida Community, murdered President James Garfield. Leon Czolgosz, an anarcho-communist follower of Emma Goldman, murdered President William McKinley. Lee Harvey Oswald, a Marxist enthusiast of Fidel Castro who lived briefly in the Soviet Union, murdered President John F. Kennedy.
Rather than confront this troubled history, Leftists downplay the radicalism of these assassins or invent wild conspiracy theories to cast blame on political enemies rather than the politically inconvenient villain.
Even most of the failed presidential assassins have cited Left-wing motivations. Giuseppe Zangara, would-be murderer of Franklin D, Roosevelt, confessed: I kill kings and presidents first, and next all capitalists. Manson follower Squeaky Fromme claimed her desire to be a voice for the Earth sparked her decision to approach President Gerald Ford with a loaded gun. She maintained that before class and race and gender, the Earth needs to be seen and heard and fought for. Sarah Jane Moore, who worked for the Symbionese Liberation Army-inspired People In Need, tried to kill the 38th president 17 days later. The government had declared war on the Left, she later explained of her motives. Nixons appointment of Ford as vice president and his resignation making Ford president seemed to be a continuing assault on America.
Its important to note that for several of the gunmen cultists Charles Guiteau and Squeaky Fromme, to name two their political views were incidental; their mental instability, crucial. This seems the case with Jared Lee Loughner, which makes the effort to score political points off the tragedy he induced so puzzling. This puzzlement increases after learning that the killers political disposition doesnt resemble any of the talk-show hosts or politicians lambasted for allegedly contributing to a climate that gave rise to Saturdays tragedy.
Loughner, a registered independent, didnt even vote in November. Rather than spurred to violence by the Tea Parties, the killer became obsessed with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords back in 2007 two years before the first Tea Party rally.
One classmate described him as Left-wing, quite liberal, while another remembered him being frustrated by George W. Bush. His favorite books prove especially instructive, as he listed offerings by Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, and Ayn Rand. Jared Lee Loughner was all over the place.
There is a tradition of political violence on the Right as there is on the Left. The anarchist bomber Timothy McVeigh, and anti-abortion bomber Eric Richard Rudolph, certainly can be said to vaguely share views with parts of the American Right. Both sides have their share of violent extremists. But both sides differ greatly in how they treat such violent extremists.
Weathermen get tenure. The Unabomber gets offered a book deal. John Brown gets a hagiographic song. Right-wing terrorists get ostracized. Theres no romanticism of political violence on the Right as there is on the Left. Where is the Rights Sacco and Vanzetti, Tom Mooney, or H. Rap Brown?
The Left lionize their murderers. The Right runs from theirs.
These very different reactions to political violence, and the very different histories of political violence (that leaves a preponderance of killing on one side), do much to explain the Hard Lefts desperate attempt to blame Saturdays tragedy upon its political adversaries.
Conservatism is a morality based philosophy, where the left’s ethics are completely situational, which under the right circumstances, can justify anything. Conditional morality is no morality.
Nope. We execute 'em.
Leftists deny (and revile) the concept of an objective truth or objective morality,
so all they’re left with is situational, conditional, individually defined morality.
In this worldview, everyone can have a different morality, different definitions of right and wrong,
and the only way to decide whose gets used as the “right one” is through the use of force.
This is what we see, historically, with ideologies that deny God and objective truth and morality - DEATH.
As you say.
The American Right, at the present moment anyway, is primarily focused on making government less powerful.
The American Left, now and always, is focused on making government more powerful.
Let’s take a look at the history of the last 100 years and compare the number of innocents killed by those who want to make government more powerful as compared to those who want to make government less powerful.
More powerful government group, no idea of the total, but it’s certainly well above 125M.
Less powerful government group, again no idea, but almost certainly less than 1M, and arguably most of those were killed in legitimate defense against the other group.
Why isn’t this disproportion ever discussed?
on the bright side, look at this psycho’s defense attorney’s record?
where are her former clients?
Good article, and good post!:)
Only the concept of God gives dignity and worth to all people. Atheism destroys dignity and worth and makes people into nothing more than animals. It is nihilism.
All gods are not equal though........the Christian God has been the one which delivered the most successful and creative, free and egalitarian society in the history of the world. That is an obvious fact.
Why our government is forcing the Marxist/Atheist paradigm on our country in contrast to our Constitution, through the media, schools and legal system is outrageous when we know the results of ugly communism.
“John Brown gets a hagiographic song.”
John Brown was a Leftist?
Tengo una remera del Che y no sé por qué
Good post. Thanks for that.
JB’s obsession was Abolition, and that was certainly not considered a “conservative” POV at the time.
But talking about this very quickly gets you into the quicksand of defining Right vs. Left. Most of us know what it means today, but it’s remarkably difficult to extrapolate it back into history in any meaningful way.
It was discoverd that Charlie Giteau shot Garfield because of political cartoons being printed at the time. Damned right wing vitriol!
Continuing the point, I don’t think an anti-Stalinist in the old USSR would be considered a “leftist” for opposing the existing order, or consider Stalin a “conservative” for wanting to continue it. We’re stuck with these labels for now, though, meaningless as they are.
As you point out, they are not only meaningless across time, they are meaningless from country to country.
A “conservative” in Saudi Arabia is very different from an American conservative.
Thank you so much for doing this. For several years now I have been hoping for a website dedicated to documenting all leftist violence.
The surest way to become a folk hero on the Hard Left is to kill a human being.