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Marxist minstrel
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | February 1, 2014 | Marxist minstrel

Posted on 02/03/2014 12:51:28 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Pete Seeger died last week at age 94. The media are remembering Seeger as a “social-justice” crusading “progressive” who gave voice to the poor and the working man. He's also being portrayed as an unfortunate victim of wild-eyed McCarthyites who madly searched for a red under every bed.

Well, the full story is a little different.

Pete Seeger was in fact once a communist, a committed one at the height of the Stalin era. Interviewed for a 2008 episode of the PBS series “American Masters,” Seeger openly conceded he had been a communist. He first joined the Young Communist League as a student at Harvard (mid-1930s) and later (early 1940s) joined Communist Party USA as a card-carrying member.

That latter fact is a halting one. Many American communists, especially Jewish American communists, bolted CPUSA in the 1940s when Stalin allied with Hitler. Not Seeger. He was undeterred.

Seeger was a very loyal communist. If you were a fellow comrade holding a major rally anywhere in the Northeast, Pete Seeger's presence was as reliable as a red flag. He was a guarantee to provide entertainment for the cause. Here are merely a few examples:

• At the massive New York City anti-Vietnam rally in April 1967, organized by the radical New Mobe, Seeger was there, singing for the cause.

• In the 1950s, New York communist parents sent their red-diaper baby children to something called the Downtown Community School, a supplement to the so-called Little Red School House, founded in the 1920s by New York communists and “progressives.” There, future Weather Underground terrorists such as Kathy Boudin (still in jail for murder) met musical talents like Seeger, who regularly played and taught music at the school.

• Seeger also provided rousing performances at the summer “commie camps” in the Catskills where the New York faithful sent their children. These surreal spectacles were a perverse red version of vacation Bible school (no kidding).

• But Seeger's most disturbing work as a Marxist minstrel was his strumming for a “folk group” called “The Almanacs,” which historian Ron Radosh — himself a former red-diaper baby — correctly calls a “communist folk-singing group.” At varying times, the group included Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives and Will Geer, who later became famous as “Grandpa Walton” on “The Waltons.” Seeger founded the group in 1941.

The most egregious work by “The Almanacs” was its propaganda for the insidious American Peace Mobilization, which Congress identified as “one of the most seditious organizations which ever operated in the United States” and “one of the most notorious and blatantly communist fronts ever organized.” Founded in 1940, the group's objective was to keep America out of the war against Hitler. The group even demanded no lend-lease to Britain as it was being savaged by Hitler's war machine. Why?

It did so because Hitler, at that point, had signed an alliance with Stalin. For American communists, any friend of Stalin had to be a friend of theirs. This is no exaggeration. They literally swore a loyalty oath to the USSR. They were unflinchingly loyal Soviet patriots.

And Pete Seeger was one of them, there to salute the flag.

The kickoff rally to attract recruits to the “peace” mobilization was a huge April 1941 promotional in New York City. It featured music by Paul Robeson, the devoted Stalinist, and “The Almanacs.”

Liberals should be enraged at Pete Seeger for such awful activity. Unfortunately, they don't know their own history. For them, the bad guys are never on the left. As James Burnham used to say, for the left, the preferred enemy is always to the right.

Speaking of bad guys, I will be deemed a bad guy for pointing out these inconvenient facts about Pete Seeger. I'll be accused of Neanderthal McCarthyism, whereas Seeger will be portrayed as a peace-loving lamb, a good-hearted hippie unfairly persecuted as a “communist” for his mere love of “peace” and “social justice.”

Some things never change.

Paul Kengor's most recent book is “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor.” His column appears the first Sunday of every month.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: communist; hitler; kengor; paulkengor; peteseeger; seeger; stalin

1 posted on 02/03/2014 12:51:28 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All

Author: Paul Kengor


2 posted on 02/03/2014 12:52:14 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

another damned Yankee


3 posted on 02/03/2014 12:58:20 AM PST by LeoWindhorse
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Thanks for the article and its clear documentation of Seeger’s red roots, along with his fellow travelers. Here in OK, birthplace of Woody Guthrie, time is eroding and softening his communism to allow for his memory to become more mainstream.


4 posted on 02/03/2014 1:05:20 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

See: www.keywiki.org and www.DiscoverTheNetwork.org” for lots of information on Pete Seeger’s communist career with lasted over 70 years despite what the mainstream media said in their generally pro-Seeger articles.

He supported every communist party and major movement that came down the pike, from the CPUSA, SWP, WWP to the Maoist weekly the “Guardian”.

He was a “red” on the inside as was his nose on the outside.

Kengor> Thanks for the good piece on him


5 posted on 02/03/2014 2:07:17 AM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It did so because Hitler, at that point, had signed an alliance with Stalin

I recall as a young man debating someone who made the point that the Soviets were our allies during the war. I immediately answered that they were not our allies but Hitler's despite the fact they ended up betraying each other.

He gave me a peculiar puzzled look as if I didn't know history but couldn't respond to that.

6 posted on 02/03/2014 2:08:03 AM PST by stormhill
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

For more on the Lend Lease program and who else it was helping,read Diana Wests,”American Betrayal”,that will open your eyes


7 posted on 02/03/2014 3:37:43 AM PST by ballplayer
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To: stormhill
I immediately answered that they were not our allies but Hitler's despite the fact they ended up betraying each other

Wasn't kind of like the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

8 posted on 02/03/2014 4:12:22 AM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I didn’t know that Burl Ives was in that group. I knew there was a reason I hate “Holly, Jolly Christmas.”


9 posted on 02/03/2014 4:13:11 AM PST by Daveinyork (IER)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“If I had a Hammer...and a Sickle...”


10 posted on 02/03/2014 4:18:06 AM PST by CharlesThe Hammer
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Seeger was a repellent creep and a Grade AA @$$ho!e.

From Mark Steyn’s blog on Seeger’s Stalinism and the infantile nature of folk music (If I Had a Hammer):

“For the cost of a restricted view ticket to a Peter, Paul, and Mary revival, you can buy a half dozen top-of-the-line hammers and have more fun, even if you use them on yourself.”

Funniest line written in the English language this century.


11 posted on 02/03/2014 4:18:16 AM PST by twister881
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Thanks to their enablers in the Leftist media, all these old Communists died with plenty of capitalist cash in their pockets. What flaming hypocrites.


12 posted on 02/03/2014 4:22:41 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: LeoWindhorse

Very like.


13 posted on 02/03/2014 4:37:17 AM PST by onedoug
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To: CharlesThe Hammer; All

Get out your “Commie Sickness” bags:

Sunday, Feb 2, 2014 06:00 AM CST - Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

http://www.salon.com/2014/02/02/why_youre_wrong_about_communism_7_huge_misconceptions_about_it_and_capitalism/


14 posted on 02/03/2014 5:00:47 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Daveinyork

These same people gave us Paul Wellstone.


15 posted on 02/03/2014 5:05:56 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks ("Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth.")
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To: T-Bird45
Even Wikipedia notes his roots, at least for now:
“This anti-war/anti-draft tone reflected the Communist Party line after the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which maintained the war was “phony” and a mere pretext for big American corporations to get Hitler to attack Soviet Russia. Seeger has said he believed this line of argument at the time—as did many fellow members of the Young Communist League (YCL). Though nominally members of the Popular Front, which was allied with Roosevelt and more moderate liberals, the YCL’s members still smarted from Roosevelt and Churchill's arms embargo to Loyalist Spain (which Roosevelt later called a mistake),[32] and the alliance frayed in the confusing welter of events.”

I am a little skeptiable about:
“Roosevelt and Churchill's arms embargo..” mistake? Don't think he ever acknowledged a mistake about keeping the Jews out of the country

16 posted on 02/03/2014 5:07:36 AM PST by BilLies ("Will none rid me of this lying bastard ?")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The title of that article should be: “Straw man arguments about communism (and capitalism): We build, and then tear down, seven of them in our latest show of contempt for your intellect.”


17 posted on 02/03/2014 5:19:38 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: Daveinyork
I didn’t know that Burl Ives was in that group.

Neither did I, but sure enough - he was blacklisted. Eventually, he testified before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, which apparently pissed off Seeger for decades.

18 posted on 02/03/2014 5:22:21 AM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Well, for one thing Seeger was never a hippie. All other descriptions in the article are pretty much correct. One thing I resent (among many things) is that when Seeger was riding a wave of popularity in the sixties and appearing on national tv programs like The Smothers Brothers, all his fans in the media still refused to acknowledge the fact that Seeger was in fact a commie. Even Seeger, in his later years, never tried to hide that fact.

More than twenty years ago I saw a program on PBS (?) about American commies, and Seeger was willingly interviewed and didn't try to apologize for his views. But Big Media sure tried to cover up for Seeger through the decades.

19 posted on 02/03/2014 5:45:05 AM PST by driftless2
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
So called "folk music" is clumsily crafted Communist propaganda set to a vaguely traditional melody. The more interesting aspect of this musical mind control is that it's message was successfully transferred to a form of rock & roll in the mid- to late-60s.

I doubt the old line folkies planned it that way but for that switch a lot of commie brainwashing would never have happened.

20 posted on 02/03/2014 7:52:17 AM PST by Oratam
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To: WayneS; Cincinatus' Wife

I was raised on a little farm and we used to use bails of oat straw for bedding in the stables and we used to rake pine straw to use as mulch for strawberries and other plants but I don’t think we ever had as much straw as the author of that load of crap used to build his straw men. One match applied while that was on my monitor would have burned my house down.


21 posted on 02/03/2014 9:54:58 AM PST by RipSawyer (The TREE currently falling on you actually IS worse than a Bush.)
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