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Pete Seeger, Marxist minstrel
Center for Vision and Values ^ | February 3, 2014 | Paul G. Kengor

Posted on 02/03/2014 8:38:42 AM PST by Academiadotorg

Pete Seeger’s death at age 94 is a cultural catharsis for the American left. The New York Times accorded his passing the kind of space normally reserved for the death of a president. Such was Seeger’s special place of reverence among liberals.

The media is hailing Seeger as a “social-justice” crusading “progressive,” a voice for the poor, the downtrodden, the working man, and the environment. He’s also being portrayed as a victim of wild-eyed McCarthyites who maniacally searched for a red under every bed.

Well, the full story is a little different.

Pete Seeger had in fact been a Marxist, a committed one who stumped for international communism at the height of the Stalin era. Interviewed in 2008 for the PBS series, “American Masters,” Seeger conceded those sympathies. He first joined the Young Communist League at Harvard (mid-1930s) and later (early 1940s) joined Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

That latter fact is a halting one. Many American communists, especially Jewish communists, bolted from CPUSA when their beloved Joseph Stalin allied with Hitler, specifically via the August 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact. Not Seeger. He was undeterred, joining the party after the pact. (For the record, likewise undeterred was Barack Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, who also joined CPUSA after the pact.)

Seeger was a loyal comrade. If you were a communist agitator/organizer staging a big display or furthering the revolution, Pete Seeger’s presence was as reliable as a red flag. He was guaranteed to provide musical entertainment for the cause.

Here are a few examples:

At the massive anti-Vietnam rally held in New York City in April 1967, organized by the radical New Mobe, Seeger was there, strumming for the faithful.

In the 1950s, New York communist parents sent their red-diaper babies to the Little Red School House, founded in the 1920s by “progressives.” There, the likes of Angela Davis, Victor Navasky, the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and future Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin (still in jail for murder) sat at the knee of leftist celebrities like Seeger, who played and taught music there.

Seeger also provided rousing performances at the summer “commie camps” in the Catskills where the New York faithful sent their children to study the gospel according to Marx. These surreal spectacles were a sort of twisted red version of Vacation Bible School.

But Seeger’s most disturbing work as a Marxist minstrel was his crooning for “The Almanacs,” which historian Ron Radosh—himself a former red-diaper baby—calls a “communist folk-singing group.” At varying times, “The Almanacs” included Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, and Will Geer, later known as “Grandpa” on TV’s “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 objective of the American Peace Mobilization was to keep America out of the war against Hitler. This also meant no Lend-Lease money to Britain.

Why did the American Peace Mobilization take such a position? It did so because Hitler signed an alliance with Stalin. For American communists, any friend of Stalin was a friend of theirs. They literally swore an oath, formally pledging to a “Soviet America” and to “the triumph of Soviet power in the United States.” They were unflinchingly devout Soviet patriots.

In my book Dupes, I publish the declassified Soviet Comintern document detailing how the American Peace Mobilization “was organised on the initiative of our Party in Chicago in September, 1940.” (Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was there.)

As for mobilizing the “peace,” eager Pete Seeger was there to salute the flag.

The kick-off rally to attract naïve recruits (i.e., liberal dupes) to the American Peace Mobilization was a huge April 1941 promotional in New York. The featured musical talent was Stalinist Paul Robeson and “The Almanacs.” Almost every “folk ballad” was a swipe at America and FDR—who communists were attacking at that point—for supporting an “unjust war” by aiding Britain as it was besieged by the Nazis’ ferocious onslaught.

Such was the position of American communists, like Pete Seeger.

Of course, liberals should be enraged at Seeger for efforts like this. Unfortunately, they don’t understand their own history. For them, the bad guys are never on the left. As ex-communist James Burnham used to say, for the left, the preferred enemy is always to the right.

Speaking of which, in the left’s perverse moral universe, I’ll be viewed as the bad guy for pointing out these sordid facts about Pete Seeger. I’ll be pitied for my crass McCarthyism, whereas Seeger will be forever lionized by liberals as a peace-loving lamb, a happy-hearted hippie unfairly persecuted for his mere pursuit of “social justice.” - See more at: http://www.visionandvalues.org/2014/02/pete-seeger-marxist-minstrel/#sthash.5lgAMa3u.dpuf


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: hitler; peteseeger; stalin

1 posted on 02/03/2014 8:38:42 AM PST by Academiadotorg
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To: Academiadotorg

Never could stand the man.

He was a Founding Father of the “WHY DON”T YOU SHUT UP AND SING” generation of lefty/liberal/progressive performers who cannot keep their music separate from their simplistic political views.


2 posted on 02/03/2014 8:44:11 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson)
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To: Academiadotorg

I think I remember reading that Seeger had off shore bank accounts. Had a bunch of money stashed away. He was a phony praying on the useful idiots.

Also I had never heard Burl Ives was a commie.


3 posted on 02/03/2014 8:46:49 AM PST by davetex (Location: The Alamo)
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To: Academiadotorg

Now he can pick his banjo for Uncle Joe and Mao and Ho. Never liked him and despised the way the MSM portrayed him as an American minstrel.


4 posted on 02/03/2014 8:47:54 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Iron Munro

Don’t forget about the other communist singers back in those days......like the Weavers (The dream weavers).


5 posted on 02/03/2014 8:51:49 AM PST by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: Academiadotorg

So he ran around singing his red-diaper ditties for seven decades. At the end of the day, did he actually change anything in this world for the better?


6 posted on 02/03/2014 8:52:01 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Academiadotorg

You may not like his politics, But Pete Seeger sums up my feelings about our POTUS in his song “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”

Seems like some folks are still following that “Big Fool”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXnJVkEX8O4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Here are the final verses of the Pete Seeger song:

Now I’m not going to point any moral —
I’ll leave that for yourself.
Maybe you’re still walking, you’re still talking,
You’d like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers, that old feeling comes on,
We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy,
The big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy,
The big fool says to push on.
Waist deep, neck deep,
Soon even a tall man will be over his head.
We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy,
And the big fool says to push on.


7 posted on 02/03/2014 8:52:33 AM PST by WhatsItAllAbout
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To: davetex
Sorry to say, Burl Ives was a commie, too. When push came to shove at the House hearings, he recanted his communism and named names in a successful effort to save his career. He did go on to fame and fortune, otherwise known as the American Dream. Seeger, however, hated Ives for selling out the Party. I think they had some sort of tearful reunion shortly before Ive's death, ala Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis. Not to imply that either Martin or Lewis were commies.
8 posted on 02/03/2014 8:56:39 AM PST by ArtDodger
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To: DH

“Don’t forget about the other communist singers back in those days......like the Weavers “

I wish I could forget them, and their ridiculous version of “Goodnight Irene!”
“I’ll see you in my dreams?” Leadbelly’s version was full of hatred for Irene. He was “Sorry you ever was born!” and it was “I’ll get you in my dreams.” The song was full of violent and suicidal thoughts.
The Weavers sucked! Completely phony!


9 posted on 02/03/2014 9:00:21 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Academiadotorg
Burl Ives, and Will Geer
Huh? Never heard that before. Were these guys really commies, or just naively sang with the wrong group?
10 posted on 02/03/2014 9:01:10 AM PST by oh8eleven (claimer)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

There is a lot more information on the connection between Pete Seeger and The Weavers.

It’s very interesting.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/folk-group-the-weavers-are-banned-by-nbc-after-refusing-to-sign-a-loyalty-oath

Some history very few know about.


11 posted on 02/03/2014 9:05:28 AM PST by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: DH
Don’t forget about the other communist singers back in those days....

There are too many to list.

They thought they were the avant-garde instead of just another generation of suckers.


12 posted on 02/03/2014 9:06:40 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson)
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To: Academiadotorg

Hope this is just the first of several Pete Seeger lookbacks by Mr. Kengor.

The next one should start with Hitler invading the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 and how Seeger & his fellow commies tied themselves in flipflopping pretzels to support an `antifascist’ war effort that they had despised only the day before.

It should be titled, “This Machine Kills Fascists”.


13 posted on 02/03/2014 9:08:24 AM PST by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: WhatsItAllAbout
You may not like his politics, But Pete Seeger sums up my feelings about our POTUS in his song “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”

Yes, some of the lefty folk singers could make some good music once in a while.

Just like Obama could give a good speech and some communist/one-world Hollywood actors like Jane Fonda could turn in a good performance on the screen.

But it's not what they sang, said or acted out - it's what they believed and did that counts.


14 posted on 02/03/2014 9:12:45 AM PST by Iron Munro ("Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson)
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To: Academiadotorg

Check this list out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist
(Sean Penn’s Daddy is one the list as is “Grampa Walton(Will Geer)).


15 posted on 02/03/2014 9:15:23 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Academiadotorg
i'm so sorry to hear that Seeger died... actually, that's a lie. i guess i'm really sorry that only one kommie progressive scumbag chunk of human snot died. But, hey...

...at least it's a start...

16 posted on 02/03/2014 9:21:35 AM PST by alcatrash (duh prezzadint? he do duh "Hoosane" thang...)
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To: DH

Thanks DH. I was well aware of that though. Another dedicated commie is Steve Earle!


17 posted on 02/03/2014 9:22:10 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: WhatsItAllAbout

Waste Deep in Printed Money/


18 posted on 02/03/2014 9:23:53 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: Academiadotorg

And what timing. Seeger goes to the collective farm in the sky and Salon is in full “communism is great” mode.


19 posted on 02/03/2014 9:44:27 AM PST by Organic Panic
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To: Academiadotorg

Was on a ski trip last week. One of our party was a former hippie-chick of the ‘60’s. She & her Vietnam-Vet husband were avid folk music fans. When I passed the News that Pete Seeger died, I couldn’t help but add, “The old Stalinist is finally dead.” She was none to pleased, but didn’t argue the point.


20 posted on 02/03/2014 9:47:13 AM PST by Tallguy
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To: oh8eleven

“Grandpa Walton” liked boys too....

Blech.

Hoss


21 posted on 02/03/2014 9:59:02 AM PST by HossB86 (Christ, and Him alone.)
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bkmk


22 posted on 02/03/2014 9:59:05 AM PST by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: Academiadotorg
From the article:

Founded in 1940, the objective of the American Peace Mobilization was to keep America out of the war against Hitler. This also meant no Lend-Lease money to Britain.

Why did the American Peace Mobilization take such a position? It did so because Hitler signed an alliance with Stalin. For American communists, any friend of Stalin was a friend of theirs. They literally swore an oath, formally pledging to a “Soviet America” and to “the triumph of Soviet power in the United States.” They were unflinchingly devout Soviet patriots.

What the author neglects to mention is that when Hitler broke his alliance with Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union, Pete Seeger and his comrades suddenly reversed position and not only lobbied for United States military intervention, but actually joined the war effort. In other words Seeger wanted nothing to do with the war in Europe as long as Hitler was only killing Jews and invading capitalist countries, but as soon as Hitler threw Stalin under the bus and started killing commies, Seeger and his peeps demanded that FDR go all in.

23 posted on 02/03/2014 10:59:35 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Academiadotorg

I grew up in the Hudson Valley where Seeger lived for the last 40 years or so and I still have roots in the area. Like a lot of Marxists, Seeger used the environmental movement to push his communist agenda, particularly to young children through various programs that he would peddle through the local school districts, girl scouts, Hudson River Clearwater, etc. I resigned from the local Chamber of Commerce about 15 years ago when it co-sponsored a school program with Seeger and refused to allow my children to attend Seeger events.


24 posted on 02/03/2014 11:18:08 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Tallguy

Good for you. I’m a Vietnam vet. For some reason “Stalinist” is the only epithet that really digs in, for lefties. Seeger was that in spades.

Aging 60’s types leave me cold.


25 posted on 02/03/2014 11:42:39 AM PST by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: elcid1970

I’ll at least give it to Seeger that he never hid from his Stalinist leanings, unlike many Hollywood cowards.


26 posted on 02/03/2014 11:49:36 AM PST by AU72
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To: AU72

Seeger always thought that as a communist he was on the winning side of history. He sure wasn’t honest about the horrors of the USSR, finally admitting at the dawn of the instant fact-checking age that, “OK, Stalin could be a hard driver at times, but look at how big a job he had to do!”

And does it really require personal courage to be a Castro-worshipping leftie in Hollywood?


27 posted on 02/03/2014 11:57:58 AM PST by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: Academiadotorg

Interestingly enough, he might have been the very first red diaper baby!


28 posted on 02/03/2014 12:03:23 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious! We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone!)
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To: WhatsItAllAbout

The so-called “folk singers” were OK until they started
writing songs that were pure commnuist propaganda!


29 posted on 02/03/2014 3:25:53 PM PST by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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