America hasn’t seen the current level of harsh rhetoric and the political violence since the violent protests and the radicalism of the 1960’s. Many people think of this period as the age of the Civil Rights struggle, and it was – but there was another component active as well. It was also a period during which the desires of anarchists and communists (just anti-capitalists, really) who chose to piggyback on the Civil Rights movement, were expressed – and often violently so. Groups like the Students for a Democratic Society, the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, the Youth International Party and even the ludicrous Symbionese Liberation Army (that kidnapped Patty Hearst).
Massive, national movements are rarely pure. There are always some hangers-on that are pulled along with the current. Way back in 1895, Gustave Le Bon noted how certain people and groups that could not achieve notice on their own would alloy themselves with popular movements like a parasite and how the leaders of the crowd sometimes had other motives than the crowd but was able to use the momentum of the movement to propel their personal agenda forward.
Today’s political movements are no different.
The same Frankenstein’s monster of radicalism has been reanimated and walks with the undead in the new millennium. These contemporary forces are using spurious accusations of fascism, oppression, discrimination, etc. to further their aims in manners reminiscent of the protests of the “Free Love” era. As was true in the 1960’s, domestic terrorism against Pigs (the police), the Man (the established cultural mores), capitalist dogs (corporations and Wall Street) and political enemies (conservatives and Republicans) is all the rage.
Most of this agitation, radicalism and violence had ties to academia, specifically certain colleges and universities, and even today, former radicals (if there is such a thing) like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Kathy Boudin are still members of that team (all are professors or retired professors). All three of whom were involved in bombings or robberies, Boudin as recently as 1981.
Boudin is a particularly interesting character. Where Ayers and Dohrn were radicalized on their own, Boudin was born into a family with a Muslim mother and a 1/2 Jewish Father, with a long left-wing history, and she was raised in Greenwich Village, New York. She attended kindergarten at the Little Red School House and its high school, the Elisabeth Irwin High School in Manhattan. Although she went to Bryn Mawr College intending to prepare for medical school, her interests quickly turned to politics. 1965, her last year at Bryn Mawr was spent studying in the Soviet Union. She was paid 75 rubles a month by the Soviet government and, according to her résumé, taught on a Soviet collective farm. Her great-uncle was Louis B. Boudin, a Marxist theorist. Her father, Leonard Boudin, grew wealthy as a communist legal defender and member of the National Lawyer’s Guild, he was the law partner of Victor Rabinowitz, himself counsel to numerous left-wing organizations. Kathy’s older brother, Michael Boudin, is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. After serving 22 years in federal prison for her role in a bombing that killed two police officers and an armored car guard, Kathy taught at Columbia and was honored in 2013 by the New York University Law School program as its Rose Scheinberg Scholar in Residence. She is presently an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work.
So it should come as no big surprise that the philosophical children of these figures are the professors of today, inciting an even more violent form of the radicalism based on even more absurd and patently false reasons.
The point of this diatribe is that we have seen this all before with one very big and very important difference.
In the 1960’s, the Republican and Democrats were allied against this radicalism as both parties of the era had seen the destructive power of both the authoritarian, socialist Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler and the rise of a dictatorial communist Russia and its pursuit of global territorial ambitions. The shine had come off communism after Walter Duranty’s sycophantic, false reporting was revealed (the revelation of the Holodomor, the Stalin directed famine in Ukraine) and that revelation subsequently earned him the nickname of “Stalin’s Apologist.”
This time, the contemporary radicals are the wholly owned subsidiary of a political party and the former 1960’s radicals form the leadership of this political party, a party hoping to use radicalism to propel them back to power.
This radical political party is the modern Democrat Party.