Publicado: 06-09-2012 09:12 AM
The Nation's Top 'Progressives' - and Socialists and Communists
By Paul Kengor
The left-leaning magazine The Nation has published a list of what it deems America’s all-time, most influential progressives. The list, which you can review for yourself , is very revealing.
For starters, it’s fascinating that The Nation leads with Eugene Debs at number 1. Debs was a socialist. It was 100 years ago this year, in 1912, that Debs ran for president on the Socialist Party ticket.
Today’s progressives get annoyed if you call them socialists. Well, why is a pure socialist the no. 1 “progressive” on The Nation 's list?
Of course, progressives really get annoyed if you suggest they bear any sympathies to communism. That being the case, two other “progressives” on The Nation ’s list are quite intriguing: Paul Robeson and I. F. Stone.
Paul Robeson was a proud recipient of the “Stalin Prize.” Even the New York Times concedes Robeson was “an outspoken admirer of the Soviet Union.” When Robeson in 1934 returned from his initial pilgrimage to the Motherland, the Daily Worker thrust a microphone in his face. The Daily Worker rushed its interview into print, running it in the January 15, 1935 issue under the headline, “‘I Am at Home,’ Says Robeson At Reception in Soviet Union.”
The Bolsheviks, explained Robeson, were new men. He was bowled over by the “feeling of safety and abundance and freedom” he found “wherever I turn.” He discovered sheer equality under Joseph Stalin.
When asked about Stalin’s purges, Robeson retorted: “From what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet Government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!”
Yes, Robeson was deadly serious.
Robeson told the Daily Worker that he felt a “kinship” with the USSR. So much so that he moved his family there.
He also joined Communist Party USA. In May 1998, the centennial of Robeson’s birth, longtime CPUSA head Gus Hall hailed Robeson as a man of communist “conviction,” who “never forgot he was a communist.”
None of this is mentioned in The Nation ’s profile, which blasts anyone who dared consider Robeson a communist. Instead, The Nation insists that Comrade Paul was a “progressive.”
And that brings me to I. F. Stone.
Stone is listed at number 26 on The Nation’s list. Stone has been hailed by liberals for decades as the literal “conscience” of journalism—a hero of impeccable honesty. In fact, we now know that Stone, at one time, was a paid Soviet agent.
In their latest Yale University Press work, historians John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev conclude that Stone (from 1936-39) was a “Soviet spy.” Also closely studying Stone’s case is Herb Romerstein. In The Venona Secrets , Romerstein likewise concluded that “Stone was indeed a Soviet agent.” One of the stronger confirmations from the Soviet side is retired KGB general Oleg Kalugin, who reported: “He [Stone] was a KGB agent since 1938. His code name was ‘Blin.’ When I resumed relations with him in 1966, it was on Moscow’s instructions. Stone was a devoted communist.”
None of this appears at Stone’s “progressive” profile at The Nation .
And speaking of progressives with communist sympathies, also on The Nation ’s list is Margaret Sanger . The Planned Parenthood matron sojourned to Stalin’s Potemkin villages in 1934. “[W]e could well take example from Russia,” Sanger advised Americans upon her return, “where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.”
The Planned Parenthood founder was stunned by the explosion in abortions once legalized by the Bolsheviks. No fear, though. Sanger offered this confident prediction: “All the [Bolshevik] officials with whom I discussed the matter stated that as soon as the economic and social plans of Soviet Russia are realized, neither abortions nor contraception will be necessary or desired. A functioning Communistic society will assure the happiness of every child, and will assume the full responsibility for its welfare and education.”
This was pure progressive utopianism, an **noallow** faith in central planners.
Overall, the socialists, communists, and Soviet sympathizers on The Nation’s list are dizzying: Upton Sinclair, Henry Wallace, W. E. B. DuBois, Norman Thomas, Lincoln Steffens, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, and John Dewey—founding father of American public education.
Thus, I’m compelled to ask: Is this “progressivism?” Is progressivism synonymous with liberalism, or is it much further to left, closer to communism?
I plead with progressives: This is your ideology … Could you better define it, if that’s possible? Or is the definition of progressivism always progressing ? Actually, it is always progressing; that’s precisely the problem with this train-wreck of an ever-elusive ideology. The Nation’s list of leading American “progressives” is truly a teachable moment.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of the book, “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.” His other books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism" and "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."
06-09-2012 09:17 AM - editado 06-09-2012 09:20 AM
By Paul Kengor on 4.15.11
On Margaret Sanger, Stalinist Russia, and Democrats and their Holy Grail.
"[W]e could well take example from Russia," advised Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, "where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government."
My, how far modern liberal Democrats haveprogressed.
Sanger, Planned Parenthood matron and racial-eugenicist, who ran a "Negro Project," who spoke to a KKK rally in 1926, who wished to rid America of its "human weeds" and "morons" and ne.groes," and who wanted birth control for "race improvement," had just returned from a pilgrimage to Stalin's Russia. Like many Potemkin progressives, she went there to soak in the glorious triumphs of the communist motherland. Each progressive dupe had a particular interest;John Dewey, for instance, hailed the Bolsheviks' "Great Experiment" in public education. Sanger marveled at Lenin's and Stalin's wondrous advancements for women.
And so, in the June 1935 edition of her flagship publication, Birth Control Review, in an article titled, "Birth Control in Russia," Sanger concluded:
Theoretically, there are no obstacles to birth control in Russia. It is accepted … on the grounds of health and human right…. [W]e could well take example from Russia, where there are no legal restrictions, no religious condemnation, and where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.
I could quote more, including this jaw-dropping prediction: "All the officials with whom I discussed the matter stated that as soon as the economic and social plans of Soviet Russia are realized, neither abortions nor contraception will be necessary or desired. A functioning Communistic society will assure the happiness of every child, and will assume the full responsibility for its welfare and education."
Now there, ladies and gentleman, is progressive utopianism, an aabsolute faith in central planners. Contrary to the Planned Parenthood founder's optimism, abortions skyrocketed to seven million annually in the USSR.
Looks like Margaret Sanger was wrong on that one. Talk about being duped.
What struck me in recently re-reading this article is how Democrats in America have arrived at Sanger's ideal, where Planned Parenthood's services have become, in their mind, "part of the regular welfare service of the government" -- just like good old Stalinist Russia.
Consider the hysterical response by Democrats to completely legitimate Republican attempts -- amid record deficits and debt levels -- to cut taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood:
"The dangerous, ideological cuts to Planned Parenthood that passed the House are never, never, never going to pass the Senate," vowed Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), echoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who told House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that there's no chance defunding would pass the Senate. Indeed, how could there be? Democrats have a majority there.
Reid said Republicans had placed a "bull's eye on women in America," preventing them from getting "health services they need."
Democrats are united in their vitriol: "The real reason that the right-wing extremists in Congress orchestrated this outrageous government shutdown is to try and defund Planned Parenthood as part of their ideological assault on women's health care," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO).
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) calmly explained,"This is a war on women. They're trying to inject their politics and their religion into local family planning."
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) insisted that defunding efforts were "nothing more than an opportunity for the right wing in the House to sock it to women."
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it a "very dangerous situation for the health -- the reproductive health -- of women across our country." Pelosi told reporters: "It's degrading to women; it's disrespectful; it doesn't make any sense; and if you want to reduce the number of abortions in our country, you must commit to supporting contraception and family planning." The lifelong Roman Catholic and mother of five said Republicans were using Planned Parenthood as a "whipping boy."
And the always measured Barbara Boxer described Republican efforts as a "vendetta" against women, insisting, "Behind each of these Republican proposed cuts, there are thousands, maybe millions of people who would be hurt."
I thought liberals had called for civility? Well, I guess civility stops when conservatives want to kill American women.
Remember when President Obama referred to "tax cuts for the wealthy" as the Republicans' "Holy Grail"? Well, taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood appears to be the Democrats' Holy Grail (click here). As was reported earlier this week, as Obama and Boehner battled over a budget compromise, Obama drew a line in the sand. As Boehner pushed the president to defund Planned Parenthood, Obama finally snapped: "Nope. Zero. John, this is it."
The room fell silent. Obama had hoisted the Holy Grail.
You'd think from Democrats' reaction that taxpayer funding of the nation's largest abortion provider was Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, an inalienable right in the Declaration, the heart ofFederalist 10, Washington's Farewell Address, the writings of Franklin and Adams and John Locke, the cornerstone of the New Deal and Great Society, a sacred political covenant with the American taxpayer, etched in cement at the base of the Washington Monument.
It's preposterous that America has run so far aground that one could even seriously entertain directing taxpayer dollars to America's largest abortion provider. The "right" to an abortion had to be read into the Constitution, at the total exclusion of sections guaranteeing a right to life, such as the 14th Amendment. Abortion was read into the "right to privacy," three words which themselves don't exist in the Constitution. Democrats should praise their stars that they have that much; even then, it isn't enough. Now they want those of us who are pro-life to fork over our dollars to an organization that exterminates more unborn babies (millions of them) than any other. It's downright obscene.
The Democratic Party has truly lost it.
It took Democrats a while to get there, but, finally, almost a century after the launching of the Bolshevik Revolution and Margaret Sanger's organization, they've finally arrived at where Sanger and the Soviets found common ground. They indeed act as if, as Sanger said about Stalin's Russia, "birth control… is part of the regular service of the government."
The saddest thing of all is that neither they, nor their supporters, nor America, seem to comprehend the outrageousness of their pposition.