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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama File 64 Symbolic? Socialist Singer Seeger Serenades Obama

Obama file 63 here

What could be more symbolic of the Obama's presidency?

At Barack Obama's inauguration concert-lifelong communist Pete Seeger singing fellow communist Woody Guthrie's socialist anthem "This Land is Your Land" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Fred Klonsky-son of communist Robert Klonsky, former SDS activist, Progressives for Obama supporter and brother of Obama colleague Mike Klonsky, marked the occasion on his blog.

How ironic. Here was the legendary Pete Seeger singing for the president-elect at the Lincoln Memorial. Seeger, a life-long radical, one-time communist, fighter for working people and defender of the environment from corporate greed. For the first time many got to hear the original Woody Guthrie lyrics to This Land is Your Land, which include these words:

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;
That side was made for you and me.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I’d seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?
Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Fred Klonsky did get one thing wrong, 90 year old Pete Seeger remains a communist to this day.

Seeger first subscribed to the Communist Party paper New Masses in 1932 and formally joined the party ten years later, under the influence of his party member father.

Seeger says he left the party in 1950, but continued involvement in communist fronts and organs for decades including;

American Peace Mobilization; the American Youth Congress; the Communist Party; American Youth for Democracy; the Council on African Affairs; the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief; the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship; the Civil Rights Congress; the American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born; the Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy; the Jefferson School of Social Science; Veterans Against Discrimination of Civil Rights Congress; New Masses; Daily World; the Labor Youth League; the California Labor School; the National Lawyers Guild; Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade; the Committee for the First Amendment; the American Peace Crusade; the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee; and the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Obama's communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis was also active in the Committee for Protection of Foreign Born. Both also moved in CPUSA cultural circles in the same time period. It would be fascinating to know if the two ever met.

In 2004 Seeger was still reading the Communist Party paper Peoples Weekly World.

Today Pete Seeger and wife Toshi serve on the advisory board of the Communist Party splinter group Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism-an organisation Barack Obama is very familiar with.

Other CCDS advisory board members include long time obama friend an supporter Timuel Black and radical academics Angela Davis and Noam Chomsky.

Angela Davis left, Pete Seeger, celebrating gift of Communist Party literature to Tamiment Library New York.

Angela Davis and Noam Chomsky both serve on the board of Movement for a Democratic Society, which in turn created Progressives For Obama.

Perhaps for an encore Pete Seeger should have sung "If I Had a Hammer-and a Sickle?"

Obama file 65 here


Blogger Carl Davidson said...

You have know idea what you're doing here.

In the context of the dynamics of American culture, tagging Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land,' together with Bruce Springsteen, as socialists who worked for Obama, only serves to enhance all the causes concerned.

If you want to do more 'exposures' like this, keep it up! I plead guilty on all counts...

2:32 AM  
Blogger MZL said...

wow, how much time do you waste trying to connect all these dots from Obama to a supposed grand Communist conspiracy via Pete Seeger!? if anything, Obama has gone out of his way to reach out to the right and center, often disappointing his leftist supporters (c'est moi). besides, even if Obama was a closet socialist would that be SUCH a bad thing? whats wrong with helping the poor? i think Marxism-Leninism appears to be a wonderfully logical way to look at the world compared to some sort of Scientology-infused extreme right-wing conspiracy-obsessed fantasy that must even turn most ACT members red. as a duel citizen of the US and NZ, I'm proud that today marks a chance to start repairing America's global image from a corn-fed wasteland of trailer-park reaction to the cosmopolitan centre of international liberalism that it truly is. and that is going to happen whether you like it or not, because THAT is how American democracy works.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the commentators above are missing Trev's point. The real news here is that Seeger is still alive, which is unexpected and stunning news for many of us.


Sam Buchanan

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not at all, Nemisis. Popular music has been part of the Green Islamo-Marxist Anarcho-leftist Vegematarian Conspiracy Against Western Civilisation ever since Vera Lynn sang her pacifist anthem "The White Cliffs of Dover".

A whole generation of Mexican revolutionaries were inspired by ABBA's "Fernando"?):

"Now we're old and grey Fernando
And since many years I haven't seen a rifle in your hand
Can you hear the drums Fernando?
Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight for freedom in this land..."

If that isn't a call for violent communistical revolution, I don't know what is. Where do you think the Zapatistas emerged from?

And John Denver's "Country Roads" is sung by leftist Burmese insurgents as a song of exile and much hoped for return. (This bit is actually true.)

Trev is quite right to be panicked by the re-emergence of Seegar and his revolutionary ways.


Sam Buchanan

10:45 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Damn Carl, just when I thought we were finding some common ground.

5:30 PM  

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