Radical Left

David Dellinger, RIP

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The veteran activist died Tuesday at age 88. His politics were anarcho-pacifist in theory but frequently statist in practice, judging from the kind words he sometimes found for the Marxist regimes in Cuba, China, and Vietnam. (I'm still trying to remember whether he supported Henry Wallace's presidential campaign in 1948: I remember reading a debate over the Wallace candidacy in a pacifist journal he edited, but I don't recall whether he sided with the anti-Wallace majority or the pro-Wallace minority, or even whether he participated in the discussion at all. Google's no help. Maybe a knowledgeable reader could chime in?)

At any rate, the man just died, so I'd rather remember what I liked about him than what I disliked. Dellinger was an eloquent voice for nonviolence as both a political strategy and a moral ideal, and he was a vocal critic of thugs ranging from Robert McNamara to the Weather Underground. He fought for civil rights, and he fought against unjust wars. And he showed a lot of personal courage: As Tom Hayden told the Chicago Sun-Times, "His pacifism was very forceful. He didn't mind interjecting himself between armed federal marshals and someone they were pushing around."

He was most famous for being the oldest and soberest member of the Chicago 8. Not utterly sober, though, to judge from this reminiscence by yippie Stew Albert:

During the Chicago 8 trial of 1968-69 when the Judge had Panther defendant Bobby Seale bound and gagged Dave protested the loudest—and the life long pacifist got in some real shoving matches with the Federal Marshals.

At the end of the day we all asked Dave how he, as a pacifist, could be so rough and tough. He replied with a twinkle in his eye that shoving can be a form of nonviolence if it is done to resist evil.

The former burly college wrestler then looked around the room and declared that he could "take" all the defendants except for Bobby Seale.

Although I wasn't a defendant he then looked at me and stated "but I'm not sure about Stew."

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  1. Assholes who claim the right to force others to listen to them should be taken aside and thoroughly beaten.

  2. RIP. But the good news is that all these commie-worshiping hippies are dropping like flies. Too bad they are sucking social security dry first.

  3. He fought for civil rights, and he fought against unjust wars.

    He also fought against just wars (such as, for example, World War II and the Korean War). And I think the record is pretty clear that he had no real problem with gross violations of peoples’ rights, so long as it was Communists doing the violating.

    Overall, I’m hard-pressed to see what’s admirable about the man. When he was on the right side, it seems to have only been due to coincidence.

  4. He wasn’t a Quaker, but a totatalitarian stooge.

    One can admire his good acts andt not the man himself. I am sure that Pinoche didn’t kick his dog either, and we can admire that.

  5. You guys missed one hell of a good time. Within a span of just a few years we went from black suits and white shirts to tie died raucausness, rock and roll and hair to our ass. And ended desegregation, instituted environmental reform (remember the river in Cincy catching fire?) and got out of Viet Nam to boot.

    Ahh, those were the days.

  6. I see the facist right-wing zionist xion neocons are out in force. Why you hating? Sure the guy pimped totalitarian genocidal regimes and threated to beat people up, but he was REALLY a nice guy!

  7. “..shoving can be a form of nonviolence if it is done to resist evil.”

    So, even the “pacifist” can initiate force when it suits him? If he had said “shoving back” I’d be right there with him, but then he’d have to deal with all those nasty problems of escalation we non-pacifists have to take into account in real life.

    Kevin

  8. Uhh…ended segregation and maybe that river was in Cleveland. It’s all kind of hazy now.

  9. “At the end of the day we all asked Dave how he, as a pacifist, could be so rough and tough. He replied with a twinkle in his eye that shoving can be a form of nonviolence if it is done to resist evil.”

    The guy was apparently walking, talking, and shoving proof of Robert A. Heinlein’s claim that “Most self-described pacifists are not pacific; they simply assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.”

  10. Baby boomers, the greatest degeneration.

  11. So, even the “pacifist” can initiate force when it suits him?

    Oh, it gets better than that. The guy was a “conscientious objector” during the Second World War. So here’s a guy willing to use force to push around the “evil” Federal Marshals, but unwilling to use force against actual Nazis.

    A person willing to use force against people who won’t do him serious harm, but unwilling to use force against those who will, is properly called “a coward” or “a bully”, not “a pacifist”.

  12. I would not wish that pig fucker on an honest pig. I have no doubt that he was getting checks from Joe and Mao, like most of his mother pimps.
    A pity he can only die once.

  13. You’re laying the schtick on pretty thick, “Walter.” Try cooling it for a while.

  14. Dan: Preaching nonviolence while defending violent communist dictatorships is a significant inconsistency. Refusing to fight in a war but getting into a shoving match when a friend of yours is being bound and gagged is not.

  15. Sorry Jesse, but I wouldn’t piss on this guys grave if I tripped over it. One less oxygen thief, for my money . . .

  16. twc – Pigfucker opposition to the draft turned around when Joe’s buddy Adolph turned on him.
    The czech’s in the mail.

  17. People Got To Be Free
    song performed by The Rascals in 1968

    All the world over so easy to see
    People everywhere just want to be free
    Listen? please listen? that’s the way it should be
    Peace in the valley? people got to be free.

    All the world over so easy to see
    People everywhere just want to be free
    I can’t understand? it’s so simple to me
    People everywhere just got to be free

    If there’s a man who is down and needs a helping hand
    All it takes is for you to understand and to pull him through
    Seems to me we got to solve it individually
    And I’ll do unto you what you do to me.

    Shoutin’ from the mountains on out to the sea
    Peace in the valley? people have to be free
    Ask me my opinion? my opinion will be
    It’s a natural situation for a man to be free.

    …..powerful feelings just come over me
    People everywhere just got to be free.

  18. JONATHAN EDWARDS lyrics – “Sunshine” 1969

    Sunshine go away today, I don’t feel much like dancing

    Some man’s come he’s trying to run my life, don’t know what he’s asking

    When he tells me I better get in line, can’t hear what he’s saying

    When I grow up, I’m gonna make him mine, these ain’t dues I been paying

    How much does it cost?
    I’ll buy it!

    The time is all we’ve lost
    I’ll try it!
    He can’t even run his own life,
    I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine–sunshine…

    Sunshine, go away today, I don’t feel much like dancing

    Some man’s come he’s trying to run my life, don’t know what he’s asking

    Working starts to make me wonder where fruits of what I do are going

    When he says in love and war all is fair, he’s got cards he ain’t showing

    How much does it cost?
    I’ll buy it!
    The time is all we’ve lost–I’ll try it!
    He can’t even run his own life,
    I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine–sunshine…

    Sunshine, come on back another day,
    I promise you I’ll be singing

    This old world, she’s gonna turn around,
    brand new bells will be ringing

  19. 60’s Beatles Song: Revolution

    (Lennon/McCartney)

    You say you want a revolution
    Well you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know you can count me out

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright Alright

    You say you got a real solution
    Well you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But when you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright Alright

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well you know
    You better free your mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

    Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright Alright

  20. Beatles song: Taxman
    (Harrison)

    Let me tell you how it will be
    There’s one for you, nineteen for me
    ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

    Should five per cent appear too small
    Be thankful I don’t take it all
    ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

    If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
    If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

    Don’t ask me what I want it for
    If you don’t want to pay some more

    ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

    Now my advice for those who die
    Declare the pennies on your eyes
    Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
    And you’re working for no one but me.

  21. Dan: Preaching nonviolence while defending violent communist dictatorships is a significant inconsistency. Refusing to fight in a war but getting into a shoving match when a friend of yours in being bound and gagged is not

    I didn’t say it was inconsistent. I think it’s perfectly consistent with the theory that he was a coward and a bully.

    My grandfather risked his life fighting with the Third Army while this waste of skin was cowering behind behind a “conscience” whose existance was, to say the least, not much in evidence.

    Dellinger was willing to “stand up” to people who presented no threat to him. He was not, however, willing to “stand up” while better men then himself were struggling for the freedom of the western world. No, when it came time for that, he was busy hiding. Pathetic.

  22. Louie, Louie
    The Kingsmen
    Music & Lyrics : Richard Berry
    Notes : Performed by “Chuck Berry” (1955).
    There are more than 1000 interpretations
    (one by Hell’s Angels and another with dogs barking)

    CHORUS:

    Louie Louie, oh no
    Me gotta go
    Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
    Louie Louie, oh baby
    Me gotta go

    Fine little girl waits for me
    Catch a ship across the sea
    Sail that ship about, all alone
    Never know if I make it home

    CHORUS

    Three nights and days I sail the sea
    Think of girl, constantly
    On that ship, I dream she’s there
    I smell the rose in her hair.

    CHORUS

    Okay, let’s give it to ’em, right now!

    GUITAR SOLO

    See Jamaica, the moon above
    It won’t be long, me see me love
    Take her in my arms again
    Tell her I’ll never leave again

    CHORUS

    Let’s take it on outa here now
    Let’s go!!

  23. Only A Fool Would Say That (chorus)
    Steely Dan

    I heard it was you
    Talkin’ ’bout a world
    Where all is free
    It just couldn’t be
    And only a fool would say that

  24. taxman,

    I forgot to add, 😉 about your comment about joe’s comment, but I’m guessing that you knew, that I was hep anyway.

  25. Hey, Jesse, life ain’t song lyrics. 9/11 was not funny. I am passionate about behavior that threatens the future.

  26. Once you got your future finished, then you can start working on mine.

  27. Walter Wallis,

    So work to make the government pull back the hyper-interventionist foreign policy in the Mid-east that led to 9/11.

  28. We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee…

  29. Walter: As Comrade Barton says, why are you not protesting the hyperinterventionist policies that flew airplanes into office buildings, cut off a guys head, blew up Spanish subways and are planning on blowing up the Olympics?

    Or you buying the neocon bullshit that it was a couple of Islamic dudes that did it?

    We know that is a lie. Hyperinterventionist policies did it, not Islamic dudes. Why else would Rick post about that every minute of the day if it wasn’t the truth?

  30. Why didn’t you boldface this line?

    “Working starts to make me wonder where fruits of what I do are going”

  31. The poster at 10:32 AM needs lessons in concept of “cause and effect”.

  32. Good point, joe. It underlines the evils of taxation, the robbing of the successful … oh, wait, that’s not what you meant, was it?

  33. WELFARE CADILLAC
    Guy Drake

    I’ve never worked much, in fact
    I’ve been poor all my life
    I guess all I really own
    Is ten kids and a wife
    This house I live in is mine
    But it’s really a shack
    But I’ve always managed to somehow
    drive me a brand new Cadillac.

    The back door steps
    They done fell plumb down
    The front screen door is off and
    Laying somewhere out there on the ground
    The wind just now whooped
    Up another piece of that tar
    Roofing off the back; I sure hope it don’t
    skin up that new Cadillac.

    The front porch post fell
    loose at the bottom
    It don’t make no sense to fix ’em
    ‘Cause that floor’s just too darn rotten
    In Winter time we sometimes have some snow
    That blows in through the cracks
    If it gets too bad we all just pile up
    And sleep out there in that new Cadillac.

    I know the place ain’t much
    But I sure don’t pay no rent
    I get a check the first of every month
    From this here Federal Goverment
    Every Wednesday I get commodities
    Sometimes four or five sacks
    Pick ’em up down at the Welfare Office
    Driving that new Cadillac.

    Some folks say I’m crazy
    And I’ve even been called a fool
    But my kids get free books and
    All them there free lunches at school
    We get peanut butter and cheese
    And man, they give us flour by the sack
    ‘Course them Welfare Checks
    They meet the payments on this new Cadillac.

    How the way that I see it
    These other folk are the fools
    They’re working and paying taxes
    Just to send my young’uns through school
    The Salvation Army cuts their hair and
    Gives them clothes to wear on their backs
    So we can dress up and ride around
    And show off this new Cadillac.

    But things are still gonna get better yet
    At least that’s what I understand
    They tell me this new president
    Has put in a whole new poverty plan
    He’s gonna send us poor folks money
    They say we’re gonna get it out here in sacks
    In fact, my wife’s already shopping around
    For her new Cadillac.

  34. joe,

    I meant to bold that line as well. Thank you for calling attention to it. It goes well with the subsequent line. Here they are:

    Working starts to make me wonder where fruits of what I do are going

    When he says in love and war all is fair, he’s got cards he ain’t showing

    The taxation to support the welfare/warfare state steals from us all and the government is quite often deceptive about it.

    taxman,

    I’m sure that’s what joe meant….what? Right joe?

  35. Listen Walter, I own the rights to the term “Pig Fucker” and although you have applied it correctly to Dellinger you now owe me five bucks.

    There is little question that these people were virulent in their hatred of almost every principle of classical liberal thought. That would become abundantly clear five minutes into any philosophical conversation with a New Leftie. Yeah, they opposed the draft but only because the state would send you to war. If the state promised to send you to Rwanda to repair an earthen dam that was okay.

    Today their aging diciples mostly drive SUV’s and whine about the ozone layer while their former gods, the rock stars of that era make millions by doing the one thing everyone railed against back then. SELLING OUT to corporate America. Every frikkin’ commercial on TV features a soundtrack from a sixties band.

    But, it was a lot of fun and the chicks never wore bras.

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