Saturday, November 1, 2008

Famous S----lists!

In these last hours of the McCain campaign, dear John and Sarah are trying to wring blood from a stone. With Joe the Plumber as their battering ram, dear John and Sarah are bludgeoning Obama with whatever charge might seem plausible, most of them rehashes from the early days of the Reagan regime. 'Tax and spend liberal'. 'Pal of terrorists'. And the dreaded 'SOCIALIST'. In the Reagan years, this was a common charge. I remember that mewling, cretinous creep from Wyoming, Senator Alan Simpson, charging critics of Reagan with being 'Comsymps' during the Iran-Contra hearings.

Not surprisingly, the socialist label just won't stick to Obama. In this election cycle he has been far more the darling of Wall Street than John McCain. (Goldman Sachs has been one of the largest contributors to the Obama campaign.)

There are, however, a few people to whom the label didn't just stick, but who wore it without fear of the jibes of braindead American politicians and journalists:
  • Albert Einstein. It was Einstein's socialist and pacificist sentiments that lead to his being excluded from the team of physicists developing the atomic bomb. To many it remains 'embarrassing' that the person widely perceived as the most intelligent of the 20th century should have been a socialist. So embarrassing that Walter Isaacson, former CNN propagandist, could barely mention it in his biography of Einstein.
  • H. G. Wells, author of War of the Worlds and of The War in the Air, the end of which is purported to have inspired some to contemplate the possibility of an atomic bomb.
  • Bertrand Russell. Philosopher, Nobel Prize winner, pacificist.
  • Mohandas Gandhi. Indian nationalist and advocate of human rights.
  • Helen Keller. Pioneer for the deaf.
  • Charlie Chaplin. Actor and pioneering filmmaker.
  • George Bernard Shaw. Playwright.
  • Paul Robeson. Black singer.
  • W.E.B. Dubois
  • Jack London. Author.
  • Nelson Mandela. Champion of human rights.
  • Victor Hugo
  • Margaret Sanger
  • George Orwell
  • Eugene Debs
  • Emma Goldman. Strictly speaking, an anarchist.
There isn't a snowball's chance in Hell of any serious challenge to American capitalism, but it's worth reflecting on the fact that some of the greatest minds of the past century and a half shared a political view which is so villified today that no journalist would dare ask what the idea's merits might be.


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