In Which We Kidnap Reagan, And He Wins Anyway!

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

After I got out of the Army, I became involved in the anti-war movement as well as the other main causes of the time, women’s rights and racial equality. We’d go out and do street theater, we’d march, we printed broadsides that I cringe to remember and thankfully have no copy of, we spoke before groups, we did whatever we thought might help. We would go out to protest the war and agitate for a wide range of ideals at any opportunity. During one of these protests back in 1968 some friends and I kidnapped Ronald Reagan at UCSC and held him captive for about two hours.

ucsc outdoor amphitheaterOutdoor amphitheater, University of California, Santa Cruz

Man, we were idiots. Our hearts were in the right place, but man, we were idiots, so let me be clear about this story. I would never do this again. It was disrespectful to Governor Reagan, big time stupid, criminal, and wrong. Hey, I was so dumb back then, I actually thought that Karl Marx was one of the good guys, and you can’t get much dumber than that. Today I hold that by way of Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Ho and Castro and a host of franchised Mini-Marx wholesale and retail killing enterprises around the world, Karl Marx is the one man in modern history whose ideas caused the most human death and suffering … so as you see, today I’m not the same dumb young man in my story. Still a fool, to be sure … but an old fool, not the young fool I was then.

Anyhow, that article doesn’t mention a few things, actually more than a few, so let me add to the history of the time.

WARNING: If you push the button marked “Continue reading →”, you agree that this is a story about a young man who was outsmarted by Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan at that time was the Governor of California. The Governor also sits on the Board of Regents of the University of California, with dozens of campuses. The newest of these at the time was UCSC, the University of California at Santa Cruz. And he’d come to UCSC for the annual meeting of the Board.

I tried to go to college at UCSC, I really did. I registered and paid my fees. I was commercial fishing at the time, lampara netting with an old Sicilian fisherman in a lovely old 27′ (5m) wooden Monterrey boat, for pompano and other fish. I loved the work, the fishing, the sea life, and I wanted more than just that. I wanted to study marine biology, I was fascinated by the strange creatures we’d catch at times, moonfish and ocean sturgeon and threshers sharks with huge long tails. I wanted to learn more about them, so I applied and got accepted at UCSC, and waited for the schedule of classes.

The news was nothing but bad. The Intro to Marine Biology 101 class, along with a couple of other marine classes that would have interested me, were at 8 AM. Not a problem normally … but lampara netting is done only in the darkness. So my normal schedule was, I went to work at dusk, and got off work around four or five in the morning, sometimes six, collapsed into bed exhausted, and slept ’til around noon … I could have handled a class at eleven, but eight was out of the question. I’d figured there’d be one afternoon marine biology class, but no.

So I continued to fishing until the end of the season. By then it was halfway through the semester, so after the season when I had time I went back up the hill to the lovely campus, and I officially dropped out of school, and mentally said goodbye to my dreams of hanging out on the campus with the college babes … ah, well.

Of course, I still needed money. With no fishing, I went down and I signed up with the Laborers and Hod Carriers Union. I found out that a hod was what a young strong guy uses to carry mortar to the guys laying bricks. But I never did that work. They called us up by number, you had to be in the hiring hall, longest in the hall hired first. So I sat in the hall every morning for an hour or so for about three days, and then my number was called … and they sent me right back up the hill to UCSC, to work for the crew constructing the gorgeous outdoor amphitheater built into the hillside. I was put to work digging the ditches into the hillside for logs that form the amphitheater bench seats you see in the picture above.

So there I was, laboring away on the Amphitheater, practicing my shovel moves in the hot sun on the first day, and I thought “Man, I dropped out of college three days ago, and here I am digging ditches. My beloved Dad warned me that would happen … but dang, I had no idea it would happen so fast!”

Anyhow, I still got to see the college babes on my lunch hour. And even better, now I wasn’t some immature college kid. Despite being only three days older than before, suddenly in their eyes I was mysteriously transmuted into the noble full-grown Union workingman, what better? … hey, like I said, I was young and dumb.

I do find it humorous, though, that despite the fact I never did get to attend UCSC … I helped build it.

Anyhow, I started to tell the story of when Ronald Reagan came to Santa Cruz for the meeting of the Board of Regents, and somehow I always end up on some other trail in the forest of life’s stories, there’s more forks than there are roads and I get lost easily—but regarding Reagan, there were lots of contentious issues in front of the Board of Regents at that meeting: free speech, who could speak when and where, what facilities could be used for whose meetings, would the University boycott grapes, a whole host of stuff.

A newspaper article from around then refreshes my memory of the events.

Wednesday’s protests echoed a 1968 visit to the campus by then- governor Ronald Reagan, who came to meet with UC regents. For three days, university students blocked buses, heckled speakers and held rallies to protest a decision to restrict Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver from speaking on university campuses. Protesters also demanded that the new College 7 be named in honor of Malcolm X, and that the United Farm Workers-sponsored grape boycott be respected in university dining halls.

After the Regents had met, Reagan came out from the meeting room and strode to the podium to address the assembled students, teachers, and general public. Some friends and I were sitting in the front row. I was maybe ten feet from Reagan. I remember being amazed at the amount of makeup he was wearing, although I shouldn’t have been. He’d been an actor, he knew the importance of appearances when making public appearances.

He started in speaking, and there wasn’t a sliver of good news in it as far as his listeners were concerned. As he announced decision after decision, every single one of them went against what the students wanted. And finally, at some point, he announced some really unpopular decision of the Board, I can’t remember what, but people were furious. The front couple of rows, sadly including myself, stood up and started yelling and screaming at him.

Looking back on it, I suspect that everything would have been fine if he had just stood his ground. My guess is we would have yelled, but you can only yell for so long. But he didn’t stand there. I think he was shocked when the front couple rows erupted in screams right in his face, he realized that despite the presence of some media he was unprotected and only ten feet from an outraged crowd … and he turned and ran.

He was scared, and I don’t blame him for that, in his shoes I’d likely have made the same mistake and run myself. But running from a crowd in that mood, well, that’s a tactical error. And when he turned and ran, what happened is just what you’d expect—stupidly and inexcusably, a dozen or so of us vaulted to the stage and took off in pursuit, right at his heels. We chased him down a corridor, prevented him from getting out by a side door, pressed him around into another corridor, and he went into the first open room he could find. We barricaded the door. It was the only door. We had him trapped, imprisoned, no way out. Of course, he’d locked the door as well, so we’d have to break it down, but we had no plan to do that.

In fact we had no plan at all, we were surprised as he was at this unexpected turn of events. We had the Governor of California trapped in a room, unable to get out, and we had no idea at all what to do with him or how to do it if we could figure it out.

We held him prisoner in that room at UCSC for a couple of hours, with some of my friends and I in the forefront … and here’s the crazy part. I think in a legal sense that those occurrences would absolutely qualify as the kidnapping (forcing someone to go somewhere against their will) and temporary imprisonment of a sitting California Governor … like I said, young and stupid.

How curious. Here, where I least expect it, I’m in a quandary. See, the Statute of Limitations ran out long, long ago on any illegal stuff I might have done as a young man. So I figured, I can talk about anything, ’cause nothing I did was serious, and you can’t be charged for stuff that long ago. But here, I’m saying that I was one of the “ringleaders” if you will in the commission of two serious felonies, the kidnapping and temporary imprisonment of the Governor of California. If guys with guns had done it, they’d have been thrown in the slammer immediately. Is there a statute of limitation on kidnapping, whether of the Governor or someone else?

But of course in reality, it wasn’t kidnapping, it was college students and other young eedjits making fools of ourselves, so after a couple hours the cops showed up. We were surprised they arrived that fast, the Santa Cruz cops weren’t usually that quick off the mark. They came in a flying wedge and drove us away from the door. They formed a corridor, shoulder to shoulder. Then, when all was ready, the Chancellor of UCSC walked slowly up the corridor of armed men, and knocked on the door of the room Reagan was in.

Knocked. That should have given us a clue.

After a few seconds, Reagan answered the door warmly. He looked immaculate, every hair in place. He came out, waved and smiled to the cameras. He was still wearing the thick makeup he’d put on for the speech, I was still close, I could see it. We were shouting a variety of inane contemporary slogans. He shook hands with the Chancellor solemnly, showed no surprise at the lines of police, it was as if Reagan and the Chancellor had just signed a momentous agreement and were memorializing for the photographers. He walked sedately and proudly between the walls of cops to a limousine and disappeared.

We thought we had won. We patted each other on the backs and congratulated ourselves on our dash and brilliance. But  when we got home and talked to our friends, we found out that the old man had outfoxed us completely, that instead of fame we reaped ignominy … appropriate, I suppose. Here was our mistake.

We were so busy congratulating ourselves that we forgot that there was a phone in the prisoners cell …

And seeing that phone, Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator, the ex-radio announcer, didn’t hesitate. He picked up the phone and called up the cops, explained the situation, got them moving. Then came his first master stroke … he called up the local radio station.

He knew they’d put him on the air live, he was the Governor after all, and they did, and he put his golden tones to work. Oh, to hear his story, he was reporting from the front lines in the culture wars, he was the beleaguered hero of the common man, fighting against the crazed communist hordes besieging his door like some movie plot he’d acted in. He mixed in the War, the domino theory, the yellow peril, folksy tales, from what I heard it was a masterpiece.

Not only that, but you remember the knock on the door when they took him out?

His idea … he was in communication by phone with the leader of the cops making the assault, his master’s touch was everywhere evident in how the situation ended. He arranged to be greeted by the Chancellor’s knock, he waited a few seconds before answering the door even though I’m sure he was already standing right there when the knock came, he’d staged and scripted the handshake and every part of the departure scene for maximum effect. Brilliant, I can only bow my head in admiration. Well played, that man.

But I didn’t hear his radio talk, of course, because I was on guard in front of his cell door, lost I’m sure in monstrously self-righteous satisfaction. His audience loved it, though, that became one more part of the official Reagan legend, he turned defeat into victory. He walked out of his temporary cell like a warrior monk leaving his place of meditation before battle, perfectly coiffed, polishing his halo and buffing his nails.

And good on him, I say at this advanced stage of my youth. Although I’m not a huge fan of Reagan’s, I’ve ended up liking and respecting many things about him, and I can laugh at a masterful trick like his even when it’s played on me.

In any case, when I got concerned, I looked up the law. I found out that as I had feared, in California there’s no Statute of Limitations on kidnapping the Governor or anyone else. Kidnapping is punishable by life imprisonment, and the relevant statute reads:

799.  Prosecution for an offense punishable by death or by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for life without the possibility of parole, or for the embezzlement of public money, may be commenced at any time.

So in theory, I could still be indicted. Ah, well. I started out to tell the truth, can’t stop now, and I doubt greatly if I’ll be charged for kidnapping Reagan at this late date. And regarding the dangers, I can’t live like that. I won’t base my life on fear. The world is a wild and crazy and dangerous place, it’s true. And as I have more reason than most to know, some of the good folks out there are more than a few bubbles out of plumb. But I can’t live my life based on being scared that someone is going to come after me, official or unofficial.

I studied the martial art called Aikido off and on for some years, under a number of teachers. It’s an amazing path, after years of training I’m only a beginner. Ai-Ki-Do means the martial path (do) of harmony (ai) with “ki”, the essential energy of life.

In martial arts like Aikido, a teacher is called a “sensei”, a Japanese word meaning roughly “master”. When I studied Aikido at the Honolulu dojo, one of my senseis was an old Japanese man, in his seventies, a wonderful teacher. He said something like:

You think that because you know Aikido and your ki [energy] is strong, you can win the fight. This is wrong understanding. What if you are walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and it collapses?

What good is your ki then?

I will tell you how the Aikido master wins the fight. When the fight breaks out on Second Street, the master is walking down Ninth Street. When the Golden Gate Bridge collapses, the master is watching from the shore.

So me, I don’t hide my identity when I write, I talk about what I’ve done and the stupid mistakes I’ve made. I make no effort to conceal myself. If Old Nick wants to find me, he knows where I am. I just keep walking out in the sunshine, in plain view, with a tremendous amount of likely foolish and ultimately unjustifiable faith that I’m walking down Ninth Street …

My regards to all, and truly, kids, don’t try this at home. My best advice is never kidnap a sitting Governor of California, or any other state for that matter, it doesn’t look good on your resume … especially a Governor who is as handsome, media-savvy, persuasive, and inventive as Ronald Reagan was in his prime. Big mistake. I take my hat off to the man, I disagreed with him on many things, but he was an American through and through. And he sure bested me in Santa Cruz, where the final score was Reagan 1, … and Willis lost.

w.

.

…  [© 2013] collected for Willis’s autobiography, entitled “Retire Early … And Often

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100 thoughts on “In Which We Kidnap Reagan, And He Wins Anyway!

  1. Amazing Willis! I empathize with your stories from the ‘ole country boy point of view. I am from the backwoods of Louisiana myself, but managed a decent education while living a colorful youth, and a highly varied employment record.

    Your storytelling skills are exemplary.

    I think you are safe – there is likely little love left for the Gipper in California. Those that do hold him dear to their hearts will laugh at your metamorphosis from a young foolish youth to a slightly wiser man. Churchill had something to say about that.

  2. …by way of Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Ho and Castro and a host of franchised Mini-Marx wholesale and retail killing enterprises around the world, Karl Marx is the one man in modern history whose ideas caused the most human death and suffering …

    Measured in that way, Jesus didn’t do so badly, either….

  3. This incident would make a neat movie. Far more interesting than the dreck Hollywood has been spewing out lately.

  4. You’re definitely not alone in the follies of misspent youth, although as should be expected, you seem to excel there also. Well told!

  5. @ Dodgy Geezer

    Your grasp of history and religion seems to be a little bit weak to say the least. Actually the idea that Jesus taught was “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” I fail to see how this idea caused death and suffering.

    People will use all kinds of excuses for war, including religion. You’re blaming the wrong person.

    Since religion has already been brought up, I would bring it to your attention that the site policy says that that religion is not to be discussed. Most religious people seem to understand and abide by this, but some of those with no religion seem to think it is fair to take shots at religion. How about making a little more effort to abide by the site policy.

    [We’re going to cut this off as soon as the queue is clear. Mod]

  6. Willis, I suspect you are safe. Reagan most likely also advised the police to not arrest you guys – another bit of stagecraft. Otherwise, you would have been scooped up and probably, by now, would have your law degree in prison.

  7. Yes Galane, but I wouldn’t trust Hollywood to stick to what happened, would you? I mean… have a Republican convincingly win like that? Heresy!

  8. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:42

    Of course there is a slight difference. Karl Marx’s followers implemented his ideas exactly as specified, which resulted in the greatest slaughter in history. Those camp followers of Jesus had to specifically contradict their man’s ideas to get a similar effect.

    Presumably you can understand the difference?

  9. Would it be kidnap if he locked the door before you barricaded it?

    We had him trapped, imprisoned, no way out. Of course, he’d locked the door as well, so we’d have to break it down, but we had no plan to do that.

  10. But here, I’m saying that I was one of the “ringleaders” if you will in the commission of two serious felonies, the kidnapping and temporary imprisonment of the Governor of California. … Is there a statute of limitation on kidnapping, whether of the Governor or someone else?

    I think you can rest easy Willis. While de jure there may be no Statute of Limitations on kidnapping, I suspect de facto the state of California stopped prosecuting people for felonies committed against Republications about 20 years ago. Just claim to be a disciple of Peter Gleick.

    Great story by the way — reminds me of the stupidities of my youth. Sad to say, a significant number of my contemporaries from the day never wised up.

  11. err, make that “Republicans” above. I think “Republications” is a Willis-word.

  12. Today I hold that by way of Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Ho and Castro and a host of franchised Mini-Marx wholesale and retail killing enterprises around the world, Karl Marx is the one man in modern history whose ideas caused the most human death and suffering.

    Agreed, but we may see that dismal record broken if the more extreme environmental activists achieve their goal of dismantling industrial civilization.

  13. Willis :back in 1968….Man, we were idiots. Our hearts were in the right place, but man, we were idiots.
    ……I actually thought that Karl Marx was one of the good guys, and you can’t get much dumber than that.

    … back in 1968…. I and many students barricaded at Belgrade University were protesting against the Tito’s Marxism we had in former Yugoslavia; what happened once he was gone, civil war, country disappeared, poverty for many.
    To quote Willis ‘Our hearts were in the right place, but man, we were idiots’.

  14. Dodgy Geezer says: Measured in that way, Jesus didn’t do so badly, either….

    Oh, please, let’s not forget the other fanatical killer idols….

    Thanks Willis for another great story.

  15. Lost that battle, maybe, but making progress on the longer struggle. Nancy Reagan, if she’s still able to understand in her advanced age, would like this story about her beloved Ronnie. You share at least one characteristic with him, Willis. You both have an undefeated optimism about life. And you are so right about the evil dictators who fooled so many with appeals to humanitarianism while slaughtering those under their rule.

  16. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:42 am

    How exactly have the ideas of Jesus caused millions of deaths?

  17. Can’t believe you posted that. Michael Mann and John Mashey are probably encouraging prosecution right now.

  18. The chaos of the sixties was untutored rebellion against an entrenched enemy of humanity, which we ‘knew’ intutively, but could not clearly identify. We are suffering under a number of defects in science today only because of corrupt government funding. This same agenda driven funding controls public ‘education’ and media indoctrination. The article “Fractional Reserve Banking Begat Faux Reality” is a primer to this root cause of most evil. The 600 page book “The Creature from Jekyll Island” explains the full context. I never endorse YouTube videos, let alone 43 minutes of video, but if you want to understand the root cause of all of the lies, you must understand the Ponzi scheme banking lie, see

    This is the basis for the Carbon climate forcing lie, the sustainable ‘green’ energy lie, the peak ‘fossil’ fuel lie and the lie that an unelected, one world government is going to solve ANY of these lies. Ronny and Nancy admitted that they failed the American people because they were betrayed by those in their administaration that betrayed them….think Iran-Contra and S & L Crisis. I worked for ‘developers’ at the epicenter of the S & L crisis and a great and true analysis of this manufactured crisis is “The Mafia, CIA & George Bush” by Pete Brewton. My review of this book is at Amazon. End the Kleptocracy NOW !

  19. Wow, Willis you really caught a break there.

    Obviously they didn’t cart you all off to the pokey for booking or else everyone would know the names of the Santa Cruz Seven or whatever.

    If they had, the 1980’s would have certainly become bloody hell for you and the rest, particularly after the 1981 near assassination. The Secret Service really stepped up their game after that and routinely screened all manner of “threats” ahead of each POTUS movement.

    I imagine that each of you would have received a painful rectal exam each time the old man returned home to California, which was very often. Ouch!

  20. “… the most human death and suffering”? Rachel Carson surely merits (dis)honourable mention.

  21. Perhaps the Only Post-WWI President able to rouse a majority of his people out of the stupor brought on by persistent prosperity and the attendant infection by leftism. Sadly, too brief.

  22. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:42 am
    …by way of Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Ho and Castro and a host of franchised Mini-Marx wholesale and retail killing enterprises around the world, Karl Marx is the one man in modern history whose ideas caused the most human death and suffering …

    Measured in that way, Jesus didn’t do so badly, either….

    OK, Dodgy Geezer: Back up this hate speech. Comparing Jesus to these Marxist tyrants.

    Marx hated Christianity. His followers, to foster their eventual revolution, rightly perceive Christianity as a major cultural force standing in their way. As Marxist thinking has become popular in our culture, the anti-Christian hate-speech slogans have become accepted as real. That Christians are evil, dumb, stingey, backward, etc. Please quote chapter and verse to help me see how you are anywhere near accurate.

    If you believe all of that Marxist propaganda, you are being used as a tool. Start studying. You are welcome to come visit us on any Sunday and see the ways we intelllectually study history, languages, and more, and the powerful force of generosity arising from our faith.

  23. Reminded me of the words of Winston Churchill: “Any young man who is not a liberal has no heart. Any old man who is not a conservative has no brain.”

  24. Thanks Willis, another great story. Reminds me of an incident in a small mid-western college, circa 1969. The college radio station played solely county-western music. A small band of four psycho-tropically inflicted young men, tired of the programming, on one evening replacing the disc-jokey with themselves, locked him out, and several hours of Greatful Dead music ensued thereafter. The station was locked up after several hours, and there were no repercussions, not a peep.

  25. ‘After I got out of the Army, I became involved in the anti-war movement as well as the other main causes of the time, women’s rights and racial equality.”

    noble causes. ahem.

  26. I sense a disconnect with reality if you believe jesus “caused” death and sufferring. At most he called for resisting those who would cause death and sufferring. Perhaps you could argue that if we never resisted the forces of evil they would be content to merely enslave us rather then kill us for daring to resist. But that hardly equates to the resisters “causing” death andsufferring.

  27. thelastdemocrat says: March 11, 2013 at 7:42 am
    to Dodgy Geezer’s: March 11, 2013 at 1:42 am

    “….. As Marxist thinking has become popular in our culture, the anti-Christian hate-speech slogans have become accepted as real. That Christians are evil, dumb, stingey, backward, etc. Please quote chapter and verse to help me see how you are anywhere near accurate….”

    Calling strawman argument on this … Dodgy neither stated nor implied anything related to this ..

    IMHO Dodgy’s point stands, as much evil had been done in the name of Christ as has been done in the name of countless other beliefs, including communism.

  28. Hey Wildman;
    How far south will you do a job? i.e. is HMB within your ‘sphere of influence’ ?

    Ah yes, our foolish youthiness; I cringe whenever someone tells a story on me that I’d (blissfully) forgotten about doing…Yikes, you take the cake.
    Anyway, if the weblink for this post didn’t fly, just paste this nonsense;
    /watch?v=3ZnOFv72prQ
    just append it to the popular touyubeDOTcom to enjoy a stirring troubadorial memorial to the fine citadel of wisdom-to-the-south … When you sing along, be sure to spel sulgs correctly.
    Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey put down that beer! The composer/lyricist was an Okie and always wanted to write a ‘fight song’, and UCSC was the lucky recipient of this procreative urge…
    Best, RR aka AC
    what is ur dang hemail? I need a smart builder guy for a special job.

  29. Willis:

    An old friend of mine locked W.A.C. (Wacky) Bennet, then the Premier of the Province of British Columbia, in a jail cell in Northern BC. They were touring the new municipal buildings and he took advantage of the situation and asked the Premier to inspect a jail cell — and promptly locked the door. He claimed his only mistake was not having a camera. He felt it would have made a great front page story as people seem to have always felt that jail is and was a natural home for politicians. After he finished his negotiations for additional funding programs he let the Premier out. The Premier never repeated the story to anyone because of the embarrasment of being caught in such a childish prank. However my friend did have to spoend a year hiding out in Mexico — he calims it was an unrelated matter. I’m not so sure.

    You’re not the only criminal I have known — probably you will not be the last. I do know some ship sinking pirates as well I guess… But they seem respectable compared to you two. ;-)

    Cheers!

  30. I think you got it correct on first analysis. I didn’t care much for him either and a look at the historical record vindicates my personal attitude. However, as one person that I pointed this out to exclaimed “But he made me feel good about my country!” So I guess with the public, that’s what it’s really all about.

    Here he reminds me of the late president Bush (and I do miss the “Bush” calendars featuring the daily mucked up quotes):

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ronald_Reagan/Ronald_Reagan_Myth.html

    Some other interesting activity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_administration_scandals

    I also remember seeing a newspaper article at the time (can’t find a reference, sorry) that his administration held regular meetings with industry on the best ways to get around EPA pollution laws (and this after signing Superfund cleanup extension which he didn’t like but was told that congress would override him and voted for it anyway).

    To see what both sides think (definitely appears a little schizophrenic on much of the legislation):

    http://reagan.procon.org/#pro_con

  31. OK, the Lizards’ actual version is nicer, with the oompah tuba and the drumroll between
    B (drums)
    A (drums)
    n-a-n-a with more of a stadium feel. Probably would sound real nice in the Eschenbach (smellybucks) Ampthitheater. I can make a fair use copy on an 8-track or whatever ur truck is sporting these daze…
    Can’t find a freebie on the winterwebs to link.
    best,RR

  32. Steven Mosher says:
    March 11, 2013 at 7:59 am

    ‘After I got out of the Army, I became involved in the anti-war movement as well as the other main causes of the time, women’s rights and racial equality.”

    noble causes. ahem.

    Steven, I begin to despair. What does your post mean? It’s hard to tell, but it sure sounds like you are implying that fighting for the rights of people of color is somehow not noble.

    Is that correct? Is that your meaning? If so, please have the balls to stand up and say it proud.

    Your cryptic posting style, usually done with an edge and an aim to drag me down, is way past its use-by date, Steven.

    w.

  33. pottereaton says:
    March 11, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Mosh says:

    “noble causes. ahem.”

    Noble causes run amok. ahem.

    What on earth does that mean? Is Mosher’s useless posting style contagious?

    Are you saying you preferred separate drinking fountains for “Colored People”, then? What do you mean, Potter?

    Far from having “run amok”, those causes are still being worked on because there’s still work to be done. Yes, we went overboard trying to get rid of things like separate but unequal schools for black people in the south and laws forbidding racial intermarriage that were prevalent in my youth … so sue me.

    w.

  34. You’ve done some amazing things, Willis, and certainly had some amazing adventures. I’m pleased that you are capturing these memories. They are too good to lose. :)

  35. It’s hard to tell, but it sure sounds like you are implying that fighting for the rights of people of color is somehow not noble.

    I suspect the implication is to do with how one fights for said rights. The Black Panthers, and virtually every other “social justice” group of the era, were as vile, racist and overall reprehensible as any other, regardless of their ultimate “goal”, stated or otherwise.

  36. After I got out of the Army, I became involved in the anti-war movement as well as the other main causes of the time, women’s rights and racial equality. … During one of these protests back in 1968 …

    I realize you were operating mostly on different coasts at the time, but you didn’t happen to run into our new Secretary of State at any of these rallies, did you — perhaps throw away medals for solidarity with the oppressed masses?

  37. Perhaps Mosh is a Conservative who doesn’t believe in generosity for the downcast including things like taxpayer support for education or free family planning and then wonders why there is an explosion of poor (who support the other side) and of criminals produced by unwanted offspring.

  38. Willis: slow down, my friend. I was there in 68. They burned down an abandoned science building on my college campus in 1970 and we had National Guard patrolling the campus. I had a black roommate on a campus in a small town in the mid-south that had a segregated movie theater and barbershops when I arrived there. I was anti-war also and went to the huge demonstration in Washington in 71.

    My impression of Mosher’s post is that he was defending your behavior, behavior that you roundly condemned, although I could be wrong about that.

    Now we could discuss whether the feminist movement was good or bad for the majority of women over the past four decades, and we might disagree, but in general, I like the idea of women playing sports and being treated fairly in the workplace, although I don’t like the idea of them in combat.
    I’m also of the opinion that affirmative action has been grossly misused.

    My point was that in the early days of those protest movements, there was some wretched excess. George Jackson, Huey Newton, Bill Ayers, Andrea Dworkin, Kate Millet and yes, even Willis Eschenbach and PotterEaton aka theduke.

  39. “Welllllll Willis … I actually wrote that script, including the part where the first student intigator started to shout me down. Not sure I ever got a chance to thank the extras for such impassioned ad hoc scene work. Soooooooo … from the great beyond, I tip my 10 gallon hat your way. ” – RWR

  40. I see now that Mosher might have been referring to “noble cause corruption,” and agreeing with Willis’ characterization of himself.

    As he is an old acquaintance on these blogs, I’ll let him explain himself. Apologies if I interpreted your post erroneously, Steven.

  41. Geezer is right.

    Blaming Karl Marx for what happened in Russia, in China, etc., is like blaming Jesus Christ for the burning of Giordano Bruno and for other crimes of the Church.

    It is a common mistake among the pampered Californian hippies to think that the USSR, the Mao’s China and many other assorted Oriental dictatorships run by gangsters had anything to do with Marxism, other that using Marxist verbiage as a bait for useful idiots in the West.

    If you are looking for Marxism at work (at failing to work?), go to Sweden, to the UK, to the same homeland of cow-pie poets, California.

  42. Never been there, but from what I read UCSC has slid way down the hill from when you were there.

  43. FauxScienceSlayer says March 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

    The article “Fractional Reserve Banking Begat Faux Reality” is a primer to this root cause of most evil. The 600 page book “The Creature from Jekyll Island”

    Probably the second biggest fabrication going today courtesy of alternative-reality-view ‘filmmaker’ G. Edward Griffin; are you interested in the truth, or simply satisfied in spreading agit-prop-class material suitable for pre-high school fantasy-reading?

    (Geez .. how about we see the nom de plume FauxEconomicsSlayer in action for a change?)

    From rationalwiki.org/wik :

    What’s wrong with the anti-Fed crankery?

    While one can find many legitimate criticisms of the Fed (incompetence, cronyism, etc.), much of the opposition to the Fed comes from a basic misunderstanding of how it operates …

    .

  44. FauxScienceSlayer says March 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

    you must understand the Ponzi scheme banking lie, see

    Ahhhh .. a “What Really Happened” (and website) fan … material written, produced by that loon (well-known con-spiracy pusher, propagandist and faked-document producer who has been ‘flushed’/banned from several above-board websites for unethical behavior) … ” Michael Redvero ” (sic) …

    VERY reliable and authoritative source.

    FauxScienceSlayer falling for for ‘faux’ these days? Sorta like “Skeptical Science” (SkS) isn’t it?

    .

  45. Mr. Lion (@somelion) says:
    March 11, 2013 at 10:37 am

    It’s hard to tell, but it sure sounds like you are implying that fighting for the rights of people of color is somehow not noble.

    I suspect the implication is to do with …

    Mr. Lion, thanks for your thoughts. We can suspect whatever we like, because we don’t know … which is my problem with his posting. It was just a drive-by one-liner, and as a result folks like you and I have to “suspect” what he meant.

    w.

  46. Marx was a false prophet and fanatical revolutionist. Revolution invariably means killing of some kind. Marx knew that revolution would mean the death of untold thousands, if not millions.

    Christ did not preach violent revolution or favor war. The church became powerful down through history and evolved into a form of authoritarian government with all that entails, including defense and conquest. The church moved into power vacuums created by the collapse of corrupt, incompetent or murderous rulers, since it was the only institution that people trusted when all else failed. None of that had anything to do with Christ’s message.

    Killing has everything to do with Marx’s message. Lenin, Stalin and Mao simply adapted Marx’s message to conditions on the ground and killed millions as a result. Even Hitler considered himself a Marxian socialist. Marx’s message was every bit as militaristic as Mohammad’s in that it implied–and eventually was used for– conquest and domination.

  47. After I got out of the Army, I became involved in the anti-war movement as well as the other main causes of the time, women’s rights and racial equality.

    I would like to know more about how people pick their noble causes. The Vietnam war is obvious, but what caused the other “main causes of the time”? Baby boomer reaction to their parents, TV, sixties music, The Bomb, Bambi, Doctor Spock? Maybe Willis would like to explain why he joined the cause? Willis didn’t mention the environment, but that cause started then too and we see now what that has become.

  48. pottereaton says:
    March 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

    My impression of Mosher’s post is that he was defending your behavior, behavior that you roundly condemned, although I could be wrong about that.

    Thanks, Potter. Me, I’m sick of people like you and I having to operate on “impressions” and “suspicions” of what Mosh means. His one-line drive-by postings are often aimed at me (rather than the content of the post), and tend to be negative.

    My advice is, don’t guess what Mosh means and try to make it all reasonable, so he can come back and tell you that you’re wrong.

    Instead, get your name disconnected from Mosh’s, you’re trying to make up stuff to defend the indefensible. We don’t have a clue what he means until when and if he tells us.

    w.

  49. James at 48 says:
    March 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

    “Welllllll Willis … I actually wrote that script, including the part where the first student intigator started to shout me down. Not sure I ever got a chance to thank the extras for such impassioned ad hoc scene work. Soooooooo … from the great beyond, I tip my 10 gallon hat your way. ” – RWR

    Ah, how foolish of me, his brilliant plan ran far deeper than I’d imagined …

    Well done, cracked me up.

    w.

  50. I’m betting, Willis, that Reagan actually appreciated the situation you and your cohorts put him in. As any master thespian would know, having a chance to capitalize on the drama of a situation is a rare opportunity. Had you not provided the drama, Reagan would have nothing to call the radio station about; nothing to call the police about; nothing to have the Chancellor rescue him from. You did him a service and he enjoyed playing the part.

    Great story, by the way.

  51. Toto says:
    March 11, 2013 at 11:48 am
    W: “After I got out of the Army, I became involved in the anti-war movement as well as the other main causes of the time, women’s rights and racial equality.”

    I would like to know more about how people pick their noble causes. …

    A Clue: If it involves girls it’s automatically going to be an odds-on *favorite* regardless of the platform or cause …

    .

  52. Alexander Feht says:
    March 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Geezer is right.

    Blaming Karl Marx for what happened in Russia, in China, etc., is like blaming Jesus Christ for the burning of Giordano Bruno and for other crimes of the Church.

    Hey, it’s not a disputable fact. It’s my OPINION, and it’s stated as such. My opinion is that all those guys didn’t call themselves “Marxists” by accident, and that they followed Marx’s ideas as faithfully as they could given they were humans.

    Now it’s possible it was all a fake and they were really following Jesus or someone else … but all the evidence points to Marx. They required the study of Marx in the schools, they quoted his sayings … how on earth are they not Marxists? You may not like them being Marxists, but by god that’s what they are.

    I understand that you think the true Marxism lives in Sweden and the Russian/Chinese/Cuban etc. version is distorted.

    Given the billions of people who have lived under the Russian/Chinese/Cuban etc. version of Marxism, compared with the paltry millions in Sweden … I’m saying the Swedish version is the distorted one, and damn lucky for them it is.

    Because you know the popular, bog-standard version of Marxism, the one that was reproduced all over the world, the one that everyone except you calls “MARXISM”?

    That one killed people by the millions and millions.

    I understand that YMMV.

    w.

  53. Can I please ask folks to discuss the Federal Reserve Bank on a different thread that is at least peripherally connected to, you know … banking?

    Many thanks,

    w.

  54. CON-SPIR-ACY debunking, Willis, con-spir-acy debunking; … just a post or two addressing that you have an objection to? My policy: I try to keep it to a minimum, if you notice in other threads … (PS: Note: I’m NOT really discussing banking … It’s just that some days I get the feeling that even LESS is known about ‘banking’ than **climate science** by your avg. Joe SIxpack given the pap that is sometimes allowed to be posted, but, I know, it’s not my site <grin>)

    Entertaining story, BTW, and upon which I have no comment at present, but, a good story I do love …

    .

  55. Willis says:
    “They required the study of Marx in the schools, they quoted his sayings … how on earth are they not Marxists?”

    That, and other remarks in the same vein, really got me laughing. Some people have firm opinions, indeedm without having a slightest idea, what they are talking about.

    Every Chavez of this world is a Marxist just because he uses Marxist rhetoric while making endless speeches? What old Karl has to do with all those big and little military gangster-dictators?

    Read some factual history books — hundreds of good, unbiased books have been written on this subject — start with biographies of Stalin and Mao, for example. I would assume that today an adult person, having unlimited access to information, would understand at least some basics of Stalinism, Maoism, Chavismo, etc. My mistake.

  56. Willis: sorry to bother you, and I’m way off topic, but I’m getting a screwed up version of ClimateAudit when I go there. The homepage is way off center to the left. The right column with recent posts and comments is missing. Can you confirm? No other webpage I go to has the same problem, so I don’t think it’s my computer.

  57. @ pottereaton 11:47

    Very nicely stated.

    Willis: “Hey, I was so dumb back then, I actually thought that Karl Marx was one of the good guys, and you can’t get much dumber than that.”

    Welcome to the club. I was one of those against the war who ended up in Vietnam. I was well into Army OCS when I decided to make my stand. I walked into the CO’s office and announced that I was dropping out of OCS because I was against the war.
    Me: “Send me to Vietnam, but I refuse to be in a command position.”
    CO: “Candidate, do you believe the spread of communism is a threat to the United States?”
    Me: “No Sir.”

    Two months later I was in Quang Tri Province. I still think the war was bungled and wonder if we should have gotten involved. I don’t regret going but I still get slightly nauseous when I think about that conversation.

  58. Anyone who applies a term “Marxist” to countries like Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Chavez’ Venezuela, etc., should check the fundamentals first.

    What is the most fundamental, defining principle of Marxism? It is that all means of production (tools, factories, etc.), as well as all results of production, must belong to those who produce — that is, to workers themselves. Now, name a single so called “socialist,” “communist,” or “Marxist” country where this was true. Can’t? Case closed.

    Why, oh why do I still believe that it is possible to appeal to reason?

  59. Photos of Reagan runing as stated, press rel. or newpaper citation, TV news link. facts on Reagan running seems to me needed.

    Why only one hero in these stories?

    That and so what that he ran as many of the anti war types were dangerous terrorist, just like William Ayers known bomber and domestic terrorist.

    When the real hero guys, in the Marines drafted and doing their duty as American, were in the I-Corps of South Vietnam getting shot at day after day, helping the South Viet people try and avoid the terror of the commies, drilling water wells, helping with crops, helping set up hospitals, all the stuff the anti war left lied about for the last 50 years.

    Sad what is going on on watts up with that in my not so humble opinion.

  60. Toto says:
    March 11, 2013 at 11:48 am
    I would like to know more about how people pick their noble causes.

    I can’t speak for Willis. Partially because I am still cleaning up the snorted drinks. Indeed. Who caught whom? It sounds like our cat when she actually caught that darn squirrel.

    But I did know some folks who were just into rebellion in those days. Never mind the cause. “Everything is so messed up that the only thing to do is tear it all down. Every bit of it. Whatever happens next has got to be better.” They couldn’t defend that statement, but who cares, it sounded great. Yes, especially if you bought Marx.

  61. Willis, I’m half-dead laughing, it evokes such memories of Australia early 1970s (allowing the usual 5 year lag here before our deep thinkers catch up with yours). My take on Reagan is exactly the same as yours.

  62. Alexander Feht says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Anyone who applies a term “Marxist” to countries like Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Chavez’ Venezuela, etc., should check the fundamentals first.

    Since every one of those countries identified themselves as Marxist, and they’ve been seen as representatives of the Marxist ideology for decades… you’re telling us you’re right and the world is wrong?

    What is the most fundamental, defining principle of Marxism? It is that all means of production (tools, factories, etc.), as well as all results of production, must belong to those who produce — that is, to workers themselves. Now, name a single so called “socialist,” “communist,” or “Marxist” country where this was true. Can’t? Case closed.

    I agree with you totally that those self-described Marxists all failed to achieve the ideal Marxist state that they all started out aiming for.

    But Alexander … that just makes them FAILED Marxists …it doesn’t mean they’re NOT Marxists.

    w.

    PS—Look up the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. You’re committing it.

  63. @ Jim and the “conspiracy” aversion

    I was a junior engineer in the 80’s boom in Houston, working for ‘developers’ who later openly admitted to ‘creative bankruptcy’ playing with OPM, other peoples money. In 1984, one developer spent $250 large on a full page re-elect Reagan-Bush advert in the Wall Street Journal and an additional million to the campaign. Soon bankruptcy hit and this developer walked with fourty mill in the bank and over 400 judgements in civil court. I later designed a functional rail system, got lots of local news coverage and private interviews. In one interview, a future mayor disclosed the self-described ‘elites’ plan to bilk the taxpayers of $200 million in a billion dollar rail program. Disclosing insider secrets destroyed my defective marriage and i met author Pete Brewton, selling copies of his S & L book in front of the court house. I personally knew a dozen of the actors and 50 of the projects described in the Brewton book. My nom de plume is my website address where the “author bio” tab gives far more info on this Reagan era engineered looting of the treasury.

    Carbon climate forcing, unsustainable ‘green’ energy and non-finite ‘fossil’ fuel are all defective science symptoms of a defective monetary system. We can argue forever about the symptoms and ways to hide them, but treating the financial DISEASE is the only real cure. Humanity has wasted over a trillion dollars on this lunacy…ignoring elite motivies is not advisable. Rivero’s movie is a good summary of world history that i have studied extensively….and not an endorsement of all of his site content.

    Sorry Willis, but if CCX, et al wasn’t bankrolling this fraud….we wouldn’t be talking about it at ALL.

  64. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    “Hey, it’s not a disputable fact. It’s my OPINION, and it’s stated as such. My opinion is that all those guys didn’t call themselves “Marxists” by accident, and that they followed Marx’s ideas as faithfully as they could given they were humans.”

    I’m going to bite on this ‘off topic’ since I so rarely get to comment Here on something I feel I have a slight education on.

    And to you W. I say nonsense! With all do respect. Marx put forth an idea based on what he thought was a very scientific understanding of history. He made a prediction on the progression of human society, a very precise one. It did not come true and if Marx were around today he would say he was wrong.

    One of the reasons Marxism never came to pass is because for it to work it requires that everyone agree with it and follow it. A tall order indeed. If this is not the case Marxism requires something else to bring it about, Tyranny. Which destroys the original principals. Rather simply, for everyone to be equal (monetarily) they need to choose to be so and work at it. If they don’t some people naturally get more and others less. In order to bring about Marxism one needs to a) make everyone equal to start and b) keep everyone equal over time. This requires Tyranny (mostly the taking away part). And this is exactly what those you mention were interested in. They wanted to gain and maintain power. Using something like Marxism is a fantastic tool to do this, and masses voluntarily enslave themselves! At least a good portion of them do.

    But, as I said at the beginning, Marx was wrong, without question. This was well known at one point and that is why some of these leaders you mention actually went through the trouble of rewriting Marxism to explain why he was wrong and why now was the right time for the communist revolution. They wanted their Tyranny on a firm footing! It is strange that today’s “Marxist” don’t even bother to explain why Marx was wrong, why his predictions never came to pass.

  65. I think that one should consider the social conditions during Marx’s time (mid 1800’s) to understand his concerns: http://www.localhistories.org/19thcent.html
    This was a time before many unions existed/political intervention was rare and when there was much worker & child abuse and the variation between the haves/have nots was extreme. Many of these conditions existed even in the U.S. up until the child labor laws came into being:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labor_laws_in_the_United_States

    Based on this history is why I will never believe in the conservative attitude of assumed moral standards applied to corporations. I personally think that if industry were allowed, without regulation & laws, would degrade back into these conditions with profit the sole criteria. Ironically, Marxism as applied to the previous Russian oligarchy might be considered a variant of extreme capitalism where the monopolistic Communist Party controls all manufacture, labor and wealth.
    Now since few of those conditions existed in the mid twentieth century, it is difficult to rationalize Marxist concepts, especially since they are obviously unworkable in a realistic society.

  66. Good story Willis, I always enjoy reading your posts. The comments seem to have gotten bogged down in politics and religion. although how can you tell where one ends and the other begins? I started “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand last night, just in case anybody needs some ammo.

  67. c1ue says:
    March 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    It is amusing how so many Americans still confuse Marx with Lenin.

    It could be because for years their ideas were sold under the brand name “Marxism-Leninism” by people like, oh, say … Lenin …

    Again I say, this is the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. From Wikipedia:

    Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the “Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again”. Hamish is shocked and declares that “No Scotsman would do such a thing”. The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again; and, this time, finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, “No true Scotsman would do such a thing”.

    The response of some folks on this thread, when faced with the brutality sold under the brand name “Marxism-Leninism”, is to exclaim

    No true Marxist would do such a thing

    It’s called Marxism-Leninism for a reason …

    w.

  68. FauxScienceSlayer says:
    March 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    @ Jim and the “conspiracy” aversion

    I was a junior engineer in the 80′s boom in Houston, working for ‘developers’ who later openly admitted to ‘creative bankruptcy’ playing with OPM, other peoples money. In 1984, one developer spent $250 large on a full page …

    Again I say, this thread is not about money or banking. Please take it elsewhere. Your protest that it is important is meaningless. It may well be, I’m not saying it isn’t important … but it still belongs elsewhere, not here.

    Thanks,

    w.

  69. Willis – I looked up your “No True Scotsman” phrase.
    After more than a half-century in Scotland that was new to me!
    Thanks for that but I’ve got a wee gripe with you that I need to get off my chest.
    I recently parted with £200 sterling (2400 Scottish pounds unadjusted as at 1707 prices) to buy a Kindle Fire but am still waiting to purchase your memoirs in an e-book format.
    Could you give us a clue as to when this will be available and at what cost so that I can save up a sufficiency of bawbees?
    Thanking you in anticipation.

  70. I remember reading once upon a time in the corridors of an Alyeska camp in Alaska: ” Old age and deceit will always triumph over youth and skill”
    Thank you again for your engaging story.

  71. “It is amusing how so many Americans still confuse Marx with Lenin.”

    It’s amazing how obtuse that statement is.

    Perhaps one of you left-wing geniuses can point us to a pure Marxist politician who ruled in the 20th century, one that Marx would have wholly embraced. I won’t hold my breath.

    My impression of Marx, having read him some time ago and knowing something of his life, is that he would have been more murderous as a dictator than any of those who claimed to be his ideological heirs.

  72. fobdangerclose says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Photos of Reagan runing as stated, press rel. or newpaper citation, TV news link. facts on Reagan running seems to me needed.

    Fob, I’m sorry I didn’t have my cell phone with me or I’d have taken a video of the whole thing … but then it was 1968.

    I must say, though, that’s the politest way someone has said I might be lying in a while. You may not have had much experience with guys like me, honest men who view lying and exaggeration as abominations. I tell the truth as best I know it. The description above is what I observed. Sorry it doesn’t fit your worldview, and I don’t have any pictures of that or most things in my life, but that’s what I did and what I saw.

    Why only one hero in these stories?

    Because there’s only one auto in “autobiography”? … although the hero in this story was Reagan.

    That and so what that he ran as many of the anti war types were dangerous terrorist, just like William Ayers known bomber and domestic terrorist.

    I said quite clearly that in his place I would have run as well. I attached no blame of any kind to his action.

    When the real hero guys, in the Marines drafted and doing their duty as American, were in the I-Corps of South Vietnam getting shot at day after day, helping the South Viet people try and avoid the terror of the commies, drilling water wells, helping with crops, helping set up hospitals, all the stuff the anti war left lied about for the last 50 years.

    You will not find one word in my writing that in any way disses those who served in Vietnam. There were no right answers, no bloodless paths, no moral options in that war. Everyone chose from a list of bad possibilities.

    I never went to Vietnam, but I saw far too much of the cost that war exacted. Go spend six months in an Army nuthouse at the height of a war like that … people missing limbs, missing minds, missing memories, missing their innocence, missing the ability to speak, missing those who died that they could not or did not save.

    I could never say a word against men and women who went to Vietnam, no matter what the outcome was in their particular case. The only human response to that depth and intensity of suffering is compassion for those who went to fight.

    Sad what is going on on watts up with that in my not so humble opinion.

    I’ve noticed that about your opinion. It’s not the heat … it’s the humility.

    Fob, I’m not sure what your beef is with me here. As I said above, I’m talking about the actions of a young fool. It’s an interesting story about an interesting time. It doesn’t contain any secret messages or coded urgings. It’s a story about how I got my butt kicked by Ronald Reagan, not a referendum on the Vietnam War. In fact, the issues that faced Reagan and the University Regents, the bones of contention in the confrontation at Santa Cruz, had nothing to do with the Vietnam War at all.

    What is your objection to the story?

    w.

  73. Alexander Feht says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    What is the most fundamental, defining principle of Marxism?

    Sorry, I realized I hadn’t answered your question.

    If we look at the history of all those national leaders who have identified themselves as Marxists, start with Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Ho, Castro, and go on from there … looking at all of them a reasonable man would have to say the most fundamental, defining principle common to each and every one of those folks who said they were Marxists was:

    1. Ruthlessly assassinate, exterminate, and suppress any individual or entire class of people who might be even the slightest opposition to you.

    Now, I suspect you may be thinking about some other tribe of Marxists who are sweet, nice, kind folks … and they likely have a different fundamental defining principle.

    But for the overwhelming majority of world leaders who called themselves Marxists, Principle #1 above is the one ring to bind them …

    w.

  74. Alexander Feht, is this guy a Marxist? Or is he not a true Marxist, as in no true Marxist would murder thousands of Cubans …

    In December 1961, Castro made clear what most U.S. officials already believed. In a televised address on December 2, Castro declared, “I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.” He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.”

    w.

  75. Willis, you do also write songs about your adventures don’t you? …………or only stories?
    Dang, if you’d been arrested or shot you’d be famous now plus Neil Young would’ve written a song about it.
    cn

  76. Alexander Fehr writes: “What is the most fundamental, defining principle of Marxism? It is that all means of production (tools, factories, etc.), as well as all results of production, must belong to those who produce — that is, to workers themselves. Now, name a single so called “socialist,” “communist,” or “Marxist” country where this was true. Can’t? Case closed.

    Willis writes in answer to Alexander’s question: “. . . looking at all of them a reasonable man would have to say the most fundamental, defining principle common to each and every one of those folks who said they were Marxists was: 1. Ruthlessly assassinate, exterminate, and suppress any individual or entire class of people who might be even the slightest opposition to you.

    I think Alexander is right although not in a way he thinks. The defining principle and goal of Marxism was the elimination of capitalism by any means necessary which is what he is describing. Willis accurately describes the “means” that were deployed to that end.

    The inherent contradiction in Marxism is found in Alexander’s definition. He claims that no country ever succeeded in implementing the defining principle of Marxism, therefore none of them were Marxist, which is absurd. The implementation of Marxism was impossible without all the murder and mayhem because it was a fundamentally flawed economic theory. It required extraordinarily coercive measures because it violated the basic laws of nature, i.e. that men need to be free to develop, grow, improve on their own before they can enter into a social contract with other men. They need to own something, have something to offer and to know that what they do own cannot arbitrarily be taken from them by those in power. Food, shelter and clothing are the basic necessities of life. Marxist were saying that you don’t have the right to own those things and, for the greater good, the state can prevent you from owning them if it wishes or control the amount you can own.

    One of the most striking things I remember reading about the Bolshevik Revolution was that in its early phase people were being summarily executed for selling bread in the street.

  77. [Marx] promoted the genocidal, hateful ideas that Stalin, Hitler and Mao carried out.
    To don’t be a denier of totalitarianism and mass killing and it’s source.
    It’s not millions, Willis, it’s probably well over a hundred million dead by Marxist frauds.

    It’s time to tell the truth about Marx and Engels.

    Don’t miss the full length film, “The Soviet Story”.

    KARL MARX: “Racial Trash Will Have to Be Destroyed”

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2686291/posts

  78. @Willis; I doubt that you have anything to fear about a Kidnaping that never happened. Great story about how your “well laid plan” was foiled by the quick thinking Gipper. ;-)

    Communism was not invented by Carl Marx. Humans have been trying that foolishness as long as they have existed, always the same result, The Pigs take over. Some people believe that they deserve to consume more then they produce and those that produce must share with those that don’t, by force if necessary. Communism sounds wonderful to those that are young and in college as they feel that they are the Elite that deserve to be supported as they will do great things in the future. Those that create real wealth know better and resent being forced to support the layabouts. Marxism is a political system to enforce communism on all. Its basic premise is that there can be no exceptions or it can not work.Everyone must submit. Sounds like a religion to me. pg

  79. Re: Defenders of the socialist cause.

    The average human being will work his or her butt off to earn a big-screen TV. They will not do it to earn “the people” a new dump-truck. That is why no communist country ever emerged from “third world” status without embracing consumer-driven, free market economics with all its blemishes, abuses and excesses. You can count Russia, China and the Eastern Block among those that did so. You can look to Cuba and North Korea for examples of those that did not.

    It is what it is, and for all its theoretical nobility, altruism is a sucker’s bet.

    CH

  80. Marxism is a system designed for saints: capitalism, for sinners. Mister Eschenbach will remember a fellow by the name of Kissinger, I’d bet. He was once thought to be “the smartest man in the world.” And yet when it came to the permanence of the Soviet Union, he and everyone else in DC was outsmarted by, in the words of historian Robert Kaplan “the scholar and former head of the State Department’s policy-planning staff George Kennan, the Harvard historian Richard Pipes, the British scholar and journalist Bernard Levin, and the Eureka College graduate Ronald Reagan.” Getting outsmarted by Reagan puts one in good company.

  81. Thanks, Willis. Another interesting story, full of humanity.
    I used to have the same malady; youth. Now I share the same bliss; age.
    A marxist-leninist destroyed my country, its very soul. To think I defended that position 45 years ago makes me feel very humble.

  82. w

    You made a choice back then, you wish to be absolved of that sin.

    I and the others in the I-Corps of South Vietnam made another choice, the correct choice.

    You are not absolved.

    You inability to say, that the brave men who did chose to fight, made the choice of duty, honor and country binds you to your orginal sins.

    You paint with words now, to paint over the sin and hide it, admit to the sin and go and sin no more.

  83. fobdangerclose says:
    March 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    w

    You made a choice back then, you wish to be absolved of that sin.

    I and the others in the I-Corps of South Vietnam made another choice, the correct choice.

    You are not absolved.

    Fob, I truly admire your audacity. First you claim that there was a “correct choice” that every single swinging richard should have made almost a half century ago in a very complex moral situation that many, many people have described as the “wrong war, wrong place, wrong time”. To pretend that there is one and only one answer in such a situation is hubris of a very high, refined order …

    Not satisfied with that, you set yourself up (who better, right?) as the arbiter of exactly what that “correct choice” was for everyone.

    Next, you claim that not making the Official Fobdangerclose Required and Obviously The Only Possible Right Choice For Everyone For Vietnam was not just wrong, but a sin.

    And in a final act of lese majeste against whatever God you might believe in, you claim that you, fobdangerclose, get to decide who is “absolved” from that sin …

    Some anonymous internet popup gets to say who is absolved of their sins and who is not? I love the plan, the anonymous giver of absolution, that’s hilarious, I tell you, my friend, the audacity is astounding … but other than making me laugh at your ego, swollen so big it needs its own postal code, Here Lies Fobdangerclose, the Official Approver of Absolution … other than that, I fear your complaints don’t move me.

    Every man had to come to his own conclusion about that war. My conclusion was that I didn’t want to take even the slightest part in raining flaming death on little girls … so sue me.

    But I don’t ever say that going off to fight in the Vietnam War was a wrong choice. It wasn’t my choice, that’s all. You, like me, did what you thought was right, as did thousands of other who all took their own paths.

    Now it’s time for you to notice that not everyone thinks that what you did was the only officially “correct choice”. For many of us, that would have been an unbearably incorrect choice … and again, that does not make your choice wrong.

    We chose different paths almost a half century ago, my friend, and you don’t get to decide for the world what was the “correct choice” … let it go, let the Vietnam War go. I know I have …

    w.

  84. Poems of Our Climate says:
    March 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm
    [Marx] promoted the genocidal, hateful ideas that Stalin, Hitler and Mao carried out.
    To don’t be a denier of totalitarianism and mass killing and it’s source.
    It’s not millions, Willis, it’s probably well over a hundred million dead by Marxist frauds.

    ===========Communist Body Count

    Scott Manning
    December 4, 2006
    The following estimates represent citizens killed or starved to death by their own Communist governments since 1918. These numbers do not include war dead. The governments are sorted by body count (highest to lowest).

    All numbers are mid-estimates.

    People’s Republic of China
    Body Count: 73,237,000
    1949-Present (57+ years and counting)

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    Body Count: 58,627,000
    1922-1991 (69 years)

    Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic
    Body Count: 3,284,000
    1918-1922 (4 years)

    Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    Body Count: 3,163,000
    1948-Present (58+ years and counting)

    Cambodia
    Body Count: 2,627,000
    1975-1987 (12 years)

    Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
    Body Count: 1,750,000
    1978-1992 (14 years)

    Vietnam
    Body Count: 1,670,000
    1975-Present (30+ years and counting)

    People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
    Body Count: 1,343,610
    1974-1991 (17 years)

    Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    Body Count: 1,072,000
    1945-1992 (47 years)

    Chinese Soviet Republic
    Body Count: 700,000
    1931-1934 (3 years)

    People’s Republic of Mozambique
    Body Count: 700,000
    1975-1990 (15 years)

    Socialist Republic of Romania
    Body Count: 435,000
    1947-1989 (42 years)

    People’s Republic of Bulgaria
    Body Count: 222,000
    1946-1990 (44 years)

    Mongolian People’s Republic
    Body Count: 100,000
    1924-1992 (68 years)

    People’s Socialist Republic of Albania
    Body Count: 100,000
    1946-1991 (45 years)

    Republic of Cuba
    Body Count: 73,000
    1961-Present (45+ years and counting)

    German Democratic Republic
    Body Count: 70,000
    1949-1990 (41 years)

    Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia
    Body Count: 65,000
    1948-1990 (42 years)

    Lao People’s Democratic Republic
    Body Count: 56,000
    1975-Present (31+ years and counting)

    Hungarian People’s Republic
    Body Count: 27,000
    1949-1989 (40 years)

    People’s Republic of Poland
    Body Count: 22,000
    1948-1989 (41 years)

    People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen
    Body Count: 1,000
    1969-1990 (21 years)

  85. Alexander Feht says:
    March 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Geezer is right.

    Blaming Karl Marx for what happened in Russia, in China, etc., is like blaming Jesus Christ for the burning of Giordano Bruno and for other crimes of the Church.

    As someone who studied Marx’s works through grade school and college, I can say with absolute certainty that Marx’s teaching were implemented as close to original as possible. The major difference between Marx and Soviet’s styles of communism was decision not to pursue global revolution, which was a necessary requirement for eternal bliss and happiness that communism would bring to people, at least according to Marx.
    There are some people, like Trotsky and his followers who even now believe that Marx’s theory was subverted by Stalin and others and in reality communism is not a horrible murderous system that it is, but great and humanistic system designed to make life better for everyone.
    They are, of course, totally deluded.
    You can not implement Marx’s ideas without doing what USSR and others did.

    Despite your claims, Swedish socialism is not Marxism, never was and never will be.

  86. Mr. Eschenbach:
    Add Hitler to your list of murderers whose ideas were rooted in Marx. Remember that the Nazis called themselves socialist – the National Sozialist Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. And remember also that the Nazi Party was foiunded by one Anton Drexler, six months before Hitler joined on German Army orders – and this Drexler was a doctrinasire Marxist who just happened to equate the Marxian bourgeois class enemy with the Jews, thereby providing the original ideological basis for Nazi anti-Semitism

  87. Alexander Feht says:
    March 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Anyone who applies a term “Marxist” to countries like Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Chavez’ Venezuela, etc., should check the fundamentals first.

    What is the most fundamental, defining principle of Marxism? It is that all means of production (tools, factories, etc.), as well as all results of production, must belong to those who produce — that is, to workers themselves. Now, name a single so called “socialist,” “communist,” or “Marxist” country where this was true. Can’t? Case closed.

    What you describing is a utopia. It is not achievable. The countries like USSR were trying to get as close to that as possible though. It is all good to say that workers are the one controlling the means of production. In practice, this is only possible through state control of those things – and that is exactly how it went down. Virtually any means of productions were state-controlled. As little as possible of private ownership was allowed – personal belonging, clothes, maybe cars for very few.
    I assume you are trotskyist, who believes if we only do exactly what Marx says, the world would have achieved communistic nirvana by now and everyone would be happy, productive selfless person working to betterment of society. Just as soon as we killed off anyone who disagreed with that worldview.
    If it only wasn’t for those like Stalin, Mao, etc, that is. Funny how there are always someone who manages to screw up that ideal world… But whether its a Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao or Kim Jon Il, it always ends in blood.
    It is kind of funny that someone who is political refugee from USSR to be a trotskyist, but surprisingly I meet few people like that here.

  88. Lovely discussion about Marxism; if you like that, you might also like this:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/karl_marx_and_the_american_dream.html

    Why is it relevant to climate change? Because lots of the CAGW workers are fellow travelers, comrade. The young idealists may not know that their favorite concepts have a history, and every concept no matter how pure has a dark side. A cause which is so noble that ignoble actions are justified. No shortage of history there. Not to mention that there is no universal agreement on those values. So many calls to action, so few calls for further thought.

    Which brings me to my point. Which is that there is a history, which we have tried to forget, of a previous case of “nature is getting worse; we have to fix it”. Eugenics. Everyone knows about what the losing side did; few know about how popular those ideas were elsewhere (and few wish to remember).

  89. Alexander Feht tries to pull off a shift by claiming mixed economies are Marxist.
    Mixed economies appear to succeed because the relatively free part of them allows productivity.

    Marx’ principles are well known, the USSR was a fairly complete implementation with predictable results – it couldn’t even feed its own people.

    Marxism’s “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” is based on fixed pie economics and drive-to-the-bottom ethics. Its roots are in a view of humans as uncreative and untrustworthy, which comes from denying the effectiveness of the human mind for life. Since nothing is produced, anyone who has something must have stolen it from someone else.

    Since Marxism denies the mind, there are no “individuals” as most people here know the term, only fodder for the collective.

    (People may find Marxism contradictory – that’s not only evidence of its false nature, contradiction is actually praised in its “dialectic logic”. Like all irrational ideologies it has to lead to tyranny, since individuals have no value. Since anarchy does not work for long, someone always ends up ruling.

    Marxism and many other sets of ideas are irrational – denying that humans can figure things out to live, evading reality. In contrast, those based on reality avoid contradiction – Aristotle’s “A is A” approach, for example.

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