Pete Seeger is dead at 94 years of age, and the flowing tributes will tend to ignore his long and weaselly record of support for communism and Stalinists. Most people don't know it, but Seeger was a card-carrying member of the American Communist party (CPUSA) from the 1930's through the 1950's. He left the party but never gave up the faith. He told the Washington Post in 1995, ''I am still a communist.'' Like his comrades and fellow travellers, Seeger twisted and turned with every pronouncement from Moscow. Seeger supported the Nazi-Soviet Pact, a curious position for a noted ''anti-fascist.'' In 1941 Seeger along with Millard Lampell, Lee Hayes and Woody Gutrie formed the Almanac Singers, a communist folk group (In Photo - Seeger in the middle). The group put out the anti-war album Songs from John Doe, containing songs that labelled Franklin Roosevelt a war monger. One of the songs had the following lyrics:
Franklin D, listen to me,
You ain't a-gonna send me 'cross the sea,
You may say it's for defense
That kinda talk ain't got no sense.
Of course when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Seeger and the Almanac Singer's literally changed their tune to get in lockstep with Stalin's new foreign policy. They pulled Songs from John Doe from the market and quickly replaced it with the pro-war song, pro-Roosevelt album Dear Mr. President:
Now, Mr President
You're commander-in-chief of our armed forces
The ships and the planes and the tanks and the horses,
I guess you know best just where I can fight....
So what I want is you to give me a gun
So we can hurry up and get the job done!
|The Weavers (Seeger top left)|
|Seeger refusing to testify at HUAC|
The Way I See It.....President Barack Obama's statement today on Seeger's death is beyond pathetic and needs translation. Let me help: The Marxist/Socialist Obama claims Seeger believed in ''community'' when he means ''communism'', and wielded a ''hammer'' when he means ''hammer and sickle'':
But more importantly, he believed in the power of community - to stand up for what's right,
speak out against what's wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we
could be. Over the years, Pete used his voice - and his hammer - to strike blows for worker's
rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us whee we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to all those who loved him.
Seeger later in life made half-hearted apologies for being a propagandist of one of the deadliest totalitarian regimes in history. ''I certainly should apologize for saying that Stalin was a hard driver rather than a very cruel leader. I don't speak out about a lot of things....only in my songs. Some may find them merely diverting melodies. Others may find them incitements to Red revolution. And who will say if either or both is wrong? Not I. I usually quote Plato about this, who said : It is very dangerous to allow the wrong kind of music in the republic." How right the old philosopher was!