May Day: Part II (Marx v. Washington)

May 7, 2013


The purpose of  last Wednesday’s events, like the marches and rallies staged on Cinco de Mayo, was to pressure elected officials in Washington D.C. into repeating the same disastrous mistakes of the past. In this case, a wholesale amnesty which would cost upwards of six trillion dollars in the coming decades. While most of the people gathered in Union Square were open borders advocates of one sort or another, there was a spirited contingent of counter-protestors from New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement, a.k.a. NY ICE, whom I’ll get to in due time.


There were several journalists eager to cover the pro-legalization marchers, including a reporter-and I use that term advisedly-from the New York City affiliate of Noticias Mundo, a Spanish-language collaboration between Colombian channel RCN and cheap labor enthusiast Rupert Murdorch’s chief American asset, Newscorp.


And while there were many people agitated over the immigration-and the various proposals floating around Congress that purport to address the subject-as with any reasonably large demonstration spearheaded by the left, mission creep was evident from the beginning. The issue sprawl ranged all the way from global concerns, such as the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership


…to more localized grievances, such as the cascading effects of the U.S. Postal Service’s insolvency, as well as the recently resolved school bus strike in the City.


The parlous state of our city’s public education system was also addressed-in both English and Spanish.


And of course, plenty of protesters blamed the dreaded process of sequestration-whose impact verges on the apocalyptic according to some analysts-for the plight of specific ethnic groups and economic classes.


The Sequester Game was an attempt to inject some levity into an otherwise earnest day of political sloganeering and ideological indoctrination.


One that drew upon traditional May Day tropes, such as this Maypole inscribed with exhortations to pursue various political projects of concern to the left. Although traditionally viewed as a festival heralding the arrival of spring, it is now an occasion which has been colonized by  those with a Marxist interpretation of history.


The top of the pole was graced by a papier-mâché babushka bearing a placard with a statement just as  ambiguous as her facial expression. 


I saw a few familiar faces in the crowd, including the attractive young rollerblader who played the part of  a money bunny at an Occupy Wall Street rally held in Bryant Park last year. Rather than targeting her ire at Herr Bloomberg-whose last term is mercifully drawing to a close-she took aim at some of the investment banks which have balanced their ledger sheet by feeding at the public trough. One of the most conspicuous offenders in this regard, CEO of JP Morgan Chase Jamie Dimon, is depicted in the effigy seen above. A man who not only benefits from outright wealth transfers from American taxpayers, but also regulatory structures that inhibit competition. Pretty much the antithesis of capitalism, as it’s correctly understand.


One group that continues to loosely align itself with OWS is Anonymous.


If nothing else, the market for Guy Fawkes masks remains robust.


Although I’m not sure wearing them while manning literature tables is their intended usage.


Speaking of literature booths, there were a lot of them in Union Square Park, including those run by Marx’s bête noirei.e. anarchists.


They had a variety of pamphlets, including one exploring the concept of jury nullification.



Socialism today, socialism tomorrow, socialism…well, you get the picture.


The alternative to what? Prosperity and freedom, perhaps. Unfortunately, socialism and/or corporatism is the default economic setting for much of the world today, with a few notable exceptions.


The apex of socialism, of course, can be found in the proposition that the state exercises final authority over  its subjects’ bodies. Notwithstanding the fact that the lawmakers who crafted Obamacare are already fleeing from its consequences, there are still millions of people willing to go further down the rabbit hole of wholly socialized medicine.


I’m sure among those can be counted the Trotskyists who were gathered in Union Square.


As well as the small coterie of Bolsheviks I found as I made my way through the police barricades erected in anticipation of this event.


The woman wearing the strange, black and green biohazard cap was apparently in charge of this group, although to what purpose its members were being put is beyond my ken.


What I did glean from my encounter with the useful idiots-who weren’t so useful in this case-was that they had a problem being photographed.  I discovered this after having a conversation with the Don Pedro fan seen in the picture above. The idea that anyone would express a natural curiosity in people wandering around Manhattan wearing t-shirts extolling an ideology that has murdered between 50 and 100 million people, and deprived tens of millions more of their liberty, never seemed to cross their minds, such as they are.

Patiently explaining my purpose merely seemed to heighten his anxiety, especially after I gave him my business card and told him the name of this website. This is a brief recapitulation of our exchange:

Communist: American Rattlesnake? I don’t know if I like that name.

Me: Why are you disturbed by the name?

Communist: Because most of the time…that rattlesnake thing is for reactionaries and fascists who wave the American flag!

Me: Like the Latino family standing next to the George Washington statue

Communist: That’s different! 

Me: How so? 

Communist: Mmm…

(Followed by a minute of so of silence and a stupefyingly dull facial expression.)


I can’t say that I expected a more welcome reaction from the dozen or so emissaries of Bob Avakian, the founder and head of a bizarre personality cult called the Revolutionary Communist Party.


If the Shepard Fairey-like silkscreened t-shirts bearing Avakian’s youthful visage aren’t enough to set off alarm bells, a brief excursion to the RCP’s website-which gives North Korean propaganda a run for its money in the weirdness department-should be enough to persuade you that these people are certifiably insane.



One of the recurring mantras of the Avakian supplicants is that the “real revolution” is imminent, and that you should get with it immediately.


Or entrale a la verdadera revolucion, if you prefer. In either case, it’s redolent more of a Marshall Applewhite-led Heaven’s Gate initiation than scientific socialism.


Nevertheless, the declamation of  revolutionary Communism must go on, even if mesh, pop-up hampers must take the place of wooden rostra and bullhorns. Evolution, my friends!


In addition to cyberspace, the proteges of Avakian also broadcast their incredibly delusional message through the cutting edge technology of dead trees, which bolsters the thriving industry of print journalism.


Alas, my preliminary investigation of these pioneering revolutionaries was abruptly curtailed when several of them demanded that I cease and desist taking pictures.  I can’t imagine what possible objections Communists could have to some harmless photography, but I took thge dispute in stride and calmly described-once again-the purpose of this website. After one Avakianik insisted that I give him copies of American Rattlesnake’s “newspaper,” I proceeded to explain the concept of a news website and why mass-producing a newspaper on pulp, a la Screw or The Nation, is an unnecessary and costly investment. He was not persuaded.


Therefore, I decided to make better use of my time by studying some of The Master’s doctrine, including what seems to be the handbook for all aspiring Revolutionary Communists, Basics.


A compendium of Avakian’s lectures and writings, Basics can also be used-it turns out-as a handy visual aid. In this case, as a giant mercator projection that focused on the depredations which global capitalism has inflicted upon various parts of the globe. One of the worst seems to be the manifestation of widespread famine in developing nations that have embraced the free market. Apparently, collectivism is the way to go in agriculture. Yes, a proven success.


The fact that there was widespread famine and civil strife in India during post-independence, socialist rule, and that that devastating hunger could be attributed in large measure to misguided agricultural policies, is an historical anomaly, I’m sure.


It’s impossible to attend any protest organized by the left and not be greeted by several dozen-or hundred, depending upon the turnout-t-shirts bearing the image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara Lynch, one of Ireland’s most embarrassing exports this side of Bono. Just multiply the image you see above twenty or so times and you’ll have an idea of what walking around Manhattan on May Day is like.


Less recognizable than Argentina’s Che Guevara, but still admired by Marxists of a certain age and disposition, is Africa’s Che Guevara, i.e. Thomas Sankara, the president of Burkina Faso for much of the 1980s. Another friend of Fidel, Sankara even had his version of the Young Pioneers.


In contrast to much of today’s brain-dead, multi-culti, post-modern left, Sankara was a strident opponent of such quaint cultural-religious practices as forced polygamy and female genital mutilation. However, he was in favor of armed Marxist revolution-having come to power in a coup d’état himself-and collective ownership of the means of production. Hence, his enduring popularity among a small segment of western-educated Marxists. Unlike another African ally of Che, whose successful revolution was effaced by subsequent events.


As obscure as the  former Communist president of Burkina Faso might seem, the Cuban Five-now the Cuban Four-are probably even less well known to those who aren’t aware of the extensive and capable intelligence network run by the Cuban government within the United States.


Although most Americans are oblivious to their existence, these spies serve as a potent rallying cry for the Castro regime, as well as a cause célèbre for the anti-American left. Some of you will remember the same type of literature and agitprop at previous demonstrations documented by this website.


Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by the dedicated group of enthusiastic members of NY ICE I spotted from across the street.


Despite the balmy weather, these people are no sunshine patriots, but stalwart defenders of the Constitutional values upon which this country has thrived. They are in the streets, online, and on the phones pleading the case of ordinary Americans, year after year, regardless of the adverse political climate,  antipathy of the news media, or gamed lobbying structure of Capitol Hill.


Because they are aware of how much our government’s indulgence of illegal immigration has cost us in the past, and how much it will cost future generations of Americans if we don’t address this issue.


With real, substantive solutions, not the regurgitation of false rhetoric and the promise of deterrent measures which will never be implemented if and when the ultimate goal of immigration reform advocates, i.e. amnesty, is achieved.


If we’re going to look at adjusting our nation’s immigration policies, a good place to start would be with the words of our nation’s founding fathers, who remain a much better guidepost to wise decision-making than their dismal successors. If we really want to honor the labor of working Americans, we should start by rejecting plans that

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