A good communist?


The San Francisco Chronicle lionizes a communist, Lester Rodney, 97 years old now, and living in suburban Walnut Creek (a place noted for its paucity of African American residents or shoppers in its busy downtown retailing mecca), for his work forcing baseball to integrate by allowing Jackie Robinson to become the first black major league baseball player.

Rodney, who is white and Jewish (the Chron carefully notes his religion) "prepared the ground" for Robinson by a series of articles in the communist Daily Worker newspaper, you see. All hail the leadership of the revolutionary vanguard!

Now it is a historical fact the the Communist Party USA did indeed campaign against segregation and in favor of full rights for blacks. That is to its credit. But nobody should ever lose sight of the fact that this crusade was an effort to draw blacks to communism, for their utility to a revoltuion, not as part of any high—minded commitment to the brotherhood of man.

It was as cynical a policy as the anti—fascism of worldwide communism under the leadership of Stalin. Anti—fascism vanished overnight when Stalin signed the Hitler—Stalin pact. Of course, it reappeared when Hitler attacked Russia. Communism espoused anti—fascism because it was politically convenient to its power—mad dictator, not because of any high principles. The only principle of communism is power for its leaders, albeit cloaked in the fine—sounding rhetoric of liberation. Hasn't anyone at the Chron realized this?

To me, praising someone who worked hard for decades to enslave humanity to communism is despicable. It is like praising Hitler for standing up for the German unemployed. True, but beside the point. There is a much bigger picture to consider.

I give Rodney credit for disavowing communism — in 1958. It took him far too long, and he jumped ship as it was sinking rapidly. Rodney remained a communist as Stalin enslaved eastern Europe, as he conducted sham trials, and purged Jewish doctors.

Rodney, needless to say, remains attracted to the left:

Today, Rodney lives alone —— his wife died in 2004 —— and remains politically active in the Democratic Party. Last year, he worked on the campaigns of Rep. Ellen Tauscher of Walnut Creek and presidential candidate John Kerry. A slogan on his office bulletin board attributed to 19th century women's suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton is prominently displayed: "I shall not grow conservative with age."

Some people remain clueless forever.

Thomas Lifson   7 10 05