Strakon Lights Up, No. 32
The useful idiots:
Whom do they serve now?
If we've learned nothing else from the Elian Gonzalez saga, we've discovered that there is still a shocking number of Castro fans in this country. I admit I'm taking a couple of logical jumps when I say that. But as I've suggested before, I smell a lack of good faith when leftist Democrats who aren't famous for standing up for the integrity of families or the rights of fathers especially white fathers suddenly start making a big noise about the right of Mr. Juan Miguel Gonzalez to take his son back to Castro this very instant.
Among politicians, the most shameless offenders seem to be blacks Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters, Elijah Cummings, Florida's own Alcee Hastings plus the oddball Barney Frank. They all represent constituencies so degraded that there's no risk of their being Red-baited at home, and you get the impression that if Elian caught fire, they wouldn't spit on him to put him out. Elian doesn't get many breaks among official Negroes in general. The "Reverend" Lucas Walker, speaking on behalf of some outfit called Send Elian Home, has compared the impending Aktion by the U.S. Marshals in Miami to their heroic, world-historical role in escorting black children into previously segregated schools.
If the steam has ceased pouring out of your ears, I'll go on to point out that plenty of white Democrats, too, are indifferent to the issue of Elian's growing up under Communist tyranny. Even Democratic Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, a state whose agricultural interests have much at stake in keeping Cuban sugar out of the United State, has come out for returning Elian to Castro. And congressional Republicans, for their part, are being even more timid and milquetoast on this issue than they are on most issues pushed by the Democrats.
Then there's Janet Reno. When she was D.A. in Dade County, she made a name for herself by relentlessly pursuing fathers who resisted court orders involving child support. In fact, when Bill Clinton started promoting her for minister of justice, critics alleged that she spent so much of her time and energy dealing with those small potatoes that she had little left for fighting Dade's traditionally stupendous corruption, which rolled on pretty much undisturbed. Drug Warriors, too, complained that Reno's strenuous labors in family court back-burnered their favorite type of persecution.
With that in mind, consider her speech of yesterday where she laid down the law to Elian's Miami relatives. Reno said that when she looked into Mr. Gonzalez's eyes and heard his voice, she could tell that he loved his son verrrrry much. How often do you suppose she employed that investigative technique back when she was queen of family court? How many breaks did she cut delinquent fathers after gazing into their eyes and relishing the timbre of their voices?
Reno tells us that Elian must be deported not only because it's the right thing to do but also because It's the Law. What a joke that is. Why even bother to run a vast, bureaucratic, regulatory state if you can't decide which laws to enforce when? As one commentator pointed out, even mass-murderers get 10 years of hearings before taking the needle. When the Central Government attempted, or "attempted," in the late '30s to deport Harry Bridges, the Communist labor leader from Australia, it diddled around almost two years before even convening the hearings, which ended up being a bust. As a libertarian, I'm not too big on deportations, but I do feel free to point out that Bridges was head of the longshoremen on the Pacific Coast and was in a position to orchestrate sabotage in the shipyards if Washington ever went to war with the wrong enemy.
What's with these people? Most of them are socialists, to be sure, including very many of the Republicans, and I've already called many of them Castro fans. I can't look at them without seeing that poster of Che Guevara that hung in their dorm room 30 years ago. But still they're not, most of them, Castro Communists. The best category to put them in, in my view, is that of the useful idiot.
Back in the good old days of Franklin Roosevelt and Uncle Joe Stalin, when a comrade was a comrade, and all respectable intellectuals and intellectualoids looked to Moscow for inspiration, if not for instructions, the Commies had a category of friendly slimeball they called, you guessed it, the useful idiot. Some of the most notorious idiots of that time were Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, Ambassador Joseph E. Davies (author of Mission to Moscow), and New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, who won a Pulitzer Prize for covering up Stalin's mass murders in the 1930s.
The useful idiot was not a party member overt or covert; he dwelt a couple of concentric circles out from there, even past the circle of fellow travelers. He was pro-Stalin or at least anti-anti-Stalin, and his idiocy lay in the fact that he didn't recognize what that meant. Or what Stalin was.
In The Red Decade, Eugene Lyons adopts the terminology of Communist organizer Willi Muenzenberg in calling that type of idiot, when collected together, an Innocents' Club. Members of Innocents' Clubs decorated the letterhead of various Communist front groups. They could always be counted on to sign full-pagers in the Times vilifying critics of the Soviet Union or, after June 1941, demanding that America bolster her military aid to Stalin. I prefer the term "useful idiot" because I'm not so sure how "innocent" their idiocy really was. In many cases I'm sure it resulted from willful evasion and ignorance. Duranty, for instance, knew what Stalin and Stalinism were but didn't care: he seems to have considered the Soviet Slavs an inferior race: irretrievably barbaric and doomed to suffer under brutality.
I hope I haven't misled anybody by going over all that ancient history. I'm not claiming that the Elian-deporters and the slobs indifferent to Elian's fate are useful idiots for Castro. Certainly not: they're useful idiots for someone else. The idiocy on the part of our modern useful idiots resides not in the fact that they're serving Castro's agenda without realizing what Castro is. In fact many of them must know quite well what Castro is. Their idiocy resides in their willingness to look like heartless fools in the course of serving the agenda of the Dark Suits, who they would have you believe are their deadly enemies. But of course most of them are employed, directly or indirectly, by the Dark Suits.
The Dark Suits, as I call the corporate and banker fascists of the ruling circles, are impatient to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba and accelerate that country's "China-ization." They oppose the embargo not for the reasons that we free-marketeers oppose it but instead because it hampers their ability to fold Cuba within the whole exploitative complex of the IMF, World Bank, NAFTA, WTO the old system of monopoly privilege, currency and loan imperialism, and subsidized exports that the Clinton regime has done so much to modernize and advance, to the cheers of Wall Street.
Castro has already taken some tentative steps toward the New World Order. For example, a March 15 dispatch by Cubanews out of Havana informs us that "the Cuban government is getting ready to grant licenses to six foreign firms for exploration and extraction of oil from the sea bottom in Cuban territorial waters. The deal, encompassing over 100,000 square kilometers of sea floor off the Cuban coast, could be the largest project yet between the Cuban government and foreign partners. The names or nationalities of the firms involved have been so far a closely-kept secret by the government negotiators."
Now that's important business with which the fate of a 6-year-old boy must not be allowed to interfere, especially if transnationals based in the United State are going to be closed out of it if the embargo continues.
Castro has legalized the U.S. dollar in Cuba, and according to a Salt Lake Tribune story passed along by Cubanews, "tourism primarily from Canada and Western Europe has surpassed sugar exports as the government's top source of revenue, at more than $1.5 billion annually.
"Like China's Communist rulers," the story continues, "Castro has coupled modest economic reforms with strict social and political control, carefully regulating coveted jobs in tourism and other branches of the dollar economy and continuing to ostracize or imprison government critics. Like the Chinese, he appears to be betting that even modest economic progress will stifle demands for political change." (March 7)
The Dark Suits don't want to overthrow Castro; they want to make him a junior partner. If Castro were overthrown, a period of disorder would ensue, and, who knows, a less accessible regime might wind up in power: some of those right-wing authoritarian exiles in Miami remember previous betrayals by the U.S. ruling class. The longer the Elian Gonzalez sideshow goes on, the longer it will be before Cuba can be assimilated into the New World Order.
As I've said before, I defend the right of Mr. Gonzalez once he goes to Florida to take his son back to Cuba. Unlike Reno, I don't need to gaze into his eyes and try to read his mind before according him that right. But I thought the matter deserved to be splashed with the solvent of a little ruling- class analysis, and I thought I should point out that the very last thing on the mind of the Powers That Be is the fate of one little boy.
April 8, 2000
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