Berkeley is so left-wing…

…that the Berkeley Public Library, as part of a rotating museum exhibit in its front window, recently chose to proudly show off its extensive collection of late-’60s and early-’70s revolutionary underground newspapers. They have (as seen here) the full run of Young Socialist. The display area faces the street along the library’s front wall. Out of the innumerable written works in the library’s huge archives, this is what they choose to promote.

This issue of the SDS’s New Left Notes was published for the infamous Students for a Democratic Society 1969 convention in Chicago, at which the Weatherman faction (Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd, etc.) broke away from the rest of the SDS, declaring, “The goal is the destruction of US imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism.”

The Berkeley Tribe newspaper had a special Black Panthers edition, sporting Malcolm X’s famous quote, “By any means necessary” — i.e. the ends justify the means, and that it is therefore OK to use violence to bring about the revolution.

Another issue of The Berkeley Tribe had an essay by Black Panther Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver about the Weatherman group (later known as The Weather Underground).

And fond nostalgia over Berkeley’s anti-war riots prompted inclusion of this issue of Young Socialist with the headline, “The Campuses Explode.”

54 Responses to “In Berkeley. . .the public library showcases revolutionary newspapers”

  1. 1Anonymous on Jun 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm:

    Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.

    “Let’s do the time warp again …”

  2. 2Fenris on Jun 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm:

    The day I see this “classless communism” in action is the day I start taking the concept seriously.

    Perchance, have any classics from an opposing viewpoint ever been exhibited in such a fashion?

  3. 3CattusMagnus on Jun 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm:

    “by any means necessary . . . . . ”

    Scary. But I suppose that is how they might want me to feel.

  4. 4Starless on Jun 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm:

    How much of this is a serious expression of ideology and how much of it is a cynical attempt to “cash in” (in number of patrons) on Berkeley’s reputation?

  5. 5Tony on Jun 30, 2009 at 2:55 pm:

    Being that a lublic library is a tax payer funded insitution, wouldn’t they have to show literature that has a conservative veiw as well, or else they could be seen as being biased?

    If so, couldn’t someone pursue a lawsuit to force the issue?

  6. 6Tony on Jun 30, 2009 at 2:55 pm:

    pardon my spelling

  7. 7Neko on Jun 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm:


    (with a purchase of equal or lesser value)

  8. 8zombie on Jun 30, 2009 at 6:28 pm:

    #5 Tony:

    Being that a [p]ublic library is a tax payer funded insitution, wouldn’t they have to show literature that has a conservative veiw as well, or else they could be seen as being biased?

    If so, couldn’t someone pursue a lawsuit to force the issue?

    Hahahahahaha hahahahahaha! (Wipes away tears.) A-hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Tony, this is Berkeley. There is no such thing as “even-handed” or “unbiased” in Berkeley. The taxpayers all agree with this exhibit.

  9. 9zombie on Jun 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm:

    #4 Starless

    How much of this is a serious expression of ideology and how much of it is a cynical attempt to “cash in” (in number of patrons) on Berkeley’s reputation

    My estimation:

    100% serious expression of ideology
    0% attempt to “cash in”

    The staff at the Berkeley Public Library don’t want any extra patrons, because it hurts their precious little wrists to repeatedly have to point out the self-serve checkout machines.

  10. 10Shortylion on Jun 30, 2009 at 7:02 pm:

    Zombie, I love your reports, keep them coming!

  11. 11average_guy on Jun 30, 2009 at 7:27 pm:

    The edition of The Berkelely Tribe that has the “Peace Festival” illustration on the front also has (VERY ironically) a drawing of the GM watertower in the upper left corner of the illustration.

    Coca-Cola is in the upper right..I wonder of they’re next to be “bailed out”? (Of course, Pepsi is the one with the Obama-style logo these days.)

  12. 12Horse on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm:

    Berkeley leftists m.o. “violent methods and tools for me, not for thee”.

  13. 13Tony on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm:

    comon zombie there has to be at least 1 conservative out there.

    BTW what ever happened to the protest warrior group…they did stuff out there in berkley didn’t they?

  14. 14zombie on Jun 30, 2009 at 8:20 pm:

    #13 Tony

    Protest Warrior disbanded a few years ago.

    I imagine there are conservatives in Berkeley, but they don’t waste time trying to influence the public discourse. They just let the moonbats run the place, and meanwhile the conservatives cast their votes in silence.

  15. 15Joe on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm:

    And I thought the crap they put up for “recommended reading” in libraries around here were left-wing: global warming, living green, books critical of George Bush, Obama hagiographies, etc.

  16. 16Starless on Jul 1, 2009 at 4:54 am:

    #9 Zombie


    [Warning: Personal experience opining follows.]

    I’ve known many librarians for pretty much my entire life (a number larger than 20 but smaller than 70) in a very liberal state, and though they’re all pretty much soft-headed liberals politically, they’re true ideological commitment is to “educating The Children”. That is to say, they want to push a political agenda but their usual approach is through stealth messages in children’s literature (e.g. moral equivalence is rule number one in life, if you put yourself in someone else’s shoes you realize that there is no good or bad in the world, the mean kid in the neighborhood has some good him so it’s up to you to give him a chance, and so on). For the adults, the NYT best seller list is the recommendation Bible.

    Library science is by it’s nature a conservative pursuit, so it’s pretty surprising to see a public library in the US go balls out any specific ideology other than Free Speech. I know, it’s Berkeley, but still…

  17. 17average_guy on Jul 1, 2009 at 8:19 am:

    #16 Starless “I know, it’s Berkeley, but still…”

    That’s the point, I think.

  18. 18zombie on Jul 1, 2009 at 8:38 am:

    #16 Starless

    Perhaps you should take a gander at this zomblog post from last year:

    Malcolm X Day at the Berkeley Public Library

    Conclusive evidence that the library’s motivation is ideological, not just about Free Speech or trying to attract more patrons. What other library not only has a Malcolm X festival with a marathon reading of his autobiography, but does so in the face of complete public indifference at to a crowd of no one?

  19. 19Starless on Jul 1, 2009 at 9:06 am:

    #17 average_guy

    Yeah, I know.

    #18 zombie

    LMAO. (No, really, I think my ass fell off on that one.)

    I wasn’t doubting your assessment but there is a distinct librarian sub-culture which frowns on radicalism. Regardless of their own personal viewpoints, public librarians are supposed to be the guardians of the printed word whether they agree with it or not. The only thing that is supposed to make a librarian angry or outspoken (beyond shushing library patrons) is book banning or the FBI poking their noses into patron records. So, yeah, the Berkeley librarians have distinguished themselves in a very Berkeley way.

  20. 20Flower Child's Kid on Jul 1, 2009 at 11:01 am:

    Yesterday’s flower children are today’s blooming idiots, and obviously some of them are still running Berkely and still clinging desperately, pathetically, to their “glory days”. The sooner they wither and fade will be the sooner that Berkely will finally time warp out of the past and into the present with the rest of us. Otherwise, Berkeley’s only future is going to be as a retirement home for old hippies.

  21. 21Fenris on Jul 1, 2009 at 11:11 am:

    #5 Tony

    That is probably the most effective argument against the Fairness Doctrine. If Berkley liberals continue to support that, in principle, they’d have to abandon their shrine at the public library among other things.

    Since, as usual, I’m opposed to most forms of censorship, I say someone should just stroll by and slip a few issues of Reason Magazine into the display. It doesn’t damage or obscure the exhibit, and the library can write it off as a donation.

  22. 22George Bentley on Jul 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm:

    Hey Zombie, did you see any from when Berkley was giving sanctuary to the SLA terrorist? I lived within walking distance of the house where they had their last stand before hightailing it to Berkley, of course I was just a kid then.

  23. 23richb on Jul 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm:

    I guess we won’t be seeing pictures on Zombietime with the display of old National Reviews at the Berkeley Library anytime soon. My guess is they don’t even have old National Reviews or new ones for that matter. Maybe they would display ones that have been vandalized by Berkeleys liberals.

    Do any of those socialist and communist magazines still publish today? My guess,,,,, probably not……….

  24. 24Bakunin on Jul 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm:

    “Do any of those socialist and communist magazines still publish today? My guess,,,,, probably not………”

    Next Left Notes exists as a publication and blog connected to the 2006 re-incarnation of Students for a Democratic Society.

    I’m not sure to what organization the “Young Socialist” is connected to, so it maybe in print still. The Berkley Tribe is definably dead.

  25. 25Starless on Jul 2, 2009 at 4:56 am:

    #21 Fenris

    A “Fairness” Doctrine for public libraries would force them to shut down — there would be no way for them to provide a balance of books representing all viewpoints, if even only two opposing viewpoints. I think Tony may have been confusing the idea of the Fairness Doctrine with a plain old First Amendment restriction. That would only cover the promotion of any particular religion anyway, IMO.

    #23 richb

    I don’t think you’ll see an American Spectator display, either.

  26. 26Tony on Jul 2, 2009 at 5:25 am:

    I was not refering to either actually.

    I guess i was just trying to say, that as a taxpayer and a service member, it worries me that a public insitution run by the gov’t (even if it is a corrupt city gov’t) would be so biased one way. Especially a library which is supposed to be a insitution of learning, and is supposed to be apolitical.

    It would be like a school only teaching the math that it wants its students to learn.

    I’m not a big fan of any censorship when it comes to political views, in a way im glad that such leftist publications are in plain view, so people can see its lunacy.

    However to completely ignore the whole other political spectrum opinion just smacks of leftist repression.

    but hey…what else is new right? Leftists only advocate free speech when it benefits them, we can see that at college campuses that chase out conservative speakers.

    the left and respression go toghter like french fries and ketsup.

  27. 27Phillep Harding on Jul 2, 2009 at 5:54 am:

    This is valuable evidence to use against the left; what formed the ideology of today’s “liberal” (they aren’t liberals) leadership. Is any of it on line?

  28. 28Starless on Jul 2, 2009 at 6:35 am:

    #26 Tony

    The way you phrased your argument, it sounded like you expect a Fairness Doctrine-like ethos to apply to a public library.

    Public libraries are like school districts. Both are primarily funded and controlled locally and are therefore, by practice and intent, a reflection of the local community. I may not agree with the way the Berkeley Public Library does things, but I don’t think it’s up to me to tell them how to run things. I don’t pay for it, I don’t patronize it, I really don’t have any business sticking my nose in their business. OTOH, if they’re involved in a movement to change the direction of library science toward overt political and social activism, that’s something I’d want to keep my eye on.

    It’s like the Dover school district case in PA. If the taxpayers in the Dover school district want to do something as idiotic as teach Creationism in their science classes, that’s their business, but if what they’re doing is part of a wider movement to redefine science and make children stupid, then they open themselves up to criticism from everyone.

    So the Berkeley Public Library can waggle their ideological privates out in the open and waste money on Malcolm X readings that no one attends as long as the local taxpayers are cool with it.

  29. 29Ringo the Gringo on Jul 2, 2009 at 8:43 am:

    I was at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles last week and in the “History of California and the Southwest” section I noticed, at the center of a wall-size collage of photographs and documents from California’s history, a framed picture of Karl Marx.

    I couldn’t find any information as to why Karl Marx was there so I asked an attendent, who at first said, “That’s not Karl Marx…is it?”, and then finally asked me, “Did Karl Marx ever live in California?”. Finally I was told that if I come back next week, they will be able to explain why a photograph of Karl Marx was put into a display alongside pictures of Spanish Missions, 49ers, cowboys and loggers.

    And yes, I took a picture of it.

  30. 30Tony on Jul 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm:

    Starless, after re reading my oringinal post i can see how you may have thought that i was in defense of the fairness doctrine.

    i assure you i am not.

    The problem i have with this primarily comes from the fact that the library is publicly funded, and as such, should be either 1. Apolitical or 2. show fairness in its displays as far as its displays.

    This is the same reason i get pissed off at NPR’s obvious left bias

    Private broadcasts in my opinion should not be regulated by the gov’t.

    the oringinal reason for the fiarness doctrine was because when electronic media was first introduced, there was only like 3 channels, so the gov’t had to guarntee that there was fairness in the broadcasts, and that TV and radio didn’t become propaganda arms of either polical party.

    Now adays there are thousands of channels, and if someone doesn’t like what they see, they can always turn to another one.

    Liberals are just upset that they cannot create a seperate “liberal” radio broadcast that doesn’t go bankrupt. I can see why though, seriously who wants to listen to a foaming at the mouth liberal bitch about how horrible the country is?

    Liberals cannot get over the fact that conservative talk radio exists. they are so used to having the MSM on lockdown that the mere idea of conservatives having there own voice scares the hell out of them. The cure for leftism is truth so i can understand the fear of course, but none the less the outcry for conservative censorship is startling.

    I love it when liberals i talk about “go watch some fox news” or “go listen to rush”. I’ll ask them if they listen or watch either one and they respond “hell no”. So where do they get their stigma about either one if they don’t know what the programs broadcast?

    Well anyway, sorry if im off on a tangent, im just a humble public servant voicing my opinion. Its been a long hot day, and im exhausted.

  31. 31zombie on Jul 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm:

    #29 Ringo the Gringo
    Are you sure it wasn’t John Muir? Without his hat on, he can kinda look like Karl Marx:

    But if it was Marx — Lord knows. I’d be curious to hear their explanation. He most definitely never lived in California

  32. 32Anonymous on Jul 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm:

    This new series is great!!!

  33. 33Anonymous on Jul 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm:

    Hi Zombie:

    Love the new feature. Noticed from the photos of the hippie bug that they are likely driving a very elitist form of “the people’s car”. Looks to me that it is a convertible with leather seats…a “Blush” edition which rings up at nearly $27,000. Pretty nice for a person who is environmentally aware and showing that they are “down with the people”. I guess “the people” don’t need to shift their own gears anymore, either. I drive a capitalist pig dog Mazda that is built in Michigan (the Bug is constructed in Mexico) that cost a full $10K less than this elitist bug with a communist hero tag.

    I am always fascinated by the draw of the elite to Che and others…as if those people would tolerate these elitists in their society. First, the ruthless dictators would strip them of their money, then they’d send them off to the gas chambers.

    Keep those reports coming!

  34. 34nadadhimmi on Jul 2, 2009 at 6:56 pm:

    The progressives are way to interested in bufu’ing each other. These posters are merely decor for them. If they try to actually pull this playacting shit outside of the pedophile community in Berkely, they may get an ole boys boot up their loose, stretched out anus. The Military will not follow Obamas illegal orders to kill American civilians when he gives it in his response to civil disobedience, and the Berkelyites sure as hell won’t fight in the streets.

  35. 35Starless on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:22 am:

    #30 Tony

    The problem i have with this primarily comes from the fact that the library is publicly funded, and as such, should be either 1. Apolitical or 2. show fairness in its displays as far as its displays

    I can sympathize with what you’re saying but I’d change your argument slightly and say that it would be more important for them to have to display something by someone like Melville for every Danielle Steele they display.

    The public library is a place for self-education regardless of “suggested reading” displays. What the Berkeley Library is doing is perfectly legal and constitutional. Now, if they put up a “Down with Christianity, Up with Islam” display, then it would be perfectly correct for someone to come in and tell them they need to knock it off.

    Liberals are just upset that they cannot create a seperate “liberal” radio broadcast that doesn’t go bankrupt. I can see why though, seriously who wants to listen to a foaming at the mouth liberal bitch about how horrible the country is?

    There’s a semi-clear correlation between political affiliation and media skills. Liberals tend to be better at “new” media (television and the Internet) while conservatives tend to be better at “old” media (radio and print). I’m not entirely sure why that is.

  36. 36Tony on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:45 am:

    hmm, points well taken star….im not saying what the library is doing is illegal or legal, just ethically right given the fact that libraians are supposed to be the gate keepers to book knowledge.

    To bad that open discourse is not tolerated in that part of the country.

  37. 37Tony on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:45 am:

    lol ethically “not right” lol

    damn i suck at internet lol

  38. 38Starless on Jul 3, 2009 at 7:03 am:

    #36 Tony

    Librarians most certainly should not be the gatekeepers to book knowledge. A gatekeeper is someone who says who can and cannot enter or, in the case of librarians, what someone can and cannot read. There are certain social limitations (like you’re unlikely to find back issues of Hustler magazine at your local library) but in general librarians should not be filtering content. I said before that librarians should be guardians of printed knowledge and by that I mean their primary motivation is supposed to be protecting the very existence of that printed knowledge, not necessarily what it says.

    I see what you’re saying about apolitical-ness, and I agree in principle, but in practice there’s no way to achieve it. Librarians are going to be biased and they’re going to reflect the attitudes of their communities.

  39. 39Tony on Jul 3, 2009 at 9:49 am:

    I agree starless, your wording is much more edept to what i was trying to explain. Gatekeepe was indeed not quite the word i should have used to explain my point.

    Libraians shouldn’t be using there position to influence politics, especially to the younger generation. they should be providing literature that looks at all points of view, not just one narrow field. It always worries me when someone uses there position of power to control the flow of, access to, or presentation of knowledge.

    I feel the same way about teachers that influence there children to feel any patuicular way about politics. when it comes to that subject they should be teaching there students to think critically and analytically. Unfortunately those skills don’t get the emphasis they used to.

    I don’t expect librarians or teachers to be 100% objective when teaching, its impossible, but the attempt should be made, id expect nothing less from a gov’t paid professionals.

    You also said “Librarians are going to be biased and they’re going to reflect the attitudes of their communities.”

    i guess thats true, but its still no exuse. Most soliders i know are very very very conservative. However one thing that we pride ourselves on and a rule that we have to follow is being Apolitical. Libarians, and teachers alike are just as influencial and important to our society as soliders. I don’t think its to much to ask for them to follow a similar code of being apolitical as we have to when it comes to politics and our jobs.

    however, i know that in a place like berkley thats impossible. So really even asking them to do so is about as useless as talking to a deaf mule.

  40. 40king of the right wing on Jul 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm:

    There will be no social solution to the present situation. First, because the vague aggregate of social milieus, institutions, and individualized bubbles that is called, with a touch of antiphrasis, “society,” has no consistency. Second, because there’s no longer any language for common experience. And we cannot share wealth if we do not share a language. It took half a century of struggle around the Enlightenment to make the French Revolution possible, and a century of struggle around work to give birth to the fearsome “welfare state.” Struggles create the language in which a new order expresses itself. But there is nothing like that today. Europe is now a continent gone broke that shops secretly at discount stores and has to fly budget airlines if it wants to travel at all. No “problems” framed in social terms admit of a solution. The questions of “pensions,” of “job security,” of “young people” and their “violence” can only be held in suspense while the situation these words serve to cover up is continually policed for signs of further unrest. Nothing can make it an attractive prospect to wipe the asses of pensioners for minimum wage. Those who have found less humiliation and more advantage in a life of crime than in sweeping floors will not turn in their weapons, and prison won’t teach them to love society. Cuts to their monthly pensions will undermine the desperate pleasure-seeking of hordes of retirees, making them stew and splutter about the refusal to work among an ever larger section of youth. And finally, no guaranteed income granted the day after a quasi-uprising will be able to lay the foundation of a new New Deal, a new pact, a new peace. The social feeling has already evaporated too much for that.

    As an attempted solution, the pressure to ensure that nothing happens, together with police surveillance of the territory, will only intensify. The unmanned drone that flew over Seine-Saint-Denis last July 14th – as the police later confirmed – presents a much more vivid image of the future than all the fuzzy humanistic projections. That they were careful to assure us that the drone was unarmed gives us a clear indication of the road we’re headed down. The territory will be partitioned into ever more restricted zones. Highways built around the borders of “problem neighborhoods” already form invisible walls closing off those areas off from the middle-class subdivisions. Whatever defenders of the Republic may think, the control of neighborhoods “by the community” is manifestly the most effective means available. The purely metropolitan sections of the country, the main city centers, will go about their opulent lives in an ever more crafty, ever more sophisticated, ever more shimmering deconstruction. They will illuminate the whole planet with their glaring neon lights, as the patrols of the BAC and private security companies (i.e. paramilitary units) proliferate under the umbrella of an increasingly shameless judicial protection.

    The impasse of the present, everywhere in evidence, is everywhere denied. There will be no end of psychologists, sociologists, and literary hacks applying themselves to the case, each with a specialized jargon from which the conclusions are especially absent. It’s enough to listen to the songs of the times – the asinine “alt-folk” where the petty bourgeoisie dissects the state of its soul, next to declarations of war from Mafia K’1 Fry – to know that a certain coexistence will end soon, that a decision is near.

  41. 41jesuslovesyou on Jul 3, 2009 at 12:47 pm:

    Thirty years of “crisis,” mass unemployment and flagging growth, and they still want us to believe in the economy. Thirty years punctuated, it is true, by delusionary interludes: the interlude of 1981-83, when we were deluded into thinking a government of the left might make people better off; the “easy money” interlude of 1986-89, when we were all supposed to be playing the market and getting rich; the internet interlude of 1998-2001, when everyone was going to get a virtual career through being well-connected, when a diverse but united France, cultured and multicultural, would bring home every World Cup. But here we are, we’ve drained our supply of delusions, we’ve hit rock bottom and are totally broke, or buried in debt.

    We have to see that the economy is not “in” crisis, the economy is itself the crisis. It’s not that there’s not enough work, it’s that there is too much of it. All things considered, it’s not the crisis that depresses us, it’s growth. We must admit that the litany of stock market prices moves us about as much as a Latin mass. Luckily for us, there are quite a few of us who have come to this conclusion. We’re not talking about those who live off various scams, who deal in this or that, or who have been on welfare for the last ten years. Or of all those who no longer find their identity in their jobs and live for their time off. Nor are we talking about those who’ve been swept under the rug, the hidden ones who make do with the least, and yet outnumber the rest. All those struck by this strange mass detachment, adding to the ranks of retirees and the cynically overexploited flexible labor force. We’re not talking about them, although they too should, in one way or another, arrive at a similar conclusion.

    We are talking about all of the countries, indeed entire continents, that have lost faith in the economy, either because they’ve seen the IMF come and go amid crashes and enormous losses, or because they’ve gotten a taste of the World Bank. The soft crisis of vocation that the West is now experiencing is completely absent in these places. What is happening in Guinea, Russia, Argentina and Bolivia is a violent and long-lasting debunking of this religion and its clergy. “What do you call a thousand IMF economists lying at the bottom of the sea?” went the joke at the World Bank, – “a good start.” A Russian joke: “Two economists meet. One asks the other: ‘You understand what’s happening?’ The other responds: ‘Wait, I’ll explain it to you.’ ‘No, no,’ says the first, ‘explaining is no problem, I’m an economist, too. What I’m asking is: do you understand?” Entire sections of this clergy pretend to be dissidents and to critique this religion’s dogma. The latest attempt to revive the so-called “science of the economy” – a current that straight-facedly refers to itself as “post autistic economics” – makes a living from dismantling the usurpations, sleights of hand and cooked books of a science whose only tangible function is to rattle the monstrance during the vociferations of the chiefs, giving their demands for submission a bit of ceremony, and ultimately doing what religions have always done: providing explanations. For total misery becomes intolerable the moment it is shown for what it is, without cause or reason.

    Nobody respects money anymore, neither those who have it nor those who don’t. When asked what they want to be some day, twenty percent of young Germans answer “artist.” Work is no longer endured as a given of the human condition. The accounting departments of corporations confess that they have no idea where value comes from. The market’s bad reputation would have done it in a decade ago if not for the bluster and fury, not to mention the deep pockets, of its apologists. It is common sense now to see progress as synonymous with disaster. In the world of the economic, everything is in flight, just like in the USSR under Andropov. Anyone who has spent a little time analyzing the final years of the USSR knows very well that the pleas for goodwill coming from our rulers, all of their fantasies about some future that has disappeared without a trace, all of their professions of faith in “reforming” this and that, are just the first fissures in the structure of the wall. The collapse of the socialist bloc was in no way victory of capitalism; it was merely the bankrupting of one of the forms capitalism takes. Besides, the demise of the USSR did not come about because a people revolted, but because the nomenclature was undergoing a process of reconversion. When it proclaimed the end of socialism, a small fraction of the ruling class emancipated itself from the anachronistic duties that still bound it to the people. It took private control of what it already controlled in the name of “everyone.” In the factories, the joke went: “we pretend to work, they pretend to pay us.” The oligarchy replied, “there’s no point, let’s stop pretending!” They ended up with the raw materials, industrial infrastructures, the military-industrial complex, the banks and the nightclubs. Everyone else got poverty or emigration. Just as no one in Andropov’s time believed in the USSR, no one in the meeting halls, workshops and offices believes in France today. “There’s no point,” respond the bosses and political leaders, who no longer even bother to file the edges off the “iron laws of the economy.” They strip factories in the middle of the night and announce the shutdown early next morning. They no longer hesitate to send in anti-terrorism units to shut down a strike, like with the ferries and the occupied recycling center in Rennes. The brutal activity of power today consists both in administering this ruin while, at the same time, establishing the framework for a “new economy.”

  42. 42CattusMagnus on Jul 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm:

    JesusLovesYou is a bit of a downer eh? And I, for one, am moved by a Latin mass.

  43. 43Salman on Jul 4, 2009 at 3:25 am:

    Nothing wrong with this exhibit. It’s documents of local historical interest.

    As it might be “wild west” memorabilia in some other small town.


  44. 44Starless on Jul 4, 2009 at 4:31 am:

    I see the cut-and-paste moby troll has been here.

    #39 Tony

    I’m not seeing the soldier/librarian and teacher parallel. A soldier serves the nation while teachers and librarians serve the local community. [Said in my best Jeff Foxworthy voice] If you believe that teachers and librarians need to follow a nationally generalized policy, you might be a Lefty. Saying that Berkeley librarians shouldn’t be able to show Berkeley-esque displays is saying that the idea of “community standards” is invalid.

    If you’re talking purely about professional ethics, then yeah, I’ll agree, but as far as the relationship with the community is concerned, the Berkeley librarians seem to be doing their jobs.

    #43 Salman

    Errr…no. This is a display of ideology, not historical interest.

  45. 45Tony on Jul 4, 2009 at 9:05 am:

    Yes im talking about professional ehtics, not law. I wouldn’t support a law like that, as i see it as a slippery slope.

    teachers do have as much a impact on the nation though as a soilder. they help form and mold the minds of the youth, who eventually participate in the democratic process.

    Its just sad star, that the ethics of the teachers and gov’t employees of berkely are lacking so much that they can’t even attempt to be impartial.

  46. 46CaptCurt64 on Jul 4, 2009 at 11:24 am:

    Oh, I HOPE, I HOPE, that Zombie will give us another San Fransisco tour on this 4th of July. Love em!
    Great Job as always, from the town that carried RON Paul( for god’s sake)!! Spokane.

  47. 47Starless on Jul 5, 2009 at 4:36 am:

    #45 Tony

    teachers do have as much a impact on the nation though as a soilder.

    “Impact” — possibly. I was refering more to the question of who or what they’re obliged to answer to. Is a librarian’s obligation more to his or her profession or to the local community? The same applies to teachers. If a teacher is required by the community to teach something which runs contrary to their professional obligation, do they stick with their professional obligation or to the demands of the community?

    Even though a soldier may have personal misgivings about the broad moral justification of a mission (e.g. the war in Iraq), I don’t think he or she has to deal with the same sort of ambiguity. Unless you’re talking about war crimes, orders are orders — if you are a soldier and you don’t follow them, you’re not doing your job as a soldier.

  48. 48Ringo the Gringo on Jul 5, 2009 at 9:53 am:

    31 zombie,

    The picture is most certainly Karl Marx. In fact, it’s the most famous of all pictures of Marx.

    This one:

    I’ll email the pictures I took later tonight so you can see for yourself.

    Looking on the web for any connection between Marx and California, the only thing I could find was this quote from Fredrick Engels, taken from Engels’ eulogy for Karl Marx:

    “And he died beloved, revered and mourned by millions of revolutionary fellow-workers — from the mines of Siberia to California, in all parts of Europe and America — and I make bold to say that though he may have had many opponents he had hardly one personal enemy.”


    Very strange.

  49. 49kat in your hat on Jul 6, 2009 at 8:30 am:

    OT: NYT published 1983 College Magazine article written by Barack Obama “Breaking the War Mentality”

  50. 50Ringo the Gringo on Jul 7, 2009 at 7:32 am:


    Yesterday I received an email from the intern that I spoke with at the LA Museum of Natural History regarding the picture of Karl Marx. According to him the the picture was placed there in order to give a time reference to other historical events in relation to California history. It seems that Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the same year that gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. Apparently, there were other images as well, including an engraving from the French Revolution and a picture of Queen Victoria which I didn’t notice. If I had read the information at each of the displays I would have seen this, but I was too busy chasing my three year old daughter around the museum.

  51. 51Alan Furman on Jul 11, 2009 at 9:20 pm:

    As there is no direct way to get a message to Zombie and I refuse to hire a medium, I will use this thread on crackpot Bay Area politics as an appropriate place for the following item that I just noticed:

    The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 23-August 10 is showing “Rachel,” an investigative documentary which the organizers expect will encourage “spirited debate“, yadda yadda. Cindy Corrie, one of Rachel Corrie’s parents–and posthumous promoters–will be there.

    Looks like yet another orgy of hard Left romantic self-congratulation.

  52. 52Incognito on Oct 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm:

    Zombie and Toni, in my Berkeley days, I was a precinct captain for the local primary election they had one year and I was charge in one site not too far from my house. I can tell you that folks voting Republicans were very few. Maybe 5? Out of several hundreds votes cast in that site. And yes, there were conservatives there and they were quiet. We did write letters protesting abortion to our local representative Ron Dellums. Of course he ignored us…he he he…

  53. 53شات كتابي on Sep 27, 2010 at 11:15 am:

    As there is no direct way to get a message to Zombie and I refuse to hire a medium, I will use this thread on crackpot Bay Area politics as an appropriate place for the following item

  54. 54Bret Herbers on Nov 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm:

    fantastic submit, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You should proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!