snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Questionable Quotes

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05 December 2007, 04:44 PM
putitinwriting putitinwriting is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 2,176
Default Roger Baldwin, founder of the ACLU

An anti-ACLU poster on another board noted:

Quote:
Let us never forget the great words of the ACLU's founder, Roger Baldwin:

"We are for Socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself. We seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
Which I find weird, since didn't he work to kick all the communists out of the ACLU? Can anyone shed any light on this?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05 December 2007, 04:53 PM
Jonny T
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Wikiquote traces it to "the Harvard Class Book of 1935, entitled "Thirty Years Later", spotlighting Baldwin's class of 1905 on its thirtieth anniversary, as quoted in a 1997 Insight on the News article."

Quote:
I have continued directing the unpopular fight for the rights of agitation, as director of the American Civil Liberties Union.... I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.
it bears acknowledging, however, that he denounced the Soviets in the late 30s and purged CPUSA members from the ACLU in the 1940s. whether he personally remained an (anti-Soviet) communist I'm not sure.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05 December 2007, 05:00 PM
putitinwriting putitinwriting is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 2,176
Default

Thanks! Google was failing me.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07 December 2007, 12:17 AM
Bonnie's Avatar
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
 
Join Date: 01 January 1970
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 144
Soapbox

You may be interested, putitinwriting, in a discussion from a couple years ago.


Quote:
Wikiquote traces it to "the Harvard Class Book of 1935, entitled "Thirty Years Later", spotlighting Baldwin's class of 1905 on its thirtieth anniversary, as quoted in a 1997 Insight on the News article."
Quote:
I have continued directing the unpopular fight for the rights of agitation, as director of the American Civil Liberties Union.... I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.
I think it's probably worthwhile taking a look at that 1935 Harvard Class Book itself, because -- as others have noted -- Baldwin's statement certainly has appeared in different forms.

An excerpt appearing in an editorial ("Unmasked") published in the The San Antonio [Texas] Light (18 October 1935; Pg. 20) is fairly true to and nearly contemporaneous with the above version, though it presumably includes more of what Baldwin is said to have reported of his activities since graduating in 1905,

Quote:
I have continued directing the unpopular fight for the rights of agitation, as Director of the American Civil Liberties Union ... I have been to Europe several times, mostly in connection with international radical activities, chiefly against war, fascism and imperialism; and have traveled constantly in the United States to areas of conflict over workers' rights to strike and organize.

My chief aversion is the system of greed, private greed, private profit, privilege and violence which makes up the control of the world today, and which has brought it to the tragic crisis of unprecedented hunger and unemployment ...

Therefore, I am for socialism, disarmament and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion.
I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth.

Communism is the goal.
On the other hand, Baldwin scholar Robert C. Cottrell gives the following version, which he cites as "Baldwin, 'From the Harvard Classbook,' June 1935, vol. 763, ACLU Papers." There, as in other sources, "the State" is described as "an instrument of property" rather than "an instrument of violence and compulsion."

Quote:
My "chief aversion" is the system of greed, private profit, privilege, and violence which makes up the control of the world today, and which has brought it the tragic crisis of unprecedented hunger and unemployment. I am opposed to the new deal [sic] because it strives to strengthen and prolong production for private profit. At bottom I am for conserving the full powers of every person on earth by expanding them to their individual limits. Therefore, I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the State itself as an instrument of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal. It sums up into one single purpose -- the abolition of the system dog-eat-dog under which we live, and the substitution by the most effective non-violence possible of a system of cooperative ownership and use of all wealth.

(From Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union [New York: Columbia University Press, 2000], pp. 228-229.)
This version, which may or may not more accurately reflect what Baldwin wrote for that class collection, seems less incendiary to me.

It'd be interesting to take a look at the original source.

-- Bonnie
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07 December 2007, 07:05 AM
Tarquin Farquart's Avatar
Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
Join Date: 20 November 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 16,354
Default

And this quote is a bad thing, why?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07 December 2007, 12:17 PM
Jonny T
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
And this quote is a bad thing, why?
because he supports communism.

he therefore hates Jesus, kicks puppies, worships Stalin, doesn't support the troops, and uses the stars and stripes as bog roll.

silly.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08 December 2007, 02:44 PM
Bonnie's Avatar
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
 
Join Date: 01 January 1970
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 144
United States

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
And this quote is a bad thing, why?
Because this,

Quote:
We are for Socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself. We seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.
and this,

Quote:
I am for socialism, disarmament and ultimately for abolishing the state itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.
"confirm" every suspicion held by those who detest the ACLU, distrust its motives, and imagine its real goals to be the slow erosion of the U.S. government and destruction of "American values."

Never mind that these statements (in some form, authentic or not) were made over seventy years ago, when the United States and the world at large were somewhat different places than they are today.

-- Bonnie
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.