Teachers of Destruction!

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Teachers of Destruction cover

Teachers of Destruction: Their Plans for a Socialist Revolution
Widener
1970

Submitter: The title alone [is awful]; a play on words but quite grave. I’m pretty sure we’d all know to be scared of “stormtroopers of destruction” or “zombies of destruction,” or even “sharks of destruction,” but teachers? Definitely didn’t see that coming, very sneaky.

Some subheadings and quotes:

“some capitalists even back Hitler” to explain businesses who support “leftist” causes.

“While comfortable, complacent Americans went to church or played golf, or lolled around at home reading papers or watching television Sunday morning, a Black Power panel session took place at the Socialist Scholars Conference. ”

As an “eyewitness” (stated in the title), Widener “overhears” most of the things she reports on, there are no footnotes, she didn’t interview anyone associated with these secret and open meetings, in fact it seems she didn’t even bring a tape recorder.

Commenting on the fashion choices of attendees of a conference: “There were no old ladies in tennis shoes at the Princeton University SDS conference.”

Holly: I’m surprised this got published at all, with such questionable “sources” (by The Citizens Evaluation Institute, whatever that is/was). I’m evenĀ  more surprised it stayed on the shelf of the academic library where it was found for this long. Oh wait, “But it’s historical!” Of course it is. Now recycle it.

Ohio State University 4/29/70

Campus Troubles Sparked

Teachers of Destruction

Some capitalists backed Hitler

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21 comments

  1. the submitter forgot to mention the afterward written by that paragon of american political virtue, J Edgar Hoover.

  2. I’m kind of puzzled by the follow up to the lack of little old ladies in tennis shoes. They seem to make a big deal over there being little old ladies in galoshes and snow boots, but that, to me, just suggests bad weather, not the footwear of radicals.

    1. That’s because the boot section of the shoe store is where radicals hide. Bigger shoes means more to hide behind.

    1. This is how it survived on our shelf so long, but alas when we were taking inventory it, like the evidence contained within, crumbled apart. I managed to preserve the cover, a teacher friend framed it.

  3. I can’t for the life of me work out why Americans get in such a tizz about socialism. I’m a socialist. I’m also a highly conventional and ordinary office worker who lives in the suburbs. All it means is I support having a public health system and would prefer services like power and water to be publically owned. I certainly don’t go around shouting at policemen on my day off!

    1. Blame it on a lingering “evil commie/Nazi bastard” reflex. Most Americans don’t realize that despite their names, neither the USSR nor the Nazis were actually socialist. Socialism, communism, and fascism are all synonyms for each other, and for EEEEVIL, to the right-wing patriotic crowd, and they have a loud public voice. If you ask the average American to name socialist countries today, they’ll say Cuba, China, North Korea, etc.

      1. Why the tizzy? Ah, where to begin… Shall we start with the mass murder of the Kulaks in order to properly socialize Ukranian farming? There’s Nyerere’s disatrous regime; the killing fields of Cambodia (I recommend “Never Fall Down” for those ignorant of the story) in order to socialize the industries there. And so on, and so on. Slavery, and censorship, and torture and imprisonment and mass murder…

        American fellow-travellers have a lot to apologise for (including the American Library Association’s shameful refusal to stand up for imprisoned, tortured and murdered librarians in Cuba) and since they all seem to call themselves something with “socialist” in the name, it’s not surprising that many Americans view them with varying shades of contempt and alarm.

        Then too, “American” for better or worse, is (or can be) synonymous with “individualism.” And there’s nothing like a bureacracy for ham-handed meddlesome interfering. The folks who want bottom-up community power where the fallen tree on a public road brings out ready hands, axes (because they live someplace where windstorms bring trees down) and the occasional chain saw view with deep distrust (if they aren’t getting in a tizzy) the folks who prefer to rely on the Bureau des Arbres dans La Rue.

        And sorry folks: Hitler was a *national* socialist (socialism + national identity politics); Mussollini was a fascist socialist (socialism + union power) and of course the U.S.S.R. led the charge that all the rest weren’t “really” socialist or were running-dog recidivists or whotnot. Heresy riles up the true zealot far more than does mere unbelief.

        1. @Kirsten – not sure if I agree with your characterization of National Socialism. Socialism involves the state owning the means of production. In Nazi Germany, the economic elites maintained their businesses and conglomerates (except of course for Jewish businesses, which were confiscated and turned over to their Aryan counterparts) and did very well, until the tide of the war turned.

          Unions, generally seen as a expression of socialism, were outlawed. And of course, Communists (i.e. the USSR) were sworn enemies of the Nazis. In the left/right spectrum of the time, Nazis were far right and communists far left. People who try to place Nazis on the left are indulging in historical fantasy – I think that’s often because they think in terms of the modern right, which includes a libertarian element. Libertarianism was in its infancy in the 1930s.

          Linden is right. Corporatist, not socialist.

        2. Kirsten, all those abuses were horrific, but they were not socialist — neither the actions nor the perpetrators. It’s a matter of evil-doers wrapping themselves in terminology that doesn’t actually apply. Like the so-called Pro-Life people who are in favor of capital punishment. Not that I am calling those people evil-doers necessarily.

        3. There’s nothing like bureaucracy for bringing firefighters across the nation to handle a million-acre fire, either, nor aid to a hurricane-devastated area. And never underestimate the power of your neighbors for sheer heavy-handed meddlesome interfering.

  4. No, Hitler was a right-wing corporatist, not a left-wing socialist. The “socialist” in NAZI meant something very different at that time. Someone needs to get their dictators straight.

    Wish I could go over that photograph of the OSU riots with a magnifying glass. I might see my uncle in there.

    1. Oh really? Would a “right-wing corporatist” be for the empowerment of unions like Hitler was? Nazism had way more in common with socialism than anything else, especially economically.

  5. The Kent State shootings happened on May 4 – not in April. The conflict started in April, but the book is already discredited but saying the conflict “culminated with the April 1970 shooting.”

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