December 1, 2006

For a Singing Socialism

"I know, there is in Socialist Party circles an assembly of mockers. They deride aught that savors of sentiment. But we heed not their scoffing. We will not permit them to outface us. A songless Socialism is a wrangling, contentious, dismembered thing. A singing Socialism will be a socialism triumphant."

Bouck White, Letters from Prison, 1915

As the above suggests, this blog will try to avoid dry dogma and nit-picky polemic, plus which it will have a bunch of stuff about music, and culture more broadly.

I am very partial to this passage, from one of those great eccentrics thrown forward every now and then by the people's movement in the US. The wikipedia entry linked to his name (above) hardly does him justice. White was the founder and minister of the Church of the Social Revolution in NYC in the early decades of the 20th century. The Letters From Prison date to the six months hard labor he did for disorderly conduct in 1914. His crime? Shortly after John D. Rockefeller's gun thugs killed and wounded dozens of striking miners, wives and children in Ludlow, Colorado, White crashed the cloistered confines of Rockefeller's church, the staid Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, during Sunday services and challenged the pastor there to hold a joint service to discuss the murders.


Jimmy Higgins said...

Oh, yeah, welcome all.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

la la la LA la la laaaa...

Ouch. Well, I guess there's always a lot of dissonance in the socialist movement too.