Kengor Writes . . .
Paul Kengor is a professor of political science and the executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Paul Kengor is the author of God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life (2004), The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism (2007), The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007) and The Communist — Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor (Threshold Editions / Mercury Ink 2012).
Joe Biden and the Democrats’ Racist Abortion Position — They Couldn’t Be Prouder of Their Genocidal Commitments.
Imagine if Donald Trump announced he would change his longtime opposition to public funding of abortion in order to ensure that black, Hispanic, and poor women can abort their babies. Would liberals need even 10 seconds before foaming at the mouth screaming that he’s a racist?
Last week in Atlanta, Joe Biden, Democrat presidential frontrunner for 2020, said:
“For many years as a U.S. senator, I have supported the Hyde Amendment as many, many others have because there was sufficient monies and circumstances where women were able to exercise that right [to abortion], women of color, poor women, women who were not able to have access. . . . But circumstances have changed.”
Thus, said Biden,
“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and their ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right. If I believe healthcare is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”
In response, the crowd of liberal women went wild, applauding ecstatically.
It was an incredible moment. A sick moment. Think about what Joe Biden said, to liberals’ roaring approval: He’s reversing his long-held position so “women of color, poor women” can get abortions — that is, have their abortions publicly paid for. He’s changing specifically because of women of color and poor women. He wants them to be able to have their abortions. He wants to make sure money isn’t an issue. He wants no obstacles to them securing their desire to abort their child. This change is prompted wholly on their behalf: “women of color, poor women.” Even long-held religious objections should be no barrier. Your belief in God, and your conviction that God would shudder at you helping to finance others’ abortions, plays second fiddle to the greater goal of these women getting abortions.
Naturally, liberals will recoil when seeing Biden’s comments framed that way. Biden, after all, is their boy, and Roe v. Wade is their baby. The hallowed “right to choose” is a sacrament in the liberal church. That abortion far and away disproportionately annihilates minorities and especially African-Americans is dismissed in light of their ultimate highest good.
I’ve written here many times about the awful history of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger; her work with the “Negro Project”; her commitment to racial eugenics for what she called “race improvement”; and her May 1926 speech to the Silverlake, New Jersey, chapter of the KKK, which she openly wrote about in her memoirs. I’ve written on Hillary Clinton’s abortion hypocrisy and on liberal cult-hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s assessment to the New York Times Magazine:
“I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.”
I also wrote here recently about abortion in Biden’s birth state of Pennsylvania, a state he hopes to take away from Donald Trump. The vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation are located among African-American populations. Looking strictly at Pennsylvania, the latest statistics show that 43 percent of abortions were to African-American women and 10 percent to Hispanic women. More remarkable is the sheer disproportionally: only 11 percent of Pennsylvania women are black and 7 percent are Hispanic.
Abortion in Pennsylvania, like everywhere else in America, victimizes minorities by leaps and bounds. The national figures show that abortions by black and Hispanic women outpace white women by 4.5 times. Some civil rights leaders, including Dr. Alveda King, have called this “Black Genocide.”
Well, America’s minorities should know how much Joe Biden has their back: he wants to make sure they get free abortions. In fact, it’s so important to Biden that he’s willing to suddenly abandon his three-decade-long support of the Hyde Amendment for this grand objective. And progressives cheer mightily.
Biden, of course, is hardly alone in this among liberals. Quite the contrary, he’s caving on the Hyde Amendment because not doing so is heresy in the liberal church. The Democratic Party once supported the Hyde Amendment, just as it once defined marriage as between a man and a woman. But progressives, you see, have since progressed. They’re now more enlightened. Hyde must be aborted, so Americans can support abortions for poor women, women of color, black women, Hispanic women.
“The problem is, the Hyde Amendment affects poor women, women of color, black women, Hispanic women,” says Patti Solis Doyle, who served as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager in 2008, and who has also worked for Biden.
And whose lives are eliminated in this equation? The answer: Poor babies, babies of color, babies of black women, babies of Hispanic women.
Planned Parenthood, naturally, is thrilled with Joe Biden hopping on the progressive bandwagon. Minority women are its biggest customers.
“Happy to see Joe Biden embrace what we have long known to be true: Hyde blocks people — particularly women of color and women with low incomes — from accessing safe, legal abortion care,” said Leana Wen of Planned Parenthood.
You can’t make this up. And it’s no laughing matter. Just ask Elizabeth Warren. Choking back tears, filled with anger, she insisted to an audience of clapping, stomping women that Hyde be reversed: “Understand this,” said Warren, voice trembling. “Women of means will still have access to abortions. Who won’t will be poor women.”
This is the prevailing position of today’s Democratic presidential candidates and the party generally, with the party’s old men no longer summoning the intestinal fortitude to oppose the hysterical pack. Biden is merely the latest Democrat man without a chest, an ongoing line of lily-livered gutlessness that the late Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Bill Casey foresaw over two decades ago. The Joe Biden of 2019 is selling his soul for the political approval of today’s unhinged Democratic Party, which has completely lost its mind on moral-cultural issues.
What’s especially sad is that Democrats are hell-bent on this policy at a time when the number of abortions have been in decline. For those who hoped and prayed that the scourge of black abortion would likewise decline, well, too bad: the Democrats are doing their damnedest to ensure that when it comes to public funding of abortion, no child is left behind.
Liberal Democrats tell us they love blacks and the poor. They are just oozing with compassion for them. So much so that they will strive to ensure that you — as a taxpayer, and regardless of your religious or conscience objections — are forced by the state to help ensure that every black or poor woman who wants to terminate her child will not be financially prohibited.
Wow, what compassion.
Pretty sick, folks. Pretty sick, Joe.
The “Today Show” Celebrates Communist Holiday
On Friday morning I was sitting alone gumming a bowl of oatmeal in the breakfast area of a Hampton Inn in Pontiac, Illinois, when I was assaulted by an absurdity on the widescreen TV. There I was, calmly minding my own business, keeping my big mouth shut for a change, opening it only for the next scoop of tastelessness. Just then, a group of maniacs from the “Today Show” ruined my tranquility by babbling obliviously and ecstatically about International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day? Seriously? Had I slipped back in time a hundred years ago to, er, Leningrad, March 8, 1919? Judging from the giggling guy and gals on the screen, I had not. I checked my phone. It was March 8, 2019. And I was in America.
Some “Today Show” dingbat gushed feigned excitement about the great holiday. Sitting to his left were two or three fashionable ladies likewise sharing his jubilation. The male host turned over the segment to a lady reporter outside the building, who was flanked by two young women prattling on about the liberation of the “music industry” from some sinister male dominance that obviously has deprived the likes of Madonna and Barbra Streisand of millions of dollars in riches. Behind them all was a gaggle of girls cheering about something else that had something to do with International Women’s Day.
It was confusing. All of these women and yet — and yet — no Comrade Clara.
That’s right. No Comrade Clara. Where was Clara Zetkin?
It was then that I realized that, no, I hadn’t slipped into a time-warp overnight somewhere along Rt. 55 on my way from Eureka College to the Union League Club in Chicago later that day — both places where, ironically, I would deliver lectures celebrating America’s defeat of international Communism in the last century.
I guess the celebration is premature.
Recall, dear leaders, that we Americans won the Cold War and defeated the likes of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and Clara Zetkin.
Because of the laws of nature, Clara wasn’t at “Today’s” studios on Friday. Never hopping an elliptical a day in her life, never doing a Pilates workout, and surely never prancing around in yoga pants, Clara died 86 years ago. She died in Moscow, of course. She was there in the rollicking 1930s, the cusp of Stalin’s wondrous five-year plans, and just missed his Great Purge and mass famine imposed upon the Ukraine.
But Clara was there in New York on Friday in spirit. And it seems unfair that the folks at “Today” offered no acknowledgment of this matron of International Women’s Day. Not even a photo!
Of course, let’s be honest, and sadly serious for a moment. Most of these modern products of our universities have no idea who Comrade Clara was, or would give a rip, and would surely hurl cries of “McCarthyism” at me for raising the specter of the old German socialist-Marxist. Clara will not be condemned. Communism will not be condemned. I will be condemned. As usual, anti-communism will be condemned.
Swimming along with the cultural tide, infused by the Zeitgeist, choked by what R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. calls the Kultursmog, they only know what they’ve been taught. More so, they are victims of their progressive professors’ many sins of omission — chief among them the utter failure to teach the lessons, the damage, and the outright horrors of Communism.
They’ve been duped.
Hence, as a public service, I’d like to here pause to enlighten them on the origins of the Communist holiday they commemorated last week.
Clara Zetkin was a big-time German pinko. A Marxist theorist and proud feminist-socialist, she also claimed the banner hoisted today by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her charming congressional colleague from Dearborn, Michigan, Ms. Tlaib — that is to say, Clara was a “democratic socialist.”
And the International Women’s Day was Clara’s thing. If you doubt me, take a glance at the piece (including the accompanying photo of the women carrying the banner, “WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE”) on “The Origins of International Women’s Day” in People’s World, the longtime flagship publication of American Communism, and successor to the Daily Worker. Right from the horse’s mouth:
“Within the last twenty years, many thousands of women worldwide have begun to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). However, the way in which the day is marked often bears little resemblance to the original IWD purpose and origins. This is a great misfortune.”
How so? What was the motivation for “IWD?” People’s World writer provides an accurate answer:
“IWD was founded at the beginning of the last century to both highlight and celebrate the struggle of working women against their oppression and double exploitation.”
“Today, this fight has not been won — their struggle is still our struggle. Thus, it is timely to remind women and men in the labor movement and elsewhere of the inspirational socialist origins of IWD in the hope that it will ignite again a progressive socialist feminist women’s movement rooted in an understanding of the class basis of women’s inequality. We can learn from our history, but first we must rediscover it.”
Assisting in that rediscovery, People’s World notes (correctly) that the first historic demonstration launching IWD took place on March 8, 1908 by “women workers” on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. From there, Clara and the European worker-masses rose up:
“Meanwhile, news of the heroic fight of U.S. women workers reached Europe — in particular, it inspired European socialist women who had established, on the initiative of the German socialist feminist Clara Zetkin (1857-1933), the International Socialist Women’s Conference.
This latter body met for the first time in 1907 in Stuttgart alongside one of the periodic conferences of the Second [Communist] International (1889-1914).
“Three years later in 1910, Zetkin proposed the following motion at the Copenhagen Conference of the Second International: ‘The Socialist women of all countries will hold each year a Women’s Day, whose foremost purpose it must be to aid the attainment of women’s suffrage. This demand must be handled in conjunction with the entire women’s question according to Socialist precepts.’
“The motion was carried. March 8 was favored.”
From there, notes People’s World, the Bolsheviks got into the full swing and adopted International Women’s Day as a national holiday that would last throughout the entirety of the USSR:
“In 1917 in Russia, International Women’s Day acquired great significance — it was the flashpoint for the Russian Revolution. On March 8, (Western calendar) female workers in Petrograd held a mass strike and demonstration demanding peace and bread. The strike movement spread from factory to factory and effectively became an insurrection.
“The Bolshevik paper Pravda reported that the action of women led to revolution, resulting in the downfall of the tsar, a precursor to the Bolshevik revolution. ‘The first day of the revolution was Women’s Day. . . . the women . . . decided the destiny of the troops; they went to the barracks, spoke to the soldiers, and the latter joined the revolution. . . . Women, we salute you.’
“In 1922, in honor of the women’s role on IWD in 1917, Lenin declared that March 8 should be designated officially as Women’s Day. Much later, it was a national holiday in the Soviet Union and most of the former socialist countries.”
There you go. That says it all, doesn’t it? It was a national holiday in Lenin’s and Stalin’s USSR.
Well, it looks like our intrepid “progressives” in the United States have picked up the torch. They are poised to make IWD a national holiday in the United States, too.
International Women’s Day marchers, unite! “Today Show” producers and hosts and reporters, unite! To borrow from Trotsky’s and Stalin’s Pravda, “We salute you!”
Where is Clara today, as the women of “Today” honor her legacy? Clara Zetkin is buried in the wall of the Kremlin, where she was placed nearest the rotting bosom of Vladimir Lenin. There for the red funeral with tears in their eyes were Lenin’s widow and Stalin himself.
That was the genesis of International Women’s Day.
Ladies, if you bite from the fruit of International Women’s Day, you are eating the fruit of a poisoned tree. You are a sucker.
What “Deep Christian Convictions” of “Democratic Socialism”?
Editor’s Note: This essay was first published in Crisis Magazine.
I do my best to avoid The New York Times. Truly, I try not to read it. Doing so invariably ruins my day and wastes my time. It not only frustrates me but pains me. On countless thousands of occasions I’ve found myself reading a Times piece that leaves me barking at the page about something utterly crucial that was magically excluded from the piece in order to advance whatever flawed thesis was being forwarded in the name of some left-wing position. It’s maddening.
This happened again when a friend this week sent me a widely circulated op-ed piece from last weekend’s Times, titled, “Can We Please Relax About ‘Socialism?’” It was written by David Bentley Hart, who — and this particularly caught my eye and prompted me to write here — is a scholar of religion and (according to the tagline) “an affiliated scholar of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.”
Ironically, I just spoke at Notre Dame, where I lectured on the differences and confusion regarding what is “socialism,” what is “democratic socialism,” what is Communism, Marxism, etc. Above all, I laid out what the Catholic Church has said about these things. Drawing the necessary distinctions is never easy, as they are constantly blurred by the very people advancing the terms, and telling us that those who are concerned about socialism and Communism are the big problem. Socialism and Communism aren’t the problem, you see — it’s the anti-socialists and anti-communists who are the menace.
Dr. Hart, in his defense, was raised under what he refers to as a “British variant” of socialism, which he defines as “exemplified by F. D. Maurice, John Ruskin, William Morris, R. H. Tawney, and many other luminaries (including, in his judiciously remote way, C. S. Lewis).”
I would unequivocally object to putting Lewis in any such category. (Lewis was a critic of progressivism, let alone socialism and Marxism.) As for British “socialism,” well, which variant — and how far back? How about the Fabian Society type, the H. G. Wells variant, the George Bernard Shaw slop, or the Labour Party’s 1918 Clause IV-style that called for “common ownership of the means of production,” which Tony Blair repudiated in 1995? What about the disastrous Attlee administration that nationalized everything under the English skyline between 1945-51 (much of which Margaret Thatcher mercifully de-nationalized)? Even today’s Labour Party, long the home to presumably the type of “socialism” that Dr. Hart approves (incidentally, what kind of “socialist” is Jeremy Corbyn?), will not dare re-do what Clement Attlee did. Maybe Dr. Hart sees Britain’s NHS as constituting the best of British “socialism,” but it would be simplistic to say that that makes Britain “socialist.” Certainly, when Marx and Engels and Lenin and Trotsky wrote of socialism and democracy (Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin were initially members of the Social Democratic Party of Russia before the party split between Bolsheviks and Menshaviks in 1903), they would not have considered contemporary Britain socialist.
And so, what is socialism? What is democratic socialism? Ask ten self-described socialists or democratic socialists and you’ll get ten different definitions, few of them grounded in a firm historical understanding of the term. What we tend to get from people on the left is ridicule of conservatives who legitimately fear what the left wants to do when it prattles on about the glories of “socialism” and “democratic socialism,” and how we should all take a deep breath and sit back and enjoy the vast fruits of what would await us if we would simply submit to taking the road to state utopia. Google the phrase “21st century socialism.” That’s what Hugo Chavez championed in Venezuela, and I could show you article after article from left-wing sources (People’s World especially) on how this was touted just a decade ago as the great new “democratic socialist” thing.
In that sense, none of what Dr. Hart wrote — in a snooty way that made fun of everything from Fox News and Ben Stein to conservatives understandably troubled by the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — surprised me. (What’s troubling about Ocasio-Cortez is less her personality than what she represents: the sudden shocking support for a failed ideology now being blithely embraced by millions of millennials oblivious to its history.)
But what really got me about Hart’s piece, particularly given his affiliation with Notre Dame, was this passage:
“Democratic socialism is, briefly put, a noble tradition of civic conscientiousness that was historically — to a far greater degree than either its champions or detractors today often care to acknowledge — grounded in deep Christian convictions. I, for instance, am a proud son of the European Christian socialist tradition, especially in its rich British variant . . . but also in its continental expressions (see, for example, Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, with its prescient warnings against the dangers of unfettered capitalism).”
This demands a response — not the “British variant” part but the assertion that “democratic socialism” is “grounded in deep Christian convictions” and that “the European Christian socialist tradition” has “continental expressions” in the likes of “Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.”
Hart adds, in that same vein:
“Well — only in America, as they say. Only here is the word ‘socialism’ freighted with so much perceived menace. I take this to be a symptom of our unique national genius for stupidity. In every other free society with a functioning market economy, socialism is an ordinary, rather general term for sane and compassionate governance of the public purse for the purpose of promoting general welfare and a more widespread share in national prosperity.”
First off, that’s not actually socialism, traditionally understood or defined — i.e., market economies by definition are not socialist systems. This is a highly elastic and misapplied definition of socialism. So why call it “socialism”?
Getting Quadragesimo Anno Completely Wrong — But that aside, let’s focus on Hart’s other key claims: Only in America? Well, what about in Rome? What about at the Vatican? And indeed, what about Pope Pius XI and Quadragesimo Anno, not to mention numerous Church encyclicals dating back to Pius IX’s Qui Pluribus, published in 1846, two years before the Communist Manifesto? What about even modern (perceived) liberal popes, like John XXIII?
Let’s leave aside Communism and stick to “socialism.” The Church perceived socialism, too, as a menace. I could go on and on with examples, but here are just a few that stand out — again the kind of stuff that The New York Times has a maddening habit of leaving out of its left-wing op-ed pieces:
Section 120 of Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno states bluntly: “Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.”
This is stated quite clearly. Imagine then — truly, imagine the amazing affront — of a New York Times piece citing Quadragesimo Anno in defense of “democratic socialism” being “grounded in deep Christian convictions” and of a “European Christian socialist tradition” with “continental expressions” in the likes of “Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.” Could there be a more inappropriate source to have cited for that assertion?
Sure, Dr. Hart also cites Quadragesimo Anno for “its prescient warnings against the dangers of unfettered capitalism.” Fine, no problem there, but Quadragesimo Anno is completely against socialism. In fact, there are some fifty references to “socialism” or “socialist” in Quadragesimo Anno, and they’re pretty damning.
Quadragesimo Anno stated that the “characteristic of socialism,” including a more modern form that had developed since the time of Leo XIII, was “fundamentally contrary to Christian truth” (section 111).
Section 55 of Quadragesimo Anno spoke of
“. . . the Socialists who hold that whatever serves to produce goods ought to be transferred to the State, or, as they say ‘socialized,’ is consequently all the more dangerous and the more apt to deceive the unwary. It is an alluring poison which many have eagerly drunk whom open Socialism had not been able to deceive.”
The encyclical gives careful thought to this. Sections 113 to 124 of Quadragesimo Anno constitute an extended discussion of the “more moderate” form of socialism that some more recent “socialists” had sought to develop as distinct from Communism. Some of these socialists, states the encyclical, might even try to “incline toward” or “approach the truths which Christian tradition has always held sacred.” Nonetheless, the Magisterium here recommends that if one is seeking “demands and desire” consistent with Christian truth, these are not unique or “special to Socialism. Those who work solely toward such ends have, therefore, no reason to become socialists.” It advises:
“Those who want to be apostles among socialists ought to profess Christian truth whole and entire, openly and sincerely, and not connive at error in any way. If they truly wish to be heralds of the Gospel, let them above all strive to show to socialists that socialist claims, so far as they are just, are far more strongly supported by the principles of Christian faith and much more effectively promoted through the power of Christian charity” (sections 115-116).
This is a clear rejection of socialism, whether “moderate” or “modified,” and certainly of any conception of “Christian socialism.” Socialism, asserts Quadragesimo Anno, cannot be reconciled with Catholic teachings because its concept of society itself is “utterly foreign” to Christian truth.
I could cite example after example from official Church teaching, long before and after Quadragesimo Anno.
A Consistent Anti-Socialist Tradition — In his 1849 encyclical, Nostis Et Nobiscum, Pius IX calls both socialism and Communism “wicked theories,” “perverted theories,” “perverted teachings,” and “pernicious fictions.” They are linked together throughout the encyclical.
Pope Leo XIII, in his second encyclical, Quod Apostolici Muneris (On Socialism), issued December 28, 1878, lumps socialists and Communists together as part of a “wicked confederacy.” He writes:
“We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, Communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring what they have long been planning — the overthrow of all civil society.”
(A key point to dwell on: civil society as apart from “the state.”) He says, “They leave nothing untouched.” Not only do they attack the right of property, but they
“. . . debase the natural union of man and woman, held sacred even among barbarous peoples; and its bond, by which the family is chiefly held together. . . . Doctrines of socialism strive almost completely to dissolve this union.”
Quod Apostolici Muneris speaks of the “pest of socialism,” the “plague of socialism,” and the “evil growth of socialism,” warns of the “recruits of socialism,” and accuses socialists of “stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary.” These socialists “distort it (the Gospel) so as to suit their own purposes.”
So much, again, for “Christian socialism.”
In 1891, Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum, which was the basis for Quadragesimo Anno 40 years later. This classic encyclical is a favorite of liberal Catholics, who seem to forget its staunch rejection of socialism. The encyclical chastises socialists for cultivating the “poor man’s envy of the rich” and depriving the worker of his just wages through redistribution schemes that violate the right to private property. These policies empower the state at the expense of the wage earner who ultimately suffers from the loss of his financial autonomy (sections 4-5).
Rerum Novarum notes that socialists “strive against nature in vain.” They even undermine the family and the home: “The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home” (section 14). Rerum Novarum adds:
“Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal” (section 15).
Even more liberal modern popes, like St. Pope John XXIII, states in Mater et Magistra: “No Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism.” That passage actually quotes Pius XI:
“Pope Pius XI further emphasized the fundamental opposition between Communism and Christianity, and made it clear that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism. The reason is that Socialism is founded on a doctrine of human society which is bounded by time and takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being. Since, therefore, it proposes a form of social organization which aims solely at production, it places too severe a restraint on human liberty, at the same time flouting the true notion of social authority.”
I could go on and on with such citations. Clearly, the teachings of the Church reject the notions of a moderate socialism that’s allegedly infused with or grounded in the Christian faith. The article by Dr. Hart not only leaves all of this absent but suggests something fully to the contrary, particularly by invoking Pius XI and Quadragesimo Anno. And again, his affiliation is with Notre Dame, which concerns me about the situation at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame recently lost a well-known professor, Joseph Buttigieg, father of Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Joseph Buttigieg was an expert in “critical theory” and was no less than president of the International Gramsci Society. Yes, the society is named for the infamous Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci. Notre Dame’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, not only accepted this but hailed Buttigieg as a profound scholar. In fact, Buttigieg ran the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program at Notre Dame. Pius XI would roll over in his grave if he knew that the head of the International Gramsci Society was a tenured professor at a college named for Our Lady.
In sum, I intend no ill will to Dr. Hart. But it’s troubling to see assertions like this in major op-ed pieces that receive a lot of attention and have a significant impact. To see socialism described not only cavalierly, benignly, but even as a product of deep Christian conviction, and in the name of encyclicals like Quadragesimo Anno, simply should not stand without rebuttal. People are being terribly misinformed. We fail repeatedly to teach the truth about not only Communism but socialism. *