A New Section From

A Gallery Of Ethopaths


Joseph S. Salemi

Department of Classics, Hunter College


As September dawns, undergraduates all over America will get ready to return to their classrooms.Those who are freshmen have a world of new experience awaiting them, not all of it pleasant.
One particularly ugly fact that these young students will soon confront is a faculty still peppered with aging countercultural retreads from the 1960s and 1970s.These are the "tenured radicals" of whom Roger Kimball wrote so devastatingly in 1990--those former potheads, protesters, and Rolling Stone freaks who now dwell in the various humanities departments of a great many American colleges.They've come a long way since Woodstock, but most of them have learned nothing.They remain viscerally leftist and countercultural, and are desperate to pass on their proclivities to a new generation.By the way, it's even worse in Europe, where practically the entire infrastructure of education is dominated by sentimental dirigistes, all of whom still get wet dreams over the Parisian summer of '68.
One of the myths of liberal orthodoxy is that there was a sundering difference between the Old Left (represented by communists, socialists, Trotskyites, and generic Marxists) and the New Left (represented by protesting students, social rebels, and SDS-Weathermen types.But it is just a myth.The Old Left and the New Left had different tastes in music, that's all.Their political goals were essentially identical--the degradation and destruction of the West, and its political subservience to some collectivist dictatorship run by an elite of ideologues.The Old Leftist wore a tweed jacket and attended Columbia, where he sat in uptown cafes discussing the Spanish Civil War and the Comintern.His son, the New Leftist, wore long sideburns and combat boots and attended Berkeley, where he smoked pot and discussed how best to help Ho Chi Minh.The differences were merely accidental, not substantial.Both were sworn enemies of human freedom.
The following new section from A Gallery Of Ethopaths was written with both these sorts of left-wing fossils in mind.And to all incoming freshmen I say the following: Take heart.You only have to put up with the tedious Marxist buffoons for four years.After that, you can forget they ever existed.



        --from A Gallery Of Ethopaths


        You won't find folks more asinine

        Than those who spout the Party Line.

        Yes, I know there aren't many

        Left among us, and if any

        Still defend that Marxist theory

        They must be getting pretty weary.

        For left-wing hopes were torn asunder

        When the Old Red Bitch went under

        (I mean the goddamned Soviet State,

        Spawned by war and hatched in hate,

        An apparatus for mass slaughter,

        Lenin's psychopathic daughter).

        Thank God for Gorby's perestroika--

        It wrenched apart the deadly troika

        Of Russia, Reds, and World Revolt

        That threatened with a nuclear bolt.

        The USSR fell apart,

        Sclerotic in its cankered heart,

        And just a few hard-line fanatics

        With cobwebs in their mental attics

        Continue quoting Marxist tracts

        And justifying Stalin's acts.

        The Russians are now sane again--

        They've come back to the world of men,

        Rejected messianic dreams,

        And given up subversive schemes.

        They showed how one determined kick'll

        Smash the hammer and the sickle.

        They've set free all their satellites

        And granted people human rights;

        Saint Petersburg has its old name

        And commissars are put to shame.

        Who, then, are these leftist scum

        Still beating on the Marxist drum?

        In Berkeley or in Cambridge, Mass.

        You frequently will meet some ass

        Who praises Lenin's worthiness,

        Thinks socialism a success,

        And gulags and the KGB

        Were but a grim necessity

        To keep alive some sacred flame,

        And Stalin's purges did the same.

        Some jerk who hasn't seen a barber,

        Matriculated in Ann Arbor,

        Will gas about the Marxist "vision"--

        To him, the whole thing was Elysian:

        Collective farms were just idyllic

        With massive posters in Cyrillic;

        We all said "Comrade" to each other

        And treated each man as a brother;

        We armed the proletariat

        To seize the world and carry it

        Into a brand-new kind of life

        Released from pain and selfish strife.

        What a sick, pathetic bunch!

        It makes you want to lose your lunch

        To hear some twerp in Poli-Sci

        With frenzied fire in his eye

        Drone on about "The Revolution,"

        How it's the one sure-fire solution

        To our whole planet's set of woes.

        You'd think these little forlorn schmoes

        Would wake up from their mental slumber.

        Their views--archaic as the rumba--

        No longer have much mass appeal,

        For no one wants the rotten deal

        That Communism had to offer.

        We just want money in our coffer,

        Privacy, and civil rights,

        Productive days and peaceful nights,

        Low taxes, and no peacetime draft,

        A minimum of public graft,

        Clean streets devoid of trash and rats,

        And fewer useless bureaucrats.

        That's what folks want--nothing more,

        The "Party Line" is just a bore.

        And so, to all those leftist lice

        I offer up some plain advice:

        We don't want dull May Day parades,

        Or posturing on barricades,

        Or exhortations to the masses,

        Or lectures on the lower classes,

        Or whining about surplus labor.

        In fact, please do us one big favor--

        Take your placards and your flyers,

        Your pamphlets penned by left-wing liars,

        Your workers' paradisal bliss,

        Your Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss,

        Your Red Front and La Pasionara,

        Your Castro and your Che Guevara,

        Your Shining Path and Tupamaros,

        Your Sandinistas and their sorrows,

        Your soapbox and your turgid speeches,

        Your socially committed screeches,

        And shove them in a trash compactor.

        Or better still, go buy a tractor,

        And hop a freighter for East Asia

        Where Marxists don't yet have aphasia.

        I'm sure that you will feel much freer

        Plowing earth in North Korea.

            Joseph S. Salemi

           Copyright © 2002 by Joseph S. Salemi

           All Rights Reserved 


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