The other day Angela Davis came off the mothballs to endorse Joe Biden for US presidency. That fact is unremarkable by itself, but what turns it into a story of worldwide importance is its ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘why’.
The ‘who’ question is answered by ‘Angela Davis’, her of a most colourful biography. Way back then I couldn’t help knowing every detail of it because Angela was canonised in the Soviet Union.
She had every qualification for communist sainthood. Angela learned her communism from Herbert Marcuse, the shining light of the Frankfurt School of ‘philosophy’ (loosely defined).
Those Frankfurters fell out of Marx’s buns, but their recipes for communist takeover had many more ingredients. These included a gradual undermining of Western institutions from within, specifically exploiting racial, sex and economic inequality and aiming to take control of the press, entertainment and education.
Angela came to appreciate the fine points of that perfidious strategy later in life, but when her hormones were still at a bubble, she plunged headlong into radical politics with the natural impetuosity of youth. She joined the US Communist Party and became one of its leaders, eventually twice standing as the party’s Vice-Presidential candidate in the 1980s.
Not to be pigeonholed into the proletarian cause, Angela also branched out into feminist and anti-war activism, and she belied her anti-racism credentials by joining the Black Panthers, a gang wholeheartedly committed to black supremacy.
In 1971 that got Angela into a spot of trouble because guns registered in her name had been used in a takeover of a courthouse in which several people, including the judge, were killed. Angela spent a year on remand, while the Soviet Union kicked off the kind of worldwide campaign I described the other day. The racism card wasn’t just played – it was shoved down the world’s throat.
That’s when I got to learn so much about Angela that it almost felt as if I knew her personally. ‘Free Angela Davis!’ screamed off every front page, and not just in Russia. In the end the campaign succeeded, and Davis was acquitted.
She was then awarded the Lenin Peace Prize and turned up in Moscow to collect. We were all impressed by her braless good looks, although dispensing with that garment in public was then seen as rather risqué in the faux-puritan Soviet Union.
The answer to the ‘where’ question is considerably shorter, for Davis endorsed Biden in a video played on RT, Putin’s propaganda channel. This choice of venue is telling, for Davis, the heroine of the American Left (and consequently a holder of several professorships), would have had no shortage of indigenous loudspeakers.
That choice, among other critical things, is explained by the answer to the ‘why’ question. For Davis explained her reasons for endorsing Biden succinctly and honestly. And these happen to be the same reasons as those motivating RT, a former Trump supporter of long standing.
Biden, explained Angela, falls far short of the ideal she sees in her mind’s eyes. “He’s opposed to disbanding the police,” she complained, which to her must be tantamount to being a right-wing reactionary.
Now America is certifiably mad (about which tomorrow), but she still isn’t so mad as to give a candidate supporting that insanity more than the proverbial chance of a snowball in hell. Angela understands it and doesn’t make her endorsement contingent on this plank.
She realises that in this life ideals are unattainable: “I don’t see this election as being about choosing a candidate who will be able to lead us in the right direction,” Davis said.
“It will be about choosing a candidate who can be most effectively pressured into allowing more space for the evolving anti-racist movement… Biden is far more likely to take mass demands seriously.”
Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer and other Frankfurters are smiling out of their graves. Their able student has finally heeded their lessons.
As far as the American Left are concerned, being receptive to subversive anti-racist, feminist, ecological and LGBTQ+ pressures isn’t just the most important qualification for presidency, but the only one that matters.
That and not the odd bit of gunplay will bring down their hated capitalism, democracy, rule of law – in fact, their hated everything. This realisation also explains Davis’s choice of venue, signalling that her objectives overlap with the Kremlin’s.
The other day I wrote about the Russian angle in the BLM movement. Hence I have to be grateful to Angela for providing more evidence that I was right.
Donald Trump has many characteristics admired by Putin, mainly that he admires Putin. Though Trump doesn’t have Putin’s leeway in dispensing with such proctologic nuisances as division of power, he clearly respects leaders who do. His horse-trading approach to life can also be an asset, provided Russia can pay the right price for the horse.
But one thing Trump isn’t is woke. His first reaction to the BLM pogroms was a threat to shoot on sight. He didn’t act on that, but there’s no doubt where his sympathies and antipathies lie.
That’s why, continuing the equine metaphor, it looks as if Putin is ready to change horses, saddling Biden with the onus of acting as the conduit into which all pent-up discontents can flow to a destructive effect.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This, possibly apocryphal, Burkean adage implies the distinct possibility that torpor on the part of American voters can lead to a triumph of the Frankfurters and their evil disciples.
Given the situation, any American voting for Biden in November will be committing treason in all but name. If you think Trump stinks, chaps, hold your nostrils – but don’t vote the country into an abyss.