by Al Benson Jr.
Back in the mid-1970s, socialists and Marxists, along with the willing assistance of the public school establishment, sought to establish a solid beachhead for their agenda in Appalachia via the textbook route. They sought to implant Cultural Marxism in the public schools in Kanawha County, West Virginia through the adoption of a set of highly questionable textbooks. They thought they would just slip it in by everyone and no one would ever notice what they had done in an area that was highly resistant to outside influences. It was probably to be a major coup for them. It didn't quite work out the way they had planned. They had underestimated parental resistance and resistance in general.
Oh, they eventually got their politically correct textbooks in, but the doing of it caused a major flap in West Virginia and around the country and lots of folks all over the place were alerted to what went on in public schools (and what's still going on) and many opted for other means to educate their kids. New Christian schools were started, which I'm sure was not the fondest desire of the Cultural Marxists.
Now another round in the same ongoing game is about to commence, this time at the university level. Often you can determine the inherent right or morality of a cause by looking at who supports it. If Communists and socialists are in the vanguard of a cause then you'd better look askance at it and check it out because it won't be what you were told it was.
I came across an article on the Internet just this morning (4/3/14) from http://www.redstate.com which dealt with a situation at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The headline read: "SEIU Teams With Socialists, Other Marxist 'Revolutionaries' In Appalachia." Having lived in West Virginia for two years back in the 1970s during the textbook protest, that caught my attention. We lived a little over forty miles east of Huntington.
At any rate, it seems that Marshall University in Huntington has been having some employee problems that have caught the attention of the socialist/Marxist crowd, or maybe they were the ones that pointed them out, I don't know for sure. I don't pretend to have extensive knowledge of conditions at Marshall University. Maybe some of the gripes are even legitimate ones, but when you look at the leftist groups in the middle of this you have to question.
According to the Red State article, quoting from the socialist-run Worker's World: "A coalition of activists from Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), Workers World Party, Students for Appalachian Socialism, and Jewel City Solidarity Network and Service Employees union Local 32BJ held a public meeting on March 25th to kick off a 'Fight for 15 at Marshall University!' campaign. The meeting was attended by campus workers, faculty, students and community supporters, who received the coalition's message with enthusiasm and support. Attendees signed petitions that will be hand-delivered to the university administration. The goal of the meeting was to begin to build a mass movement to force the university to accept the coalition's list of demands."
The Red State commentator observes: "It is worth noting, however, that the allies of the SEIU are not merely fighting for higher wages--they are fighting for a socialist society where, in the case of the Workers World Party, "the wealth is socially owned and production is planned to satisfy human need. Here is the list of the SEIU's Appalachian 'allies:' FIST (Fight Imperialism--Stand Together) is a...national group of young revolutionaries. On its website, FIST states, 'We believe that the only way to achieve true liberation for all peoples throughout the world is through socialism." Talk about Lenin's "useful idiots"--they're here in spades!
And the Students for Appalachian Socialism website says: "Our vision of socialism is a society rules from the bottom up, a society that's single moral is 'people before profit.'...Che Guevara once said that 'the life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.' That being noted, we will dare to struggle for socialism." Che Guevara, the terrorist, must have loved humanity--that's why he killed so many. These are the people that are spearheading a list of "demands" to be made of Marshall University.
Interesting that these folks claim they are not interested in money or profits, but one of the main demands this coalition is making of the university is: "A $15 minimum wage for all workers with a stipulation that the increased cost of workers' wages will not come from the elimination of any jobs or by shifting workers to part-time, stagnation or elimination of advancement of workers' wages past the new entry-level wage of $15, or tuition and/or fee hikes to students."
In other words, $15 per hour is just the beginning for these folks. Even Obama didn't dare propose that kind of a hike in the minimum wage when he floated that trial balloon, but, apparently, for this socialist coalition the sky's the limit!
They have to realize there's probably no way the university can afford that, which means they don't really expect that much, but they will be willing to dicker with the university for a lower figure--plus other "concessions." Only time will tell what those other "concessions" might be--a new course in Marxist studies, a Socialist Critique of American Culture, or a course in Transgender politics or what have you. I'm sure they have something in mind. You can bet the farm these socialists/Marxists have some project in mind they will demand that the university enact and they are trying to build support among ignorant workers for their agenda by seeming to be concerned about the plight of poor, underpaid workers, which they, in reality, couldn't care less about.
That's how these leftist groups operate. They seize upon what might be some legitimate grievance and use it to insert their socialist camel's nose into the tent, and before you know it, the socialist camel is completely inside the tent and anyone not on the left is pushed out. Their genuine concern for the "poor and downtrodden" is so much balderdash.
The folks in West Virginia better keep an eye on this situation. It bodes no good for them in any case.