- Posted by Renee Nal
- On June 10, 2020
- 4 Comments
- Catholic Worker, Communist Party USA. Wobblies, Democratic Socialists of America, Dorothy Day, DSA, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Industrial Workers of the World, IWW, Michael Harrington, Wobblys
Martin Gugino, 75, gained global attention for getting shoved after approaching police attempting to subdue a riot, as reported at RAIR Foundation USA. While the mainstream media is painting an image of Gugino as a kind elderly man who belongs to the “Catholic Worker” movement and so therefore must be exceptionally loving and peaceful, a cursory look at the organization reveals that the Catholic Worker movement is a long-time radical group.
Some well-established dog whistles for communists include anything with the words “Peace” (e.g., Peace Center), “Solidarity,” “People’s”, “Social Justice,” “Struggle,” “Activist,” “Forward,” and “Worker”.
The Catholic Worker Movement
The Catholic Worker Movement was founded in 1933 by Dorothy Day with her socialist comrade Peter Maurin. Like famous figures Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, H.G. Wells, Havelock Ellis, George Bernard Shaw, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller and Rosa Parks, Dorothy Day’s extreme leftist beliefs have become progressively scrubbed over the decades as leftist revisionist historians work to mainstream the most radical among us.
As a young woman, Dorothy Day wrote for the New York Call, a socialist daily newspaper published in New York City from 1908 through 1923. She became a “Wobbly,” or a member of the the anarcho-syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World organization, where she met her lifelong friend Communist Party USA leader Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
As a “red diaper baby,” or child of communists, Elizabeth recounted her youthful ambition for a quick revolution, which, as she described to university students two years before her death in 1962, she believed at the time was to be “just around the corner and had to get into the struggle as fast as I could.”
The elderly communist described the Industrial Workers of the World:
“To the Industrial Workers of the World, a revolution meant that you take over the factories, and the shops and the mills, and the mines and the fields and you chase the bosses out, just chase them out, and that was the end of it. That was the revolution.
Two years after Elizabeth Gurley Flynn spoke to the students about her revolutionary life, her friend Dorothy Day was invited to speak at her memorial service.
“… it seems to me that anything that threatens money or property, anything that aims at a more equitable distribution of this world’s goods, has always been called communism,” Dorothy Day declared as part of the speech dedicated to her dear friend Communist Party USA board member Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. “I like the word myself,” Day continued. “It makes me think of the communism of the early Christians and the communism of the religious orders.”
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who became the Communist Party USA’s first woman chair, left her estate to her dear friend Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker upon her death in 1964.
When Dorothy Day herself passed away in 1980, Catholic Worker member Michael Harrington, the father of America’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), attended her funeral. In a tribute to her posted in the DSA Newsletter “In These Times” published December 10, 1980, Harrington wrote that Dorothy Day “had started the Catholic Worker to prove, among many other things, that Catholicism could be genuinely radical.”
A recent podcast sponsored by the Communist Party USA notes in their description that “[T]here is no history of the Christian Left in the United States that can be complete without a discussion of the Catholic Worker.”
In 2012, America’s Catholic Bishops moved Dorothy Day along toward canonization. There is talk that the process continues. While the media attempts to downplay her leftist activism and rather paint a picture of a flawed woman who converted to Catholicism and became saintly, Dorothy Day was an avid communist her entire life.
Featured Image: ‘The Hand That Will Rule the World’ by Ralph Chaplin, IWW newspaper Solidarity, June 30, 1917. Dorothy Day was a card-carrying member of IWW.
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