The New Left in Government: From Protest to Policy-Making

Report Conservatism

The New Left in Government: From Protest to Policy-Making

November 19, 1978 39 min read Download Report
William Poole
Senior Editor
William is a Senior Editor at The Heritage Foundation.

(Archived document, may contain errors)

November 19.78


(Executive Summary)

During the 1960s and early 1970s, the American people wit ness4d the growth and decline of'a movement known as the New Left. Those who. gave impetus to the New Left were often the offspring,of Old Left activists, including members of the Communist Party, U.S.A.j one'of the principal Old Left Communist organizations. while there';kere major differences between the two broad movements, par ticularly as to ideological and organizational discipline, they also managed to coalesce around the great radical organizing causes of he period, including especially.the Vietnam war; and, though often wracked by sectarian and tactical disputes, they were alike in their common rejection df traditional American society and in stitutions.aLhd in their general preference for radical Marxist (and, in.many cases, MarxistLeninist) alternatives. In organizing the massive.antiVietnam war protests of the 1960s and early 1970s, moreover., activists from both the old and New Left shared, as a general proposition, a marked preference for an American defeat and Communist victory in Southeast Asia.

Perhaps the bestknown.New Leftists of the 1960s were the "Chicago Seven," who were tried for conspiring to foment violence in the. streets of Chicago, Illinois, during the August 1968 Demo cratic National Convention. Some of them have moved on to less raaical pursuits; Rennie Davis is an insurance broker, whileJerry Rubinis'5ttily promoting his new "Human Potential" movement. Others,.however, have remained active radicals, although no longer outside the system they formerly opposed in the streets. Instead,

they are, in several instances, pursuing their goals from within the political and governmental processes. Tom Hayden, for example, is associated with California Governor Jerry Brown and has been invited to meet with President Carter in the White House, in addi tion to being actively involved in his Campaign for Economic Demo cracy, a movement with close ties to the farleft Institute for Policy Studies'. Others of the Chicago Seven have been given po sitions in the government at the national level. Lee Weiner is a consultant to ACTION, and John Froines is director of the Office of Toxic Substances, which is part of the Occupational.Safety and' Health Administr'ation. It is with this aspect of the New Left the transformation of movement activists from outsiders into in siders within the policymaking process on a scale perhaps un precedented in our history, at least since the era of the New Deal that the present study is concerned. Among those considered are the following:

\u239\'95 Sam Brown, Director, ACTION \u239\'95 Mary King, Deputy Director, ACTION \u239\'95 John Lewis, Associate Director, ACTION \u239\'95 Ilona Hancock, Regional Director, ACTION \u239\'95 Marge Tabankin, Deputy Associate Director, ACTION \u239\'95 Peter Bourne, former Special Assistant to the President \u239\'95 Bella Abzug, CoChair, National Advisory Committee for Women \u239\'95 Hendrick Hertzberg, White House speechwriter \u239\'95 W. Anthony Lake, Director, State Department Policy Planning Staff \u239\'95 David Aaron, Deputy Assistant to the President,National Security Council \u239\'95 Robert Pastor, National Security Council staff \u239\'95 Stoney Cooks and Brady Tyson, U.S. Mission to.the United Nations \u239\'95 Andrew Young, U.S. Representative to the United Nations

Many of these New Leftera activists, along with others men tioned, have been associated with the Institute for Policy Studies, an organization whose leadership includes several admitted or otherwise known Communists and other revolutionaries. The pattern of affiliation with IPS, like the pattern of activity in proHan6i segments of the "peace" movement of the 1960s, forms a noticeable common thread running through the various sections of the present study and, in view of the ties maintained by IPS and its subsidi aries with a wide variety of radical individuals and movements, both foreign and domestic, is of the greatest significance.

It is not the contention of this study that every government official with a New Left background is necessarily proCommunist; in eachcase cited, the relevant data are enumerated and patterns " E' ' for itself. of activi Ydeveloped, and the information speaks



To many Americans, and especially to those conversant with the more exotic forms of political protest in theUnited States, one of the preeminent developments ofthe*1960s.was the growth of a phenomenon which cameto be known as.the "New Left." The' distinction between theNew Leftand.the traditional "Old Left" often seems a difficult one, involvingwhat appear to be arcane sectarian differences'and protracted disputes over tactical approaches: tomass protest. However, though there were very real differences between them, itcannot be too strongly empha sized that@ they were ableto cooperate to a significant degree in united front efforts builtaround specific issues. many of the people who wereresponsible for the birth and growth of the .New Left were them elves the offspring of old Left radicals, in cluding longtime members of the Communist Party, U.S.A., a fact which helps explain why both the Old Left and the New Left were reflective of a common rejection of traditional American society and institutions coupled with an often frenzied desire to over turn them in favor of a radical Marxist and, in many cases, even.a.MarxistLaninist alternative.. Briefly, theOldLeft is embodied in such organizations as the Communist Party of the UnitedStatesof America (CPUSA), which adheres to the lineand direction of the'Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the largest and oldest exemplar of Trotskyite Communist doctrine in the United States. Both of these primary Communist groups on the Old Left are part of larger international movements. 'The devotion of the CPUSA to the orthodox Communism of the CPSU is undisguisedr as even a casual perusal of basic CPUSA publications can attest, while the SWP is a constituent part of the Fourth International, a worldwide Trotskyite Communist apparatus some sections of which are known to engage in terrorist violence.

it is Significant that, even though the CPUSA and SWP are his toric enemies on matters of fundamental dogma, a fact which stems from the great rift in the world Communist movement created by the formal break between Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky, both organi zations managed to work together in cr'eatizigand directing the most effective segments of the domestic antiVietnam war movement of the 1960o. As.@extensive research and investigation by'both the House Committeiron Internal Security and the Senate InEerna'I Security Subcommittee demonstrated, virtually every major antiVietnam war coalition, including those which initiated and carried out the massive protests in Washington, D.C., in 1967, 1969, 1970, and 1971,, was either dominated or controlleA by functionaries and concealed members of either the CPUSA or the SWP, very often working together toward their common goal of bringing about an American defeat and Communist victory in Southeast Asia. Other

While the leadership of the New Left, like that of the Old Left, was generally Marxist in outlook, it does not necessarily follow that everyone who was caught up in radical causes of the 1960s agreed in every particular with the leadership of the various organizations involved. Nevertheless, the patterns of association are there and are certainly valid as indicators of a person's basic orientation on the issues which often had revolutionary implica tions for American society.

Also, the present study does not purport to show the extent to which elements of the environmentalist or "public interest" advocacy movements have been absorbed into policymaking positions in government. There are those who tend to view these movements as being synonymous with the radical left in America; such a view is at best imprecise. It is true that certain elements of the New Left have tended to gravitate toward the more radical fringes of environmentalism, particularly toward civil disobedience oriented antinuclear energy groups like the Clamshell Alliance; but it would be inaccurate to tax all adherents of the environ mentalist movement with attachment to such avowedly radical enter prises, though it seems fair to contend that substantial numbers of them do adhereto what is often called a "nogrowth" mentality in this area. Communist groups, many of them created by former members of the CPUSA and SWP, also worked in this effort. To the extent that these other groups, including such avowedly Maoist.organizations as the Progressive Labor Party and such other dissident Communist entities as the Workers World Party, are reflective of an openly Communist perspective on revolutionary change in our society, they should be considered inheritors of the Old Left tradition.

It is also true, of course, that the traditional left in America includes various democratic socialist groupings; but it is essentialto observe that, especially in some of the more blatamtly Communistled operations mounted by the antiVietnam war movement, the socialists, particularly members and leaders of the Socialist Party, frequently refused to participate pre cisely because of the obvious desire on the part of Communist activists to bring about the 'ultimate victory of Communist aggression. it is a historic truism that to coalesce with Com munists is not to work for the achievement of legitimate social or political ends; rather, it is, however unwittingly, to aid them in advancing the revolutionary cause of proletarian dic tatorship as enshrined in the repressive system of the Soviet Union and similar states.

.For purposes of convenience, then, and bearing in mind the democratic socialist distinction, one may assume that the Old Left is that portion of the radical spectrum that is character ized generally by adherence to traditional MarxismLeninism. It is, by and large, specifically Communist in the popularly understood sense and, while plagued by sectarian divisions and seemingly interminable tactical and personal disputes, has shown itself to be dedicated to the advancement of a coherent body of MarxistLeninist doctrine. Further, the various organizations whichcomprise the Old Left are characterized by a remarkable .degree of internal disdipline. It is axiomatic, for example, that a rankandfile member of either the CPUSA or the SWP must, as a condition of party membership, accept.without question the dictates of those whose function it is to set party policy. Dissent is, as a practical matter, hardly tenable unless one is willing to run serious risk of,disciplinary action, including expulsion.

Within the New Left of the 1960sol however, the situation was radically different. Ideological homogeneity was by no means the rule; and orgahizati6nal'. discipline was generally byno means as strict, although it was certainly far from non existent.In general, the New Left may accurately be said &o have been an outgrowth of the burgeoning student protests of the 1960s, protests which centered to a great extent around the Vietnam war and a multiplicity of issues which the New Left re garded as inseparably related to it, including alleged complicity of certain university institutions with the socalled military industrial complex or, as the New Left liked to style it, the "warmachine." The New Left saw American universities, cor porations, and other great institutions as integral parts of one vast system of oppression and dedicated itself to the destruction of that system by any means necessary, including mass protest, forcible disruption, and, eventually as in the case of the Weather Underground and similar groups, terrorist violence.

It is important to note at this juncture that adherence to overt terrorist violence should not necessarily be charged to the New Left as a whole. Students for a Democratic Society was, until the splintering of the organization in 1969, an avowedly radical organization which engaged in disruptive protest activity, the 1968 SDS occupation of Columbia University being perhaps the bestknown example. In 1969, however, SDS became so riddled with factionalism that it simply fell apart as rival groups vied &r. final control. The result was the demise of the it had originally been conceived and the emer gence of the socalled Weatherman faction, named for a passage in a popular Bob Dylan song of the time. This group became what is currently known as the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), made up of hardcore advocates and practitioners of terrorist bombings.and other.violence.

Other groups which prominence during the period of New Left growth also, like SDS, became increasingly militant. organizations like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panther Party assumed increasingly racist postures as such leaders as Stokely Carmichael of SNCC and Eldridge Cleaver of the BPP toured the United States and various foreign countries espousing the rhetoric of."black power" and support for such guerrilla movements as the Viet Cong. With regard to SNCC, it is instructive to note that as the organization's leadership became increasingly enamored with the rhetoric of violence, its support among certain white activists, many of whom had been among the group's founders,.correspondingly dimi nished until SNCC became purely and simply a black revolutionary organization. It is also instructive to note that, as with the BPP, SNCC's white supporters were to a significant degree pro ducts of the Old Left and included people long associated with the CPUSA and with the CPUSA's extensive network of front organi zations.

A similar situation arose among organizations active in the antiVietnam war agitation. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, for example, included movement activists who later progressed to involvement with such Maoist groups as the Venceremos Organization and such avowedly terrorist operations as the Symbionese Libera tion Army, while some of those associated with the May Day demonstrations in Washington, D.C., in.1971 were known to be planning for violence rather than for peaceful mass protest. The point is that the positions of a great many moveme 'nt types during the period of New Left promizience tended to harden rather than to become more moderate.

Perhaps the epitome of mass violence in the New Left era of the 1960s wasreached during the August 1968 demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention and during the October 1969 SDS "Days of Rage," both of which actions were executed in the streets of Chicago, Illinois. The August 1969 demonstra tions were organized and carried out under the aegis of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the nation's principal Communistoriented antiVietnam war organi zing focus at that pointF and anallied movement known as' the Youth International Party, popularly called the "Yippies." There. can be no doubt that the purpose of this action was to provoke violent confrontation with the police, viewed by many of the demonstrators as the quintessential embodiment of America's political repressiveness; unfortunately, there can 1@e no doubt that the organizers of the demonstrations succeeded, although many competent observers remain convinced that the popu lar mediaencouraged notion of the demonstrations as a "police riot" best an oversimplification and at worst a gross dis tortion of reality. While these riotous demonstrations involved a virtual cross.section of people from both the Old and New.Left, the October 1569 "Days of Rage" were a purely SDS operation in tended specifically as an exercise in violent protest. Again, those who organized for violence were resoundingly successful.

To reiterate an importantpoint, one should not necessarily impute to all members of the New Left a common ideology or a uniform belief in mass or selective violence. Unlike Old Left groupings, those of the New Left were often, by comparison, woefully lacking in discipline and ideological consistency. In deedr Clark Kissinger, an early leader in Students for a Democra tic Society, was quoted in 1965 as saying, in tryingtodis tinguish between the two movements, that ."The old Marxist Left was intensely ideological.. They could rattle off the cause of any war as capitalism, imperialism, fight fat markets: one, two, three. We are characterized primarily by skepticism. Not having all the answers, we don't pretend we do /emphasis in original/." Having made this point, however, ong should not make the mis:Eake of thinking that the New Left was devoid of Communist influence or perspective. For example, while such New Left theorettcians as Kissinger tended in the earlier.years to dis avow the sort of identification with particular foreign Communist powers that has always been a hallmark of the CPUSA, it is clear that the movement as a whole tended toward extravagent admira tion for the specifically Communist revolutionary model of

Fidel Castro. As Staughton Lynd andTom Hayden wrote in the maga zine Studies on the Left, "We refuseto be antiCommunist," a sentimenEtEat' MoUld be read in conjunction with theassesdment by an eminent liberal, Irving Howe,. that theNew Left dem n strated "anunconsidered enmity toward something vaguely called the establishment, an equally unreflectivebelief in the 'decline ofthe West,.' a crude, unqualified antiAmericanism, drawn from every source."

it should also. be. reiterated. that,. despite divergent views onthe morality or tactical utility of violence, those who ad hered to.,the New: Left vievi wereo" like their breth=an of the. Old Left,, characterizedbya common'rej .ection of traditional American usagesand norms, a rejection which mostcitizens ofthe United States recognized as based.on a distorted view. of reality. The New'Left wasjoften seeminglyanarchist to a great extent. It represented what hasbeen popularly termed the "counterculture,," a phenomenon in which rejection of the norm. became initself the norm and inwhich.blatant sexual.promiscuityand the increasingly widespread utilization of drugs went hand in hand withwhat was all too often. a slavish idealization of Communistled "national liberation"* guerrilla movements. likethe VietCong. Itsays,much. about the makeup ofthe New Left,, and particularly about the "crude,@ unqualified_ antiAmericanisie towhich.IrvingHowe ad verted,. thatProfessor Douglas:Dowdo:fCornall University., a prominen't.figure in the ' antiVietnam. war movement of the. 19603". could be quatecL as havinc 1A .r sal .*that the. people who. do the: organL zing for this kind. of. thing, al, at all of them. really feel .that not only the war should end but that if.Z1;;re had to be a side in that.war I think most of us feel wewould be on the. other side."

it is.probably assume that the New Left, at least as an attempt at mass radicalization, was born in 1962 with the "Port Huron Statement" which, drafted by Tom Hayden,, was the basicideological manifesto of SDS. The New Left came into its own,, so to speak,, with the radical*Free SpeechMovement" dem onstrationson the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in.1964. As previouslyindicated, New Left organizing ceAtere&inlarge measure around the Vietnam war as the 1960s. progressed,.although, as we have alto seen, much of the primary mpetus and organizational expertise for the major antiVietnam war coalitions was supplied by seasoned veterans of the Old Left. The National Conference for New Politics, which organized a'well attended convention in Chicago, Illinois, over Labor Day weekend in 1967,'r'@eiipresented a serious attempt to unify activists fiom both thiOld and New Left around radicalantivi*etnamwar pbliti cal candidates, although, as with'the national antiVietnam war coalitions, the degree to which the effort was successful was probably attributable to the organizational expertise of activists from the Old Left, in this case functionaries and concealed members of the Communist Party, U.S.A. A large number of Old and New Leftists also became actively involved in the presidential candidacy of Senator Eugene McCarthy (DMinN in 1968.

The New Left was in fact a phenomenon of the radical activism of the 1960s and relied, in the last analysis, primarily on student and other discontent with the Vietnam war and related questions for its chief organizing focus. It is certainly true that New Lefttype protest activity went into decline as United States involvement in Southeast Asia lessened; and it appears equally true, at least at this juncture, that there has not arisen another issue with sufficientemotional appeal to rekindle the sort of fundamental revolutionary rejection of American society.that was basic to the New Left period of the 1960s, although the more militant elements of the antinuclear energy movement have clearly been trying to move in this direction.


In view of the foregoing summary, and bearing in mind the extreme seriousness with which somany members of the New Left held their essentially antiAmerican and, to a great extent, pro Communist views, it becomes appropriate to ask oneself where the New Left as the 1970s. draw to a close. It is, for excVnple, ten years since the August 1968 demonstrations at the Demodratic.National Convention, after which the socalled Chicago Seven wera indicted for conspiracy tofoment violence. Perhaps no grbup of radicals epitomized the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s as did the "Chicago Seven:" David Dellinger, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, John Froines, and Lee Weiner. The entire movement became involved in defending these activists (who, according to Rubin, writing in the Chicago'Sun Times for March 8, 1976, were all "guilty as hell") in using the Chicago conspiracy trial as a vehicle for condemnation of the United States as the embodiment of repression and reaction, but it may well be that most people are unaware of what has happened to the defendants and others of their stripe in the intervening years.

Dellinger is currently engaged in editing Seven Days, a radical magazine, and in working with the MobillzaFlon for Sur vival, a movement initiated at the instance of the World Peace Council, an apparatus controlled by the Soviet Union. Self described as a nonSoviet Communist, he has repeatedly traveled to Communist Cuba and remains an unabashed radical. Rubin,.on the otheihand, while still hardly anyone's idebL of the typical middleclass American, appears to have changed more than Dellinger. Formerly outspokenly antiA.Merican and given to some of the movement's most bizarre costuming, Rubin reportedly now lives in New York City with his girlfriend in a $685amonth apartment and, in conjunctioA with her, is planning to incorporate himself to produce a "Human Potential Festival." He has even been quoted as saying that he "used to fear money" but now has "a more prac ...tical. attitude." Hoffman has supposedly undergone plastic sur gery to disguise his appearance andstill. remains a fugitive from arrest as a result of having jumped bail in New York.City after being charged with selling cocaine to undercover policemen. He was recently the object 6f a "Bring Abble Home" concertin New York, a function at which Delling6k, Rubin, Davis, and Froines werepresent, although Hoffman.apparentlywas not. Davis has married.and lives with.his wifeand daughter in a rented home in Denver,. Colorado. With the.end of the.vietnam war, during which hewasa particularly outspoken partisan of Hanoi, Davis reportedly felt that "this. chapter was closed.' and turned to wondering "what I would do next.n After a period of three years as an adherent of guru Maharaj Ji, heis, currently a John Hancock insurance broker.

But itis when one comes to Hayden, Froines, and Weiner that one is perhaps most surprised.' 'Hayden, now married to actress Jane Fonda, who loudlyproclaimed herpreference for Communism and Hanoi during the Vietnam. war, remains one of America'smost radical, andarticulate activists.. Deeply engaged in his Campaign for Economic Dem cracy, amovement with close ties to the ex .tremely radical Institute for Policy Studies, Hayden has been receivedl ixL theWhite House by President Carter, who has been telling him, "TIm proud of''ve made important.. contributions to our country.", During theVietnam war, Hayden tourn6yed to Hanoiand returned to the.United States to say that ."Weare all Viet Cong." Whethersuch an.utterance is properly to,.be regarded as one of Hayden's "importantcontributi6ns to our country"Is, of course,, problematical. It is noted, however, that HaydenIs visit to the White House,,. which.occurred while he was in Washington as one of the 26 delegates Cali fornieGovernor Jerry Brown to represent him at a Conference on Balanced National Growth and Economic Development held in Janu ary 1978, was arranged by Dr. Peter Bourne, at the time an offi cial adviser to President Carter on questions of drug abuse.

Froines and Weiner have also, like Hayden, moved into the governmental establishment. Weiner was the least known of the defendants in the Chicago conspiracy trial. Ultimately acquitted along with his codefendants, Weiner subsequently lost his teaching position at Rutgers University after having allegedly stated, at a 1972 birthday party for Black Panther Bobby Seale, that he was "starting a new Communist party in New Jersey." In 1976, he worked for the presidential campaign of Jimmy Carteri later acquiring aposition as a consultant for ACTION at the rate of4130 per day. Froines remained more visibly activein the movement than did Weiner. When the National Mobilization committee to End the War in Vietnam became the New Mobilization committee to End the War in Vietnam as a result of a Communist dominated conference held in mid1969, Froines wound up as a(m6m ber of the New Mobe steering committee. He remained active with this apparatp, officially cited by the House Committee on In ternal Security as being under Communist domination, through a series of successive changes and reorganizations until it became the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, one of the prime organizers of the violencemarked demonstrations in Washing@on, D.C., during April'..and May of 1971. In its annual report for 1971# the House Committee characterized the PCPJ as being under the "generally predominant influence" of the Communist Party, U.S.AL. Duringa rally at the U.S. Department of Justice building during the 1971 demonstrations, John Froines, according to eye witnesses, stated, "I have not come to the Justice Department to surrender.. Ihave come here to tear down the Government." In 1972, Froines was a PCPJ delegate to 'the World Assembly for Peace, a Sovietcontrolled gathering in Versailles, France, and also served as a sponsor of the National United Committee to Free Angela Davis, cited by the House Committee as part of the "offi cial defense apparatus" created by the Party around the case of one of its top leaders who was then on trialin California. After later efforts at campaigning for Senator George McGovern (DS.4) and lobbying against congressional funds for the Vietnam war, Froines now enjoys a position within the Carter administration as director of the occupational Safety and Health Administration's Office of Toxic Substances at a salary of some $36,000 per annum.

Hayden.. Froines, and Weiner are of special interest because they represent what many observers see as an alarming trend: the transformationof former New Left and other basically extremist activists fromoutsiders to insiders in thepolitical and govern mental processes. It is, of course, well known that administra7 tions have tended to recruit from certain particular areas of the national life. Those who make and implement our foreign policy, for example, generally have come from such organizations as the Council on Foreign Relations or the Fo\u228\'8axjziPolicy Association; from such institutions of learning as Harvard University; and from such taxexempt power centers as the great foundations, the Brookings Institution, and the Carnegie Endowment for Inter national Peace. A common complaint among New Left and other left types has been that they have been relegated to outsider status and thereby effectivelydeprived of the opportunity to influence at first hand the formation of public policy. Now, however, with the advent of the Carter administration, the situa tion has been dramatically reversed. instead of being on the outside looking in, representatives of the American left are now solidly ensconced within the policymaking process, perhaps for the first time on such a scale since the period of the New Deal and theq_qlipinistration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. This influx of political leftists has been notable in several areas,'but it has probablybeen nowhere quite as pronounced as at ACTION under the leadership of Sam Brown. SAM BROWN, DIR ECTOR, ACTION

Samuel Winfred (Sam) Brown, Jr., is the veryembodiment of the notion of the New Left activist turned establishment figure.. Educated at such institutions as the University of Redlands, Rutgers University, and Harvard Divinity School, Brown served in 1968, according to his official biography, as "national volun!' teer coordinatdkr,of EugeneMcCarthy's campaign for president, supervising the 'children's crusade' in New Hampshire." Later in the same year, he worked as statewide citizens coordinator for the successful campaign of Harold Hughes for the United States Senate in Iowa. In December 1968, Brown served as a consultant to.the Peace Corps in India and Nepral, after which he spent six months as a fellow of the Institute of Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 1972', Brown worked in the abortive campaign of Senator Fred Harris (DOkla.) for the Democratic presidential nomination, following which effort he becamea prime organi:zer of the suc cessful campaign to bar the winter Olympics from Colorado. This effort, a major example of successful environmental activism, was shrewdly couched in terms of the Olympics being a waste of the Colorado taxpayer's dollars. In 1974, Brown ran successfully for the office of state treasurer of Colorado, and he was later believed to be seriouslyconsidering a race for the office of mayor of Denver when his term as state treasurer expired. In stead, when President Carter assumed power early in 1977, he appointed Brown director of ACTION, the federal agency which includes some 236,000 volunteers serving in such programs as VISTA and the Peace Corps. ACTION's budget has been estimated at approximately $182,000,000.

Brown.'s other ties include membership on the board of the Fair Campaign Practices Committee, the Brookings Institution Study on the Presidency, and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation; and he was also, again according to his official biography, "a founding board member of the Council on Economic Priorities, an economic reserach organization." it is, however, .for his anti:.Vietnam war organizing activities that he is best known, althoughhis biography merely observes that "Brown founded, coordinated and led the Vietnam moratorium in Washington, D.C. in.'.19691" a summary that hardly does justice to the realities of antiVietnam warmovement activity during this period.

The focus of Sam Brown's antiVietnam war activities was the Vietnam Moratorium Committee, an organization which played a major role'in organizing mass demonstrations against United States involvement in Vietnam during October and November of 1969. Specifically, the VMC staged a demonstration in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1969, and gave allout support to the massive demonstration in Washington on November 15, 1969, under the auspices of the New..Mobiliiatibn Committee to'l.End the War in Vietnam (New Mobe, as it was popularly known). The extent to which these two organizations were interlocked is often over looked, but it provides valuable insight into antiVietnam war movement.@organizing.

The VMC enjoyed official representation on the steering com mittee of New Mobe from the latter's inception in July 1969 at the National AntiWar Conference in.Cleveland, Ohio. Sworn testi mony before the House Committee on Internal Security revealed that the National AntiWar Conference, in which the VMC actively participated, had actually been called largely at the instance of the Socialist Workers'Party, which enjoyed operational con trol of a substantial percentage of the machinery of the anti Vietnam war movement across the United States. The New Mobe, founded at this conference as the official successor to earlier coalitions, to which Communist support was also crucial, was an umbrella apparatus which sought to bring groups into its ranks on the basis of "nonexclusion,," a term which meant simply that Communists were to be welcomed at all levels. The.uncontra dictl3d recordshows that New Mobels founding conference was secretly manipulated by members and supporters af the SWP, working in concert with other advocates of a Communist victory in Vietnam. In this connection,it is noted that Martin Abend, a television commentator in New York, stated to his listeners in 1969 that Sam Brown admitted he wasin favor of a Viet Cong victory in Vietnam a position, as previously indicated in the quotation attributed to Douglas Dowd, held by most of the really important activists iri themovement.

The VMC, which shared its office space with New Mobe, col laborated very closely with New Mobe on the October 15 demon stration, which was characterized by heavy Communist participation at every juncture. Subsequently, the Daily World, official news paper of the Communist Party, reported in its 6ctober 22, 1969, edition that Brown,. coordinator for the VMC, had announced VMC's complete, nation.wide support for the New Mobe demonstration in Washington on November 15. It should be noted that in its annual repoit for 1970, after a careful and thor 'ough investigation., the House Committee on Internal Security formally concluded that New Mobe was under "communist domination@" As previously indicated, New Mobe formally endorsed the VMC's October 15 demonstration, while the VMC played an active part in assuring the success of New Mobels massive outpouring on November 15. It is also indica tivL of the true nature of these demonstrations, despite the generally favorable coverage the VMC received in most media accodntst that New York area participation in VMC's October15 effort 4eii'coordinated by a regional coalition known as the Fifth Avenue Vietnam Peace Parade Committee, also citedas "domi naEed by communists" in the House Committee's 1970 annual report.

Such was the nature of the movement to which Brown lent his energies. it is perhaps small wonder that in 1976, while serving as a member of the Democratic Party Platform Committee., Brown was at odds with some of the Carter people over the issue of amnesty for those who had resisted the draft during the Vietnam war. Nor is it surprising that Brown avows a strong bias against the American intelligence community. As far back as 1967, when he was attending Harvard Divinity School, Brown ran for president of the National Student Association on a platform which included denun ciation ofinvolvement in the the Central Intelligence Agency; and in a lengthy interview published in the December 1977 issue of Penthouse magazine, he stated, "I take second place to no one in my hatrWd of the intelligence agencies." What may be surprising, at least to some observers, is that, according to the same interview, Brown was offered the directorship of ACTION a bare three hours after President Carter's inauguration. As Brown, he had first been called by Mr. Carter in Colorado about a week before the inauguration, so. that

It wa:sn'tan accident that he/Max Cleland, Predi dent Cattdrls'choice to hea d aie Veterans Adminii iion/ and I were the first people into the white .stra i House on inauguration day. After Carter walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, he called us into the Oval office.

As for whether he mid @ht feel somewhat awkward in such 'an "es t,ablishme'ne'position.after a career as one of the nation's better knowhradical activists, Brown stated:

I never felt that much "outside." I felt that people in the streets in the sixties were working on the same problem as I am now. it has something to do ;Oith the way government should be whdn it's at its best it ought to include some sense of justice and equity. The civilrights andantiwar demonstrators were trying to do what I try to do now; the difference is'that now the government pays me for it instead of chasing me through the streets because of it. It doesn't feel at all uncomfortable.

AThe reference to being chased through the streets may be an .allusion to Brown's havingbeen in Chicago during the violent demon strations at the Democratic National Convention in August 1968. According to his own statement as quoted in the Penthouse inter view, he_mas "in the.middleof Michigan Avenue during the 1968 Democratic convention" in the company of a movement luminary named Carl Oglesby, a prominent antiVietnam war activist and .leader in Students for a Democratic Society.who has reportedly described himself as a Communist denying, however, specific membership'in the Communist Party, U.S.A.) Brown clearly does. not feel that his commitment to the Carter any way connotes a diminution of his commitment to what is usually called "the movement.." on the contrary, as shown by thd Penthouse interview, he has been thinking about extending.tEeactlvvi"ties of the Peace'Corps into Communist Vietftam.. Interestingly,, Brown observed during the dis cussion thathis "senseofthe Vietnamese,. from conversations during the war,. is that the government of Vietnam understood very' clearly the distinction between.theAmericanpeople and the U.S. gover=ent.," which iscertainly true: it was oneof the most pronouncedthemes of Communist propaganda during the Vietnam war that therewas a vital distinction to be made between the American people and their imperialist governmnt. This possibility with regard to Vietnam isindicative of Brown's view of the so. called Third World gencrallj,:

I don't see ourselves in a Cold War context "Usn. against nthem.11 Questions in the Thikd World have very little, it seems to me, to do with po litical ideology. Theyhave to'do with basic human needs. There are a lot of revolutionary govern menta in the worldtoday that welcome the Peace Corps but don't likethe United Statesvery,much.

If such a perspective sounds r iniscent of Andrew Young.. President Carter's choice as United States Ambassador td the United Nations, itisprobably more than mere coincidence. During his Penthouse interview,.Brown was asked specifically how he. feels about Young,. And.his response.was as follows:

Vve been spending a lot of time with Andy, and we've been on two trips abroad together. He's in a very sttong position: he is the administration's foreign policy.. By the tiFe this appears in print, I may haveegg on my face,. but I think that Andy Young really expresses Carter's views. Most of the people who criticize him just don't want to believe him. Zpmphasis in original./' Brown'sastessment of President Carter'provided'intriguing in dicators of possible things to come: I think Carter's incredibly smart, one of the smartest men I've ever met. I think he is a much more progressive kind of guy than he is given credit for being. His energy speech was, I think, very understated but a.very radical speech. it's redistributive with respect to tax impact. He said that the government, not the oil. companies,ought to control energy policy. He' talked about disclosure and about the way in which the oil compnaies make their money. Once there is dis clo'sure, there will be divestiture. Equally important, I think, Carter is a terrific guy to work for, because he gives you a mandate and says, Go with it.


Bearing in mind the two immediately preceding quotations, it may be of particular interest to note the following exchange taken from the same interview:


Penthouse: Tom Hayden, whom youlve said you admire a great deal, wrote in Rolling Stone that while it was too early "to predict tEeirrfates" speaking of Carter's younger appointees, such as you and Andrew Young "the most likely judgment is that they are a cadre of insiders who now are moderate enough to be acceptable and independent enough to be creative and critical, and who in a decade will be the next set of top policy makers.." Would you agree with that assessment?

Brown: I think that's probably true. I'd like to think so. I thought about it before I came. Moreover, I talked to the president about it.

That Sam Brown is a long way from giving up his extremely radical perspective is indicated by his continuing affiliation with the National Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policies, an apparatus extablished and operated by the Institute forPolicy Studies, a farleft Washington "think tank" which num bers among its principal leaders and associates a variety of left ists, including identified Communists and other revolutionaries. (For a detailed examination of the origins, leadership, and activities of IPS, see Heritage Foundation Institution Analysis No. 2, "Institute for Policy Studies," May 19777. Browns ties to the NCASLPP include service on the organization's coordinating committee and active involvement in task forces and other pro grams, including a threeday national conference held during July 1978 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and described by David Broder in the July 17, 1978, edition of the Washington Post as the "fourth annual reunion" of some "650 veterans of the peace and civil rights movements and the radical politics of the 1960s." .At the organization's 1975 conference, Brown, according to the authoritative weekly Human Events, "urged radical state officials to press for regulations limiting the size of bank holdings and assets, putting state funds only in banks which agree to make loans 'to particularly socially desirable goals,' and setting up 'public enterprises,' using taxpayers' funds as capital to drive private enterprise out of certain, selected areas."

It.isperhaps significant that the national director of the NCASLPP is Lee Webb, at one time national secretary of Students for a Democratic Society. Webb, who was extremely active in SDS, also worked in 1968 with such movement leaders as Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden in organizing the demonstrations conducted by the Communistdominated National mobilization Committee during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, after which he became Washington, D.C., "bureau chief" for the Guardian, a wellknown Communist newsweekly. in addition to Webb, NCASLPP has two other staff people in its Washington office: Ann Wise and Barbara Bick. Bick was also active in Communistoriented "peace" movements during the Vietnam war and was identified as a member of the Communist Party in sworn testimony before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities in 1951.

The NCASLPP has described itself as a "new network ... estab lished to strengthen the programmatic work of the left." To this endp presumably, the organization conducted a second annual con ferencein Austin, Texas, in June 1976, at which Brown reportedly stated that if President Carter "turns out to be as conservative as some people fear, our work becomes still more important be cause the only people out to change things in the long run are in this room." Such a statement says much about Brown's basic moti@ vations and reflects a clearly elitist conception of what is needed in effecting basic change in our society.

In view of BrownIs active.adherence to the policies and pro grams of the NCASLPP, it is pertinent to cite two items from Webb's statement of the group's intentions. The first reflects a desire "To open up contacts with local government and political officials in Europe, particularly England, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, and some Eastern European countries.... " The second advances the idea of "contacts of American local public officials with Cuba, particularly concentrating on structure and function of local government." Webb stated that "Jim Rowen, Assistant to the Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, and soninlaw of George McGovern, received an initial inquiry from the Cubans about the National Conference and an expression (of interest) in a possible delegation." This preoccupation with Communist Cuba is of particular interest when it is recalled that Brown has a special concern for what is often called the Third World. Also, according to syndicated columnist Patrick Buchanan, Brown once addressed a Secretary's Open Forum at the U'S. Department of State on the subject of "workplace democracy,,"' which he described as "a concept ill developed in' American society.. It is another of the places where we stand to learn from Jamaica, from Tanzania, from Cuba, from Ydgoslavia...."

The most notorious incident involving Brown, however, was probably his participation ina public rallyin New York City on September 25, 1977, during which, in the words of a reporter for the New York Times, "Vietnam's new delegation to the United Nations was greeted by thFusands of its American friends'and supporiers, many of whom had opposed the United States involvement in Indo china." Presiding atthis function in honor of the official representatives of the Communist.government of Vietnam was


11peace" movement activist Cora Weiss, a woman with a record of subservience to the Communists in Hanoi that is virtually un matched in th0_ United States. Among the estimated 2,500 people who attended the gathering were selfadmitted Communist David Dellinger, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and radical folk singerand movement guru Pete Seeger, long ago identified in sworn testimony as a member of the Communist Party. Present also was Sain Brown, head of ACTION, who reportedly stated that nwe ought to aid the Vietnamese in their reconstruction" and that he was "deeply moved." According to the Times reporter's account, Brown also said that "It's difficult to describe my feelings what can you say when the kinds of things that 15 years of your life were wrapped up in are suddenly before you?"


One might ask, "What indeed?" One of the Vietnamese repre sentatives was, quoted as saying, as part.of an attack on the United States, that "From such a long distance the American im perialists send half a million troops to wage a bloody colonial war," adding that, despite this, "no enmity exists between the Vietnamese and American people." (At this point, one might recall Brown Is statement that the Vietnamese government "understood very clearly the distinction between the Americanpeople and the U.S. government.") The same speaker, to "heavy applause," also asked, "How can we accept that those who dropped 50 million tons of bombs on Vietnam not contribute to the'healing of war wounds?" Then he declaimed, to a.standing ovation, "Long live the friendship between the'Vietnamese and the American people'..'s

Press accounts of this gathering occasioned considerable .negative comment, especiallyamong members of the House and Senate of the United States who questioned Brown's fitness for a position of public trust in such circumstances. But the most telling commentary was perhaps that of Eric Sevareid:

Most of those in the New York theatre were not celebrating peace. They were celebrating the triumph of communist totalitarianism, which is what they had always been working for in the guise of a peace movement.


It appears that Brown's radical views are shared by others at the uppor levels of ACTION. Deputy Director Mary King stated during her confirmation hearings before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, "I find myself completely in compatibility with Mr. Brown. I think our beliefs and values are congruent and that we will work very effectively together." Reportedly quite close to President Carter and to Mrs. Carter, Mary King served from 1963 to 1965, according to her official biography, as assistant director of communications for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; it was during this same period (specifically', from 1963 through 1966) that John Lewis, currently Dire@:tor of Domestic Programs for ACTION, served as SWCC's national chairman. According to a staff stUdy placed into the record of 19'67 hearings before the House Committeeon UnAmerican Activities, the "Primary ini tiators inthe founding of SNCC were" two women, Ella Baker and Anne Braden. Both were involved extensively inboth SNCC and the Southern.Conference 'Educational Fund, an.organization with which SNCC collaborated frequentlyand.which was known throughout that. period as.anadjunct of the Communist.Party. Mrs. Braden was. herself.identified under oathas a member of the CPUSA and,,.with her husband.Carl Braden, likewise identified as a Party member,. was among. SCEF?s principal moving.forces.


Mary King is, as previously noted, married to Peter Bourne, apsychj:atrist who recently resigned as an adviser to President Carter on drug abuse questions because of allegations of improper activities involving the writing of a prescription' for a potent and frequently abused drug inthe name of a fictitious person, & criminal. offense. As shown by an official list of local co ordinators printed and disseminated by Vietnam Veterans Against .theWar..,r. Bouimewas at one time an Atlanta, Georgia, coordinator for VVAW, an overtly proCommuirist.and proHanoiorganization that was eventually taken over by theMaoist Revolutionary Union. it is.further.noted that VVAW was among the most activecom . ponents of the Communistdominated Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice during the organizing of the soca@lled May Day demon strations of1971, reference to which was.made earlier incon nection with JohrL Froines, director of.OSHA's Office of Toxic Substances.

Bourne has also served as a me er of the board of directors of theInstitute for Southern Studies, formed in March 1970 asa subsidiary of the extremely radical Institute' for Policy Studies. A nonprofit, taxexempt organization, ISS has described itself as Ila social change organization engaged in research and educa tional programs that analyze and clarify alternatives for the political economy of the South and the Nation." More specifi cally, the Institute, with a staff characterized as "young, black and'white, men and women who were active participants in the struggles,cfthe'sixties," believes that "Corporate behavio3r assumes' a'spects of colonial domination in the Soixth." and that "Multinational firms view the region's unorganized work force and poorly protected resourcesas ripe for exploitation.... To help counter this situation, the Institute, among other activities., issystematically collecting, evaluating, and dis seminating data on the operations of over 400 cor porations inthe South. The information gets wide use.,. from local blackstrikers to Ralph Nader's Law Center. 'In addition, we are linking corpor ate reform groups outside'the region to local struggles, and helping local struggles, and helping.local projects develop alternativemodes of economic survival.


ACTION DomesticPrograzas Director John Lewis was characterized by Anthony Bouscaren and DanielLyons, in their comprehensive.vol ume Left ofLiberal (NewYork: Twin.Circle Publishing Co., 1969)., as a "MarxisE revolutionary" who "before turhing over the chair manship of SNCC to Stokely Carmichaelhelped author that organi zation'sinfamouscall for draft evasion.". SNCC wasone of the most active black revolutionarygroups of the 1960s. Begun as an interracial organization, as.indicated previously, SNCC became _. c. I .. In, r6asinglymilitant aiider the eidership of Lewis, Carmichael, and H.. "Rapm Brown. As the decadeprogressed, SNCC. allieditself with the Movement for Puerto Rican 'Independence, cited,by the SenateInternal Security Subcommittee as one of nthe three leading proCommunistorganizations of Puerto Rico.," According.tothe.House Committeeon Uh"Americarr Activities, SNCC also."'aligned itself'with the Havanabased Latin American Soli darity Organization.(LASO),. a ofgue3riilla fighters whose primary aim is to export revolution in Latin America and amongthe Negro America."

Sevetal of Lewis's other radical affiliations are also of special interest. He has served asa "Vice Chairman" for the "Southern Region" of the National Committee Against Repressive Legislationand as a member of the "Southern Region Committee" of NCARL's predecessor, the National.Committee to Abolish the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. This apparatus, originally seE up in 1960 "to lead and direct the Communist Party's 'Operation Abolition' campaign* against the House Committee,the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and theSenate Internal Security Sub co *ttee, has operated from its inception as a front for the CPUSA. In 1966, when the Attorney General of the United States moved torequire the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America to register with the government as a Communistfront organization under the terms of the Internal Security Act of 1950, several movement@ leaders'mounted a defense of the DCA against the government. Among them was John Lewis of SNCC,, along with such people as David Deliinger, Dagmar Wilson of the heavily Co'mmunistinfiltrated Women Strike for Peace, Clark Kissinger of SDS, Elizabeth Sutherland, director of SNCC's New York office and supporter of the Communistfront Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and Rev. James Bevelf a prominent leader in the Southern Christian Leadership


Conference and activist in the proHanoi "peace" movement of the 1960s. Lewis alsd served as a sponsor of the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee, cited by the House Committee on Internal Security as being under the control of the Socialist Workers Party, and, in 1973, was among sponsors for the founding con ference of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which was characterized as.follows by the House Committee in its December 1973 report, Revolutionary Target: The American Penal System:


Based on the evidence presented in the hearings and briefly summarized above, the committee con cludes that the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is completely controlled by the Communist Party, U S.A, and represents one of the most ambitious attempts ever mounted by the party to establish a "defense" apparatus for the purpose of duping the unwary into supporting CPUSA aims under the guise of appearing to support humani tarian or reform objectives.

ILONA HANCOCK, DIRECTOR, REGION 9, ACTION Another ACTION official with a solidly radical background i's Ilona (Loni) Hancock, sworn in on February 9, 1978, as director of the agency's western Region 9. A member of the Berkeley, California, City Council since 1971, she indicated that she would continue her membership during her service with ACTION. Reportedly chosen because "we wanted somebody who has a commitment to social change," in the words of an unnamed ACTION official, Hancock has been quoted in press accounts as seeing her federal position as a "continuation of her involvement in community and activist ipoli tics here over nearly a decade and a half, beginning with the Free Speech Movement and first antiwar demonstrations in the 1960s...."' A member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women, Hancock has also been affili ated with Women for Peace; the Community for New Poltics, an overtly Marxist California political movement; and the Friends Committeeon National Legislation. In 1968, she worked in the unsuccessfulcampaign of proHanoi Marxist Robert Scheer for Con gress (theCommunity for New Politics grew out of the'Scheer campaign)i and in 1973, she reportedly signed a petition in de fense of @he French section of the Trotskyite Communist Fourth International, a project in which she was joined by such lumin aries a'.972,screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who has been identified as a member of the Communist Party. in 1971, she was, according to an official list disseminated by the organization, among the en dorsers of the "United Women's Contingent for April 24th," a sub sidiary of the National Peace Action Coalition, an organization which was, in the words of the House Committee on Internal Se curityls' annual report for 1971, "tightly controlled by the Socialist Workers Party."

Along with ACTION director Sam Brown, Ilona Hancock is an active member of the IPScreated National Conference on Alterna tive State and Local Public Policies, serving as a member of the organization's steering committee. In July 1977, for example, she attended the third national conference of the NCASLPP, held in Denver, Colorado, where she participated in workshops.on such topics as "Feminist Issues: Legislative Strategies at the State &.'Local Level" and "How to Work as a Progressive Minority in a Legislative Body." Among others who attended this same gathering were Sam Brown; Esther Peterson, Special Assistant to the Presi dent of the United States for Consumer Affairs; Leonel Castillo, currently Direc+or of theUnited States Immigration and Naturali zation Service; Tom Hayden of the Campaign for Economic Democracy, a radical Marxist movement based in California; and numerous state and local public officials, including District of Columbia City Council member Marion Barry, currently running for mayor of the District as the nominee of the Democratic Party. According to an article in a recent issue of the authoritative Information Digest, Ilona Hancock also attendedthe fourthnational NCASLPP ' held in St. Paul, Minnesota,. in August 1978, and conferencef participated in a workshop on "Community Organizing: Basis for a New PoliticalStrategy?" Like other NCASLPP gatherings, this conference was characterized by the presence of a large number of elected and appointed.government officials from thenational, state, and local levels, along with such leading movement radicals astheubi.quitous Tom Hayden. Among attendees from government agencies, in addition to Hancock, were Sam Brown of ACTION; Msgr. Geno Bar6ni, Assistant Secretary of the Departmentof Housing and Urban Development; Ellen Feingold, Director of the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Transportation; Karen Paget, another regional director (Area 8) for ACTION; and Tina Hobson, Director of the office of Consumer Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy. Hancock also served on the planning committee for the Third Annual California Conference on Alternative State and Local Public Policy, whi6h was held during February 1978.

Since Hancock views her work with ACTION as essentially a 'econtinuation" of her earlier efforts, it is useful to refer briefly to her career on the Berkeley City Council, where she pushed such causes as public ownership of Pacific Gas and Elec .tric, a favorite radical target; sensitivity training for the police; and nonenforcement of laws against the use, cultivation, and posidttion of marijuana. An article in the April 22, 1978, issue of Human Events refl6cts that "Three newly elected radical coalition city councilmen," the piece /in 'the May 4, 1971, Oakland Tribune/ began, "refuseff to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag as they took their seats for the first time this morning." Guess who was one of them? The Tribune went on: "Councilman D'army Bailey, speaking for Ira Simmons and Ilona Hancock, said, 'We cannot in good conscience' re cite the'pledgeas long as the Uni6d States is not 'one nation,. indivisible, under God, with liberty and justice for all.'

"To the cheers of the packed council chambers, Bailey said, 'We do not believe a patriotic cere mony should be a regular order of council business' as long as 'racial discrimination, ratinfested housing, joblessness and police brutality exist in this country.' Bailey suggested the council's rules committee study the possibility of eliminating the Pledge of Allegiance from all future council meetings."

The same article.,idds,that

Ms. Hancock indicated no remorse or real change of heart about this particular act. Those were "desperate" times, she said. Asked if she still felt as passionately today about the things that prompted her 1971 actions, she replied: "I feel as strongly as ever."

She added, however, that she did have a much more "positive" attitude about the country today because so many of the positions she took in the 160s and ';70s such as her stand on the war "became mainstream positions."


Under Sam Brown's directorship, there have been several po sitions taken by ACTION personnel that have occasioned consider able controversy. The announcement at one point by Associate Director John Lewis that. a threeday conference could not be held in Atlanta, Georgia, because of thatstate's failure to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment is a notuntypical example, as is the revelation, contained in a


William Poole
William Poole

Senior Editor

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