Last Thursday the front page of the New York Times, above the fold,
reported the following conclusion about the anti-WTO riots in Seattle:
"the anarchists were organized."
They usually are.
My wife and I gained inside knowledge of such things when we observed,
at close quarters, the student protest against America's involvement
in the Persian Gulf in 1990-91. Complete with a mock cemetery and
adjacent tent city, students at Indiana University's main campus
in Bloomington spent weeks and months chanting "no blood for
We paid frequent visits to tent city and engaged protesting students
in conversation, trying to find out whether the knew what they were
protesting - or, at least, where Kuwait and Iraq could be found
on the map.
But help was on the way. One C. Clark Kissinger arrived from Washington,
D.C., to organize the anarchy. Seeing us amidst the tents, he mistook
us for "friendlies" and freely shared his political vision.
"The Soviet Union," he explained, "is nothing but
reactionary state capitalism. Alone China at the time of the Cultural
Revolution of the mid-1960s came up with the right idea."
(Some of my fellow-pianists had theirs hands chopped off during
that period. Parents of other friends were ordered to commit suicide
and then pronounced enemies of The People.)
Mr. C. Clark Kissinger came to Bloomington to stage an open rebellion.
The next day, he was to be the main speaker at a sit-in and discussion.
"May I attend?" I asked over the phone from a faculty
colleague whose name appeared among the sponsors. "Only if
you want to help us put together the uprising," came the answer.
We went as far as the door anyway. Just outside the meeting room,
on several tables, the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, books about
the Palestinian Intafada and rotting Western capitalism were displayed
in large stacks.
The New York Times quote brought back more than memories of a lone
professional anarchist. A political science professor at a distinguished
university confided a few years ago how, back in 1968-69, he noted
a couple of organizers working the students before every demonstration.
"No one knew who they were, or where they came from,"
the professor recalled. "Once they got the students all riled
up and to spill into the streets, they quickly exited the scene.
I observed them time and again watching the proceedings from a block
away," he continued. "No one could ever connect them to
the mayhem they had caused."
His disclosures came as no surprise. Teaching piano requires a
highly personal environment. Instruction occurs one-on-one, in an
atmosphere of intense emotion brought about by the subject matter
- music. I knew my students who were about to reach college age
around 1968. None would have woken up one morning with the sudden
impulse that they ought to hate the United States and everything
their parents, teachers, elders stood for. Someone had to introduce
the idea and pound away at it ceaselessly until it stuck.
American students didn't know how to create anarchy. They had to
For thirty years, we have been told that the anarchy of 1968-69
grew out of the Civil Rights movement; of unhappiness with the war
in Vietnam; of the frustration with air and water pollution.
Even top secret government documents can be declassified after
thirty years. The statute of limitations is long gone. Let us begin
facing our recent past. Let us ask who organized the anarchy of
1968-69, and for what purpose.
Unless we do, we will never comprehend why and how we have come
to have organized anarchy in our schools. Multi-lingual instruction,
doing away with grammar and syntax, new math, and ebonics as a language
- all promote anarchy. So does dispensing with grades. So does abandoning
proper punishment of offenses.
We have countenanced the creation of organized anarchy in our families
by continuously inciting wife against husband, child against parent,
and by promoting the notion that family is a bourgeois concept anyway.
We now have organized anarchy in our courts. Judges who are unqualified,
judges who manufacture the law on the bench, jurors who clearly
have no intention to act impartially, and astronomic awards in utterly
frivolous lawsuits make up the components there.
We tolerate organized anarchy at our borders. Only the healthy,
the industrious and the law-abiding have to wait for admittance
to this blessed land. The diseased, the idle, the law-breakers are
streaming in day and night.
Doing away with our common American identity, splitting us into
hyphenated groups, encouraging dual citizenship all promote organized
Multiculturalism is organized anarchy of the mind.
Insisting that every religion is the same amounts to organized
anarchy of the soul.
And how else can we describe conduct that has become standard in
our executive branch? When was the last time the Rule of Law carried
It all began thirty years ago. In recent months, plenty has come
to light about the nature of Soviet activities in the United States.
Spine-chilling details are emerging about the tools and ways of
the socialist world, whether in the former East Germany, or among
French intellectuals. The time has come to break the deafening silence
that surrounds what actually happened in the United States of America
in 1968-69, as the all-out assault upon our form of government got
The weapon of choice was anarchy.
How did it come to be organized?