Multicultural identity police charge whites with exploiting identity

If you’re worried that White Nationalist groups are forming on your college campuses, good. Because ultra right-wing white nationalist groups are not a force for good; neither in America, nor in Europe where they are vying for power at the national level.

But if you’re not worried about the Black Communist Internationalist groups that have already begun taking over higher education in America, then you either do not care or do not understand that Maoists are vying for control of your campuses.

The Black Liberation Collective that organizes campus protests and compiles The Demands is “dedicated to transforming institutions of higher education through unity, coalition building, direct action and political education. … As an organization, we stand against capitalist notions of infinite profit, homogenized markets, and a privatized means of production. … An international movement is needed to defeat this rotten system.”

If that’s not clear enough for you, then a cursory comparison of The Demands made by Black Lives Matter groups and the 16 Points made by Mao Tse Tung might be helpful. You know that physical intimidation of “reactionary bourgeois academic authorities” has already started, and unless the “revolutionary student” forces are stopped it’s only a matter of time until real violence breaks out. The presence of White Nationalists will make matters worse, but the absence of White Nationalists will do nothing to prevent the revolution from continuing.

The article at Inside Higher Ed – White Nationalist on Campus – focuses on two California State University campuses, so let’s take some examples from their sister campus at CSU East Bay.

CSU East Bay Demand 3. “WE DEMAND an increase in funding for CSUEB’s Ethnic Studies Department … to offer year-round courses to students such as ‘Hip Hop Nation’ taught by Shaida Akbarian.”

CSUEB Demand 4. “WE DEMAND a vote in determining the professors that are tenured at CSUEB’s campus.”

CSUEB Demand 7. “WE DEMAND a mandatory cultural awareness/racial sensitivity training take place for all incoming employees, staff, faculty, and the University Police Department…”

Mao’s Point 4. “Let the Masses Educate Themselves in the Movement: Trust the masses, rely on them and respect their initiative. … Let the masses educate themselves in this great revolutionary movement and learn to distinguish between right and wrong and between correct and incorrect ways of doing things.”

Mao’s Point 10. “Educational Reform: In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution a most important task is to transform the old educational system and the old principles and methods of teaching. … In every kind of school we must apply thoroughly the policy of education serving proletarian politics … so as to enable those receiving an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and to become laborers with socialist consciousness and culture.”

CSUEB Demand 1. “WE DEMAND support and funding for a Black Student Government that will … serve as the ultimate support for our black clubs and organizations.”

Mao’s Point 9. “Cultural Revolution Groups, Committees and Congresses: The struggle of the proletariat against the old ideas, culture, customs and habits left over by all the exploiting classes over thousands of years will necessarily take a very, very long time. Therefore, the Cultural Revolutionary groups, committees and congresses should not be temporary organizations but permanent, standing mass organizations [and] should consist mainly of representatives of the revolutionary students.”

CSUEB Demand 10. “WE DEMAND that we receive a response and plan of action from President Leroy M. Morishita by January 6th, 2016 by 12 pm (noon).”

Mao’s Point 11. “The Question of Criticizing by Name in the Press: In the course of the mass movement of the Cultural Revolution … criticism should be organized of typical reactionary bourgeois academic ‘authorities’…”

Since Inside Higher Ed appears unwilling to give equal time to criticizing Black Liberation Collective and other Maoist front groups attacking higher ed, might I make a modest proposal? Change the headline of that article to “Multicultural identity police charge whites with exploiting identity.”

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The Frivolous Power of Kings

“You are part of my dominion, and the ground that I am seated upon is mine, nor has anyone disobeyed my orders with impunity. Therefore, I order you not to rise onto my land, nor to wet the clothes or body of your Lord.” – King Canute, to the ocean, as chronicled by Henry of Huntingdon in AD 1129.

It is unclear, as I write this in AD 2016, how many know the story of Canute or what happened next: “But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs.”

One might be forgiven for thinking that humans have learned something about the quality of their leaders since 1129. But kings still walk among us, as do their followers.

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal.” – Barack Obama, to the oceans, after winning the Democratic primaries in AD 2008.

Although Canute did not make his pronouncement in a stadium of screaming fans far from the sea, the primary difference between the two men is not that Canute confronted his opponent. But Canute did command “with the greatest vigor” that his throne “should be set on the shore when the tide began to rise.” And, seated upon that throne, “he spoke to the rising sea.”

Nor can the difference between the two men be estimated by the caliber of their followers. Canute’s men were snickering at him from the beach, while Obama’s followers were cheering deliriously, and writing profusely about the “Lightworker.”

San Francisco columnist Mark Morford, who chronicled the rise of His Holiness Barack I in AD 2008, was prescient enough not to name for posterity the “deeply spiritual” people – “not coweringly religious, mind you” – who identified Obama as “that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment.”

The biggest difference between Canute and Barack is what they did after the sea proved them wrong. Canute is not remembered for his response, and it would be hubris on my part to say that Obama will be remembered for his. But the two men reacted very differently.

King Canute walked out of the sea and delivered his real message: “All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws.”

Barack, on the other hand, doubled down. Not satisfied with his vain war against the oceans, he declared war on war itself. Speaking in AD 2013 at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., he said, “This war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

War responded by declaring a new Caliphate – dedicated to the utter destruction of the West – in AD 2014.

The Most Progressive Man

The official AFL-CIO response to the Orlando terrorist attack is a wonder of cowardly doublespeak masquerading as profundity. Since it’s unlikely that anyone else will do it, I offer my fisking services to the “American community.”

Dear AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre: You begin your statement with, “Bayard Rustin said to be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.” So why does the AFL-CIO behave as if it was not a radical Islamic terrorist in that Orlando nightclub? No, not all Muslims are terrorists (no one really says that except you when you’re falsely attacking someone) but virtually all terrorists are Muslim. That is a terrible truth, but the sooner everyone behaves truthfully about it – especially the moderate Muslim community, because they have the most to lose – the sooner we can deal with it.

“We in the labor movement are not afraid.” You’re afraid to speak the truth about Omar the dead Orlando terrorist. I’m terribly sorry to break it to you, but that means the labor movement is afraid of radical Islamic terrorism. But I understand. I’m afraid of it too. So is most of the world. But being a craven liar won’t keep you safe from it, so man up. (Sorry for that gender micro-aggression, but you really do need to get some cojones.)

“We are resolved to do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again.” What, exactly, is “this” that you resolve to fight? You call it an “attack” or an “act of violence.” If you plan on fighting all violent attacks, it’s useful to name the attackers and their motive. In this case, the attacker himself told authorities what his motive was, so you really have no excuse. I know you want to sound like Winston Churchill giving his “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech, but you can’t do that without naming the Germans.

“The truth as we know it is both devastating and infuriating. Forty-nine souls were lost in a cowardly act of violence.” Since you’re in the business of relative “truths” can you please explain why “the truth as you know it” is more valid than “the truth as Omar knew it”? Which of those truths is true, and who is really afraid to act on it? (I hope you’re not saying that the more furious you are the more truth you tell, because Omar seemed much more infuriated than you.)

“For the LGBTQ community, clubs like Pulse are a space where people can feel safe and be their true selves.” Leaving aside Omar’s terrorist intent to kill people because they were being their “true selves,” no one can deny the objective truth that the Pulse club was NOT a safe space. (You keep using the word “true” as if it means one particular objective thing. Who do you think you’re kidding?)

“Sunday’s horrific act is a reminder of how fragile that safety can be.” I agree, so why do you want to limit the ways that people can protect their fragile safety? Why not say you want to arm the gay community with the means to defend themselves? Oh. I get it. Because that actually is the American Way, and you actually hate America.

“While we have made undeniable progress toward equality, too many in our country still face derision, discrimination and violence.” You are not afraid to name those undeniable evils. Why are you afraid to name the undeniable evil that drove Omar to kill those innocent gay people? After all, Omar did interrupt his killing to call 911 and pledge allegiance to ISIS. I really hope you’re not saying that “It depends on what the meaning of ISIS is” because that would really piss off ISIS. They absolutely hate it when we quibble about their genocidal intent.

“These flames of hatred have been fanned by those in public life who want to marginalize an entire group of people for political gain.” Some people do want to marginalize entire groups. For instance, labor unions want to marginalize Republicans, and Republicans want to marginalize labor unions. But ISIS wants to exterminate as many gay people from the planet as possible while they establish a worldwide Caliphate. Apparently, “gay genocide” is too nuanced for you to understand, so you instinctively revert to the lie that Omar was a “coward.” I’m not sure what dictionary you’re using, but “cowards” don’t intentionally arm themselves with “military-style” weapons, declare allegiance to ISIS, and then murder 49 gay people because they’re gay, all the while knowing they’ll be gunned down by the cops. I think the phrase you’re looking for is “radical Islamic terrorist.”

“It’s despicable and it must stop.” Since your official statement refuses to name ISIS, can you specifically identify which groups are being so despicable that we must stop them? Don’t tell me. You mean Republicans and Christians and probably White Privileged People, and everyone knows it’s okay to marginalize those entire groups of people. Silly me.

“But this was more than just an attack on the LGBTQ community. The victims were overwhelmingly young and Latino.” You can’t possibly mean that being young AND gay AND Latino is somehow more valuable than just being gay. But yes, I think you really do mean that, because you’ve been dividing people into subgroups for so long that the 57 “genders” won’t be enough for you next year. And I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but what is that bullshit about embracing our “common humanity” in the last paragraph? Do you ever get tired of lying?

“Sunday’s massacre was an assault on everything our movement stands for: equality, justice, solidarity and inclusion.” See the previous paragraph, and explain to me why – if “equality” is so important to you – it is also so important to note that “the victims were overwhelmingly young and Latino.” I’m guessing it just wasn’t enough to note their “common humanity.”

“It was also an extraordinarily difficult situation for our first responders, who had the traumatic job of sorting the dead from the living, effectively working in a war zone. We thank the police, firefighters and health care providers who saved lives and continue to care for the injured. We will stand with them in the trying days ahead.” I really hope you’re saying that Labor will stop calling the cops racist murderers, because – as you point out so well – they really do have a difficult job in all the inner city “war zones” the Democrat Left has created. Unfortunately, that’s just me wishing the truth were not true. (I’m beginning to see why the Left thinks the whole “truth” thing is pretty damned inconvenient except when you’re naming documentaries after it.)

“Labor is one big family, made up of people of all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities. As a family, we will work to provide comfort to our brothers and sisters in Orlando and across the United States. And we will make it our daily mission to ensure America’s workplaces and union halls are safe and free from bigotry.” If that’s true – sorry, “your truth” – then you might consider adding mosques to your list, because President Obama is inviting more and more “Omars” into the country every day, and they’re not assimilating very well. If you could bring Muslim refugees into the big American family I think everyone would truly appreciate it. Oh, who the fuck am I kidding? You don’t want them to be Americans. You want them to be union members first and Democrats second. Unfortunately for everyone, your Western ideas about the Labor Movement and Democracy can only be shared by people who assimilate into Western Civilization. Yeah, I know: that’s too inconvenient to worry about. Forget I mentioned it.

“There will be some who try to use this tragedy to further divide us, to pit communities against each other and scapegoat entire faith traditions.” See paragraph 1, because this sounds suspiciously like you’re behaving as if the truth were not true. The truth is that Progressives have divided America into innumerable “communities” and “multicultural groups.” The “White Privilege” and “Black Lives Matter” movements pit whites against blacks, and race relations are worse today than at any time in the last 50 years. I could go on, but you’re smarter than Lincoln and you know that “unity” can never be realized until you stop behaving like a house divided against itself can still stand.

“Let us be perfectly clear: giving in to division and fear will only add insult to injury. This is a moment for us to come together, embrace our common humanity and take the necessary steps to make our country safer, stronger and more united.” See previous paragraph, and tell me why “your truth” on these subjects is any more valid than “my truth” or “Omar’s truth.” Rest assured: truth does exist, and it doesn’t give a shit about your version or my version. It just is, and the sooner you realize that the sooner we can start building a more perfect union.

And, just to be perfectly clear – since I did link to Barack Obama’s 2008 speech – you had a chance back then to bring America closer to that perfect union, but you fucked it up, everyone knows you fucked it up, and you keep fucking it up with statements like this one on Orlando.

Of course, everyone also knows Progressives don’t believe in turning  back. So I’ll rub salt into the would by quoting C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity (aka “the religion of hate”).

“Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

The Rules of Terror Club

The first rule of Terror Club is: You do not talk about Terror Club.

The second rule of Terror Club is: You DO NOT talk about Terror Club!

Third rule of Terror Club: If someone yells “stop!”, you call them Islamophobic.

Fourth rule: Only four guys per terror cell; you are all “lone wolves.”

Fifth rule: One attack at a time, fellas, until we can coordinate; and no matter how many incidents are linked by a common element, they are all isolated.

Sixth rule: Use whatever weapons kill the most civilians. If you don’t have a weapon of mass destruction, use a kitchen knife.

Seventh rule: Terror Club will go on forever, even after the worldwide caliphate is established.

And the eighth and final rule: If this is your first time at Terror Club, you have to wear the suicide vest.

The War on Nothing

“I always wanted to be in a show about nothing and here I am,” our President recently said, sitting in a 1963 Corvette Stingray with a comedian driving in circles on the south lawn of the White House. “There’s nothing more nothing than this,” replied the comedian famous for his show about nothing. “Nothing.”

Seinfeld, the long-running TV comedy featuring four narcissistic friends in New York, has been widely described as “a show about nothing” – a riff echoed by both Obama and Seinfeld in the December 2015 episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (season 7, episode 1, “Just Tell Him You’re the President”).

It turns out that the show was about everything. As Jerry Seinfeld noted in a Reddit discussion from January 2014, “the show about nothing was just a joke in an episode many years later, and Larry and I to this day are surprised that it caught on as a way that people describe the show, because to us it’s the opposite of that.”

Just as Seinfeld was not about nothing, this essay is not about the show. But it is a useful starting point – not only because most Americans are convinced that the show was about nothing, but because America is embroiled in a world war about everything that too many Americans believe is about nothing.

On the home front of this war, certain combatants have gone to great lengths to convince Americans that nothing is superior to anything.

Commander in Chief Obama told the world at the NATO Summit of 2009, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” In other words, the so-called leader of the so-called free world wants you to believe that every country believes it is exceptional and no country is exceptional in fact.

In our educational institutions, the doctrine of Multiculturalism demands that students believe no culture is superior to any culture. Higher up in the Ivory Tower, the philosophers of Relativism posit that all cultural standards are local – that beauty, or good, or justice, are only beautiful or good or just in their local context – and that no one has a “framework-independent vantage point” from which to create a universal concept of good or justice.

Outside the green zone – the military term for “safe space” – Social Justice Warriors interpret these orders to require cultural suicide: cultures which believe themselves to be superior must open their borders to immigrants from every other culture; recognize and accommodate the group differences of those immigrants; grant a host of legal exemptions to foreigners who demand those accommodations; and abandon their own local standards in favor of others.

SJW’s are against Capitalism, Christianity, and Israel. They use freedom of speech, religion, and assembly to incite violence against the same. They press every tenet of Western thought into the service of a gelatinous cultural Marxism that has no foundation but power. They even pervert the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose objections to this ideology are well known:

“This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me,” King wrote in his 1957 book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. “I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”

Okay, that seems to be a fair – if minimalist – description of America’s domestic enemies; and America would survive the onslaught from the legions of nothing if they were not allied with enemies foreign.

In 1947, an Egyptian Muslim intellectual named Sayyid Qutb wrote of his country, “Either we shall walk the path of Islam or we shall walk the path of Communism.” He was convinced that Islam was the only complete system – laws, government bureaucracy, social and economic rules – which could create a just and godly society.

A year later, threatened with arrest in Egypt, he sailed first-class to New York, NY – the city where “the show about nothing” was set 41 years later – for a two-year educational tour of America.

Lawrence Wright describes Qutb’s journey – from New York, to the District of Columbia, to Colorado, and finally to California – in The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Although he appeared to like our country, its combination of racism and sexual hedonism radicalized Qutb so that, when he returned to Egypt in 1950, he wrote:

“The white man in Europe or America is our number-one enemy. … We are endowing our children with amazement and respect for the master who tramples our honor and enslaves us. Let us instead plant the seeds of hatred, disgust, and revenge in the souls of these children. Let us teach these children from the time their nails are soft that the white man is the enemy of humanity, and that they should destroy him at the first opportunity.”

Where have we heard that before? #EgyptianLivesMatter?

Executed in 1966 for jihad against his own country’s secular government, Qutb became the father of the Muslim Brotherhood and modern political Islam. “I performed jihad for fifteen years until I earned this martyrdom,” he said from prison. When his sister pleaded for him to accept parole, he said, “My words will be stronger if they kill me.”

Qutb’s writings motivated men like Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and countless others. Today, Sunni Islamist groups – Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic State, to name the most prolific – have declared a War on Everything. They’re against Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, and Democracy. They’re anti-Christian, anti-Jew, and anti-Atheist. They hate the Gay Community enough to throw suspected gay men off tall buildings. They even hate the minority Shiite Islamists who share their hatreds.

America’s response to the moral certainty of Islam has been predictable: Nothing will win the War on Everything.

Even though the stated goal of ISIS is to reestablish the worldwide Islamic Caliphate, President Obama has said repeatedly that the Islamic State is “not Islamic.”

In September 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “In terms of al-Qaeda, which we have used the word ‘war’ with, yeah … We are at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates. In the same context, if you want to use it, yes, we are at war with ISIL in that sense. But I think it’s a waste of time to focus on that.” In other words, America is finally at war with an Islamic State that isn’t Islamic, but it’s a waste of time to think about that.

More recently – after a Philadelphia man fired 11 rounds at a police officer and told authorities that he “pledges allegiance to Islamic State” and was “called upon to do this” – the mayor of the City of Brotherly Love said the act of Islamist terror had “nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.”

Which brings us back to the home front, where those who insist there is no “framework-independent vantage point” feverishly put labels on the consequences for which they fight. Social Justice is superior to Blind Justice. Income Equality is superior to the idea that Everyone is Created Equal. Human Rights are superior to the Natural Rights of Humans. Black Lives Matter but All Lives do not.

This is the war that matters most. Not just because it is an absolute lie to assert that some truths are absolute and simultaneously that no absolute truth exists; but because believing that obvious lie imbues us with a self-humiliation, or, as Theodore Dalrymple once put it:

“When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”

I would like to say that the self-evident truths of the Constitution will prevail in both of these wars, but the very foundations of our society are being destroyed just as ruthlessly as the ancient monuments of the Middle East.

It is cruel justice that America’s future – and that of Western Civilization – will be determined at this intersectionality of Nothing and Everything: where America’s un-American Social Justice Warriors find themselves allied with Islam’s non-Islamic terrorists.

There is nothing more everything than this. Nothing.

Photos: “Women March Against the Phony ‘War on Women'” courtesy of Ringo’s Pictures. Islamic Warriors March Against Other Phony Islamic Warriors during the Safavid dynasty in modern-day Iran, from a fresco in Isfahan.

16 Points, 1000 Demands

Breaking news from 1966: Students at universities across America have made a clear-headed appraisal of the international and domestic situation on the basis of science, and realized that reactionaries at home and abroad can and must be defeated in a new stage of the cultural revolution.

At the University of Cincinnati, students demand “holistic profiles including extensive background checks, mental evaluations, and accounts of past misbehaviors of all faculty/staff/police hired at the University of Cincinnati, starting immediately.”

Fortunately, students at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill contradict their Buckeye brethren, demanding an end to “criminal background checks for all faculty, staff, and administration.”

Half a continent away, students at Occidental College demand the “immediate removal of President Veitech” and the “immediate demilitarization of Campus Safety” and the hiring of “much-needed physicians of color … to treat physical and emotional trauma associated with issues of identity.”

Back in the Peach State, protesters at Kennesaw State University demand a more punitive approach to their  identity issues.”We demand required cultural awareness, race and ethnicity, and intersectional LGBT diversity training for members of Greek Life and all student organizations on campus,” they say. Not only that, but “no one should be exempt” and “staff members are not agents of respectability, nor are organization advisory boards breeding grounds for respectability politics; we will no longer accept the tone policing, political bias, and overarching reach of the power of organization advisors.”

These “daring” students have already achieved some long-awaited satisfaction: summary resignations of top officials at Mizzou; the creation of new committees and congresses at Harvard; and new disciplinary rules which isolate counter-revolutionary revisionists at Towson.

However, even though the “main current” of these revolutionary young people has been “correct from the beginning,” some new ideas, cultures, customs, and habits, may have to wait.

Amherst College President Carolyn Martin, for instance, has declined to meet specific demands, a lesson to younger students that the revolutionary road zigzags and does not run smoothly. “While expressing support for their goals,” Martin said in a statement, “I explained that the formulation of those demands assumed more authority and control than a president has or should have.”

Amherst Uprising organizers did not immediately respond to Martin’s statement, lending credence to the possibility that they will give her a chance to turn over a new leaf before exposing, refuting, and completely discrediting her.

Scatter_Old_World

Scatter the Old World, Build a New World. (Source)

Some of this might sound familiar to harassed elderly intellectuals, but the students themselves appear blissfully unaware that their own revolution bears a striking resemblance to China’s “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of 1966-1976, which started as a political struggle for control of the Chinese Communist Party. (Neither Bernie Sanders nor Hillary Clinton would confirm or deny it, but sources say their struggle continues.)

Leading up to 1966, Mao rightly feared that his previous great idea – the disastrous “Great Leap Forward” which caused the deaths of more than 20 million people – had diminished his influence. To counter that effect, he took advantage of the open criticism and launched a “New Stage in the Socialist Revolution.”

In May 1966, purges of the bureaucracy began. The top party official in Beijing University’s Philosophy Department attacked the administration. University faculty across the country responded with more of the same. The wave of criticisms spread to high schools in Beijing, and squads of students were recruited as Red Guards: “the front line of the new revolutionary upheaval.”

In August of 1966, Mao published his Sixteen Points – officially titled the “Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” – which defined his goals. And he began to preside over parades of Red Guards, holding his “Little Red Book” in benediction over the masses.

“The chaos and violence increased in the autumn and winter of 1966, as schools and universities closed so that students could dedicate themselves to ‘revolutionary struggle.’ They were encouraged to destroy the ‘Four Olds’ – old customs, old habits, old culture, and old thinking – and in the process damaged many of China’s temples, valuable works of art, and buildings. They also began to verbally and physically attack authority figures in society, including their teachers, school administrators, Communist Party members, neighbors, and even their friends, relatives, and parents. At the same time, purges were carried out in the high ranks of the Communist Party.” (Stefanie Lamb, Introduction to the Cultural Revolution, Stanford University, 2005.)

Wage_To_The_End

Bombard the Capitalist Headquarters (Source)

In America, Mao inspired men like Bob Avakian (chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA), NAACP leader Robert F. Williams, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party, and UC Berkeley dropout Alex Hing of the Red Guard Party. The proudly Maoist Progressive Labor Party recruited heavily from the proudly Maoist Students for a Democratic Society.

China’s Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, and was replaced by “something quite nearly its opposite: pragmatism, interdependence, openness to outside influences, and capitalism” (Lamb, 2005). But even though the Party was severely damaged by the failed ideas that scarred Chinese society, those ideas were not rejected in America – they went underground, and were kept alive by men like Bill Ayers, a founding member of the Maoist “Weather Underground” and now a retired professor of education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Today’s students may or may not understand the provenance of their demands, but these young Red Guards are still mesmerized by ideas that killed 94 million people in the century that ended only a few short years ago.

As Mao said, “Because the resistance is fairly strong, there will be reversals and even repeated reversals … The struggle of the proletariat against the old ideas, culture, customs and habits left over by all the exploiting classes over thousands of years will necessarily take a very, very long time. … The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is bound to achieve brilliant victory under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Party headed by Comrade Mao Tse-tung.”

Mao’s Sixteen Points from 1966 Compared to Student Demands from 2015

Student demands in this section come from The Demands and are organized under appropriate headings from the “Decision of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of 1966.

A_New_Scene

A New Scene in Xiangyangyuan (Source)

1) A New Stage in the Socialist Revolution: “Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds and endeavour to stage a comeback. The proletariat must do the exact opposite: it must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of society. At present, our objective is to struggle against and overthrow those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road, to criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic ‘authorities’ and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and to transform education, literature and art and all other parts of the superstructure not in correspondence with the socialist economic base, so as to facilitate the consolidation and development of the socialist system.”

University of Missouri: “We demand that the University of Missouri meets the Legion of Black Collegians’ demands that were presented in the 1969 for the betterment of the black community.”

Clemson University: “We want the names of offensively named buildings, ex. Tillman Hall, changed.”

Middle Tennessee State University: “Change Forrest Hall, a group of students, faculty, and community members has one demand: the immediate removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s name from Middle Tennessee State University’s ROTC building.”

New York University: “Rededicate Library from Elmer Holmes Bobst, a known anti-Semite; removal of Elihu Root’s name from the School of Law Scholarship for being an advocate of US Colonialism; renaming of the Fales Collection of English Literature within Bobst, as Fales family fortunes can be traced to colonial slavery. Rename these for POC or people of marginalized communities in the US who have been leaders in activism and advocacy of oppressed groups, OR leaders of equal style and caliber from the Global South.”

University of Alabama: “Remove the names of white supremacists, klansmen, confederate generals, and eugenicists from classroom buildings or include a visual marker to indicate the history of racism that the building’s namesake was associated with.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND the removal of the racist Confederate monument Silent Sam and ALL confederate monuments on campuses in the UNC-system. We DEMAND that Carolina Hall, a whitewashing of Saunders Hall, be renamed Hurston Hall. A plaque on the exterior of the building should make clear that William Saunders was a chief architect of white supremacy in North Carolina as a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.”

University of North Carolina Greensboro: “WE DEMAND the removal of policies, groups, symbols and icons glorifying white supremacy.”

University of Oregon: “Change the names of all of the KKK related buildings on campus. DEADY Hall will be the first building to be renamed. a. We cannot and should not be subjugated to walk in any buildings that have been named after people that have vehemently worked against the Black plight, and plight of everyone working to achieve an equitable society. b. Allowing buildings to be named after members who support these views is in direct conflict with the university’s goal keep black students safe on campus. c. We demand this change be implemented by Fall 2016 To University of Oregon Administration From Black Student Task Force.”

University of San Diego: “We demand that the university’s current mascot, Diego Torero, be replaced by a non-human mascot, as Diego Torero is a racist and derogatory caricature of Spanish men.”

University of San Diego: “We demand that representatives from the university’s administration acknowledge the colonialist legacy of Junípero Serra, who established the Catholic California mission system that massacred the vast majority of native peoples in California. We demand that Serra Hall be renamed to a designation chosen by a coalition of native students, staff and faculty.”

Vanderbilt University: “Eliminate the inscription of ‘Confederate’ on Memorial Hall as well as the plaque paying homage to the Daughters of the Confederacy.”

Yale University: “Rename Calhoun College. Name it and the two new residential colleges after people of color. a. Abolish the title ‘master.’ b. Build a monument designed by a Native artist on Cross Campus acknowledging that Yale University was founded on stolen indigenous land.”

Thousand_Li_March

To go on a thousand ‘li’ march to temper a red heart (Source)

2) The Main Current and the Zigzags: “Large numbers of revolutionary young people, previously unknown, have become courageous and daring pathbreakers. … they argue things out, expose and criticize thoroughly, and launch resolute attacks on the open and hidden representatives of the bourgeoisie. … their general revolutionary orientation has been correct from the beginning. This is the main current … there will be reversals and even repeated reversals in this struggle. … the revolutionary road zigzags and does not run smoothly.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND language justice for all workers at UNC. Trainings, materials, and all communication should be made available in all languages that workers prefer.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that all administrators be compensated at the same rate as workers.”

University of North Carolina Greensboro: “No Hate Groups on Campus. Ever. Freedom of speech should not be used as a justification for rampant hateful language or opinions that further marginalizes historically oppressed communities.”

University of Ottawa: “Reserved space for a racialized students Centre.”

University of Puget Sound: “We demand that the future President-Elect of the University of Puget Sound be required to attend a meeting of every identity and faith based group on campus to better understand the realities of the current campus climate, and the needs and concerns of students moving into the future.”

University of San Diego: “We demand that Yik Yak, an anonymous social media application, be banned from the USD area, as it provides a platform for hate speech inflected with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and, especially recently, islamophobia, amongst several other bigotries.”

Advance_Courageously

Advance courageously along the glorious road of Chairman Mao’s “7 May instruction” (Source)

3) Put Daring Above Everything Else and Boldly Arouse the Masses: “…persevere in giving correct leadership, put daring above everything else, boldly arouse the masses, change the state of weakness and incompetence where it exists, encourage those comrades who have made mistakes but are willing to correct them to cast off their mental burdens and join in the struggle, and dismiss from their leading posts all those in authority who are taking the capitalist road and so make possible the recapture of the leadership for the proletarian revolution.”

Brown University: “We demand that the Brown Corporation and administration comply with the demands of the graduate and undergraduate students.”

Occidental College: “Immediate removal of President Veitech. … Immediate demilitarization of Campus Safety. Includes, but is not limited to: removal of bulletproof vests from uniform, exclusion of military and external police rhetoric from all documents and daily discourse, increased transparency and positive direct connection to the student body. … Hire much-needed physicians of color at Emmons Wellness Center to treat physical and emotional trauma associated with issues of identity.”

Purdue University: “We demand that administrators, specifically President Mitch Daniels, acknowledge the hostile environment caused by hateful and ignorant discrimination on Purdue’s campus.”

Tufts University: “We demand that if any of these demands are unable to be met we demand that the university make a public response explaining explicitly the rationale for the non-compliance.”

UC Berkeley: “WE DEMAND that all of our demands be fully implemented within the next 3­6 months and that the Chancellor give us his official response no later than 5PM on March 6th 015 (sic).”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND the immediate firing of Margaret Spellings. And any future President of the UNC system must be decided collectively by students, staff, faculty, workers, and those living in North Carolina who are marginalized by the University space.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND the elimination of tuition and fees for all students.”

University of South Carolina: “We require that university personnel use personal gender pronouns as indicated by the individual.”

Educate_Yourselves

Educated youth must go to the countryside to receive re-education from the Poor and Lower-Middle peasants! (Source)

4) Let the Masses Educate Themselves in the Movement: “Trust the masses, rely on them and respect their initiative. … Let the masses educate themselves in this great revolutionary movement and learn to distinguish between right and wrong and between correct and incorrect ways of doing things.”

Kennesaw State University: “We demand student-led diversity training for all advising departments. … We must be allowed to fully articulate our diversity on our own terms.”

Lewis and Clark College: “Curriculum Committee: Implement a category to evaluate multiculturalism and diverse perspectives during the audits for each major/minor department that occurs every 2 years. … Additionally, student input should have a greater presence in the committee decision.”

Loyola University Maryland: “We demand Mandatory Racial Justice Training for all employees, faculty, staff, and new students. This training must be facilitated by a student-approved third party consultant.”

Michigan State University: “We demand an increase in tenure-stream faculty whose research specializes in Black Politics , Black Linguistics, Black Sociology, Black Psychology, African politics, Black Queer Studies, Hip-Hop Studies, African American Literature, African Literature, and Decolonial Theory. All these faculty hires must be approved by a panel of Black student leaders…”

New York University: “Creation of a full-time central diversity staff position within CSALS to oversee different NYU student diversity groups. The approval of said staff must be granted by the Black & Brown Coalition with an interview of the candidate performed by us.”

Simmons College: “We demand an overhaul of the curriculum that includes and highlights the contributions of people of color across all disciplines. We also demand that this curricular overhaul be student-centered by actively including students of color in the voting, negotiation and decision-making process in academic curriculum committees.”

UCLA: “Create a student advisory board for the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Equity Diversity and Inclusion. This will make sure students are able to hold UCLA administration accountable, and also work with administration in their charge to improve campus climate.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that the University incorporate mandatory programming for all University constituents (students, faculty, staff, administrators, deans, chairs, etc.) that teaches the historical racial violence of this University and town as well as a historical and contemporary look at the ways in which racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and cisheteropatriarchy structure our world. This will come from an ungraded course created and facilitated by a coalition of students as part of a broader task force of workers, students and staff.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND a task force of students and workers of our choosing be immediately instituted in order to create a timeline and action plan to address the University’s relation to policing and penal institutions.”

University of Oregon: “Commit to creating a Student Advisory Board for The Office of Equity & Inclusion and Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE). We expect the advisory board to consist of students of color.”

Firmly_Criticize

Criticize the reactionary thought of Lin Biao and Confucius, firmly walk with the workers and peasants on the road of unity (Source)

5) Firmly Apply the Class Line of the Party: “Concentrate all forces to strike at the handful of ultra-reactionary bourgeois rightists and counter-revolutionary revisionists, and expose and criticize to the full their crimes against the Party, against socialism and against Mao Tse-tung’s thought so as to isolate them to the maximum. The main target of the present movement is those within the Party who are in authority and are taking the capitalist road.”

Claremont McKenna College: “Expose students to systemic oppression through FWS and FHS-this includes but is not limited to issues on race, sexuality, gender, class and ability. The need for such programs to educate the student body is evidenced by numerous microaggressions felt by students of color.”

Claremont McKenna College: “Mandatory and periodic racial sensitivity trainings for all professors. The majority of the 20 students at the first social recalled instances in which professors made racially insensitive remarks, asked students to represent their race in class, or repeatedly mistook students for other students of color in the class.”

Dartmouth College: “Enact curricular changes that require all students to interrogate issues of social justice, marginalization and exploitation in depth. Each student should have to take classes that will challenge their understanding of institutionalized injustice around issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. This learning objective could be embedded in all first year seminars.”

Dartmouth College: “Every Dartmouth student should be taught and made aware that the land they reside on is Abenaki homeland. This should take place during all major Dartmouth ceremonies, especially during orientation and commencement.”

Duke University: “Members of the university that are reported to have worn culturally insensitive costumes or attend/host culturally insensitive parties will report to student conduct for bias/harassment infractions.”

Emory University: “We would like to see repercussions or sanctions for racist actions performed by professors, administrators/staff and students alike. Bias incident reports are not sufficient. Our micro and macro-aggressions should not be regarded as just data collection but should, in fact, be taken seriously and met with the highest level of urgency and care.”

Guilford College: “College administrators, professors, and staff must publicly acknowledge their racism, be it overt, covert, or passive. We suggest that every week a faculty member come forward and publicly admit their participation in racism inside the classroom via a letter to the editor in the Guilfordian.”

Johns Hopkins University: “We demand accountability for peers, faculty, and staff who target Black students both inside of and outside of the classroom. Attending to such situations must transition from a passive email sent to the student body, to an active stance taken against racial intolerance by the administration. Perpetrators that aim to make Black students uncomfortable or unsafe for racial reasons must complete additional diversity training and face impactful repercussions for their actions.”

Lawrence University: “A mandatory cultural sensitivity training for all faculty and staff should be enforced and that must be done at the beginning of every school year and at least twice a year. There should be repercussions if this training is not attended.”

University of South Carolina: “We demand that a transparent and independent investigation be launched into the following university administrators: the Executive Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs; the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Academic Support, Student Life and Development; and the Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice Provost and Dean of Students.”

Wesleyan University: “Tracking Of Faculty & Staff Bias & Microaggressions. By November 30th, 2015: Report on how student input will be integrated into the formation of an anonymous student reporting system for cases of bias, including microaggressions, perpetrated by faculty and staff. By Spring, 2016: Revision of end of semester professor evaluations to include a section dedicated for reporting classroom biases, including microaggressions, perpetrated by instructors.”

Yale University: “Immediate removal of Nicholas and Erika Christakis from the positions of Master and Associate Master of Silliman College a. The development of racial competence and respect training and accountability systems for all Yale affiliates. b. The inclusion of a question about the racial climate of the classrooms of both teaching fellows and professors in semester evaluations. c. Bias reporting system on racial discrimination and an annual report that will be released to the Yale community.”

Contradictions

Study Lu Xun’s revolutionary spirit to become a pathbreaker in criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius (Source)

6) Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People: “Contradictions among the people must not be made into contradictions between ourselves and the enemy; nor must contradictions between ourselves and the enemy be regarded as contradictions among the people.”

Missouri State University: “Given that Multicultural services are governed by the Division of Student Affairs, the current administration is incompatible with the needs of students of color. Last year, Multicultural Services was moved from the Division for Diversity & Inclusion to the Division of Student Affairs. This move has been marketed to students as ‘beneficial’; however, it has only allowed for negligence toward the concerns and needs of minority students by ill equipped faculty.”

Purdue University: “We demand that there be enforced extensive background checks relating to sexual offense, hate group membership, and discriminatory offenses of all faculty, staff, and police officers.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that the University and UNC Hospitals stop employment discrimination against formerly incarcerated people. … Stop criminal background checks for all faculty, staff, and administration.”

University of Virginia: “Establish a Culture of Truth. President and Dean of Students should deliver statements promoting acceptance and acknowledging the University’s deeply troubled history. These statements must acknowledge past and present racial and gender discrimination, as well as the need for full participation to repair a broken community. Such remarks should not reference Thomas Jefferson, because of his decidedly mixed racial legacy – one with which this University has not yet come to terms.”

Capitulation_Clique

Thoroughly criticize the capitulationist clique (Source)

7) Be on Guard Against Those Who Brand the Revolutionary Masses as ‘Counter-Revolutionaries.’

Amherst: “President Martin must issue a statement to the Amherst College community at large that states we do not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the ‘All Lives Matter’ posters, and the ‘Free Speech’ posters that stated that ‘in memoriam of the true victim of the Missouri Protests: Free Speech.'”

Atlanta University Center Consortium: “With full respect to the administration, faculty, and law enforcement of each institution of the AUC and Atlanta officials, we cannot allow conservative policy to restrict the execution of our service to the revolution and movement.”

Dartmouth College: “Create a policy with serious consequences against hate speech/crimes (e.g. Greek house expelled for racist parties). Create a policy banning the Indian mascot (e.g., turn away people from sporting events who are wearing Indian head shirts). Require that the Review give up the ‘Dartmouth’ part of their name if they refuse to abide by the requests to stop using the term ‘Indian’ in their paper.”

Guilford College: “The college must investigate hateful Yik Yak posts and comments to the utmost of their ability. Should these posts turn overtly violent, students demand that the college report them to the proper authorities and they be treated no differently from other anonymous hate crimes.”

University of Wyoming: “We demand, the student code of conduct be revised to hold students accountable to hate crimes, hate speech, and sexual assault and a detailed reporting structure be developed for students to report such incidents. This reporting structure should be easily accessible to anyone who wishes to report such incidents without retaliation.”

Deviationists

Carry on the struggle to the end to strike against the right deviationist wind of reversing verdicts (Source)

8) The Question of Cadres: “The anti-Party, anti-socialist rightists must be fully exposed, refuted, overthrown and completely discredited and their influence eliminated. At the same time, they should be given a chance to turn over a new leaf.”

Dartmouth College: “All professors will be required to be trained in not only cultural competency but also the importance of social justice in their day-to-day work.”

Kennesaw State University: “Considering Kennesaw State University is located less than 5 miles away from ‘Wild Man’s Civil War Surplus’ (a store that openly sells confederate and KKK merchandise) a straightforward statement dedicated to separating the university from the racist culture in which it is surrounded would aid in alleviating the climate of anxiety and fear commonly felt by students of color.”

New York University: “All Deans, the Student Activities Board, and the Student Senators Council must have continuous and regular conversations with the Black and Brown Coalition.”

Notre Dame of Maryland University: “All administration, namely the President, The Board of Trustees, and Academic Affairs be more transparent regarding events and decisions taking place that could affect student life. This transparency should be enhanced by more student representation. This representation must include students of color. This demand also requires that these administrators will be updating students and faculty about the reasoning behind changes made to curriculum, athletic team, tuition, and marketing strategies.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that students, non-academic workers, academic workers, and other North Carolina Constituents be given a vote on the Board of Governors. As it currently stands, even issuing a single student vote is insufficient to shift the balance of power.”

University of Virginia: “President Sullivan should order the creation of a mandatory online summer cultural competency training module and a fall orientation presentation. These trainings should include a University-wide online training module on discrimination and micro-aggressions, akin to the alcohol awareness online course, which is mandatory for incoming first years to complete. A similar training module should be created for all incoming faculty.”

Committees

Warmly hail the formation of the revolutionary committee of Beijing (Source)

9) Cultural Revolution Groups, Committees and Congresses: “The struggle of the proletariat against the old ideas, culture, customs and habits left over by all the exploiting classes over thousands of years will necessarily take a very, very long time. Therefore, the Cultural Revolutionary groups, committees and congresses should not be temporary organizations but permanent, standing mass organizations. They are suitable not only for colleges, schools and government and other organizations, but generally also for factories, mines, other enterprises, urban districts and villages. … The Cultural Revolutionary groups, committees and congresses in colleges and schools should consist mainly of representatives of the revolutionary students. At the same time, they should have a certain number of representatives of the revolutionary teaching and administrative staff and workers.”

Bard College: “The Multicultural Diversity Committee (MDC) at Bard College must made more visible, transparent, and accessible to the Bard community regarding its roles and responsibilities on campus. Members of the Bard College community should be informed about the committee’s role in the diversity and inclusion hiring process as well as the committee’s weekly meetings and progress made by the MDC throughout the semester. Bard must support the establishment of a student-run Diversity, Inclusion and Accountability Board.”

Beloit College: “Recurring Diversity sensitivity Training for faculty and staff to promote better inclusivity for students of color in classroom, office, and administrative spaces. Department Heads, senior staff, administrators need to participate in at least two semesters of the faculty/staff Sustained Dialogue group.”

Boston College: “Include Students in the Hiring Committee for the New Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity, and Include Questions regarding Systematic Oppression as part of the Interview Process.”

Brown University: “Furthermore, we would like the instantiation of hiring committees that would ensure Brown offers competitive salaries to top faculty of color working in the aforementioned areas. In accordance with this demand, we implore Brown’s administration – with the inclusion of undergraduate and graduate students of color – to create an external board tasked with the responsibility of reviewing each department’s progress in hiring, retaining, offering competitive salaries, and creating opportunities for advancement for faculty of color who work on social justice issues.”

Guilford College: “The creation of a sovereign Office of Diversity and Inclusion to enforce these demands and keep the administration accountable – these tasks should not solely be carried out through the unpaid labor of students and faculty of color.”

Harvard University: “We demand that HSPH address race and inequity through education by instituting mandatory training on race and privilege for all students, post-docs, staff, and faculty, developing case studies that challenge social injustice, and increasing practicum opportunities on themes of racism and health. This process should begin by the spring semester and incorporate student input.”

Lawrence University: “A committee that works on recruitment and retention of Students of Color should be formed immediately. The committee should work towards solutions and ongoing programming related to recruitment and retention and Students of Color should have input in the recruitment process and appointment to the committee.”

Lewis and Clark College: “Create a committee with slots for students of color, faculty of color, and students and faculty from underrepresented communities within the hiring process.”

University of Kansas: “Establish Multicultural Student Government independent of current University of Kansas Student Senate.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that students and workers of our choosing will be included in all committees commissioned for the hiring of top tier administrators (i.e. Chancellor, Dean, President). The current president of ASG, the student body president, and president of GPSF are already involved in some of these processes, and clearly we cannot rely on a few tokenized students.”

Study_Defense

Give prominence to politics, study air defense knowledge, train your skills up to the mark, resolutely strike against invaders (Source)

10) Educational Reform: “In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution a most important task is to transform the old educational system and the old principles and methods of teaching. … In every kind of school we must apply thoroughly the policy advanced by Comrade Mao Tse-tung of education serving proletarian politics and education being combined with productive labour, so as to enable those receiving an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and to become labourers with socialist consciousness and culture.”

University of Missouri: “We demand that the University of Missouri creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administration. This curriculum must be vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff and faculty of color.”

Brown University: “We demand an in-person and compulsory Title IX training for faculty, staff, DPS, administrators, and students that includes an intersectional framework.”

Brandeis University: “Implement educational pedagogies and curriculums that increase racial awareness and inclusion within ALL departments and schools. Mandate yearly diversity and inclusion workshops for all faculty and staff with optional workshops being offered consistently throughout the academic year.”

Kennesaw State University: “We demand required cultural awareness, race and ethnicity, and intersectional LGBT diversity training for members of Greek Life and all student organizations on campus. No one should be exempt; student members of Greek Life and staff alike. Staff members are not agents of respectability, nor are organization advisory boards breeding grounds for respectability politics; we will no longer accept the tone policing, political bias, and overarching reach of the power of organization advisors.”

Lawrence University: “The newly introduced Israel­ Palestine class, and especially given that it is being offered under the Religious Studies department, needs to have its syllabus reviewed to ensure that the Palestinian narrative is represented. Offering this class in the religious studies department reinforces the ignorant notion that this is a religious conflict even though it clearly isn’t.”

Michigan State University: “We demand that Michigan State University establish a College of Race, Class, and Gender Studies. This college will be home to the newly created Department of African American and African Studies, and it would establish a Department of Chicano and Latino Studies, Department of Women and Gender Studies, and a Department of Native American Studies.”

Michigan State University: “We demand an increase in tenure-stream faculty whose research specializes in Black Politics, Black Linguistics, Black Sociology, Black Psychology, African politics, Black Queer Studies, Hip-Hop Studies, African American Literature, African Literature, and Decolonial Theory. All these faculty hires must be approved by a panel of Black student leaders and will be tenured in the Department of African American and African Studies.”

Missouri State University: “We demand the establishment of a mandatory Diversity Curriculum for administration, faculty, staff and incoming students starting with academic year of 2016-2017 in perpetuation. This curriculum should: Be designed by students, administration, and faculty; Require real-life application of the university’s pillars; and Highlight the cultural climate of the university.”

New York University: “Perpetual, continuing education on diversity for all university members that exists outside of a module format.”

Purdue University: “We demand that Purdue create and enforce a required comprehensive racial awareness curriculum for all students, staff, faculty, administration, and police. This curriculum must be vetted and overseen by a board of diverse students, faculty, and staff.”

University of Baltimore: “Cultural Competency Training & Training to Employ Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. This university is increasingly becoming a multicultural environment. With people from many diverse backgrounds the opportunity to miscommunication and insensitivity is ripe. Specifically, this university has a problem with faculty being insensitive to students of color and promoting instances of outright discrimination and microaggressions. There is a responsibility for this university to create positive environments of learning and form effective working relationships amongst all in this community.”

University of Kansas: “Mandatory, intense ‘inclusion and belonging’ training for all levels of students, staff, faculty, and administration.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that the University incorporate mandatory programming for all University constituents (students, faculty, staff, administrators, deans, chairs, etc.) that teaches the historical racial violence of this University and town as well as a historical and contemporary look at the ways in which racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and cisheteropatriarchy structure our world. This will come from an ungraded course created and facilitated by a coalition of students as part of a broader task force of workers, students and staff. There is an acceptance of oppression as the norm at this University that must be called out and addressed. The program will be vetted by a University professor of our choosing.”

University of Virginia: “Incoming First-Years should have a three-credit seminar requirement that analyzes systems of power in regards to race, sex, sexual orientation, and other areas. The purpose of these courses is to nurture and develop the critical skills necessary to be informed and socially responsible citizens.”

Deepen_Criticism

Deepen the criticism of Lin (Biao) and Confucius, energetically increase industrial production (Source)

11) The Question of Criticizing by Name in the Press: “In the course of the mass movement of the Cultural Revolution, the criticism of bourgeois and feudal ideology should be well combined with the dissemination of the proletarian world outlook and of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung’s thought. Criticism should be organized of typical bourgeois representatives who have wormed their way into the Party and typical reactionary bourgeois academic ‘authorities,’ and this should include criticism of various kinds of reactionary views in philosophy, history, political economy and education, in works and theories of literature and art, in theories of natural science, and in other fields.”

University of Missouri: “We demand that University of Missouri System President, Tim Wolfe, writes a hand-written apology … acknowledge his white privilege … admits his gross negligence… We demand the immediate removal of Tim Wolfe as UM system president.”

Amherst: “President Martin must issue a statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latin@ racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism.”

Guilford College: “A public apology must be issued from the people who directed the production of the BLM video to the organizers of Black Lives Matter Week who have been exploited by the administration by way of the marketing video posted by the college following the BLM event of 10/27/2015.”

Harvard University: “We demand that Dean Frenk issue a public statement by Wednesday, December 17, recognizing the public health relevance and impact of racism and its manifestations, including police brutality in the 21st century.”

Lawrence University: “On behalf of the university, President Burstein will send a public apology to Students and Staff of Color, past and present for not being proactive in addressing racial issues in our community. The Administration will take a public stance and release a public statement acknowledging racism, discrimination, and hate speech on our campus.”

Powerful_Marxists

Create powerful Marxist theoretical troops in the midst of battle (Source)

12) Policy Towards Scientists, Technicians and Ordinary Members of Working Staffs: “As regards scientists, technicians and ordinary members of working staffs, as long as they are patriotic, work energetically, are not against the Party and socialism, and maintain no illicit relations with any foreign country, we should in the present movement continue to apply the policy of ‘unity, criticism, unity.’ Special care should be taken of those scientists and scientific and technical personnel who have made contributions. Efforts should be made to help them gradually transform their world outlook and their style of work.”

Bard College: “Bard College must support and ensure the establishment and provision of Diversity and Sensitivity Workshops multiple times a semester to faculty and staff at all levels. These workshops will provide continuous in-person training regarding cultural understanding, engagement with bias, the use of inclusive language, etc.”

Duke University: “Professors, staff members, and non-academic employees will be in danger of losing their jobs, and non-tenure track faculty will lose tenure status if they perpetuate hate speech that threatens the safety of students of color. They will also be liable if the discriminatory attitudes behind the speech could potentially harm the academic achievements of students of color.”

Kennesaw State University: “We demand the adoption of strong repercussions and sanctions immediately added to policy for offenders of racist actions and racial bias on campus. Current policies listed in the student handbook identify discrimination and harassment as punishable, yet do not sufficiently detail the punishments and repercussions which come with these acts. These repercussions must be sufficient in reach – meaning not just for student offenders, but for staff as well – and they must be clearly stated within syllabi.”

Loyola University Maryland: “We demand Mandatory Racial Justice Training for all employees, faculty, staff, and new students. This training must be facilitated by a student-approved third party consultant.”

Michigan State University: “We demand that all current and future Residential Advisors and Michigan State University Police receive a mandatory cultural competency training.”

Purdue University: “We demand that Purdue create and enforce a required comprehensive racial awareness curriculum for all students, staff, faculty, administration, and police. This curriculum must be vetted and overseen by a board of diverse students, faculty, and staff.”

Purdue University: “We demand that there be enforced extensive background checks relating to sexual offense, hate group membership, and discriminatory offenses of all faculty, staff, and police officers.”

San Francisco State University: “Mandatory racial sensitivity training for all incoming employees, faculty of San Francisco State University including UPD.”

Simmons College: “We demand that all faculty and staff be put through rigorous diversity training that emphasizes the requirement that they address microagressions and misinformation in class. As part of this we also demand that faculty are incentivized to participate in racial justice work as part of the tenure and promotion processes. We would like to see repercussions for racial actions performed by professors and administrators or staff. Our micro and macro-aggressions should be taken seriously and met with the highest level of urgency and care.”

Southern Methodist University: “Sensitivity training for all faculty and staff, including tenured professors, must be mandatory.”

University of Baltimore: “Cultural competency training should be given on a semester basis (this includes workshops, lectures, and interactive courses) and be mandatory for students, faculty, and staff. We also demand that faculty members are put through intensive training on how to implement culturally relevant teaching techniques and curricula that breeds an environment of inclusiveness and understanding in the classroom.”

University of Cincinnati: “We demand that the University of Cincinnati conducts holistic profiles including extensive background checks, mental evaluations, and accounts of past misbehaviors of all faculty/staff/police hired at the University of Cincinnati, starting immediately.”

University of Kansas: “Mandatory, intense ‘inclusion and belonging’ training for all levels of students, staff, faculty, and administration.”

Vanderbilt University: “Develop ongoing racial competency training for all faculty and staff. Maintain these training modules for all faculty and staff in order to address issues as they arise and to insure absorption and incorporation of competency tenets. Include a question concerning the racial climate of the classroom in professor evaluations.”

Border_Areas

Let young people contribute to the development of the border areas (Source)

13) The Question of Arrangements for Integration With the Socialist Education Movement in City and Countryside: “The cultural and educational units and leading organs of the Party and government in the large and medium cities are the points of concentration of the present proletarian Cultural Revolution. The Great Cultural Revolution has enriched the socialist education movement in both city and countryside and raised it to a higher level. Efforts should be made to conduct these two movements in close combination. Arrangements to this effect may be made by various regions and departments in the light of the specific conditions.”

[Author’s Note: In China, millions of citizens were forcibly removed to the countryside to “reeducate” themselves among the working class. American students have not yet made such radical demands, but they clearly demand that their revolution not be confined to the campus.]

Grinnell College: “Partnership with City Officials to develop protocols around responses to bias-motivated incidents that occur in the city of Grinnell. Create community relations and mentor programs to facilitate increased meaningful connection between the college and the City of Grinnell.”

Lawrence University: “The University will work with the city of Appleton’s Diversity Coordinator, the Appleton Police Department and the Mayor of Appleton to discuss and implement a safety plan for addressing street harassment and violence on College Ave. and Appleton, WI.”

Santa Clara University: “Off campus Student Life Orientation. There are a variety of health and safety reasons that support the decision to track on and off campus living. In addition to those reasons, it is in the University’s best interest to have a record of students living on and off campus. In addition to tracking student housing, we advocate for the school to create an off campus student life orientation that preps students for living on their own. It should also include a diversity and sexual assault component. This off campus orientation is expected to be completed by all students. Failure to do so would result in a potential fine or a hold on one’s ability to register for classes until completed.”

UCLA: “Create a UCLA community schools in a predominately Black Area of Los Angeles. Black Students are one of the smallest populations at UCLA, and the university should be doing all it can to reach out to them. Currently community schools are 80% Latino and 14% Asian. UCLA should be focusing on its smallest populations of Black and American Indian students.”

University of Cincinnati: “We demand that the University of Cincinnati divest from any companies involved in the operation of private prisons and establish a Socially Responsible Investment Committee (or at least adopting a socially responsible investment policy) for all investment transactions by the start of the 2017-­2018 Academic Year.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that the University evaluate all companies it is currently licensing with, and make decisions to cut contracting with corporations proven to have deeply exploitative and abusive track records toward workers. Given that, we DEMAND UNC cut its current licensing with: a. VF Corporation. Signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is insufficient, because VF Corporation, which makes UNC apparel, has moved their sites of production outside of Bangladesh, effectively nullifying the Accord. b. Nike. The University signed a near $40 million 10-year contract with the corporation in 2009.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that the University decriminalize sleeping on campus or being on campus after midnight for non-students. We know these policies are primarily meant to police poor, Black, and Brown bodies on supposedly ‘public’ space.”

University of North Carolina at Greensboro: “WE DEMAND accountability to the larger community. a. Stop the Gentrification of Glenwood. UNCG must stop any further plans to expand the campus into the neighborhood and work with the community to decide what to do with the property already purchased by the university. b. No more UNCG police patrolling through Glenwood neighborhood. The campus police department is unaccountable to the residents of the Glenwood neighborhood and should not police that community. c. UNCG must join the growing movement of divestment from companies and other financial entities profiting from fossil fuels, private prisons, and the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. The university must reinvest these funds into non-extractive community-driven development funds and projects.”

Production

The Chinese people have high aspirations (Source)

14) Take Firm Hold of the Revolution and Stimulate Production: “The aim of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is to revolutionize people’s ideology and as a consequence to achieve greater, faster, better and more economical results in all fields of work. If the masses are fully aroused and proper arrangements are made, it is possible to carry on both the Cultural Revolution and production without one hampering the other, while guaranteeing high quality in all our work.”

Amherst: “Dean Epstein must ask faculty to excuse all students from all 5 College classes, work shifts, and assignments from November 12th, 2015 to November 13th, 2015 given their organization of and attendance at the Sit-In. Do not threaten the jobs of the faculty, staff, or administrators that support our list of demands. Such threats will result in an escalation of our response.”

Brandeis University: “Increase minimum wage for all hourly paid university employees by 15%.”

Duke University: “Living Wages and Rights for Staff and Adjunct Faculty. Commit in writing to an immediate end to the union busting activities meant to intimidate non tenure-track faculty organizing a union, including but not limited to captive audience meetings, the maintenance of the ‘One-to-One’ website, and emails meant to misinform and discourage organizing faculty. Mandate or create a new policy that allows faculty and staff to freely criticize Duke’s institution without fear of losing their jobs.”

Michigan State University: “We demand an increase in academic advisors, as well as mental health and sexaul (sic) assault professionals who specialize in dealing with students of color.”

Notre Dame of Maryland University: “The Academic Affairs department must hire, place and tenure more people of color on in order to promote diversity on our campus. We believe that this action should be taken immediately.”

Occidental College: “Promotion of the CDO to Vice President level. Increase budget of the CDO office by 50%. $60,000 allocated to DEB to fund programming and provide resources for black and other marginalized students. Creation of a fully funded and staffed Black Studies program, a demand that has not been met for over 40 years. Increase percentage of tenured faculty of color by 20% for the 2017-2018 school year, and by 100% over the next 5 years.”

Purdue University: “We demand that under represented faculty and staff receive more resources, funding and support.”

San Francisco State University: “Increase of enrollment and retention of Black students, Increase of Black faculty and faculty with tenure. … Increase support and funding for College of Ethnic Studies and Ethnic Organizations.”

Sarah Lawrence College: “We demand that the College provide greater material resources to the Chief Diversity Officer, and the Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement. This demand includes more staff and financial support.”

Sarah Lawrence College: “We demand that the College provide sustained and ongoing faculty and staff training around racism.”

Simmons College: “We demand an increase in the number of faculty and staff of color at Simmons across all academic disciplines and administrative roles. This increase should meet a 30% minimum representation across all colleges, matching the ratio of students of color in the student body. We also demand institutional support and mentorship for faculty and staff of color.”

UC Berkeley: “WE DEMAND the hiring of two full time admissions staff members that have extensive experience working with Black students, and a series of enhanced recruitment strategies, with a budget of $300,371, to recruit Black students to UC Berkeley. We maintain that this funding comes from the Chancellor’s office and not from the Division of Student Affairs.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that all administrators be compensated at the same rate as workers. UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt currently receives a base salary of $570,000. Her pay is symptomatic of the way universities have a bloated administrative system with numerous over-paid workers in executive positions. We DEMAND that all workers at the UNC system & UNC Hospitals have the right to unionize and collectively bargain. We DEMAND that the UNC-System and UNC-Chapel Hill advocate for the right to unionize and collectively bargain for workers on a state and national level. We DEMAND a minimum compensation of $15,000 per course for all adjunct faculty.”

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: “We DEMAND that student-athletes are recognized as University employees, paid a base salary $25.00/hour with benefits, and, further, compensated in accordance with the level of revenue that they bring to the University.”

University of Virginia: “The University should conduct an internal AND external review as well as an intentional study on the cost and effect of institutionalizing a living minimum wage for its direct employees.”

Military

The whole party must grasp military affairs, the whole people must become soldiers (Source)

15) The Armed Forces: “In the armed forces, the cultural revolution and the socialist education movement should be carried out in accordance with the instructions of the Military Commission of the Central Committee of the Party and the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army.”

[Author’s Note: Although there are some student demands made of campus and local law enforcement agencies, I could identify none which would directly affect branches of the U.S. military. We shall see.]

Banner

Hold high the great red banner of Mao Zedong to wage the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to the end – Revolution is no crime, to rebel is justified (Source)

16) Mao Tse-tung’s Thought Is the Guide for Action in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: “In the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, it is imperative to hold aloft the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought and put proletarian politics in command. The movement for the creative study and application of Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s works should be carried forward among the masses of the workers, peasants and soldiers, the cadres and the intellectuals, and Mao Tse-tung’s thought should be taken as the guide to action in the Cultural Revolution.”

[Author’s note: If it is not clear to you already that “Mao’s Thought” is the guide for all these demands, then you might be subject to Point #12. But, if you work energetically, and are not against the protesters, then I do not doubt that their continued peaceful efforts will help you transform your world outlook.]

The Kidnappings that Launched a Thousand Ships

As the process of writing my novel comes to an end, I don’t waste much time on books that lend nothing to the story. I’m making an exception for Herodotus.

In my story, an ancient unreadable manuscript finds its way from Istanbul to the Baltic. (Sorry, no spoilers here. You’ll have to read the book…) In an earlier draft, this manuscript was an ancient version of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, which told the tale of an even more ancient migration from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. My fevered author’s brain imagined that my book could mirror a mythic reversal of that epic journey.

Alas, my storytelling skills were not up to the challenge.

But my interest in that ancient world has not waned, and thus I bought a copy of Herodotus: The Histories for fifty cents at a garage sale.

The kidnapping of Helen brought about the Trojan War, but Herodotus tells us what brought about the kidnapping of Helen. And so, without further ado…

“Herodotus of Hallicarnassus here displays his inquiry, so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time, and great and marvelous deeds — some displayed by Greeks, some by barbarians — may not be without their glory; and especially to show why the two people’s fought with each other.

“Learned Persians put the responsibility for the quarrel on the Phoenicians. These people came originally from the so-called Red Sea; and as soon as they had penetrated to the Mediterranean and settled in the country where they are today, they took to making long trading voyages. Loaded with Egyptian and Assyrian goods, they called at various places along the coast, including Argos, in those days the most important place in the land now called Hellas.

“Here in Argos they displayed their wares, and five or six days later when they were nearly sold out, a number of women came down to the beach to see the fair. Amongst these was the king’s daughter, whom Greek and Persian writers agree in calling Io, daughter of Inachus. These women were standing about near the vessel’s stern, buying what they fancied, when suddenly the Phoenician sailors passed the word along and made a rush at them. The greater number got away; but Io and some others were caught and bundled aboard the ship, which cleared at once and made off for Egypt.

“This, according to the Persian account (the Greeks have a different story), was how Io came to Egypt; and this was the first in a series of unjust acts.

“Later on some Greeks, whose name the Persians fail to record — they were probably Cretans — put into the Phoenician port of Tyre and carried off the king’s daughter Europa, thus giving them tit for tat.

“For the next outrage it was the Greeks again who were responsible. they sailed in an armed merchantman to Aea in Colchis on the river Phasis, and, not content with the regular business which had brought them there, they abducted the king’s daughter Medea. the king sent to Greece demanding reparations and his daughter’s return; but the only answer he got was that the Greeks had no intention of offering reparation, having received none themselves for the abduction of Io from Argos.

“The accounts go on to say that some forty or fifty years afterwards Paris, the son of Priam, was inspired by these stories to steal a wife for himself out of Greece, being confident that he would not have to pay for the venture any more than the Greeks had done. And that was how he came to carry off Helen.

“The first idea of the Greeks after the rape was to send a demand for satisfaction and for Helen’s return. the demand was met by a reference to the seizure of Medea and the injustice of expecting satisfaction from people to whom they had refused it, not to mention the fact that they had kept the girl.

“Thus far there had been nothing worse than woman-stealing on both sides; but for what happened next the Greeks, they say, were seriously to blame; for it was the Greeks who were, in a military sense, the aggressors. Abducting young women, in their opinion, is not, indeed, a lawful act; but it is stupid after the event to make a fuss about avenging it. The only sensible thing is to take no notice; for it is obvious that no young woman allows herself to be abducted if she does not wish to be. The Asiatics, according to the Persians, took the seizure of the women lightly enough, but not so the Greeks: the Greeks, merely on account of a girl from Sparta, raised a big army, invaded Asia and destroyed the empire of Priam. From that root sprang their belief in the perpetual enmity of the Grecian world towards them — because the Persians claim Asia and the barbarian races dwelling in it as their own, Europe and the Greek states being, in their opinion, quite separate and distinct from them.

“As to Io, the Phoenicians do not accept the Persian account; they deny that they took her to Egypt by force. On the contrary, the girl while she was still in Argos went to bed with the ship’s captain, found herself pregnant, and, ashamed to face her parents, sailed away voluntarily to escape exposure.

“So much for the what Persians and Phoenicians say; and I have no intention of passing judgement on its truth or falsity. I prefer to rely on my own knowledge, and to point out who it was in actual fact that first injured the Greeks; then I will proceed with my history, telling the story as I go along of small cities of men no less than of great. For most of those which were great once are small today; and those which used to be small were great in my own time. Knowing, therefore, that human prosperity never abides long in the same place, I shall pay attention to both alike.”

Siege Mentality

Wallenstein Besieges Stralsund, by CA Dahlstrom

Wallenstein parleys with the defenders of Stralsund. Engraving by CA Dahlstrom.

The year is 1628. The war has been dragging on for ten years and Ferdinand II — Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany, Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia, Archduke of Austria — is scheming against Protestant rulers. In less than a year he will force them to restore more than 500 bishoprics, monasteries, abbeys, and other ecclesiastical properties that had been secularized since 1552. And now the Emperor’s undefeated army is at the gates of Stralsund, Germany, a key strategic port city on the Baltic Sea.

The war had officially begun in 1618 with the Defenestration of Prague, when a crowd of Protestants threw two members of the Catholic government and their secretary out the castle window. Encyclopedia Britannica notes that rumblings preceded hostilities.

The underlying cause for the outbreak of a war that would last 30 years was thus the pathological fear of a Catholic conspiracy among the Protestants and the equally entrenched suspicion of a Protestant conspiracy among the Catholics. As a Bohemian noblewoman, Polyxena Lobkovic, perceptively observed from the vantage point of Prague: “Things are now swiftly coming to the pass where either the papists will settle their score with the Protestants, or the Protestants with the papists.”

Ferdinand is 50 years old in 1628, older, wiser, emboldened by successful policies in his homeland of Styria and determined to carry them out in Germany. C.V. Wedgwood describes him in her seminal work, The Thirty Years War.

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand’s policy combined cunning with boldness; he undermined the Protestants by civil disabilities, seduced the younger generation by education and propaganda, and gradually tightened the screws until the Protestants realized too late that they no longer had the means to resist. …

[He was] a cheerful, friendly, red-faced little man with a reassuring smile for everyone. Frank good nature beamed from his freckled countenance and shortsighted, prominent, light blue eyes. Sandy-haired, stout and bustling, he presented a wholly unimpressive figure …

General and private opinion flattered the archduke’s virtues but not his ability. Kindly contemptuous, the greater number of his contemporaries wrote him off as a good-natured simpleton wholly under the control of his chief minister Ulrich von Eggenberg. Yet Ferdinand’s apparent lack of personal initiative may have been a pose; as a young man he had been taught by the Jesuits to cast the onus of political decisions on to others in order to spare his own conscience. …

Repeatedly in the course of his life he twisted disaster into advantage, wrenched unexpected safety out of overwhelming danger, snatched victory from defeat. His contemporaries, unimpressed, commented on his astonishing luck. If it was luck, it was certainly astonishing.

The Emperor’s general, Albrecht von Wallenstein, says of Stralsund, “The town shall yield,  though it were bound with chains to Heaven.”

It is not to be. A spirited defense is raised by Scots, Danes, Swedes, and native Stralsunders themselves. Wedgwood writes, “The show of violence fluttered the Hanseatic League but still had not the desired effect, for, instead of accepting imperial friendship, the deputies of the Hanse merely offered Wallenstein eight thousand talers to withdraw. He proved incorruptible and on July 6 1628 arrived in person before Stralsund.

An article about the siege by the English Civil War Society of America (which staged a reenactment in 2005) describes the situation.

Imperial General Von Arnim had had provocation enough. He commenced his attack in early May. By day, he subjected the city to artillery bombardment, by night he sent parties to attempt to surprise the garrison. The Stralsunders sent pleas for help to the Northern Kings, and help arrived with surprising speed.

The first help came from the Danes. On the 28th of May (Old Calendar) British troops of MacKay’s regiment under Lt.-Colonel Seaton and Major Robert Monroe made a hazardous sea landing at Stralsund. While approaching the harbor, they came under heavy fire from the culverins (large cannon) in von Arnim’s land batteries. Monroe’s ship had its main mast shot off, and almost grounded in the channel. Despite these dangers the Scots landed safely in Stralsund, accompanied by Hatzfeld’s “Deutch” Regiment . The commander of the relief expedition was Colonel Heinrick Holke, and he became the de facto, if not de jure, Governor of Stralsund.

While Arnim kept up his bombardment and harassing attacks. Wallenstein arrived in mid June, and immediately reconnoitered the city’s defenses. He determined that the defenses before the Frankendore Gate was the best spot for an assault, and prepared several thousand men to attack the outworks.

"Belagerung Stralsunds durch Wallenstein 1628, Kupferstich auf einem zeitgenössischen Flugblatt." - Artist Unknown

“Belagerung Stralsunds durch Wallenstein 1628, Kupferstich auf einem zeitgenössischen Flugblatt.” – Artist Unknown

My own novel is not about the war, but one of the main characters, a boy named James, lives through the siege. He is young, and finds himself on the street with another boy, scrambling to find shelter. St. James Church, near one of the main gates into the city, is close by.

They emerged into a single cavernous room on the third floor, morning light streaming in through twelve very tall, very narrow windows on the eastern wall. The western wall was still standing, but James could not see how. Every window had been shattered completely, and a massive hole in the center of the wall gave an unobstructed view of the besieging army of the Holy Roman Empire.

“Don’t fall through.”

“Yeah,” said James. “What’s your name? I can’t remember.”

“Georg. I’m not surprised. You’re lucky to be alive after that shell hit your house. Anyway, come on! We’re missing the action!”

Georg pulled James to the pile of rubble under the hole in the wall, and they scrambled toward the edge. James pushed a few sharp-edged bricks from under his body and felt a gusty north breeze on his face. He breathed deeply and looked out.

The three western gates were under assault. From behind a shield of thick smoke, moving slowly with the wind across the battlefield, columns of men swarmed across two narrow bridges toward the outer walls. Greater masses of men streamed down the gentle slope and waded across the shallow lagoons. The dead were everywhere, some identifiable only by flashes of color in the churned earth, others in heaps where they had fallen attacking the outer bastions. From the Knipes Gate in the north, to the Tribsee Gate in the south by St. Mary’s, the voices of ten thousand attackers urged one another to victory. Inside the walls, musketeers returned fire, and from every part of town men ran toward the gates.

From the defensive hornworks in the lagoons, musket fire decimated ranks of attacking soldiers. As rows of men fell in the shallow water, those behind stepped on their bodies and continued the charge. The new front row was cut down with the next volley, but it looked to James like an endless supply of men would eventually overwhelm the city walls.

A thousand yards from the city, near the top of the rise, artillery targeted the fortifications between the gates. Some cannonballs bounced off the sloping walls, exploding in the air and raining shrapnel onto defenders and attackers alike. Others detonated inside the walls, throwing dust, bricks and body parts a hundred feet into the air.

Inside the cocoon of his concussion, James was terrified. He wanted to run and hide, but the terror couldn’t find its way outward to his body, and so he lay next to Georg and watched. The other boy had an exultant grin plastered to his face, and every so often James could hear him shout over the terrible sounds of the battle. Time was passing, but he couldn’t tell how long he’d been laying in the rubble. The shadows of the church towers were getting shorter, and the wind had changed direction. The smell of gunpowder dominated the breeze, but underneath it he could taste something dank, moist and almost sweet. From the back of his dazzled mind an image of the local slaughterhouse emerged – he and his friends running, trying in vain to catch the slippery eyeballs of dead cows – and he finally recognized the smell. Fresh blood.

Stralsund in 1652, by Mattheaus Merian

Stralsund in 1652, by Mattheaus Merian

Mass grave from 1632 begins to reveal soldiers’ secrets

History comes to life in this article from Der Spiegel. I’ve been researching the decades of the Thirty Years War for some time now, and I’m writing a chapter that takes place about 60 miles from Lutzen, Germany, as the crow flies. My novel has little to do with the war, but the conflict engulfed most of Northern Europe from 1618-1648, and no citizen was untouched by its horror.

Mass Grave in Lutzen

The morning of November 16, 1632 was foggy, so the mass killing could only begin after some delay. It wasn’t until midday that the mist cleared, finally allowing the Protestant army of Sweden’s King Gustav II Adolf to attack the Roman Catholic Habsburg imperial army led by Albrecht von Wallenstein. The slaughter lasted for hours in the field at the Saxon town of Lützen.

“In this battle the only rule that applied was, ‘him or me,'” says Maik Reichel. “It was better to stab your opponent one extra time just to ensure there was no chance of him standing up again.” The historian and former German parliamentarian for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) is standing at the edge of a field on the outskirts of Lützen. After the battles here, the ground was soaked with blood. “About 20,000 men fought on each side and between 6,000 and 9,000 were killed,” estimates Reichel, who heads the museum in the city castle.

The battle is important only because it resulted in the death of Sweden’s king. A hands-on leader, he fought with his men at the front. Known as the Lion of the North, it was said that “he thinks the ship cannot sink that carries him.” After his death, the war dragged on for another 16 years, the Swedish forces under various generals directed by Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna.

The Catholic forces in 1632 were led by Albrecht Wallenstein, who was assassinated in 1634, after being charged with treason by the Holy Roman Emperor.

Gustavus_Adolphus_at_the_Battle_at_BreitenfeldGustavus Adolphus
Albrecht_WallensteinAlbrecht Wallenstein

The chapter in my novel occurs in 1639, after the first Battle of Frieburg was lost by Protestant forces under General Johan Baner.

Except for the frost, Uncle Heinrich’s face looked the same dead as it had alive.

“At least death has a sense of humor,” James said. The man’s body was grotesquely animated, much like his face had been during life. It was as if the laughing north wind had frozen him solid, pistol in upraised hand, legs churning toward victory, the moment the enemy musket ball pierced his chest. He’d known since last night that his uncle was dead. The corpse was mere proof.

“Do you want to bury him? It’ll take him awhile to thaw out,” said Conrad.

“Yes,” said James, shivering in the cold dawn air, “but don’t bother waiting. I think he’d rather be buried just as he is, going down fighting. Where are you digging the graves?”

“Grave. Over where we had the fire last night. The ground is too hard anywhere else. General Baner says to dig one big pit and throw them all in.”

“He’s a son of a bitch, but for once I agree with him.” James picked up the cold handles of the wheelbarrow and struggled to push it over the rugged earth.

Conrad grabbed Heinrich’s outstretched arm to steady the wheelbarrow, and laughed. “He always was one to lend a hand!”

James negotiated the rows of dead and their bearers. “Looks like about two hundred. How many more?”

“Five hundred total, or so they tell me. And we didn’t even take the town.”

“Son of a bitch.” He tipped his uncle into the dead regiment. Sweaty men swung picks and swore at the frozen earth. James used his sleeve to wipe the sweat from his own forehead. “Has anyone told Baner how stupid that was?”

“Probably as stupid as trying to dig this pit.”

“So you’d rather just leave these men to rot where they lay?”

“And you’d prefer to complain about orders when the general’s wife is sick? If you thought the attack was futile …”

“Baner just killed five hundred of our men, including my uncle.” James spit the words into the freezing air and pulled the collar of his coat closer.

“He killed five thousand last month. Don’t compound your problems. No good will come of it. Say a prayer for Heinrich and let’s get back to the tent.”

Down the line, men were stripping the bodies of useful gear. James bent over Heinrich and tugged on the sleeve of the dead man’s overcoat. “Give me a hand.”

Conrad giggled, squatted down, and together they wrangled the coat from the contorted body. “Do you want the boots?”

“Yeah. We wear the same size.” James pulled one of the boots, but it wouldn’t budge. “Hold him steady. Damn thing is frozen on.” He pulled again and the boot came free with a cracking sound. The sock remained. He pulled the other one off and stood with it in his hand. The idea of stripping Heinrich to his bare frozen flesh was repulsive.

“That’s it. Leave the rest. ”

“Aren’t you going to say a prayer?” Conrad waited, greatcoat over his arm, the bloody hole staring at the world in condemnation.

“Okay. I suppose it’s what Heinrich would have wanted.” James considered his uncle’s wounds, so bright in life, livid blue-gray in death. He looked up, desiring to see the sky but confronted only by the carnal fog that had followed them since Chemnitz.

“Lord.” The first consonant stuck on his tongue, repulsing the wave of sounds that came after, then collapsing in submission. A rage of angels blew trumpets in his head and a prayer arrived with the attack. “Babylon, you are doomed! I pray the Lord’s blessings on anyone who punishes you for what you did to us. May the Lord bless everyone who beats your children against the rocks!”

James turned abruptly away, hating his shameful tears. The dead regiment lay at attention as a mounted officer rode into the clearing. “Leave the dead! We’re moving out!”

A cry of protest rose from the men.

“The ground is too hard!” the officer shouted. “We’ll bury them after the thaw! Now move out!”

‘Death to the Turk, the Turk to Death’

Istanbul sits astride two continents, and from this capitol city of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, Sultans across the centuries sent massive armies to war against Christendom.

Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, sending shockwaves across Europe. One interesting reaction to that event was the 1456 carnival play — “The Turkish Carnival Game” — by a Nürnberg armorer and gunsmith named Hans Rosenplüt. Much of the play is a stinging rebuke of the Holy Roman Empire. The Sultan himself, Mehmed the Conqueror, visits Germany, telling citizens there of a paradise where no taxes are levied. He also reads out a list of the worst sins committed by Christians. A messenger from Frederick III, the Holy Roman Emperor, responds:

Your beard will be shorn off with sickles and your face washed with vinegar and seeded with chalk and ashes. Your god isn’t going to be able to plug up that hole (for) your head is going to hop over a sword’s blade. And if I knew your head wouldn’t slice off neatly, I myself would beat you so you’d have to shit yourself.

Given that the Turks and Christians were embroiled in a war that threatened the existence of the Holy Roman Empire, the main theme of the play is unexpected. As Edwin Hermann Zeyde explains, in his 1918 book, The Holy Roman empire in German literature:

If we consider that at the time when this extravaganza was written the very existence of the Empire was imperilled by the Turkish menace, we can better appreciate the acrid irony of the situation here portrayed. There can be no doubt about the impression that it made on contemporaries; it brought home to every reader the hopeless discord and internal rottenness of the imperial government.

On the other hand, “The Dance of Death” may have been a more common reaction to the “Turkish menace.” By the time “Døde-Dands” was printed in Copenhagen in 1762, the Turks had captured many of the formerly Christian territories around the  Mediterranean, occupied Hungary and the Balkans, and repeatedly attacked Austria and Poland.

From “Døde-Dands”, printed in Copenhagen in 1762. It is not related to the life-sized painting from 1463, “Death from Lübeck”, which showed Death in a dance with 24 humans from all walks of life. Various publications and works of art titled “The Dance of Death” were published in Europe after 1500. See The Dance of Death.

Death to the Turk

Barbarian! who steps on the cross of Christ with your feet,
and who are pleased with the impostor Mahomet;
In the dance of death you must now dance with me,
and receive the wages of your wickedness by false witnesses.
The paradise of lust that Mahomet describes,
shall be revealed for you in a moment;
But if you don’t get a company of maidens,
then a flock of devils will certainly meet you there.
My arrow shall soon stand in your infidel heart.
What your inveteracy did not learn in time,
you will receive knowledge of in eternity,
where you shall stand beside your Mahomet.

The Turk to Death

Will you separate me from this life so murderously,
and represent my paradise as Hell?
Then you are the tyrant that the word calls you,
who’s great greed is most insatiable.
I will not be blessed by Christ’s cross and death.
The prophet Mahomet shall give me his heaven.
If his paradise it not full of sensual pleasures,
then no Turk has accused him for the hope.
Something in my soul moves by the arrival of Death;
but that must be terror, that Death brings along.
I won’t care for conscience.
Open up the eternity and just close Life’s door.

When Death lays hand on evil and infidel heart,
the soul surely experiences a part of Hell’s pain.
Although its inveteracy doesn’t admit it;
but between hope and fear goes the way of all flesh.

From Dutch engraver Caspar Luyken (1672-1708), we get a glimpse of the peoples involved in these centuries of conflict. One hundred of Luyken’s engravings were published in Nuremberg in 1703. Quite a few were of Turkish individuals, which is not surprising since, as the 2003 Dover edition points out, the Turks laid siege to Vienna in 1683.