Woody Guthrie: One Hundredth Birthday of a Communist
Vladimir Lenin, the thug who led the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917, referred to the inspiration of the French Revolution in the plotting and scheming of the Bolshevik Revolution that delivered Russia into Communist tyranny for decades.
It is appropriate because Guthrie was a philosophical communist. While Guthrie claimed to have joined the American Communist Party, there is no conclusive evidence that he ever did. What he did do was write 174 columns under the title of Woody Sez for the Communist Party newspaper, The Daily Worker. Among these columns, he heaped praise upon Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, even defending Stalin's unprovoked invasion of Poland in 1939!
Guthrie's most famous song was This Land Is Your Land, which was inspired as a retort to the patriotic God Bless America by Irving Berlin. One of the verses reveals the anti-private property views of the leftist Guthrie.
"As I went out walking, I saw a sign there, And on the sign there, it said Private Property (some versions say "no trespassing," but the thought is the same either way), But on the other side, it didn't say nothing! That side was made for you and me."
One could continue, citing evidence of Guthrie's communistic philosophy, and discuss his close associations with avowed Communists, but it is clear that Woody Guthrie was a philosophical communist, one who wrote for a Communist newspaper. One could even say that Guthrie was the most extreme sort of communist -- a Stalinist.
It is noteworthy that those on the Left have harsher criticism to make of Joseph McCarthy than they do of Joseph Stalin. Had Woody Guthrie written 174 columns for a National Socialist (Nazi) newspaper, and had praised Adolf Hitler for his unprovoked invasion of Poland, it is extremely doubtful that we would have music festivals in honor, have musical awards named for him, and have this continued fawning coverage by the Oklahoma media.
For that matter, had Woody Guthrie been a conservative Republican who supported Robert A. Taft over the Republican Establishment candidates in 1948 and 1952, or supported Barry Goldwater over that same Establishment in 1964, one can be sure that we would not have a "Woody Guthrie" festival.