Commies in the anti-war movement

Yes, there were commies in the anti-war movement in the 60’s. Still are! This is a good thing. Organizing is in the DNA of socialists and communists. It’s only in the US, home of predatory capitalism, that the mere mention of communism is greeted with horror and vitriolic attack by the rulers. As for the rest of the planet, Marxists often hold governmental positions and people understand that socialists organize for social change. That’s what they do, and with 150 years of experience to draw upon, they can often successfully organize when other, less experienced groups can’t. Plus, they never stop, and continue organizing long after others have quit.

From Country Joe McDonald, author of "Fixin’ To Die Rag", perhaps the best-known anti-war protest song in the 60’s.

Country Joe at Woodstock I wrote "Fixin’ To Die Rag" in summer of 1965 after I had been discharged from the US Navy for several years. It just popped into my head one day and I finished it in about 30 minutes. <Photo from Country Joe’s website, "Getting ready to sing the Rag at Woodstock.">

I was raised in a family of American Communists and so I knew a lot about Capitalism and Communism. The song attempts to put blame for the war upon the politicians and leaders of the US military and upon the industry that makes its money from war but not upon those who had to fight the war … the soldiers.

The song attempts to address the horror of going to war with a dark sarcastic form of humor called "GI humor". GI humor is a way people have of complaining about their situation so it will not get them in trouble and keep them from going insane in an insane environment: war.

Fixin’ to Die lyrics

Come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He’s got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.

Come on generals, let’s move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and get those reds
The only good commie is the one that’s dead
You know that peace can only be won
When we’ve blown ’em all to kingdom come.

Come on Wall Street, don’t move slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go.
There’s plenty good money to be made
Supplying the Army with the tools of the trade
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.

Come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, don’t hesitate,
Send your sons off before it’s too late.
You can be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box.


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