By Nathan Barton
No doubt I date myself by quoting from the Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot, from 1960 and made incredibly popular both as a big-name movie in 1967. It has been related, in popular myth, with the Kennedy Administration.
Of course, today is May Day, a public holiday in many places.
May Day was a traditional spring holiday (the Celtic Beltane) in many cultures (at least in Europe), and featured dances, singing, and drinking – and often in some societies, sex. The maypole dance is common, as are such customs as picking flowers. Crusaders for morality and virtue have tried over the centuries to reform it, usually without success.
In the late 1800s, it was chosen as the “International Workers’ Day” by Socialists and Communists of the Second International: this would come to include what today I call “regressives” (they call themselves “Progressives”) and Tranzis (transnational socialists).
Why International Workers Day? Because of the Haymarket Affair in Chicago, where a general strike on 1 May 1886 led to a violent confrontation on 3 May and a protest which turned violent again on 4 May, beginning a period of unrest Stateside which lasted decades. They claim it as a day of “fighting for human rights” and in honor of workers and labor unions. Many nations in Europe, Africa, and Asia celebrate this day. In the US, it competes with Labor Day in September, or so it is claimed.
In the Fifty States, there is a third holiday: Loyalty Day. Created by the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) to promote patriotism, it “reaffirm[s] allegiance to the United States of America.” It started in 1921 as “Americanization Day,” (just two and a half years after the end of the Great War, WW1). It supposedly countered the communist celebration of the Russian Revolution, also celebrated on May 1. The name changed in 1949, and in 1958 Loyalty Day became law and an official part of the American calendar.
It is even more disgusting than the other two. But the three separate but related holidays are celebrated around the world today by all types of statistss: especially socialists, communists, Tranzis, “progressives” and those who claim to be anarchists (nihilists for the most part).
As a free-market anarchist (a self-governor), I certainly do not celebrate this day in any way. But millions of people, including tens of thousands of radicals, do.
It is ironic and somehow sickeningly fitting that these holidays, Camelot, the song, and the Kennedy Administration are all linked together in the popular mind.
Although far less radical and leftist than most Democrats today, Kennedy was very definitely a suitable spiritual ancestor to modern “progressives” in the Fifty States. He fits well in the chain of growing fascism (and other evils) from Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Although he would no doubt be condemned as an evil “conservative” by most of those running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020, if he had not been murdered, he clearly is in the mold. His brothers Bobby and Teddy would come more out of the closet in their own political careers. And he would be followed by the likes of LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and that squatter in 1600 PA for eight years. (Not that we cannot also point to Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and the Bushes as pushing an agenda not that dissimilar.)
Today, as socialism is pushed more and more in the Fifty States, May Day is a warning: cultural, moral, political, and social suicide are all linked. The myth of King Arthur (not the real Arthur) served and serves governments and statists well, Why? We are told that government is essential and good. Any failure to stay loyal to it results in chaos and destruction.
May Day, in all its guises, is a celebration of license, not liberty.
Here in the Black Hills today, the “traditional” May Day celebrations are impossible: at 1300 in the afternoon, it continues to snow (more than 60 hours of steady snowfall has already left 24+ inches, packing down and melting quickly but covering lush green grass and the flowers of park and field are buried in the cold white stuff. And as in other parts of both the Plains and the Rockies, snowmelt and rain are causing rivers and creeks to rise. For the most part, people are working, leaving little or no time for drinking, maypole dancing, … or protesting.
Not so in other places, as the mainstream media, politicians, and more press ever harder against decency, real liberty, truth, and even peace. Consider Portland (Oregon, not Maine), scene of common May Day protests. The protests are being repeated this year, to protest a whole menu: the border wall, ICE, Trump, fascism, US aggression in Venezuela, police brutality, racism, anti-vaccine people, anti-abortion people and… whatever else they can think of.
Expecting the worse, the Clickamas County Sheriff has stated that his deputies will no longer respond or deploy to Portland to support the Portland Police Bureau. Not just for May Day, but apparently at any time. Citing anti-police actions and statements by the Portland City administration and council, obvious threats to his people and other law enforcement from Antifa, “anarchists” and other protesters and opportunists, he has had enough. May Day, law enforcement will be taking care of the county’s rural areas, and some suburbs, and Portland will be on its on. I expect other agencies, nationally, to follow.
By doing this to go into effect on May Day, this Sheriff is using the symbolism that May Day affords. As does its homonym: The international distress call “Mayday” is not related to the 1st of May – it was created in 1923 to provide for making cries for help in the English Channel, and is the phonetic spelling of the French “m’aidez” meaning “help me.”
That indeed is about the only way I can see for a lover of liberty to celebrate May Day: as a call for help against the evil forces of government and statists.