Elena Kagan: The Daily Princetonian on Elena Kagan’s Socialist Movement History College Thesis, “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City”

by the Left Coast Rebel

Forget all of the calls today from the useful (less) idiot press that Elena Kagan is a ‘sensible, moderate pick’ for SCOTUS from the Obamanation. Forget even the gossip that Elena Kagan is a closet lesbian. Who cares?

Dig just a little deeper and one will find the predictable leftist radical past on Elena Kagan’s resumé .

Thanks to a tip from Jim Geraghty’s newsletter (that quotes LCR quite often), I head over to the Daily Princetonian for the truth from Kagan’s undergraduate (pictured, left) past:

Yet a glance back at Kagan’s undergraduate years at Princeton reveals a young woman who, even if restrained, was passionate about political life. Her senior thesis, the editorials published under her tenure as editorial chairman of The Daily Princetonian and her campus activities, as well as the words of those who worked closely with her at Princeton, shed light on Kagan’s commitment to political activism and her liberal beliefs.

A history major, Kagan had a strong interest in political history — especially labor movements and radical politics — and was passionately committed to her studies. History professor Sean Wilentz, who advised Kagan on her senior thesis, described her as “one of the most extraordinary people I’ve met in my life, let alone teaching at Princeton.”

Under Wilentz’s direction, Kagan spent her senior year conducting research for her thesis on the history of the socialist movement, which was titled “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933.” Her thesis has been criticized by her opponents for revealing sympathies with the Socialist Party and became a source of controversy when she was a potential nominee for Associate Justice David Souter’s seat on the Supreme Court last spring — a position which instead went to Sonia Sotomayor ’76 — and when she was nominated for her current position of solicitor general in January 2009.

“Americans are more likely to speak of a golden past than of a golden future, of capitalism’s glories than of socialism’s greatness,” she wrote in her thesis. “Conformity overrides dissent; the desire to conserve has overwhelmed the urge to alter. Such a state of affairs cries out for explanation.”

She called the story of the socialist movement’s demise “a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America … In unity lies their only hope.”

Kagan said in her thesis acknowledgements that her brother’s “involvement in radical causes led me to explore the history of American radicalism in the hope of clarifying my own political ideas.”

I weep for my nation as a ruling class antithetical to Founding values gains more and more power.

Paging Glenn Beck…..


Keyboard Jockey said…

In unity lies their only hope.” let me translate,

Socialist Unity = Forced Conformity.

Reaganite Republican said…

Great piece Rebel, linked and featured at RR


Rational Nation USA said…

Tim – Interesting post and information. I should like to research her further. I will have to take the time to dig further.

What comes to mind is my own progressive liberalism when I was 19 and 20 {38 years ago}and the profound change I underwent when I saw the fallacies in modern liberalism in my thirties.

Kagan my still be in transitioning, or she may be as you say. We can't be sure based on her stuff of 25 to 30 years ago.

The question to be asked is this… Is it worth the political capital to fight this one? She may just be more centrist than the next nominee if she is not confirmed.

It is sort of the same as voting for the lesser of two evils I guess.

Left Coast Rebel said…

@ Keyboard – Totally, why do many not see this?

@ Reaganite – Thanks, James. I got you linked on the Twitter thing as well….

@ Les – I think that this sort of radicalism is worthy of noting. Imagine if a SCOTUS nominee had virulent racism in his/her past? Advocating socialism, even in one's youth should be at the top of the list of incendiary items in a person's past.

Now as to whether or not we should spend a lot of capital on this…..

Greg said…

Sotomayor is another Princeton department of History grad from New York City with an Ivy League law degree who taught at an Ivy League university, who is an unmarried and childless female.

Just an amazing bit of "diversity" ….

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