blog Time Hath Found Us: The Roots of the ACLU

May 26, 2005

The Roots of the ACLU

Roger Nash Baldwin along with Norman Thomas, Jane Addams, Chrystal Eastman, Clarence Darrow, John Dewey, Abraham Muste, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Upton Sinclair founded the ACLU in 1920. All of the founding members were committed pacifists and socialists.

Roger Baldwin became the first director of the ACLU and held that post for some 35 years. The year before founding the ACLU Baldwin joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical socialist trade union.

Baldwin and company had one primary goal: the formation of a Communist state modeled after the Soviet Union.
Industrial Workers of the World

"I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the State itself as an instrument of violence and compulsion. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
--Roger Baldwin --

"The class struggle is the central conflict of the world, all others are coincidental."
--Roger Baldwin --

"When the power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatsoever"
--Roger Baldwin --

With the ACLU, the more things change, the more things stay the same.


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