Featured Author: Stephen Lucas
Glory Glory Colorado: or I Love the Smell of
Tear Gas in the Morning
In 1968 my father took a job in Denver, Colorado in the aerospace industry as a plant manager. I transferred to the University of Colorado in Boulder from tiny Missouri Southern State College in Joplin. In those days, CU has a student enrollment of abut 23,000 on the Boulder campus. Needless to say, it was a cultural shock to go from a college with less than 5,000 students to a large university.
I moved into a dorm room in the Baker Hall basement. There I met Jim, Ron, Nick, and Murti.
We became known as the Baker Hall Mafia. Big Nick was a Sicilian from New York and became sort of the Godfather figure. Jim, also known as J. R. was a Greek from Palmdale, California. He was quite the ladies man. He was a pharmacy major and did his internship at the campus pharmacy. He filled the birth control perscripts for many cute co-eds. He simply took their phone numbers from the scripts and called them up to go out with him. This was a very successful strategy.
Ron was from Pueblo, Colorado. He majored in mathmatics and later went to work for Safeway and had a wonderful career in management. He was a pure WASP and a Republican. He did not talk much about politics, but if you asked he would pretty much reflect a moderate conservative bent.
K. G. K Murti, or Doc., was from India. He was getting his Ph. D. in micro-cellular developmental biology. He later went to work for Danny Thomas at St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Nashville. Doc also had a wonderful career and helped save the lives of many children.
It was at CU, where I really became involved in campus politics. It all started when I took a course in Soviet Foreign Policy from professor Edward Rozek. Professor Rozak was a classical cold war warrior. He had an abiding hate for communism and all totalitarian forms of opressive government. During World War II, Edward made the decision to escapte from his native Poland. He saved some money and one night got in a cab and told the driver to take him to the border. As they were driving, they were flagged down by an Nazi SS offiver. He got in the cab and gave the driver directions to his destination. As they were driving, he started asking Ed questons and for his papers. Ed did not have papers and could not answer his questions. Ed new he was on the verge of being arrested and reached over and took the officer's Luger. A struggle ensued and Ed shot and killed the officer. He told te driver to keep going. I imagine that he disposed of the body of the SS officer on they was. He escaped Poland and came to America.
In was in Professor Rozaks class that I became involved in a group called Young Amerians for Freedom or YAF. I even attened their national convention in St. Louis. Later I became president of this little conservative band at the University of Colorado. As president of YAF, I got meet many intersting conservative figures including Willima F. Buckley Jr. Bill Buckley was a very interesting person. He certainly had an extensive vocabulary and used his lexical abilities to humiliate anyone who he did not agree with. In short, William F. Buckley was an arrogant self centered right wing intellectual who made sure that you knew how important and smart he was.
While in YAF, it was also my pleasure to confront many members of the radical SDS. We would drink beer in the college bars and agrue politics. Most of these campus radicals later became members of the “capitalistic” establish that they despised.
As I look back at the things that I believed and esposed during this time, I must admit that I am thouraglly ashamed of myself. One of the things that I am most ashmed of is my vocal support of the anti union postion against Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. During the grape boycott I even had a bumber sticker saying “Eat California Grapes: the Forbidden Fruit”. I later learned just how badly the growers treated the farmworkers. They lived in abject poverty, did back breaking labor, were payed slave wages and even sprayed with DDT while working in the fields. How could any logical person support this kind of treatment of another human being.
At a national YAF convention in Dallas, Texas; I became accointed with several Libertarian YAF members from Stanford. I really saw no difference between their philosophy and that o Objectivism as postulated by Ayn Rand. I now find the whole objectivist position rediculous. Any philosophy predicated on the position of “selfishness” is a virture is fundamentally and morally flawed.
I suggest that one look at the world's great moral and religious philospphers and you will see just how crazy the Libitarians and Ryandians are.
Also the concept of laisse faire economics is simply a myth. An economy needs government to exist in order for it to exist. Governments establish markets, medium of exchange, laws, courts, roads, and infrastructure that allowes commerce to exist. In recent days with the world wide financial meltdown, we have all seen that capitalism cannont exhist without government bailing them out. In short, we have seen crony capitalism seek to privitize the profits and socialize the risk. It is sad that we have seen in the last 25 years the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the elete 5 percent of the world's population. Class warefare has now began- ninety-nine percent versus one percent.