Saturday, February 04, 2017

Berkeley Free Speech Movement Redux

"I’m proud to say that American students are united on one issue, and that’s the First Amendment privileges of Freedom of Speech, the right to advocate, discuss, at any time and any place as long as it doesn’t disturb classes and interfere with traffic."
-Art Goldberg, Berkeley Free Speech Movement leadership member, 1964, commenting on the fact that that student groups that didn’t normally speak to one another, such as the Youth for Goldwater and the Young Socialist Alliance, were forming a coalition for purposes of coordinated action on at least one issue.

If Mr. Goldberg's words were true, then it would redound to the honor of the BFSM and all who participated in it. Yet the leadership of the Democratic party today, many of whom were inspired if not actually trained at Berkeley fifty years ago, seem strangely silent about the activities of black-clad ninja thugs burning, rioting and disturbing the peace for the sole purpose of preventing one voice from being heard.

[Photo credit:]

Look at the iconic photo on the cover of the book "Escape from Berkeley" below. Note the well-dressed and groomed young men and women, the men in jackets and ties, the women in modest and respectable clothing.
Now compare that to the scenes of near-mahem on the streets of my hometown today. Isn't this the antithesis of what the Free Speech Movement stood for? Isn't this a stain on the honor of those who led it? This is not a (Vietnam) war protest; there is no draft, no war crimes, not even a Jim Crow law to denounce (which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted upon doing by non-violent means). Then why don't they defend their honor and denounce the criminal anarchy?

Ayn Rand was less sanguine about the supposed virtues of original Berkeley rebellion, not decades after the fact, but while it was ongoing. In 1965 she wrote: "The so called the student 'rebellion,' which was started and keynoted at the University of California at Berkeley, has profound significance, but not of the kind that most commentators have ascribed to it. And the nature of the misrepresentations is part of its significance....As in any movement, there is obviously a mixture of motives involved: there are the little shysters of the intellect who have found a gold mine in modern philosophy, who delight in arguing for arguments sake and stumping opponents by means of ready-to-wear paradoxes—there are the little role players who fancy themselves as heroes and enjoy defiance for the sake of defiance—there are the nihilists who, moved by a profound hatred, seek nothing but destruction for the sake of destruction—there are the hopeless dependents who seek to 'belong' to any crowd that would have them—and there are the plain hooligans who are always there, on the fringes of any mob action that smells of trouble [my emphasis]." (The Cashing-in: The Student Rebellion)

[Click cover photo to view book]
[Click cover photo to view book]

Special edition copies individually serial-numbered and signed by the author are available HERE.

Praise for "Escape from Berkeley":

“Escape from Berkeley strikes at the heart of so much of the emotional and deeply flawed utopian narrative that the left clings to and reveals, step by thoughtful step, how the truth can only lead away from the left and toward the light. A political coming-of-age story that is entertaining, engaging, and essential.”
Dr. Karen Siegemund, Chaiman, American Freedom Alliance and Founder/Director of Rage Against the Media

“Howard Hyde grew up amidst the inner sanctums of the liberal movement and tells his story as a truly exciting adventure thriller. He leads you to the answer of why conservatives must vanquish the lies of the misguided leaders of a movement that can only tear down what our founding fathers built for us.”
Jim Lehr, PhD, Science Director, The Heartland Institute

“Having escaped a culture that found lying to be a convenient tool for promoting an agenda, I can testify that ‘Escape from Berkeley’ is a courageous stand for Truth.”
Nonie Darwish, author, “Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Sharia Law”

“A heartfelt and highly literate journey from political correctness to the moral high ground.”
Evan Sayet, bestselling author of “The KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks”

"An uplifting story of Howard's real-life escape from Berzerkeley’s lunatic leftist politics. Hyde writes history - but not dry history. He writes a personal story - but it doesn't feel insular in the least, because current readers, absorbing the book's engaging prose, looking around at 2015 America, will be moved to say, "Uh oh, here we go again". But Hyde's most readable book also gives reason for hope that the escape path still exists. It's called freedom.
Bill Saracino, Member, Editorial Board, California Political Review

"Like James Burnham and Whittaker Chambers, and more recently Thomas Sowell and David Horowitz, Howard Hyde has made a transcendent voyage from far left to conservative. Personal and political, his book is ultimately a valuable lesson and political economics and how the left's destructive ideology is killing America."
Lawrence Sand, President, California Teachers Empowerment Network

"This book is fun to read and is especially suggested for those born in the 1990's and later.
Howard Hyde's escape from Berkeley was an ideological escape. He threw off the chains of dogmatic leftism that infects most of the inhabitants of Berkeley. He follows many others before him such as George Orwell, Whittaker Chambers and David Horowitz who underwent a right traveling ideological conversions. This book is fun to read and is especially suggested for those born in the 1990's and later. Hyde explains events that otherwise would be mysterious to young people educated in our left leaning schools. This book is fun to read, especially for those of us who spent time in Berkeley."
Norman Rogers, Physicist, contributing author, UC Berkeley Class of '65.