Source:The New Democrat
“Jim Jones Biography: Progressive to Predator”
Seeing this video and today’s blog post is perfect timing, because Sundance will be showing a documentary about Reverend Jim Jones this weekend which will be a two-night event. If it’s not perfect timing, you can see perfect timing from there and I’ll have a new blog post about that documentary in a few weeks from today. This month and this year is the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, where most of Jim Jones cult were murdered by Reverend Jones and his men in Jonestown Guyana in South America in November of 1978. Which is why you’re seeing several documentaries about Jim Jones this month on cable TV.
When it comes to Socialists I think the real debate is which socialist camp do you put a Jim Jones in. Do you put in the Henry Wallace – David McReynolds – George McGovern – Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist camp, or do you put him in the Fidel Castro – Che Guevara and others Communist camp. Pre-Jonestown and Guyana, I think Jones falls into the Democratic Socialist wing as far as what he preached and what his organization did for his community. First in Indianapolis, Indiana and later in San Francisco. Even though he did have dictatorial leanings in his San Francisco People’s Temple and there were real reports of his members being abused by Jones and his men there.
By the time Jones People’s Temple left from San Francisco for Guyana and built Jonestown there, he was no longer a progressive minded Democratic Socialist purely looking to escape along with his people from what they saw as American capitalism, materialism, and racism. They had a communitarian-socialist organization in Guyana where everything was shared and nothing was owned, at least by the members there. But that can be said about a lot of Communist states over the years including Cuba and North Korea. What makes Jonestown different from Scandinavia lets say or even his People’s Temple in San Francisco, is the relationship between Jones and his organization in Guyana, to the people they were supposed to serve.
Reverend Jim Jones, was essentially if not completely the Communist dictator of Jonestown. The authority that he had over his people and control that he had over their lives was very similar if not exactly the authority that Fidel Castro had over his people in Cuba. Actually, Jones probably had more power over his own people in Jonestown, then Castro had in Cuba. Jones, controlled when his people went to bed and woke up, what they did during the day, what they ate, when they ate, and how much they’re allowed to eat. He controlled all the information there and what his people could for for entertainment and what if any free time ( if you want to call it free ) that they had at any point at least until his leadership collapses in 1978 and people literally start escaping from Jonestown as if they’re escaping from prison. What is what always happen in Communist states where people escape from their own countries, because they’re tired of living in prison.
If you call yourself a Socialist, Democratic Socialist, Progressive ( if your’e terrified of the socialist labels ) Jim Jones is one of the last people you should be defending, following, and admiring. Because of the damage and horror that he brought to his people. All the people he even killed especially in that last day and the mass-suicide in Jonestown in November, 1978. I made these point before on social media when I was watching Jonestown documentaries this spring and summer. If your’e a true Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat, there are plenty of good people that you could be following instead. Like Eugene Debs, Henry Wallace, Dr. Martin L. King, George McGovern, Bernie Sanders today and others like them. Instead of following Communists who are authoritarian and even murder people that get in their way or they view as disloyal.