Friday, November 18, 2011

A Socialist Ghost From The 1930s Speaks To The Revolutionaries Of Today.

Nov. 18, 2011 | Nate Thornton must love what's going down in Oakland.

I was reminded today of the former member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who passed away earlier this year. He was one of thousands who trekked through Spain in the mid-1930s romancing the thought of rescuing Spain from the rise of fascism.
Nate Thornton
I wrote a feature article on Thornton in 2008 and regard the hours I spent at his Hayward home as one of the most satisfying in my short journalism career.

Thornton's story of a young man with a bleak future during the Great Depression dovetails perfectly with the fears of many today who see mega-corporations swallowing up the spoils of the many for the very few.

I believe Nate would be overjoyed by the increasing level of civil obedience erupting in the Bay Area and beyond. In fact, maybe he predicted it. As we chatted with Barack Obama's rise to the presidency as a backdrop, I asked him about the future of what we now label the "99 percent."

“I know that socialism is going to be the '-ism' of the future,” Nate told me, “I don't know when it will happen, not in my time, I'm sure of that. Once this thing is all done, the capitalists are going to have to go to work with a pick and shovel like the rest of us. That's what they don't like. That's what they don't want. The system is breaking down.”

So far, so good, Nate.


  1. Capitalism could only work if there wasn't greed. greed will always be within human nature and is becoming the obvious reason why capitalism will be undone one day. there is no form of government that greed can't rip to shreds.

  2. Nate and Corine (His Wife) are two people,
    that came into my life, and woke the spirit
    in me. We went to many events, that were not
    your usual mundane things. You capture some
    of his spirit he was very passonate in his belief
    that the world would be better if capitalism was
    replaced with Socialism. And I wish he could be here to be on hand to watch what's happening. He
    would be in a tent with Corine and definately
    marching with Labor against the big banks. RIP
    Nate your spirit lives on. Thank-you Steven for
    writing this about my friend.

  3. Thank you for reading, Rick. I met Nate and Corine at a town hall for Pete Stark, we were walking to out cars and said hello to me. I stopped and chatted and learned about this wonderful life the both of them had led.