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.
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.