“Sidney Hillman’s political zombies” says Rep. Clare Boothe Luce (1944)
The Milwaukee Journal, Tuesday, October 17th, 1944: “Mrs. Luce Sees an Attempt to Make ‘Zombies‘ of Labor”:
Thomas E. Dewey as the next president would put an end, Representative Clare Booth Luce (Rep., Conn.) said Monday night to what she described as “efforts of the administration and Sidney Hillman to make political zombies” of American labor.
Speaking at a Republican rally before a capacity crowd of 4,000 at Syria mosque, Mrs. Luce declared:
“It is Mr. Hillman’s idea that the basic political unite is not an individual citizen. It is a collective group to be voted like heads of cattle according to orders from above without any reference to the individual preferences of the members.”
“They are no longer Americans,” she asserted, “They are simply Sidney Hillman’s political zombies.“
Describing the Political Action committee as “Hitlerian in concept” and “stemming from the philosophy of Karl Marx,” she drew a thunderous round of applause with this metaphor: “It is Nazi German sauerkraut with Soviet Russian dressing.”
The article goes on to describe a “plot” for:
“capture” of the American labor union movement by “a small group of Communists” [who] … see a way of exchanging their support at the polls for the right to take over the whole CIO union today and tomorrow the whole union movement and the Democratic party.”
This looks like early McCarthyism and is another good example of early adoption of “zombie” as a form of political consciousness. Also it is notable for blending Hitler, the Nazi’s, Karl Marx, the Soviets, Sidney Hillman, the unions and FDR all in to the zombie meme.
The speaker was US Representative Clare Booth Luce. Her affinity for “individual preferences” over the “collective group” reminds me of Ayn Rand. Also note, Republican woman in 1944 speaking to 4,000 people at a Mosque!!!
As a final note, be sure to read the response from RJ Thomas, president of the CIO United Auto Worker, printed along with the first article, which says Claire Boothe Luce is just aggrieved because she asked for their support and they didn’t give it to her.