Obama’s campus mobilization of youth for his campaign and his political agenda was so effective during his election, but is it something truly new like the media praised it to be?
During the China’s Cultural Revolution in China 文化大革命 (1966-1976), Mao used the Youth of China as the “Red Guards” to purge almost of a million intellectuals and people of power in China who defied his might and the political path he wanted China to pursue. Just about all of these young “Red Guards” had now idea what they were doing except following the charismatic, Chairman Mao in dissembling the power structure of the CCP, jailing dissents, giving Mao the sole authority to ruling the country, and enjoying their new found power that they never expected at such young age – power over their parents, teachers, local rulers, and more.
The All-Union Leninist Communist League of Youth was one of a series of Soviet institutions dedicated to educating and regulating Soviet citizens at every life stage, called itself “Komsomol.” By March 1926, there were approximately 1.75 million young people in the Komsomol; more than half of the working-class youth in Leningrad and Moscow were members. A few years later, the Komsomol was almost twice the size of the Party. By 1985, the Komsomol reported that it had 42 million members between the ages of fourteen and twenty-seven. The main task of these member youth was to spread propaganda and to educate the masses about the doctrines of Socialism and the Soviet Communist Party and to report dissents to top officials – and those dissents included their parents. The Komsomol was an efficient tool of the Soviet Union to maintain social cohesion and societal harmony through mass propaganda easily taught to and absorbed by the Soviet Union’s Youth – with obedience and without much questioning.
Hitler’s Youth (HJ) before WWII was more heavily trained and indoctrinated than all the groups that came after it because they were expected to take on the responsibilities of becoming the paramilitary Nazi group (and also spreading propaganda and maintaining social cohesion and punishing dissents – including spying on their parents). The HJ were viewed as and taught to be the future “Aryan supermen” and were indoctrinated in anti-Semitism. One aim was to instill the motivation that would enable HJ members, as soldiers, to fight faithfully for the Third Reich. The HJ put more emphasis on physical and military training than on academic study. The HJ was organized into local cells on a community level. Such cells had weekly meetings at which various Nazi doctrines were taught by adult HJ leaders. Regional leaders typically organized rallies and field exercises in which several dozen Hitler Youth cells would participate.
In 1940, Artur Axmann replaced Schirach as Reichsjugendführer and took over leadership of the Hitler Youth. Axmann began to reform the group into an auxiliary force which could perform war duties. The Hitler Youth became active in German fire brigades and assisted with recovery efforts to German cities affected from Allied bombing. The Hitler Youth also assisted in such organizations as the Reich Postal Service, Deutsche Reichsbahn, fire services, and Reich radio service, and served among anti-aircraft defense crews. Many members of the Hitler’s Youth committed War Crimes during this time. However, after the war, the HJ was never declared a criminal organization as it was considered that its adult leadership tainted and corrupted these minds of young Germans.
Indoctrinating the naïve minds of youth – still in their formative years – to fight the wars of their fathers is neither a modern phenomenon nor a new political invention of democracy: seducing the youth through populist, emotionally-potent and overly-simplified messages by the myth makers. As we shall see, this tactic is as old as time itself and our mainstream religions and as current as the never-ending conflicts in the Middle-East continuing the wars of our fathers by the young and naïve there. The worst one was the “Children’s Crusade.”
Twelve-hundred-thirty years after the birth of our Lord Christ, we still meditate on His Holy Words: if you don’t have a heart of a child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ our mighty Lord placed special favors and handling upon these children whose faith that were as pure as the snow, love as passionate as the spring-blooming roses, and hope as bright as our sun. Jesus Christ our savior told us that it’s those who are magnificently meek, who are humble and contrite in spirit and in the heart that will see the mercy and the salvation of God. And the Lord of Alpha to Omega, of the beginning and of the end has given us the Great Commission to take the Gospel — our great faith — to the ends of the Earth. The Lord of all Heavens and Earth — our Lord! — have first shown us his will — His Perfect Will — in 1098 to take up our swords and our Bible against the infidels occupying His Holy Lands. With our faithful crusader’s first victory against the evil Musselmans of greater numbers, it is clear that Deus le volt! Our outnumbered crusaders were hungry, humble, and holy men of God. These penniless men without strong leadership or regimental organization were united in the Holy Calling of Our Lord and guided by the Holy Spirit of Our Lord. And they struck down the evil heathens with the Mighty of Strength of the Spirit. This is the truth underneath their victory for Our Lord, taking back His Holy Cities.
Since the mighty victory of our band of brothers — some of whom have transcended to heaven now — Nur-ad-Din’s successor Salai defeated the crusader forces in 1180 at Hattin in Galilee and then went on to retake the holiest of all cities of all, Jerusalem. The third Crusade had talented and intelligent leaders such as the Holy Roman Empire’s Frederick Barbarossa, King Richard I of England, and King Philip Augustus of France, and men of a much greater number and strength. Advanced and superior leadership, organization, and money proved to won the initial grounds with these crusaders. But the clear sin of Pride and Dissension these aristocrats carried with them made Our Lord angry. These were not men of God. Jesus Christ our Lord Himself struck them down with weaknesses and plundered their strategic advantages in battles against the Great Anti-Christ, Saladin.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives comfort and victory to widows, children and weak, but those pompous “lords” who chased after the sins and the rich-plunders of Musselmans failed to follow the “Perfect Will of God” into battle. They did not have the pure eyes of that of a child with pure faith. As reason even advance this position: despite of the clearly, superior forces put under better logistics and leadership, Christians marked with sin and faithlessness cannot and will not take God’s Perfect Will into His Holy Land — Jerusalem. This is why our brother Stephen of Cloyes — an ordinary, humble, shepherd boy — who has seen the light is taking an army of pure and faithful children, most from poor families without any corrupt education in reason – but pure in their faith and obedience, to recapture the Holy Land. He has been touched and spoken to by God, Jesus Christ Himself, to take 30,000 children, strong in their faith to do God’s Will. This allegiance under Christ to do God’s Will in August 1212 is sight of Beauty and Faith. As God chose Stephen to lead his magnificent army of Faith, Love, and God’s Perfect Will to the faithless Mediterranean Turks and recapture the city of our Lord’s crucifix, we all shall be joined together in prayer to bless their departure of magnificent holiness. (The Crusade of Children, 1212)
And today, in the Warring countries of Africa, the “Children’s Crusades” are being carried everyday. ‘Children soldiers are being captured and taken from their families, brainwashed, then trained in weapons, combat-readiness, terrain-skills, and especially to the ability to kill. And before being finally deployed in battle (of their warlord), they are given cocaine and alcohol by their leaders, then followed by an emotional speech of patriotism (for that individual warlord’s political agenda), “honor”, and manhood.’ “Then, these ‘soldiers’ are ready to do anything and follow any command,” as one warlord being interviewed said.
So in the light of history of recruiting youth, in their formative years, for politicians’ work, agenda, votes, interest — and yes — fight, by using the politicians’ charisma and appeal to attract young people’s populist and naïve ideas about the world and giving them a sense of empowerment, this has always been the popular and quick method for a dictator to recruit “soldiers” to fight his war – either on a battlefield or on the political arena. And in the case of Obama, encouraging a sense of new volunteering spirit amongst the Youth can be a good thing – giving the youth a sense of civic duty and responsibility. Using youthful energy and their votes for his political campaign under the simplified and emotionally power slogan “Yes We Can” is also neutral enough to be guiltless. But watching students on every campus across America working to put up Obama’s campaign slogans and pictures on every telephone pole, that’s stepping in murky waters. And if one also monitor all the internet cafes, cyber-groups, social-networks, grassroots, (most of them are tended by technically-savvy youngsters), converging together to broadcast, organize, and support Obama’s movements – like that of spreading the word of the Gospel, now that is dangerous and alike the history we have seen in the past.
This is something we’ve got to watch out for.