Pete Buttigieg has managed to convince Democrats he’s the “moderate” choice, in a crowded field of Democrat presidential candidates. Just how “moderate” is the only child of Joseph Buttigieg, a Marxist professor at Notre Dame University who died only days before he announced his bid to become a Democrat presidential candidate?
The Washington Examiner reports – The 71-year-old father of only child Pete Buttigieg was a Marxist professor who spoke fondly of the Communist Manifesto and dedicated a significant portion of his academic career to the work of Italian Communist Party founder Antonio Gramsci, an associate of Vladimir Lenin.
Joseph Buttigieg immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s from Malta and in 1980 joined the University of Notre Dame faculty, where he taught modern European literature and literary theory. He supported an updated version of Marxism that jettisoned some of Marx and Engel’s more doctrinaire theories, though he was undoubtedly Marxist.
He was an adviser to Rethinking Marxism, an academic journal that published articles “that seek to discuss, elaborate, and/or extend Marxian theory,” and a member of the editorial collective of Boundary 2, a journal of postmodern theory, literature, and culture. He spoke at many Rethinking Marxism conferences and other gatherings of prominent Marxists.
In a 2000 paper for Rethinking Marxism critical of the approach of Human Rights Watch, Buttigieg, along with two other authors, refers to “the Marxist project to which we subscribe.”
In 1998, he wrote in an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education about an event in New York City celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Manifesto. He also participated in the event.
“If The Communist Manifesto was meant to liberate the proletariat, the Manifesto itself in recent years needed liberating from Marxism’s narrow post-Cold War orthodoxies and exclusive cadres. It has been freed,” he wrote.
“Equity, environmental consciousness, and racial justice are surely some of the ingredients of a healthy Marxism. Indeed, Marxism’s greatest appeal — undiminished by the collapse of Communist edifices — is the imbalances produced by other sociopolitical governing structures,” Buttigieg wrote.
Pete Buttigieg, an only child, shared a close relationship with his father. In his memoir Shortest Way Home, Pete called his dad a “man of the left, no easy thing on a campus-like Notre Dame’s in the 1980s.”
He wrote that while he did not understand his parents’ political discussions as a young child, “the more I heard these aging professors talk, the more I wanted to learn how to decrypt their sentences, and to grasp the political backstory of the grave concerns that commanded their attention and aroused such fist-pounding dinner debate.”
The elder Buttigieg was best known as one of the world’s leading scholars of Gramsci.
Gramsci thought cultural change was critical to dismantling capitalism. Nevertheless, although critical of certain aspects of Bolshevism, Gramsci endorsed Vladimir Lenin’s “maximalist” politics and identified within the Leninist faction of the Italian communists. He went to Moscow in 1922 as the official representative of the Italian Communist Party and returned home to lead the resistance against Italy’s Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, on the orders of Lenin, while his new wife and children stayed in the USSR
The South Bend Tribune wrote about the death of Buttigieg’s father. Curiously, in their lengthy and glowing obituary, they never mentioned he was a communist or that much of his life was dedicated to pushing communism in America.