Ammon Hennacy and J. Bracken Lee: Strange Bedfellows

I’ve speculated before about the extent to which the Catholic anarchist tax resister Ammon Hennacy and J. Bracken Lee, the right-wing paleocon tax resister, may have crossed paths and mixed pollen while the former was running the Catholic Worker hospitality house in Salt Lake City and the latter was Utah’s governor. (See 7 October 2012.)

Here’s another interesting data point, found in the Socialist Labor Party’s Weekly People of :

The Extremes

In his column, Mr. [Murray?] Kempton had an item on Ammon Hennacy, a Catholic anarchist who likes the IWW bummery and who doesn’t dislike the Stalinists, but who can’t stand the SLP. Hennacy, noted Kempton, is a Catholic pacifist (as well as an anarchist) and thus a conscientious objector to contributing taxes to an arms budget. “The last time I saw Ammon, he reported he had gotten a letter of support from Governor G. [sic.] Bracken Lee of Utah, a [Republican] conscientious objector to all advocates of a strong central government since Nicholas Biddle. Lee is also litigating with the Internal Revenue Service [he thinks the income tax is as “communistic” as “Modern Republicanism”!] and his expression of solidarity amused Ammon. ‘That’s how it is,’ he said, ‘the right anarchists and the left anarchists meet in the end.’”

And that was undoubtedly the only sensible political remark ever made by the Catholic anarchist!

The SLP was sore at Hennacy after reading his account of a panel he had been on with a Communist Party member and an SLP member. His verdict: “I would not care to waste my time in any discussion with such unrealistic and humorless radicals as those of the SLP.”

The Weekly People hit back: “[T]he charge that the SLP is ‘humorless’ is a false charge. It is given the lie by the Party’s frequent and deft use of humor and satire to point up Socialist lessons.”

I haven’t been able to find the original of Murray (I think) Kempton’s op-ed.

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