The Clare Spark Blog

July 4, 2010

Pacifica radio and the progressive movement

Paul G. Hoffman and Robert M. Hutchins

From the beginning of KPFA, Pacifica radio was always a creature of the social cohesion policies of left-liberals, especially appealing to counter-culture anarchists. It was never a radical (Marxist-Leninist) radio station as is widely believed. Sadly, it has now deteriorated to a network that is not only heavily in debt, but a home to conspiracy theorists.  I told the story of my own experience there on this website, but it seems timely still. Pictured are Paul G.  Hoffman and his close friend and ally Robert M. Hutchins. Their role in the adoption of Keynesian economics in American big business along with discreet mind-management is told elsewhere on this website. (For starters, see in tandem with For my personal experience at Pacifica as both programmer and Progam Director, see the links below, which are both analytical and anecdotal. Because Pacifica was the precursor to NPR, “community radio”, and “alternative media” (including “indy media” and even the Sundance Film Festival) these blogs and my memoir are worth your attention. (on overlap between left-wing and right-wing anarchism: Phillip Smyth author).


  1. […] It was not until I became Program Director in 1981 that I learned that free speech at KPFK was sharply circumscribed by Stalinists whose influence till then was unnoticed by me. As I have written before, multiculturalism was enforced at all the stations shortly before I was appointed PD, and I misunderstood it, thinking it to be some kind of inclusive history with no holds barred. (The complete history is laid out in this set of links: […]

    Pingback by Pacifica Radio and how I achieved free speech | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — September 30, 2015 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  2. […] on the internet. For a more personal memoir plus links to postwar anti-democratic sociology see There are surprises […]

    Pingback by Storming Pacifica: revising my view of Pacifica history, July 22, 1999 | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — July 18, 2013 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  3. […] capital through co-option of movements from below through selective concessions. (See especially and Some may dispute my […]

    Pingback by Index to blogs on populist demagoguery « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — September 10, 2012 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  4. […] Top Posts Pacifica radio and the progressive movement […]

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  5. […] Such beliefs in a shared bond between members of a “race” or “ethnicity” can only be mystical, not grounded in empirical fact. Yet that does not stop the “historians” of racial or ethnic conflict from writing books and playing leading roles in the formulation of national, state, and local policy, as is the case with Dr. Ravitch, or her humanist predecessor Robert M. Hutchins, whom she cites favorably in the last chapter of her big book. See […]

    Pingback by Who is a racist now? (2) « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — May 29, 2011 @ 12:15 am | Reply

  6. HI, I found this post from my Pacifica Radio tag and thought I would check it out.

    It’s sad that the public media in the US is being driven into debt or, worse, quasicommercial status (“underwriting”). It seems as if free speech in the US is a failed ideal as is the Second And Third Amendment guarantees against the establishment of a standing army (Which since you have an interest in this period, you know isn’t blather).

    Comment by lacithedog — September 11, 2010 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

    • Did you read the various segments of my Pacifica memoir? It was not the failure of free speech that led to Pacifica’s downfall, but racial politics (multiculturalism) and one-sided sectarian politics that rejected the marketplace of ideas; i.e., Stalinism, Maoism, and progressivism dominate public radio, and all are toxic to intellectual and cultural freedom. As for your constitutional argument that there should be no standing army, I am befuddled as to your motives and politics.

      Comment by clarespark — September 11, 2010 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

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