Every now and then out of the bowels of America's finance capitalism emerges an offspring who will use the advantages and privileges of capitalism to fight to radically reform it or even overthrow it for a democratic socialist or yes a communist society. The name of Corliss Lamont comes to mind; scion of JP Morgan's Thomas Lamont, the son used his wealth and influence to oppose and counter the intemperies of an unbridled economic hellbent on war in Vietnam for example, for the denial of the rights of the ordinary man regardless of colour, caste, or clashos; and who fought to preserve the right of citizens to speak their minds as a right in the US constitutions First Amendment.
But Jane Hodes? Who was she? An obituary in the Communist Party [USA]'s 'People's Weekly World' informs us. Hodes died in June 2009 in Oakland, California, at 90. But what has she to do with the mighty Goldman Sachs empire? Born Jane Sachs, he father Walter Sachs headed Goldman Sachs. GS doesn't advertise the fact that Walter Sachs was a founder of the NAACP [National Association of the Advancement of Coloured People], now celebrating its 100 anniversary. Jane grew up in a liberal spirited house, went to the top private schools, and graduate from Harvard's sister school Radcliffe. At the university she became involved with the American Youth Congress and wrote her honours thesis on 'The Soviet Union in the League of Nations'. At Columbia's Teachers College she earned a Master's in Education. She was what is euphemistically called a 'progressive', meaning someone opened to radical ideas, or at worst a crypto Communist or even shudders! a card carrying member of the CP. Her teaching career ended abruptly at Tulance owing to the McCarthy witch hunt. After she and her husband and children lived in China for 5 years. There, she edited English language publications, broadcast programmes in English, and taught it.
In 1959 she returned to America, working for the CP's publishing arm, International Publications. Widowed she married Aaron Cohen, a CP organiser and labour activist. She and Cohen established the Niebyl Proctor Marixist Library for Social Research in Oakland in 1987.
Such in brief was her life. Born to the manor, she used her upbringing and wealth for progressive goals. Unlike Goldman Sachs who like the other bridge banks brought the world to the edge of a global financial meltdown in toxic assets and which continues its rush to feather its the nest of finance capitalism, Joan Hodes nee Sachs is the paradox of this greed and gargantuan appetite of capitalism: one destined to the life of the rich and famous, who nevertheless spurned her 'birthright'to fight for the wretched of the earth. Rest in peace, unsung heronie!