The Canter Family: from Soviet Propaganda, Frank Marshall Davis, David Axelrod & Barack Obama to Cyber Revolutionary

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Marc Canter

Cleveland Ohio based software entrepreneur Marc Canter, is a leading light in the computer world and is active in the open source software movement.

Marc Canter founded MacroMind in 1984 which became MacroMedia in 1991. Canter led the team that created the world’s first multimedia player, the first cross-platform authoring system and the world’s leading multimedia platform (Director – which became Flash.)

Marc Canter is currently involved in creating and promulgating open standards for new kinds of micro-content and social networking; including people (PeopleAggregator APIs), media ( and Media RSS), reviews (OpenReviews) and events (OpenEvents.)

Canter is on the board of several startups and sits on many computer industry advisory boards.

He’s a successful businessman, but is a revolutionary socialist at heart.

Not surprising, as Marc Canter comes from a revolutionary family, a family that has helped move the US down the socialist path, through its influence on two pivotal presidential elections – 1964 and 2008.

Marc Canter is the son and grandson of long time Communist Party USA members David Canter and Harry Canter.

David Canter and Harry Canter

Harry Canter was the leader of the Massachusetts Communist Party back in the early 1930s. After being jailed for a year for sedition, Harry Canter took his family, including little David, to the Soviet Union, where they lived for 5 years. Harry Canter worked for Stalin’s dictatorship translating Lenin’s work from Russian into English.

By the 1940s, Harry and David Canter were living Chicago, both as active members of the Communist Party.

Circa 1948, Harry Canter was part of a group which purchased a communist newspaper, the Chicago Star from its owner Frank Marshall Davis, who was about to leave the mainland for Hawaii – where he would later become a mentor to the young Barack Obama.

By 1960, David Canter had teamed up with well known Chicago Communist Party member, LeRoy Wolins.

The pair owned a company called Translation World Publishers, which specialized in publications from and about the Soviet Union. The company soon attracted the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which suspected Canter and Wolins of being conduits for Soviet propaganda.

In a report prepared by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, May and July 1962, entitled “Communist Outlets for the Distribution of Soviet propaganda in the United States,” David Canter was heavily quizzed about payments his company received from the Soviet Union.

After the U.S. Government demanded that Translation World Publishers register as the agent of a foreign power, Canter de-registerd the company.

The Committee went on to find that:

Translation World Publishers was an outlet for the distribution of Soviet propaganda…this publishing house was subsidized by Soviet funds and was created by known Communists to serve the propaganda interests of the U.S.S.R.

In 1963/64, the Soviet Union actively tried to undermine Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, in favor of Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Goldwater lost the election paving the the way for Johnson’s massive expansion of Federal Government power – the “Great Society.”

In their 1989 book, “THE KGB AGAINST THE MAIN ENEMY – How the Soviet Intelligence Service Operates against the United States,” the U.S.’s premier communist researcher Herbert Romerstein and former KGB officer Stanislav Levchenko examined Soviet attempts to blacken Goldwater’s name and other Soviet campaigns of the time:

The false charge that Goldwater was a racist was only one of the smear campaigns used against his candidacy by the Soviets and their surrogates. The American Communists covertly covertly assisted in this “active measures” campaign.

A 1963 booklet claimed that Goldwater was conspiring with the John Birch Society to organize a “putsch,” or violent insurrection, to take over the United States in 1964. The booklet, “Birch Putsch Plans for 1964”, contained no address for the publisher, Domino Publications. The author used the not-veryimaginative pseudonym, “John Smith, as told to Stanhope T. McReady.” There was nothing to tie this publication to the communists until an ad for the book appeared in the pro-communist National Guardian for April 25, 1963, listing the publisher as “Domino Publications, Suite 900, 22 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois.”

This was in fact the address of Translation World Publishers, which was registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent of the Soviet Union. The co-owners, LeRoy Wolins and David S. Canter, were identified by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as members of the Communist Party USA.

In 1965 Domino Publications of Chicago published a pamphlet attacking the NATO multilateral nuclear force (MLF). The pamphlet, by David S. Canter, was titled MLF-Force or Farce? It presented the Soviet arguments against the NATO nuclear defense.

By the late 1960s, David Canter was working as an insurance agent and publishing a small politically oriented Chicago neighborhood newspaper, the Hyde Park-Kenwood Voices. Canter’s partner and the paper’s editor was Don Rose, a journalist prominent in the Communist Party front Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights – which was established to help abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

In the mid-1970s, David Canter and his business partner became mentors to a young journalist named David Axelrod.

In his early years as a political consultant, Axelrod, following in the footsteps of his mentor, the political strategist Don Rose, carved out a reputation for himself as a skillful specialist working for local progressive candidates…says Rose. “I think he’s a principled, generally progressive guy… .

Axelrod first met Rose and Canter in the early 1970s while studying political science at the University of Chicago and working as a reporter on the Hyde Park Herald.

Canter and Rose took the young David Axelrod under their wing. They took it upon themselves to “mentor” and “educate… politically,” the young journalist. Don Rose later wrote a reference letter for Axelrod that helped win him the internship at the Chicago Tribune which launched his career.

Don Rose, writing to David Canter’s son Marc Canter, said:

David Axelrod did not work for the Voices at any point. He was a reporter for the HP Herald while attending U of C, appearing on the scene first in 1975, just after the Voices folded–but he was familiar with our paper as a student before he got the Herald job. Your dad and I “mentored” and helped educate him politically in that capacity, which is perhaps why you may recall seeing him hanging around the house. I later wrote a reference letter for him that helped him win an internship at the Tribune, which was the next step in his journalism career.

David Canter also got to work with Barack Obama, possibly through their common involvement in the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization.

David Canter had become active in the organization in the 1940s and remained involved up to his death in 2004, serving on its board in the early 1980s.

IVI was set up to campaign for endorsed candidates – especially “progressive” candidates, which caused the FBI to investigate the organization.

The government took an interest in IVI as far back as 1944, over quite justified allegations of communist infiltration.

In 1944 the FBI prepared a more extensive intelligence report on an active political group, the Independent Voters of Illinois, apparently because it was the target of Communist “infiltration.” The Independent Voters group was reported to have been formed;

“…for the purpose of developing neighborhood political units to help in the re-election of President Roosevelt and the election of progressive congressmen. Apparently, IVI endorsed or aided democrats for the most part, although it was stated to be “independent.”

Both Barack and Michelle Obama were members of IVI-IPO and the organization endorsed Obama during his 2004 U.S. Senate race.

On the 30th of September 2008, when Barack Obama was looking increasingly likely to win the US presidency, under the able guidance of David Axelrod, Marc Canter wrote in his blog:

My father was an old-time politico in Chicago and one of his old buddies – Don Rose writes a column for a Chicago web site called the ‘Chicago Daily Observer’.

In today’s column he writes that Obama has taken a 50-42 lead in the polls.

I’m saying this in honor of my father who fought for civil rights, against the Vietnam War and would be tickled pink to see what Barack is up to.

I know he’s looking down from wherever he is – and laughing right now.

Marc Canter hasn’t taken the political path of his father and grandfather, but he his still a socialist and a revolutionary, as the second half of this video shows.

The US revolution has been in the making for many decades. If the communists win, when the revolution’s secret history is written, the Canter family will no doubt get the recognition they deserve.

Trevor Loudon blogs at, edits the KeyWiki website (an online encyclopedia of the US left) and is the author of a 700 page book on the US President’s communist and Marxist ties: Barack Obama and the Enemies Within.

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