CPUSA: Moscow's stooge

Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Tue Apr 25 06:32:22 MDT 1995

Hello Chris,

Thanks for the kind words but I sure hope I don't give the impression of
being embattled here - or kicked in the teeth. I really enjoy this as like a
cocktail party - somewhat relaxing and not so serious, but at times
alternately interesting and boring. This is not a put down - this list has
political value - like reading and other forms of public debate. And some of
the time I even think I know what is being said.......:-)

>While I prefer that you have dropped your agitational promotion of
>the CPUSA at the end of your posts,

Actually I didn't decide to stop using it - I just forget sometimes. I
deliberately used it the first few times because I don't want to lurk here
but to let everyone know (or think they know as the case may be) where I'm
coming from. The interesting side effect has been that several people have
requested more info and have joined. Always a plus from my POV.

>and while I cannot understand how you
>can live politically with the name "communist" in an environment where
>new members of your organisation may not be able to let it slip out among
>their friends and workmates without risking marginalisation,

This is just not our experience these days. I only get flack about communism
on this kind of list and in certain "left" circles. We don't feel the least
marginalized working in the shops and office places and neighborhoods. Nor
do we get flack in coalitions from labor or community organizations we work
with ie: Jobs with Justice, Labor Party Advocates, coalitions against the
'Contract on America', independent political groups, neighborhood
organizations etc. The only flack is from some smaller lefty groups who are
forever on a mission to rectify and correct us. We do get some surprise that
we're still plugging away, but mostly people are intersted in what we say
and no longer at all afraid of the Communist "threat". Actually this stands
to raeson given recent history doesn't it? No more soviet bogyman.

>but how do you strike the
>balance between promoting your organisation and networking and making
>coalitions with others,
> If you are really clever there is a
>unity in the contradiction between these two positions but it is difficult.

Yes indeed. The question of balance is one, how the two aspects of our work
interrelate and strengthen each other is another. We struggle with this all
the time. I would say that <time place and circumstance> is also a key
factor. It is easier to balance right now because there is such a dramatic
increase in coalitions and political action here. We can play our unique
role without having to take so much responsibility for trying to initiate
struggles etc. Conversely our independent role seems to be more widely
accepted and respected. There is less a feeling of turf war when a lot is
happening and everyone has a good idea of what is to be done and there is
plenty of responsible work for everyone.


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