Louis P., Tim W. and Socialist Utopia

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sat Jul 8 09:28:40 MDT 1995


Louis Proyect:

Tim, I sincerely apologize for the "god that failed" charge. I have the
deepest admiration for you as a writer and political thinker. I think
"The Prophet's Children" is the definitive memoir describing what it
meant to be a Trotskyist in the 1960's and 70's. I urge everyone on the
list to check it out. I think its a great book.

By the way, I am somewhat baffled by your neglect of a signature on your
posts. I think just about everybody knows who "TimW" is. Why not add this?
You're among friends.

I do sense a certain world-weariness on your part. This I detect partly
from your posts where you dwell on the more unfortunate aspects of 20th
century socialism but remain silent on the more inspiring moments. We as
the conscious Marxist elements of the working-class need to aggressively
promote our vision. The bourgeois intelligentsia does not sit around
brooding in self-reproach, neither should we. Do you think when CIA
agents get together over martinis, they cry in their drinks over the
terrible things 20th century capitalism has done (Hiroshima, Buchenwald,
etc.) No, they try to figure out the best way to advance the interests of
their class.

To try to nail this down and to be as specific as possible, I found the
chapter on Cuba in your memoir disturbing. You found nothing to cheer you
there. Cuba has been one of the main inspirations of my political life
and I remain a die-hard admirer of Fidel and Che. These 2 and Malcolm X
had probably more to do with political evolution than the 11 years I
spent in the SWP.

Discussions in the abstract about socialism and democracy tend to remain
abstract and what plagues this list more than anything is the terrible
academic abstractness of the discussion. If you would like to talk about
Cuba, this might help us ground the discussion in history and politics.

What do you say?


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