Ernest Mandel's Death

Brecht Forum brechtforum at igc.apc.org
Wed Jul 26 10:18:46 MDT 1995


The death of Ernest Mandel leaves us at the New York Marxist
School/Brecht Forum sorely aware of our great loss. Mandel must
be regarded as one of if not the most outstanding political
economists of our time. If he had only left us Marxist Economic
Theory and Late Capitalism he would have earned his place among
the best within the Marxist tradition. Of course he gave us
much more.

Although we were actively engaged in reading and debating his
work since the opening of the New York Marxist School in 1975,
we were unable to have him speak here for many years due to
the US travel ban which prevented him from entering the United
States. Eventually this ban was broken and, even as his
health declined, he made annual trips to New York holding
lectures and seminars with us. In addition to this public
teaching activity we were very fortunate that he always made
time to be with us informally. It was during these special times
that we got to know his great personal warmth, sociability and
intellectual humility. He surprised us by the serious interest
he had in knowing how we understood or experienced some issue
under discussion or some problem he was exploring. We often
found he asked us as many questions as we had for him.

Ernest Mandel gave us much more than his writings and his
teaching. His unflinching commitment to human emancipation
throughout the decades of his life, often under less than
favorable conditions, is an example to all of us. He chose
the revolutionary means best suited to him and was able to keep
the international working class and liberation movements the
focus of his energies. With the death of Ernest Mandel we have
all lost a great theoretician and comrade.


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