youth in eastern eur/comm/Nello

Elaine Jude Leyda ejl1386 at tam2000.tamu.edu
Tue Jun 13 08:23:19 MDT 1995


Nello,
	In reponse to your remarks about how the youth of eastern europe
laughed when you said you were a communist, but don't laugh when they beg
in the streets of your town. . . Here young people have one idea of
communism, and that idea--not really an idea, in the strict sense--is
almost the exact same as the idea of communism broadcast during, if not
before, the two world wars: the "Red Menace", etc. It is one of the
central duties of the media, particularly of the 'news' media, to enforce
this image, and it continues to do so with as much vigor now as before
the 'fall' of the soviet union, etc. Cuba gets a particularly bad deal,
of course, since it is geographically nearby (andother reasons as well).
	In my experience teaching in university, scarcely any of today's
youth have read any Marx, not even the German Ideology, have no means for
thinking of some system or arrangement of relations _other than_
capitalism. And, of course, the quickest & most effective way to ensure
the failure of the ill-fated recent attempt at universal health care was
to merely mention the word 'socialism' in the same sentence as 'health
care.' There was more to it, i know, but that served a huge purpose.
	I am curious: do you know of the authors Toni Negri & Felix
Guattari? Tehir book, _Communists Like Us:New Spaces of Liberty, New
Lines of Alliance_ has been translated into
English (Semiotexte, 1990), and I plan to read it next month. Have you
any thoughts on them, if you know the work? Do you know how their ideas
are recieved over there?
	Many, though not all, students that I have had contact with also
know next to nothing about what took place during the '60s, in the US and
in Europe. Not their fault--the happenings of that time have been
effectively erased and/or translated into images of 'crazy hippies' and
'political fanatics'. But when they see films, documentaries, read some
of the manifestoes, essays, and so on, they begn to realize that there
was once a time when--even here in 'utopia achieved'--great numbers of
people wanted and tried to fight for a totally different way of living
and being. Sometimes the students think about this; most of the time they
quote Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich.

Regards,
Elaine
ejl1386 at tam2000.tamu.edu



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