Ideological Conference, Oct. 23-24

James Stewart jnstewart at
Sat Jul 31 23:03:36 MDT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: <NAda802074 at>
To: <marxism at>
Cc: <youngcomrade at>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 1999 8:08 PM
Subject: Ideological Conference, Oct. 23-24

> Communist Party Ideological Conference
> To be held in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City
> October 23 and 24, 1999

    Having recently been fired for being so rude as to get injured o the job
and then being so arrogant as to file an accident reprot about it I may not
be able to make it to New York.
    I t seems to me, however, that the ideological problem that faces the
CPUSA is neither technical nor rhetorical.  I think the arguments and points
of view are on the right track.  The problem is more important.  It is a
problem of the dream presented.  It is, as George Bush put it, the vision
    I remember running across some Jehova's Witnesses materials at a truck
stop in Florida one time when I was heading back from California.  The tract
had a most charming and inviting painting or a peacable kingdom with happy
people and calm animals all living togethr in harmony.  Now there's a dream
worth dreaming.
    The ditto heads and their ilk have a splendid dream in which we can all
get rich with a little hard work and a little effort and we can keep
everythign we make because nobody has any right to freeload off of our
riches.  A lot of churches have dreams of salvation and resurrection in an
earthly paradise in which we will all be raised incorruptable, at least all
of us good people.
    The communist dreams come out the history of the western world in which
the masses of individuals are exploited for the greed of a few.   The
communist dream has, therefore, always been the dream of the downtrodden,
the starvlings, and the oppresed; it is not the dream of a guy making a
decent, if precarious, living.  A lot of guys realize that they are a single
paycheck away fro the homeless shelter, but they cling to the dream of the
wealth that will come with persistance and honest toil.
    The challenge for the CPUSA, and for the socialists of the wealthier
countries in general is, to sort out the dreams that they have to peddle.  I
believe it was Michael Harrington who observed that most of the people of
the world dream socialist dreams, but people do not give their lives and
fortunes for political philosophy, they give themselves up to dreams of a
better world.  You have to go to the American worker with something more
than dumping the bosses off his or her back.
    One thinks of the old "Talking Union Blues" in which the talker suggests
getting higher wages, getting vacations with pay, and taking your family to
the seashore; a far cry from casting off your chains.

> Unlike big business ideology, Marxism-Leninism is not the property of
> elite "big" thinkers in ivory towers. Communist ideology is powerful
> because it belongs to the working class and the masses. These are
> exciting times for working-class thinkers. In the words of the Communist
> Manifesto, "We have a world to win." Discussing, debating and shaping
> our theory is half the battle and half the fun. Come to New York with
> your thinking caps on.

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