nostalgia for McCarthyism?

jnstewart at jnstewart at
Mon Nov 29 09:04:13 MST 1999

> I believe that there is a consistent tendency to underestimate the
> importance of nationalism as the key corrosive factor in the demise of the
> old communist movement and an over-estimation of the impact of
> styles of organisation.  The real issue was that, while quite radical,
> of the support base of the communist parties remained quite backward and
> nationalistic.

    Is this not an inherent problem in Marxist thught.  Marxism often
thrives among, and indeed is the product of, intellectuals, but perports to
further the interests of masses.  One can picture Marx in the British Museum
more readily than one can picture him actually in the dark satanic mills.
    I have studied folklore with Archie Green at Illinois and and at Indiana
University and I have often reflected on what Archie Green said about the
folk, that you had to keep in mind that folkore is not necessarily uplifting
and progressive, a notion often put forward, at least implicitly in the
pages of Sing Out! and elsewhere.  Much of the lore of the folk is vulgar
and dull, often reflecting all the prejudices of the folks themselves.
    It was the backwards peasantry in Russia that turned out to be the
stubling block of the revolution.

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