Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Aug 10 07:55:04 MDT 2000

David Welch:
>Being handed a leaflet in the street? Being sent a newspaper you didn't order
>or spoken to by someone you don't know.

It depends. If they announced themselves as a "revolutionary commie", I'd
probably run as fast as my feet can carry me. Generally speaking, I think
Marxism has to find a way to disseminate its ideas in such a manner that
there is no mistaking it with Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.

Which brings me back to my days in the Trotskyist movement down in Houston
in the mid-70s. One Saturday I went down to the local Piggly-Wiggly grocery
store to sell the Militant, where I was joined by a Hare Krishna mendicant.
When I told him that I was there first, he assumed a boxer's stance and
told me that I'd have to fight him for the spot.

This was also when I was in a relationship with comrade Debby who had been
a member of the Christian Missionary Alliance as a child. Her family was
the "Singing Jenkins" who performed at revival meetings all around the
country. She brought the same kind of nutty fervor into the Trotskyist
movement. When we were working together on the Militant Forum committee,
she insisted on posting up ads for the meetings in Houston's most bourgeois
neighborhood. "We have to let them know we are here," was her explanation.
I always felt uncomfortable with this because the only other ads were for
Christian gatherings of one sort or another. Of course, if I didn't go
along with her manic schemes, I wouldn't get sex.

A genuine revolutionary movement won't go among the people like
missionaries. I know that this requires a completely different
understanding of one's political role than the one that David Welch has,
but that's what makes life interesting after all.

Louis Proyect
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