TSS & Stalinophobia
dayneg at SPAMaros.net
Wed Feb 28 07:06:26 MST 2001
I knew Andrew Kliman and Ted McGlone when they were PhD students
in the Economics Department at the University of Utah in the 1980s.
E.Kay Hunt, chairman of the department (then and, again, now) had been a
national leader of the New America Movement(more-or-less an SDS remnant)
while a professor at UCalifornia-Riverside. Hunt opposed the 1981 merger
of NAM with Michael Harrington's DSOC(to create Democratic Socialists of
America) because he considered DSOC(Democratic Socialist Organizing
Committee, a product of early 1970s split in Socialist Party) to be too
But when Hunt came to Utah in 1982 there was no active left except
the nearly underground CP and the SWP which I had just left because it had
become hopelessly sectarian. In early 1983 Hunt decided to start a
"left-wing chapter" of DSA which I joined. Into this left-wing DSA in
summer 1984 came Andrew Kliman fresh from the most right-wing,
social-democrat DSA milieu in New York City.
At one of Andrew Kliman's first meetings as a member of the Utah
DSA, I happened to propose that DSA sponsor the Communist Party so that
they could table and petition at the University to get Gus Hall on the
Utah ballot. My friends in the leadership of the CP had asked for the
help and I didn't expect it to be a controversial issue.
Andrew went ballistic. He made and argued every possible
substantive and procedural objection at great length and finally succeeded
in getting one person to join him on the losing side of the vote. After
that meeting Andrew demanded a reconsideration and revote at the next
meeting. He got the DSA mailing list of 50+ people and sent everyone a
voluminous argument at his own expense.
Andrew insisted on prolonged discussion at the subsequent DSA
meeting although he wasn't winning anyone to his side. We were finally
able to go on to other business after approval of my proposal to have a
separate meeting solely to debate the issue of sponsoring the CP(which we
had already done).
I ended up debating Kliman at this relatively large DSA meeting.
I talked primarily about freedom of speech and left solidarity while
Andrew talked primarily about the crimes of Stalin. At the end of the
debate Andrew's position was once again overwhelmingly rejected. Even
some of the people Andrew brought with him, who I didn't know, voted on my
side. I had never dealt with anyone who was so stubbornly determined to
continue a losing argument.
A few months later Andrew dropped out of the Utah DSA when Ted
recruited him to "News and Letters".
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