“Are you now or have you ever been a member of a Communist Party?”
That question, was, for those of you who did not live the history or study it, the terrifying question of the House Un-American Activities Committee and the entire McCarthy investigations of communism in every aspect of U.S. life during the 1950s. For me, the answer is, proudly, yes! As I explained on Voices two weeks ago I spent 10 years in the August 29th Movement and League of Revolutionary Struggle working as an auto assembler. Last week I engaged in a conversation with John Bachtell, chair of the Communist Party USA.
Of course in fact millions of people were and had been but this anti-communist with-hunt was the opening round of the Cold War inside the U.S. that attacked, among others, the great Black communists William L. Patterson and Ben Davis, and the many great party supporters—W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Loraine Hansbury, Ernest Hemingway, Lena Horne and anybody who was anybody with a conscience, talent, and a soul.
Today I will read some excerpts from two excellent books, Tariq Ali’s The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution (and yes I hope to have him on Voices soon) and a wonderful compilation published in 1993, edited by Michael Brown and others, New Studies in the Politics and Culture of U.S. Communism.
Then I’ll do a presentation on Ten Reasons Why Communism can play an important role in today’s Movement (I don’t have the list yet but I always like 10)
Then we will go to the phone—818-985-5735 and talk to our wonderful listeners about their own direct experiences being a member of, a friend or, or even an adversary of real communists inthe real world and what are your own conclusions.
Big thanks to our truly wonderful listeners who call in, get to the point, get the 2 minute rule, are thoughtful, provactive, and just generally terrific. I look forward to hearing your Voice on Voices from the Frontlines.
Then I’ll invite you to the Strategy and Soul booksignging tomomrrow, Wednesday, May 3 at our Strategy and Soul bookstore – 3546 Martin Luther King Jr. at 6 PM. Invitation below.
Email me ideas and comments firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet me @ericmannspeaks
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