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The Prism

Letters Rethink Cooperation with CPUSA Club

To the editor,

As a long time supporter and reader of the Prism, and a long time local eco-left/feminist activist, I have been more than a wee bit disappointed to see the last two issues giving up (renting out?) two pages to the CPUSAčan old orthodox communist party which followed the Soviet Union"s political line during of Communist Party/State dictatorships. Although Leninist centralism was only one contributor to the sectarian left (with its alphabet soup: CWP, RCP, SWP, SLP, etc.), it remained well-funded via Gus Hall"s domination.

While it"s true that many well-meaning Americans joined the CPUSA during the 1920-40s to fight racism and organize the unions of the CIO, its 1950-80s history was strongly connected to Soviet Communism. In any case, those of us on the independent democratic left/green/feminist side of things have been working for decades to promote a "third way" alternative to both Corporate Monopoly Capitalism and Communist Dictatorships. I had always assumed that this was true of The Prism"s writers and readers.

Diversity is great and I do not question the motivations of those who belong to the CPUSA (although I find Marx"s Socialist and analytical legacy a helluva lot more relevant than Lenin, Stalin, or Brezhnevčnot to mention ethically easier to relate to!) I have no problem with Communists/communists writing their opinions. I just think they happen to be wrongheaded and politically suspect. Any sustainable future for our planet and species will be dependent upon the values and practice of Freedom, Democracy, Ecology, and Equality. Real Existing Communism has trampled on the first three in the name of the lastčand mostly failed there as well.

My guess is that many of your core readers might agree with me on these points. As for any new readers who pick up the Prism, many will see two pages of CPUSA politics, assume that it is a Communist Party paper and never pick it up again. This would be a damn shame. Independent eco/left/feminist community papers are needed now more than ever. Please reconsider your situation.

Dr. Dan Graham
Chatham County


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