From New International, Vol.4 No.9, September 1938, p.287.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
August 14, 1938
New York City
The New International is to be congratulated for its willingness, unique among radical publications, to give space in a single issue to John Dewey and Max Eastman, leading non-Marxian thinkers.
This policy should be continued and expanded. Certainly the Trotskyite view has first claim to a thorough presentation in the only magazine where it can be thoroughly presented. Yet there must always be room for the best opposed philosophies: first, because they heighten and add clarity to Trotsky’s position by showing what it is not; second, because their inclusion furthers an intelligent understanding by Trotskyite readers of these other standpoints, an understanding without which it is futile to hope to win over non-Marxists; third, the clash of opposing versions relieves the deadly dullness of sectarian periodicals; and last, their presence shows unmistakably that Trotskyites are not afraid to have their views criticized by the best thinkers, nor must they rely ultimately upon suppression of all dissidence for the general acceptance. The only danger – that some followers might be convinced of the truth of these non-Marxian views – is really an advantage to conscientious editors; for it indicates either that Trotsky is mistaken in the question at issue, or that the editors have failed to present their position creditably. In the first case, the program or theory must be revised; in the other, the editors must bestir themselves.
A magazine which followed consistently this plan of presenting the best interpretations of the various philosophical approaches to the vital questions of the day, would surely succeed in making its influence felt far outside the small circle of the faithful.
With a liberal’s best wishes
I am, Very truly yours, C.B.
Last updated on 6.8.2006