The Destruction of a Workers Paper. C. L. R. James 1962

Nov. 20, 1961

My dear Grace,

I want you to understand what I am thinking, for without your understanding and collaboration, the prospect is gloomy indeed.

I am convinced that our organization has dropped behind though there is only one procedure which can help it. I have begun once more to make Marxism the center of our thoughts. That is the main motive of my two articles. I believe further that our task for our own people above all, and at this time, is to do this without making Marxism a matter of quotations from Marx and Lenin, and a specialized branch of knowledge. I believe we have to deal with the intellectual currents of the day, but from a Marxist and popular American working-class basis. This means a hell of a lot of hard work. The idea of doing this without you, or worse still, against your determined opposition appalls me. But in two weeks or so I hope to send an estimate of my personal prospects which will allow me to devote full time to the American organization, the paper and publications above all. It will mean as I shall show the break-up of all my previous plans. But the Marxist organization comes first, first and always first. Jimmy will of course be the leader of the organization and you the Editor. Nothing can change that, for to change that, or to feel that there is a necessity or need for such a change, is to misunderstand what has gone wrong and to misconceive the road out.

.... Your real burden is

(a) to be full time, not only to edit the paper, but to correspond with me on the things we have to work out, working with the others and making them write and learn to write.

(b) make the paper twice a month at all costs.

Marxist organizations have faced far greater crises than this and emerged stronger. By, if need be, handling your views with the organization and a leap forward always in mind, and goodwill, we can make it. This is to you personally although I don’t mind whom you care to show it to.

Yours as always
(sgd) Jimmy.

To that letter I have had no response except this decision of the REB. I have therefore been compelled to make the only possible reply to the gross impertinence and shamelessness of the degradation of our movement.

In conclusion, for the sake of those comrades and friends who will undoubtedly be profoundly disturbed by this letter, I quote the following from the Selected Works of Lenin, Vol. IX, page 431.