Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Between Ourselves

First Published: The New Masses, Vol. 54, No. 10, March 6, 1945.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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THE weekly mail generally brings a mixture of kicks and caresses, with the latter, we are happy to say, far outnumbering the former. But we received a letter recently that gave us quite a jolt. We publish it herewith.

“This is to notify you that I am not renewing my subscription to NEW MASSES. Your paper, instead of being in the van as it once was, is now teailing far behind. [Presumably, she means tailing.] You certainly need some new blood and what is more important you need some new good Marxian leadership to put you on the right track about a lot of your thinking. And furthermore some of the contributions published by your contributors are “louzy” [quotation marks and spelling the author’s], to use a vernacular in keeping with your vocabulary. As for instance, Virginia Gardner. Who cares in times like this whether Wheeler, or Vandenberg or Dewey wears a blue suit or has a mustache curled up or straight or short. To waste the time of readers with such disgusting trivia is outrageous. We are not interested in such (even though it shows the measure of your contributors), these times are too fast moving and trends too important. There was a time when your magazine was of great importance to me but that day is passed, I fear. If however, you should ever come back to a new and real leadership, I shall be glad to again subscribe to your paper. I shall miss R. Palme Dutt and Pritt, but their contributions are too seldom to subscribe to a paper that has outlived its usefullness and does not yet know it.

“Meanwhile I have found other publications that are informative, in the van, and have a better understanding of the trend of events and forces at work than you appear to have.

“So for the present, ’Farewell.’

Chicago, Ill.

If we should ever come back to a new leadership, to appropriate a bit of the author’s quaint English, we will turn this letter over to it, but meanwhile the old leadership is bumbling along as best it can. Since the good woman no longer reads us, we shall mail her a copy of this issue, in the hope that she will have more to say.

We assume that the author is not a Trotskyite or something of similar persuasion, since she regrets parting company with R. Palme Dutt, who sees things pretty much as we do. Hence our shock at learning that she could find us to be so far off the beam. However, the fact that the letter writer finds the tenor of our analysis so cockeyed may make our trust in the honesty of her Marxist yearning seem a little naive. Further word, if forthcoming, will provide the answer.