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International Socialism, Summer 1961


[The Editors]

Letter to Readers


From International Socialism (1st series), No.5, Summer 1961, p.15.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Dear reader,

We hope that four issues, have impressed our character on you. We hope too that the dialogue we intended to provoke – internationally and at home – will become more pronounced now that we have demonstrated our will to stay. It must be admitted that comrades abroad – we are now read in a score of countries from the US to the USSR, South Africa to Scandinavia – have shown a livelier interest than those at home.

We welcome your comments and criticisms; assure a correspondent in Southampton that the intolerance he detects is not intentional and – in reply to another in Germany – that we shall, never abjure the tolerance he finds so refreshing. We await, impatiently, the articles – from India, Japan, Switzerland, Germany ... oh yes, and Britain – already promised and those as yet unsolicited. We shall reciprocate. You might be especially interested in a practical act of international solidarity we have under way. The article by the Socialist League of Africa in this issue has already achieved some importance in South Africa although it has appeared as yet only in duplicated form, We have undertaken to re-publish it as a printed pamphlet for re-export to that country through channels they wot not of. That production and distribution will be expensive in cash and in nerves goes without saying. Likewise, it needs no stressing that readers can assist in the exercise. We are sure your response will be generous: simply donate your cheque or postal order to our ‘South Africa Solidarity Fund’. We shall use the money initially for the pamphlet; subsequently – if any remains – we shall use it to send free copies of IS to comrades in that country who find it uncommonly difficult to obtain socialist literature.

To return to more mundane matters. Our debtors – Left Clubs and some university Labour Societies figure prominently here – should see to their conscience. After all, we do run on voluntary effort and have little time to devote to nagging for half-crowns. If you like IS, pay promptly; if you like it very much send a donation. If you’re not interested, tell us and we’ll stop bombarding you with invoices, reminders and, even, with the magazine.

Our next issue – due in time for the Labour Party Conference – will start a debate on Left Reformism. At the kick-off – Henry Collins, an old comrade and one whose views – however strongly we disagree with them – are not to be treated lightly. Also to be featured is The Tragedy of American Socialism by Julius Jacobson, whom we wish well as editor of the new American socialist journal, New Politics (507 Fifth Avenue, New York 17, NY, USA). Beyond that, the future, if full of promise, is vague, with suggestions of articles by your two editors well in the forefront. A lot, however, depends on you as writer, payer, donator and seller.


With best wishes,
The Editors

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Last updated on 17 February 2010