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International Socialism, Winter 1961


[The Editors]

Letter to Readers


From International Socialism (1st series), No.7, Winter 1961, p.14.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Our last issue has generated some heat under international collars. Readers in France, Scotland and – yes – and England have berated MacIntyre for his ‘early Marxist’ rejoinder to Collins. We hope his editorial alter ego, writing in this issue, will satisfy the critics and show, at the same time, that our ‘economic’ reply is at one with our ‘philosophical’ rejoinder. Ours is not, however, the final word. A comrade in Germany is preparing a contribution to the discussion on Left Reformism which promises to cover the ground and also take in the Cardan-Coates controversy in IS4 and 5. And then there is Collins waiting in the wings for his cue.

Still on the last issue, an American reader found Coates’ Caribbean pilgrimage ‘one of the atrocities of the season’. Nor was he alone in this. We fully expect the vitriol to bubble and, meanwhile, are keeping the matter alive by publishing a counter-view in this issue. As for facts, a well-informed comrade in Paris writes that ‘the Cuban Trotskyists, though sectarian enough, still exist legally in Cuba. Their Havana centre, which the Stalinists would like to close, is open. At the moment they are negotiating for the continued publication of their paper. During the conference at Punte del Este, Che Guevara received a Uruguayan Trotskyist delegation and held a long and friendly discussion with them’. Readers might also like to know of a symposium on Cuba in the first issue of New Politics (90¢ from 507 Fifth Avenue, New York 17, NY, USA), one contribution to which, by Sam Bottone, is outstanding in its factual relevance and conceptual clarity.

So much for the past. The future will see us continuing to excavate some of the rich veins we have already opened up, centering on the perspectives for revolution here and abroad. We expect to learn a lot from a piece already commissioned on the degeneration of German Social Democracy due in the forthcoming issue. We hope to exploit our growing contacts in Japan to learn more about the labour movement in that country from leading members of the Japanese Revolutionary Communist League. And more.

But the future needs more than goodwill from us or our correspondents. We need money – from sales and donations. There is great hope from the Young Socialists. Every YS branch should make a point of taking IS. Three here, six there can be a powerful weapon against Gaitskellism. Workers in factories remain our most important collaborators of all.

We should like to end by welcoming Theo Melville, known to our readers as a poet political (rather than a political poet), to our Editorial Board: and by welcoming the appearance of New Politics.


P.S. We promised a summary of contents of such journals as participated in the Brussels meeting reported on in our last letter. Except for New Politics none arrived by the time we went to press.

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Last updated on 25 February 2010