ISJ Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

International Socialism, Summer 1962


[The Editor]

Letter to Readers


From International Socialism (1st series), No.9, Summer 1962, p.23.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


We have had an interesting postbag this quarter. Zengakuren, the Japanese socialist student movement, sent along the text of a resolution adopted at their 30th Central Committee meeting on 1 April. After reiterating its opposition to both imperialism and Stalinism, it calls on Japan’s students to demonstrate outside all American official buildings the moment tests start in the Pacific, and to hold general protest meetings; it also calls on students the world over to organize similar demonstrations. In a covering letter they asked us to put them in touch with CND. Since there might be other readers abroad who wish to link up directly with the movement, it is as well to record their address here: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 2 Carthusian Street, London, EC1.

The student movement seems to be ticking over rather faster in Germany as well. The Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund together with ‘comrades from left Socialist groups in West Berlin’ have formed ‘an informal political club as a centre for discussion and activity for democratic socialists inside and outside the SPD.’ It held its first meeting on May Day, the day ‘all the forces of the West Berlin “establishment”... have their annual big show meeting to demonstrate nothing but national “unity” and strength, and the East German “establishment” ... have their big military parades in East Berlin.’ The SDS felt their meeting ‘to celebrate the socialist meaning of the 1st May will therefore gain a political importance far beyond purely local interest.’ So did we – and sent our best wishes.

Also from Germany – a new journal, Arbeitshefte, DM2 from Sozialwissenschaftliche Vereinigung e.V., c/o Adolph Brock, 4034 Angermund, An den Kampen 11, Dusseldorf. Edited by Peter von Oertzen, whom readers know for his contribution to the debate on Left Reformism on IS5, their first number contains solid, informative material on the German labour movement.

From Spain we are reminded that the current strike wave is the culmination of a series: 1951, 1953, 1957, 1958 and now 1962. This time our intervention – through the trade unions and Labour Party – is more important than ever and can be decisive since ‘the bourgeoisie and the Francoist state are begging to be incorporated in the European Common Market and are asking for loans from international capitalism in order to reinforce their economic system and their repressive military apparatus.’

Comrades in Italy are making effective use of IS through translating and publishing our articles. In return they have promised us a thorough survey of the left in that country. We live in hope. Readers can expect to see the results in our forthcoming number.

Our domestic postbag is mixed as usual. For each critical reader there is one of good cheer; admonishments about ‘academic thrombosis’ are balanced by messages of congratulation for the last number (particularly for Lux’s article). For the future, we have two important projects on hand. By next issue we hope to have completed an interim study of the Young Socialist movement in Britain: its history, composition and ability to withstand the onslaught now being mounted by Transport House. This is a collective effort, written by Young Socialists primarily for Young Socialists. We hope, however, that it will be of general interest and evoke comment about and from socialist youth movements abroad.

Our second project – timed for Christmas – is even more ambitious. It will be a double number, devoted entirely to analysis of Khrushchev’s Russia and written by one of our editors, Tony Cliff. It will be priced at 5s., but regular subscribers will be charged the usual price – 2s. 6d. All this means a pretty large loss for us and, as we normally operate on a worn shoe-string, we shall need hefty donations to pull it off. So please, don’t stint, and start building our Christmas Bumper Fund now.

An old friend is leaving us – none other than the formal debate on Left Reformism. We have asked Henry Collins, its sire, to end it before new readers need spend pounds on complete files to see what it’s all about. The debate will, of course, go on – Cliff’s piece in this issue is part of it. But the set pattern of argument and counter-argument, the confrontation of abstractions, have served their purpose. From now on we hope that the theses will be tested in details. Finally, we offer an annual sub to whomsoever produces the most ingenious explanation for (a) the frenzied to-ing and fro-ing of some editors in and out of our Board, (b) the deep calm and immutability that has afflicted the others.


Top of page

ISJ Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 11 March 2010