The Red Menace
The Red Menace was published by the Toronto-based Libertarian Socialist Collective* between 1976 and 1980.
The collective publishing The Red Menace described its political orientation as follows: We want to
overthrow the capitalist system and build a new world in which freedom and creativity can flourish, a world in which people are in control,
in which they run things democratically and collectively. A libertarian socialist world.
It said our purpose in publishing The Red Menace is to reach people with our ideas, to
develop and clarify those ideas, and to give other people the opportunity to share their visions and experiences through its pages.... Thinking
about society and how it could change is something that everyone does. It is not the exclusive province of a few theoreticians. We
would like as many people as possible to contribute to this newsletter.
We are especially interested in brief, to-the-point comments on specific problems; ideas, observations, etc. A couple of paragraphs or a page that offers a good insight is worth more than a long dry treatise that says nothing new. Nor does your contribution have to be definitive: the tentative, the exploratory, is often the most fruitful. Among the things we are interested in: articles about where you work, where you go to school, where you live, where you shop, where you play. Articles about political activities and organizations you are/have been involved in. Criticism and evaluation of what's happening on the left, in the women's movement, in society at large. Poetry. Observations about culture, everyday life. Book reviews. Artwork. Revealing anecdotes. Questions you don't have
answers for. Questions you do have answers for.
The Red Menace appeared in magazine format for the first two issues of 52 pages
and 44 pages respectively; the subsequent three issues were in tabloid format, with 24, 32, and 16 pages respectively.
Articles which appeared in The Red Menace are gradually being added to this site (see
below for a list of the articles posted to date). Correspondence can be sent to the following E-mail address:
The Red Menace: A Libertarian Socialist Newsletter
Red Menace #1 - Volume 1, Number 1 - February
to The Red Menace
Thy Enemy - Poem
Education Conference - Overview of Popular
Education Conference held in Toronto in October 1975.
at the Conference - An evaluation of the Popular
Education Conference of October 1975.
two cents worth... - The conference
was a success to the extent that it posed problems, impelled people
to evaluate their theories and their experiences, stimulated processes
of critical and self-critical thinking.
Education Conference (2) - The level of discussion
was brought down to actual examples and practice quite in contrast
to the sloganeering and shallow definition of terms that is typical
of most formal intra-left gatherings.
in a small town - Experiences in organizing
in a small town in Ontario in the early 1970s.
(1975) - The revolutionary process in Portugal
is not one that lends itself very easily to a coherent political
analysis. Political leadership is quickly thrown up by the creative
energy of the workers and peasants and as quickly discarded as its
usefulness to them wears thin.
& Price controls - Canadian working people
have now joined the ranks of workers in other western capitalist
countries who have been subjected to a statutory incomes policy.
from our readers
Red Menace #1 in image format
Red Menace #2 - Volume 2, Number 1
- Summer 1977
Red Menace: A Libertarian Socialist Newsletter
to Work and Daily Life in The Red Menace - A
forum through which people can communicate what they feel about
their jobs and the others things that happen to them every day.
Tale of Two Offices - Daily life and office
politics viewed through the experience of working in two libraries
with very different management styles.
In Memoriam: Beloved Chairman Mao - A Long,
Long Life to Chairman Mao.
The Red Menace Interviews Prime Minister Trudeau - An
exclusive interview with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, published
in The Red Menace and nowhere else.
Co-op meets Wages for Housework - The story
of the struggle that gave birth to a housing co-operative and destroyed
the credibility of the Wages for Housework sect.
is Libertarian Socialism? - Revolution is
a collective process of self-liberation: people and societies are
transformed through their struggles for freedom and for a better
world. Also available in Spanish.
the Leninists Will Win - Clark argues that
the failure of the libertarian left to take organizing seriously
makes it likely that capitalism will be overthrown by Leninists
who will preside over a social system as undemocratic as the old.
Socialism - There must be a revolt against
bureaucracy - the predominant trend of societal organization.
Crisis of Dialectical Materialism and Libertarian Socialism
- Libertarian socialism is defined first and
foremost by the negation of political authoritarianism and theoretical
The Impossible Revolution (Book Review) - A
clear analysis of events in Portugal 1974-1975.
Red Menace #3 - Volume 2, Number 2 - Spring 1978
to this issue
Bureaucratic Follow the Leader Exam - (With
Built-in Deception Detector).
Alice - Radio in action in Italy.
on Wall Street - Eurocommunism in practice.
in an office -- for a while - The first
thing that strikes one about working in this particular office is
how little actual work ever gets done.
words, words - The misuse of language implies
a failure to think clearly, to analyse correctly, to communicate
to us - The Red Menace welcomes writers
and artists contributions.
vs. Marxism - Anarchist critiques of Marxism
typically reveal a lack of knowledge of what Karl Marx actually
wrote, resulting in sterile denunciations of a straw-man opponent. Also available in Spanish.
- Resources for anti-authoritarians.
ongoing debate - The Red Menace is meant
to be a forum of dissenting views withing the broadly defined boundaries
of libertarian socialism.
vs. Marx - The anarchist-Marxist split started
with Bakunin, who systematically misrepresented Marxs positions. Also available in Spanish.
on technology - Murray Bookchins arguments
for a liberatory technology.
thoughts on organization - What type of organization
should anarchists, libertarian socialists and libertarian Marxists
be working towards?
the Leninists will lose - The Leninist groups
may still have the ability to disrupt the left, but they are long
past the point of being able to achieve any kind of success in their
you wanted to know about sects but were afraid to ask - We
would rather fight for what we want (even if we dont get it
in our lifetime) than fight for what we dont want ... and
Exposed - The police definition of obscenity
gets right to the crux of the question.
End of Dialectical Materialism - An anarchist
reply to the libertarian Marxists.
Avenue controversy - Rent freeze organizers
state their case.
Diemer replies to Wages for Housework - There
is no dispute about the importance and validity of economic demands,
whether in the workplace or in the community. What is under dispute
is Wages for Houseworks insistence that money is the only
thing around which it is permissible to organize.
the NDP be Socialist? - Simon Rosenblum argues
that the left should work to transform the NDP, not ignore it.
a Cadillac (Dented a Daimler) - poem
to the Red Menace - Comments on Wages for
Housework, libertarian socialism, workplace articles, etc.
Red Menace #4 - Volume 3, Number 1 - Winter 1979
to this issue
Political Statement of the Libertarian Socialist Collective. Also available in Spanish.
Is Important? - It is necessary to demolish
the monstrously false idea that the problems that workers see are
not important, that there are more important ones which only "theorists"
and politicians can speak about.
in a Supermarket - Observations on working
as a "carry-out" in a supermarket.
Germany: Censorship and Repression in the Model State - In
West Germany, repression is now 'democratically' sanctioned and
seen as a model for other countries to adopt.
of salaries and incomes - The official ideology's
justification of hierarchy does not coincide with either logic or
Newspapers - A radical newspaper succeeds
to the extent that in engages in dialogue with its readers and community,
rather than in preaching.
fiction is more than just Buck Rogers -
Like most modern literature, science fiction is concerned with the
alienated human condition, yet it articulates this concern in a
distinct manner, as a form of literature concerned with the implications
of the problems engendered by industrial society.
interview with Karl Marx - A reporter for
the New York World interviews Karl Marx in 1871 about the goals
and organizational methods of the First International.
proliferation of neo-primitives - Neo-primitives
prefer an imaginary past to the work of creating a different society.
of my best comrades are friends - The lefts
sloppy use of language indicates sloppy thinking.
Destructive Urge - Marxism's greatest discovery
is that it cannot prescribe any science of revolution, any fail-safe
program. On the contrary what it provides is a new question, a new
responsibility to make a choice..
was a psychic for the FBI - The parapsychology
can learn to live free - Give the human race
a little credit. We can surely learn to live free, neither dominant
Leninist Facade - In direct oppostion to
what Marx advocated, the Bolsheviks tried to institute socialism
without democracy. The damage to the socialist movement resulting
from this was immense.
with Red Menace Method - Your attempts to
develop a positive alternative to DiaMat Marxism and Marxist-Leninist
sects suffers from a polemical method which reproduces the very
problem you want to get away from.
vs. Marx - Sam Dofgoff responds - The debates
between Bakunin and Marx transcend petty personal squabbles and
embody two diametrically opposed tendencies in the theory and tactics
of socialism, the authoritarian and libertarian schools respectively.
Continuing Debate - We should subject both
Marxism and anarchism to a critical analysis, and thereby start
to provide the basis for a libertarian revolutionary movement that
relates adequately to the needs and problems of today.
on Marx and Rothschild
- Red Menace 4 - Letters to the Red
Bakunin said - Letter quoting Bakunin.
of Order - Letter on dialectical materialism
and on lefty language.
Distance - Letter: anarchists must make a
Before Attacking - Letter: too quick to attack.
- Praise and criticism.
- Fight back or put up with the system.
Red Menace #5 - Summer 1980
to this issue
and the Woman - The modern revolutionary movement
must destroy this opposition of pleasure-activity, sensitivity-
lucidity, conception-execution, habit-innovation.
in the USSR - Impressions
from a trip to the Soviet Union.
from Above - Cynicism from Below - The
state bureaucracies of Eastern Europe are unable to accept any challenge
to their right to decide and control.
- Even though the fashion industry has made dress
oppressive one should not discard it completely, or at least only
an appropriate occasions. Do we really all want to walk around looking
exactly alike in dull green pajamas and peak caps?
Rights - Decriminalization takes prostitution
from the jurisdiction of the criminal code. It means private sexual
acts between consenting adults are placed outside the realm of criminal
good and the bad - What are the contemporary
differences between serious anarchists and serious libertarian Marxists?
It is the present historical situation that is relevant, since after
all we cannot go back and change the past.
be it - Rejoinder from Sam Dolgoff.
last word - The old man in London
and his critics.
quoting urge - A reader submits a collection
of quotes from Bakunin.
Away - A great many anarchists adopt a critical
stance to Bakunin's legacy as well as towards the anarchist movement
generally. Our rejection of Marxism is not monolithic.
pastime - Let's get down to the business
of really discussing the issues: the role and nature of the State,
trade unions, feminism, nationalism, sexuality, etc.
- You can't blow up a social relationship.
calling - The Red Menace: very stimulating
'consciousness raising?' - Debunking jargon.
happened to the Red Menace? - Inquiring letter.
pride - One of the nicest things about my
brief visit to Canada was finding Red Menace.
Golly! This is the stuff! - For upset stomach
indigestion nausea the Red Menace works.
and Title Indexes
in 1973 as The Marxist Institute of Toronto, the organization
changed its name to Toronto Liberation School in 1975, and
to Libertarian Socialist Collective in 1977. There have been
several unrelated groups and publications with similar names, including
left communist, anti-vanguard-party newsletter published in London,
England from 1989 to 1990; a Libertarian Socialist Collective
in Melbourne, Australia (roughly 1976 - 1979); and
another Marxist Institute which emerged subsequently
Menace home page
The Red Menace Web site is hosted by Connexions.