The Red Menace:
A Libertarian Socialist Newsletter
Who are we?
The Red Menace is a libertarian socialist newsletter published
by a small collective of people living in Toronto and Hamilton.
We call ourselves the Libertarian Socialist Collective*.
What do we mean by calling ourselves "libertarian socialists?"
Partly, that question is answered more fully elsewhere in this issue
and partly, we are still trying to work it out ourselves. But we
share some fundamental ideas:
What do we believe?
We believe that capitalism, the social system we live under (in
whatever bureaucratic, "mixed", social-democratic, or
"free-enterprise" variation) is deeply and fundamentally
destructive of individuals, relationships between people and societies.
There may be times when it produces progress of some kind, but its
overpowering reality is always its warping and crushing of the potentialities
of human beings and societies. Our society and its advanced industrial
base give us the possibility of creating a world of abundance in
which human needs and creativity shape the future. Instead, capitalism
gives us chronic poverty and economic crises, war, alienating and
meaningless work, commercialized leisure, immovable bureaucracies,
a deteriorating natural and urban environment, oppression of minorities
(and majorities), chronic social and "personal" problems,
sexual frustration, trashy culture - in short, a crazy, miserable
world that seems to be going downhill fast, with no one in control.
For many, many, people, "that's life". That's the way
the world is, and there's nothing we can do about it except try
to make the best of our lot.
For us, that's not enough. We believe that people can make their
own future if enough of them want to badly enough, and act together
to do it. 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.
Such an alternative vision of the future can never be legislated,
decreed, or installed by a coup-d'etat. It is far too revolutionary
for that, for it requires that people change themselves even as
they try to change society. Consequently, it requires active participation
from the vast majority.
Right now, of course, we are a tiny minority, not a vast majority.
But we believe that our ideas are reasonable and exciting, with
the potential to capture the imaginations of those who now put up
with this society.
The Red Menace
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. Through it, we hope to make contacts with people
who like our ideas, and to start working with those people. We would
like to branch out into other kinds of activities directed at social
change as well: The Red Menace is not an end in itself (although
the enjoyment we derive from creating it is.)
If you are interested, please contact us.
We need your involvement
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.
we were known as Toronto Liberation School, and before that, as
The Marxist Institute. The changes in name reflect changes in the
nature and orientation of the group, but a basic continuity remains.
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