The Red Menace

Letters to The Red Menace
Volume 2, Number 2


The Red Menace welcomes letters, comments, criticism, pats on the back, tidbits of information, literary gems, pictures, etc. If you have thoughts or ideas others may be interested in, send them to us. (And send your excess money too.) If you don't want your name to appear under your letter or submission, please indicate.

I have just been reading/glancing through No. 2 and was much impressed. I don't know if there is much point in listing of all the things that I liked at a cursory reading, e.g. the humour (which was not just another leftist attempt to be funny but actually was humorous) the clean, crisp design, variety of articles etc. but I just did anyway.

I was interested in the article on Wages for Housework (WFH) vs. the co-opers since in 1975-76 I had a lot of contact with WFH and Struggle Against Work (SAW) in Toronto. I basically accepted the SAW/WFH analysis, particularly that of the now (fortunately) defunct SAW since it seemed to be so much more related to how workers in general and myself in particular actually face job situations. But just as the author of the article I too was put off by the dogmatism and crude economism of SAW/WFH and their over-reliance on the state. There didn't seem to me and still doesn't seem to me to be any real contradiction between their analysis and a libertarian perspective. In fact an analysis such as theirs strengthens one of the weaker parts of libertarian thought which is concrete analysis of what is actually going on. But an informal group of men in Kitchener developed a rather hostile reaction to the Leninist style politics of SAW/WFH. Since I left Ontario last fall and came out here I had been hearing rumours of the struggle going on at Bain but could not find out what was going on there. I thought the article was a good example of left reportage in which the author lays out his own prejudice and succeeds to a large extent in being fair.
Jim Campbell

Dear friends:
I got an issue of The Red Menace from the Octopus Bookstore in Ottawa, and I must say that I was amazed: after all these years, somebody out there agrees with me! For the longest time, I thought that all theory and action on the left in, Canada was tied up in Marxist-Leninist bullshit and the libertarian left was aenemic and/or weak. To me, the publication of the Red Menace signals a revival of the kind of anti-authoritarian left politics that I have always held near and dear.
Anyway, to aid in continuing Red Menace's subversive meanderings, enclosed you will find a money order.
Randy Barnhart

Dear Friends:
I was excited about the contents in the current issue of the Red Menace.

But one question still has not been answered to my satisfaction: What is the difference, if any, in your mind between libertarian socialism and anarchism?

Oh, yes, there was one article about libertarian socialism which stated at the end that anarchism failed because it failed — how has it failed to begin with? I am thinking, in particular, of the Spanish experience. Anarchism in itself did not fail but rather the opposition of the socialist and Stalinist parties to the needs of the people expressed through anarchism.

I also read with great interest the Bain Co-op article re: Wages for Housework Committee. I have had both personal and political experience with this group and do, indeed, agree with the author of the article regarding their totalitarian tactics. As part of the women's movement here in Toronto, I take exception to the notion that the WFH group is part of the women's movement — they have proved to be just as disruptive with feminists as they have anywhere else. Their critique of population control and women's work in the personal sphere is accurate but their “economic determinism” (as stated in your article) is and will continue to divide them from the rest of the women's movement.
Pat Leslie

Dear Friends:

I recently received - unsolicited - Volume 2, Number 1 of the Red Menace. Thank you for sending it. I enjoyed the magazine as a whole, though what makes it stand out in my mind are the two concrete articles — the one on working in libraries and the one on the tenants' struggles. Both of them stand out as among the best articles I have recently read anywhere. (If you see the journal Radical America, I urge you to look at the essay by John Lippert on a wildcat in Detroit, which I liken to these two articles in The Red Menace). Personal experience, social analysis, and critical strategic questions are all woven together. Great stuff! I urge you to try to dig up, encourage, develop similar articles in the future.
Peter Rachleff

Dear friends:
Thanks for sending us your magazine Red Menace. We read it and found it very good, with some interesting articles. We thought the Open Road was the only libertarian paper in Canada, but we were pleasantly mistaken.
Pete Webb,

Dear Friends:

Many thanks for your Summer 1977 issue of The Red Menace. We think that this latest issue of your paper is particularly good. You bring to the surface many important points on anti-authoritarian thinking which are missed in the all too many superficial magazines which are circulating. And the element of satire you bring in is also very good: your send up of Mao is hilarious.
Love and freedom, Hennie Mulder

Dear R.M.

Thanks for sending me the summer issue. I found It well worth reading, and am looking forward to the next one.
I hope you do get some shorter articles and features as you asked for, because I think it would be a good addition.
The graphics were mostly good in my estimation, but would like to see more of real live people and things, instead of only drawing, etc. After a while it starts looking like Saturday A.M. TV...
Larry Kisinger

Dear Red Menace:

I read your Vol. 2, No. 1 from cover to cover and now I need some copies to give my friends! What got to me, especially, were, your inclusion of discussion at the individual and interpersonal level as well as more abstract articles, and second, your humour (and layout) — these latter make it easier for my friends to read too!
Not to forget the relaxed, open-minded tone of the whole paper - as opposed to grumpy didacticism.
Best of luck,
Bill Deacon


Dear Red Menace:
I fortunately obtained a copy of your newsletter. Most people would not go beyond the front cover. However I found the articles and comics a refreshing change from the massive amount of dribble that is published in our modern times. You present a different viewpoint which I feel deserves further investigation.

Dear people:

I like the idea a lot. I especially like the "non-sectarian" character. You don't seem to think that you have the revealed word from God that papers like the Fifth Estate have.
Stephen Soldz

Published in Volume 2, Number 2 of The Red Menace, Spring 1978.


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