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
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.
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.
I was excited about the contents in the current issue of the Red
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
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.
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
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.
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
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...
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
Not to forget the relaxed, open-minded tone of the whole paper -
as opposed to grumpy didacticism.
Best of luck,
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.
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.
Published in Volume 2, Number 2 of The
Red Menace, Spring 1978.