An Open Letter to the Participants in the “Socialist Economics” Listserv

A few days ago, from a friend, I learned of a comment attributed to John Case on his moderated listserv "Socialist Economics."

I would be happy to discover that the attribution was unfounded, since it is such a scurrilous attack on comrades associated with our website, Marxism-Leninism Today, <<mltoday.com>>.

Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny are the authors of Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union, a book on the causes of the dismantling of Soviet socialism. The book was first published by International Publishers in 2004, then in numerous languages, most recently in a Spanish translation in socialist Cuba. That Cuban edition has a laudatory foreword by Ramon Labanino, one of the Cuban Five, who is still imprisoned in the US. The book is studied by Marxists throughout the world.

Recently, when one listserv participant referred to this book, Case allegedly responded:

The clutch of absurd and ridiculous fools like Keeran and Kenny, and their various cousins in farce and mockery, on the vocabulary of "Marxism-Leninism" and "communism", is the second reason, after the endless barking of my neighbor's stupid and paranoid dog, that I do not own a gun. No KK [sic] or MLToday on this site please.

Such name-calling by Case, reportedly a member of the CPUSA National Committee, is vile and certainly worthy of condemnation, but the reference to shooting his political adversaries goes beyond ugly, beyond vitriol.

Perhaps Case means such a remark to be witty. And perhaps from the mouth of a rebellious teenager this comment might be excusable. But this is not language permissible among Communists.

The current CPUSA chair, Sam Webb, later picked up the thread of listserv discussion, without mentioning the over-the-top slur/threat. Apparently Webb didn't find it remarkable.

I can't speak for John Case. I don't know even if he considers himself a Communist or a Marxist. But for those who still do identify with that tradition and continue to be associated with Case as part of his "Socialist Economics" discussion group, I think they owe an explanation.

Either such associates deny the accuracy of the quote or they repudiate the comment. Failing to condemn such a remark is simply an example of blatant moral cowardice unbecoming a Communist.

They certainly are not welcome in my world.

Zoltan Zigedy (Greg Godels)

April 27, 2014

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