Marxism without meat?

I was shocked by your article “Marxism Without Meat” (PWW, 6/4-10). I thought the PWW was into taking my side, not the side of cows and chickens!

Meat is one of the most wonderful things on the planet. Studies of human history show that the more meat humans ate, the more strong and intelligent they became, and the more strong and intelligent they became, the more they wanted to eat meat. Meat provided the perfect amount of proteins and vitamins to build bigger muscles — and bigger brains.

I eat meat every day and while I can’t easily show anyone my brain, I can point to my stomach and show at least six good reasons to eat meat (show me one vegetarian with a six pack.) Of course, one shouldn’t consume meat to excess but that’s true with everything. So I suggest that everyone who reads this go out tonight and have some kind of meat. It’ll be good for you and you’ll be happy you did.

Teddy Wood

Santa Cruz CA

Take back America?

“Take back America?” (PWW, 6/11-18). My question is, when was it ours? First white people stole this land from the Native Americans. Then they enslaved Africans and spoke of freedom and justice for all. They built railroads with the lives of the Chinese in the West. They killed countless peoples right here. Most have been forgotten in the history books.

Then the real fun begins when the U.S. government starts killing people around the world for peace, liberty and freedom. Of course, they use working-class folks as cannon fodder. This land is their land. I am not a historian but I hope I have made my point.

Kim O’Brien

Los Angeles CA

On U.S. socialism

Re: “Building socialism in the U.S. — One brick at a time” (PWW, 6/4-11), I agree that we should raise the question to consider nationalizing oil, gas, electric utilities and the use of eminent domain or maybe occupying these plants (sit-down strikes a la 1936), but after socialism is built, will we have job security? Will we have safer working conditions? Decent wages and hours? In some socialist countries I understand that union membership is not compulsory. This leaves the union in a weakened condition. Will we have the right to strike? These and other ideas should be discussed. What if some zealous manager wants to build something or wants to increase production? How much democracy will we who create the value have? What if this factory is losing money?


Via e-mail

Tim Wheeler responds:

Thanks for responding to my article. Your questions are excellent. One of the most important achievements of socialism has been the guarantee of full employment, health care and quality public education for all. I believe making those guarantees ironclad is a basic determinant of whether a socialist society is truly socialist. Mass unemployment has always been a defining characteristic of capitalism and we cannot say we have truly achieved socialism until full employment is achieved.

Let’s work together

The May 14 article “Upholding Theoretical Foundations” by Tillow, Godwin and Kenny, while conveying some interesting points, is a false alarm to the Communist Party USA. The Communist Party has never been an organization dedicated to ideology through declaration, but to ideology rooted in day-to-day struggle in the improvement of lives of poor people and working people. There is little if any evidence that the party at any level from top to bottom is wavering or is befuddled.

To the contrary, the Communist Party, with its own occasional ebbs and flows, has come through difficulties with its own resilience and resolve. If there is any caution here, it should be for the party to reinvigorate itself, to continuously challenge itself and its members and members’ peer groups to respond creatively and energetically to the enormous challenges before America and before working people and, above all, to challenge the left and everybody else to stay united and work hard together united.

The largest coalition of forces ever in our country — possibly the world — is in full agreement: Bush and everything he represents must go. There is no telling what the right wing will do to stay in power beyond 2008.

We may not even have seen the worst of it yet. But America as a nation can’t wait till then to react and organize. Let’s get the work done now and not wait till it’s too late.

George Mores

Via e-mail

Welcoming the discussion

Our recent op-ed piece “Upholding Theoretical Foundations” (PWW, 5/14-20) expressing misgivings about one characterization of the draft of a new Communist Party USA program has generated three published responses. We welcome these responses. We hope this is the beginning of a serious discussion in the PWW as well as at the various discussion web sites and e-mail addresses of the necessity of maintaining the CPUSA as a Marxist-Leninist organization and resisting any drift towards social democracy.

Lawrence Albright, Nick Bart and Emil Shaw center their thinking on the defeat of the Bush administration, something that we can all agree would benefit the working people of the world. However, this is not a uniquely Communist task, but a task for many political parties and tendencies. There has never been a moment in CPUSA history when the party has not enthusiastically joined others in fighting the most backward, terroristic, or aggressive enemies of working people. But at no time has the Party surrendered its identity, its ideology, or its fervent commitment to socialism for the sake of some ill-defined, class-neutral idea of unity.

We contend that it is possible, even necessary, to join others in the anti-Bush struggle while at the same time advancing the cause of socialism. The anti-Bush struggle needs maximum unity. But that unity will be strengthened if, on the left of that anti-Bush coalition, the CPUSA is fighting shoulder to shoulder with all the other opponents of Bush, but also projecting advanced ideas for political independence of labor, for a fierce fight against racism and against opportunism, for anti-monopoly unity, and above all, for abolishing capitalist exploitation itself, i.e., for socialism.

Walter Tillow, Greg Godwin, and Thomas Kenny

Via e-mail