response to furr
Tue, 30 Apr 1996 15:36:13 -0400

I'm sure people in the 60's embraced marx/lenin/mao/che etc.
for the same reason others embraced krisna/marharisi/zen and the
rest of it. It was not only out of disgust but it allowed the
self an escape from the shadow of one's own culture. However,
pyschologists like to point out that when the shadow becomes
autonomous and seperate from the mind from which it comes, it
can get downright dangerous. Communism was, no doubt, a response
to the sort of westernism that Doestoevsky riled against. And
that is a fascinating tale and, even, an instructive one.
But, in some ways communism was irrelevent. Had the Soviet
Union been an Islamic fundementalist nation we would have had
the same problem. The dilemna was that when two powers arise in
the world they 'fight to the death' to see who determines the
future: Greek/Persia, Rome/Carthage, Spain/England, Napolean France/
Europe, Axis/West among others. And everything was amplified 10X
by the nukes. It was the nukes that spooked everything.
In answer to T.Williams I would say this: Reverend Jones is
very relevent to understanding the 60's. In fact, Jones is the
epitome (in a small way) of the tragedy of the 20th C. And that
tragedy has clever, intelligent, evil (who think they are good)
types waving a Bible, a little Red Book, a copy of Das Kapital
to the searching, pleading, hurting people who end up 1)enslaved
2) killed off or 3) diminished as they were in the Soviet Union
until, finally, even the communists become anti-communists.
An excellent account of Jones appears in 'Journey to Nowhere' by
Shiva Naipaul- pub. around 1980 or so.
It appears to me the only variant of socialism/left that is
available today is the voluntary, utopian communard type of
experimentation; where people of good will and high hope come
together w/o coercian and experiment--then, report on the
experiment. That can have a very beneficial effect on a culture
too wrapped up in itself to conduct these experiments.
Good luck