Wednesday, August 29, 2012
What does it feel like?
The dirt was red and I was a kid. No obligations to anyone, I strode the world as an isolated individual, without power or even knowledge of might come next. I lived in the present without guile. Probably my downfall. Lack of guile, I mean.
I saw the paper blowing down the streets of downtown Detroit; picked it up and started reading. Blew me away. "The Weekly People" was, according to its masthead, "The official organ of the Socialist Labor Party". So blatant, so clunky, it must be honest. Not only that, but it was a ripper of a read. It even had cartoons, many by Walter Steinhilber. What a guy that Steinhilber must have been. Laser-like vision, cutting through the bullshit of the time, the bullshit covering up what passed for the norm. Not that the norm wasn't being accepted. No way. It was being swallowed, more or less, hook, line and sinker. The refreshing thing about "The Weekly People" was its straightforward attack against Capital--an 'official organ' was totally unacceptable, totally un-hip, just what I was looking for.
I decided to carry the newspaper home with me. In its back pages were printed the names and quantitative monetary contributions of SLP members and supporters: Jack Voynovich $5, Mary Bullwinkle $1, John Horvath $50, Section New Jersey $400 and so on. "Interesting," I thought. "Open and honest about what they want and what they want is a revolution, socialist revolution." At the same time, the SLP distanced itself from any association of what they were after as compared with what was being called 'socialism' by the left, as well as the right.