From the Vaults: Problems of Communism, 1968

Problems of Communism was a wonderful American journal that was produced from the early 1950s through to 1992 at which point it was replaced with Problems of Post-Communism. I suspect that most members of the SWP have not read it as it was not the sort of thing you could pick up at the bookshop at Marxism. Below I enclose an extract from a letter that appeared in the March-April 1968 issue, together with the editors’ reply.


Problems of Communism, Vol. XVII, No. 2, March-April, 1968, p.76

Questions from a British Communist

DEAR COMRADE: Five copies of your magazine, Problems of Communism, have just fallen into my hands, After reading them and other anti-Soviet, anti-Communist propaganda, I wonder why the Embassy and Government concentrated on the slander of Communist principles. Is it that the basically capitalistic and imperialistic country of America is afraid of communism? Perhaps not afraid because if its writers or its people, but because of the threat to withdraw the power from the few and give it to the people….

[D]o you publish any literature on the witch-hunts in America of the 1950’s? Do you produce a journal on “Problems of America”? I am sure that the rest of the world could provide you with plenty of material. So may I suggest that you put your own house in order, and then perhaps you will be in a position to preach to the rest of the world. And please keep the C.I.A. out of other countries’ politics and organizations, and stop trying to make Europe an American satellite. I am afraid that Great Britain already is.

One thing that I am upset about is that your country is so incapable, that I am afraid that your country will turn Communist before mine. I sympathise with you being in the midst of the dying struggle of capitalism, which fed you, and which you now have to see crumbling.

Here’s hoping that you will send me your journal, Problems of Communism, and will print my letter, in your “free, unbiased,” comical, rag.

Yours fraternally,

Chairman, Cardiff Young Communist League
Cardiff, Great Britain

EDITORS’ REPLY: In  response to Mr. Ford’s request, Problems of Communism will be sent to him regularly henceforth.

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