Sunday, November 29, 2015

Canadian University Left finds us too Working Class! (1974)

From the February 1974 issue of the Socialist Standard

The following letter has been sent by our companion party, the Socialist Party of Canada, to three radio stations and the Victoria University Union paper (who have assigned a reporter to investigate the matter).

Dear Sir,

Universities are commonly considered to be centres of the highest liberal thinking, readily exposing their students to the widest range of philosophy and political thought.

The existing realities should cause quite a jolt to such an illusion.

On December 4th, 1973 the Socialist Party of Canada was informed that the journals Fulcrum, Western Socialist, and Socialist Standard were henceforth banned from the University of Victoria Bookstore. Reason? "They are not intellectual enough." It might be interesting to note just what is "intellectual enough" at the University of Victoria. Numerous Leninist, Trotskyist, Maoist, "Communists" and works find their way onto the bookstore's shelves. Threaded through some of these leftist ideas are scattered ideas of Marx smothered, unfortunately,  under an avalanche of counterfeit Marxism. meanwhile the genuine Marxism of the Socialist Party of Canada and its Companion Parties in other countries is "not intellectual enough."

Fortunately the high intellectual plateau of Victoria University's Bookstore is yet to be achieved in other places for Fulcrum, Western Socialist, and Socialist Standard are considered intellectual enough to grace the shelves of University libraries throughout the world as well as being regarded as valuable sources by researchers and historians.

Admittedly, when the University of Victoria has two resident ministers with subsidized housing and a history instructor is reported to have told her class that Martin Luther was right when he said indulgences did not have to be paid to get out of purgatory but wrong when he said there was no purgatory, the University is placed in an intellectual light that is out of the reach of the Socialist Party of Canada.

One can imagine the reaction if the Socialist Party of Canada were to demand a subsidized resident Socialist and that courses in its ideas be taught. Socialists are not so naive to think capitalism's institutions could be out to such a useful purpose, but it is too much when their journals are not even available for those who would wish to buy them.

Perhaps their ideas make Socialists more sensitive to infringements on freedom of speech but whether exposed to Socialist ideas or not most people probably agree that the future of mankind should be hammered out on the anvil of free discussion and debate rather than expressed by tyrants or suppressed by censors.
Jim Lambie,
General Secretary 

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