Too often we have witnessed the political reversal of men and women who began fully committed to liberty, equality, and fraternity and ended up as reactionaries. Max Shachtman, James Burnham, Sidney Hook, Irving Kristol, Wilhelm Reich…. We were saddened by their radical change. Benito Mussolini and Jacques Doriot were even more egregious examples. These are people who have besmirched what once were their core values. But there are people like our journal’s founders, Phyllis and Julie Jacobson, who, aging, remained true to the cause, true to their inner selves. The late Harvey Swados, a member of the Workers Party, wrote a novel (Standing Fast) about such people.
Michael Wreszin, who died in August, belongs in this company (for us, a pantheon). Michael, a long-time and regular contributor to NP who was working on a review for us just before his death, wrote only when it moved him. No surprise that the biographies he wrote were of radicals: Dwight Macdonald, Oswald Garrison Villard, and Albert Jay Nock. In New Politics (Winter 1997) Michael called attention to the extreme difficulties of radicals in a dark age, but he concluded, "Engaging in the struggle is what makes us human.
In this issue we have tried to engage a wide variety of pressing issues (when in our lifetime have there not been pressing issues?) with special sections on the European crisis and on the backlash of racism here in the United States. We especially want to thank new Board member Adaner Usmani for organizing the special section on Europe.
Marvin and Betty