Jewish Champions of First Amendment or something

Mark Graber mgraber at gvpt.umd.edu
Mon Sep 11 15:55:53 PDT 2006


My father went to some communist summer camps.  I am reasonably
confident that he did so because they were free (which he really still
could not afford), he was liberal, and they were the best place he knew
for meeting liberal Jewish women.  Based on his stories, I would be
really careful anout making any inferences about what people were doing
at the camp, other than doing what 19 year olds historically do in the
company of other 19 year olds.  

Mark A. Graber

>>> Ilya Somin <isomin at gmu.edu> 09/11/06 6:46 PM >>>



Second, many aspects of Soviet tyranny were known from early on. I do 
not know about the specific case of Yetta Stromberg and what  her 
beliefs were.. But she very likely was a strong supporter of the Soviet 
Union, as indicated by the fact that she "was a member of the Young 
Communist League, an international organization affiliated with the 
Communist Party. The charge against her concerned a daily ceremony at 
the camp, in which the appellant supervised and directed the children in

raising a red flag, 'a camp-made reproduction of the flag of Soviet 
Russia.'" Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, 361 (1931). By  the 
time her case came up in 1929, the Soviet Union had already 1) used 
forced labor on a massive scale (the  Gulag sytem was established in 
1918), 2) suppressed all non-communist political organizations in that 
country, including socialist ones, and 3) worked to promote the rise of 
totalitarian communist dictatorships abroad (indeed one such was briefly

established in Hungary with Soviet support). These things were 
well-known to politically active Western leftists at the time because 
the Soviets for the most part did not try to hide them. Indeed, as I 
noted in my earlier post, many Western trade unions boycotted Soviet 
goods in the 20s and 30s in protest of Soviet use of forced labor. Those

leftists who disapproved of Soviet policies joined other left of center 
parties and social movements instead of the CPUSA (e.g. -  the Socialist

Party in the US).  In the US, many such groups enjoyed greater 
membership and support than the CPUSA did, and there was little if any 
reason to choose the CPUSA over them unless one were a genuine supporter

of its positions and genuinely viewed the USSR as a model for emulation.

Maybe Stromberg's moral guilt is diminished by the fact that she was 
only 19. Adult longterm CPUSA members  are a different matter.




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