• U.S.

Education: The Communist Shortage

2 minute read

“Anyone willing to put forth the Communist line can get an invitation from a college,” says Sam Kushner, Illinois correspondent for The Worker. Last week alone, Party Boss Gus Hall made two speeches at the universities of Chicago and Wisconsin. National Secretary Ben Davis earlier drew 6,000 students for a speech at the University of Minnesota. The Communist lecture bureau in New York City is beside itself in gleeful culling of invitations from some 100 campuses this year, against two dozen or so last year.

When they win a podium, the Communists deliver set pieces praising “socialist life,” denouncing segregation and U.S. nuclear testing. But most intensively these days, they attack the Internal Security Act of 1950, which requires the U.S. Communist Party to register as an arm of the Soviet Union. Now under indictment for failing to do so, the party leaders are merrily raking over what Gus Hall calls “this monstrous law,” which, he insists, “actually provides for concentration camps.” Why do students listen? Hall hopefully attributes the Red boomlet to student interest in hearing what a live Communist actually says as compared with what the new far-rightists say he says. More exactly, U.S. collegians are more curious about everything political—and the Communists are splendid teachers. One University of Minnesota official reported after Ben Davis’ appearance: “They learned that when these people speak, they hang themselves by what they say.”

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