Max Eastman's latest book will surely lit* blasted to the hiyli
heavens hy many critics or given the <>I<1 silent treatment. I
don't believe, however, many of the critics will be able to
Ignore tin* book. Reflections on the Failure of Socialism. It's
entirely loo blunt and frank and provocative,
ror example, in the first chapter righl at the out sel Mr.
Eastman states, and I quote him, "Almost everyone who eares
earnestly about freedom is aroused against the Communists.
Hut it is not only the Communists, it is in a more subtle way
the Socialists who are bloekhij; the efforts of the free world
to recover its poise and ils once firm resistance to tyranny."
Mr. Eastman, I know you explain this reference to Socialists in your new hook, hui I wonder if you would Iel! us in
person your reasons for blaming nol only Communists but
Socialists for undermining freedom and upholding tyranny?
M\\ KASTM \N :
to be specific, the Socialists in Italy, combining
witli the Communists, overthrew De Gasperi's governmenl and De Gasperi was one of the wisesl statesmen
would sort of cramp my style* 1 do want lo say that I think
it's vividly written, dramatic, and easy lo read, and I'm looking forward to reading il from the samples I've taken.
The reason Vm explaining this is I noticed ope little reference thai you made in there to Fabian socialism. Too many
of our listeners may not really know whal the term is.
Fabian socialism. Would you explain what you mean by that
Fabian socialism was a movement in England started'
by Sidney and Beatrice Webb and Bernard Shaw. H. G.
Wells and others to win a Socialisl slate not by revolution or even strictly speaking, by the labor class struggle,
but by a gradual infiltration in other parties and also
suppressing the word socialism.
They suet reded—they succeeded in pretty near wrecking the prosperity of tbe British Empire, I think, or of
England at any rate. But it took them about seventy-five
years. But they did it and that's what the Soeialists here
are doing now, most of them.
I amous Author of "Reflections on the Failure oj Socialism"
gives interview lo FACTS FORUM'S Hardy Bun
Hark in the early l°20's Meix Eastman wee* our- ol 4merica*s most ardent
champion, of socialism* His decision lo alter his political beliefs weis not
nastily conceived* It involved mam years of research ami study of philosophy, economics eiml political seiem-e. the history of man and his civuiza*
lions, eiml into human nature itself.
His quest led him to probe into tlie politieal scene in America, ill Europe,
ami to live for two years among the Bolsheviks iii Russia,
Stole of the Nation radio program featured Max Eastman as iis guest,
and presented an authoritative disclosure of his hook and his life.
ml eif J
defending free enterprise in Europe. Thi- Socialists, com-
bining with lln- Communists in Prance, refusing in collaborate »iih lln- capitalists, have prevented the formation of any stable government. The Socialists in Norway
have pul mi the most authoritarian regime to be found
•his side nf lln- linn Curtain, lln- Socialists in England
prevented England frnm repeating lln- miracle of recover) which astonished tin- world emd her defeated
. '"' references you have now made lo Socialists is socialism
j1 Europe. What eiholit the Socialists in America such els
. "'se. gay, represented by Norman Thomas, who received such
"eiiitiful accolades eis a greeil American from the liheral press
,ri his recent birthday—what about socialism in America?
' don'l know whether you want mi- In talk eilioiil
Gorman Thomas nr socialism in America. If ur slick
to Meeieilism in \merica, the facl is that Norman Thomas
■■as retired frnm active political leadership. The Socialist
part) in America didn't amount in enough fur him tn
stick l.\ it. That's because tin- Socialists as ei general
body abandoned their partv ami joined in the Democratic part) with the effort lo win progress towards
Sf" i.ili-m by collaborating with ihr Democratic parly.
1.;r- Eastman, I deliberately did not read your hook very, very
■ '"-ifiilly. I scanned through il. and the reason I didn't reail
ti|Vep) carefully is because then I would know the answers lo
*>f the questions
FORUM NEWS. June, III:,
Now, do you say that we have Fabian socialism in ihis country
lhat socialism is in diaguiM in other forms of our govern*
Yes, except thai there was a regular Fabian organization in England with that program.
Well, what is this? Disorganized Fabian socialism infiltration?
Thai's a good phrase-. I wish I hail lhat when I wrote
Why did you come to the conclusion after many years of
being devoted to .socialism that socialism was wrong: that it
The- first shock came in Moscow when I saw what hap*
pened as lhe result of Lenin's party seizure of power
there, the gradual emergence of a dictatorial parly and
totalitarian regime. That meule^ m,- start investigating
the subject, hut il took me an awful long lime, ll loeik
me fifteen years to find oul that the socialist hypothesis,
eis I call it. had Keen disprovcii lev an experimenl.
How weis il disprove!!? What weis the experiment?
Because everywhere il happens the freedom of men
disappears progressively even though in some cases and
lo some extenl their equality increases.
Didn't you say something in your hook aboul the socialist
doctrine, if il is lo be made lo work, demands a state
apparatus and planning?
(Continued on Page Cl