The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469 Message #3289462
Posted By: Jim Carroll
12-Jan-12 - 02:33 PM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
"A fully committed believer in true communism? "
I agree with GSS last statement.
Inspired by being born and brought up in Fredrich Engles' (Condition of the Working Class in Englang) Salford, politically, MacColl was of his time. He, along with a large slice of the left in Britain (including some of my family), believed that they could change the world for the better by aboloshing the class system. They looked on Russia as the first Workers State and Stalin as the guardian of that state (the cult of personality had crept in by then and Stalin was a role model). They dismissed the reports of purges and gulags a "propaganda".
It was during this period (1950) MacColl wrote The Ballad of Stalin, (which was released by 'Stalinist' Topic Records and reprinted by 'Stalinist' Eric Winter's 'Stalinist' magazine 'Sing).
I can still (just) remember the gloom that decended on our house when Stalin's death was announced in 1953. I can also remember the trauma when some of Kruschev's speech to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Union in 1956 began to trickle out, exposing Stalin's crimes.
After that, (according to Peggy) MacColl grew ashamed of TBoS and never sang it again.
Following the full exposure of what was happening in the Soviet Union MacColl's political efforts were aimed mainly at causes - CND, anti-Apartheid, Trades Unions, Anti-Vietnam - the Chile, Greek and Argentinian juntas, anti racism, anti Thatcherism (gawd bless 'im - Peggy once said that her greatest sadness was that Ewan died when Thatcherism was at its height).
PS Suggesting that true communists shouldn't live in nice houses and drive expensive cars is on par with suggesting that all Christians should "Sell what thou hast and give it to the poor"