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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,erictheorange Folk Britannia (145* d) RE: Folk Britannia 28 Sep 06

>>Captain Birdseye wrote
>>ewan maccoll, was a member of the communist party.
>>The communist party line was that, this was an
>>imperialistic war, and so members were not to get
>>involved.When Stalin decided that they should get
>>involved, they did and fought with courage, in
>>fact without Stalin the second world war would
>>have been lost. Ewan maccoll was a fine songwriter
>>and in my opinion we are all indebted to him, he
>>was one of the instigators of the folk revival.

The reality was (and it was well known at the time) that the Trade Unionists and Communists were being imprisoned and murdered on a grand scale by the Nazis, and the Nazi doctrine of Germanization worked to eradicate local cultural identity in favour of an imposed German one.

Even at the time many CPGB members were against their party's stance and chose to serve in the armed forces. Just because one's party advocates an action it is still down to an individuals conscience how they choose to act.

Many communists in many nations fought bravely, and many died, but evidently MacColl wasn't one of them. Had everybody taken his approach there would have been no folk revival in Britain as it would have been supressed - replaced with a Germanized facsimile.

If MacColl had disagreed with fighting he had the honourable option of declaring himself a concientious objector and taking a non-combatant role or accepting any punishment dealt out by the tribunals. Many concientious objectors fulfilled important humanitarian roles during the war, including high risk jobs such as bomb disposal in civilian areas. Many others chose prison rather than to go against their beliefs. Desertion, particularly by anybody yet to be exposed to the traumatic stress of combat, can surely only be considered an act of cowardice?

Ewan MacColl certainly was a fine songwriter and obviously had a huge contribution to the folk revival, however for me from now on his image will always be tarnished by this.

>>When Stalin decided that they should get involved

I think you'll find that it was Hitler that decided that the Communists should be involved, by invading Russia.

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