I’m trying to plot out a novel, and some of my characters are left-wingers in the summer and fall of 1940. I can’t quite figure out how they would be feeling politically, at a point after Stalin has signed a non aggression pact with Hitler (which happened in 1939) but before Hitler broke the pact and attacked Russia (which happened in 1941). What I’m asking you is to imagine that
- You’re basically you
- But you’re a committed Marxist in 1939
- And you learn that Stalin has signed a pact with Hitler.
This exercise does require that you figure out what sort of Marxist you would have been before the pact:
Naïve, fuzzyheaded young person who believes we should all share and share alike?
A Jew who thinks the Communist have the strongest anti-Nazi program going?
A rational thinker who sees Marxism as a scientific economic program?
A liberal disgusted with FDR’s party for making excruciatingly slow progress on civil rights for colored folks?
A victim of the harsh economic realities of the 1930s?
An alarmist who thinks fascism will take over if we don’t pick a side in the looming fascist/communist struggle?
Or any other explanation for why you chose to embrace Marxist thinking. Having figured out why you became a Marxist, I want to know how you remain a Marxist in 1940. (Your reasons may conclude “…but I really couldn’t support this thinking for very long,” which is fine but I’m more interested in your feelings UP TO the point where you left the Communist Party. I’m assuming you spent the last few months of 1939 wrestling with your conscience, but it’s been a year now and though you’re troubled you haven’t yet resigned from the CP. Why not?
Mods: Not sure what the debate point is here, exactly, but it seems a little grand to me for IMHO. If you disagree, please feel free to move this there, or wherever.